It’s the most Spooktacular time of the year, where we are looking to snuggle up and be scared! There are so many streaming services out there, it’s probably safe to say you’re subscribed to a few of them. When there are so many options to choose from, it can get overwhelming. Stream & Shout is your helpful guide to finding the very best horror in films and series.
This week we are focusing on HBO Max
Lovecraft Country – Series
Lovecraft Country is the lovechild of brilliant creative minds working with amazing writers and talented actors. The series follows Tic as he returns home from the Korean War. His homecoming is less than welcoming when he finds that a mystery is waiting for him. Over the series Tic, along with his friends and family, must face their fears and their demons in order to protect the ones they love. The horror in Lovecraft Country comes from two things. First the horror of the monstrous creatures, ghosts, and extraterrestrials. Secondly, from the horrific acts of violence, prejudice, and oppression caused by the racial divide. This series is a perfect amalgamation of sci-fi and horror.
Night of the Living Dead – Film
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a classic for a reason. Some would say this film is the foundation for horror films and shows we enjoy today. Night of the Living Dead has a bunch of “teens” trapped in a farmhouse trying to survive against zombies. This film is a reminder that you don’t need high-tech CGI or over the top SFX makeup to create real terror. The film from 1968 can go toe to toe with any present-day horror movie.
Folklore – Series
Folklore is a limited series that aired on HBO Asia. Luckily, it’s available for streaming on HBO Max. Folklore is an anthology series that spans 6 episodes. Each episode features a folktale from a different Asian country and is told in each respective native language. The horror in Folklore ranges from chilling, psychological, and everything in between. It has something for every horror lover out there. Another fun aspect of this show is learning about what other cultures view as scary. There are differences but there are also some noticeable similarities from some famous tales. Scary and educational, a win-win.
Horror of Dracula – Film
Horror of Dracula is the oldest film on the list but that doesn’t make it outdated or less thrilling. This is one of my favorite films by the late Sir Christopher Lee. Lee plays the role of Dracula, who has lured Jonathan Harker to Transylvania on a lie about a job. What happens next is a thrilling cat and mouse game between the two characters, as Harker desperately tries to protect his loved ones from the vampire king. There a few moments that feel cheesy but Lee’s portrayal of Dracula makes the villain frightening and also likable.
The Alienist – Series
The Alienist is not about a man who studies aliens; think of him as a psychologist/mentalist. This show has an all-star cast trying to solve a mystery involving a serial killer. What may appear as a true crime show dressed in period clothing, is actually a bone-chilling delight. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler’s traumatic past often allows him to be outsmarted by this brutal killer. You’ll find yourself filled with suspense and dread as each episode brings them closer to the truth. The performances are outstanding and the use of sound design is downright eerie.
Alien – Film
If you have a fear of space or UFOs, it might be due to the horror classic Alien. Alien finds Ripley and her crew answering a distress call in space. What should have been a simple search and rescue mission turns into a nightmare! The spacecraft just so happens to be occupied by alien lifeforms, aka Xenomorphs. The search and rescue mission now becomes a mission to survive. The Xenomorph is horrific not just in design but also because it’s very smart! Its intellect allows it to be cunning and nothing is scarier than an enemy that’s unpredictable.
The Outsider – Series
There has been no shortage of shows and films based on the works of Stephen King; The Outsider is one of them. The Outsider is a true-crime mystery but in classic Stephen King fashion, it’s also a serious Mind F**K! The show follows investigators trying to solve the murder of an 11-year-old boy. If it was that simple, it wouldn’t be scary. The Outsider forces the audience to question everything they see and what they believe. With so many twists and turns, you’ll find yourself up at night trying to understand it all. This psychological thriller is not one to miss.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch – Film
Out of all the recommendations on this list, this is the one I’m scared of the most. In fact, all the Gremlin films give me nightmares. Gremlins are helmed as a “family” movie and I don’t get it. Gremlins 2 is the sequel to Gremlins. This time the Gremlins have taken over a skyscraper in New York, causing widespread terror and shenanigans. This can be considered campy or comedy-horror as the gags are often gross and childish. Still, Gremlins 2 can be an introduction to the world of horror for younger kids.
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the best horror films and shows on HBO Max. Are any of your favorites on the list? Sound off in the comments and on our social media!