2020 seems to have come straight out of a Stephen King novel. A virus bringing the world to its knees. An invisible enemy waiting to pounce. Sounds like a horror movie!
With budgets getting tight and no end in sight, we made a selection of the best horror movies available to stream for free. From the notorious classic Nosferatu (1922) to mind-blowing O.I. (2018) and Alter hit Stucco (2020). Treat yourself to a night of true terror by checking out this selection of crazy movies that won’t cost you an arm or leg to watch.
1) Nosferatu (1922)
When it comes to horror movies, it’s all about sound effects, they say. So how come a silent, black and white classic produced in 1922 has turned out to be one of the era’s most influential masterpieces that set standards for its successors?
Nosferatu, unlike some of Dracula’s most recent adaptations, lacks the flamboyant and rather charming looks so common for vampires from the Twilight generation. Instead, bat ears, clawlike nails and rodent’s fangs complete the look, and actor Max Schreck’s outstanding take on the main part portraits an anguish creature suffering from a dread curse. Who needs sound, when you have this?
2) The Lodger (1944)
Jack the Ripper terrorised London in 1888, but it was in 1944 that the world put a face to the infamous serial killer – at least in fiction. This adaptation of Marie Belloc Lowndes’ novel of the same name, The Lodger, tells the story of retiree Robert Burton (Cedric Hardwicke) and his wife, Ellen (Sara Allgood), who rent a spare room to the mysterious Slade (Laird Cregar), aka Jack the Ripper. The rest is history, as they say… Quite literally.
3) Bogeyman (2013)
Check under your bed or behind your wardrobe doors. Do you hear a scratch at your window? This short and incredibly dark animation tells the story about the mythical ‘bogeyman’ in a modern, reimagined way. The amorphous and monstrous ace in the pocket for parents terrifies children into obedience – watch out for a sack and you’re sure he’ll carry naughty children away.
Winner of several awards, including Best Fiction Film from Still / Moving DSLR Film Festival, and Best Short Film from The Pennine Film Festival UK, The Jigsaw Short Film was inspired by an old ghost story. When a man purchases a mystery Jigsaw Puzzle from a strange and unsettling vendor, little did he know of the frightening consequences. Once back in his dark and empty home, the man opens the box and begins to assemble the puzzle inside, leading to an evening of terror.
A bizarre but memorable sci-fi/horror/comedy hybrid, Fried Barry dives into a drug-addled psychosis, as an alien supposedly possesses a heroin addict on a joy ride through Cape Town.
Called by some the “hard-R version of E.T”, the short is an energetic mix of illusory pleasures often followed by moments of shock. A metaphor about the bad behaviour of the human race from the viewpoint of the outer space, enlivened by moments of dark humour and a great performance from Gary Green.
6) O.I. (2018)
The film saw wide applause at several major film festivals, including Fantastic Fest (US), Clermont-Ferrand Int. Short Film Festival (France) and FilmQuest where it won Best Short Screenplay. Numerous other awards were received during O.I.’s festival run.
With a comedic quality that grips viewers to the narrative, O.I. takes the concept of being ‘mind-blown’ literally with a gory mix of practical and special effects. The story follows the protagonist Barry – played by Ben Cotton – after he wakes up one morning with an incredible new idea. The downside? He’s the only person that can handle it. In fact, telling the idea to anyone has devastating effects. Barry may have to face this burden alone – or so he thinks.
7) Duérmete Nino (2019)
Set in the 1940s, Duérmete Niño tells the story of Alma, played by Piercey Dalton (The Open House, Bull), a religious mother of newborn twins who is constantly awakened by the disturbing sound of her crying babies. Using a radio monitor to check on them from her bedroom, Alma encounters a series of unsettling events that build towards a terrifying finale in which she discovers the horrifying truth about her twins.
BAFTA-nominated Best Short Film and winner of Audience Choice and Best Live Action under 15 Minutes at the Reel Shorts Film Festival, The Blue Door stars Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan as nurse Clare, who is assigned to take care of an elderly woman living alone in a rather creepy old house. A creepy old house with an occult-powered doorway which can disappear and reappear at will. We won’t give any more spoilers.
The Dollmaker tells the tragic tale of Jenna and Rick, a husband and wife who have recently lost their young son. The grieving mother latches on to a magical surrogate for her lost child. A mysterious and sinister dollmaker who claims he can bring their long lost son back to life.
But small miracles come with big consequences. Jenna and Rick can’t spend more than one hour with him, and when the time is up he must go back inside his box for a whole day before you can take him out again. What could possibly go wrong?
10) Stucco (2020)
A woman dealing with agoraphobia, a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong, is holed up in her apartment, unable to leave because of her fear and neuroses. Though she has Skype sessions with her therapist, she doesn’t have much contact with anyone else. But when she tries to hang up a piece of art on a wall, she discovers a hollow space behind it, her growing fascination with the hole in the wall reveals a terror living behind it, which threatens to consume her mind… and perhaps even more than that. Written and directed by Janina Gavankar and Russo Schelling, this horror has a unique and thoughtful take on the deep, dark psychological terrain of guilt, fear, depression and stasis.
There it is, our top ten horror movies to watch for free online, from classics to most recent adaptations. Whether you’re into vampires, serial killers, dark sci-fi or psychological thriller, these movies promise to haunt your dreams until long after you have watched. In the meantime, stay safe.