12 Scariest Horror Movies And Shows To Stream Right Now On Paramount+
As the streaming wars continue to heat up, ViacomCBS has rebranded its CBS All Access platform as Paramount+. All Access actually predates many of the prominent studio services, such as Disney+ and HBO Max, but last month, ViacomCBS revealed its plans to hugely expand the service, with a variety of original shows, plus movies and series from Paramount's vault, such as those produced by BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
Existing CBS All Access subscribers won't have noticed a huge difference in the content yet--while the platform has rebranded, it is yet to increase its content beyond what was previously available. But there's still some great movies and shows on there. Horror fans in particular will find some scary favorites and must-watch spooky TV to check out.
In 2019, Paramount gained exclusive streaming rights to Miramax's movie catalog, which means that '90s favorites such as The Faculty and Halloween H20 can be found on Paramount+. There are also classic slasher films, anthology favorites, and one of the best Stephen King adaptations. On the TV side, one of the greatest sci-fi horror shows of all time--The Twilight Zone--can be explored in its entirety, while David Lynch's classic Twin Peaks is also available.
There's sure to be many more horror movies and shows added to the platform over the coming months, but for now, here's the scariest movies and TV shows to watch on Paramount+.
1. The Ruins
When it comes to threat in horror movies, we mostly expect it to come from monsters, masked killers, or supernatural entities. But in this scary gem, the horror comes from the natural world--specifically predatory, flesh-eating vines that trap a group of American tourists in a ruined Mayan template. While the characters are fairly forgettable, The Ruins delivers loads of tension, a great setting, and a number of truly horrific sequences. Providing you have the stomach for it, The Ruins delivers the meaty goods.
2. The Faculty
After successfully deconstructing the slasher genre in the Scream series, writer Kevin Williamson took on the alien invasion movie with The Faculty. Like Scream, it uses a high school setting as a backdrop for its mayhem, in this case, an alien parasite which starts taking control of the teachers. The young cast includes Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, and Jordana Brewster, while the likes of Robert Patrick and Famke Janssen make for creepy alien teachers. It's got a typically funny and subversive screenplay and energetic direction from Robert Rodrigeuz.
3. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
This Canadian anthology show was aimed at a teenage audience, and ran for five seasons from 1991 to 1995. The series focuses on a group of kids who gather in the woods to tell spooky stories, and the show taps in a variety of popular horror tropes, from vampires, ghosts, werewolves to witches, curses, and haunted houses. It's very enjoyable and recommended for those in search of some safe, old-fashioned scares. The more recent reboot show can also be found on Paramount+.
4. Halloween H20
Jamie Lee Curtis made her return to the Halloween series in director Steve Miner's fast moving and highly enjoyable 1998 Halloween reboot. It's a direct sequel to 1981's Halloween II, and sees Laurie Strode forced to confront the evil of her brother Michael Myers once more. The cast of rising stars includes Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Josh Harnett, and Scream creator Kevin WIlliamson had an uncredited hand in updating the franchise for a new generation of slasher fans. The next movie, Halloween Resurrection, is also available on Paramount+, but that's best avoided.
5. Pet Sematary
Stephen King's haunting 1983 novel got its first movie version in 1989. King himself wrote the screenplay and he remains fairly faithful to his book, with director Mary Lambert giving the movie an effective feeling of dread throughout. The movie was panned by critics on release at the time, but it's aged very well, with Lambert's restraint--until the studio mandated ending that is--making it as a much an intense family drama about grief as a supernatural shocker.
Guillermo Del Toro didn't have a happy experience directing his English-language debut Mimic, with producer Harvey Weinstein interfering throughout production and refusing to release Del Toro's preferred version. But the movie remains a lot of fun, with Del Toro's artistry and devotion to the genre shining through. It's an old-school creature feature in which huge, human-hunting mutant termite/mantis hybrids stalk the sewers of New York, tearing the heads off anyone unlucky enough to cross their path.
7. Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
Tales of the Darkside was a popular horror anthology show that ran for four seasons in the '80s, and inspired this creepy 1990 movie spin-off. It's directed by John Harrison, who previously worked as a composer on George Romero's Creepshow and Day of the Dead, and one of the segments was written by Romero, adapting Stephen King's feline frightener Cat from Hell. The other two stories feature a reanimated mummy and a gargoyle monster, and the cast of soon-to-be-famous actors includes Christian Slater, Julianne Moore, and Steve Buscemi. It's not as well remembered as Romero's Creepshow, but it's well worth a watch.
8. The Ring
The Japanese horror wave of the '90s inspired a glut of US remakes, and most were terrible. Perhaps the only one that stands alongside the original was the first remake, Gore Verbinski's 2002 reworking of Hideo Nakata's classic Ringu. Naomi Watts is superb as a woman trying to uncover the mystery of the cursed video tapes, and while most other J-horror remakes were compromised in order to reach a mainstream audience, Verbinski manages to retain the original's sense of impending dread.
9. My Bloody Valentine
One of the best slasher movies of the early '80s, this Canadian favorite is best known for its killer's iconic mining gear and outlandishly gory murders. The frankly idiotic plot centers on a bunch of kids who decide to throw a Valentine's Day party in an abandoned mine--as you do--but that provides plenty of opportunity for such choice moments as a human heart dropped in a vat of hot dogs, a girl impaled on a showerhead, and a guy getting messily dispatched with a nailgun.
10. Twin Peaks
David Lynch and Mark Frost's small town mystery mixed whimsical comedy and bone-chilling scares in a way that few shows or movies have achieved since. What starts as a quirky murder mystery becomes something darker and weirder, as Agent Cooper uncovers the dark secrets of the titular logging town and we are introduced to some of the most iconic characters in modern TV history. From Audrey, Bobby, and Sheriff Truman and to Bob, the Log Lady, and the Man From Another Place, there's never a bad time to revisit this hugely influential classic.
11. From Dusk Till Dawn
This gory vampire action comedy showcased the talents of two of the '90s most iconic filmmakers--Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Rodriguez directed Tarantino's script, which focused on a pair of criminal brothers (played by George Clooney and Tarantino) who kidnap a family and head to Mexico. They take refuge at a bar but find themselves at the mercy of the gang of shape-shifting vampires who run the place. The first section of the movie plays out like a traditional Tarantino thriller, and then explodes into outlandish horror madness as the vamps reveal themselves.
12. The Twilight Zone
Every episode of both the classic original anthology series Twilight Zone and its recent reboot can be found on Paramount+. Rod Serling's groundbreaking 1950s mix of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi remains one of the most influential TV shows ever made, and while some episodes are dated, there are still some serious scares to be found in such immortal episodes as The Eye of the Beholder, The Dummy, and And When The Sky Was Opened. The more recent Jordan Peele-produced reboot brought the series up to date with some impressively spooky stories that combined paranoid scares with more social conscious satire.