Peacock horror movies now streaming

Halloween is still six months away, but, come on — do you really need a festive excuse to give yourself a fresh patch of goosebumps? If you’re in the market for some spine tingles, may we suggest heading over to Peacock?

The streaming service has enough horror content to make Michael Myers blush through his William Shatner mask. From demons to haunted houses, to psycho killers and (yay) werewolves, Peacock runs the cinematic gamut of what audiences have come to expect from the horror genre. The best part? All of these movies are entirely free to watch (with a few ads along the way, of course)!

Head below for the 11 scariest movies currently streaming on Peacock.

Psycho (1960)

While the slasher genre didn’t technically exist in the early ‘60s (more on that later), we wouldn’t put up a fuss if you wanted to argue that Psycho helped kickstart the sub-genre of demented full of murderers who love to carry kitchen knives. Despite being virtually bloodless — aside from the chocolate syrup poured down the drain during the iconic shower scene — the film was still groundbreaking for its time.

For one thing, it tricked audiences into thinking Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) was the main character before killing her off nearly an hour into the runtime. Another fun fact: Psycho was the first mainstream Hollywood production to show a toilet flushing on the big screen. Pretty tame compared to what directors can get away with today, but trust us: In 1960, the swirling toilet water was nothing short of scandalous.

Watch it here

The Birds (1963)

Leave it to Alfred Hitchcock to make us deathly afraid of birds. Birds, of all things! Who would have guessed it? The man understood the horror genre in ways some filmmakers can only ever dream of. Why do our fowl friends start to attack? That’s of no consequence — just be sure to find shelter before you’re swarmed and pecked to death.

When asked if he liked birds during an interview after the film’s release, Hitchcock stated that he was “quite indifferent to them,” going on to add that “they serve their purpose on occasions.” Savage.

Watch it here

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

What can we say about Night of the Living Dead that hasn’t already been said? George A. Romero’s stone-cold classic served as the blueprint for the modern zombie genre. Without it, our collective cultural notion of reanimated corpses seeking out flesh and representing deeper ideas about society would simply not exist. 

“We had $6,000 and a loose idea based on a short story I’d written which was in fact an allegorical thing,” Romero remarked in a 1972 interview. “We decided to take that and turn it into a real blood and guts film, and that’s how it started.”

Watch it here

Prom Night (1980)

There’s a reason Jamie Lee Curtis (the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh) gained the monicker of “Scream Queen.” Her involvement with early slashers like John Carpenter’s Halloween and Paul Lynch’s Prom Night cemented her status as a cinematic icon — the prototypical “Final Girl,” if you will. Curtis wasn’t entirely happy with the latter project, which she claimed was a rip-off of Halloween (everyone was trying to capitalize on the crazed killer, er, craze at the time). Nevertheless, Prom Night remains an indelible part of the slasher canon and even got a remake in 2008.

Watch it here

Black Christmas (1974)

Once again, we return to the debate of which movie kicked off the slasher boom that would come to define the late ‘70s and all of the 1980s. Released a full four years before Michael Myers went on his famous killing spree in Haddonfield, Black Christmas might very well have a genuine claim to the title of being the first modern slasher flick.

Prior to his death in 2007, director Bob Clark shot down speculation that Halloween was a rip-off of his movie: “[John] liked Black Christmas and may have been influenced by it, but in no way did John Carpenter copy the idea.” Whatever the case, Black Christmas (a simple tale of sorority sisters being stalked and killed in gruesome fashion) makes for a festive watch any day of the year.

Watch it here

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Up until this point, director John Landis had delivered box office gold in the form of comedies like Animal House and The Blues Brothers. While it does have shades of dark humor, An American Werewolf in London showed the filmmaker’s talent for disturbing and visceral horror. Much of the lion’s share (or should we say wolf’s?) of credit goes to the legendary makeup artist Rick Baker, whose trailblazing visual and makeup effects quite literally make the movie. David’s transformation into the titular lupine monster still holds up all these years later.

“We both loved seeing Fredric March turn into Mr. Hyde and Lon Chaney Jr. turn into the Wolf man,” Baker said in 2011. “But it just doesn’t make sense for them to sit still and change a little bit, and then change and change, and then get up and move. [John] thought that transformation would be painful and he wanted to show the pain. And from day one, he insisted we not use horror lighting.”

Watch it here

The Stepfather (1989)

If you loved Terry O’Quinn as the Alien Tracker in SYFY’s Resident Alien, then consider checking out his role as a murderous step-parent in this 1989 cult classic.

“[It] was the first time I sort of carried a film, or led in a film, and doing it was fun, and I felt very special,” he told The A.V. Club in 2014. “Afterwards, though, I was terrified. I just thought, ‘Wow, this is basically going to be about me. If this film is a success or a failure, a lot of it’s on me!’ They released the film just here and there and now and then, and it got critical acclaim, but it was never much of a success in terms of box office. A lot of people watched it after the fact. It’s sort of a cult thing. I still have people mention that to me from time to time.”

Watch it here

The Last Exorcism (2010)

A surprisingly effective found footage film, The Last Exorcism (produced by Eli Roth) grapples with themes of faith and belief, channeling its story through the eyes of Cotton Marcus, a disillusioned minister (played by a pre-Better Call Saul Patrick Fabian). He agrees to perform one last exorcism, though he doesn’t much believe in his own demon-banishing shtick, let alone Satan himself. We won’t spoil the ending, which is one of the best parts, but let’s just say it’s enough to give Rosemary Woodhouse some serious PTSD flashbacks.

Watch it here

Sinister (2012)

Once deemed the scariest movie ever made by the very laws of science (it has since been dethroned), Sinister takes innocent, family-made home movies and turns them into weapons of mass terror.

The movie was the fourth directorial effort from Scott Derrickson and stars Ethan Hawke as a struggling author who accidentally unleashes an ancient entity with a penchant for convincing children to murder their families. Given the movie’s extensive use of Super 8 footage to chilling effect, Derrickson said he believes that “Sinister is certainly an evolution of the genre, but I wouldn’t call it a found footage movie — rather, it’s a movie with found footage in it.”

Watch it here

Train to Busan (2016)

It’s hard to do something new with the zombie genre, so when a film comes along and breathes new life (no pun intended) into the realm of reanimated corpses, you have to give credit where credit is due.

Director Yeon Sang-ho’s thrilling, and terrifying, Train to Busan is one of those projects. Entirely set aboard a speeding locomotive infested with frenzied zombies, the film gained a great deal of attention for its socioeconomic subtext. In their review for The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis described the effort as “a public-transportation horror movie with a side helping of class warfare.”

Watch it here

You Should Have Left (2020)

Based on the novel of the same name authored by Daniel Kehlmann, You Should Have Left is a haunted house movie with a lot more on its mind than just handing the audience the keys to a spooky domicile.

The adaptation was both written and directed by David Koepp (screenwriter of Jurassic Park and Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film). Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried headline Left as a couple that moves into an isolated home in Wales with their young daughter. Everything is peachy keen until strange things start to happen, which forces the characters to reckon with dark secrets of the past.

“Obviously, I love haunted house movies, I’ve done a ton of them, but I’m always trying to figure ones out that feel unusual or different… and this one was that,” producer Jason Blum told SYFY WIRE in 2020. “It was a haunted house movie, but a story in a haunted house I’d never seen.”

Watch it here

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