It’s safe to say that 2020 has not been a great year for movies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, horror may be the one genre that has produced a few gems, and most of them are ready to steam from your living room. In addition to these new offerings, there are plenty of classics available on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Here are some of the best horror movies you can enjoy from your couch this month.

Top 5 New Releases:

1. The Invisible Man 

This movie made the news back in February for being a fantastic adaptation of the H.G. Wells story. The talented Elizabeth Moss stars as a woman trying to escape her abusive boyfriend, only to realize that he’s still stalking her as an invisible presence. This psychological thriller will appeal to anyone who likes their horror full of the disturbing real-life monsters that are too often ignored. 

Where to Watch: HBO Max or with your Amazon Prime subscription

2. Color Out of Space 

Released this past January, Color Out of Space is a long-awaited adaptation of the famous H.P Lovecraft story of the same name. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror has always been difficult to adapt to film because he liked to generate fear in his readers by dishing out hints about what was happening and letting the reader’s imagination take over from there. Luckily director and co-writer Richard Stanley has used his imagination and a reasonable budget to create a stunningly weird world that does this story justice on the big screen. Nicholas Cage stars as the patriarch of the Gardner family. The Gardner’s have recently moved to the country, and the isolation of their new life is driving them all slightly batty. Then a meteor lands in their front yard, and the strange happenings begin. This one will appeal to fans of cult cinema who are looking for something different to enjoy this year. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime – available to rent or with your subscription, also available on iTunes.

3. Host

The bare premise of Host might seem like a shallow attempt to create something timely, but thanks to great characters and spot-on timing, it’s one of the most effective horror films of the year. Six friends decide to have a seance over zoom during the lockdown, but they end up watching in horror as the demon they’ve summoned attacks one of them. Distance doesn’t keep this invisible danger at bay, and it isn’t long before everyone who participated in the seance starts noticing strange happenings in their own homes. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime (with subscription only)

4. The Platform

This Netflix Original is a Spanish film that packs a lot into it’s runtime. The premise of a man who agrees to spend a year participating in a government experiment in return for his college degree can be read as a bleak political and social allegory or enjoyed for the effective horror and disgust it generates. Possibly one of Netflix’s best horror films to date, this one is worth your time.

Where to Watch: Netflix

5. La Llorona

This new take on an old legend combines the thrills and chills of a classic haunting with even more chilling real-life evils. Alma, a Mayan woman, is killed with her children in a genocidal military attack. Decades later, the general who ordered the attack stands trial and is found not guilty, but there is justice from beyond the grave. This movie will appeal to fans of magical realism and to anyone who likes a good story of ghostly revenge. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime ( with subscription only)

Top 5 Classics 

1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

This film isn’t only at the top of the list because it turned 100 years old earlier this year. It’s a true classic with stunning visuals that are still inspiring modern filmmakers. Yes, it is silent, but if The Quiet Place taught us anything, it’s that silence can create suspense. The plot follows a hypnotist who is using his powers to make someone else commit murder. Many have argued that Dr. Caligari is the first true horror film. It is certainly one of the first examples of German Expressionism and a great film to watch if you want more insight into the history of horror. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime -to rent or with a subscription (If you like silent films, Amazon also has Nosferatu ( 1922) ready to stream)

2. Poltergeist (1982)

This classic of the haunted house genre has held up well over time. It’s similar to The Amityville Horror but more effective because it allows the viewer to see what’s happening through the eyes of the characters instead of overwhelming both cast and viewers with special effects. Many long time fans claim that it’s one of the scariest films they’ve ever seen. 

Where to Watch: Netflix

3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

If it’s been a while since you watched this one, you should take the opportunity to remind yourself where all the zombie horror of today got its start. This genre staple is still as gripping as it was over fifty years ago. In case you’re not familiar, the film follows a rag-tag group of Pennsylvanians as they try to hide from the flesh-eating monsters that have overrun the East Coast. It’s not all guts and gore, this Vietnam era film is deeper than you might suspect, and it has aged well. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime- to rent or with a subscription

4. Hush (2016)

This modern classic holds viewers in almost unbearable suspense as Maddie, a deaf woman, attempts to evade a serial killer stalking her home. At 82 minutes, this is a lean, tense thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Wait Until Dark. In both films, the main character has a perceived disability that makes their situation even more dangerous, but like Hitchcock’s heroine, Maddie has reserves of hidden strength and unexpected advantages. Don’t watch this one when you’re home alone.

Where to Watch: Netflix

5. Cabin in the Woods (2016)

This movie is brilliant because it manages to be both a humorous, satirical parody of the horror genre and a scary movie in its own right. It also features a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth. The film’s creators Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, bring the sharp wit that Buffy was famous for to the big screen and manage to create an entertaining story that will appeal to viewers who like their horror to be intentionally funny. 

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime- to rent or with a subscription