20 Free Horror Movies Well Worth Your Time

20 Free Horror Movies Well Worth Your Time

Horrorific content by penguin_pete on October 03rd, 2018 | Horror Lists |

Here we are in the month of October, when many horror devotees compose a list of 31 horror movies to see. Well, you might want to pad your list with some freebies just to cut that budget. What a coincidence, AllHorror lists 300+ full movies for free and counting!

Problem solved? Well, let’s not ignore the obvious issue: Most of them suck. Yes, it’s true, there’s pages of turkeys in the freebies list - but we can’t avoid that, the name of the site is “All Horror” not “Just The Horror Movies We Like.” To save you time hunting, here is a list of 20 quality horror movies that are not only free, but we also feel every horror fan will find it worth their time to at least scan.

We’re also listing them in reverse chronological order to put the obvious old film-school classics at the end.

1 Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You! (2012)

Don’t let the title put you off! True, it’s an indie budgetless horror-comedy, definitely not for everyone. But given that, it has a surprisingly staunch cult following as a deliberate parody of ‘50s B-movies, with many interesting wrinkles.

2 The Eye (2002)

In a horror subgenre not visited often, this is one of those numbers where somebody gets an eyeball transplant and after that they’re seeing ghosts. But this one has stellar reviews, great visuals, and is a genuinely scary time.

3 The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

What else need we say but “directed by Dario Argento”? Well, maybe we should clarify that this is considered one of his better later efforts, as an uncomfortably intimate serial killer / stalker story.

4 The Langoliers (1995)

OK, you can pass this one by guilt-free. Your life is complete without seeing it. It’s a sewn-together run of the TV miniseries based on Stephen King’s novel. You could rank it alongside Maximum Overdrive as teetering between “So Bad It’s Good” and having some amusing moments as a Twilight-Zone type premise, plus one over-the-top insane ham. File it under “curiosity” and “Stephen King bucket list.”

5 Phenomena (1985)

Dario Argento again and why is Suspiria so famous while this one’s overlooked? Ignore the goofy framing premise. Just watch the hellish death pit clip scene. Now tell us that didn’t disturb the crap out of you! Go watch it, it’s the other half of Suspiria.

6 Roar (1981)

You watch this for the same reason people watch Freaks: amazement that it got made. As an adventure about a family contending with wild beasts, the story’s a yawn, but your face is as good as nailed to the screen once you start watching it. That is a real family, kids and all, and there is no fake stage blood in the movie, the injuries are real. The horror comes from the performers fighting to keep life and limb together while still acting and only being moderately successful at each.

7 Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Yuck. Bucket list. You know this movie by reputation, being one of the most legendary “video nasties” ever made and also the first “found footage” movie (choke it down, Blair Witch!). And for having death scenes so convincing that they had to come into court and prove they didn’t actually make a snuff film.

8 Rituals (1977)

Yes, it is a Canadian Deliverance knock-off with camping men chased through the woods by crazy killers, but considering the subsequent career of John Boorman, we’re ready to take Deliverance away from him and give it to this movie instead. It is very highly reviewed and praised, and the director didn’t turn around and put Sean Connery in a day-glo Pampers Pull-Up afterwards.

9 Trilogy of Terror (1975)

You know this one: It’s a trilogy anthology with two ho-hum forgettable stories and the last one with the spastic killer doll that steals the whole show and has a cult following all its own. The only correct way to watch this movie is to fast-forward to minute:second 45:50 and tell everybody in the room to shut up.

10 Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)

This is an unknown, undiscovered, underrated classic. It plays like a dark faerie tale with psycho-sexual issues that will make you squirm with discomfort, set in a zombie apocalypse world that plays more like Labyrinth as told to the Brothers’ Grimm. It’s a Gothic horror about a little girl on her own setting out to find her father and encountering a vampire cult. It’s also fast paced and dreamy at the same time. Track down the DVD print if you can find it; the VCR video does not do it justice.

11 The House That Screamed (1969)

Never has a movie been so unfairly represented by its title and poster. This is *not* a William-castle-style yarn with a haunted house. This is a Giallo-style girl’s boarding school slasher where the girls are under the sadistic control of a menacing headmistress. It, too, will make you flinch at the borderline exploitation of underage girls, but it’s also nerve-wracking for other reasons. While it has many themes in common with later Eurotrash horror, it’s actually a stylish and tasteful period piece.

12 Spider Baby (1967)

Judgment call here, we have another love-it-or-hate-it movie. But it has a huge cult following as a stunningly original and offbeat dysfunctional family yarn. It’s like if the clan from The Hills Have Eyes settled down in the suburbs. Just listen to that opening theme (which does not fit the movie at all) and tell us you’re not charmed!

13 Black Sunday (1960)

Mario Bava’s first feature, this is a black-and-white Giallo classic about an executed witch coming back from the dead to haunt her accuser’s descendants. It’s chock full of Gothic imagery and unforgettable scenes, cited as an inspiration for the likes of Tim Burton.

14 House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Eh, it’s a Vincent Price / William Castle yarn. It tries to get a lot more mileage out of skeletons and jump scares than we’d like in the modern day, but it is an influential classic that’s suitable to be horror for kids these days. More of a bucket lister, though a couple scenes still hold up today and of course Vincent Price.

15 Dementia (1955)

It’s just an intriguing curiosity that continues to captivate generations of a tiny cult audience. It’s a woman’s descent into the depravity of a big city, but here comes the twist: It’s completely without dialogue!

16 Diabolique (1955)

It’s the legendary French noir in which a mousy wife and her husband’s mistress conspire to off her husband. Remade a couple times into inferior interpretations, the classic stands today nicely.

17 Freaks (1932)

Bucket list, and at that just so you understand the Internet memes. Feel free to fast forward through the tiresome soap-opera parts to The Wedding Feast (it gets a title card). A historic relic and curiosity that will never be remade.

18 Haxan (1922)

Not so much a movie as a demo reel of fascinating scenes themed around witchcraft and general spookery. Watch it to learn where all those goofy GIFs on the Internet came from. Truly a visual treat, just watching this is a whole Halloween all by itself.

19 Nosferatu (1922)

Come on, it’s considered the first vampire movie, what are we going to do, not mention it? While it’s hugely outdated now, it is a historic relic that’s a groundbreaking work of atmosphere. Hey, the guy’s still scarier to watch than a few dozen other movie monsters out there.

20 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

We’ve practically landed in the crib at the birth of film. This is not only widely considered the first full horror movie, it’s almost the work that invented the concept of an original feature-length film. It’s also the central touchstone of expressionism (we still use that today) and has a unique, eye-popping visual style.

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