The 5 Best Horror Movies on HBO for Halloween (2017)

The Conjuring 2

There are a lot of premiere cabal options, but by far one of the most popular is HBO. Sporting a plethora of original shows and movies, HBO is also a great source for films made outside of this company. While their selection of films frequently rotates, there are some nice selections in the horror genre for this year’s Halloween. When deciding upon these choices we aimed to include films that not only produced scares, but offered strong direction, acting, and cinematography as well.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Daybreak
  • The Purge: Election Year
  • The Ring

These are our top five choices for the best horror movies on HBO:

(This list is in no particular order)

1. Lights Out

Lights Out – Official Trailer [HD]In theaters July 22! From producer James Wan (“The Conjuring”) comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out. The film stars Teresa Palmer (“Triple 9”) as Rebecca; Gabriel Bateman (“Annabelle”) as Martin; Billy Burke (the “Twilight” franchise) as Martin’s father, Paul; Alexander DiPersia (“Forever”) as Rebecca’s boyfriend, Bret; and Maria Bello (“Prisoners”) as Sophie. “Lights Out” marks the feature film directorial debut of David F. Sandberg, who directed the film from a screenplay by Eric Heisserer (“Final Destination 5”), based on Sandberg’s own short film. James Wan, Lawrence Grey and Heisserer produced the film, with Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Richard Brener serving as executive producers. Sandberg’s behind-the-scenes team included director of photography Marc Spicer (“Furious 7”), production designer Jennifer Spence (the “Insidious” films), editor Kirk Morri (“The Conjuring”) and costume designer Kristin M. Burke (“The Conjuring”). The music is composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. New Line Cinema presents a Grey Matter/Atomic Monster production, “Lights Out.” Slated for release on July 22, 2016, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.2016-03-26T19:45:19.000Z

There has been a lot supernatural horror that released over recent years, but one of the best is director David Sandberg’s Lights Out. The story focuses on a young woman who is dragged back to her estranged family’s home by her little brother. Upon investigation, she discovers that her unstable mother has let a malicious entity into the house.

Even though Lights Out has a fairly predictable story, this is easily overlooked by the fantastic acting and characters that Sandberg has created. They are more complex and intriguing then typical horror movie protagonists and even the ghost is more dimensional than one would expect. A special nod has to be made to the fantastic lighting that helps produce a truly unsettling atmosphere.

2. The Strangers

VideoVideo related to the 5 best horror movies on hbo for halloween (2017)2017-10-20T14:01:28-04:00

Home invasion horror movies are fairly common, but director Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers is a unique and uncompromising beast. Set in an isolated home, the story revolves around a young couple who are terrorized, tortured, and hunted by three masked psychopaths. Where The Strangers deviates from most home invasion films is its focus on slowly building up the tension. There

There are a few jump scares, but overall The Strangers aims to fill its audience with a sense of hopelessness. Not every question or story detail is answered in this movie and that’s the point. Bertino’s strangers are a force of nature that looms over the movie until the credits actually role.

3. The Conjuring/The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring – Official Main Trailer [HD] In theaters July 19th. Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story, "The Conjuring" tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.2013-04-02T17:20:28.000Z

We’re bending the rules a bit for this choice, as both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 are hands down the two best horror movies on HBO right now. Directed by James Wan, these movies follow real-life supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (portrayed wonderfully by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who take on terrifying cases. Both films revolve around real cases that the Warrens documented and were involved in. Despite some aspects clearly being exaggerated, both of the Conjuring films act as masterclasses in how to produce scares.

Wan is one of the best in the business at building tension and then providing a satisfying, often horrific payoff. This is thanks to near perfect scoring and a reliance on making the audience feel vulnerable at all times. Holding all of these scares together is a terrific cast that gives great, convincing performances throughout both films.

4. Krampus

Krampus – Official Trailer (HD)Krampus DVD and Blu-Ray – Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive. The horror-comedy also stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Lavie Owen and Krista Stadler. Krampus and his mischievous underlings have been created by the combined efforts of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, both renowned for their epic work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and King Kong, among many others. Written and directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ’r Treat), Krampus is co-written by Zach Shields and Todd Casey and produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, Alex Garcia and Dougherty. The film will be released by Universal Pictures.2015-09-09T13:00:01.000Z

If you’re looking for a more campy, yet still entertaining movie to watch this Halloween then Krampus is the movie for you. Set during Christmas, Krampus follows the story of a disjointed family that becomes terrorized by an ancient entity that punishes those who have lost the spirit of the holiday. There’s a great mix of horror and humor in this film, as the story rightfully never tries to take itself seriously. Because of this, Krampus is free to showcase a bunch of wacky concepts and monster designs such as killer Gingerbread Men or a terrifying stuffed animal monster. It’s all very silly, but that’s what makes this horror film such a riot.

5. The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – TrailerFan-Made trailer using actual footage from the official teasers. Instead of uploading two similar videos, I made my own personal cut. "In October of 1994, three student film makers disappeared in the woods near Burkittesville, Maryland. One year later, their footage was found." Directed by: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez. Cast: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams, Bob Griffith, Jim King. Release Date: July 30, 1999.

Perhaps one of the most famous found footage films to ever release, The Blair Witch Project helped redefine modern horror filmmaking. The main premise revolves around a group of friends making a documentary about a local town legend. This leads to them not only getting lost in a forest but becoming hunted by an unknown force. Through clever camera work and solid performances, The Blair Witch Project instantly establishes a sense of dread and impending doom. You never feel like the crew has the upper hand, which helps develop a sense of tension once the more supernatural elements start to kick in. Make no mistake, this is a nasty little horror movie that should be viewed at least once.