7 best summer horror movies to watch on Netflix, Prime Video, Max and more

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise The Dancing Clown in IT
(Image credit: Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo / Warner Bros. Pictures)

As summer heats up, it's the perfect time to seek refuge indoors and immerse yourself in the chilling world of horror movies. Some of the best streaming platforms such as Netflix, Max, Apple TV Plus, and others offer so many frightening movies that cater to every taste in fear. This means there’s something for everyone to enjoy this summer.

But we understand that searching for these movies can be a pain, especially when you end up scrolling for what feels like days. Don’t worry — we’ve carefully selected seven of the best summer horror movies from these platforms. 

So, whether you're planning a solo scare-fest or a chilling movie night with friends, grab your favorite snacks and turn down the lights for the best experience.


MIDSOMMAR | Official Trailer HD | A24 - YouTube MIDSOMMAR | Official Trailer HD | A24 - YouTube
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I have to start off strong with "Midsommar" just because it’s one of my favorite horror movies ever. It centers around a young woman named Dani (Florence Pugh) who, after experiencing a family tragedy, joins her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to a remote Swedish village for a midsummer festival. 

Sounds pretty nice right? Well, initially, the festival appears idyllic and serene, but as the days pass, disturbing rituals and traditions come to light, revealing the darker intentions of the villagers. The constant daylight in "Midsommar" intensifies its horror by removing the traditional refuge of darkness, distorting time and perception, exposing unsettling events openly, and emphasizing the characters' isolation and displacement in the eerie setting. It’s a true masterpiece that explores grief in such a haunting way.

Watch on Max 

‘The Babysitter’

THE BABYSITTER Trailer (2017) Netflix - YouTube THE BABYSITTER Trailer (2017) Netflix - YouTube
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Switching it up a little, we have the horror comedy “The Babysitter." It follows 12-year-old Cole Johnson (Judah Lewis), who is dealing with the typical struggles of adolescence, including bullies and a crush on his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving).

Bee seems like the perfect babysitter though — cool, confident, and fun. One night, after his parents leave for the evening, Cole decides to stay up past his bedtime to see what Bee does after he goes to sleep. To his shock and horror, he discovers that Bee is the leader of a satanic cult that includes her friends. The group has just performed a human sacrifice in his living room as part of a dark ritual to gain power and fulfill their desires. As the cult members realize that Cole has witnessed their ritual, they turn their attention to silencing him. 

Like many great summer movies, "The Babysitter" offers pure escapism. Its outrageous plot and quirky characters provide a perfect break from reality, making it an ideal choice for a fun summer movie night.

Watch on Netflix

‘Friday the 13th’ 

FRIDAY THE 13TH | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies - YouTube FRIDAY THE 13TH | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies - YouTube
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One classic that I’ll never forget is "Friday the 13th", a really fun slasher movie that follows a group of young camp counselors who are reopening the abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. The camp had been closed for many years following the drowning of a young boy named Jason Voorhees (Ari Lehman plays adult Jason) and subsequent mysterious murders. 

As the counselors work to prepare the camp during the summer, they are stalked and brutally killed one by one by an unknown figure wearing a mask. The movie builds suspense beautifully as the identity of the killer remains hidden until the shocking climax. “Friday the 13th” is known for its slasher violence and has spawned a long-running franchise that has become a cornerstone of the horror genre.

Watch on Max 


IT - Official Teaser Trailer - YouTube IT - Official Teaser Trailer - YouTube
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"It”, based on Stephen King's novel of the same name (favorite horror author ever), follows a group of children known as the “Losers' Club" in the small town of Derry, Maine. The story is set in the summer of 1989 and centers around the kids as they face their personal fears and a malevolent entity that takes the form of a clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). 

Here’s a little creepy backstory to get you in the mood for some horror — Pennywise awakens every 27 years to prey on the town's children, feeding on their fears. After one of the Losers' Club members, Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Martell), loses his younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) to Pennywise, the group bands together to confront the evil clown. If you’re someone who hates clowns but loves summertime, this is your perfect movie. 

Watch on Apple TV Plus 

‘The Cabin in the Woods’

Cabin in the Woods (2012 Movie) - Official Trailer - Chris Hemsworth & Jesse Williams - YouTube Cabin in the Woods (2012 Movie) - Official Trailer - Chris Hemsworth & Jesse Williams - YouTube
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If you think you know how this story goes, think again. "The Cabin in the Woods" might seem like your stereotypical horror movie at first glance, but it cleverly subverts and deconstructs traditional horror tropes. 

The story follows five close college friends — Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Marty (Fran Kranz), and Holden (Jesse Williams) — who head to a remote cabin for a sunny weekend getaway. Unbeknownst to them, the cabin is a part of a larger, sinister operation.

As the group explores the cabin, they unknowingly trigger a series of events orchestrated by a secretive organization operating from an underground facility. Their goal is to ensure the group follows a predetermined pattern leading to their demise. It's a genuinely thrilling watch that had me on the edge of my seat, and it soon became one of my favorites to watch in the summer.

Watch on Peacock 

‘The Wicker Man’

The Wicker Man (1973) Official Trailer - Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento Horror Movie HD - YouTube The Wicker Man (1973) Official Trailer - Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento Horror Movie HD - YouTube
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I don’t think anything will beat watching a classic horror movie on a warm evening. And if you agree, then give "The Wicker Man" a go (and watch it again if you’ve already seen it). The plot centers around Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward), a devout Christian officer who journeys to the secluded Scottish island of Summerisle to look into the vanishing of a girl named Rowan (Gerry Cowper). However, he quickly learns that the locals follow an age-old pagan religion. But who is the Wicker Man? Well, it’s actually a large effigy used for human sacrifice, so there’s that…

Much like “Midsommar”, the movie’s setting on a bright, seemingly peaceful island contrasts with its much darker themes. Watching it during the summer can enhance the eeriness of the movie, as the sunny, "happy" environment can mask the underlying sinister activities.

Watch on Prime Video 


Jaws Official Trailer #1 - Richard Dreyfuss, Steven Spielberg Movie (1975) HD - YouTube Jaws Official Trailer #1 - Richard Dreyfuss, Steven Spielberg Movie (1975) HD - YouTube
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One of the most classic movies to date has to be “Jaws”. Set in the coastal town of Amity Island during the summer tourist season, the movie follows the escalating terror caused by a giant great white shark. This formidable predator begins a series of brutal attacks on unsuspecting swimmers, plunging the community into a state of fear and panic.

At the heart of this thrilling narrative is Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), who takes on the responsibility of protecting the town from the shark. Joining Brody in the hunt are two contrasting personalities: Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), a young and knowledgeable marine biologist, and Quint (Robert Shaw), a shark hunter. 

Not everyone will agree with this pick (and it’s been a long-running debate), but I believe “Jaws” is part of the horror genre. There are several horror elements to it, including the obvious murderous shark, several scenes with blood eerily coloring the water, and suspense that gets under your skin. Even if you class it as a thriller (which it also is), it’s still worth a watch this summer. 

Watch on Starz 

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Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.