5 movies like 'Poor Things' to stream right now

Emma Stone in "Poor Things"
(Image credit: Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

Although Emma Stone’s recent Best Actress win at the Oscars may have caught some pundits by surprise, anyone who’s seen “Poor Things” can understand why her performance was so acclaimed. The latest film from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos also picked up Oscars for its costumes, production design and makeup/hairstyling, a testament to the striking visuals that Lanthimos brought to the screen.

Where to stream "Poor Things"

"Poor Things" is streaming on Hulu

It’s all in service of a story that riffs on Mary Shelley’s gothic horror classic “Frankenstein,” with Stone as Bella Baxter, a hybrid creature with the brain of a newborn transplanted into an adult body. That bizarre juxtaposition allows her to discover the world anew, giving Lanthimos the chance to satirize the sexism and class structure of his alternate version of Victorian-era England. With the movie newly streaming on Hulu, here are five more movies like "Poor Things" to watch afterward.

'The Favourite'

The first collaboration among Lanthimos, Stone and screenwriter Tony McNamara is much less fantastical than “Poor Things,” but it’s still outrageous and daring, with a gleeful celebration of female sexuality. Stone plays Abigail Hill, a poor young woman who comes to work for Great Britain’s Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in the early 18th century, thanks to her connection to Queen Anne’s close companion Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), Abigail’s cousin.

Sarah and Queen Anne are close in the carnal sense, and soon Abigail becomes Sarah’s rival for the Queen’s affections. Lanthimos depicts the royal palace as a den of debauchery, where self-serving sycophants compete to influence the unstable Queen. Like “Poor Things,” “The Favourite” is raunchy and often hilarious, but it’s also a savage social satire with excellent performances, including the Oscar-winning Colman as the vulnerable but vindictive Queen Anne.

Watch on Hulu


Marin Ireland wasn’t acknowledged by any major awards organizations this past year, but her performance in writer-director Laura Moss’ chilling take on the Frankenstein story is on par with Stone’s work in “Poor Things.” Ireland plays Dr. Rose Casper, a hospital pathologist who shuns human interaction and instead conducts gruesome experiments in the privacy of her own apartment, with biological material she smuggles home from work.

When that biological material includes the recently deceased five-year-old daughter of her co-worker, nurse Celie Morales (Judy Reyes), Rose has to confront the kind of family relationships she’s spent her life keeping at a distance. Ireland and Reyes are fantastic together as two very different women who unite for the purpose of keeping this undead girl alive, going to brutal lengths to further their obsessions, both scientific and maternal.

Watch on AMC Plus

'Bride of Frankenstein'

It’s easy to forget that the iconic title character only shows up briefly at the end of director James Whale’s sequel to his 1931 classic “Frankenstein.” Before that, though, there’s plenty of weirdness in this freewheeling follow-up. Elsa Lanchester, who plays the Bride, does double duty as Mary Shelley, showing up in a prologue to introduce the movie as a supposed continuation of the story that Shelley wrote.

Colin Clive and Boris Karloff return as Henry Frankenstein and his monstrous creation, respectively, joined by Ernest Thesiger as Henry’s demented mentor Dr. Pretorius. Whale adds absurdist humor to the gothic horror, as Dr. Pretorius pressures Henry to create a mate for the monster, and seems to have no qualms about his own horrific experiments. The skewed, strange take on the Frankenstein story of “Poor Things” can trace its origins back here.

Rent/buy at Amazon or Apple


There have been viral online posts about the similarities between “Poor Things” and cult director Frank Henenlotter’s sexploitation favorite. As its title implies, “Frankenhooker” is more vulgar than the already quite naughty “Poor Things,” and it’s not nearly as thoughtful. But it has more on its mind than just the shock value of an unhinged suburban basement-dweller cobbling together a resurrected version of his fiancée from body parts harvested from murdered prostitutes.

Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz) is deranged, but he’s also sort of sweet, just a love-sick sad sack who misses his fiancée, and has tender feelings toward the prostitutes he picks up, even as he’s dosing them with “super crack.” Henenlotter mixes deadpan humor with gross-out set pieces, for a unique experience that’s proved influential in unexpected ways.

Watch on Peacock

'The Revenge of Frankenstein'

Like Godwin Baxter in “Poor Things,” Peter Cushing’s Baron Frankenstein engages in brain-transplant experiments in this second movie in Hammer Studios’ renowned Frankenstein series. Moving past Mary Shelley’s original story allows screenwriter Jimmy Sangster and director Terence Fisher to engage in more esoteric gothic interests, as Frankenstein attempts to take a paralyzed man’s brain and place in a reconstructed body that will allow him to live a normal life.

It’s a surprisingly altruistic motivation for a character who’s typically depicted as arrogant and unfeeling, and Cushing gets the chance to bring more depth to his version of Frankenstein. The creature’s eventual deterioration into a cannibalistic monster is as sad and poignant as it is horrific, setting the tone for future Hammer Frankenstein movies that combine tragedy with terror.

Watch on the Roku Channel

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.