5 best horror movies on Max in October 2023

Max on a TV screen with a bowl of popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Each month at Tom’s Guide, we look over the new movies and TV shows arriving on the best streaming services, and when looking at what’s new on Max in October 2023, it’s pretty clear that the service formerly known as HBO Max is taking Halloween seriously this year. 

In fact, while horror-focused service Shudder may be offering a lengthy 30-day free trial this month, I’d argue that Max is currently the streaming service of choice for anybody who wants to watch some scary movies. 

So, if you’re planning an at-home horror movie marathon or just want to stream as many spooky flicks as possible over the next few weeks, here’s why Max is the streaming service you need this Halloween, and I've also rounded up some of my favorite picks from the service's impressive selection of very scary movies. 

Max has killer horror movies this month 

We rank Max at the top of our roundup of the best streaming services because it offers a high-quality library of must-watch movies and prestigious TV shows. And if you head over to the horror category, you’ll be greeted with a large selection of flicks, including classics of the genre as well as some more modern favorites. 

Right now, Max offers some of the biggest names in horror from The Exorcist to The Shining, Poltergeist to Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street to Friday the 13th. And these are just a few of the many classics currently streaming on Max. Search for a list of the best horror movies of all time and there’s a good chance that Max will be offering many of the top picks you come across. 

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise The Dancing Clown in IT

(Image credit: Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo / Warner Bros. Pictures)

But it’s not only 20th-century horror movies on Max. The streamer's library of nightmarish films also includes contemporary hits such as Hereditary, Barbarian, It (2017), The Witch, Malignant and The Conjuring. Plus, if you’re thinking of taking a trip to your local multiplex, The Nun is on Max so you can get all caught up ahead of seeing The Nun 2 on the big screen. Sadly there are no Saw movies on Max at the moment, but as noted above, the first Exorcist is there, which is handy as The Exorcist: Believer is one of the new movies heading to theaters this month. 

Max is also great for watching whole horror franchises rather than just single flicks. The entire Friday the 13th saga is streaming, as are all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. The service also offers every single Final Destination film as well as the complete original Scream trilogy. You’ll also find all three Annabelle movies on Max. 

The best horror movies on Max right now 

Hereditary (2018)  

Toni Collette as Annie Graham in Hereditary

(Image credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / A24)

Hereditary is not just my favorite horror movie of the last five years, but one of my favorite horror movies ever. And as a huge fan of scary movies, I do not say that lightly. This 2018 psychological chiller focuses on a seemingly normal family that is thrust into an increasingly disturbing nightmare when terrifying secrets about their ancestry come to light. Toni Collette stars as a grieving mother trying to keep her family unit together in the face of tragedy, while Alex Wolff plays her teenage son who has more sinister problems to deal with than just adolescent angst. Directed by Ari Aster — who would go on to helm the also excellent Midsommar — Hereditary is a horror movie that will make your skin crawl with fear.  

Stream it on Max

Evil Dead Rise (2023) 

Lily Sullivan as Beth in Evil Dead Rise

(Image credit: FlixPix / Alamy Stock Photo / Warner Bros. Pictures)

It's been a strong year for horror, and Evil Dead Rise is right up there with the best the genre has had to offer over the past 10 months. Originally set to debut on Max, Warner Bros. opted for a theatrical release after strong test screenings. And Evil Dead Rise lives up to the hype. Set within a condemned Los Angeles apartment complex, the seriously gory horror movie centers on two sisters, Beth and Ellie (Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland), who must battle for survival after one of Ellie’s kids accidentally summons a demonic entity after reading from a sinister book. In franchise tradition, the Evil Dead Rise is a blood-soaked romp that is as deliriously entertaining as it is frightening. But I'll warn you now, it's not for the squeamish.  

Stream it on Max.

The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle in The Fly

(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Limited. / Alamy Stock Photo / 20th Century Studios)

This 1986 sci-fi horror sees Jeff Goldblum play an eccentric scientist named Seth Brundle who is working to create a machine capable of teleportation. While testing his work on himself, he accidentally splices his own DNA with that of a common household fly and slowly begins to morph into a mutated man-insect hybrid. His girlfriend (Geena Davis) must watch in horror as Brundle slowly transforms into a hideous monster. Directed by the master of body horror David Cronenberg, The Fly blends shocking moments with a surprisingly impactful story that will have you sympathizing with Brundle’s plight, even if what he becomes will likely repulse you.

Stream it on Max.  

Green Room (2015)

Imogen Poots as Amber in Green Room

(Image credit: AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo / A24)

Green Room is arguably more of a thriller than a straight horror movie, but it’s got more than enough tense moments to get your adrenaline levels spiking. Starring the late Anton Yelchin and with a movie-stealing against-type turn from Patrick Stewart, Green Room centers on a punk rock band that finds themselves trapped in a secluded venue after witnessing a murder. The perpetrators of the crime aren’t willing to let the musicians leave in case they alert the authorities as to what they saw. What next follows is a tense standoff between the two sides that quickly descends into bloodshed. Full of dark humor as well as an overwhelming sense of claustrophobic terror, Green Room is an under-watched gem.   

Stream it on Max.

The Exorcist (1973) 

Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist

(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Exorcist needs no introduction. It’s one of the most iconic horror movies ever made, and to this day is regularly ranked among the greatest films ever in the genre. It also became the first horror movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and ended up taking home two Oscars. Its legacy has lived on for the last 50 years, and its latest sequel landed in theaters this weekend. Of course, nothing beats the original, and now is the perfect time to rewatch this masterpiece (or be thoroughly spooked for the very first time). The Exorcist follows the events that unfold when a young girl begins displaying increasingly strange behavior. Soon her mother is left with no choice but to call in a local priest, who believes the girl has been possessed by a demon and an exorcism is warranted.   

Stream it on Max.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.