Let’s stick the telly on, have a cup of tea, and wait for all this to blow over…
Considering how stressful the news is at the moment, though, a spine-tingling horror might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
That’s right: research has shown that the combination of danger and anticipatory suspense generated by the techniques horror movies use to scare you get your adrenal glands pumping overtime, the activity of your white blood cell levels spikes significantly, and viewers are often flooded with a sense of euphoria come the end, too.
And, as Professor Jeffrey Goldstein notes, watching horror movies with other people (aka anyone you may be, erm, self-isolating with) is especially food for our psyches.
“People who consume violent and scary entertainment rarely do it alone,” Goldstein says.
“Going as a group helps ground you in reality, and you can compare your reactions with others and show others that you are strong enough to take it.”
Indeed, after observing audiences at horror films for years, Goldstein has seen people scream and cry and even throw up, but often, those same people will appear happy after the movie is over. They’ve also proved to themselves they can handle it.
In short, a terrifying horror session with your pals is the ultimate bonding activity. But, to quote the indomitable Wham!, if you’re gonna do it, do it right. Or, in other words, if you’re going to watch a horror film, make sure you pick the scariest bloody horror film on offer.
The Platform focuses on a collection of prisoners in a stacked prison where the only food available to inmates is the leftovers of those people above them. Of course, this doesn’t bode well for prisoners in the lower levels.
Some starve to death. Some brutally attack their fellow inmates in order to get their hands on the food they so desperately need. And some partake in a little (un)healthy cannibalism.
The Platform is available to stream on Netflix now.
House at the End of the Street
Jennifer Lawrence stars as the teenager who falls in love with the boy next door. Too bad, then, that he lives in the same house where both his parents were killed by his little sister. This good-bad film blends Psycho with all your favoruite teen horror tropes. And, as ever, Lawrence puts in a stellar performance.
House At The End Of The Street is available now on Amazon Prime.
When these robbers learn a blind, elderly veteran has come into some money, they think he’s going to be an easy target. They’re wrong. Very, very wrong.
Don’t Breathe is available now on Netflix.
In a nutshell? Justin and Aaron joined a cult, left a cult and then decided to go back and visit the cult. Naturally, though, that visit doesn’t go well. At all.
The Endless is available on Netflix now.
Final Destination 5
This film is the fifth in a popular horror franchise, which means we all know what’s going to happen. Think a terrifying premonition, a near-fatal accident, and the increasingly grisly deaths of all “lucky” survivors.
So why have we included Final Destination 5 (available now on Amazon Prime), then? Because it’s the one with the excellent twist ending, of course.
Let Me In
Owen, like so many horror protagonists, leads a lonely life. And so, when he meets new neighbour Abby, he revels in their friendship… until he becomes aware that she is hiding a secret from him. Big secret. Huge.
Let Me In is available on Amazon Prime.
On the day of her prom night, seventeen-year-old Carrie discovers that she possesses telekinetic powers. And we all know what happens next, don’t we?
Carrie is available on Netflix.
On Halloween (because of course), a group of friends encounter an extreme haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. However, the night soon turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realisation that some nightmares are real…
Haunt is available on Amazon Prime.
Billed as Get Out meets Black Swan, this twisted tale of two adept cellists is apparently so terrifying and unsettling that it made some viewers physically sick.
The Perfection is available on Netflix.
Cloaked, cult-like figures trap a police officer, patients and staffers inside a hospital. But why? Probably because it’s a gateway to evil, to be honest.
The Void is available on Amazon Prime now.
The Cabin In The Woods
Fancy something completely different? This smart-as-a-whip horror from Joss Whedon (yeah, the man who gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer) takes all our favourite horror tropes and turns them completely on their head. But, while it’s plenty funny, it’s still guaranteed to send shivers down your spine, too.
The Cabin In The Woods is available on Netflix.
Seven helpless and bullied children are forced to face their worst nightmares when Pennywise, a shape-shifting clown, emerges from the sewers…
It is available on Amazon Prime.
Happy Death Day
This gloriously silly horror has a very similar premise to Groundhog Day. If, y’know, Bill Murray’s character were chased by a serial killer at the end of every single day and murdered, horribly.
Happy Death Day is available on Netflix.
What Keeps You Alive
If there’s one lesson we’ve learned from watching horror films night after night, it’s this: a remote cabin in the woods is probably the worst place for a romantic getaway with your partner. Ever.
What Keeps You Alive is available on Netflix.
A nurse takes her favourite romance novelist hostage in this beloved adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. And, while Kathy Bates is sweet-as-a-button at first, things soon take a turn for the terrifying when she learns he’s planning on killing off her favourite character.
Misery is available on Netflix now.
With their relationship in trouble, Dani joins her boyfriend Christian on a make-or-break trip to an ancestral commune in northern Sweden. Once there, they are invited by the forever-smiling villagers to partake in celebrations for their fabled midsummer festival – and they are all too happy to accept. However, it isn’t long before the seemingly pastoral paradise transforms into a sinister, dread-soaked nightmare as the locals reveal their terrifying agenda…
The precursor for Saw, with a heavy dose of 90s nostalgia, this film sees a group of strangers wake up in the Rubik’s Cube only your nightmares could imagine. We don’t want to give too much away, but… watch it. And enjoy.
The Cube is available on Amazon Prime.
Horror fans have been pushed to their limit by this Netflix original film – and it’s based on a terrifying true story. At the exact moment of an eclipse, the glass cup used during a séance shatters and cuts the eponymous character’s finger, causing a drop of her blood to fall onto the Ouija board itself. The teen lets out an inhuman cry before passing out and, from that point on, seems marked by an evil supernatural force – one which, at one point, takes on the appearance of a cigarette-smoking nun.
Luca Guadagnino’s horrifying tale of a world-renowned dance company plagued by darkness remains every bit as gripping today as it did when it was first released in the 70s. If you aren’t a fan of older horrors, though, you’ll be pleased to know the star-studded 2018 remake on Amazon Prime, too.
Suspiria is available on Amazon Prime.
Nobody likes spending time with their ex. Not really. But, while attending a dinner party at his own ex-wife’s house, Will soon realises that she and her new husband have seriously sinister plans for their guests.
The Invitation is available on Netflix.
A genuinely good remake? Absolutely. This is a horror film with a capital H, and trust us when we say it’s genuinely scary. You’ll want to keep the lights on for this one…
Evil Dead is available on Amazon Prime.
A deaf author, a solitary house in the middle of the woods, and a masked man. It’s a surefire recipe for pure, pulsating terror, isn’t it?
Hush is available on Netflix.
It all begins so well: a new couple are driving to a music festival in Ireland, and they’re very excited about it. Until, that is, they find themselves helplessly lost and are set upon by a mysterious tormentor…
In Fear is available on Amazon Prime.
Images: Netflix/Amazon Prime
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.