10 Best Horror Movies on Disney+ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Cute cartoon critters and princesses on a pursuit might be Disney’s staple diet, but there’s plenty on its streaming platform for fans of the darker end of moviemaking to get excited about too.

From gory games to deadly dinners, here are the best horror movies on Disney+, ranked.


Prey

While Arnold Schwarzenegger’s original 1987 sci-fi survival horror is streaming on Disney+ – and well worth yet another re-watch it is too – the latest instalment of the Predator franchise is also on the platform.

Prey takes the trophy-hunting alien back in time to land in the Native American 18th century plains. There the Comanche tribe are already in a battle of survival with the colonial French, before captive Naru (Amber Midthunder) escapes the devastation and faces off against the aggressor with just limited weaponry and her wits to keep her alive.

The lore building, back-to-basics battles and un-Hollywood setting make this probably the best follow-up to Schwarzenegger’s blockbuster, fully investing the viewer in Naru’s fight against both the human and off-world invaders.


Barbarian

‘Do I look like some kind of monster?’ says Keith upon open the door late at night to fellow double-booked Airbnb tenant Tess (Georgina Campbell).

Well, yes, he does, seeing as Keith is played by Bill Skarsgård AKA the inhuman, child-eating, clown Pennywise from It. With Tess landing herself in the middle of a deserted Detroit suburb with an all-too-eager-to-please stranger, she’s on fight-or-flight mode from the start. As is the viewer.

But at no stage does Barbarian play out how you think it will, with its horror genre changing often – from psychological, to survival, to comedic slasher – as the story is taken deeper and darker. As we learn, there are worse things in the world than creepy clown-playing actors.


Ready or Not

There’s little chance of Samara Weaving’s Grace getting to consummate her marriage on her wedding night. No, her new husband’s family are demanding the pair come downstairs this instant and engage in their own fun instead, with a game of hide and seek. Way to spoil the mood, Auntie!

Indeed, the La Domas’s are no ordinary family. Firstly, they’re an incredibly wealthy lot, having made a fortune through flogging card and board games for decades. Secondly, their ancestors might or might not have done a deal with a demon to gain that success and each subsequent generation has to induct new additions to the family with a potentially fatal game to uphold their end of the bargain.

Weaving – still in her bridal gown, which gets less white, more red as the story unfolds – faces off against various types of rich folk – inherited wealth; corrupt businessmen; determined nouveau riche; ladder-climbers, who then pull it up – all with their own selfish, though internally logical, reasons for wanting to see the newlywed dead and the cult’s future intact. While the scares aren’t terrifying, they are frequent, and you’ll be rooting for the family to taste defeat in their deadly game.


The Omen

What happens when Rosemary’s baby grows a few years older? That’s essentially the premise to Richard Donner’s 1976 supernatural masterpiece. Five-year-old Damien is – literally – a little devil, with a troubling propensity to terrorise nannies and zoo animals alike, all with a somewhat tell-tale birthmark on display.

There have been plenty of sequels and remakes, but none touch the original’s sense of dread.


Melancholia

Is Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia a horror film? The case against: there are no jump scares or gore. And no shocks or surprises. The case for: the reason there are no surprises is because the movie’s end is also shown right at the start: a beautiful, horrific montage depicting our entire Earth being destroyed as it collides with a giant planet, killing everyone and everything on it.

Trigger warnings abound: This is a terrifying, apocalyptic movie in the cruelest sense – a feeling of nauseating existential dread pervades as Kirsten Dunst’s Justine fails to find happiness on her wedding day after spotting a new star in the sky and self-destructs her life with all her family and friends watching. From there, she stays with her sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), as the feuding siblings face the inevitable in wildly contrasting manners until the bleak, overwhelming finale spirals into nothingness.

It’s a movie that makes most sense (and is perhaps best avoided) by those who endure clinical depression. After all, is it easier to cope when the grimmest disaster occurs, if you’ve imagined even worse things in your head?

Regardless, Melancholia is a visually stunning film and, for those who dare, deserves to be watched – after doing so, you’ll want to hug those you love a little bit closer.


Black Swan

With a portrait of a descent into madness through the medium of dance, Natalie Portman deservedly won an Oscar for her role as paranoid, hallucinating ballerina Nina.

Driven to the edge by pushy parenting and a physically brutal work schedule, Nina is kept in a constant state of dread for most of the movie, with director Darren Aronofsky ensuring that the viewer is kept increasingly unaware of where reality begins and ends.


The Menu

Mark Mylod’s skewering of fine-dining culture and its acolytes could have gone in a far more gory and obvious direction. But anyone put off from watching thinking this will go down the cannibalistic/live animal/vomit-inducing food trauma angle is in for a treat. Because celebrated Chef Slowik’s (Ralph Fiennes) courses served throughout look delicious (well, most of them do, anyway).

Instead, this is an exploration of the power dynamics between the high-end servers and the served, as well as the seductive appeal of the personality cult of the celebrity chef. The result? A dinner to die for.


The Fly

‘Be afraid. Be very afraid,’ says long-suffering girlfriend Veronica (Geena Davis) of mad scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) in David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake to the fifties sci-fi terror flick. And sure, while that might be good advice for potential viewers, ‘bring a sick bag’ might have been a more appropriate tag line.

As usual for Cronenberg, body horror takes centre stage, with Goldblum’s transmogrification from human to bug after a botched experiment is both a testament to 1980s movie makeup and special effects, and incredibly queasy stuff.


Aliens

Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking, chest-bursting claustrophobic original might also be on Disney+, but it’s James Cameron’s gung-ho follow-up that we’re focusing on for this list. There’s no safety in numbers for ultimate xenomorph survivor Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in her most celebrated role) and her interstellar marines, sent on a suicide mission by The Company to LV-426, the moon on which the Nostromo crew in the first movie pick up their unwanted passenger, which has since been colonised in the intervening years.

As usual with Cameron’s movies, subtlety is not much of a feature in the action stakes. The result is a relentless two-and-a-half hours of tense survival and body horror, culminating in a battle to the death between two mother figures.


The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

A ghost story with a twist. By now, most film fans will know how jaded child psychologist Bruce Willis’s quest to help troubled child Haley Joel ‘I see dead’ Osment plays out. But that doesn’t lessen the achievement of director M Night Shyamalan, who spent the best part of two decades trying to compete with that stunning reveal and the moniker of “Mr Twist”, with diminishing returns, until a recent return to form with Knock at the Cabin.

In fact, repeat viewings are only enhanced in spotting the clues to how the movie will resolve itself. And, despite its legacy passing into pop-culture folklore and familiarity, it’s truly terrifying at times – step away from the tent, Haley!


There we have it, our list of 10 best horror movies on Disney+. Do you agree with our picks? Or have we missed a crucial choice off the list? Let us know your thoughts about our picks in the comments below:

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