Scary Streaming: Ten of the best horror films streaming for free on VUDU

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Motel Hell (1980)

Motel Hell–Courtesy of MGM and United Artists

“It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent Fritters.” Best tagline? Check. A secret garden filled with throat-slashed victims buried up to their necks? Check. Smoked meats made of human flesh? You betcha. Motel Hell is one of the most underappreciated horror comedies of all time, and thanks to VUDU, it can be a staple in every late-night horror viewing.

Frailty (2001)

Frailty–Courtesy of David Kirschner Productions and American Entertainment Co.

The world sucks without Bill Paxton, doesn’t it? He was one of the coolest actors to ever grace the screen, but Frailty proves that he was one hell of a director too. In front of the camera, Paxton plays a religious father who God has commanded to kill demons that are disguised as people.

The film balances that supernatural element by primarily focusing on the relationship between Paxton’s character and his two young sons – one who believes his father to be crazy.

Behind the camera, Paxton pulls maximum suspense from the scenario, never letting the truth of his on-screen character slip until Frailty‘s closing moments. This is a near-perfect film that deserves more attention than we’ve ever given it, and VUDU is helping to remedy that problem.

The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead–Courtesy of Renaissance Pictures

The Evil Dead is a small film that slowly became a juggernaut success. There isn’t a horror fan alive who isn’t aware of its existence and its influence is still felt to this day. Spawning sequels, comics, a beloved television series, and a reboot that fans are still clamoring to see a sequel for, The Evil Dead paved the way for one of the genre’s most iconic franchises and heroes. It’s importance cannot be denied.

In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

In the Mouth of Madness–Courtesy of New Line Cinema

“Do you read Sutter Cane?” After directing several great genre films in the ’70s and ’80s, John Carpenter established himself as the master of horror – a title that has stuck with him.

In 1994, Carpenter rounded out what would eventually be known as the Apocalypse Trilogy (Which also consists of The Thing and Prince of Darkness) with In the Mouth of Madness, a Lovecraftian horror film starring the always-incredible Sam Neill. With its fever-dream atmosphere and trippy brand of horror, it’s tough to imagine why the film isn’t frequently mentioned in the same breath as Carpenter’s greats where it belongs.

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead–Courtesy of Hemdale Film Corporation and A Greenberg Brothers Partnership

The Return of the Living Dead was a game-changing horror film in 1985. For years, due to the films created by maestro George A. Romero, zombies were perceived to be a certain way: slow and serious. Though Return didn’t enhance the speed of the undead, the film did inject a much-needed breath of fresh air with its uncompromising silliness.

Featuring zombies that vocalize their hunger for brains, characters who could be placed in an ’80s time capsule, and intentional laughs scattered throughout, The Return of the Living Dead changed the way zombies were viewed for years to come.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead–Courtesy of Image Ten and The Walter Reade Organization

Whether a film is good or not is typically just a matter of opinion, but Night of the Living Dead being one of the greatest horror films ever made is a cold hard fact that no one in their right mind would deny. George A. Romero pioneered the zombie sub-genre and forever altered the landscape of horror with the first film of his Dead series.

As thematically rich as it is frightening, Romero’s film is such an important part of cinema history that it was added to the National Film Registry for its cultural and historical significance. Not bad for an independent horror film about flesh-eating ghouls.

Top 5 George A. Romero movies (that aren't zombie films). light. Related Story

We’ve only just scratched the surface of all the great horror films streaming for free on VUDU. Be sure to check out their library on your next movie night!