14 gripping survival horror movies that will leave a lasting impact

Evil Dead Rise - Courtesy SXSW
Evil Dead Rise - Courtesy SXSW /

Survival horror movies can provide a thrilling and exciting viewing experience. They place characters in intense situations where they must fight to survive against overwhelming odds. Sometimes, the characters might even have to face relentless threats, such as monsters, killers, or supernatural entities, while trying to navigate hostile environments. Overall, survival horror films continue to be a beloved and enduring subgenre of horror.

Below, we shared a list of 14 must-see survival horror movies that you can watch on streaming platforms or rent or purchase digitally.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Where to watch: Paramount+

After blind extraterrestrial creatures with acute hearing land on Earth and decimate much of the human population, the Abbott family tries their best to adapt to a life of silence to avoid attracting the deadly creatures.

Alone (2020)

Where to watch: Netflix

In need of a fresh new start, a recently widowed woman packs up her belongings and moves to a secluded location in the Pacific Northwest, only to soon find herself trying to escape a deranged and cold-blooded killer in the wilderness.

Nowhere (2023)

Where to watch: Netflix

To escape a country at war, a young pregnant Spanish woman hides in a maritime container aboard a cargo ship headed for Ireland. But when a violent storm hits, the container she's in tumbles overboard, and she's left stranded at sea along with her newborn baby.

Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Where to watch: Max, Amazon Prime Video

When a malevolent force is accidentally unleashed on a L.A. apartment building, an aunt must do everything in her power to save her nieces and nephew from the demonic entities that have invaded the building.

It Comes at Night (2017)

Where to watch: Max

It Comes at Night is easily one of A24's best horror films. When a highly contagious disease wipes out most of the human population, a family of three takes refuge in a secluded house in the woods, where they protect themselves from the outside world.

But they soon find their carefully controlled environment disrupted when a desperate young couple and their young child show up at their door. While the two families initially bond, paranoia and mistrust eventually get the best of them, and a violent confrontation ensues that ends in tragic consequences.

Rust Creek (2018)

Where to watch: Netflix, AMC+

When an ambitious, overachieving college student on her way to a job interview takes one wrong turn, she finds herself stranded in a remote forest area where she must rely on her wits and survival instincts to navigate the harsh wilderness and evade the two outlaw brothers who are hunting her.

Hidden (2015)

Where to watch: Available to rent or buy on digital platforms such as Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, Apple TV

After a mysterious outbreak wipes out most of humanity, a family of three takes refuge inside an underground fallout shelter to hide from the mysterious, monstrous entities roaming outside. But as time passes, the family finds themselves struggling to survive as they face increasing challenges both from within the shelter and from external threats.

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Where to watch: Hulu

Serving as both a sequel to Prometheus and a prequel to the original Alien film, Alien: Covenant follows the crew of a colony ship who find themselves fighting for their lives after landing on an uncharted planet crawling with hostile alien life forms.

Sweetheart (2019)

Where to watch: Available to rent or buy on digital platforms such as Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, Apple TV

Sweetheart stars Kiersey Clemons as a young woman named Jenn who, after becoming stranded on a remote island, finds herself having to fight for her survival against a terrifying, amphibious creature.

Bird Box (2018)

Where to watch: Netflix

When a mysterious supernatural entity causes a global epidemic of mass suicides, a mother and her two children embark on a dangerous journey down a river blindfolded to find a place where they can be safe together and live in peace. Along their journey, they're faced with many challenges, including encounters with other survivors who have been driven insane by the entities.

Saw X (2023)

Where to watch: Starz streaming service

Serving as both a direct sequel to Saw and a prequel to Saw II, Saw X sees the fictional serial killer John "Jigsaw" Kramer once again force his victims to participate in twisted, deadly games that test their will to survive. After discovering that the experimental medical procedure he underwent to cure his terminal cancer is a scam, Jigsaw kidnaps those responsible and seeks revenge by subjecting them to a series of elaborate and terrifying traps as retribution.

Ready or Not (2019)

Where to watch: Available to rent or buy on digital platforms such as Amazon Video, Vudu, Apple TV

Ready or Not follows a recently married woman who finds herself thrust into a desperate fight for survival when she's forced to partake in a deadly game of hide-and-seek with her new husband's wealthy, eccentric family.

X (2022)

Where to watch: Available to rent or buy on digital platforms such as Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube, Apple TV

Another one of A24's best horror films would have to be Ti West's X. It follows a cast and crew who, while shooting an adult film on an elderly couple's farm, find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives when the elderly couple begins taking them down one by one.

The Black Phone (2022)

Where to watch: Starz streaming service

The Black Phone revolves around a 13-year-old boy named Finney who is kidnapped by a sadistic serial killer known as The Grabber and placed in a soundproof basement with no way to escape. However, things start to look up for him once he discovers an old disconnected rotary phone in the basement that allows him to connect with the spirits of The Grabber's previous victims.

The slain victims are determined not to let another child meet the same tragic fate, so through phone conversations with Finney, they guide him on how to survive and potentially escape the clutches of The Grabber.

Will you be watching any of these survival horror movies?

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