From a Dario Argento classic to underrated slashers to a modern Korean zombie masterpiece, here's a list of must-watch horror films on the free (with ads) streaming service.
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Whether you're craving ballet-dancing witches, vengeful scarecrows, or chainsaw-wielding slashers, the titles on this list are likely to induce chills, nightmares, fever dreams, a tinge of sadness, or just linger in your psyche for a while. To help you indulge your horror fandom, here are EW's picks for the 10 best genre films currently streaming (for free) on Tubi.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: CBS

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

In a small southern town, a mob led by postman Otis Hazelrigg (Charles Durning) hunts down and murders mentally-disabled Bubba (Larry Drake) after mistakenly believing he hurt a local girl who was in fact mauled by a dog. Not long after Bubba's funeral, the men who killed him begin to perish in a series of mysterious accidents.

Frank De Felitta's made-for-TV chiller is a searing indictment of mob violence and personal prejudice that only gains relevance as the years go on. It also happens to be one of the most frightening films of the era, with The Guest and You're Next scribe Simon Barrett describing it to EW as one of his "go-to, creepy, spooky Halloween movies." It's a film that seems to say, in the end, the most monstrous villains are not supernatural vengeance-seekers, but rather everyday men in pursuit of power.

If you loved Dark Night of the Scarecrow, you might also enjoy: The Spell (1977), streaming for free on Tubi.

TRAIN TO BUSAN
Credit: Well Go USA

Train to Busan (2016)

Su-an (Kim Su-an) has one wish on her birthday: to spend it in Busan, with her mother, as opposed to staying in the city with her largely absent father Seok-woo (Gong Yoo). Seok-woo relents, in an effort to repair the relationship, but their weekend trip is derailed when an epidemic sweeps across the country and through their train car, turning those in its path into ravenous zombies.

Yeon Sang-ho's first installment in his ongoing franchise (with an American remake on the way) uses the template of classic disaster films to create a haunted house thrill ride that EW's Clark Collis praised as "first-class throughout." It helps that the trip is topped off with a hefty dose of well-earned emotional stakes. Train to Busan is a full-throttle horror film, a kinetic action picture, and one of the only movies about the undead that may let you off with a lump in your throat.

If you loved Train to Busan, you might also enjoy: The Wailing (2016), streaming on Shudder and for free on Tubi and Vudu.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: Grindhouse Releasing

Pieces (1982)

Genre stalwart Christopher George stars as a detective investigating a series of chainsaw murders at a Boston university in this gonzo gorefest. Joining George in his fight to stop the slasher are a particularly suspicious student (Ian Sera) and a famous tennis pro (Lynda Day George, Christopher's then-wife and frequent co-star) who, bored with the celebrity touring circuit, decides to join up as an undercover detective.

The unabashed silliness of the plot does little to dilute the entertainment value of director Juan Piquer Simón's sleazy, cheesy fever dream. Amongst moments of dubious dubbing and peculiar acting, the film delivers some genuinely suspenseful sequences, and Juan Mariné's cinematography is colorful and well-polished. Simón made the film in response to the Friday the 13th series, which he felt would often soft-peddle the gore. If you're in it strictly for the viscera, you will leave satisfied, and possibly even a bit exhausted, by the splattery shenanigans on display here.

If you loved Pieces, you might also enjoy: Slugs (1988), streaming for free on Tubi.

Janet Leigh Screaming in Psycho Shower Scene
Credit: Getty Images

Psycho (1960)

Reflecting on her favorite roles for EW in June 1995, Janet Leigh said of her participation in Alfred Hitchcock's seminal proto-slasher Psycho, "I didn't even have to read the script before accepting. I couldn't wait to see what Hitchcock would do." Neither could audiences, who flocked to see Leigh as Marion Crane, the world's unluckiest secretary, who stops off at a lonely roadside inn run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins, channeling his dark inner life in his finest screen performance) and his murderous mother.

If you're looking for spooky thrills, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than Hitchcock's classic tale of codependency, which continues to spawn both imitators and copycats alike. The film is currently sitting pretty at number five on EW's list of "The 37 Scariest Movies of All Time," with EW's Chris Nashawaty raving, "This is where the modern horror movie officially begins."

Hitchcock completed the film for just $800,000 (the lowest budget of his Hollywood tenure) and used the crew from his popular television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents instead of his usual film technicians. The result is an expertly made shocker that feels genuinely outré even after 62 years.

If you loved Psycho, you might also enjoy: Strait-Jacket (1964), available for rent on Apple TV+.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: Everett Collection

High Tension (2003)

Modern horror maestro Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3-D, Crawl, the grisly remake of The Hills Have Eyes) served up this divisive entry in the New French Extremism movement, which follows best friends Alex (Maïwenn) and Marie (Cécile de France) on a weekend getaway to the country. Before they can even unpack, a hulking, slovenly creep (Philippe Nahon) turns up and slaughters nearly everyone before escaping with a bound-and-gagged Alex. Marie follows in an effort to rescue her friend, kicking off a breakneck chase across the French countryside.

High Tension is unflinchingly violent and distressingly taut in a way few films dare to be. (Even Gerard McMurray, director of The First Purge, admitted to EW that High Tension "scared the s- - - out of me.") The nauseating practical effects come courtesy of Giannetto De Rossi (Zombie, The Beyond), and it's clear that no expense was spared on the red stuff. Aja "knows how to reflect the fear in people's heads," as EW's Owen Gleiberman wrote in 2008, and the director approaches sequences of mayhem — such as a concrete buzzsaw interacting with the sternum of an unfortunate motorist — with the procedural eye of a documentarian. The real power, though, lies in his breathlessly staged sequences of suspense woven between the more visceral set pieces.

If you loved High Tension, you might also enjoy: Knife+Heart (2018), streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime Video (for free with ads).

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: The Film House

Next of Kin (1982)

Linda (Jacki Kerin) returns to her Australian hometown in the wake of a family death to oversee her inheritance: Montclare, a creaky old mansion that functions as a retirement home for the community. Before long, bodies of residents begin turning up, and diary entries from Linda's mother expose dark secrets from the past.

Next of Kin is a brilliantly constructed slow burn, an old-fashioned gothic spine-tingler of the highest caliber. Director Tony Williams masterfully curates a mood of oppressive dread from the opening minutes through the bloody climax and explosive final frames, making this one of the very best Australian horror films of all time.

If you loved Next of Kin, you might also enjoy: House of the Devil (2009), streaming on Shudder and for free (with ads) on Tubi and Amazon Prime Video.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: Everett Collection

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

A pre-Hangover Bradley Cooper headlines this adaptation of Clive Barker's short story. Cooper plays Leon, a photographer who snaps a photo of a young woman on the late train only to wake up the next morning to discover she has since gone missing. Leon becomes obsessed with the mysterious straphanger (Vinnie Jones) whom he believes is behind the disappearances, launching him into a world of ritual murder and bodily horrors in subterranean Seattle.

Despite a significant marketing campaign, Lionsgate dumped The Midnight Meat Train into just 100 second-run theaters in August 2008. At the time, it was seen as the studio burying a shoddy product. (In his review for EW, Chris Willman called the release an "embarrassed send-off", while still praising Jones as "a terrifically imposing villain.")

In reality, The Midnight Meat Train is ruthlessly fun and deviously clever, undoubtedly one of the better genre entries of the mid-aughts. Ryuhei Kitamura's direction is sleek and knowing, the plot at times genuinely unpredictable, and through it all, Cooper gives a sympathetically grounded performance the likes of which this genre does not often see.

If you loved Midnight Meat Train, you might also enjoy: Mimic (1997), streaming on HBO Max and Hulu.

SUSPIRIA, Jessica Harper, 1977 (screen grab) CR: 20th Century Fox
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Suspiria (1977)

Back in 2017, Scott Derrickson, the noted director behind Doctor Strange, Sinister, and the new supernatural thriller The Black Phone, told EW that Suspiria, the tale of American Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) and her encounter with a coven of witches at a prestigious German dance academy, was "the most influential horror film on me, personally… Every time I see it, its influence on me continues to grow."

Dario Argento's sublime horror film (streaming in a luminous new transfer) was originally written for a cast of young children. When scripting issues necessitated older characters, Argento built the sets to appear large next to his adult actors. Through this sly trick, where doorknobs rise to noses and walls tower high above the hairline, Argento sketches a vision of witchy terror akin to early works of German surrealism. Driven by a memorable score from continual collaborators Goblin, Suspiria, which sits at number 26 on EW's list of The 37 Scariest Movies of All Time, sees Argento at the height of his powers, and contains some of the most eye-popping production design ever committed to celluloid.

When Luca Guadagnino remade the film in 2018, with Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, as well as modern-day scream queen Mia Goth, EW's Chris Nashawaty called the result "kind of silly and boring." It's true that nothing can come close to matching the kaleidoscopic rollercoaster ride that is Argento's original.

If you loved Suspiria, you might also enjoy: Deep Red (1975), another Argento classic, streaming on Shudder and for free on Pluto TV and Vudu.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: Everett Collection

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Genre icon Tom Atkins stars as a doctor who teams up with the young daughter (Stacey Nelkin) of a murder victim to solve the mystery behind her father's death. Clues lead them to a mysterious town, overseen by a madman (an unnerving Dan O'Herlihy) who is planning to orchestrate mass murder on Halloween night.

The third entry in the venerable franchise, which will (maybe) bid farewell in October with David Gordon Green's Halloween Ends, was much-maligned at the time of release due to the conspicuous lack of one Michael Myers. Viewers that move beyond the absence of the killer known as "The Shape" will be rewarded with one of the nastier conspiracy-minded horrors of the '80s. Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, who served as editor on John Carpenter's original Halloween, Season of the Witch oozes a chilly autumnal atmosphere so thick you can practically smell the wood smoke. Wallace's sequel is disturbing in a deeply cerebral way, with a downbeat ending that will knock your socks off.

If you loved Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you might also enjoy: The Stuff (1985), streaming on Shudder and for free on Tubi.

Best horror movies on Tubi
Credit: Everett Collection

Urban Legend (1998)

Someone is targeting the students of Pendleton University, modeling the deaths on a series of increasingly gruesome urban legends. When Natalie (Alicia Witt) wakes up to find her roommate murdered, and a threatening message scrawled in blood on the wall, she joins forces with intrepid journalist Paul (a baby-faced Jared Leto) and sassy campus security guard Reese (Loretta Devine, wonderful here) to uncover the identity of the parka-clad killer.

Urban Legend is the closest the '90s slasher renaissance came to capturing the pure magic (and unabashed silliness) of the peak-era '80s flicks. EW's Bilge Ebiri praised  director Jamie Blanks' "deft staging of some genuinely suspenseful action sequences." This was Blanks' first feature, but his confidence and understanding of tone is that of a far more experienced filmmaker. Composer Christopher Young blesses the production with a moody, propulsive score, and though the film does indulge in some requisite nastiness, Blanks is less interested in eliciting disgust than he is in evoking the mood of a spooky tale told across the campfire.

If you loved Urban Legend, you might also enjoy: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), streaming on HBO Max.

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