There’s something wonderfully nerve-rattling about a “survive the night” horror scenario, whether it’s a handful of strangers trying to fend off crazed zombies in “Night of the Living Dead” or a group of sarcastic Gen Z friends suspecting each other of murder in “Bodies Bodies Bodies.”
Here are some of our favorite entries in this subgenre, where the weapons are improvised, the stakes are life and death and there’s no guarantee anyone will get out alive.
We did not include movies that take place over a few days (like “Battle Royale”) or movies that aren’t streaming right now, like “Ready or Not.”
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George Romero’s low-budget chiller, in which the dead come back to life and prey on the living, still packs a wallop more than 50 years later. Ben (Duane Jones) takes charge as shellshocked people shelter inside an isolated farmhouse… but what if the dead are already inside?
Stream on Crackle, Peacock, Pluto, Prime Video or Tubi
John Carpenter’s iconic slasher features babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who spends All Hallow’s Eve trying to avoid becoming Michael Myers’ next victim. An all-time nail biter.
Stream on AMC+, Crackle, Plex, or Shudder
The Fog (1980)
On one fateful night, the ghosts of a ship that was deliberately wrecked 100 years ago come calling on the residents of coastal town Antonio Bay. The terror creeps slowly as the townsfolk realize, “There’s something in the fog!”
Stream on Freevee, Pluto or Tubi
Evil Dead II (1982)
In this Sam Raimi classic, Ash (Bruce Campbell) has one hell of a night after heading out to a cabin the woods with some friends as he literally fights for life and limb.
Stream on Shudder, Pluto, Tubi or Freevee
The Blob (1988)
While the 1950s original was all camp, this ’80s remake goes hard, giving us multiple nightmarish scenarios in which you simply can’t escape the Blob. Good thing the two leads, Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillon, are such a resourceful pair.
Stream with free trial on Apple TV+
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
This bar in Mexico is actually much, much older than the Gecko Brothers (Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney) realize after they’re locked in with a teeming horde of vampires. The humans give it their all, with Juliette Lewis wielding a crossbow and Tom Savini packing his own personal codpiece revolver. Will any of them live to see the sunrise?
Stream on Max
Dog Soldiers (2002)
A training exercise turns deadly when a unit of soldiers is attacked by werewolves in the Scottish highlands. They find shelter in a deserted farmhouse (is there any other kind in horror movies?), but are in for the siege of their lives.
Stream on Hulu, Pluto, Shudder, Tubi, Freevee or AMC+
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
When zombies take over London, Shaun (Simon Pegg) decides that his favorite bar, The Winchester, is the best place to hunker down. Best friend Ed (Nick Frost) and ex-girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) have his back in the mother of all pub fights.
Steam on Hulu or Peacock Premium
Despite being amply warned, Mike Enslin (John Cusack), a writer who specializes in debunking the supernatural, checks into notoriously haunted room 1408 at the Swan Hotel in New York. He quickly finds out this is no hoax and he may never be able to check out.
Stream on AMC+, Pluto or Vix
House of the Devil (2009)
This early offering from from “X” director Ti West is set in the ’80s and stars Jocelin Donahue as a college student who accepts a very unusual babysitting job at a creepy old house on the night of a lunar eclipse.
Stream on Peacock, Pluto, Freevee or Tubi
Attack the Block (2011)
John Boyega stars in this sci-fi/action comedy as Moses, the leader of a British street gang whose crew comes together to fight off an alien attack.
Stream on Prime Video
You’re Next (2011)
There are home invasion movies and then there is Adam Wingard’s “You’re Next.” Erin (Sharni Vinson)’s survival skills come in handy when masked men attack while she’s meeting her boyfriend’s family at their country house for the first time. A bloody and slyly funny watch.
Stream on Max
A brother and sister find the haunted mirror they blame for the death of both of their parents years before and unwisely decide to spend the night learning its secrets in this great Mike Flanagan movie.
Stream on Freevee, Plex, Pluto or Tubi
Green Room (2015)
One of the most unnerving siege films you’re likely to see. Jeremy Saulnier writes and directs this harrowing tale in which a punk band led by the late Anton Yelchin reluctantly agrees to play at a skinhead bar. Naturally, things go horribly, brutally wrong.
Steam on AMC+, Freevee, Peacock or Pluto
The Invitation (2015)
Logan Marshall-Green stars as Will, who accepts a dinner invitation from his ex-wife and her new husband at their home in the Hollywood Hills years after a tragedy took place there. He begins to suspect something is off in the gathering of old friends and new faces, but no one else seems to share his concern. Another great horror flick from “Jennifer’s Body” director Karyn Kusama.
Stream on Peacock, Pluto, Shudder, Tubi, or Freevee
Don’t Breathe (2016)
A trio of young thieves get more than they bargained for after breaking into the house of a blind man to rob him. When the blind man is played by Stephen Lang, you know you’re in for a world of hurt.
Stream on AMC+
Nicolas Cage faces off with a bizarre cult in this phantasmagoric, drug-fueled nightmare of a film that includes a chainsaw duel and Nic crafting his own very metal ax for the final battle.
Stream on AMC+, Plex, Pluto, Shudder or Tubi
Jordan Peele’s follow-up to “Get Out” has Lupita Nyong’o and her family fighting off eerie, scissor-wielding doubles of themselves. Creepy as hell, but twice the Nyong’o is always a good thing.
Stream on Netflix or Peacock Premium
A bunch of military veterans, led by Stephen Lang and Fred Williamson, must defend their VFW from attack in one long, bloody night. Excellent B-movie stuff from director Joe Begos.
Stream on AMC+
Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
A weekend with your rich friends: What could go wrong? Well, there’s a hurricane and a power outage and then the bodies start piling up. A hilarious Gen Z satire where the characters spend as much time insulting each other as defending themselves.
Steam on Paramount+/Showtime
Mia Goth and Jenna Ortega lead the cast of Ti West’s ’70s-set slasher, in which a group of hot young things rent a house to film a porn film on the sly. When the elderly couple next door gets wise, it ain’t pretty.
Stream on Paramount+/Showtime
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