3 classic horror movies to stream on Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video

Here's a trio of the best horrors of all time on streaming services

The Omen (1976)
(Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

When it comes to movies today, we take the horror genre for granted. It seems every month we are treated to more and more high budget, high concept shockers. And that includes TV series too.

Horror is now a standard movie or show type, often found nestling alongside romantic comedies and true crime dramas on cinema billboards and streaming services alike. But it never used to be that way.

The classic horror movies of the last 50 years were true pioneers in the art of frightening the bejesus out of you. And many of the best directors in the business have had their hand in the genre, in one way or another.

That's why we've hunted down three of the very best classics for you to enjoy. Each are available on the top streaming platforms – or should we say "screaming" platforms...

The Omen

  • Where: Disney+
  • Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton
  • Directed by: Richard Donner

There can't be many parents out there who, from time to time, haven't looked at their children and just thought, "I love you, but you are the Antichrist". Well, in 1976's The Omen, the main protagonist actually is.

Yep, it turns out that the son of a US Senator is the actual son of Satan – the Antichrist who will grow to herald the end of the world.

Released hot on the heels of The Exorcist, The Omen is a masterclass in tone, atmosphere, suspense and world building. The viewer is never exactly sure what to expect and in a state of constant unease as the bodies mount up, and it seems clear that Damien is unstoppable in his rise.

It's an Intelligent film with a great cast and sharp script work – no scene is wasted, all fat seemingly chopped in favour of memorable set pieces, and deaths that have long since been parodied and copied.

There are also solid performances from a superb cast, plus a confident sense of direction that helps the movie to be considered one of the all time greats of the 20th century.

Expect gore, chills and, after this, you'll most likely never look at a child the same way again.


  • Where: Amazon Prime Video
  • Stars: Stephen Lack, Jennifer O’Neill, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan
  • Directed by: David Cronenberg

There are many scenes in horror movie history that become burned into your brain, even pop culture – Jack Torrence smashing his axe through the bathroom door, the bloke's face peeling off in the mirror in Poltergeist, Linda Blaire projectile vomiting over a pair of very worried looking priests, and in this case, a man's head literally exploding in front of a live TV audience.

David Cronenberg is a film director who has never been anything but fearless in his mission to push boundaries, and Scanners must stand out as one of his most remembered pieces of work.

In it, the world is found to contain a select amount of people with psychokinetic abilities. And, when one of these "Scanners" goes rogue and starts killing his counterparts, it's a battle to find and train someone to stop him before he decides to blow everyone's head up.

It is classic 80s horror – visceral, violent, shocking, loud and always keen to blast copious amounts of gore over its cast. 

Atmospherically it's powerful. We're delivered a dark and unknown world here, which none of its inhabitants seems to like very much. The characters are all slightly off colour and subnormal.

Even our hero is no exception. The unknown Stephen Lack does a good-enough job, while the supporting cast is largely sufficient. A treat is, as usual, Michael Ironside, who gives his pretty simple character a nice edge and personality.

Scanners is a perfect night's entertainment if you love your gore movies but with a bit of brains. Literally.


  • Where: Netflix
  • Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
  • Directed by: Steven Spielberg

It's very rare that a film has such an impact on the cultural zeitgeist that it produces an entire generation of people with an identical phobia. Ask anyone over the age of 40 today why they are afraid of the deep end at the local swimming pool and the answer is simple: "There could be a shark in there."

Now logic clearly dictates that there is a pretty much zero chance of a shark ending up in the Peter Lloyd Leisure Centre in Tuebrook, Liverpool, but if you asked 1988 me I would swear that not only had I seen one but also a lad at school was actually bitten. Steven Spielberg did this to us and never even apologised.

Based on a hugely successful novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws became a phenomenon straight from its release in the early 80s. Telling the simple tale of a small American coastal town plagued by a man-eating and seemingly relentless great white shark, the film pretty much secured the feeling that Spielberg was a director to be respected.

Problems in production with the actual robotic shark led to Spielberg making the choice to keep the antagonist hidden for the majority of the film, a choice that tapped into the fear of the unknown and led to audiences never being fully sure of what to expect. A trope and directorial choice copied constantly since then.

A minimal cast, a John Williams score that became iconic, well developed character arcs, and moments of real horror result in a perfect example of the "creature feature". It also served everything with a level of polish and maturity previously unseen.

In many ways it's a perfect film... Just don't watch it before a trip out swimming, because, honestly, sharks can get into leisure centres. Fact.

Brian Comber

Liverpool lad, mid-life crisis survivor, writer of short fiction, screenplays, articles, reviews and opinion pieces. Brian is totally in love with cinema in all its many forms. He writes for websites, blogs and published magazines, including Screen Rant, IGN and Purple Revolver in the constant hope it will help him avoid getting a real grown-up job. In his free time, he's a gym obsessive and previously good guitarist.