Movies, Online

7 Ways to (Legally) Watch Horror Movies For Free

The digital age is a glorious time to be a horror fan.  In the analog days, you’d have to hope a local movie shop stocked more than the blockbuster horror franchises in order to get your fix, but these days streaming services allow access to horror no matter where you’re located.  The major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all offer a variety of horror films to stream and we even have dedicated horror streaming services like Shudder, Screambox.  The downside is that all of these services cost money.  If you’re a broke horror fan (don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there) you could always Firestick that shit, but why not support the films you love by actually going the legal route?  Here are seven ways to watch horror movies for free, legally.


Sony’s Crackle is an ad supported streaming service that offers both television and movies for free.  Though the selection is limited they do have an ok mix of horror, thrillers and sci-fi titles for your viewing pleasure, and best of all you don’t have to setup an account to watch them.

The horror genre selection from Crackle

What you can watch:  In addition to the selection above, Crackle also features thrillers like  The Experiment, The Intruders and the 1998 version of Godzilla.

Crackle is available on a number of platforms, which means you can catch your horror on the go via mobile or watch it on supported Smart TV’s, gaming consoles, and other popular devices.


Hoopla is a free service which let’s you “check out” digital movies, audiobooks, comics and more the same way you would from your local library, and for being free the service has a pretty solid collection of horror in their selection.  The catch?  You have to have a library card and your local library has to have partnered Hoopla in order for you to gain access.  You can visit their website to find out if your library is a participant.

A selecton of horror films available on hoopla.

What can you watch: Hoopla has a total of 927 horror titles at the time of this writing and includes everything from films like Hellraiser and Suspiria to Disney’s Mr. Boogedy.

Hoopla allows you to stream titles instantly through your desktop or mobile browser and can be cast to your television via Chromecast or Apple TV.  They service also has a mobile app, which allows you to download titles to your device for offline playback later.


If your public library isn’t part of Hoopla, there is still hope.  Kanopy is another streaming film service that serves public libraries as well as 3,000 college campuses worldwide.  You can see if your college campus or public library offers Kanopy here.

A selection of horror movies available from Kanopy

What you can watch:  Kanopy features a total of 184 films in the “Horror & Thriller” category at the time of this writing.  Because the skew of this service is educational, you’ll notice the selection of horror films is a bit more obscure and can lean heavily on the artsy, international, or more historic cinema end of the spectrum.

Kanopy can be streamed through both mobile and desktop browsers and is also available as an app for iOS, Android and Roku.

The Internet Archive

Don’t let the name fool you.  The Internet Archive is more than just home to an archive of the web, it also houses a large collection of media that is now public domain and part of that collection includes Sci-Fi and Horror films, all at no cost to you!

A selection of Sci-Fi and Horror films on

What you can watch:  The Internet Archive’s Sci-Fi and Horror collection features around 450 movies, though I did notice some of them appeared to be duplicated.  Because these are all public domain, they tend to be old black and white horror and sci-fi titles, but many of these are classics like Night of the Living Dead, The House on Haunted Hill, and Carnival of Souls.  I also discovered sandwiched between a number of older studio released films are a handful of amateur films as well, such as the 2009 fan film, Freddy’s Return: A Nightmare Reborn.

Since The Internet Archive is web based the only way to watch these films is through your browser, however I would imagine you could cast them to your TV via Chromecast or Apple TV from your browser.


TubiTV is home to the web’s largest library of commercial films online and offers titles from studios including Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount.  The catch of course is while these are commercial releases, they are by no means commercial-free.  Like Crackle, TubiTV does not require an account, however if you want to favorite films, pause playback across devices, etc. it can’t hurt.

A selection of horror films from TubiTV

What you can watch: TubiTV has a rather large horror collection, in fact if I did my math right the service features over 500 different horor titles ranging from major studio releases to independent, lower budget releases from the 60’s to today.

Like Crackle, TubiTV supports a number of platforms ranging from desktop and mobile browsers to game consoles and Smart TV’s.


While Vudu as a whole isn’t free, their “Movies On Us” feature offers a number of ad supported films that are free to stream as long as you setup a Vudu account, which is also free.

A selection of horror films available from Vudu's Movies On Us

What you can watch:  Vudu’s “Movies On Us” Horror & Sci-Fi category offers a rather robust collection of over 300 titles and includes titles like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Hostel, Day of the Dead and more.

Since Vudu is owned by Walmart, you can get it and stream it pretty much everywhere.

Yahoo View

Did you know Yahoo had a streaming service? Neither did I.  Yahoo View is mainly intended for TV audiences, but they do have a fairly decent collection of movies to stream thanks to their partnership with Hulu.  Like many of these other services, Yahoo View is ad supported in order for you to stream for free.

A selection of horror films available on Yahoo View

What you can watch:  Yahoo View’s selection of horror really tailors to those who are fans of the less mainstream horror films.  The service includes films like The Amityville Exorcism, Krampus Unleashed, The Ouija Experiment, and pretty much every Evil Bong movie ever released.

Right now the service appears to be web-based only, however, I was able to cast it from my browser to my TV via Chromecast, so you can likely get similar functionality from other casting devices like Apple TV.

With the list of above services, you are bound to find some free scares that are worth your time.  Especially if you’re fortunate enough to live near a library or campus that supports services like Hoopla or Kanopy.  If you’re short on both time and money, I would recommend scoping out Short of the Week’s horror collection, or the Short Horror Subreddit where you can find both free, and short horror films for your enjoyment.

Hat tip to Rick Broida at cnet for inspiring this post.

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