Best Horror Movies to Watch for Free on YouTube Right Now (July 2024) – Journal Global Internet

Subversive by nature, horror is one genre where some of the best works are those that fly under the radar. Not all great horror movies get the appreciation they deserve from critics and the theater-going public. But thanks to the internet and streaming services, these indie terrors have an opportunity to scare the pants off people on a larger scale than ever before. YouTube is a big part of that, with the video-sharing platform allowing viewers access to a wide range of horror films, from obscure cult classics to actual legendary classics. Read on to discover some of the best horror movies you can watch for free on YouTube.




For more recommendations, check out our list of the best horror movies on Netflix or the best horror movies on Shudder.

Disclaimer: These titles are available on US YouTube.


‘The Isle’ (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes: 67% | IMDb: 4.9/10

the isle poster

The Isle

Release Date
February 8, 2019

Director
Matthew Butler-Hart

Run Time
1 hr 36 min

Actors
Conleth Hill, Alex Hassell, Fisayo Akinade, Tori Butler-Hart, Alix Wilton Regan

Set in 1846 on a remote Scottish island, The Isle is a period horror film directed by Matthew Butler-Hart, who also co-wrote the script with producer Tori Butler-Hart. The movie follows three shipwrecked sailors who find themselves on an island with four strange residents. When it becomes clear that there’s no escape from the foggy isle, one of the sailors uncovers an ancient mystery involving a ghostly siren. The film stars Conleth Hill, Alex Hassell, Fisayo Akinade, and Tori Butler-Hart, among others. The Isle has received generally favorable reviews from critics and an even better reception from fans. The film has also received a number of accolades, including the Jury Prize for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film at the 2018 London Independent Film Festival. The movie presents dark, atmospheric cinematography that makes full use of its picturesque setting. Buoyed by brilliant performances and haunting music, The Isle is a totally immersive horror drama that’s eerie and beautiful.


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‘Jessabelle’ (2014)

Rotten Tomatoes: 28% | IMDb: 5.4/10

jessabelle-poster

Jessabelle

Release Date
November 7, 2014

Director
Kevin Greutert

Jessabelle is a 2014 supernatural horror film directed and edited by Saw 3D director Kevin Greutert from a script written by Ben Garant. The film stars Sarah Snook as Jessie Laurent, appearing alongside Mark Webber, David Andrews, Joelle Carter, and Ana de la Reguera. After a tragic accident, Jessie moves to Louisiana with her estranged father and finds mysterious videotapes left by her late mother, which lead her to a terrible secret. Jessabelle received mixed to negative reactions from critics at the time of its release, performing marginally better with audiences. The movie’s plot has been criticized for its cliches, especially in the early half of the movie, and the general lack of focus. However, despite its flaws, the film does offer some slow-burn chills and it’s a great showcase of Sarah Snook’s abilities pre-Succession. Though it never truly fulfills its potential, Jessabelle is still an interesting watch for fans of classical ghost stories with tense, atmospheric storytelling.


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‘Jacob’s Ladder’ (1990)

Rotten Tomatoes: 72% | IMDb: 7.4/10

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Jacob’s Ladder

Release Date
November 2, 1990

Runtime
113 minutes

Directed by Adrian Lyne and written by Bruce Joel Rubin, this psychological horror thriller is considered one of the best horror films of the 1990s. Jacob’s Ladder tells the story of Jacob Singer, a Vietnam War veteran who is haunted by his experiences and suffers from PTSD, which causes frequent, bizarre hallucinations. Tim Robbins stars as the titular protagonist, appearing alongside Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello. Featuring a mind-bending narrative, Jacob Ladder is the story of a man trapped inside his own mind trying to navigate life between reality and imagination after a traumatic event. On its release, the movie was only moderately successful at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics. However, the film has become a favorite among genre fans and garnered a cult following, going on to be a significant influence on future works in the genre. Jacob’s Ladder is considered a major inspiration for the horror franchise Silent Hill, which includes five games and a 2006 film adaptation by Christophe Gans. A remake directed by David M. Rosenthal was released in 2019 starring Michael Ealy and Jesse Williams.


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‘The Legend of La Llorona’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes: 7% | IMDb: 3.2/10

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The Legend of La Llorona

Release Date
January 7, 2022

Director
Patricia Harris Seeley

Runtime
1 hr 38 min

The Legend of La Llorona is a supernatural horror film directed by Patricia Harris Seeley, who also co-wrote the script with José Prendes and Cameron Larson. The movie follows a family vacationing in Mexico who are tormented by La Llorona, a malevolent spirit that traps children in a world between the living and the dead. The film stars Autumn Reeser, Danny Trejo, Antonio Cupo, and Zamia Fardiño. The Legend of La Llorona received rather negative reviews from critics at the time of its release. The movie does have its share of issues, both in terms of the plot and the visual effects. However, Autumn Reeser and Danny Trejo are the film’s saving grace, with performances that help take you through the story. Ultimately, The Legend of La Llorona isn’t exactly a modern classic, but as a simple ghost story, it’s still quite entertaining.


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‘Terrifier’ (2016)

​​​​​​​Rotten Tomatoes: 57% | IMDb:​​​​​​​ 5.6/10

Terrifier Poster

Terrifier

Release Date
October 15, 2016

Director
Damien Leone

Cast
Jenna Kanell , Samantha Scaffidi , David Howard Thornton , Catherine Corcoran , Pooya Mohseni , Matt McAllister

Written and directed by Damien Leone, Terrifier is an indie slasher film that features enigmatic serial killer Art the Clown, who targets young women on Halloween night. The movie stars Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi, and Catherine Corcoran, with David Howard Thornton as Art. The movie’s maniacal villain was first introduced in the anthology film All Hallows’ Eve and has subsequently spawned two sequels, Terrifier 2 (2022) and the upcoming Terrifier 3. While the movie has received rather mixed reviews, Terrifier has garnered a cult following and received two nominations for Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Its star, Art the Clown, has been hailed by horror fans as a modern slasher icon. Though Terrifier 2 is arguably a better movie, the original film features great special effects and brutal action. The movie is as grindhouse as horror can get, focusing more on style than plot or character development. The result is a film that’s wildly entertaining, even if it lacks much substance beyond the sheer thrill.


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‘The Collector’ (2009)

​​​​​​​Rotten Tomatoes: 29% | IMDb: 6.3/10

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The Collector is a horror thriller film that was the directorial debut of Marcus Dunstan, who also co-wrote the script with Patrick Melton. The duo is best known for writing the horror action-comedy Feast. The Collector follows broke ex-convict Arkin O’Brien, who decides to break into his new employer’s house and rob a valuable gem, only to find out that a masked man has already broken in and imprisoned the family. The Punisher alum Josh Stewart stars as Arkin, appearing alongside Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernandez, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, and Robert Wisdom. On its release, The Collector got a generally negative reception from critics but fared quite well at the box office, earning fans with its gritty, no-holds-barred narrative. The Collector also spawned a sequel, The Collection, with Dunstan returning to direct and co-write with Melton and Stewart reprising his role of Arkin O’Brien, with Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen, and Christopher McDonald appearing as new cast members.


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