21 Horror Films Guaranteed To Make You Cry

These heartbreaking horror movies will make you weep when you’re not screaming…

The horror genre often works as well as it does with audiences because of the emotional responses it brings out of people, from gasps of shock to jumping out of your seat in unadulterated fright.

Paramount / Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night

But horror can sometimes use that vulnerability to bring on shocking, sorrowful, and straight-up sad moments that can be equally as effective to the audience. As such, I’ve put together 21 fear-inducing films that are as dead set in breaking your heart as they are filling it with dread…

1.

The Monster

Lifestyle Pictures / Alamy / A24

The third film from The Strangers Director Bryan Bertino, this heart-wrenching movie re-examines the troubled relationship between a mother and her young daughter as they’re forced to confront a literal bloodthirsty monster.

Where to Watch: The Monster is currently streaming on Showtime.

2.

Train to Busan

Next Entertainment World / Redpeter Film / Album / Alamy

A surprisingly emotional international horror phenomenon in its own right, Train to Busan follows a father and his estranged daughter as they become stuck on a high-speed train during a zombie virus outbreak.

Where to Watch: Train to Busan is currently streaming on Peacock, Tubi, and Amazon Prime.

3.

30 Days of Night

Collection Christophel / Alamy / Sony Pictures Releasing

This gruesome tale of ruthless vampires besieging an Alaskan town undergoing a 30-day polar night culminates in a shocking moment of unconventional heartbreak.

Where to Watch: 30 Days of Night is currently streaming on Tubi.

4.

THE Babadook

Entertainment One / IFC Midnight / Screen Australia / Pictorial Press Ltd. / Alamy

Director Jennifer Kent’s tale of a single mother who is terrorized by a nightmarish manifestation of lingering grief and distress remains one of the most emotionally potent horror films in recent memory.

Where to Watch: THE Babadook is currently streaming on AMC+.

5.

The Orphanage

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy / Warner Bros. Pictures Spain

You may have a heart of stone if you aren’t moved by this Spanish ghost story about a woman who is seemingly haunted by memories from her childhood while attempting to restore her childhood orphanage.

Where to Watch: The Orphanage is currently available to rent via Video-on-Demand.

6.

Jacob’s Ladder

Carolco Pictures / TCD / Prod.DB / Alamy

This chiller about a war veteran who is plagued by waking nightmares of demons manipulating the world around him ultimately tugs at the audience’s heart-strings throughout its gut-punch of a third act.

Where to Watch: Jacob’s Ladder is currently streaming on EPIX and Paramount+.

7.

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

Dweck Productions / Album / Alamy

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair May be a creepy descent into creepypasta-fueled madness, but the film ventures toward a much starker and more upsetting reality as it arrives at its tragic destination.

Where to Watch: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is currently available to rent via Video-on-Demand.

8.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Paris Film / Album / Alamy

This violent slow-burn horror-thriller about two disturbing yet interlinked stories surrounding an unthinkable crime at a boarding school anchors its proceedings with the weight of loss, which builds to a surprisingly heartbreaking finale.

Where to Watch: The Blackcoat’s Daughter is currently available to stream on Showtime.

9.

His House

Regency Enterprises / Album / Alamy

The genuinely grim horror story about Sudanese immigrants who encountered harrowing ghouls in their new home in England offers plenty of thrills and chills, which operates as a frightening misdirect in service of a truly devastating twist.

Where to Watch: His House is currently streaming on Netflix.

10.

The Witch in the Window

One Bad House Films via YouTube

A distant father attempts to bond with his son while renovating a house with a wicked history in this stellar yet sorrow-laden scare fare.

Where to Watch: The Witch in the Window is currently streaming on Shudder.

11.

The Final Girls

Groundswell Productions / Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

A grief-ridden young woman is transported into a slasher film starring her recently deceased mother in this excellent (and empathetic) ensemble horror-comedy.

Where to Watch: The Final Girls is currently available to rent via Video-on-Demand.

12.

Habit

Glass Eye Pix via YouTube

Indie horror icon Larry Fessenden received critical acclaim with this bloodsucking romance story that utilizes a melancholy undertone when not actively burrowing under its audience’s skin.

Where to Watch: Habit is currently streaming on Shudder.

13.

The Machinist

Paramount Classics / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

An emaciated insomniac is embroiled in a mind-bending mystery involving an imposing new co-worker that hints at a heinous secret in Brad Anderson’s mournful psychological thriller.

Where to Watch: The Machinist is currently streaming on Paramount+ and Amazon Prime.

14.

The Bride of Frankenstein

Universal Pictures / United Archvies GmbH / Alamy

James Whale’s highly esteemed horror sequel is loaded with iconic macabre moments, but is also noted for its incredibly affecting ending.

Where to Watch: The Bride of Frankenstein is currently available to rent via Video-on-Demand.

15th.

A Quiet Place

Paramount / Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night / TCD / Prod.DB / Alamy

A Quiet Place is renowned as the rare horror film that became a blockbuster at the box office, but the audiences around the country collectively choked up during the film’s most crushing moment.

Where to Watch: A Quiet Place is currently streaming on Paramount+.

16.

Daniel Isn’t Real

Spectrevision via YouTube

Daniel Isn’t Real is cerebral, disquieting, and legitimately scary, but the film also carries an unexpected moving message about mental health, addictive personalities, and the systems that can decidedly fail those who never receive the help that they need.

Where to Watch: Daniel Isn’t Real is currently streaming on Tubi, the Roku channel, and Amazon Prime.

17.

Hunter Hunter

Julijette / MarVista Entertainment / Album / Alamy

Hunter Hunter He became an underground favorite among horror fans in 2020 thanks to its intimate stakes and its jaw-dropping (and heart-shattering) third act that must be seen to be believed.

Where to Watch: Hunter Hunter is currently streaming on Hulu.

18.

X

A24 via YouTube

Ti West’s long-awaited return to the horror genre may have brought the goods in terms of blood and guts, but took audiences aback with its poignant undertones about the pains of growing old and the fleeting nature of youth that is best exemplified by an unpredictably soulful musical number.

Where to Watch: X is currently available to rent via Video-on-Demand.

19.

Violation

DM Films / Album / Alamy

This triggering psychological horror film from directors Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli may be a difficult watch for some, but rarely has the sordid subject matter been handled with as much weight and intensity within the confines of horror cinema.

Where to Watch: Violation is currently streaming on Shudder.

20.

The Reflecting Skin

British Screen Productions / BBC Films / Zenith Entertainment / Fugitive Features / TCD/ Prod.DB / Alamy

This hypnotic horror-fantasy taking place in the American prairie in the 1950s deals with the haunting and surreal nature of childhood in expecting a fashion that may be more touching than most fright fans would.

Where to Watch: The Reflecting Skin is currently streaming on Tubi, Peacock, and Amazon Prime.

21.

The Night House

Searchlight Pictures / Collection Christophel / Anton / Phantom Four Films / Alamy

David Bruckner’s scary and suspenseful story of a grieving widow who believes she is literally haunted by the specter of her husband and his lurid secret proclivities captures anguish in a unique lens that is oh-so-rarely utilized in the horror genre.

Where to Watch: The Night House is currently streaming on HBO Max.

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