No category of movie inspires passionate devotion quite like the horror genre. Although “Star Wars” groupies and superhero buffs might give them a run for their money, serious horror fans let their love of monsters, slashers, aliens and demons inform virtually every aspect of their lives. Part of that unmatched intensity is due to the vast history of the genre itself. While Lucas’s “Star Wars” and Richard Donner’s “Superman” kickstarted their fandoms in the late 1970s, horror’s filmic roots stretch back to the silent classics of the early 1900s, meaning there are literally countless titles for fans to discuss, debate, collect and obsess over.
The problem is, when you’re the type of person who strongly believes the obscure 1981 creature feature “The Boogens” is actually an esoteric masterpiece, or you’ve got strong opinions on why the 1931 Spanish version of “Dracula” is far superior to the Lugosi film, or you’re just itching to argue with someone over which cinematic interpretation of Jack the Ripper is most authentic, it’s not always easy to find like-minded company.
Thankfully then, there are dozens upon dozens of engaging horror movie podcasts available to satisfy every fan’s individual taste in terror. Produced and hosted by some of the funniest and most intelligent film experts you’ll ever encounter, these shows will make even the hardest of hardcore horror fans feel right at home. So if you’d rather watch “Xtro” than “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” or you can rank your favorite Mario Bava films at the drop of a hat, here are 12 horror movie podcasts that you need to subscribe to as soon as possible.
Ever since the first issue hit newsstands in 1979, Fangoria Magazine has been on the forefront of horror movie coverage. So it’s only natural that their official podcast network would feature some of the best genre audio content on the web. Their most recent show is “Colors of the Dark,” co-hosted by erudite media scholar Dr. Rebekah McKendry and award-winning filmmaker Elric Kane. Having honed their craft on numerous other podcasts over the years, McKendry and Kane are a seasoned pair of broadcasters who draw you in with their fun and approachable personalities, and then knock you out with their encyclopedic knowledge of horror. Discussing nearly every new genre release in theaters and on streaming platforms, the hosts also devote episodes to cool subcategories of film, like icy snowbound horror, eerie backwoods folk horror, and horror movies about vacations gone very, very wrong.
It’s the middle of the night and you’re developing an oozing blister on your thumb from scrolling through the horror section on Netflix, desperately searching for something new to watch that won’t make you want to hurl the remote through the TV screen. But who’s heard of half of these films? The descriptions sound intriguing and the cover art is decent, but you’ve been burned way too many times before. That’s where the bluntly titled “Every Horror Movie on Netflix” podcast comes in. Amiable co-hosts Steven, Chris and Patrick (no last names ever mentioned) fearlessly sit through every horror movie on the streaming service and report back with their findings. Although they cover familiar studio films like “Poltergeist,” “Red Dragon,” and “Crimson Peak,” the real draw is hearing them discuss head-scratchers like the Emirati horror pic “Grandmother’s Farm,” the psychiatric chiller “Clinical,” the Australian zombie movie “Cargo,” and the moody Rhode Island-set thriller “The Block Island Sound.”
Beloved by marginalized viewers and outsider artists throughout history, horror films have always been intricately entwined with queer culture. And that’s the lens through which co-hosts Joe Lipsett and Trace Thurman examine the genre on the hugely popular “Horror Queers” podcast. Tackling films with sometimes subtle and sometimes overt LGBTQ+ themes, Lipsett and Thurman analyze everything from the 1936 queer-coded classic “Dracula’s Daughter” to oddities like the raunchy 1981 slasher spoof “Student Bodies” to the recent coming-of-age cannibal drama “Raw.” Rather than rehash dense academic theory, however, the conversation here is always accessible, provocative and enormously engaging. If you’ve never looked at “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” as a groundbreaking coming out story, give “Horror Queers” a listen and you’ll be seeing the genre in a whole new light.
What the acclaimed podcast “You Must Remember This” does for Old Hollywood, “The Kingcast” does for literary giant Stephen King. An absolute must-listen for fans of the author, the show takes an unfathomably deep dive into all things King, and includes perceptive analyses of both the novels and their film adaptations. But that’s only part of this podcast’s magic. On virtually every episode, co-hosts Eric Vespe and Scott Wampler are joined by a jaw-dropping list of special guests who drop by to chat about their favorite King movies and books. You’ll hear “Halloween” star Judy Greer discuss her love of “Misery,” Jamie Lee Curtis share opinions about “Stand by Me,” and “Eternals” superhero Kumail Nanjiani weigh in on “The Running Man.” Also included are in-depth interviews with Dee Wallace on the making of “Cujo” and Thomas Jane on the soul-crushing climax of “The Mist.” Part of the Fangoria Podcast Network, of course.
Most horror fans probably know Mick Garris for the numerous Stephen King adaptations he’s directed throughout his career, including the wonderfully bonkers “Sleepwalkers.” But anyone who’s actually met him in person will tell you that he’s also one of the nicest and most knowledgeable guys in the genre. And he puts that charm and brilliance to great use on his excellent “Post Mortem” interview podcast. Featuring celebrity guests like Clive Barker, producer Jason Blum, director Joe Dante, and even Whoopi Goldberg, Garris knows exactly what questions to ask, because he’s a genuine fan at heart. Think of him as horror’s answer to Mike Wallace. With a storyteller’s eye for pacing, he keeps the show moving quickly, and episodes rarely run over an hour in length, so the conversation never drags for a second.
Let’s face it. As horror fans, we all love a good kill scene. In fact, all too often, decent kills are the only thing that saves a film (mumble mumble “Halloween Kills” mumble mumble). And that’s the premise of “Kill by Kill,” a very funny show hosted by Patrick Hamilton and Gena Radcliffe. Each episode concentrates on a specific horror film, but rather than recap the plot, Hamilton and Radcliffe focus instead on the characters and how they die. A lively roster of special guests turn up from time to time to lend their two cents, including popular drag performer Peaches Christ and Fangoria Editor-in-Chief Phil Nobile Jr. Best of all, the podcast covers an eclectic mix of titles, including goofy movies like “Death Spa” and “Blood Rage,” along with forgotten gems like the 1979 mutant bear masterpiece “Prophecy.” Even horror-adjacent films like the gory Charles Bronson actioner “10 to Midnight” get their due here.
This fast-moving series from the Bloody Disgusting Podcast Network occasionally sounds like a professional Morning Zoo radio show, albeit one where the hosts spend time trading quips about slasher movies and Godzilla films rather than dishing on reality TV stars and the local weather. Energetic co-hosts Leone D’Antonio, Trevor Shand and Lauren Shand welcome an impressive array of guests onto the show, including “Midnight Mass” director Mike Flanagan, “Chucky” creator Don Mancini, and “The Devil’s Rejects” star Bill Moseley, and they keep the conversation flowing with ease. Briskly paced and extremely well produced, most episodes clock in at 30 or 40 minutes, making them the perfect length for when you’re on the go around town but still want to hear Kane Hodder discuss life after Jason.
The premise of this fascinating show from the Dread Podcast Network is simple yet ingenious. Rather than discuss a familiar horror film that you’ve seen a dozen times or more, Toronto-based host Josh Korngut spends each episode of “Development Hell” highlighting a scary movie that was never actually made. You’ll hear about abandoned “Jaws” sequels, cancelled “Hellraiser” reboots, Quentin Tarantino’s odd brush with the “Halloween” franchise, Wes Craven’s ill-fated attempt to make a creepy “Alice in Wonderland” adaptation, and Guillermo del Toro’s scrapped version of Disney’s “The Haunted Mansion.” It’s an intriguing peek at an alternate history of the horror genre, filled with tantalizing details about how close each film came to being made, what went wrong at the last minute and whether they might still see cameras roll one day.
You won’t find much talk about Michael Myers or the latest gloom-a-thon from A24 on “The Monsters That Made Us.” That’s because co-hosts Dan Colón and Mike Manzi spend each episode insightfully analyzing Universal Studio’s iconic monster films produced between 1931 and 1956. Naturally, modern horrors do get mentioned now and then, but the show’s emphasis is squarely on the black and white classics that made Lugosi, Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. household names. Approaching the cycle in chronological order, Colón and Manzi don’t just focus on the biggies like “Dracula,” “Frankenstein” and “The Wolf Man.” They cover all the Universal titles, including lesser-known gems like “The Mummy’s Hand,” “The Invisible Woman” and “Werewolf of London.” And in each case, they point out interesting nuances and curious connections that prove there’s much more to these monsters than meets the eye.
This splendid all-purpose horror movie podcast earns the loyalty of its listeners through sheer positivity and tireless hard work. Co-hosts Jonathan Dehaan and Kimberley Elizabeth clearly adore the genre, and the rate at which they produce new high-quality episodes is borderline scary. Featuring thoughtful interviews with up-and-coming superstars like “Bingo Hell” director Gigi Saul Guerrero, banter-filled discussions about Eurohorror masterworks like “The Beyond” and “Tenebre” and playful debates that pit similarly themed movies like “Zodiac” and “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” against each other, the “Nightmare on Film Street” podcast should be on the radar of every horror fan with a pair of headphones.
One of the things that makes the “Horror Movie Talk” podcast such a great listen is the likable interplay between co-hosts Bryce Hanson and David Day, and the vigor with which they boldly defend their hottest takes. Basically, it’s like eavesdropping on two hilariously over-caffeinated superfans at a Chiller Convention argue about the merits of “Saw 3D.” And who doesn’t want to hear that? The cool thing is, Hanson and Day clearly know their stuff, and even if you disagree with their opinions on whether or not the 1984 Italian gore epic “Rats: Night of Terror” is or isn’t a tour de force (they’re actually split on the matter) you’ll come away with plenty to chew on… so to speak. Perhaps best enjoyed with a beer or three, “Horror Movie Talk” is a lot of fun.
Unlike every other podcast on this list, “Shock Waves” is no longer producing new episodes, but don’t let that stop you from listening. Abruptly shut down in 2020, the show remains an invaluable audio archive and an entertaining resource for anyone interested in cinematic terror. And with more than 190 episodes still available to download, there’s a wealth of great material to dive into. Co-hosted by Dr. Rebekah McKendry and Elric Kane (who’ve since moved on to “Colors of the Dark,” mentioned previously), the show also features the input of Ryan Turek, a pioneering voice in the online horror community from way back, who today produces hits like the “Happy Death Day” series, David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” reboot trilogy, and the upcoming supernatural thriller “The Black Phone.” Special guests include “Scream” creator Kevin Williamson, “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson and rocker Dee Snider, who shares fantastic stories about working with Tim Burton and makeup wizard Tom Savini.