5 Meta, Self-Aware Horror Films to Stream Now

Ghostface Scream killer
Courtesy of IMDb.

When the trailer for the new Scream sequel dropped last week, fans of the original film responded as they have been for months: chomping at the bit to get more information about the fifth installment of the late Wes Craven’s self-aware slasher.

The curious thing about the new Scream is that it’s not titled Scream 5, leading many to believe it is a remake of the original. And if you watch the trailer, you’ll notice the scenes with Jenna Ortega’s character feel reminiscent of those with Drew Barrymore’s character in the 1996 original. However, in the new Scream, which will be released on January 14, 2022, we do see the return of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette), 25 years after the original installment, and with a new killer Ghostface on the loose—so there is a possibility it’s not a remake after all. As the kids will discover by watching the original Scream, in order to survive a horror film, you have to know all of the horror tropes inside and out. How will this work in a 2022 film, when Gen-Z kids hardly ever answer their phones?

If you just can’t wait until next January to dive back into the Scream universe, why not catch up on some other films that exist in a similar vein—self-aware, meta horror comedies that defy genre—on streaming platforms? Here, five films you must see if you’re a fan of Scream.

Scream (1996)

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” is one of the more iconic lines uttered by a villain in horror film history. Has there been a horror movie so self-aware since the first installment of this series? Probably not, though the sequels did try and (mostly) succeeded at keeping Scream movies fresh. Still, there’s nothing quite like the original (which was, at the time, a stroke of marketing genius to cast Drew Barrymore for just the opening of the film without revealing to the audience how little screen time the big star would actually have).

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

The Final Girls (2015)

The concept of the “final girl” is a trope utilized in horror films, especially of the slasher variety. Think Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and yes, even Scream. What do they all have in common? One last little lady standing to confront the killer. This film, The Final Girls, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller, took the trope and turned it on its head for a comedy about a group of girls sent back in time to an ‘80s slasher film called Camp Bloodbath. Who will be the final final girl? Well, you’ll have to watch to find out.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime or Hulu

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Edgar Wright’s second feature film stars Simon Pegg as the titular character, caught up in a zombie apocalypse. A riff on the Night of the Living Dead films, Shaun of the Dead is a classic in the self-referential horror movie genre (and a send-up of the zombie apocalypse films that came before it).

Where to watch: HBO Max

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

A group of guileless college friends travel to a literal cabin in the woods, and you think something sinister won’t go down? Think again. Of course there’s something wrong with the cabin that these kids settle into for the weekend, as there has been in a number of slasher films that involve people traveling to remote locations. But in The Cabin in the Woods, they have to use their wits and knowledge of those fictional tropes to their advantage, too.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime or Hulu


If you’re used to seeing Joe Keery play a somewhat bashful, doe-eyed Steve on Stranger Things, get ready for him to shock you with his performance as a cuckoo ride-share driver who is so obsessed with going viral on social media that he commits the unthinkable—murdering his paying passengers—all for the likes.

Where to watch: Hulu