You can get comprehensive lists of everything coming to streaming services anywhere. But half of those titles you don’t care about, and the other half are terrible. Where’s the good stuff? io9 is here to help.
Below you’ll find what we deem to be the best sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV coming to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in May.
Available May 1
Casper - Devon Sawa? Christina Ricci? Everyone’s favorite friendly ghost in a heartwarming family adventure? What more could you want?
The Dark Crystal - In preparation for its upcoming Dark Crystal series, Netflix is adding the original 1982 Jim Henson-Frank Oz puppet fantasy film about a creature trying to save his world.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Yes, this adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic novel is more biopic than science fiction, but the shit that happens in this movie to illustrate the influence of drugs is weirder and grosser than most of the other sci-fi films out there, so we thought it was worth a mention.
Gremlins - If you’ve never seen Gremlins, we don’t know what to tell you. Except that it’s coming to Netflix on May 1 and you should remedy that ASAP. Your life will improve exponentially once you realize where references like “Don’t feed them after midnight” come from.
The Matrix. The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions - Fresh off its 20th anniversary, The Matrix is coming to Netflix, along with its two sequels. Which, while certainly inferior to the near-perfect original, are extremely interesting in their own right.
Scream - Is Scream one of the most influential horror movies ever? Probably. Wes Craven’s inventive, meta twist on horror straight-up changed the genre, giving rise to not just a whole new subset of films, but new voices, filmmakers, and more. And yet, the original may still be the best of the bunch.
Snowpiercer - Chris Evans is currently appearing as Captain America in a theater near you, but he also stars in this genius sci-fi action film about a train that circles a frozen world, and the lower class citizens who rise up for their rights.
Zombieland - Ten years have passed since the release of this gory, zombie comedy starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Jesse Eisenberg. With a sequel on the way later this year, now is the perfect time for a refresher. (Also on Hulu)
Available May 9
Insidious - Before he was one of the biggest directors in the world, James Wan was making scary, fascinating, world-building horror movies like Insidious, a series that’s still churning out sequels. None of them touch this original—about a family that believes their house is haunted, only to realize the situation is much scarier than that—which is one of my favorite horror films in recent memory.
Available May 30
The One I Love - If you’ve never seen this movie, mark May 30 on your calendar now. Trust me. It stars Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss as a married couple who go away on a vacation, only to have a crazy sci-fi twist test their marriage. It’s so damn good.
Available May 3
Suspiria - Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the Dario Argentio original about a coven of witches at a dance school is a dense, mindfuck of a movie that is anything but easy to watch and digest, but more rewarding because of that.
Available May 9
Dinosaur 13 - A fascinating documentary about what happened when a team found what was believed to be the largest T-Rex fossil of all time. (Also on Hulu)
Available May 16
The Punisher (2004) and Punisher: War Zone (2008) - The second and third attempts to make a film based on the popular Marvel character, starring Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson as the title character, respectively, are coming to streaming. Most people like War Zone more—but, with the TV show still on Netflix—now you’d just need Dolph Lundgren to complete your Frank Castle collection. (Also on Hulu)
Available May 31
F/X and F/X2 - Not specifically sci-fi, but Bryan Brown’s late-’80s/early-’90s films about a special effects make-up artist who uses his talents for illusion to weave in and out of the crime world are kind of awesome. At least the first one is.
Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - Almost the entire Jason Voorhees saga is coming to Amazon in May, which makes for the perfect blood-soaked, hockey-mask wearing binge.
The Gift - Not to be confused with the more recent Jason Bateman movie, this is the 2000 Sam Raimi film starring Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, and Katie Holmes; it’s about a psychic woman asked to solve a murder. Not the best Raimi movie, but not the worst either. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it or haven’t seen it in a while.
Good Omens - We have yet to see this Amazon original miniseries starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant and based on the work of Neil Gaiman, but to say we’re extremely excited about it is an understatement.
Mission: Impossible - The original 1996 Tom Cruise movie, directed by Brian De Palma, is less flashy than its modern sequels, but has the same level of filmmaking skill and plenty of tense, exciting action. There’s a reason they’re still making these movies.
Night of the Living Dead 3D and Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection - Neither of these modern reimaginings of the George A. Romero classics have particularly good reviews, but who doesn’t love to pop on a dumb, gory, zombie movie every once in a while?
The People vs. George Lucas - A cute documentary about the backlash Star Wars endured during and after the prequel trilogy.
The Secret of NIMH - If you’re anything like me, this is one of those movies that scared you growing up. But now, maybe it’s time to revisit and appreciate this 1982 animated masterpiece about a mouse trying to save her son.
Available May 1
The Green Mile- Set in a prison, based on a Stephen King story, and directed by Frank Darabont, The Green Mile has a lot in common with The Shawshank Redemption, save for the fact that movie is better than this one. Still, tihs one has a supernatural element, and Tom Hanks along with Michael Clarke Duncan elevate what’s already a brutal, interesting story.
Kazaam - Not to be confused with Shazam, the DC comics movie or fictional Sinbad genie movie, Kazaam stars NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal as a genie. Frankly, I’ve never seen it, but I kind of want to watch it and see if it’s so bad its good.
Repo! The Genetic Opera - An underrated horror-rock-opera about a future where organs are available for rent—but, if you fail to pay, repossession gets a little bit gory. It’s got a real gritty, indie vibe, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s weird and worth a watch.
Rollerball - Both the 1975 original starring James Caan and 2002 remake starring Chris Klein are coming to Hulu. Both films tell the story of a bloody, futuristic roller skating sport and its corrupt underbelly. The original is a cult classic and the remake is awful, but this could be a fun double feature in the making.
Shaolin Soccer - Stephen Chow’s epic blend of inspirational soccer movie and badass action movie has to be seen to be believed. It’s truly entertaining.
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells’ iconic novel has been adapted again and again, but the most recent iteration is this 2002 film starring Guy Pearce. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible—and really, most time travel movies are worth watching at least once.
Twelve Monkeys - Speaking of time travel movies that are worth watching, this Terry Gilliam gem starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt is one of the best. It’s about a man sent back in time to find out about a virus that decimated the world and as awesome as that sounds, it’s even better than that.
Wargames - In 1983, the fear of artificial intelligence got shocked into us all with this highly entertaining film, starring Matthew Broderick as a teen who hacks into a military computer and almost starts World War III.
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