22 Compelling Films About Cults (And Where To Stream Them)

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They may all not be cult classics, but these remarkable movies about cults are definitely worth following.

As anyone with a streaming subscription can attest, society’s collective fascination with cults has only become more and more encompassing over the year.


XYZ FIlms

Yet even with the true crime documentaries and podcasts that have swept the nation, people still can’t get enough stories about cults, real or otherwise. As such, I’ve aggregated more than 22 must-see movies about cults that you can watch immediately!

1.

Martha Marcy May Marlene


Fox Searchlight / Courtesy Everett Collection

Elizabeth Olsen is a revelation in Sean Durkin’s unnerving slow-burn thriller about a delusional and socially maladjusted woman who returns home to her family after escaping a psychologically abusive cult.

Where to Stream: Martha Marcy May Marlene is available to rent on Video-on-Demand platforms.

2.

Faults


Snoot Entertainment via YouTube

Riley Stearns’ directorial debut is a demented dark comedy about an insecure cult specialist who is recruited by a pair of desperate parents who request his services in deprogramming their cultist daughter.

Where to Stream: Faults is currently streaming on Tubi & Paramount+.

3.

The Sacrament


Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ti West’s frightening found footage film places the audience in Eden Parish, a fictional substitute for Jonestown, as a trio of VICE journalists attempt to locate a relative who has requested their appearance in their too-good-to-be-true compound.

Where to Stream: The Sacrament is currently streaming on Sling TV.

4.

Them That Follow


1091 Media / Courtesy Everett Collection

Anchored by an incredible cast that includes Olivia Colman, Walton Goggins, Alice Englert, and Kaitlyn Dever, to name a few, this tense Sundance alumni follows the pregnant daughter of a pastor of a secluded Pentecostal off-shoot that incorporates snake handling into their sermons as she attempts to hide her secrets from her volatile community.

Where to Stream: Them That Follow is currently streaming on Showtime.

5.

Apostle


Warren Orchard / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Raid mastermind Gareth Evans ventured outside of his comfort zone with this terrifying and gruesome tale of an ex-missionary who attempts to extract his sister from a bloodthirsty cult on a barren island outside of Wales in 1905.

Where to Stream: Apostle is currently streaming on Netflix.

6.

Hereditary


Reid Chavis / A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ari Aster put his brand of emotionally devastating horror front and center in this movie about a mother who utilizes occult methods of contacting her recently deceased daughter, only to discover a much more sinister plot unfolding closer and closer to home.

Where to Stream: Hereditary is currently streaming on Showtime.

7.

The Endless


Well Go USA / Courtesy Everett Collection

In this sequel to their directorial debut, Resolution, directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead reprise their cameo roles as oddball cultists who decide to return to the scene of their traumatic cult experience after receiving a mysterious video cassette in the mail.

Where to Stream: The Endless is currently streaming on Tubi, YouTube, and the Roku channel.

8.

The Invitation


XYZ Films / Atlaspix / Alamy

Karyn Kusama’s deceptive and devastating psychological horror film follows an emotionally unstable man who is invited to a dinner party by his estranged ex-wife after years of silence, at which he begins to believe the hosts may have more sinister intentions for their guests.

Where to Watch: The Invitation is currently streaming on Tubi, the Roku channel, and Sling TV.

9.

Midsommar


A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ari Aster’s dramatized depiction of cults extended to his sophomore feature film as well, as Midsommar tells the story of a group of college students that join their Swedish friend for a celebration at his ancestral commune, only to discover their customs and celebrations harbor darker intentions.

Where to Watch: Midsommar is currently streaming on Netflix.

10.

Charlie Says


IFC Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Based on Karlene Faith’s true story of attempting to deprogram former Manson Family member Leslie “Lulu” Van Houten, this film from American Psycho director Mary Harron is a unique and unsettling perspective on the infamous California-based cult.

Where to Watch: Charlie Says is currently streaming on Netflix.

11.

Sound of My Voice


Fox Searchlight / Courtesy Everett Collection

Before Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij created The OA, the pair teamed up for a spellbinding drama about two journalists who try to infiltrate a secluded cult led by an enigmatic woman claiming to be from the future.

Where to Watch: Sound of My Voice is available for rent on Video-on-Demand.

12.

The Master


Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

Paul Thomas Anderson’s thinly veiled shot at the origins of Scientology follows a social pariah (Joaquin Phoenix) who finds acceptance and kindness from a magnanimous yet fragile leader of a rising religious movement (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in post-World War II America.

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

13.

Son


Shudder / Courtesy Everett Collection

A young cult survivor must go beyond the call of duty to save her mysteriously ill son in this pulse-pounding horror thriller from The Canal director Ivan Kavanagh.

Where to Watch: Son is currently streaming on Shudder.

14.

Split Image


Orion Pictures Corp / Courtesy Everett Collection

In this forgotten yet fun thriller from the early ’80s, a young man is forced to choose between a manipulative cult and a psychologically abusive cult deprogrammer hired to rescue him by his parents.

Where to Watch: Split Image is currently streaming on the Roku channel.

15.

The House of the Devil


Magnet Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

In Ti West’s bloody breakout horror throwback, a desperate college student accepts a babysitting gig from a mysterious old man, only to find that all is not as it seems in her seemingly easy gig.

Where to Watch: The House of the Devil is currently streaming on Peacock, Tubi, and Amazon Prime.

16.

Race with the Devil


20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Two couples on a road trip accidentally stumble upon a ritual human sacrifice and find themselves in the cross-hairs of unwavering occult worshipers in this classic white-knuckle road thriller.

Where to Watch: Race with the Devil is available for rent on Video-on-Demand.

17.

Rosemary’s Baby


Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

A masterpiece of the horror genre, this unnerving chiller surrounds a young woman who becomes pregnant shortly after moving into a new apartment and begins to suspect that she is at the center of a wide-reaching devilish plot.

Where to Watch: Rosemary’s Baby is currently streaming on Paramount+ and Sling TV.

18.

The Wicker Man (1973)


British Lion Film Corporation / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the Nicolas Cage-starring remake has superseded the 1973 original in notoriety, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man follows a police officer investigating the disappearance of a young girl on a remote island controlled by a pagan cult, and holds up to this day as one of the creepiest movies ever made.

Where to Watch: The Wicker Man (1973) is currently streaming on BFI Player Classics.

19.

Messiah of Evil


International Cine Film Corp. / V/M Productions / Alamy

In this horrifying B-movie favorite, a young woman travels to a remote coastal town in search of her missing father, only to learn this colony of private, starving artists may not be entirely welcoming to newcomers.

Where to Watch: Messiah of Evil is currently streaming on Paramount+.

20.

The Empty Man


20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

A local legend tied to a series of shocking events leads a former detective to the doorsteps of a bizarre cult obsessed with metaphysics and theosophy in David Prior’s polarizing adaptation of Cullen Bunn and Vanesa Del Rey’s graphic novel.

Where to Watch: The Empty Man is currently streaming on HBO Max.

21.

Holy Smoke!


Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

In this off-beat romantic comedy from 2022 Academy Award-winning director Jane Campion, Harvey Keitel plays a cult exit counselor who falls in love with an Australian woman (an incredible Kate Winslet), who he was hired to deprogram from a new age cult in India.

Where to Watch: Holy Smoke! is currently available to rent on Video-on-Demand.

22.

The Seventh Victim


RKO Radio Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

A controversial and pioneering film about cults, The Seventh Victim is a horror-noir hybrid from 1943 that follows a woman searching for her missing sister in Greenwich Village in New York City with all signs pointing to a secret satanic society.

Where to Watch: The Seventh Victim is currently available to rent on video-on-demand.



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