The best free movies on YouTube

What are the best free movies on YouTube? Did you know there's more on YouTube that cat and dog videos? Us either, but there are plenty of great free movies

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What are the best free movies on YouTube? It’s apt that YouTube was launched on Valentines Day, 2005, because the whole world’s fallen in love with the video streaming service. Don’t believe us? Well, YouTube is the second most visited website on the Internet with more than one billion monthly users who watch millions upon millions of hours of content each day.

From channels dedicated to documenting the minutiae of daily life, educational videos committed to educating the masses, and fully scripted sketch shows, there’s something for everyone on YouTube. I’m even led to believe there are videos of cats on there if you can imagine such a thing.

As fun as it is seeing a cat be scared by a cucumber though, the best thing about YouTube is the free movies. Now we don’t mean the dodgy sort filmed in a cinema over someone’s shoulder. We mean the legitimately uploaded films which have been preserved forever in the digital amber of the YouTube algorithm. There are classic horror movies, clever thrillers, and even one of the best zombie movies ever to watch, so with no further adieu, here are the best free movies on YouTube.

Best Free movies on YouTube

  • Nosferatu
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Rebecca
  • The Stranger
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • Gaslight
  • Witchfinder General

Best Free movies on YouTube: Nosferatu

Nosferatu (1922)

An unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu entered the public domain in 2019 and, as such, is completely free to watch on YouTube.

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Watching it now can be difficult due to its age (silent German expressionist cinema isn’t exactly a date move genre), but if you’re willing to give Nosferatu your time, you’ll be treated to a vampire movie stripped of the cliche and tired tropes you know like the back of your hand. Moody, eerie, and influential, modern horror owes a great deal to Max Schreck’s bucktoothed Count Orlok.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed by the one and only George Romero, Night of the Living Dead arguably gave birth to the modern zombie movie genre and served as a blueprint for all that came after it. A mistake by its original distributor meant that Night of the Living Dead entered into the public domain almost immediately and as such can be found freely on YouTube.

Night of the Living Dead was widely criticised for its gore and violence on release, which may seem absurd by the gruesome standards of today, but for the time, its effects were truly groundbreaking. While the film may lack the overt satire of Romero’s later forays into the zombie genre, it doesn’t lack bite, and the film’s true horror lies not in the cannibalistic ghouls outside but in humanity’s cruel and self-sabotaging nature.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: Rebecca

Rebecca (1940)

Like the despicable and obsessive housekeeper Mrs Danvers we’re obsessed with Rebecca and less enchanted with pretenders to her throne, namely the despicable Netflix remake. A dark and gripping psychological thriller Rebecca was the first film Hitchcock made in America and served as an omen of the Master of Suspense’s talent for shocking audiences.

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Laurence Olivier stars as the lonely widower Maxim De Winter who charms and marries the unnamed second Mrs De Winter (Joan Fontaine). Bringing her home to Manderley, his new bride finds herself tormented by the housekeeper Mrs Danvers who won’t let Maxim forget his first wife, the titular Rebecca.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: The Stranger

The Stranger (1946)

Orson Welle’s third film and the first Hollywood film to show documentary footage of the Holocaust, The Stranger tells the story of Mr Wilson as he investigates Nazi war crimes and the fugitive Franz Kindler.

Welle’s only real box office hit, The Stranger, is a tightly written and gripping thriller that manages to capture the horror of Nazi war crimes. Despite its critical and commercial success, the film fell into the public domain and, as such is available to watch on YouTube.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: Heaven Can Wait

Heaven Can Wait (1943)

It’s unusual to see a character argue he belongs in Hell and not Heaven, but that’s the premise of the charming and watchable comedy Heaven Can Wait. Don Ameche stars as Henry van Cleve, a recently deceased tycoon who must try and convince the devil that his hedonism and debauched life have earned him a place in eternal damnation.

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Ironically considering the subject matter, Heaven Can Wait is full of life and was rightly recognised at the 16th Academy Awards earning a nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture, the category that preceded Best Picture.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: Gaslight

Gaslight (1940)

Gaslight is the psychological thriller movie from which we derive the term gaslighting. As you can probably guess, it’s about a husband who manipulates his wife ) into believing she’s going insane.

Tremendously creepy and incredibly gripping Gaslight is a genuinely traumatising thriller that deals with themes that are still relevant today.

Watch it here.

Best Free movies on YouTube: Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General (1968)

Torn apart by critics upon release, Witchfinder General has garnered a cult following over the years due in part to a critical reevaluation of the horror movie’s direction and performances.

The film tells the story of the murderous witch hunter Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), who claims to have been appointed by Parliament the witchfinder General during the English Civil War. Intense and mature Witchfinder General isn’t an easy watch but a rewarding one for fans of the grisliest genre.

Watch it here.