Hulu subscribers may have noticed that there were a lot fewer Hulu original movies in 2023 than there were in 2022. You can thank Disney’s renewed effort to get films in theaters for that. That’s why The Boogeyman was upgraded from a premiere on Hulu to a run in theaters over the summer. Then again, last year at this time, fans and critics were saying that Hulu’s Prey should have been on the big screen. So we can’t fault it when a Hulu original movie gets that opportunity.
Regardless, it did feel like half of Hulu’s original films probably shouldn’t have been made at all. The remake of White Men Can’t Jump was particularly egregious. However, we are thankful for the five best Hulu movies of 2023, because without this streaming platform, it’s unlikely that any of these films would have gotten a green light.
You may get a few Groundhog Day vibes from Jagged Mind, but this film has a lot fewer feel-good moments. Instead, it’s like a dating horror story when Billie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) meets and falls for Alex (Shannon Woodward). Billie notices right away that something isn’t right with her memory, but she mistakenly assumes that her blackouts and missing time are emblematic of a neurological disorder that runs in the family.
Eventually, Billie realizes that she is in a time loop, and the reason why is directly related to Alex’s actions and desires. Alex is far from the perfect girlfriend, and she can seemingly go from abusive to sweet at the drop of the hat. That leaves Billie with few options to escape the relationship when it seems destined to repeat itself over and over again.
Watch Jagged Mind on Hulu.
Given the uncertainties at the box office, Boston Strangler would probably have gotten lost in the shuffle. But on Hulu, this historical thriller gave Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon a chance to carry their own movie. The film takes place over several years in the1960s as reporters Loretta McLaughlin (Knightley) and Jean Cole (Coon) investigate the brutal rape and murder of several women at the hands of the Boston Strangler.
Much to their mutual alarm, McLaughlin and Cole realize that the police have already botched the investigation by failing to pursue leads and by neglecting to share information with police departments in other cities. Regardless, the two women face long odds as they chase the story of a lifetime and try to bring an end to the Boston Strangler’s reign of terror.
Watch Boston Strangler on Hulu.
The story of Flaming Hot Cheetos is so inspiring that it was almost heartbreaking to learn that it probably wasn’t true. But the myth of Flamin’ Hot is so empowering that it’s more comforting to believe the feel-good lie than it is to debunk the film. Jesse Garcia stars as Richard Montañez, a former gang member who turned his life around with his wife, Judy Montañez (Annie Gonzalez).
Richard gamely accepts a job as a janitor at a Frito-Lay factory while struggling to make ends meet for his family. When Richard discovers that Frito-Lay CEO Roger Enrico (Tony Shalhoub) has invited all employees to “think like a CEO,” he takes the initiative to create Flaming Hot Cheetos before going over the head of his boss to arrange a pitch meeting. If we have to choose between that story and what really happened, we prefer the former.
Watch Flamin’ Hot on Hulu.
Clock may be the most terrifying horror movie on Hulu from 2023. It’s just truly unsettling to watch Ella (Dianna Agron) as reality breaks down around her all because she was pressured into a study that was supposed to fix her biological clock. Ella’s husband, Aidan (Jay Ali), and her family both pushed her toward doing this because they want her to have a baby.
Dr. Elizabeth Simmons (Melora Hardin) promised Ella that her experimental implant would change Ella’s world. And it certainly did, by giving Ella hallucinations, waking nightmares, and a complete mental meltdown. The film invites us to question how much of what Ella sees is real, before revealing that the reality of her situation is even more horrific than we initially believed.
Watch Clock on Hulu.
No One Will Save You may not have gotten a chance to shine on the big screen, but it was the clear winner this year among the Hulu original films. Brian Duffield wrote and directed the film, which barely has any dialogue at all. That’s because Kaitlyn Dever’s Brynn is the only human character for large portions of the movie, and she’s not exactly on speaking terms with the rest of her small town.
This is Dever’s movie from beginning to end, and she sells it like a true scream queen when aliens invade her remote home. The problem for Brynn is laid out in the title of the movie itself. She can’t count on anyone to help her push back against this alien menace. But Brynn’s biggest demons lie within as she struggles with guilt and the real reason why she’s the town pariah. Duffield gets all of this across almost solely through the film’s visuals, and that should give him a lot more opportunities in the future. As of now, No One Will Save You is the gold standard for all future Hulu original movies.
Watch No One Will Save You on Hulu.