Do you want to watch a scary movie? Thankfully, Netflix has your hookup for screams, blood, gore, nightmares, and more. Check out this list of the best horror movies on Netflix.
As the late Creature Features host Bob Wilkins famously said, “Watch Horror Films, Keep America Strong!” Whether or not you’re feeling patriotic or just feeling creepy and weird, anytime is a good time for a horror movie. Thankfully, Netflix is like a 1980’s Blockbuster, with a Horror section filled with monsters, mutants, slashers, Satanic cults, vampires, punks, and celluloid creatures to make you scream and shout. If you’re looking for something new – or want to see what the streaming service has to offer – check out the list below. (This article will be updated frequently as movies leave and enter Netflix. *New additions are indicated with an asterisk*)
We Summon The Darkness (2020)
It’s no surprise that metal and horror movies go hand-in-hand. The late-1980s brought Trick Or Treat, Hard Rock Zombies, Black Roses and Rock N’ Roll Nightmare. You can check out Bloody Disgusting’s excellent review of Metalsploitation: The History of Heavy Metal in the Horror Film for more – after watching 2020’s We Summon The Darkness. Starring Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, and Johnny Knoxville, the indie horror movie is about what happens after three men meet a bunch of guys at a metal show (spoiler alert: it involves Satanic murders.) Throw up the horns and pop the flick on.
Directed by Marc Meyers. Written by Alan Trezza. Runtime: 91 minutes.
Vampires Vs. The Bronx (2020)
If Stranger Things has reminded everyone, horror is for the youth, too. In the vein of The Monster Squad, Fright Night, The Lost Boys comes a much-appreciated update to the “youth versus monsters” subgenre. A group of Bronx teens takes on the bloodsucking threat of gentrification and a vampire coven in this Netflix original horror-comedy. It’s perfect for sleepovers, lazy Saturdays, or something to pair with the latest episode of Desus & Mero.
Directed by Oz Rodriguez. Screenplay by Oz Rodriguez and Blaise Hemingway. Runtime: 86 minutes.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)
There is some horror royalty behind the camera for this supernatural psychological thriller. Osgood Perkins, the son of the late Anthony Perkins (aka Normal Bates from the original Psycho), directed and wrote this film about two girls who come face-to-face with the supreme evil while spending winter break at their Catholic boarding school.
Directed and written by Osgood Perkins. Runtime: 93 minutes.
It’s a nightmare for every digital content creator. The Handmaid’s Tale star Madeline Brewer is front-and-center in this horror movie about a camgirl who wakes up to find that her doppelgänger had taken over her channel. It’s a statement on sex work, identity, and attitudes towards women on the Internet and worth your time.
Directed by Daniel Goldhaber. Written by Daniel Goldhaber, Isa Mazzei, and Isabelle Link-Levy. Runtime: 95 minutes
Written by director Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass (one-half of the Duplass Brothers, the duo behind movies like Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Skeleton Twins, and Tangerine), Creep features Duplass in an on-camera role as Josef, a man with terminal cancer who recruits a videographer to accompany him to a remote cabin to create a video daughter for his unborn child. If that phrase generates “serial killer” vibes to you, you’re not far off. It’s a film praised for its aesthetic and its simplicity.
Directed by Patrice Brice. Written by Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice. Runtime: 77 minutes.
Bird Box (2018)
Starring Sandra Bullock, the 2018 post-apocalyptic thriller depicts a world where people see a mysterious entity, and the sight drives them to madness. The film drew comparisons to that year’s A Quiet Place, since both depict survivors engaging in one form of sensory-depravation, but Bird Box is its own creation. See for yourself.
Directed by Susanne Bier. Screenplay by Eric Heisserer. Runtime: 124 minutes.
The Guest (2014)
Starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens and a script by Simon Barrett (who worked with director Adam Wingard on A Horrible Way to Die and You’re Next), The Guest is a thriller about a U.S. soldier who visits a family while claiming he’s a friend of their son who died in combat in Afghanistan. The film earned rave reviews from critics and built on Barret/Wingard’s reputation for making modern horror classics.
Directed by Adam Wingard. Written by Simon Barrett. Runtime: 100 minutes.
Filmmaker Mike Flanagan is to Netflix what Ryan Murphy is to FX when it comes to horror. Flanagan has produced tons of creepy content for the streaming service, including the series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. There are three films that you should check out, the first being 2016’s Hush. Starring Mike’s wife, Kate Seigel (who worked with him in movies Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and more), the film depicts a deaf woman facing a home invasion of a serial killer. It arrived two years before A Quiet Place (and the same year of Don’t Breathe), establishing a genre of films that show how silence can be deadly.
Directed by Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel. Runtime: 81 minutes.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Arguably the best of the Netflix-Mike Flanagan partnership, Gerald’s Game depicts a case when kinky sex goes wrong. Based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, Carla Gugino portrays a housewife engaged in some BDSM when her husband suddenly dies on top of her. Carla is left handcuffed to the bed, forcing her to confront her inner demons while finding a way to survive.
Directed by Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard. Runtime: 103 minutes.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
Once a cinematic punchline (which is aptly fitting, considering the title), Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a cult movie celebrated by the underground since its 1988 release. After a glowing object lands nears the rural town of Crescent Cove, a troupe of grotesque “klowns” begins abducting the townsfolk through various circus-themed stunts. With the “klowns” brought to life through glorious rubber suits (and a theme song by punk band The Dickies that will stick in your hand), this horror-comedy is a must-watch for those who want to laugh through their screams.
Directed by Stephen Chiodo. Written by Charles and Stephen Chiodo. Runtime: 88 minutes
Before I Wake (2016)
Called the lesser of Mike Flanagan’s Netflix Original movies, Before I Wake sees Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and a pre-Room Jacob Tremblay. Jacob portrays a young child whose dreams become real – as well as his nightmares. While not as strong as Hush or Gerald’s Game when it comes to the scares, it’s a supernatural horror that might be good for an afternoon viewing (just don’t nap afterward.)
Directed by Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard. Runtime: 97 minutes.
The Invitation (2015)
Karyn Kusama’s eagerly-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Jennifer’s Body sees Logan Marshall-Green attend a dinner party at his ex-wife’s home. That alone should be horrifying for anyone who has had to deal with an ex, post-break-up. However, things get crazy when his ex (Tammy Blanchard) shares some news about this new self-help group she and her new husband has joined. Chaos and mayhem ensue.
Directed by Karyn Kusama. Written by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay. Runtime: 100 minutes.
Perfect Blue (1981)
There was once a time when anime wasn’t as widely available as it is now, so to see Perfect Blue get a major theatrical release in the United States in 1999 was a big deal at the time. The movie, according to pop culture commentator Eric Shorey at One37pm, “tells the story of Mima Kirigoe, a fictional pop singer stalked by an increasingly threatening doppelganger. “director Satoshi Kon, through “lovingly detailed and deeply empathetic animations juxtapose[d] horrendously against scenes of sexual violence” depicts, as Shorey writes, a “psychotic delusion” that’s perfect for today’s “schizophrenic media culture.” For additional must-watch anime horror, check out Eric’s list over at One37pm.com
Directed by Satoshi Kon. Screenplay by Sadayuki Murai. Runtime 81 minutes.
There’s plenty of international horror movies to dive through (Japanese horror is in itself a robust and terrifying genre), so be sure to put #Alive on your queue. Directed by Cho Il-hyung, the South Korean film depicts a video game streamer struggling during a zombie apocalypse. Forced to stay alone in his Seoul apartment, it’s 28 Days Later for the Twitch generation.
Directed by Cho Il-hyung. Written by Cho Il-hyung and Matt Naylor.
Would You Rather (2012)
What happens when Re-Animator isn’t on Netflix, and you’re craving some creepy Jeffrey Combs? 2012’s Would You Rather should hold you over. The psychological horror film turns the question into a deadly game of choices. Combs is in his full glory playing Shepard Lambrick, the wealthy benefactor hosting the dinner party where contestants – including Brittany Snow, Logan Miller, Robb Wells, and Sasha Grey – engage in a series of increasingly difficult decisions, all in hopes of surviving the night (and walking away $50,000 richer.)
Directed by David Guy Levy. Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen. Runtime: 93 minutes.
The Evil Dead (1981)
There are plenty of reasons why Bruce Campbell is the man. There’s Maniac Cop, Waxwork II, The Hudsucker Proxy, Escape From L.A., his run on TV action shows like The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Xena: Warrior Princess, and Jack Of All Trades. (Check out his 2018 appearance on the HollywoodLife Podcast for more.) However, the main reason why everyone finds Bruce groovy is 1981’s The Evil Dead. Directed by Sam Raimi, long before he would helm the first Spider-Man cinematic trilogy and films like Oz The Great And Powerful and For The Love Of The Game, the first Evil Dead movie is a gruesome, gory, visceral slice of pure horror-comedy. The sequels – Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness – would crank up the gore and the comedy, and the 2013 remake has its good points, but it’s best to watch the first before diving chainsaw-first into the rest.
Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Sam Raimi.
Considered one of the worst horror movies ever made (and possibly the worst, until Glen Danzig unleashed Verotika in 2019), this early 2000’s horror flick stars Halle Berry, a pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz. Halle portrays Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist in a women’s mental hospital that, one day, wakes up on the other sides of the bars, having been accused of murdering her husband. Despite poor reviews, the film amassed $141 million at the worldwide box office and has recently experienced a revival as a campy, spooky (spoopy?) romp.
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. Written by Sebastian Gutierrez. Runtime: 98 minutes.
He Never Died (2015)
Henry Rollins’ transition from being the brick-jawed frontman of Black Flag and the Rollins Band hasn’t always been the smoothest. Often cast in roles that showcase his muscles and intensity (The Chase, Jack Frost, Sons of Anarchy), Henry showcases a stark muted side in 2015’s He Never Died. As the title reveals, Henry is an immortal loner who spends his days playing church Bingo and keeping to himself in his apartment. When he makes the mistake of getting too close to someone, all hell breaks loose. It’s more moody than gory but worth your time if you’re looking for a chaser to films like A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.
Directed and written by Jason Krawczyk. Runtime: 99 minutes.
Under The Shadow (2016)
Speaking of Iranian horror, 2016’s Under The Shadow tells a story of a woman whose apartment is haunted by a malevolent spirit. Set in 1980’s Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, the film’s tension is heightened as the protagonist Shideh (Narges Rashidi) deals with wartime PTSD and her clashing with the restrictions imposed on her by the Iranian government. It offers a good change of pace for those who are suffering “slasher fatigue” and would like to see horror from a different perspective.
Directed and written by Babak Anvari. Runtime: 84 minutes.
Girl On The Third Floor (2016)
Not since “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in They Live has a pro-wrestler received such a positive review (84% on Rotten Tomatoes) for his acting. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks stars as Donald Koch in this supernatural horror film, a man with a criminal past who finds him dealing with some eerie elements as he renovates an old home for him as his pregnant wife. The film earned praise for its use of practical special effects instead of relying on CGI, so if you’re craving some old-school scares, this would be the film for you.
Directed by Travis Stevens. Written by Paul Johnson, Ben Parker, and Travis Stevens. Runtime: 93 minutes.
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