With the holiday season just around the corner, sometimes all a person wants is to light a spiced candle, grab a cozy blanket, and snuggle up to a genre film. This list of the best horror movies on Netflix to watch right now is here to help you out. If you’re a fan of New French Extremism or atmospheric low-budget flicks, or can’t get enough B-movie classics, Netflix has a film for you. The best part is — no one will judge you for leaving the lights on while you watch. You have to sleep some time, right?
Some love to be scared while some hate to love it, but horror movies — especially in times of crisis — have always been a balm for the soul. Watching horror films can be a way to explore your worst fears, deepest secrets, and darkest fantasies. Plus, they’re really fun.
The last few decades have elevated horror films. In other words, they’re not just for midnights at the theater anymore, and they haven’t been for some time. If you’re still dismissing horror films as a “less than” genre (maybe because they’re not racking up the awards they should be), it’s your loss. That’s why we made this list, which will guide fans of horror towards the best movies Netflix has to stream right now, and encourage hesitant newcomers to explore it, too.
If your thing is black-and-white films, foreign films, intense family dramas, films about hauntings, or sci-fi, here’s to hoping you’re open to something new. No matter your preferences, these are the creepiest, spookiest, and goriest horror movies you can stream on Netflix right now.
1. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic, based on Stephen King’s terrifying novel, is recognized as one of the most important films ever. The Shining is a psychological thriller as much as it is a good ol’ fashioned haunted house story. It’s also beautifully made, slow-burning, and iconic for all the right reasons.
2. The Witch (2016)
The Witch, stylized The VVitch, was a breakout hit at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival. The A24 film is one of those rare period supernatural films that delivers on every front. There’s a woodsy New England setting, religious themes, and 1600s language that all feed into a chilling tale. Anchored by Anya Taylor-Joy’s stunning performance, it’s a spooky must-watch for fans of the genre.
3. Raw (2016)
Raw is not for the faint of heart — or stomach. The celebrated film is French director Julia Ducournau’s debut, and she’ll be a household name before too long. It’s best discovered on your own, so let’s just say Raw follows a repressed veterinary student whose college experiences unleash a specific form of hunger.
4. Little Evil (2017)
Part homage, part satire, part intimate look at modern families, Little Evil is the perfect horror film to screen at a party. It stars Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly as a newly married couple whose son is the Antichrist. It’s enjoyable, funny, creepy, and ultimately well-done. It has a strong cast of supporting characters to boot.
5. It Follows (2015)
It Follows is deliciously creepy, and is not your average teenage nightmare. After sleeping with her boyfriend for the first time, a young woman discovers she’s contracted a sexually transmitted entity that begins to terrorize her. The visuals are terrifying, and the film is carried by actress Maika Monroe’s performance. Just don’t expect a satisfying conclusion.
6. Veronica (2017)
A Ouija board! The ’90s! An eclipse! Demonic possession! This Spanish shocker is a must-watch for modern horror buffs. It’s stylish, decadent, and let’s just say it — devilishly fun.
7. Train To Busan (2016)
Hailed as the perfect zombie movie, South Korean thriller Train to Busan will leave you breathless — even if you think you’ve seen it all before. It’s a perfect Halloween flick that’s easily enjoyed year-round.
8. The Invitation (2015)
Indie film director and all-around genius Karyn Kusama directed this suspenseful, atmospheric thriller, which is full of A-plus performances and shocks at every turn. Bottom line? Don’t take your new partner to your ex-spouse’s dinner party. But if you do, be prepared for anything.
9. Hush (2016)
Here’s the thing about mask-wearing, weapon-wielding murderers: They’re not always smarter than their prey. In Hush, a deaf writer’s weekend retreat is interrupted by folks with plans to ruin it. It flips the home invasion-slasher genre on its head.
10. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Before Mike Flanagan blew everyone away with The Haunting of Hill House, he adapted Stephen King’s “famously un-adaptable” novella Gerald’s Game for Netflix. Carla Gugino’s performance is legendary — it basically amounts to a one-woman show. The whole film takes interesting and strange turns as the story of a sex game gone wrong unfolds. If you’re remotely curious, or even a little kinky, check it out.
11. Hellraiser (1987)
If you’re a fan of horror, odds are you don’t need any convincing to watch Hellraiser. The late ’80s classic screen adaptation from Clive Barker introduced audiences to Pinhead (though he didn’t go by that name until the sequel), the leader of freakish extradimensional beings known as Cenobites. Hellraiser defies description and holds up much better than it sounds. It’s a horror classic for reasons even a casual
12. The Ritual (2017)
A group of friends mourning the loss of their pal head out on a hiking trip together, and you already know the rest. Gorgeous, sweeping shots of the Scandinavian wilderness add to this spooky, Blair Witch-y gem from Netflix.
13. The Babysitter (2017)
The Babysitter is so much better than most people want to give it credit for. Campy, cool, and with plenty of “whoa!” moments, it’s a film that rewards and shocks viewers who think they’ve seen everything a B-movie has to offer. It’s ridiculous fun. Definitely keep an eye on its two leads. The Babysitter may not have made stars out of them, but their next projects certainly will.
14. Cube (1998)
The late ’90s and early ’00s were special pockets of time during which many films bridged the sci-fi/horror genre and entered the mainstream without being good or bad. Cube is one of these. In Cube, the Twilight Zone episode “Five Characters In Search Of An Exit” meets Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel meets a prototype for the Saw franchise. It’s somehow futuristic and dated, but its freaky plot and unusual visuals aren’t easily forgotten.
15. The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense was M. Night Shyamalan’s first big hit, and has become an enduring pop culture phenomenon in the two decades since. It’s not as terrifying as Signs, which came after, but the sense of dread that permeates the film is the work of a master. Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis are exceptional in it, and there’s something to be said for films that can be described with one notable quote (“I see dead people!”) twenty years later.
16. The Eyes Of My Mother (2016)
This might look like an artistic foreign film, but it’s so much more than that. The Eyes of My Mother is straight-up gruesome. We’re talking not for the faint of heart, or mind, or stomach. Also, it’s for the best if you don’t live near any abandoned farmhouses or know any surgeons. Still on board? Then by all means, check out this unsettling masterpiece.
17. Cabin Fever (2002)
A horror comedy with legit gross-out moments, Cabin Fever introduced Eli Roth’s brain to the world, and the world has yet to recover. Based on a true thing that happened to him — somehow! — this ’80s-style flick is gory, gross, and weirdly compelling. Cabin Fever has a wonderfully literal title, since it’s about a group of friends who rent a cabin and end up infected with a nasty flesh-eating virus. Oh, and there are some grumpy locals in the mix who aren’t too wild about outsiders.
18. Teeth (2007)
This one isn’t a “horror” film unless you get in the way of its lead character. Introducing the incredible concept of vagina dentata, this cult favorite is worth a watch. A second set of choppers is a lot to swallow, but still: Teeth.
19. Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010)
Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil is a lot like Cabin In The Woods in that they’re both whip-smart, insightful, entertaining, and genuinely surprising films that are send-ups of traditional horror. This one never got the critical acclaim it deserved. As funny as it is unexpected, Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil explores what happens when a group of college students mistakenly assume they’ve walked into a horror movie.
This is just one section of Netflix’s ample collection of films. If you’re a horror film buff, it’s clear they have you covered. If you power through this list, there are dozens more to choose from, and more get added every day.
Happy watching, and be sure to bookmark this page for future use!
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