Looking to settle down for a horrific night of horror movies? You’ve got Netflix secured. From ghosts and witches to prowl killers, scary adolescents, and their just-as-creepy kin, the streaming giant has a sense of fear for any horror hound, and the number of genre movies is hundreds. With too many options, weeding through the wall can be challenging to locate the most effective chillers. Luckily, we did the digital hard work on your behalf and combed the service for the finest services actually available in the screaming nation. From grim throwbacks to fresh fan classics, here are our options for Netflix’s best horror movies right now. Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the obligation to scare yourself with those creepy movies – well, we didn’t make up the rules.
Luckily, Netflix subscribers have a wide range at their fingertips, with lots of eerie features to pick from, whether you’re looking for a psychological thriller, a gory slasher, or a supernatural scare.
Below we’ve been curating Netflix’s best horror movies right now. This varies from well-known classics, under-the-radar independent gems, goofy b-films, and even a few straight-up comedies. And inevitably there are some changes made by Stephen King to this blend. Without the master, will every list of fears be complete? Regardless of what kind of terror you like, we’ve protected you. And why not hop off our list of the Best Horror Films ever if you’re a hard die horror who’s been to anything at Netflix.
1. In the Tall Grass
Stephen King fans are likely to be delighted by this 2012 novel by Stephen and son Joe Hill in 2019. As the brothers Becky and Cal (Layla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted) make a pit stop on their road trip to their aunt’s home, they hear a boy named Tobin crying for support in the high grass area. The pair dips into the crop themselves, but then they find themselves at the core of a sinister scheme involving Tobin, his friends, a morbid time loop, and an ancient stone with supposedly magical properties, all inside never-ending rows of grass. Although others have argued that the film is more than welcome, those looking for a King-flavoured fable of practically losing to nature would be more than satisfied with the adaptation of director Vincenzo Natali’s novel.
2. The Girl with All the Gifts
The Girl with All the Presents was sort of going under the radar, and that’s a damn shame. Colm McCarthy’s clever take on the stale zombie story has been quietly discarded in America despite a host of good festival feedback and a decent UK opening, but it’s worth looking for. Based on Mike Carey’s hit YA book, based on his own script, the film takes place in a dystopian dystopia where the planet has been overrun by mold-covered zombies called “Hungarians.” We startup with the survivors of a military base, where they’re hoping for a solution by playing with a new, trickier kind of creature — human/hungry hybrid kids who look, think, and behave like your typical school kids — until they catch the smell of live flesh and the creature comes out. When one of the test subjects, a precocious young girl, Melanie (Nanua, who is phenomenal in her film debut), displays an aptitude for self-control, she enters into an awkward relationship with her beloved tutor.
Here’s a fun case of crazy science that went very, very wrong. In Vincenzo Natali’s Splice, Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley are Clive and Elsa, two genetic engineers working with N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development). Their day-to-day work includes splicing animal DNA to create cryptoid monsters for experimental research and protein selection, at least before the two geniuses get the notion of going behind their bosses’ backs and producing an animal-human hybrid. The experiment (Delphine Chanéac), who they nickname Dren, continues to mature at an incredible pace while displaying profound talents, such as the capacity to breathe underwater. Worried about their scientific secret, Clive and Elsa are moving Dren to a secluded farmhouse, where the film takes a more ominous turn. Natali’s second feature on our list is a nightmare-come-true sci-fi fan. Both Brody and Polley are phenomenal as the morally challenged insane doctor duo, and Dren’s makeup effects are beautiful.
4. Let Me In
Hollywood movie remakes are always just as welcome as a pair of razor-sharp teeth on the throat, and while we wouldn’t say Let Me In comes close to matching the frost-bitten genius of Swedish horror flick Let the Right One In, it’s one of the few remakes that does hold up in its own right. Kodi Smit-McPhee is a child tormented by bullying, who is a friend of a female vampire in New Mexico in the 1980s. Although it lacks the same degree of childlike innocence seen in the film, it makes up for it with a lot of suspense. If you just can’t take subtitles (or you’re just a horror completer), Letting Me In is worth digging your teeth into it.
5. Evil Dead
A really horrifying classic with a really strong fall feeling, you really need to see the original The Wicked Gone. The 1981 film tells the story of a group of students who visit a remote cabin in the woods and then become victims of paranormal activity. This is it, man. It’s the plot. And the film is great, too. The magic formula that makes The Evil Dead such a treat is the low-budget stylings of director Sam Raimi, who gives the camera its own personality and delights in the beautiful action of the film. The true “horror-comedy” tone of the series doesn’t really come into play until Evil Dead 2, which is almost as much a remake of the film as a sequel. But in terms of pure film history and a perfect example of new, talented filmmakers doing the trick, rather than waiting for permission to make a film.
Mike Flanagan enters the nail-biting Hush again, a clever horror movie that seems extra awkward because the horror of the film sounds like it might easily happen to everyone. Author Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) leads a peaceful life in the wilderness with her cat — until a masked assassin (John Gallagher Jr.) kills Maddie’s nearest neighbor and plans to knife Maddie next. What follows is a uniquely awful cat-and – mouse puzzle, when Maddie has to struggle for her life against a sinister madman, a feat that has made it ten times more complicated because Maddie is deaf. Something the masked invader would finally understand. With Hush, Flanagan turns the killer sub-genre on his back, offering a film full of rapid-fire terrors, both large and small, and a third act that will leave you locked to the edge of your sofa.
Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen are starring in the brutal terror of Raid director Gareth Evans, set in London in the early twentieth century. The film involves a man who has come home to find that his sister is being held hostage by a cult – and that he must pay a large ransom in order to release her. The man makes the trip to an idyllic island that is home to the cult, where he infiltrates the group and learns that, while the cult appears to have left behind the hypocrisy of mainland culture, it is still more than present in their ranks. When he knows more and more about the cult, he finds an especially evil secret. This film has a strong connexion back to the classic folk horror movie The Wickerman and has an uneasy feeling of dread.
8. It Comes at Night
In this post-apocalyptic nightmare-and-a-half, the nightmares of mankind, the pressure of turbulent impulses blew up in the name of life, blew from vigilant eyes and wrinkled hands. The structure is blockbuster — it turns humanity back to the days of the American border, every single survivor battling to protect their family and themselves — but the drama is mano-a-mano. Paul (Joel Edgerton) takes Will (Christopher Abbott) and his family in a haunted cabin in the woods, knowing full well that they could endanger the life of his family. All the while, the son of Paul, Trevor, contests bloody dreams of (or caused by?) contagion. The more we know, the more mystery the heck looks like our heads are like a noose, the scarier its comments are. Trey Edward Shults is steering the back of every slow-moving structure for this psychological thriller.
9. Pan’s Labyrinth
Although not expressly terrified, the dark fantasy masterpiece of Guillermo del Toro nevertheless embodies the terrifying trope with relative ease. The Spanish storybook looks like a young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) moving with her pregnant mother to a big country mansion owned and run by Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez). The plot utilizes concepts of the modern world, such as Falange’s revolutionary philosophy and Spanish unrest, to invoke the burgeoning fear of its overarching tale. In the act of unveiling the regeneration of Princess Moanna, Ophelius also attacks the tropes of confidence and the supernatural. Lost in the maze of real life, Ofelia must come to terms with her fate when the Underworld itself reaches out to bind her.
10. The Invitation
This slow-burning horror thriller is prey to social anxiety. The first half-hour show, which sees Quarry’s Logan Marshall-Green arriving at his ex-wife’s house to meet her new husband, plays like a 30-year-old Sundance drama and their relationship woes. As the minutes go by, director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) dives further into an uncomfortable dinner party, discovering stress in unwelcome stares, miscommunication, and the likelihood that Marshall-Green ‘s character might misread a bizarre scenario as a threatening one. We’re not going to ruin what’s going to happen, so let’s just say this is a party you’re going to tell your mates regarding.
11. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
This film sat on the shelves for a few years before it actually hit the public, so you may still be acquainted with director Oz Perkins from last year’s haunted house chiller I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, considering the fact that The Blackcoat’s Daughter is technically his directorial debut. Perkins displays the same hypnotic dread ability in his first film, an eerie supernatural thriller that conjures up the spellbinding, nightmarish thrill of the Satanic threat. In the middle of the eerie slow-burning and punctuating moments of brutality, there is a melancholy undercurrent of isolation and guilt that pays off in the blissful final moments of the film. The Blackcoat’s Daughter is enigmatic and methodically paced, but every moment of muted movement maintains inertia until the final blow comes, and when it does, even if it may not be completely shocking, it is a squeezing blow straight to the solar plexus the leaves you trembling.
12. Vampires vs. the Bronx
Have you ever known your neighborhood is no longer yours? Gentrification is rearing its ugly head in the Vampires vs. the Bronx. And, as the title implies, there are bloodsuckers that actually ruin the neighborhood when cleaning up property values. Miguel (Jaden Michael) has already taken the call to save his neighborhood when he discovers that the zombies are closing in. Once he learns the facts, Miguel alias “Lil Mayor” wants some support from his friends Bobby Carter (Gerald W. Jones III) and Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV) to take the vamps. The film softly combines its horror with truly amusing moments of humor. The pop-culture comparisons are all really timely, and this is one of the most exciting horror movies of the year.
13. The Ritual
The Ritual includes hands down, one of the scariest movie monster creations in recent years. It’s worth a watch of its own. Barton / Nevill’s plot may have a familiar structure at the outset, but there are a couple of twists and turns that hold you guessing; a genuinely traumatic moment that comes early in the story may get you to sit down and pay attention because it signals that The Ritual is not your typical horror movie. The plot is based on a group of former college friends who are planning a getaway, one that will quickly take a turn for the horrible — your familiar arrangement. To tell you more would be to give away too much, but it should be enough to suggest that the initial development of a monster is half the adventure, and the other half is the introspective inner path that one of the main characters is going through.
With all the latest adaptations of Stephen King’s iconic novels, it’s easy to forget that the wildly prolific horror writer already has a pool of untapped short stories to pick from for IP-hungry producers. 1922, Edgar Allen Poe’s folk riff “The Tell-Tale Heart” starring Thomas Jane as a farmer who kills his wife takes his story from a book in the 2010 collection of Full Dark, No Stars, but it’s just as lush and nuanced as the more popular movies based on longer King stories. Plus, there are so many rats in the movie.