The Best Horror Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now
Nowadays, you can tell which kind of horror movie fan you are just by your streaming service of choice. For the die-hards, it’s Shudder. If it’s Hulu, you’re probably not the most likely person to willingly invite nightmares into your home on the weekends. For really weird shit—we’re talking Tsunambee and Mother Krampus here—it’s Amazon Prime.
But for those who like a healthy mix—Stephen King adaptations, foreign horror, the best of A24’s frights, the occasional B movie, it’s Netflix. The big-ticket streamer, more and more lately, has been pumping out some genuinely great originals in the genre. too. You have His House, which tells an illuminating, but horrifying immigrant story. The Babysitter, en route to becoming an all-timer in the horror-comedy genre. And Hubie Halloween. (Watch it: You know better than to shit on Sandler by now.)Here’s the best of what Netflix has to offer in the scare department.
It Comes at Night
If you’ve watched an A24 screamfest before, you know what you’re getting with It Comes at Night. An A-plus cast (Joel Edgarton and Carmen Ejogo, here), claustrophobic thriller focused on a slowly crumbling family, and scares that will stay with you for a week. At least.
The Conjuring, really, is the haunted-house subgenre at its best—and it’ll surely be remembered by future horror-seekers as an all-timer. (As well as an early high point for the great director James Wan.) Hate to tell you this, but The Conjuring is based on a true story, too. If you like it, the original inspired a whole series of sequels. (One is being released this year, in fact.)
Florence Pugh is a must-watch in just about every role she takes on nowadays, but in a horror movie? After her tortured, weirder-than-hell turn in Midsommar, she’s quickly turning into one of the genre’s best players. Catch Pugh in Malevolent, which follows a group of scam artists who stage hauntings just so they can get paid to exorcise the fake ghosts. Then, they encounter the real deal.
Sure, Netflix’s Death Note didn’t quite reach the greatness of the anime it’s based on, which sees a kid inherit a book that gives him the ability to kill people. But the film adaptation stars Willem Dafoe as the towering, sniveling demon who haunts this boy. That’s worth the watch alone.
As Above, So Below
If you can stand to watch a found-footage horror movie in 2020, you could do a lot worse than As Above, So Below. It follows an archaeologist digging around for an artifact in the creepy Catacombs of Paris. And she… finds a little more than what she was looking for.
Sure, 2017’s Unfriended—a story of social-media-using-gone wrong told largely through webcam—is already massively outdated. Which is fun! Laugh at these teenagers and their pre-AirPodded plights.
In the Tall Grass
In The Tall Grass, the latest in the mill of Stephen King’s story-to-screen adaptations, is basically everyone’s pumpkin patch nightmare come to life—two siblings dive into the titular grass to find a lost boy, where shady business ensues.
Friends, countrymen, Sandlerites: Hubie Halloween was pretty damn good. There’s a piss joke in the first five minutes, several vomit-inducing images will be burned into your brain, and Steve Buscemi plays a werewolf. But still. Pretty damn good.
Would You Rather
As if the tween-party staple wasn’t horrifying enough, Would You Rather takes the game to an adult dinner party—with, yeah, life-or-death stakes.
Don’t let His House keep going under the radar. In what’s one of Netflix’s best horror originals, His House is as terrifying as it is smart—telling a refugee story through a South Sudanese couple that finds asylum in England.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a horror jam that slipped through the cracks amidst the prestige, Get Out and It Follows wave, but really should be up there with those movies. Produced by A24, it stars Emma Roberts as a student who finds herself in a Catholic schoolkid’s second-worst worst nightmare (demonic possession, second only to getting screamed at for an untucked shirt).
Scary Movie 5
The Scary Movie scary movies aren’t very scary. Nor are they very good. But there are five of them. And you must come to terms with that.
In reality, the parody series is probably a good inroad for whomever in your life wants to “be into horror movies” without actually experiencing a horror movie.
This horror satire from Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy is a mix of The Square and Eyes of Laura Mars, with Jake Gyllenhaal starring as an art critic who discovers that the mysterious paintings by an unknown artist have supernatural abilities—and take their revenge on anyone attempting to profit off of them.
Nothing is scarier than a pubescent boy coming of age and realizing he’s got a crush on his babysitter. Unless, said babysitter is in a demonic cult that sacrifices random dudes in your parents kitchen.
Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, and John Malkovich star in this dystopian thriller (and Netflix original film) about a woman who must travel blindfolded along with her children to safety as an unseen force stalks them on their journey.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Who needs Pennywise, when you have Jojo the Klownzilla, the monster space clown? If you truly, truly need a getaway movie, Killer Klowns from Outer Space might be one of your best options on Netflix. Best not to know too much about this one going into it, but rest assured, it’s one big mess of living balloon animals, popcorn-shooting guns, and blood-drinking extraterrestrial clowns.
This creepy slasher flick follows a deaf writer (Kate Siegel) who lives a solitary life in the woods. But her peaceful retreat is changed forever when a masked killer appears, and she must fight—in silence—for her life.
Inspired by a true story (just like the best horror movies always are), this acclaimed Spanish film follows the 15-year-old Veronica who conducts a séance with a Ouija board—already a tricky situation, one that’s heightened by the fact that she does it during a solar eclipse. Things, naturally, do not go well for her afterward.
Madeline Brewer plays an enterprising camgirl who discovers that she’s somehow been replicated in various videos that have been uploaded to her own website in this Internet-inspired horror thriller and Netflix original.
The Perfection is the age old tale of two world class cellists who go absolutely insane over their art. By the end, there are six lost limbs, hallucinations, three pant suits, and one of the wildest horror rides that Netflix originals has developed in its history.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Director Osgood Perkins (son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins) helms this mystery about a live-in nurse, Lily (Ruth Wilson), who moves into the remote New England mansion owned by her patient, an elderly horror novelist who suffers from dementia. Soon Lily starts to question if the unsettling things that are taking place in this house came straight from one of her patient’s books.
Never go in the woods. Ever. There’s just not a reason for it. In The Ritual, four friends head into the woods to honor their late friend, but the Norse legends within the forest aren’t as welcoming as they’d hoped. Essentially, nothing wrong with just… you know, getting a cake and honoring your friend that way.
Aaron, a videographer (played by director Patrick Brice), answers an ad to work for a mysterious guy named Josef (Mark Duplass), whose awkward and uncomfortable behavior immediately makes Aaron uneasy. But his erratic behavior only becomes more and more bizarre in this indie psychological thriller.
A gathering of friends at a swank Hollywood Hills mansion turns deadly in Karyn Kusama’s chilling and unsettling thriller, which sees a seemingly innocuous dinner party devolve into a cult-inspired killing spree.
One of Stephen King’s underrated novels thanks to its lack of supernatural fights, Gerald’s Game still packs a heavy psychological punch. A sexy tryst goes wrong when Gerald handcuffs his wife Jessie to a bed, only to immediately have a heart attack—leaving her imprisoned in both a remote cabin and her own delusional mind.
Under the Shadow
Set in the post-revolution era of 1980s Tehran, a mother must protect her daughter from a demonic possession in their home—all while a war rages on outside, leaving them fighting for safety from both manmade and supernatural evils.