What are the best horror movies on Netflix?
When sitting down to find a movie on the streaming giant, there are so many great and not-so-great horror movies to choose from that sometimes it is hard to figure out which one to trust with your valuable time.
The good news is that there are plenty of great horror movies to choose from.
Whether you are looking for a scary slasher movie, a haunting ghost story, or something more realistic and terrifying, there is something here for everyone.
Here is a look at the best horror movies on Netflix as of this month.
Updated in January 2022: Every month, Netflix makes huge moves and deletes many films from its library, replacing them with more. This means some of our choices leave, with more great films coming in to take their place.
The good news is we are here to replace those that disappear and replace them with new options, so the list is always updated.
One of the best Christmas horror movies ever made arrived in 1984 with Joe Dante’s Gremlins.
The movie had a father bring home a special Christmas gift for his son – a unique animal known as a mogwai. There were some simple rules. Don’t get it wet, expose it to light, or feed it after midnight.
Exposing it to light would kill it, but the other rules were broken, which caused Gizmo to spawn more mogwais, which eventually turn into Gremlins – destructive little monsters who try to destroy everything in sight.
This is a unique Christmas movie that fans can watch anytime of the year and never fails to entertain.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of the most financially successful movies ever made was the 2007 indie horror movie, Paranormal Activity.
The first movie in this franchise was directed by Oren Peli and produced by Jason Blum, costing $15,000 and making $193 million worldwide. Since Paramount only paid $350,000 for the rights, it was the most profitable movie in history.
The movie was a ghost story, shot as a found footage movie where a camera in a home showed different scary events leading to the horrifying conclusion.
The movie spawned sequels and prequels, but remains the best of the franchise.
Francis Ford Coppola created his own movie in the world of the classic Universal Monster Dracula. This was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Gary Oldman playing the role of the vampire.
While the cast was questionable in some areas, especially with a miscast Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, the movie was a huge success.
Dracula brought a gothic atmosphere to the story and focused more on that than the actual horror. It ended up winning three Oscars, including one for Makeup and one for Costume Design.
It Follows (2014)
It Follows is a 2014 horror-thriller about a supernatural entity that stalks teens after sexual encounters.
The movie takes the old horror trope of teens dying after having sex and made the actual act of sex as the trigger device for this entity, which begins following the kids until it finally either kills them or they pass it on by having sex with someone else.
The movie was a success, making $23 million with just a budget of $1.3 million. It also has a fantastic 96% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Army of the Dead (2021)
Army of the Dead is Zack Snyder’s new horror movie as he leaves the superhero genre and moves back to the zombie genre.
Snyder gained his earliest acclaim with the remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and that horror movie proved to be a fantastic addition to the zombie genre.
In this new Netflix movie, Snyder has the zombie genre kept in one place, as all the zombies are in Las Vegas, surrounded by a wall keeping them contained.
However, when a team is put together (with Dave Bautista as the lead) to go in and steal money from a casino vault, they learn the zombies have developed intelligence and are ready for a fight.
Shutter Island (2010)
Martin Scorsese made a genre movie with Shutter Island, a horror-thriller that plays with the viewer’s expectations.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are two special agents sent to Shutter Island to investigate a disappearance at a mental asylum for the criminally insane.
As they investigate, things take a turn, and they believe something supernatural might be to blame.
With Scorsese at the helm, the movie is a masterclass, and everyone involved leads the audience on a twisting and turning masterpiece.
The Strangers Prey at Night (2018)
In 2008. The Strangers was a surprising addition to the home invasion movie, one of the best of its subgenre. It took 10 years, but a sequel came.
Unlike the original, which was a tense home invasion horror movie, the sequel, Prey at Night, was more stylized and went for the more retro look.
What resulted was an entertaining horror movie, another surprise entry for the franchise.
The three masked strangers are back and killing once again. While seen as a critical disappointment, horror movie critics delivered almost universal praise.
The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring hit Netflix in February 2021. The movie is based on paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real-life couple who investigated several cases throughout the years.
In the movie, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson played the Warren’s as the couple goes to a small farmhouse to investigate a possession.
They realize there are problems there, but the Catholic Church won’t authorize an exorcism unless they can prove it.
The movie had a sequel, also hitting Netflix in February 2021, and spin-off movies as well.
Apostle, released in 2018, has some powerhouse talent behind the movie.
First up is director Gareth Evans, best-known for one of the best action movies in modern movie history in The Raid (2011). He directs Dan Stevens, best known for Marvel’s Legion from FX, in this period horror film.
Stevens is a man who travels to a remote Welsh village in 1905 to rescue his sister from a mysterious cult. If this sounds a lot like the classic The Wicker Man, you are on the right start to understanding what this disturbing horror film is about.
Eli is a Netflix horror movie from 2019 about a young boy who suffers from severe allergies.
His allergies are so bad that he can’t go outdoors, so his mother takes him to a secluded medical facility to help cure him.
At first, it is a nice change since he can take off his bubble suit and actually physically embrace his parents. However, things take a turn for the worse when he begins to experience supernatural phenomena.
With the treatments extremely painful, Eli begins to suspect the facility is trying to hurt him and not cure him. The movie’s ending is twisted and dark, and it has one of the better horror finales on Netflix.
The Ritual (2018)
Released on Netflix in 2018, The Ritual was a film that took a familiar horror movie trope — a group of friends head out into the woods — and turned it into a terrifying horror film.
The movie starts with five friends planning a trip that never happened. When one of them dies, the other four head out together to finally fulfill the plans in honor of their friend.
However, things go wrong when they fall asleep in a cabin, and when they wake up, they realize they are lost, and a monster might be in the woods, tracking them.
Stephen King wrote the short novella 1922 in 2010 and included it in his short story collection Full Dark, No Stars.
As with many King horror tales, this story introduces a man who does the unthinkable and has to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.
In the Netflix horror adaptation, Thomas Jane stars as Wilf, a farmer who lives in Nebraska with his wife and teenage son. When his wife threatens to leave and take the boy with her, Wilf convinces his son to help him kill her, and they throw her into a well.
However, as in many King stories, the dead never remain gone for long.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Gerald’s Game is based on a Stephen King novel from 1992 about a husband and wife who go to a remote cabin for a vacation. When their sex games go wrong, the wife finds herself alone and hunted by something.
In 2017, Netflix released the original horror movie based on the novel with Carla Gugino as Jessie and Bruce Greenwood as her husband, Gerald. When Gerald ends up dead following a heart attack and Jessie is handcuffed to the bed, things get scary since no one knows where they are.
However, something is outside the cabin, and it knows Jessie is in there.
Before I Wake (2016)
Before I Wake is a Netflix original horror movie by Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep).
This film tells the story of a family who takes in a foster child after their son dies by drowning in the bathtub. However, soon Cody starts to see things and allows the couple to see their dead son again.
As with most horror tales like this, the sights are not gifts and come with an ominous and deadly threat to not only the child but the couple who took him in.
Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane lead the cast.
In 2016, Mike Flanagan was back with another Netflix original horror movie in Hush.
The idea here was simple and very, very scary. A woman lives in a remote cabin in the woods alone. When her friend is murdered as she leaves after visiting, the killer sets his sights on the woman in the cabin.
However, she is both deaf and can’t speak, and the killer decides to torture her in a deadly game of cat and mouse, one where she is not willing to go down without a fight.