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Scariest movies on Netflix (August 2020)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Candyman and The Silence of the Lambs are among the scariest movies on Netflix. Pic credit: TriSTar/Orion

If you’re craving a scary movie, there’s no shortage of options on Netflix.

Netflix has made a ton of original horror movies, and some of them match up well with even theatrical movie releases.

On top of all the original horror movies, Netflix also has a vast catalog of horror flicks from other studios, including classics regarded as some of the best ever in the genre.

From slasher movies to award-winning classics, monster mashes to spooky ghost stories, Netflix has something for everyone.

Here is a look at the best scary movies on Netflix as of August 2020.

Updated on August 4: Every month, Netflix makes huge moves and deletes a lot of 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.

No titles from our list disappeared this month, but there were some new additions to Netflix this month to check out: Elizabeth Harvest, What Keeps You Alive, We Summon the Darkness, Scary Movie 5, Fuego negro, 1BR, and The Bridge Curse.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Pic credit: Orion

The Silence of the Lambs was the last true genre horror-thriller film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and is one of the scariest movies on Netflix.

The movie tells the story of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer and cannibal who the FBI uses to help profile serial killers.

The film, based on a novel by Thomas Harris, stars Anthony Hopkins as Lecter and Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, an agent looking for a killer named Buffalo Bill.

The movie picked up seven Oscar nominations, winning five of them.

1922 (2017)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Thomas Jane in 1922. Pic credit: @Netflix

Based on the Stephen King short story from the collection Full Dark, No Stars, 1922 is a Netflix original scary movie starring Thomas Jane.

Jane stars as Wilfred James, a farmer in Nebraska who lives with his wife and son Henry. When Wilf realizes that his wife plans to leave him and take Henry with her, he convinces his son to help him kill her so they can stay on their farm.

The two drop her body into a well and go on with their lives. As the father and son start to drift apart due to the trauma, Wilf begins to see strange things happening and realizes his wife might be coming back from the other side to seek revenge.

Session 9 (2001)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
David Caruso in Session 9. Pic credit: Universal

Session 9, a product of director Brad Anderson, hit theaters in 2001. The film is a ghost story that takes place in an abandoned asylum.

The cast includes David Caruso (CSI: Miami) in one of his few starring movie appearances. Caruso portrays a member of an asbestos removal team sent to clean up an abandoned psychiatric hospital.

While working in the hospital, the men started to hear and see strange things. They can’t tell if the strange occurrences are real or imagined, but when one of the men (Josh Lucas) starts to change, it becomes clear that something in the asylum is changing them.

Hush (2016)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Kate Siegel in Hush. Pic credit: Netflix

In 2016, Netflix released the original horror movie Hush, directed by Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep).

The film stars Kate Siegel, who co-wrote the film, as a deaf woman named Maddie who hasn’t been able to hear or speak since she was 13.

A man shows up at Maddie’s home in the woods, kills her close friend, and then starts to stalk and torment Maddie.

The entire movie then plays out as a game of cat and mouse as Maddie tries to fight back against the man as he stalks her.

In the Tall Grass (2019)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
The cast of In the Tall Grass. Pic credit: Netflix

In 2019, Vincenzo Natali (Cube) directed In the Tall Grass, a scary movie about a couple lost in the weeds on the side of the road who realize that they are not alone.

The story is based on a novella by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill (Locke & Key) and stars Patrick Wilson, Harrison Gilbertson, and Laysla De Oliveira.

The film follows a couple stranded along the side of the road. When they head into the weeds to find help, they end up coming across another couple, and none of them can find their way back.

Candyman (1992)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Tony Todd in Candyman. Pic credit: TriStar Pictures

One of the most iconic scary movies of the ’90s is Candyman.

Tony Todd stars as the horrific monster Candyman, a demonic spirit that shows up when someone says his name five times in a mirror.

Based on the story by Clive Barker, the plot revolves around the son of a slave, an artist who fell in love with a plantation owner’s daughter. As a result, he was murdered, and his spirit seeks vengeance a decade later.

Bird Box (2018)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Sandra Bullock in Bird Box. Pic credit: Netflix

One of the most successful original Netflix scary movies is Bird Box, which hit in 2018.

Based on the novel by Josh Malerman, Bird Box stars Sandra Bullock as Malorie, a woman who shows up with two children, all wearing blindfolds and running from something.

The horror here is a creature that can kill anyone who sees it. While the woman and children are trying to stay alive with their blindfolds on, they also have evil people who feel the human race is getting what it deserves threatening their lives .

Sinister (2012)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Ethan Hawke in Sinister. Pic credit: Blumhouse

Blumhouse has become the go-to when it comes to lower budget horror movies that make a monster box office take.

In 2012, the company created Sinister, which stars Ethan Hawke as a true-crime writer who moves his family into a house that saw its previous tenants killed.

As he starts to explore the house, he realizes that there are evil spirits in the house that might have led to the previous murders and be putting his family in danger.

The movie picked up a sequel three years later.

Insidious (2010)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Ty Simpkins from Insidious. Pic credit: Blumhouse

Another successful horror movie from Blumhouse available on Netflix is Insidious.

James Wan (Saw) directed Insidious in 2010. The movie is about a family who realizes that their son is tormented by something before he slips into a coma. 

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as the parents who flee from their home, believing that the house is haunted.

However, when the evil spirits follow, they realize it might be their son who is possessed and call in exorcists to help save their son. Barbara Hershey stars as Lorraine Lambert, the exorcist.

This film spawned one sequel and two prequels.

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Carla Gugino in Gerald’s Game. Pic credit: Netflix

Yet another Stephen King scary movie on Netflix is Gerald’s Game.

Unlike the other two on this list, this was one based on one of King’s full-length novels.

Mike Flanagan, who also directed Hush, helmed this movie, which starred Carla Gugino as a wife who takes a vacation to a remote cabin with her husband (Bruce Greenwood).

When a sex game goes wrong and her husband winds up dead, she realizes she is handcuffed to the bed with no way out and then hears something outside- something hungry that might be coming for her.

Child’s Play (1988)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
Chucky in Child’s Play. Pic credit: MGM

One of the most iconic horror monsters is Chucky, and the scary movie that introduced the world to him is available on Netflix.

The original Child’s Play, from director Tom Holland, is available to stream on Netflix.

In the movie, a mother gives her son a gift he has always wanted, a doll based on a cartoon character her son loves. However, what she doesn’t know is that a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray has used voodoo to transfer his spirit into the doll after he dies.

He then sets out for revenge, putting the mother and son’s lives in danger.

Before I Wake (2016)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
The scary movie Before I Wake. Pic credit: Netflix

Before I Wake, released in 2016, is another Mike Flanagan movie. It’s the third from the director on this list.

The film is a dark fantasy that stars Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane as a husband and wife who take in a foster child.

Their birth son drowned and died in the bathtub, and soon they learn that their new foster child believes in a creature haunting him called the Canker Man.

It soon turns out that the boy can control the monster, but it threatens to overwhelm him and destroy everything around him.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
A Deaditte in The Evil Dead. Pic credit: New Line Cinema

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell made the horror movie The Evil Dead in 1981, and it has become one of the most beloved cult classics in cinema history.

Campbell stars as Ash Williams, a student who goes to a cabin in the woods for a vacation with his friends. While there, they discover a book called the Necronomicon.

When the friends read from the book, it raises a demonic army known as Deadittes, and the friends start to die one by one, with Ash left as the sole survivor.

The Evil Dead was a low budget horror film with practical effects created by Raimi, but it is a masterclass in indie filmmaking.

Train to Busan (2016)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
The cast of Train to Busan. Pic credit: Next Entertainment World

Released in 2016, the South Korean horror movie Train to Busan revitalized the tired zombie genre.

The film is a family drama about a father who is trying to save his daughter’s life as the zombie outbreak begins.

The work-obsessed father learns that his daughter would rather spend more time with her mom, so as he takes her to the train to leave, the breakout happens, and the two board the train and fight to stay alive.

The Ritual (2017)

Scariest movies on Netflix (July 2020)
The cast of The Ritual. Pic credit: Netflix

One of the most underrated and underappreciated horror movies of 2017 was The Ritual.

The film has the same setup as every woodsy horror movie. It starts as a drama movie, but quickly turns to horror.

The Ritual follows four university friends heading into the woods for a hiking trip in Sweden in memory of a friend who died in a robbery.

However, when they get into the forest, they start to see and hear things and suddenly realize that something might be following them. When they end up lost, they begin to realize that something is hunting them.

This scary Netflix movie was made in the United Kingdom.

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