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Best 15 horror movies on Netflix (May 2021)

Zombieland and Insidious
Zombieland and Insidious. Pic credit: Sony/FilmDistrict

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 May 2021.

Updated in May 2021: 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.

Zombieland (2009) 

Zombieland
The cast of Zombieland. Pic credit: Sony

Zombieland remains one of the best horror-comedy movies of all-time, especially in the zombie subgenre.

The movie stars Woody Harrelson and Jessie Eisenberg as survivors in the zombie apocalypse, who end up teaming with sisters played by Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone.

The four barely get along and it is their struggles to make it through the apocalypse without killing each other that makes this such a joy to watch.

Thee movie also contains arguably the best cameo in any horror comedy movie.

Insidious (2010)

Insidious
Patrick Wilson in Insidious. Pic credit: FilmDistrict

James Wan (Saw, Aquaman) directed the horror movie Insidious, based on a script by his Saw partner Leigh Whannell.

In the movie, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are a couple whose son falls into a coma. After three months, the couple realizes something might be haunting their house and tormenting their son.

They move, thinking that will fix the problem, but the haunting follows them and they realize it is their son who is possessed, so they call in a psychic to try to save his life.

Leprechaun (1993)

Leprechaun
The original Leprechaun movie is on Netflix. Pic credit: Trimark Pictures

Over the years, Leprechaun became a horror comedy series, but in the start, it was a straight slasher and that original 1993 movie is now on Netflix.

In this movie, Warwick Davis (the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars) plays the titular Leprechaun, a vengeful being who haunts a family he believes stole his ggold.

This movie was one of the first major roles for Jennifer Aniston, who was the Final Girl in this horror movie.

Jason X (2001)

Jason X (2001)
Jason Voorhees goes to space in Jason X. Pic credit: New Line

A joke is that every horror franchise eventually goes into space and that was true for Jason X.

What resulted was one of the most creative chapters in the Friday the 13th franchise.

This takes place in the future where Jason had been in ice for years. However, he is accidentally freed (David Cronenberg cameos in this scene) and stows away on a spacecraft.

He then starts to kill the people on the craft, eventually having an extremely fun battle with a cyborg. There is also a holodeck where Jason ends up at Camp Crystal Lake stimulation.

The movie is a ton of fun and offers one of the better chapters in the entire franchise.

The Conjuring (2013)

Image from The Conjuring movie.
The Conjuring. Pic credit: Netflix

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.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Pic credit: Paramount

Martin Scorsese directed a horror thriller in 2010 based on the novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River).

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo star as federal agents who head to a mental asylum for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of a patient.

However, the longer they are in the asylum, the more it seems someone is hiding something and things are not as they seem. The movie is a rare Scorsese effort, that plays strongly in the horror genre.

Apostle (2018)

Apostle horror movie on Netflix
Dan Stevens in Apostle. Pic credit: Netflix

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 (2019)

Eli
The cast of Eli. Pic credit: Netflix

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.

It Comes at Night (2017)

It Comes at Night
The horror movie It Comes at Night. Pic credit: A24

Released in 2017, A24 released the movie It Comes at Night, a movie about a ravenous disease that wipes out a lot of life on the planet.

The movie focuses on one family, Paul, his wife Sarah, and their teenage son Travis. They live in their cabin deep in the woods for safety.

When Sarah’s dad contracts the disease, they kill and burn his body. However, they are not safe because a stranger shows up the next day.

When the family ends up trusting this man, it marks the beginning of the end of them. This movie is one of the more disturbing movies on Netflix and is not a movie to watch if you want a happy ending.

Horns (2013)

Horns
Daniel Radcliffe in Horns. Pic credit: Dimension Films

Stephen King is known as the Master of Horror, but he has a son who has started to challenge his dad’s place at the top of the mountain.

Fans have started to see more from Joe Hill, including Locke & Key on Netflix and NOS4A2 on AMC.

The movie Horns, starring Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, is now streaming on Netflix as well.

The film stars Radcliffe as Ig, the prime suspect when his girlfriend is raped and murdered. After a memorial for his dead girlfriend, Ig wakes up with horns growing out of his head that forces anyone who talks to him to reveal their darkest secrets.

The Ritual (2018)

THE RITUAL
The cast of The Ritual. Pic credit: Netflix

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.

1922 (2017)

1922
Thomas Jane in 1922. Pic credit: @Netflix

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
Carla Gugino in Gerald’s Game. Pic credit: Netflix

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
The scary movie Before I Wake. Pic credit: Netflix

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.

Hush (2016)

Hush
Kate Siegel in Hush. Pic credit: Netflix

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.

Shawn S. Lealos


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