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 October 2020.
Updated on October 2: 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.
The good news is we are here to replace those that disappear and replace them with new options so the list is always updated.
When you finish out picks, here are more recent additions to Netflix to check out: Elizabeth Harvest, What Keeps You Alive, We Summon the Darkness, Scary Movie 5, Fuego negro, 1BR, The Bridge Curse, Possession, Red Dragon, ParaNorman, and Unfriended.
It Comes at Night (2017)
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.
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, who is 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.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
In 1999, Tim Burton directed his version of the horror tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
This is the story of the Headless Horsemen and stars Johnny Depp as police constable Ichabod Crane, who is dispatched to a small Dutch hamlet that suffered through a series of murders by decapitation.
Christina Ricci also stars in the movie as Katrina, Ichabod’s love interest, and the heir to one of the town’s richest farmers. When Ichabod learns the killer is the demonic Headless Horsemen, he has to find a way to save Katrina.
The film was a great success, picking up three Oscar nominations and winning one of them for Best Art Direction.
House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)
Rob Zombie’s debut movie hit in 2003 with The House of 1,000 Corpses and is now available to stream on Netflix just in time for Halloween.
The film is the introduction to the Firefly Family, who later returned in the superior The Devil’s Rejects in 2005 and 3 From Hell in 2019.
In this first film, some teens are searching for offbeat roadside attractions and find Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and the Museum of Monsters & Madmen.
After meeting Captain Spaulding and discovering the legend of Dr. Satan, they find a hitchhiker named Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) and end up back at her house where they meet her family — The Fireflys.
Poltergeist is a movie directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and produced by Steven Spielberg, who also served as the screenwriter as well.
This is a haunted house ghost story and is one of the scariest movies on Netflix.
A family moves into a new home and finds it is haunted when the spirits target their young daughter. The family calls in exorcists (including the brilliant Zelda Rubinstein) to try to save their family.
The film ended up nominated for three Academy Awards.
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 fantastically scary 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.
In the Tall Grass (2019)
Joe Hill followed his father Stephen King’s footsteps and became a fantastic horror author in his own right.
In 2012, father and son worked together on a new novella, and that ended up being In the Tall Grass. The story felt a bit like Children of the Corn with a more supernatural twist.
A couple is traveling by car when they stop in an old town. When Cal hears a child yelling for help in the tall grass on the side of the road, he heads in to help. Becky, pregnant, follows him, and then they can’t find their way back out.
Netflix released this as an original horror movie in 2019 with iconic horror director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) as the director.
Bird Box (2018)
The most successful original horror movie that Netflix produced hit in 2018 with Bird Box.
Based on the novel by Josh Malerman, Sandra Bullock stars as a blindfolded woman named Malorie, who is trying to get two young children to safety in a world gone mad.
A mysterious creature is killing everyone on Earth by driving them to suicide when they see it.
The only survivors are the ones who protect themselves by never using their sight, but other survivors feel this is the will of God and that humanity deserves its fate.
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.
Thomas Jane stars in the Netflix horror adaptation 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.
Blumhouse has made an art out of creating low budget horror movies and making a fortune on them. They do it without skimping on quality, and Sinister is a perfect example.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, who went on to direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Sinister is a haunted house story with Ethan Hawke in the lead role.
Hawke is Ellison Oswalt, a true-crime author who moves his family into a home where a man killed his entire family — but he didn’t tell his family about the reasons. When he finds a mysterious film reel that shows the deaths, something in the house sets its sights on Ellison and his family.
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, with no one knowing where they are, things get scary.
Something is outside the cabin and knows that 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 once again.
As with most horror tales like this, the sights are not a present 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 then 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.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
In 1991, Jonathan Demme directed the Oscar-winning thriller horror movie The Silence of the Lambs and created an iconic franchise.
Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, this wasn’t the first time Hannibal Lecter arrived on the big screen (that was Manhunter in 1986), but it was the most successful.
Jodie Foster was an FBI agent hunting a serial killer. To see further into the mind of the killer, she is sent to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a cannibalistic serial killer who is also a brilliant forensic psychologist.
Two more movies arrived after The Silence of the Lambs, and a TV horror series called Hannibal is also available to stream on Netflix. Clarice Starling is also getting her own TV series soon.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Possibly the most iconic comedy-horror movie of all-time, The Evil Dead is available on Netflix for fans to watch.
This is the first movie in the series, so be warned that this is real independent filmmaking, with no money or care to use CGI. Instead, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell did everything with traditional effects and what resulted was truly magical.
The Evil Dead sees a group of friends go to a remote cabin in the woods, read out of a forbidden book known as the Necronomicon, and release demons known as Deadittes that kill and possess them one by one.
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