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5 horror movies on Netflix that are perfect to watch in the summer

A possessed girl grabs a man in Ouija: Origin of Evil.
Universal Pictures / Universal

Netflix has no shortage of content from which to choose, but when the summer months wind down, you might be looking for something a bit scarier. Maybe you’re watching on a projection screen outside on the back deck at night or enjoying a beer or cold sweet tea in your living room to beat the heat after a full day of activities.

Whatever the situation, you might not initially think of horror movies as being the types of films you want to watch in summer. But from teenage sleepovers to ladies’ nights in, an all-guys weekend at the cottage, or even watching from an RV while you travel on a road trip, horror movies can be just the thing to watch on those dark summer nights.

Run Rabbit Run (2023)

A girl wearing a rabbit mask stands in Run Rabbit Run.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Succession’s Sarah Snook stars in this Australian psychological horror movie about a divorced fertility doctor who finds her seven-year-old daughter Mia (Lily Latorre) acting strangely after discovering a new pet rabbit. When Sarah (Snook) gets bitten by the rabbit, she, too, begins to experience strange occurrences, including intense nightmares.

The story takes twists and turns as Sarah discovers a puzzling link between Mia and her estranged grandmother Joan (Greta Scacchi), who is living in a home with dementia. While Run Rabbit Run has been criticized for its use of “stale horror tropes,” the movie is a worthwhile watch if you like a moody, disturbing movie that is similar to modern classics like The Babadook.

Stream Run Rabbit Run on Netflix.

U-Turn (2020)

A family looks concerned in U-Turn.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What better time to watch a horror movie about terrifying things happening on the road than when you are likely to be taking a road trip or two? Hailing from the Philippines, this remake of a movie of the same name from India combines the best of classic horror movies with typical Japanese horror movie styling. That means you can expect ghosts, superstitions, and jump scares in U-Turn.

It’s about a young reporter named Donna (Kim Chiu) who decides to investigate a series of suicides, hoping that a break in the case will help her produce content that goes viral, and improve her social and professional standing. But as she follows the clues, Donna finds herself on a stretch of road that is very likely cursed. U-Turn will make you think twice about taking those back roads to the campsite.

Stream U-Turn on Netflix. 

Bird Box Barcelona (2023)

A blindfolded family walks in a street in Bird Box Barcelona.

This new prequel to 2018’s Bird Box will be a gripping watch for those who saw the first movie. The original, based on the Josh Malerman novel of the same name, starred Sandra Bullock as a woman navigating a post-apocalyptic world blindfolded. The reason she needs to cover her eyes is to prevent entities from forcing her to commit suicide: it’s impossible not to once you look at them). Bird Box Barcelona features a similar story, this time based in Spain. The lead is a father (Mario Casas) traveling with his daughter Sofia (Naila Schuberth) through the same wasteland. Together, they meet others, all of whom are trying to survive and figure out how to rid the world of these deadly entities, and all navigating blind.

If you haven’t yet watched Bird Box, it’s worth a watch first before diving into this movie, which is delivered in both Spanish and English. But you can enjoy Bird Box Barcelona on its own, too.

Stream Bird Box Barcelona on Netflix. 

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2014)

Ouija: Origin of Evil - Official Trailer (HD)

Horror sequels have a spotty track record; more often than not, they are vastly inferior to the original. Just take a look at A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, The Ring 2, or Psycho II. Better yet, don’t. Horror prequels have it even worse; there’s just no way Prometheus measures up to Alien or Exorcist: The Beginning holds a candle to The Exorcist.

That’s what makes Ouija: Origin of Evil all the more impressive. A prequel to the 2014 film Ouija, Origin of Evil chronicles a woman and her two daughters who conduct a fraudulent séance business. Looking to improve their act, the woman introduces a Ouija board into her sessions, which summons a vengeful spirit looking to possess her youngest daughter.

The movie may be PG-13, but the movie’s scares stem not from its excessive gore but from its chilling atmosphere and creepy visuals. The movie was directed by modern horror maestro Mike Flanagan, who has since gifted us with the equally unsettling Netflix original shows The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, and The Midnight Club.

Stream Ouija: Origin of Evil on Netflix.

Creep (2014)

A man stands in shadow in 2014's Creep.
The Orchard

There’s nothing creepier than a strange, reclusive man in a cabin in the woods. Mark Duplass, who also co-wrote and co-produced the story for the indie found footage psychological horror movie Creep, tackles the role of the twisted recluse Josef/Bill. He asks a videographer named Aaron (Patrick Brice) to come to his cabin and record a video diary. Josef claims to have a brain tumor with only months to live, and he wants to leave something behind for his unborn child.

Struggling to make something of his career, Aaron accepts the gig and heads out to the remote cabin in the woods to film. He is quickly made privy to harrowing truths and the panic sets in as Aaron tries desperately to escape, then must deal with the horrors that follow. A perfect watch for solid scares, especially while staying in a cabin of your own (you’ll be sleeping with the lights on), Creep is one of the most underrated horror movies on Netflix.

Stream Creep on Netflix. 

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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