The horror genre is among the most successful, with millions of loyal fans around the world faithfully supporting it. Luckily for them, there’s always something to satiate that hunger for thrills, whether in the movie theaters or at home in streaming. And few streamers have a better collection of horror movies than Netflix. Its extensive library is home to pretty much every kind of film genre, from grueling dramas to riotous comedies and terrifying horror stories that’ll creep under your skin.
Indeed, Netflix’s library of horror films is a hellishly delightful curation that we wholeheartedly recommend. That collection is always changing, with new movies coming and going each month. So grab a blanket and brace yourself for an evening of screams and good, old-fashioned scares.
If you’re not up for the challenge of sifting through rows of terrifying titles, we’ve already done the hard work for you. Here’s our roundup of the best horror movies on Netflix right now.
Academy Award winner Natalie Portman stars in Alex Garland’s horror sci-fi movie Annihilation. The plot follows a group of scientists entering “The Shimmer,” a mysterious quarantined zone full of mutated plants and animals caused by an alien presence. Guided by Garland’s unflinching hand on the director’s chair and anchored by Portman’s daring performance, Annihilation is a deeply unsettling and cerebral sci-fi and a nearly unbearable exercise in tension.
Slowly but surely, Jaeden Martell has become a modern scream king through his consistent contributions to the horror genre. John Lee Hancock’s Mr. Harrigan‘s Phone sees him playing Craig, a young man who discovers he can communicate with his recently-deceased friend through an iPhone. Aided by a creepy and scene-stealing Donald Sutherland, Martell makes the best out of the intriguing premise, elevating Mr. Harrigan’s Phone past other similar techno-horror movies. The film might not be based on one of Stephen King’s best-known stories, but it is among the best adaptations of the prolific author’s work.
David F. Sanberg’s 2016 supernatural horror film Lights Out stars Teresa Palmer and the ever-underrated Maria Bello. Based on Sandberg’s 2013 short, the film follows Rebecca, a young woman who must protect her younger brother from a vengeful supernatural entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother. Unsettling and offering a well-deserved showcase for Palmer and Bello, Lights Out is a superior supernatural nightmare with a compelling story that never forgets about the chills and thrills that audiences love.
Bonafied modern scream queen Samara Weaving stars as the titular character in McG’s 2017 slasher comedy The Babysitter. The plot follows a lonely 12-year-old boy Lewis, who discovers his beautiful and mysterious babysitter, Bee, is the leader of a satanic cult and wants to kill him. Benefitting from Weaving’s deliciously wicked performance and a plot that excels at if not necessarily reinvents the slasher formula, The Babysitter is an entertaining blend of horror and comedy for fans of both genres.
Paranormal Activity revolutionized the horror genre in 2007. Presented in found-footage form, the film follows a couple haunted by a paranormal presence in their home. Made independently at a ridiculously low cost, Paranormal Activity was a smashing success and launched a cinematic franchise. The film expertly utilizes its simple, yet chilling setting to deliver an unnerving and anxiety-inducing experience that will keep audiences turning around to make sure there’s no one — or nothing — behind them.
Two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars in Gore Verbinski’s 2002 horror film The Ring. Based on the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, the film follows Rachel Keller, a journalist who stumbles upon a cursed video that kills whoever watches it in seven days. Racing against time, she must find a way to avoid the video’s wrath. Benefiting from Watts’ committed performance, as well as one of cinema’s most haunting and terrifying sequences, The Ring is one of modern horror’s most effective efforts.
A sequel to John Carpenter’s iconic 1982 sci-fi, The Thing stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, and Eric Christian Olsen. The plot follows a scientific crew in a Norwegian research station who discover a parasitic alien buried in the ice. Realizing too late that it’s still alive, the crew tries to protect themselves against the unpredictable and dangerous alien. While it fails to live up to the original, The Thing is an effective and well-crafted film that provides enough thrills to make it worth the audience’s time.
Academy Award winner Helen Hunt stars in the 2019 horror thriller I See You. The plot centers on a small-town detective who uncovers a violent presence in his home as he investigates the disappearance of a 10-year-old boy. With an eerie atmosphere, a surprising twist, and a committed cast, I See You is a chilling thriller that will keep audiences on edge.
Umma stars television icon Sandra Oh alongside Fivel Stewart and Dermot Mulroney. The plot centers on a single mother leading a quiet and uneventful life with her homeschooled daughter on a secluded American farm. Things get complicated when her mother’s cremated remains arrive from Korea, and she soon finds herself dealing with a vicious supernatural presence.
The underrated Carla Gugino stars opposite Bruce Greenwood in Mike Flanagan’s 2017 psychological horror film Gerald’s Game. Adapted from Stephen King‘s 1992 novel, the film follows a married couple at a secluded getaway home. Looking to rekindle their strained relationship, the man handcuffs the woman to the bed; however, he suddenly dies of a heart attack, leaving his wife in a dire situation. With little hope of escaping and a series of demons haunting her mind, the woman must do everything in her power to survive.
A prequel to the 2014 film Ouija, Ouija: Origin of Evil follows a woman and her two daughters who conduct a fraudulent seance business. Looking to improve their act, the woman introduces a Ouija board into her sessions, unknowingly summoning a vengeful spirit looking to possess her youngest daughter. Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel, and Henry Thomas star, with Mike Flanagan directing.
Rob Zombie may have made quite the name for himself with his traditional backwoods horror fare, including films like 31 and House of 1,000 Corpses. But in a refreshing change of pace, the maestro of terror takes his genre chops into a more family-friendly kind of playing field with his cinematic reimagining of The Munsters. Starring Jeff Daniel Philips, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Daniel Roebuck as Herman, Lily, and Grandpa Munster, respectively, our story follows Lily and Herman’s ghoulish wooing of one another, serving as a fun-filled prequel to the mid-1960s TV series that we know and love.
When will the world learn that using ouija boards is a surefire way to get yourself mixed up with supernatural forces that won’t leave, even when you ask them nicely? In director Paco Plaza’s Veronica, the latest victim of the ghoulish phenomena turns out to be the film’s titular character, a 15-year-old girl who begins experiencing paranormal events after going a round with the infamous ouija. Veronica is an unsettling film for sure, effectively relying on tone and atmosphere more than one would expect in crafting what could have been just another possession film.
Here’s a solid blast of found-footage madness for you and yours to enjoy. Incantation is co-written and directed by Kevin Ko and stars Tsai Hsuan-yen as Li Ronan, a desperate mother who is suffering the consequences of accidental desecration. Years before, Li violated a sacred Chen ritual, leading her newborn daughter to be cursed by an ancient deity. With time running out, Li must now do everything in her power to lift the hex from her child before the deity consumes the innocent girl. While the narrative veers off course here and there, as a whole, Incantation is a mostly cohesive and kinetic bit of shaky-camera scariness that we bet most viewers will thoroughly enjoy.
Elisa (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) isn’t having the greatest days of late. On her way to Calabria with folks she’s never met before (her travels are arranged through a rideshare app), the RV ends up getting wrecked and one of the passengers injured. What’s more peculiar is that when Elisa awakens the next morning, she discovers that she and her fellow travelers are stranded in the woods. Soon after, the members of a mysterious cult descend on the wayward companions, forcing everyone to fight for their lives.
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