The best horror movies on Netflix right now

Are you dying for a good scare? If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ll be glad to know that the streaming platform of streaming platforms is home to many of today’s most popular horror films, along with a fine curation of classic gems to give you chills all weekend. There are hundreds of genre titles to choose from, so to prevent you from mindlessly scrolling, we’ve put together this roundup to highlight all of the best horror movies you can watch on Netflix right now.

Looking to get your scares elsewhere? We’ve curated guides to the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best horror movies on Hulu.

Recently added to Netflix

Till Death (2021) new

Till Death
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Aml Ameen
Directed by SK Dale
r 89m
Nothing says “travesty” like waking up chained to a dead man. In S.K. Dale’s tantalizing genre pic Till Death, Megan Fox stars as Emma, the wife of a prominent New York attorney. When a retreat to the couple’s isolated cabin goes haywire, Emma is left stranded in the woodlands as a band of hired killers descend on the terrorized woman. In order to stay alive, Emma will have to think fast to evade the wicked fate that, beyond her knowledge, was already awaiting her. Till Death does more than its fair share to shine as an imaginative horror-thriller, combining plenty of tight action sequences and dedicated performances to deliver a top-shelf film.

Coming Home in the Dark (2021) new

Coming Home in the Dark
Genre Thriller, Horror
Stars Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell
Directed by James Ashcroft
r 93m
From first-time writer-director James Ashcroft comes Coming Home in the Dark. When Alan, his wife, and two stepsons opt for a coastline retreat, their weekend of paradise becomes a masterful nightmare when two men known as Mandrake (Daniel Gillies) and Tubs (Matthias Luafutu) crash their little vacation. A seemingly innocuous encounter with the drifters soon turns malevolent, especially as the family realizes that this chance encounter may have been in the works for over two decades. A powerful debut with standout performances, particularly from Gillies, Coming Home in the Dark is sure to make us all think twice about hitting the beaches.

Don't Listen (2020) new

Don't Listen
Genre Drama, Horror, Thriller
Stars Rodolfo Sancho, Ramón Barea, Nerea Barros
Directed by Ángel Gómez Hernández
r 98m
Don’t Listen stars Rodolfo Sancho as Daniel, a husband and father that is moving into a new home with his family. In the wake of an unforeseen tragedy, a grieving Daniel begins to experience paranormal events in his new home. Seeking out a paranormal expert to get to the root of the supernatural occurrences, what Daniel will discover will change his life forever. A creepy and foreboding haunted house chiller, Don’t Listen will have listening for every creak in your home a little extra carefully.

The 8th Night (2021) new

The 8th Night
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Stars Lee Sung-min, Nam Da-reum, Park Hae-jun
Directed by Kim Tae-hyoung
pg-13 115m
Nothing says “tantalizing fear” like the laid-on-thick stylings of a Korean horror film, and director Tae-Hyung Kim’s The 8th Night is no exception to this frightful formula. Following a once-exorcist-turned-monk named Park Jin-soo, the man is called upon by the Buddhist faith to do battle against a horrific ancient-evil — a centuries-old demon that is possessing humans and wreaking havoc. Filled with unusual shocks and beholden to an ultra-haunting atmosphere, The 8th Night is a spine-tingler for sure and a film you don’t want to miss.

Ghostland (2018)

Genre Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Crystal Reed, Mylène Farmer, Anastasia Phillips
Directed by Pascal Laugier
r 91m
Ghostland (also known as Incident in a Ghostland) plays by its own rules. An amalgamation of slasher, camp, and “grindhouse” brutality, our story follows a mother and her two teenage daughters on their way to a secluded estate they’ve inherited from the mom’s aunt (sound familiar?). Little does the family know they’re being stalked. Arriving at the house, the women are attacked and held captive by a pair of psychopaths. Events transpire, and many years pass. And even though there are more survivors than victims, the trauma from the inciting incident still holds strong over the sisters — or so it seems. Ghostland is on a path of misdirection from the moment the film begins, so be prepared to pay close attention. 

Nightbooks (2021)

Genre Fantasy, Family
Stars Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, Krysten Ritter
Directed by David Yarovesky
pg 103m
Based on the horror-fantasy children’s book of the same name by J.A. White, Nightbooks stars Winslow Fegley as Alex, a creative kid with a penchant for coming up with scary stories. When captured by a witch (Krysten Ritter), the malevolent woman demands that Alex tell her a new spooky tale every night in order to stay alive. Can Alex’s ambitious ideas keep him from being destroyed? Nightbooks leans more toward a younger audience, and that’s OK in our book. After all, horror movies should be for everyone (well, not all horror movies). Delivering a dread-laced tone and immersive performances from the main cast, Nightbooks is a great horror flick for the whole family to take in.

Identity (2003)

Genre Mystery, Thriller
Stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet
Directed by James Mangold
r 90m
It’s a dark and stormy night in the outskirts of Nevada, the perfect evening for a group of strangers to get stranded. Due to flooded roads, the travelers are all forced to take up residence for the evening at a seedy motel. As the night wears on, a murderer amongst them starts picking off the denizens one by one. These sequences of murder and mystery are juxtaposed against the trial of one Malcolm Rivers, a killer awaiting trial for a series of murders he carried out in an apartment building. There’s plenty to keep you glued to the pervading whodunnit horrors of Identity, but the big twist is one you’ll carry with you for weeks. 

Dark Skies (2013)

Dark Skies
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror
Stars Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo
Directed by Scott Stewart
pg-13 97m
The Barrett family is your typical suburban family, living life to make ends meet. When a series of bizarre events begin transpiring around the homestead (alarms sounding, kitchen items rearranged with no explanation), it becomes apparent that there are malevolent forces at play. When it’s believed that the invaders may be extraterrestrial in nature, the Barretts seek advice from alien experts and begin arming their house for a potential showdown. An homage to the heyday of Steven Spielberg, Dark Skies doesn’t seek to reinvent the genre, but dishes up plenty of sci-fi shocks to keep us watching. 

Raw (2016)

Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery
Stars Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Directed by Julia Ducournau
r 99m
Justine (Garance Marillier) is entering her first year of veterinary school. A devoted vegetarian for years, a hazing ritual involving animal entrails introduces Justine to a newfound taste for meat. Struggling to contend with her new appetite, a hunger for meat soon evolves into a sinister longing for human flesh. Writer-director Julia Ducournau’s feature debut is a brutally bold vision of the coming-of-age genre, albeit flipped on its head and splattered with blood.

What Lies Below (2020)

What Lies Below
Genre Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Mena Suvari, Ema Horvath, Trey Tucker
Directed by Braden R. Duemmler
Welcoming a parent’s new romantic partner is never an easy feat — especially when there’s something rather otherworldly about the new lover. In director Brandon R. Duemmler’s What Lies Below, Libby (Ema Horvath) is introduced to her mother’s new boyfriend, John (Trey Tucker). Though he’s an endearing man on the surface, Libby begins to sense there’s something very off about mom’s new squeeze — predictions that prove to be all too true. A blast of genre-camp, What Lies Below owes its narrative and performances to a number of sci-fi mashups that came before it. That being said, Duemmler’s unique vision is strong enough to raise this aquatic terror-flick to the top of the Netflix-original-horror trove.

Malevolent (2018)

Genre Horror
Directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
Cast Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Celia Imrie
Perusing the annals of the top streaming platforms, there’s a number of documentaries that chronicle the rise and fall of major startups — scam-artists that finally pay their penance. Such a premise is at play in the 2018 Netflix original, Malevolent. Starring Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Black Widow) and Ben Lloyd-Hughes as a fraudulent paranormal-investigation duo, the brother-sister team is called to a supposedly haunted estate to carry out their con-artist workflow — a job that takes a wicked turn when the decrepit homestead has plans of its own. A chilling haunted-house flick that doesn’t break the mold but lives comfortably in the confines of the tropes that laid its foundation, Malevolent is a fun plunge into a world of creepy whispers, slamming doors, and disturbed psyches turning on our main characters.

Oxygen (2021)

Genre Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror
Directed by Alexandre Aja
Cast Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric, Malik Zidi
The director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Horns, and Crawl, Alexandra Aja takes a deep plunge into the popular crossover world of horror-meets-sci-fi with 2021’s Oxygen. The film stars Mélanie Laurent as Elizabeth Hansen, a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic pod with depleting oxygen levels, with no clue about how she got there. As the air pours out of her cell, Liz must fight to reclaim any semblance of who she is and why she’s been in a cryo-induced slumber. While the narrative may not be entirely fresh, you’ll want to watch Oxygen for the breathtaking lead performance from Mélanie Laurent, an actor who brings mighty chops to a role that a run-of-the-mill talent could easily phone in.

Fear Street: 1994 (2021)

Fear Street: 1994
Genre Horror, Mystery
Stars Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr.
Directed by Leigh Janiak
r 107m
Based on the R.L. Stine book series of the same name, the Netflix adaptation encompasses three films, kicking off with Part One: 1994. Our story follows Deena Johnson (Kiana Madeira) of Shadyside, a community plagued by a history of horrific murders. Many locals believe this to be the result of a hex from an ancient witch named Sarah Fier, but Deena doesn’t buy into the mythos. That is until several of Shadyside’s most wicked begin enacting savage acts upon the small town, thrusting Deena and her friends into an all-out fight for survival. An effective slasher and faithful homage to its source material, you can enjoy all three legs of the Fear Street chronology on Netflix.

What Keeps You Alive (2018)

What Keeps You Alive
Genre Thriller, Horror
Stars Hannah Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha MacIsaac
Directed by Colin Minihan
r 99m
Written and directed by Colin Minihan, What Keeps You Alive follows Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Jules (Brittany Allen), a married couple retreating to a remote cabin to celebrate their first anniversary. While initially idyllic, their happy pilgrimage quickly devolves into a foreboding journey as Jackie soon gives way to a darker side of her personality — shades of her spouse that Jules was completely unaware existed. An unnerving film from start to finish, What Keeps You Alive treads some familiar ground but does so with an incredible acting duo at its helm.

Ravenous (1999)

Genre Horror, Western, Comedy, History
Directed by Antonia Bird
Cast Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette
Zombie films are a dime-a-dozen, but don’t let that steer you from Robin Aubert’s off-the-beaten-path take on a genre that has most of us rolling our eyes at this point. Focusing on a band of post-apocalyptic survivors in rural Quebec, Ravenous plants us right in the middle of the quiet carnage. As the straddlers lay out plans to escape their besieged hamlet, hordes of the living dead stand between them and any hope of escape. Favoring an indie aesthetic over a cookie-cutter undead splatter-fest, Ravenous may not land with everyone, but its fresh approach to a tried-and-true sub-genre is a mighty effort to behold.

Unfriended (2015)

Genre Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Shelley Hennig, Heather Sossaman, Renee Olstead
Directed by Levan Gabriadze
r 82m
Blaire (Shelley Hennig) and her close friends are having a Skype chat when an unknown user joins their conversation, known only as “billie227.” The friends attempt to remove the unknown participant from their chatroom, only to discover that the username belongs to Laura Barns, Blaire’s best friend who committed suicide after a humiliating video of her went viral and is now a spirit seeking revenge against all those who defiled her. Blaire and her friends are forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as the afterlife-incarnate of Laura enacts her wretched plan. It may sound cheesy on the surface, but Unfriended is a horror film that works in more ways than one, with a surprising amount of tension emitting from the tiny confines of the teens’ Skype windows.

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2
Genre Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe
Directed by James Wan
r 134m
Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), a husband-wife paranormal investigation team, are calling it quits after Lorraine receives a harrowing vision of her spouse’s death during a visit to the infamous Amityville house. One year later, the Hodgson family of London begins to experience a host of paranormal events after Janet (Madison Wolfe) plays with a Ouija board. As the home’s occurrences grow more sinister, media coverage of the haunting reaches the Warrens, who decide to travel to London to assist the troubled family. But the Hodgson investigation could be their last. In this full-bodied sequel to The Conjuring, James Wan doesn’t back down from his directorial chops in any way, delivering a follow-up just as rich as the original.

Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Things Heard & Seen
Genre Horror, Mystery, Drama, Thriller
Directed by Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Cast Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Natalia Dyer
After relocating to the Hudson Valley from Manhattan, the Clare family takes up residence in an antique farmhouse. Enamored by his new teaching position (the reason for the family’s move), George Clare (James Norton) all but abandons his wife and daughter and begins a lusty affair with one of his students. Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) spends her days at their new home, feeling isolated and increasingly haunted by a presence roaming throughout. As a host of otherworldly apparitions and artifacts begin making themselves known to Catherine, George’s own skeletons begin creeping up on him and his family. A movie less about ghosts than the disintegration of one American household, Things Heard & Seen presents an atmospheric home and the helpless victims doomed to walk its halls forever.

We Summon the Darkness (2020)

We Summon the Darkness
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth
Directed by Marc Meyers
r 91m
On their way to a heavy metal show, Alexis Butler (Alexandra Daddario) and her friends Val (Maddie Hasson) and Bev (Amy Forsyth) are harassed by a gang of mischievous boys. After a series of pranks, both parties become amicable, with the girls even suggesting that the pack of rascals follow them to an abandoned mansion. Well, in true horror fashion, things quickly go awry when it’s revealed that the girls are actually part of a Satanic cult known as the Daughters of the Dawn, and they’re looking for fresh sacrifices. An homage to ’80s slashers and cult films, We Summon the Darkness throws a number of genre tropes at the wall, with most sticking.

Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead
Genre Action, Adventure, Horror, Crime
Stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick
Directed by Zack Snyder
r 148m
Zack Synder’s Army of the Dead finds the DC Comics auteur back in his horror stomping grounds (Synder’s breakout hit was 2004’s Dawn of the Dead remake). Set in a zombie-ravaged present day, the film follows Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), an ex-pat living on the fringes of a desolate Las Vegas. When handed the opportunity of a lifetime by casino magnate Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) — break into the quarantine zone to make off with a large surplus of cash before the city is nuked — the anti-hero assembles a wrecking team of hardened warriors and experts to carry out the heist with. A massively staged amalgamation of action and horror, the carnage is abundant and the story is rich for Synder’s return to the world of the undead.

#Alive (2020)

Genre Action, Drama, Horror
Directed by II Cho
Cast Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-hye
When hordes of the undead have taken over, sometimes the only thing left to do is hole up and pray for better days. In #Alive, Yoo Ah-in stars as Oh Joon-woo, a stranded survivor of a zombie overtaking. Sanctioned off in his apartment and cut off from any kind of communication, all hope seems lost when Joon-woo discovers his family is gone. That is until a red dot from a laser pointer lands in his apartment. With the promise of another survivor nearby, Joon-woo picks himself up and attempts to find a way out of his hell-infested residence. Fast-paced, packed with gore, and gripping performances, #Alive unearths terrors in big and surprising ways through its hour-plus runtime.

The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

The Clovehitch Killer
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Drama, Horror
Stars Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Samantha Mathis
Directed by Duncan Skiles
pg-13 109m
For 16-year-old Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer), life is all about finding a sense of belonging as a high school student in a town plagued by horrific memories of a relentless killer. Referred to as “The Clovehitch Killer,” the slasher murdered 10 women before disappearing without a trace. That is until Tyler discovers a series of photographs in his father’s possession that suggest the patriarch and The Clovehitch Killer may be one and the same. Featuring a haunting lead performance from Dylan McDermott as the father in question, The Clovehitch Killer takes a patient approach to its scares, weaving a portrait of unsettling scenes that slowly bleed into one another.

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak
Genre Horror, Thriller, Romance, Mystery
Stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
r 119m
Edith (Mia Wasikowska), the American heiress to a mighty family fortune, agrees to marry the elusive but charming Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Whipped away to England, the bride spends her days roaming the ruinous halls of Allerdale Hall, her lofty husband’s decaying residence. After a series of horrific apparitions make themselves known to Edith, the young woman learns that her dashing groom may have a closet packed to the brim with skeletons and other horrific revelations. An exciting addition to the haunted house sub-genre, packed with exquisite visuals and terrifying ghosts, Crimson Peak is an unforgettable foray into a nightmarish mansion that only Guillermo del Toro could imagine.

The Block Island Sound (2021)

The Block Island Sound
Genre Horror, Science Fiction
Stars Michaela McManus, Chris Sheffield, Neville Archambault
Directed by Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus
r 103m
When unexplained phenomena begin plaguing the island and surrounding waters of Block Island, Harry (Chris Sheffield), the son of a fisherman, and Audry (Michaela McManus), an Environmental Protection agent and Harry’s sister, are put on the trail of a mysterious and malevolent force. Premiering at the Fantasia International Film Festival, The Block Island Sound spends its time building a lush atmosphere of dread, a moody tone buttressed by believable performances from the main ensemble and tactful directing on the part of Kevin and Matthew McManus.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
Directed by James Wan
r 112m
From Saw co-creator James Wan comes The Conjuring, an unnerving dive into supernatural territory. Based on a paranormal case study from real-life mediums Ed and Lorraine Warren (both deceased), The Conjuring begins when the Perron family moves into an antiquated Rhode Island farmhouse in 1971. As a series of disturbing events starts unfolding, the family turns to the Warrens (portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) for psychic assistance. When the duo arrives to quell the Perrons’ fears, their best efforts are soon challenged by the malevolent forces reigning over the ancient residence. John R. Leonetti’s cinematography is a full player here, creating a visual haunted house chiller like no other. Shadows loom, rooms feel too large, and one never feels safe. That’s grade-A horror photography.

Before I Wake (2016)

Before I Wake
Genre Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Stars Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane
Directed by Mike Flanagan
pg-13 97m
Reeling from the death of their young son, Mark and Jessie (Thomas Jane and Kate Bosworth) decide to take in a foster child named Cody (Jacob Tremblay). When Cody tells his adoptees of his nighttime fears, the parents dismiss his terrors as nothing more than childlike wonder at play. But when Cody’s dreams start coming to life before the family’s eyes, what begins as a benign series of projections quickly devolves into horrific nightmare creatures that Mark and Jessie are forced to contend with. We’ve all seen horror flicks about kids dealing with their fears. What sets Before I Wake apart from the flock is its focus on the paternal point of view and emotional complexities of welcoming new love while stomaching grief.

His House (2020)

His House
Genre Drama, Horror, Thriller
Stars Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt Smith
Directed by Remi Weekes
r 93m
A powerful debut from director Remi Weekes, His House follows Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), a South-Sudan couple fleeing their war-torn confines across the English Channel. Suffering a hardship on their way across the water, the pair are granted probational asylum in Britain. Settling into a shanty tenement unit, Bol does what he can to acclimate to U.K. culture as Rial clings to her Sudanian roots. When a series of haunting entities make themselves known to the couple, Bol and Rial begin to question their own sanity as they grapple with the torments and stigma of refugees. A well-balanced amalgamation of social commentary meets unsettling horror film, His House is an absolute must-see.

Apostle (2018)

Genre Horror, Mystery, History, Thriller, Drama
Stars Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton
Directed by Gareth Evans
r 130m
It’s 1905, and Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) is on a search-and-rescue mission for his own sister, Jennifer. Imprisoned and held for ransom by a religious cult on a remote Welsh island, Thomas journeys to the isle under the guise of a convert. After meeting with several cult members and learning of their less-than-lovely intentions, Thomas is plunged headfirst into a mad world of blood sacrifice and a dark mythos brought to life. Filled with nightmarish imagery, impressive acting, and a hearty story, Apostle is a breathtaking addition to the folk horror sub-genre.

Piercing (2018)

Genre Thriller, Horror, Mystery
Stars Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
Directed by Nicolas Pesce
r 82m
From writer/director Nicholas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother), Piercing is an adaptation of the Ryü Murikami novel of the same name. Reed (Christopher Abbot) has been having a tough time at home. A husband and father with an urge to do something sinister, the family man hires a call girl so he can do the unthinkable to her. What Reed didn’t expect was Jackie, a cunning and unpredictable sex worker, a woman just as twisted and violent as her wannabe-murderer. What unravels is a wicked game of cat and mouse, with hard bets as to who will come out on top.

The Babysitter (2017)

The Babysitter
Genre Horror, Comedy
Directed by McG
Cast Bella Thorne, Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving
Bee (Samara Weaving), the babysitter, and Cole (Judah Lewis), the preteen, are the ideal babysitting setup. The two get along great and really trust each other. That is until Cole, at the urging of a close friend, decides to stay up late to see what Bee does when the boy goes to bed. What Cole discovers is beyond anything he could ever imagine, as it turns out that Bee is part of a satanic cult that’s out for blood, and Cole is one of their next victims. A solid genre pic with homages to several camp classics of the ’80s, The Babysitter doesn’t break any horror boundaries, but fans of the genre will love the many hat-tips.

The Bad Batch (2017)

The Bad Batch
Genre Drama, Horror, Science Fiction
Stars Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
r 119m
In a mysterious potentially post-apocalyptic Texas wasteland, Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) finds herself completely alone and severed from civilization. As she fights for her survival, Arlen is captured by a band of cannibals led by Miami Man (Jason Momoa). Suddenly in more danger than she was before, Arlen must use every ounce of cunning to survive among the cannibals as she tries to make her way to someone she believes can save her, The Dream (Keanu Reeves). But goodness or badness is really all relative.

Cam (2018)

Genre Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Directed by Daniel Goldhaber
Cast Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
Alice Ackerman (Madeline Brewer) works for FreeGirlsLive as a cam model, a job she’s quite attached to. Alice hides her employment from her mother and is obsessed with being a top-ranking performer on the site. After a date with one of her loyal cam followers, Alice attempts to log into her FreeGirls account, only to discover that her account is being used by a disturbed doppelganger of herself. As Alice attempts to unravel the mystery around her new foe, her own life and celebrity begin crashing down around her. Director Daniel Goldhaber’s electric erotica horror show is a macabre exploration of identity and exactly how much power we give to our digital selves and spaces.

In the Tall Grass (2019)

In the Tall Grass
Genre Horror, Drama, Thriller
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Cast Patrick Wilson, Harrison Gilbertson, Laysla De Oliveira
Stephen King aficionados are sure to be thrilled by this 2019 adaptation of a 2012 novella he co-wrote with his son, Joe Hill. When siblings Becky and Cal (Laysla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted) make a pit stop on their road trip to their aunt’s house, the pair hears a boy named Tobin calling for help in a field of tall grass. The duo dips into the crop themselves, but soon find themselves at the center of a wicked plot involving Tobin, his parents, a grim time loop, and an ancient stone with potentially mystical properties, all within the never-ending rows of grass. A bit of a head-spinner, In the Tall Grass feels like an elongated (and much gorier) Twilight Zone episode. While some have argued that the film overstays its welcome, those in search of a King-flavored fable about literally losing against nature will be more than pleased with director Vincenzo Natali’s novella adaptation.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
r 121m
Heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) has it all: A perfect family, a mansion, a luxury car, bourgeois friends, and an unpredictable, mentally imbalanced teenage protege. Martin (Barry Keoghan), the aforementioned troubled youth, is the estranged son of a man who died while under the knife of Dr. Murphy. We’re not sure exactly how Steven and Martin’s relationship began, but after a series of increasingly odd gestures from Martin, Steven tells him they should start meeting less. The next day, Steven’s son is suddenly paralyzed. After rushing him to the hospital, Steven is summoned by Martin once more, where over lunch, the teenage boy tells Steven he is responsible for his son’s condition, and that if Steven doesn’t kill a member of his own family, a sprawl of ailments will befall the rest of his clan.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban
Directed by Oz Perkins
r 89m
Writer/director Osgood Perkins’ I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a chilling ghost story about a live-in nurse named Lily (Ruth Wilson) who is hired to care for an ailing horror author, Iris (Paula Prentiss). Taking residence in Iris’s historic New England manor, Lily starts experiencing paranormal events, leading her to question the elder Iris about the history of the house. Denying any kind of phenomena, Lily begins investigating the domicile herself, leading to a series of shocking discoveries and grim truths about the manor’s past. This is a fantastic piece of horror cinema that really drives home the “less-is-more” mindset of filmmaking. A big slow burn of a movie, I Am the Pretty Thing… relies on eerie sound design, lingering camera-work, and a moody score to effectively sell its scares.

Gerald's Game (2017)

Gerald's Game
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas
Directed by Mike Flanagan
r 104m
Based on Stephen King’s 1992 thriller of the same name, Gerald’s Game was one of Netflix’s earliest successes in the original film game. This profound, provocative story follows a married couple, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), on a weekend vacation to their lakeside cabin in hopes of reigniting their stagnating relationship. They decide to spice it up with some bondage but Gerald suffers a heart attack in the midst of passion, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed with nobody to free her. Bound and plagued by hallucinations of Gerald and of people from her past, Jessie struggles to free herself and suffers a psychological breakdown. Another fine output from director Mike Flanagan, of Hush (which is next up on our list) and Oculus fame, Gerald’s Game will get the blood pumping despite the story’s bottled setting.

Hush (2016)

Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Samantha Sloyan
Directed by Mike Flanagan
r 82m
Mike Flanagan strikes again with the nail-biting Hush, a smart horror film that feels extra uncomfortable because the terror of the film seems like it could easily happen to anyone. Author Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) lives a quiet life in the wilderness with her cat — that is until a masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.) murders Maddie’s closest neighbor, and plans to knife Maddie next. What ensues is a uniquely horrific game of cat-and-mouse, as Maddie must fight for her life against the mysterious madman, a feat made 10 times more difficult because Maddie is deaf. Something the masked invader eventually learns. With Hush, Flanagan flips the killer sub-genre on its head, delivering a film filled with rapid-fire terrors both big and small, and a third act that will have you bound to the edge of your couch.

Eli (2019)

Genre Horror
Stars Charlie Shotwell, Lili Taylor, Kelly Reilly
Directed by Ciarán Foy
r 98m
Ciarán Foy, who brought us Citadel and Sinister II, directs Eli, a slow-burn creeper about an adolescent boy with a rare disease that makes him fall ill when exposed to the outdoors without protection (an ailment similar to the family and children from The Others). When his parents (Kelly Reilly and Max Martini) decide to take him to a remote medical facility, a converted mansion run by the outwardly pleasant Dr. Isabella Horn (Lili Taylor), all is well for some time. The boy, Eli (Charlie Shotwell), is glad to be rid of his intense protective gear, reveling in his newfound freedom. However, outside of his disease shield, supernatural events begin to mount, and Eli tries desperately to convince those around him that things within the house are quite amiss. Performances and atmosphere are top-notch in this Netflix original, which features shades of both The Others and The Omen.

Under the Shadow (2016)

Under the Shadow
Genre Drama, Horror, Thriller, War
Stars Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
Directed by Babak Anvari
pg-13 84m
The Persian film Under the Shadow drew a lot of comparison to the 2014 film The Babadook, and it’s easy to see why. Both films follow mothers caring for troubled children while supernatural forces torment them. Under the Shadow begins during the war between Iran and Iraq in the ’80s. Shideh (Narges Rashidi), a former medical student who had to abandon her career after the theocratic government took power in the Iranian revolution, became a housewife, living with her husband, Iraj (Bobby Naderi), and their daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) in an apartment in Tehran. When Iraj, a doctor, is sent to the field as part of the war effort, Shideh must care for Dorsa alone. After a missile strikes their building, Dorsa begins behaving strangely, convinced that a spirit is haunting the building, and as strange events unfold, Shideh must confront the possibility that something supernatural is happening. Under the Shadow is a moody movie, as much a study of Rashidi’s disenchanted housewife as it is an exercise in terror.

Creep (2014)

Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice, Katie Aselton
Directed by Patrick Brice
r 82m
Found-footage horror may be a dying art form, yet one of the very few iterations of the genre is a Netflix must-see. Starring Mark Duplass as Josef and the film’s director, Patrick Brice, as its cameraman Aaron Franklin, Creep is a rare breed of horror filmography. Much like The Invitation, Creep takes a while to build momentum, yet still elicits many a cringeworthy experience throughout its entire runtime. Duplass is phenomenal as the oddball neighbor, evoking the perfect blend of comic relief and terror upon his every portrayal. Creep keeps viewers guessing from start to finish, and it’s not until the very end where the real story is brought to life in its most provocative and unsettling dimension. If the first just wasn’t enough, Netflix likewise has its terrifying sequel to get lost within.

Get In (2019)

Get In
Genre Drama, Horror, Thriller
Directed by Olivier Abbou
Cast Adama Niane, Stéphanie Caillard, Paul Hamy
The French horror-thriller Furie (Get In) may not feature any well-known Hollywood stars nor English-speaking dialogue, yet its chilling tale recreated from a Japanese short story is a must-see for every terror junkie. After arriving home from a cleansing family vacation, the Diallos are met by an out-of-place group of residents, whose way of life strays far too close to the disturbing. With an unseen clause written into their lease, which basically bars the police from assisting, the family must learn to live with their new house guests no matter how challenging their newly shared lives may become. Loosely based upon Kobo Abe’s Intruders, a short story in his compilation Beyond the Curve, Get In portrays an experience that is all too real and horrifying: Losing not only one’s living quarters, but also privacy and freedom.

The Ritual (2017)

The Ritual
Genre Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Directed by David Bruckner
Cast Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
After the death of a close friend mere months before leaving on an expedition together, a group of four decide to make a ritual of the event by way of a hiking trip in Sweden. The getaway seems to serve its purpose with the four, Phil (Arsher Ali), Dom (Sam Troughton), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Luke (Rafe Spall), all coming together to mourn the loss of their dear friend. Things start to take a turn for the worse when Dom injures his leg and the four must then embark through an eerie forest that reeks of malcontent and evils unnamed. As the cyclical woodlands draw each party member further and further apart, the reality of their being followed becomes ever-more blatant. Can the expedition escape unharmed, or were they doomed from the very moment of their friend’s untimely demise?

Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)

Vampires vs. the Bronx
Genre Comedy, Horror
Stars Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV
Directed by Oz Rodriguez
pg-13 86m
Have you ever realized that your neighborhood is no longer yours? Gentrification rears its ugly head in Vampires vs. the Bronx. And, as the title suggests, some literal bloodsuckers are literally killing the neighborhood while cleaning up on real estate prices. Miguel (Jaden Michael) already took up the call to save his neighborhood before learning that the undead were moving in. Once he knows the truth, Miguel aka “Lil Mayor” needs some help from his friends, Bobby Carter (Gerald W. Jones III) and Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV), to take on the vamps. The film deftly mixes its horror with genuinely hilarious moments of comedy. The pop culture references are all very timely, and it’s one of the most enjoyable horror movies of the year.

Sweetheart (2019)

Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrence
Directed by J.D. Dillard
pg-13 82m
J.D. Dillard directed and co-wrote Sweetheart, one of the best films to come out of Blumhouse. Kiersey Clemons gives a very strong performance as Jennifer “Jenn” Remming, a young woman who finds herself shipwrecked and alone on a seemingly deserted island. Unfortunately for Jenn, there’s something else with her on the island. Something monstrous. But is Jenn truly contending with a monster or is the real monster within her mind? In this tale of terror, Jenn’s past calls her credibility into question, but the chills and the scares are very rewarding. Clemons carries the movie from start to finish.

Await Further Instructions (2018)

Await Further Instructions
Genre Mystery, Horror, Science Fiction
Directed by Johnny Kevorkian
Cast David Bradley, Abigail Cruttenden, Holly Weston
Await Further Instructions has proven to be a divisive film for critics and audiences, but it’s still an unsettling body horror story that unfolds on Christmas. It was already a tense occasion for the Milgram family. However, things take a turn for the worse when their entire house is surrounded by a black substance. The only guidance the family has is the instructions on the television telling them what to do next. Paranoia and fear take over as the Milgrams rely on the TV for any word as they unravel their family bonds one at a time.

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