Skip to main content

3 great Netflix horror movies you should watch on New Year’s Day

Horror is traditionally associated with Halloween, but why shouldn’t be watched on other holidays? Some horror movies are great to watch on certain holidays. For instance, Black Christmas is a great slasher to watch on Christmas Eve. Ditto the It movies on the Fourth of July and, now, thanks to Eli Roth, Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving.

New Year’s Eve movies don’t have a set genre, although it’s popular to watch rom-coms or comedies to ring in the new year. Digital Trends wants to buck that trend by recommending three horror movies on Netflix that will scare you into 2024.

Looking to get your scares elsewhere? Check out the best horror movies on Netflix, the best horror movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best horror movies on Hulu.

Insidious: The Red Door (2023)

Ty Simpkins stands in a red doorway in Insidious: The Red Door.
Sony Pictures / Sony

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Insidious franchise, so I was surprised by how much I liked the fifth and latest one, the underrated Insidious: The Red Door. The 2023 movie reunites the Lambert family from the first two films: father Josh, oldest son Dalton, and mother Renai. Josh and Renai have divorced since Insidious Chapter 2 and Dalton, now entering college, is estranged from his dad. But demons, both literal and metaphorical, awaken to bring them all together again, as the franchise’s iconic villain, the Lipstick-Face Demon, returns to once again claim Dalton’s body and his unique ability to astral project to an astral plane known as The Further.

Yes, it’s a bit silly, but Insidious: The Red Door is also very scary. The director, Patrick Wilson (who also stars as Josh), knows how to stage a scene and milk it for all of its horror, and there’s one sequence that has Josh stuck in an MRI machine that still gives me the creeps. It’s an ideal way to ring in the new year by watching people try to get over their past traumas by destroying some demons.

The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers Official Trailer #1 - Liv Tyler Movie (2008) HD

When it was first released in 2008, The Strangers wasn’t seen as anything more than just another horror movie. In the years since, the movie’s reputation has grown, and with good reason–it’s one of the most terrifying horror movies of the last 20 years. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman star as a couple fighting for their lives against three masked attackers while at their vacation home.

Featuring three creepy antagonists, two great performances from Tyler and Speedman, and an ending that will haunt you for some time, The Strangers is effective because it knows that there’s nothing scarier than the unknown. Nothing is explained, and the violence is random and shocking. Since 2024 will see the release of three (!) new Strangers films, now’s a good time to check out or rewatch the original.

Lights Out (2016)

Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman in Lights Out.
Warner Bros. Pictures

If you liked the 2023 movie The Boogeyman, you should check out Lights Out. This traditional horror movie is peppered with effective jump scares and a truly terrifying premise. The 2016 movie uses a hefty handful of genre tropes, but it uses them in a slick manner. Lights Out focuses on Rebecca, who used to be terrorized by an invisible entity when the lights went out at night when she was a young girl. Now an adult, her little brother Martin is experiencing the same unexplained events. Both siblings have to survive the invisible entity, which can only survive in total darkness.

It’s a simple setup, but it’s also an effective one, and Lights Out is a good horror movie that does its one job: to scare the heck out of you really well. It’s not the greatest movie ever made, but it beats watching a sickly sweet rom-com as the ball drops in Time Square on New Year’s Eve.

For more New Year’s Eve selections, check out 3 great comedies to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great rom-coms to watch on New Year’s Eve, 5 TV shows that are perfect to watch on New Year’s Eve, 5 movies that are perfect to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great Netflix shows you need to watch on New Year’s Eve, 10 best Netflix movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great dramas you need to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great Netflix thrillers you need to watch on New Year’s Eve, 3 great action movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, and 3 great sci-fi movies you need to watch on New Year’s Eve.

For New Year’s Day suggestions, try 3 great Hulu shows you need to watch on New Year’s Day and 3 great Prime Video movies to watch on New Year’s Day.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
The 50 best movies on Netflix right now (February 2024)
Michelle Yeoh performs kung fu in a scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once.

It's an odd week for movies on Netflix, in part because the No. 1 film on the list of the most popular movies on Netflix is Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, one of DreamWorks Animation's biggest flops of all time. Netflix subscribers don't care about that failure at all. Ruby Gillman is currently outperforming every other movie on the service as if it had been a blockbuster all along.

The other prominent new addition of the week is Everything Everywhere All At Once, the hit sci-fi/action/dramedy that cleaned up at last year's Academy Awards, including three of the four acting Oscars, Best Director9s), and Best Picture. This is not the streaming premiere of that film, but it's likely to rocket up the charts now that it's on Netflix as well.

Read more
5 movies leaving Netflix in February you have to watch now
Timothee Chalamet as Paul and Josh Brolin as Gurney in Dune (2021).

With March on the horizon, Netflix subscribers have only a few days left to watch a select group of movies. Several noteworthy titles are leaving Netflix at the end of February. Unfortunately, it is unknown if these movies will ever return to Netflix, at least anytime soon.

The most noteworthy film on its way out is Dune, Denis Villeneuve's 2021 sci-fi adaptation of Frank Herbert's groundbreaking novel. Other picks include an Oscar winner from the early 2000s, a 1990s Western, and an underrated comedy from the late 2010s.
Dune (2021)

Read more
This 2023 movie should’ve been nominated for Best Picture. Here’s why you should watch it now
A man stands in a field in All of Us Strangers.

The 2024 Oscar nominations were announced nearly a month ago, with very few surprises in the lineup. There were the usual snubs and surprises, although the whole affair was remarkably predictable considering the narratives formed by that point in awards season. Even so, there was a truly heartbreaking omission across every major category, and that was Andrew Haigh's powerful, sorrowful fantasy drama All of Us Strangers.

Now, don't get me wrong. Few, if any, of us were expecting All of Us Strangers to make the cut — it's too quiet, too insightful, and too esoteric for the Academy's tastes. The thing is, it should've absolutely dominated the ceremony. It might not be an overstatement to call it the best movie of the year, give or take a Poor Things. And while the Academy paid All of Us Strangers no mind, you really shouldn't. It's a modern masterpiece deserving of your time and appreciation, and I'm about to tell you exactly why.
The superb acting

Read more