The 18 Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now
These streaming fright fests are not suitable for the faint of heart.
It's hard to explain why so many of us love horror movies. After all, willingly watching something that results in sleeping with the lights on for a week sounds, in theory, like self-inflicted torture. And yet, for horror fans, there are few things as enjoyable as sitting in a dark room with a bucket of popcorn and watching a nightmare unfold. So many great ones are right at your fingertips, which is both a blessing and a curse. To help you choose, we've rounded up the 18 best horror movies on Netflix right now. And for more recommendations, check out 18 2020 Movies Streaming Right Now and Where to Find Them.
The original isn't on the service currently, but 1997's Scream 2 is pretty killer in its own right. In the first sequel of the franchise, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is in college, trying to get past the events of the first film, when a copycat Ghostface killer starts picking off students. Besides being genuinely scary, Scream 2 has all the late-'90s fashion and comedy you expect from the era when teen slasher fics were revived.
A remake of the 1998 Japanese flick, 2002's The Ring follows a reporter and mother (Naomi Watts) as she looks into the mysterious death of a teenager. Rachel learns that the girl had recently seen a tape that came with an urban legend: Watch it, and you die in seven days. This leads her to dig into the unspeakable past horrors that led to the tape's creation and an attempt to outrun the consequences of opening that door.
A reimagining of this classic horror flick is planned for 2020, and it's no wonder. The 1992 original is considered a milestone in the genre, exploring class conflicts and racial tension through the tropes of a slasher film. Virginia Madsen plays a grad student who decides to study the legend of the "Candyman," a hook-handed killer who's said to appear after you say his name five times while looking in a mirror, which is oft repeated in the housing projects of Chicago. But she isn't prepared for the truth behind that cautionary tale. And for more nostalgia, check out 30 Movie Quotes Every '90s Kid Knows by Heart.
The Witch was produced on a small budget, but it still managed to bring in $40 million at the box office when it was released in 2015. Set in the 1630s, it tells the story of a Puritan family that moves to a secluded farm after being banished by their colony over a religious dispute. Soon after their move, mysterious things begin to happen at the farm, causing the family to turn on one another. Until the end of the film, you're not sure if there are malevolent forces at play or if someone in the family is to blame for all that is happening. Unnerving and deeply satisfying, you'll be haunted by The Witch long after you've watched it.
In this 2014 indie psychological thriller, freelance videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice, who also directed the film) drives to a secluded house to answer an ad. While he thinks he's helping to make a video diary for a terminally ill man's unborn son, it quickly becomes obvious that Aaron's employer (Mark Duplass) is not who he says he is. What's even more terrifying about Creep is that it's shot entirely via handheld camera, making you feel as though you're trapped alongside Aaron the whole harrowing runtime.
Deaf and mute writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) lives a solitary life in the woods in this 2016 film. What could possibly go wrong? One night she attracts the attention of a sadistic murderer and is soon stuck in a cat-and-mouse game where the odds are not in her favor. Hush will have you on the edge of your seat, screaming at your screen the entire time.
In horror movies, nothing good can come out of a family moving into an old house. With 2010's Insidious, director James Wan, who also directed The Conjuring, tells the story of every parent's worst nightmare. Shortly after moving into their new home, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai's (Rose Byrne) son falls into an inexplicable coma. But soon it becomes apparent that his coma is not what it seems and his parents desperately try to save him from being trapped in an astral realm (like the Upside Down in Stranger Things, but much, much scarier).
Is there ever a doppelgänger that's nice and helpful? Not in horror movies, that's for sure. In 2018's Cam, Alice (Madeleine Brewer) is an erotic webcam performer. After a particularly successful stream where she enacts a suicide, she finds out her account has been hacked by someone who looks exactly like her. It's a disturbing story about identity and privacy, and it's a Netflix original.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
A father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) team of coroners are investigating a bizarre and brutal homicide in The Autopsy of Jane Doe, from 2016. The only chance they have at uncovering what happened is through the autopsy of an unidentified woman found at the scene. But things take a sinister turn when they start the autopsy and find inexplicable injuries, realizing that Jane Doe might somehow still be alive. It's a smart thriller that puts a new twist on the classic witch story.
The Endless (2017) centers on two brothers who escaped a UFO cult years earlier. Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) isn't satisfied with their now-boring life, unable to remember the cult as anything but a friendly commune, and is frustrated by the problems they're experiencing making friends and holding jobs. He convinces Justin (Justin Benson) to revisit the cult once again, setting into motion a set of bizarre and creepy events that seem more and more impossible as the film goes on. For more stuff to watch, check out These Are the Top-Rated Movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
A Stephen King adaptation, Gerald's Game (2017) tells the story of a married couple who go on vacation to work out some of their issues. Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) arrive at an isolated lake house hoping that they can spice up their marriage by exploring new fantasies. Things immediately take a turn for the worst when Gerald handcuffs his wife to the bed, then has a heart attack and dies on top of her. Trapped under Gerald's body and unable to reach the keys, Jessie tries to find a way to free herself before she too ends up dead. It's not just a psychological horror movie but also the story of a woman's triumph against cycles of abuse and repressed trauma.
This 1968 adaptation of Ira Levin's chilling novel is iconic for a reason. When a young couple move into a new apartment, they're beset upon by the creepy but seemingly harmless couple who live next door. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) soon becomes pregnant and starts to suspect that something is not right with the child she's carrying or the attention they're both receiving.
The Monster (2016) follows a mother (Zoe Kazan) and daughter (Ella Ballentine) with a troubled relationship. While driving one night, they hit a wolf and call a tow truck, assuming it'll be a relatively short ordeal. But soon, they realize what they hit was not an ordinary animal. Even with a small cast and limited settings, The Monster manages to tell a striking story about family, forgiveness, sacrifice, and survival.
This body-horror nightmare went viral when it came out on Netflix in 2019, because it's almost impossible to get through it without covering your eyes even once. Allison Williams and Logan Browning star as two music prodigies who go on a deeply disturbing road trip involving meat cleavers, bugs, and a seriously messed up conservatory. Stream it if you dare. And for more mind-bending films, check out 23 Movies With Shocking Twist Endings We're Still Not Over.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
This 1984 slasher flick kicked off the whole Freddy franchise. Created by horror master Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street introduces genre legend Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a child murderer who has the terrifying power to kill people in their dreams. The series now consists of nine film, the most recent being released in 2010.
Train to Busan
For a horror film to work, you have to be invested in the characters; otherwise, you wouldn't care about their demise. That's exactly why 2016's Train to Busan is able to set itself apart from countless other zombie apocalypse movies. Every character you meet throughout the movie will make you feel something, and with each death, you'll feel a pang of sadness in addition to your increasing fear.
Under the Shadow
Under the Shadow (2016) features a family trapped between two evils. Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her daughter are trapped in an apartment haunted by a Djinn, a fabled demonic creature that can posses people, while the Iran-Iraq war rages outside. On top of that, Shideh is also dealing with not being allowed back into medical college and taking care of her daughter alone while her husband is sent to war. This horror movie is remarkable in the way it portrays a very real evil alongside a supernatural one.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Ruth Wilson stars in I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) as a caretaker named Lily. She's looking after a retired horror writer with dementia, when strange things begin to happen in the writer's home that eerily match one of her novels. It's a spooky tale that reminds us yet again why we should all stay out of old houses.
Additional reporting by Sage Young.