The 18 Best Horror Movies on Netflix

These films are not suitable for the faint of heart.

woman watching scary movie in bed

It's hard to explain why we love horror movies. After all, willingly watching something that will make us sleep with the lights on for a week sounds a bit like self-inflicted torture. And yet, there are few things as enjoyable as sitting in a dark room with a bucket of popcorn and watching a nightmare unfold before your eyes. Whether it's Halloween or the middle of March, a horror movie night is always a good idea. To help you figure out what to watch, we rounded up the best horror movies on Netflix as of October 2019. Make sure to invite some friends over for emotional support!

1. Scream (1996)

scream horror movie
Dimension Films/IMDB

Even if you've seen it already, Scream is definitely worth a rewatch⁠. More than two decades after its initial release, it's one of the best horror movies on Netflix. After all, it wouldn't be a classic if it wasn't so darn good. With this iconic slasher film, Wes Craven revived the horror genre in the '90s through the story of a seemingly peaceful town terrorized by a masked serial killer. It's sly, witty, and actually pretty fun… if you're able to get past the fact that it will give you nightmares, that is.

2. Carrie (1976)

Sissy Spacek as Carrie, best horror movies on Netflix
Red Bank Films

No list of horror movies would be complete without featuring a Stephen King adaptation at least once. (Spoiler alert: He's on here twice). Yes, there are supernatural elements at work in this story that made King a household name, but what makes it especially disturbing is its portrayal of human cruelty. In fact, you will probably find yourself more horrified by the disturbing locker room scene and prom "prank" than the mass murders. You might even shed a tear for the "villain" in the end.

3. The Conjuring (2013)

IMDB/New Line Cinema

In The Conjuring, Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) move into a secluded farmhouse with their five daughters, and immediately something is off. The attic is boarded up, their dog refuses to enter the house and later turns up dead, and death in general seems to surround the house. They enlist the help of paranormal investigators— real-life figures Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson)—but it might be too late. Although The Conjuring covers some well-known horror territory, it is a uniquely terrifying story.

4. The Witch (2015)

the witch
IMDB/Parts and Labor

The Witch was produced on a small budget, but it still managed to bring in $40 million at the box office. 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 never sure if there are malevolent forces at play or if someone in the family is to blame for all that is happening. It's one of the most unnerving films you'll watch all year.

5. Creep (2014)

creep horror movie
IMDB/Blumhouse Productions

In this indie psychological thriller, freelance videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) 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 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.

6. Hush (2016)

hush horror movie
IMDB/Intrepid Pictures

Deaf and mute writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) lives a solitary life in the woods. 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.

7. Insidious (2011)

IMDB/Alliance Films

In horror movies, nothing good can come out of a family moving into an old house. With 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).

8. Cam (2018)

IMDB/Blumhouse Productions

Is there ever a doppelgänger that's nice and helpful? Not in horror movies, that's for sure. In 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.

9. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

the autopsy of jane doe
IMDB/Impostor Pictures

A father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) team of coroners are investigating a bizarre and brutal homicide in The Autopsy of Jane Doe. 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.

10. The Endless (2017)

the endless
IMDB/Snowfort Pictures

Endless centers on two brothers who escaped a UFO cult years earlier. Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) is unsatisfied 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.

11. Gerald's Game (2017)

gerald's game
IMDB/Intrepid Pictures

Another Stephen King adaptation, Gerald's Game tells the story of a married couple going 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, and after engaging in a rape role-play that clearly makes his wife uncomfortable, 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.

12. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

i know what you did last summer
IMDB/Mandalay Entertainment

If you're a child of the '90s, you know how this one goes: Four friends hit someone with their car on the 4th of July and, believing him to be dead, throw him in the water and call it a day. When one of them starts receiving threatening letters the next summer, they realize they weren't able to cover their tracks after all. Are they being stalked by a relative of the man they killed? Are they being haunted by an angry ghost? Or is the person they believe to be dead not dead at all Whether you loved I Know What You Did Last Summer the first time or never saw it, this horror movie is definitely worth a watch on Netflix.

13. The Monster (2016)

the monster
IMDB/Atlas Entertainment

The Monster 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.

14. The Sixth Sense (1999)

the sixth sense
IMDB/Buena Vista Pictures

You probably already know the twist ending from The Sixth Sense that established director M. Night Shyamalan as a horror movie force to be reckoned with. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't rewatch this film about a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who believes he can talk to the dead, and the child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who's trying to help him. It's a story of grief and loss that ends with a surprise you didn't see coming if you somehow haven't seen this one yet.

16. Train to Busan (2016)

train to busan
IMDB/Next Entertainment World

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 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.

17. Under the Shadow (2016)

under the shadow
IMDB/Wigwam Films

Under the Shadow 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.

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

i am the pretty thing that lives in the house
IMDB/Paris Film

Ruth Wilson stars in I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House as a caretaker named Lily. She's looking after a retired horror writer with dementia and strange things begin to happen in the writer's home that eerily match one of her novels. It's another example of why we should all stay out of old houses.

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