There are two types of people in this world: those who love being scared, and those who refuse to watch scary movies. Whether you enjoy the visceral thrill of watching your nightmares come to life, or you prefer to hide behind the couch with your eyes closed and your hands covering your ears to block out the sound, watching a horror film can lead to some incredible experiences, especially if you’re brave enough to confront the things you fear most. Horror films are some of the most popular movies in the industry today, both in terms of how many have been made and how many people go to see them. But for every great horror movie, you’re likely to find twenty that simply don’t hold up with the best the genre has to offer.
Netflix is home to a wide library of horror films, but it can be tough to determine the gems from the rest of the pack. Finding a good horror movie is tough—the film has to be scary enough to terrify you, original enough to keep you hooked, and feature performances from its actors that don’t bore you or cause you to remember that horror films are just movies. Classic horror movies are lucky to come out once a year, and looking through the library of films on Netflix will likely persuade you to search any farther.
If you’re wondering which films on Netflix are the worthy candidates for your scare-fests, you’re in luck. We’ve looked through the entire collection of horror films that Netflix has to offer, and found the best of the bunch—25 films that are sure to scare you to your core. We’ve done our best to rank these movies in an order ranging from “fun frights” to “true, white-knuckle horror,” though as with anyone, what we find scary may leave you yawning by the television.
Check out our list below and look back every month for brand-new updates on the best horror movies on Netflix today—plus, let us know in the comments below what you found to be your favorite horror flicks on Netflix!
Yes, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a horror film, designed to be as bloody and graphic as possible. It's also an incredibly funny film, a horror-comedy that's just as focused on delivering frights as it is laughs. The film stars Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Tyler Labine (Reaper, Deadbeat) as two well-meaning hillbillies who purchased a lakefront cabin together in the woods. At a gas station outside of camp, the two run into several college students going camping for the weekend. Tucker (Tudyk) pushes Dale (Labine) to talk to Allison, one of the main girls, but ends up simply frightening her instead. While Tucker and Dale work on reconstructing their cabin, the nearby campers go skinny-dipping together, only for Allison to hit her head and be saved by Dale. While she's recuperating with Tucker and Dale, the rest of the college students trick themselves into believing that she's been kidnapped, and attempt to rescue her—only for everything to go wrong.
This bonkers horror-fantasy-comedy starts out with a pair of college dropouts working as paranormal troubleshooters, and then it starts getting weird. These two seem like the least likely people to save humanity, but they'll give it a try. It turns out a popular new drug called Soy Sauce is allowing users to travel into other dimensions and across time. But some of these drug users come back as non-humans from another world. Since the drug is getting so popular, it doesn't take long before these nonhumans amount to a full-scale invasion of our world.
From Blumhouse productions, The Veil is a 2016 horror film directed by Phil Joneau and written by Robert Ben Garant (The State, Reno 911!), which stars Jessica Alba, Thomas Jane, and Lily Rabe. The film follows Sarah (Rabe), the sole survivor of the cult Heaven's Veil, which committed mass suicide twenty-five years prior to the events of the movie. When she's contacted by Maggie (Alba), a documentarian who wishes to make a film about what really happened with Heaven's Veil, Sarah is reluctant, until she learns that Maggie has uncovered footage from the scene that shows what happened on that day. Sarah was found at the scene of the crime as a five-year-old, lacking any memory of the events of that day. As they revisit the scene of the mass suicide, they'll be haunted by visions of the past—and possibly by the ghosts still residing in that area.
Odd Thomas follows a small town cook of the same name, who seems like an everyday, ordinary kind of guy (played by the late, great Anton Yelchin). He has a secret though: he can see dead people everywhere he looks. One day a particularly creepy stranger arrives in his town, followed by a group of predatory paranormal entities who thrive on pain and destruction. Thomas and his girlfriend join with the town Sheriff to stop an apocalyptic disaster from destroying their town. The film is based on the Dean Koontz book of the same name, and was directed and written by Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing); though the film received mixed reviews overall, Dean Koontz appreciated the adaptation and claimed to be "whacked flat by happiness."
The movie that put M. Night Shyamalan on the map, The Sixth Sense was a massive hit when it was released in 1999, earning its director praise for how he handled the film's last-minute twist and presenting plenty of opportunities for rewatches to look for clues concerning the film's central conceit. Starring Bruce Willis as child psychologist Malcolm Crowe, the film follows Crowe as he begins working with young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a child who claims to see visions of ghosts and the dead. Haunted by a similar former case that ended with Crowe being shot and watching his patient commit suicide, Crowe works to help Sear overcome his visions. But is Crowe right about Cole's visions being in his head, or is the boy truly seeing ghosts among the living?
One of the few Irish horror films on Netflix, A Dark Song is a gem of a film we didn't expect to find when looking through the best of the best horror films. Written and directed by Liam Gavin in his debut, A Dark Song follows Sophia (Catherine Walker), a middle-aged English woman still grieving over the murder of her seven-year old song. She travels to rural Wales and rents a home with the intention of performing a ritual to summon her son's guardian angel to help speak to her son and extract revenge on his killers. With the help of occultist Joseph Solomon, they begin the ritual—only for Sophia to grow anxious when the plan seems to fail. When Solomon is gravely injured, Sophia quickly learns she's in over her head, and will have to finish the ceremony to escape the house.
Another Netflix Original film, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a 2016 American-Canadian horror film directed by Oz Perkins, the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins. The film follows a live-in nurse named Lily (Ruth Wilson) who arrives to care for an elderly patient that has become reclusive over years of suffering from dementia. The film's opening narration declares Lily as a 28-year-old who will never turn 29, and explains that a house with a death can never truly be bought or sold, but simply borrowed from its ghosts. As Lily begins to read the old woman's most famous novel, she realizes that the haunting exposition in the book may not be a work of fiction. This is a slow-paced horror movie, getting off mostly on the atmosphere and the feeling of an unsettling mood. If that sounds like something up your alley, you might just find the film perfect for you.
Though Curse of Chucky is the sixth film in the series, it's a solid starting place for anyone looking to dive into the Child's Play series. Written and directed by Don Mancini, who helmed the previous five entries as well, Curse of Chucky takes the series back to its roots as a more straightforward horror title, eliminating some of the comedic elements added in Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky. When Nica's mother mysteriously dies from a stab wound following the arrival of a red-headed doll in the mail, it becomes clear that something is haunting the house. When Nica's family arrives, havoc runs amok as Chucky gains revenge on the family for a mysterious wrongdoing caused by Nica's sister, Sarah. Despite being released through home video, Curse of Chucky is an excellent entry in the series, reviving something fans had long expected was dead.
In this sequel to Curse of Chucky, Nica is recovering in a mental institutions--because, really, a homicidal doll? Who would believe that? She's finally accepted that Chucky was nothing but her psychotic delusion, and she's ready for a new therapy technique using a "good guy doll." Unsurprisingly, Chuckie makes his return to kill Nica once and for all, leading to a terrible fate for everyone involved Instead of being a retread of the six (!) previous Chucky movies, this one takes the premise in some weird new directions, and like Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky received positive reviews from critics.
Best known for its groundbreaking special effects and an indescribable amount of gore, Hellraiser revolves around a couple moving into a creepy old house and discovering it's haunted by a horrendous creature. It turns out that the creature is the wife's former lover, and her husband's half-brother. The man had lost his body to a group of demons, but a single drop of blood on the floor begins the process of his return. He manages to force the wife to help him by bringing a human sacrifice, and things escalate horrifically from there. Written and directed by Clive Barker and based on Barker's own The Hellbound Heart, the film is famous for its Pinhead monster portrayed by Doug Bradley, and for its multitude of sequels and remakes, the most recent of which was released earlier in 2018.
Originally released in Russia, The Den follows a website known as "The Den," which allows users from around the world to chat with strangers online (similar to Chatroulette and Omegle). A young woman starts a study of web cam chat users, and accidentally ends up witnessing a horrible murder. Although she believes she is safe because she is working in private from her home, strange things begin to happen in her life afterwards, and she starts fearing that someone has discovered what she saw. The film is like Friend Request meets The Purge, and it's a must see for any fans of horror.
Unlike The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan's 2004 film The Village didn't win over critics and audiences alike. Thanks to the director's known penchant for twists in the final act of a film, audiences attended The Village expecting a twist and while a twist certainly is delivered near the end of the film, it may not be what audiences expected. The film takes place in an isolated village within Pennsylvania, sometime prior to the industrial revolution. The town lives in fear of unnamed creatures that lurk in the woods outside the village grounds. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Lucius Hunt and Bryce Dallas Howard as Ivy Walker, the blind daughter of the village chief. While Lucius is unable to venture past the woods surrounding the village, Ivy is eventually granted permission to leave town—only to find the unexpected lying outside the town.
Teeth is less a critically-acclaimed darling than it is a cult-classic film with an intriguing premise. Anyone who attended high school in the late 2000s or early 2010s likely remembers hearing about the "vagina teeth" film, but you'd be surprised to learn the movie's actually pretty solid. The film follows Dawn, a teenage spokesperson for an abstinence group called the Promise. When Dawn meets Tobey, however, she falls head over heels, following him to a swimming hole and eventually making out. She gets nervous and attempts to flee, and Tobey turns on her, grabbing her and trying to force himself onto her. It's then that she learns something terrifying about her own sexuality.
Recently released on Netflix, Veronica is a Spanish horror film that gained plenty of notoriety for its marketing campaign that claimed to be one of the scariest horror films ever, a movie that viewers kept turning off halfway through. Whether or not that's true is irrelevant; the good news here is that Veronica is an excellent horror film worthy of your time. From the director of REC (remade in the United States as Quarantine), Veronica is set in 1991 and follows the titular character when she is 15 years old. While the rest of her class is viewing a solar eclipse, Veronica and her friends decide to stay behind and play with a Ouija board. Things quickly go wrong, and Veronica finds herself haunted by paranormal activities, unable to eat and experiencing claw marks all over her body. Partially based on true events where a young woman died after using a Ouija board in 1991, Veronica may not be the groundbreaking film it's purported to be—but it's still pretty damn terrifying.
Train to Busan may be unfamiliar to most Americans, but if you're willing to dive into the world of South Korean films, this action-horror thriller is a great introduction. The film follows the passengers in a bullet train headed from Gwangmyeong Station to Busan in South Korea, with passengers including Seok-woo, a divorced fund manager taking his daughter to her mother's house; a working-class man and his pregnant wife; a high school baseball team; and a homeless man suffering from PTSD. When the train departs, a convulsing young woman jumps on board suffering from a bite wound on her leg, and quickly becomes a zombie, transferring her virus to others on the train. The passengers will have to fight their way to safety to make it to Busan—but who will they lose along the way?
Mysteries and thrillers are perfect for dark and stormy nights, and The Invitation might be the ideal film to chill you to your core. The film stars Logan Marshall-Green as Will, a divorcee who drive his girlfriend Kira to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife at his old house in the Hollywood Hills. Will's ex, Eden, alongside her new husband David, welcomes Will and Kira to the party, though immediately, something feels wrong. As Will continues to deal with the grief of his deceased son (the reason Eden and him split up), he begins to feel like something is wrong with his ex-wife and her husband's motivations. The tale is dark and grim, and as the night advances, you'll begin to put the pieces together in this thrilling tale of mystery and murder.
The first of three films on this list directed by Mike Flanagan, Hush was written by Flanagan and his wife Kate Siegel, and stars John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Michael Trucco, and Siegel herself. The film follows Maddie Young, a girl who became deaf as a teenager and now lives her life isolated from others working as an author. When a murderer kills her friend just outside her door, Maddie realizes she is the next target. The sadistic killer thinks an isolated deaf girl will be easy to torment and kill, but it turns out that Maddie is more than willing to fight back.
Amelia is still mourning her dead husband, and too tired to deal with her troubled son, Sam--when a disturbing children's book appears at her house and won't go away. The monster in the book threatens to devour them both, and, like the book says, "You can't get rid of the Babadook." The directorial debut of Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is a terrifying tale about the true fears of grief, and the aftermath following a death of close family members. The film was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2014, and anyone who hasn't seen it but enjoys a solid horror flick will likely find it enjoyable and appropriately nauseating. Anyone with children will probably find this one especially terrifying.
Less than a month after Netflix released Gerald's Game came the second 2017 Netflix Original adaptation of a Stephen King novella. 1922 is based on the work of the same name by King, and was directed by Zak Hilditch. Thomas Jane stars as Wilfred James, a man who arrives at a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska to write a confession to a crime he committed on his family farm in 1922. The film flashes back to that year, where James fights with his wife Arlette, who wishes to sell the land Arlette recently inherited. While Arlette wishes to sell the land and move to Omaha to open a dress shop, Wilfred wants to stay on the farm with his wife and son, Henry. When Arlette raises divorce, Wilfred convinces his son to assist in the only plan they have left: murder. The film is a slow-paced, dreadful experience—perfect for horror fans of all types.
Based on the real-life events that eventually inspired The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring is one of the more-recent horror films from James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Furious 7). The story follows Ed and Lorraine Wilson (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively), real world paranormal investigators who rose to prominence in the 1970s for this exact case. When Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor, respectively) move into a New England farmhouse with their five daughters and dog, they begin to experience paranormal activity throughout the house, hauntings and other mysterious artifacts that scare them throughout the night. They contact demonologists Ed and Lorraine, coming off a high-profile case investigating a doll called Annabelle, and together, begin to attempt to investigate what's causing the haunting in Harrisville.
The director of Gerald's Game, Mike Flanagan, rose to prominence in 2013 with Oculus, an adaptation of his 2006 short film Oculus: Chapter 3. The film takes place in two time periods following the same characters. In the modern day, siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites, The Giver) try to rebuild their relationship after their parents lost their minds during their childhood. Kaylie believes a mirror purchased by her father Alan caused her parents pain and torment, eventually leading to both parents attacking their children. Tim, meanwhile, is recently discharged from a mental hospital and doesn't believe supernatural events played a role in their parents' mental health declining. As Kaylie grows closer to the truth, both siblings will learn a dangerous fact: no one is safe from the mirror.
Both Creep and Creep 2 are available for streaming on Netflix, but generally, 2017's Creep 2 is seen as the better of the two films. Both films are found-footage horror movies directed by Patrick Brice and starring Mark Duplass, who also served as a writer on both films. While the first Creep follows a man who wants a stranger's help in making a film for his unborn child, Creep 2 ups the ante, as Josef (Duplass) hides his identity and undergoes becoming a serial killer with a knack for filming his victims. Both films are worth watching, and new viewers may be lost if they haven't seen the first Creep, but be warned: you're in for some seriously messed-up content. A sequel, Creep 3, has been announced.
One of the most original and brilliant horror films of the past decade, It Follows is perfect for any fan looking for some spooky entertainment to bring some fright into your night. Made for just $2 million, everything about this film—the acting, the direction, the cinematography, and the music—help to create an atmosphere that makes this film simultaneously unsettling and bone-chilling. The premise of the film is simple, but effective: a teenage girl, Jay, finds herself followed around by a supernatural entity after she has a sexual encounter with her boyfriend. The entity is visible only to Jay, and can take the form of anyone around her, from a close friend to a complete stranger. A fantastic score, an incredible cold open, and an ending so chilling it'll stay with you for weeks make this a memorable experience, one not to be missed.
The best Stephen King adaptations of the past five years also happens to be a Netflix Original film. Gerald's Game was released in 2017 just weeks after It hit theaters, so you would be excused if you missed out on catching this film. Based on the novel of the same name, Gerald's Game follows Jessie (Carla Gugino, Spy Kids) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood, Star Trek), a married couple that seek out an isolated lakehouse in Alabama to work on their failing relationship. While engaging in some light bondage, during which Jessie is handcuffed to the bed, the couple devolves into an argument about their marriage. Gerald, having taken two Viagra, suffers a heart attack, falling dead on the floor of the remote lakehouse and leaving Jessie handcuffed to her bed. The film follows the psychological effects that haunt Jessie as she lays trapped in bed.
You need to be prepared to handle some graphic content with Raw, a 2016 critically-acclaimed French-Belgian horror film that garnered controversy from some critics for its unrelenting visceral gore. The film follows Justine, a lifelong vegetarian who is just beginning her first semester at veterinarian school as a legacy student. When brought to a hazing ceremony for new students, Justine feels uncomfortable until running into her older sister Alexia, another student at the school, who shows her photos of students—including her parents—covered in blood. As the hazing continues, Justine begins to experience cravings for meat after being forced to devour a rabbit kidney. Those cravings begin to push Justine further into grotesque experiments that will churn your stomach and leave you haunted for nights.