Last Updated: March 4th
There’s nothing better than bingeing some good scary movies on Netflix on a dark, stormy night. From ghosts to vampires and zombies just about every morbid fantasy that your demented mind can conjure has representation. We’ve watched the best horror movies on Netflix streaming right now, and here they are, in their beastly, blood-curdling glory. It’s perfect for that late night movie binge to keep you wide awake well into 2021.
It Comes At Night (2017)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Writer/director Trey Edward Shults followed up his unnerving family portrait in 2015’s Krisha with a look at another family under the most desperate of circumstances. After an unknown illness has wiped out most of civilization, a number of threats — both seen and unseen — come for a family held up in their home out in the wilderness. It’s a subtle, dream-like tale that stars Joel Edgerton and Christopher Abbot as two patriarchs intent on keeping their families safe, no matter the cost.
His House (2020)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
Lovecraft Country’s Wunmi Mosaku and Matt Smith star in this British horror flick. The film follows a couple that flees war-torn South Sudan and applies for refugee status in England. As they try to adapt to life in a small town, evils lurking in their neighborhood (and their house) threaten their newfound safety. It’s a wholly original take on the genre, and if you’ve been watching Lovecraft, you know how good Mosaku will be in it.
As Above So Below (2014)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
Before Ben Feldman played a lovable know-it-all on Superstore, the guy was surviving a terror-filled jaunt through the catacombs of Paris in this horror movie. Feldman plays George, a reluctant sidekick to Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), a young alchemy scholar and his former girlfriend. Scarlett convinces George a few others to venture into the famous Paris underground in order to find the fabled philosopher’s stone (Harry Potter kids should know all about this thing, we’re not explaining it here). What they find instead is basically Dante’s Inferno come to life as they face down cults, demons, ghosts, and all manner of horrific beings. Let this be a warning, children: Nothing good happens this far below street level. Nothing.
The Perfection (2018)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
Allison Williams, who’s become something of a scream queen after her work in Get Out, continues her horror track record with this thriller about a gifted musician who befriends the talented student who replaced her. Strange happenings begin to occur, events that sabotage the young girl, but as terrifying as this story is, there’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to predict its ending.
The Platform (2019)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7/10
This Spanish-language sci-fi flick is all kinds of f*cked up but in the best way. The film is set in a large, tower-style “Vertical Self-Management Center” where the residents, who are periodically switched at random between floors, are fed by a platform, initially filled with food, that gradually descends through the levels. Conflicts arise when inmates at the top begin eating all the food, leaving the people lower down to fight for survival.
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Martin Freeman stars in this Aussie zombie drama about a father searching for a safe place for his family amidst a zombie outbreak. Freeman plays Andy, a fairly easy-going guy, who’s forced to make some tough calls when he gets stranded in the Outback with his newborn daughter during the apocalypse. He fights off a few of the walking dead, but the real danger comes from the living (what’s left of humanity after the contagion has spread). Freeman rarely plays the rugged hero type, but he does so convincingly here, and while there aren’t hordes of biters wandering the desert, the isolationist aspect of things makes this horror story feels eerily plausible.
The Ritual (2017)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
This Netflix nightmare follows a group of friends who venture into the Scandinavian wilderness in order to honor their recently-murdered brother. The guys, Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Dom (Sam Troughton) are forced to take a different path from the one planned, a mistake that leads them to cults and sacrificial offerings and an ancient being who prefers to stake its prey. The scenery is gorgeous, the chemistry of the cast is spot on, and the premise — how these men confront their fears and failures thanks to a supernatural being — starts out promising, though it could’ve delivered a better ending.
Dark Skies (2013)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
Keri Russell stars in this Blumhouse sci-fi horror flick about a happy suburban family terrorized by extraterrestrial beings. Russell plays Lacy, a mom to two boys, who begins to worry when strange occurrences start happening at home. The family discovers aliens have been paying them visits in an attempt to select one of the boys to abduct. Things just get weirder from there and while the plot sounds ridiculous on paper, there’s plenty of suspense here to rack up the tension.
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 5.8/10
Halle Berry plays a psychiatrist who wakes up to find she’s a patient in her own mental hospital in this tense thriller also starring Robert Downey Jr. Berry plays Miranda, a doctor who works at an asylum for women. When she gets into a car crash and wakes up in the hospital as a patient, she learns she’s the prime suspect in her husband’s murder. To clear her name, Miranda must piece together what happened to her — and in doing so, uncover some dark secrets with the help of supernatural beings.
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 5.5/10
Bel Powley and Liv Tyler star in this fantasy-horror film with feminist undertones. Powley plays Anna, a young woman held captive by her “father” and given estrogen suppressing drugs to stunt her maturity. He warns her of wildlings in the woods that eat children, but when the drugs begin to make Anna sick, he tries to kill himself, resulting in Anna interacting with the real world for the first time and discovering some troubling truths about her own nature. Tyler plays a detective who tries to help Anna assimilate, despite warning signs that something might not be right with the girl.
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
This dark fantasy film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple imagines a nightmare scenario. Radcliffe plays Ig, a young man whose girlfriend Merrin (Temple) mysteriously dies. The morning after her death, Ig wakes up with a set of horns that seem to grow as time goes on. It’s a story tinged with horror elements and a surprising twist at the end.
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 5.9/10
The Handmaid’s Tale actress Madeline Brewer stars in this unnerving thriller that questions our collective reliance on technology and imagines the nightmare scenario if that same tech decided to royally f*ck with us. Brewer plays Alice, an ambitious, in-demand cam girl making money with her online hustle until one day she logs on to find her channel has been sabotaged by a woman who looks just like her. It’s a trippy, dark ride through some of the bleakest parts of the internet with just enough horror to make things interesting.
Run Time: 83 min | IMDb: 5.5/10
By now we know what a hellscape the internet can be, but in case you’re still frequenting chat rooms in this day and age, you might want to steer clear of this terrifying thriller. That’s because it follows a group of friends who meet online and are terrorized by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend. Hey, stranger things have happened.
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
This Thai horror film follows a young man named Tun and his girlfriend, Jane, who accidentally run over a young woman after a party and are haunted by her spirit. Hauntings and horror go hand-in-hand, but this film digs deeper into the supernatural trope by revealing a surprising, gruesome connection between the woman’s ghost and the film’s protagonist. We won’t spoil anything here, but let’s just say there’s a reason this death follows this guy wherever he goes.
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 4.8/10
This supernatural horror flick isn’t the best-rated fright-fest on this list but it does feature a superb performance by Florence Pugh (before she got big) which makes it worth a watch. You’ll still come away terrified watching Pugh play one half of a brother-sister duo scamming people out of their money by pretending to commune with the dead, especially when she starts actually conversing with some pissed off spirits.
Run Time: 81 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Mike Flanagan, who directed Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil, expertly directs this simple tale of a deaf woman being menaced by a masked (and later unmasked) killer in her remote home. This is nothing you haven’t seen before, but Flanagan brings real panache and visual energy to a film that could have easily felt redundant in the hands of a lesser filmmaker.
Devil’s Gate (2017)
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 5.1/10
This is Us star Milo Ventimiglia plays a religious zealot and down-on-his-luck farmer in this sci-fi thriller that will throw you for a loop halfway through. Ventimiglia’s Jackson Pritchard believes angels will one day make his family’s land fertile again, but when his wife and son go missing, an FBI agent and local sheriff discover his more bizarre beliefs aren’t the darkest secret he’s harboring.
Run Time: 82 min | IMDb: 5.8/10
This survivalist horror story starring Kiersey Clemmons is more than it appears. Sure, the main story follows Clemmon’s Jennifer, a young woman stranded on a remote island after the boat she was partying on with her white, privileged friends, sinks and it contains monsters — both fantastical and extraordinarily human — but it also trades in allegories about emotional abuse, class warfare, and believing survivors. Basically, it’s a horror flick that packs a savvy metaphorical punch.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
Stephen King’s 1992 novel transpires mostly in one isolated lake house’s bedroom where its protagonist, Jessie, lies bound to a bed after her husband dies in the midst of a sex game. That makes it a tough story to film, which may explain why it took 25 years to get turned into a movie. But the wait was worth it: director Mike Flanagan delivers a resourceful, disturbing adaptation anchored by a great Carla Gugino performance (with some fine supporting work from Bruce Greenwood). Forced to find a way out of her situation, while confronting her own past, Gugino’s Jessie is made to go to extremes, which leads to, among other things, one of the squirmiest scenes in recent memory.
Under the Shadow (2016)
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
This Iranian horror flick manages to tie in relevant world events with a darker story of demonic possession. The film follows Shideh, a former medical student and mother trapped in her home during the bombings of Tehran with her daughter, Dorsa. The pair are soon haunted by a djinn, a malevolent spirit who can possess a human by taking what’s most important to them. For Dorsa, it’s her doll, for Shideh, it’s a medical textbook her dead mother gave her. The two fight to survive the bombs and this evil spirit, and you’ll be fighting to get to sleep after the nightmares from this one begin
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
After losing her father, young Veronica (Sandra Escacena) and two classmates attempt to contact the other side with a Ouija board during a solar eclipse. Something more sinister breaks through, though, as Veronica is haunted by a dark presence everywhere she goes. Veronica excels phenomenally in the cliche horror bits every viewer has seen a thousand times over, such as mishandled Ouija use, frightening entities that only the protagonist is privy to, and twisted dreams. Based on a true story, the film relies on the strong performance of newcomer Escacena, highlighted by her haunting expressions of terror and anguish.
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
This South Korean zombie flick imagines a very specific Millennial nightmare — a zombie apocalypse interrupting your video game live stream. The film follows Joon-woo, a kid who’s forced to barricade himself in his parents’ apartment when a zombie outbreak happens after his family goes on a grocery run. He survives hordes of the undead and a self-imposed quarantine by bonding with a neighbor in the building across the street. But both the living and the dead have some pretty gruesome plans for them so we wouldn’t count on a happy ending here.
Prom Night (2008)
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 3.9/10
Brittany Snow stars in this campy horror flick, playing a teen girl tormented by a sadistic serial killer. Look, everyone dreads their high school prom, but Donna (Snow) has good reason to — it’s where a murderer harboring a weird obsession with her plans to take her life and kill all of her friends in the process.
Run Time: 82 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
One of the better found-footage movies to come down the pike in Paranormal Activity‘s wake is this creepy gem about a videographer (director Patrick Brice) who answers a strange Craigslist ad from a man (Mark Duplass) who requests to be followed around with a camera for 24 hours. There are a few points late in the narrative where suspension of disbelief becomes an issue (a not-atypical problem for the genre), but if you can look past that, you’ll be treated to a very scary turn by Duplass and a supremely-unnerving epilogue.
Creep 2 (2017)
Run Time: 80 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
(Spoilers for Creep:) What could have very well been a stand-alone character exploration in 2014’s Creep is heightened in Creep 2, which sees Mark Duplass’ chameleon-like killer seeking a different kind of self-portrait. Burned out on his string of murders, Aaron reaches out to a woman who’s looking for her own kind of story by meeting and filming the lonely people she meets online. Instead of a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing path the killer normally follows, he tells the woman what he is off-the-bat and what he wants: An ending to his journey. With all his cards (seemingly) on the table — and her hiding some of her own — it’s an even more fascinating tale than the original.
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 5.9/10
Netflix is running the market on creepy AF movies lately. This one comes in the form of a young kid suffering from a rare autoimmune disease that forces him to live life inside a bubble. When a new treatment option presents itself, his family sends him to a kind of safe house where specialist can test out the cure, but the boy quickly discovers things aren’t what they seem, that the mansion may in fact be haunted by past patients, and his doctors are probably trying to kill him. Yikes.
The Invitation (2016)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
After back-to-back big studio bombs, Karyn Kusama returned to her scrappy indie roots with this contained, brilliantly suspenseful study of the darkness that can arise when people don’t allow themselves to feel. The Invitation isn’t a perfect film, but Kusama does a lot with the scant resources she had to play with here, and you have to appreciate her willingness to tackle grief so directly in a genre that tends to have little time for genuine human emotion.
The Bar (2017)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
A varied group of people is stuck in a bar after a man is gunned down outside. As the paranoia spreads and they turn on one another, they discover a mysterious sickness could be the culprit. It’s a bottle-type plot that has been done before — locking a bunch of frenzied folks in a cage and let instincts take their course — but this Spanish horror comedy injects its own dark humor and keeps the answers to a minimum, making an entertaining story that unfortunately favors the “dark” over the “comedy” in its final act.
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 5.4/10
Helen Mirren stars in this supernatural thriller set in the 1900s. Mirren plays Sarah Winchester, the wife of the late famed gun manufacturer William Winchester. When her husband’s company sends a doctor named Eric Price (Jason Clarke) to deem whether she’s sane enough to run the business, he begins seeing spirits, ones that haunt the halls of Sarah’s growing mansion. And when the malevolent ghosts begin possessing Sarah’s young nephew, trying to exact revenge for her husband’s crimes, Eric must confront his own dark past.
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
A man (Legion‘s Dan Stevens) travels to an island to infiltrate a brutal cult in the hopes of saving his kidnapped sister. As the group’s leaders close in on discovering his identity, the dark secrets of the island start to present themselves. Written and directed by The Raid: Redemption director Gareth Evans, Apostle is a tense, beautifully shot thriller that doesn’t even seem like a horror film from the get-go. Stevens provides another icy, powerful performance alongside Michael Sheen’s turn as the leader of the harsh cult. It’s certainly a highlight among the Netflix original films.
Recent Changes Through March 2021
Removed: House of 1000 Corpses, Red Dragon, Autopsy of Jane Doe, Poltergeist, The Evil Dead
Added: Winchester, Cargo, Devil’s Gate, Gothika, Prom Night