Screengrab via Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YouTube

Get your popcorn ready.

We’re months away from Halloween, but there’s never a bad time to spend a night in binge-watching the best horror movies Netflix has to offer. The only problem is knowing where to start.

We’ve culled a list of essential horror movies, and we’ve made sure that each film passes the Rotten Tomatoes test. Pick one or binge them all. Just be sure to leave a light on.

The best horror movies on Netflix

1) Hush

100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix: hush Screengrab via Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films/YouTube

When a deaf writer decides to live alone in the woods, you can bet something terrifying is bound to happen. A psychological horror flick that made its debut at South by Southwest in 2016, Hush has garnered accolades from critics and horror fans alike, including ones we may consider an expert on the genre. —Jam Kotenko

2) A Dark Song

90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scary movies on netflix : A Dark Song Screengrab via Netflix

No one can say how they’ll respond to the death of a child until it happens to them. In A Dark Song, a mourning mother enlists an occultist to help her perform a powerful piece of black magic to allow her one more moment with her son. Most horror films in this vein play their hand early and loudly, but A Dark Song is thoughtfully paced, slowly building up dread until it’s almost unbearable, and then making you wait longer for release. By showing the evolution of a black magic spell, the film takes you out of your comfort zone. —John-Michael Bond

3) The Babadook

98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best scary movies on netflix: babdook Photo via Rotten Tomatoes

Be careful about the books that you read to your kids—you never know when you might unintentionally set a malevolent spirit free from them. In case you were wondering what it feels like to be a parent whose hyperactive child is constantly disturbed by an evil spirit, The Babadook will certainly give you a taste of the helplessness as well as the fear that’s expected from a really good supernatural story. —J.K.

4) Creep

96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best scary movies on netflix: Creep Screengrab via Horror Movie Trailers by FilmIsNow/YouTube

If you’re a fan of found-footage horror, Creep does it exceptionally well. Featuring a cash-desperate man who answers a vague Craigslist ad, this movie shows you exactly why you should be a little bit more discerning when it comes to responding to opportunities online. —J.K.

5) Little Evil

89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scary movies on netflix : Little Evil Screengrab via Netflix

Evil comes home to roost in Eli Craig’s horror-comedy Little Evil, which follows a stepdad (played by Adam Scott) and his complicated relationship with his stepson, who happens to be the Antichrist. Fun times. I don’t mean that sarcastically. Despite a few tense moments, the movie is more comedy than horror. Craig takes a tired premise and injects life (and plenty of jokes) into it. Aside from Scott, the pitch-perfect cast also includes Evangeline Lilly, Bridget Everett, Donald Faison, and Chris D’Elia. —Eddie Strait

6) The Invitation

89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scary movies on netflix: The invitation Photo via Fangoria

First off, don’t watch the trailer for this movie. Just go to Netflix and watch the film. The plot follows a man as he and his girlfriend go to dinner at his ex-wife’s house for the first time since they split due to a sudden tragedy. This exercise in slow-building dread leaves you constantly questioning the motives of everyone involved up to the last jarring frame. There’s nothing else quite like The Invitation on Netflix. Take our word for it and go in blind. —J.M.B.

READ MORE:

7) Oculus

73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best scary movies netflix : Oculus Screengrab via Netflix

It’s hard to come back from the murder of your parents, especially if you were convicted of the crime. Upon being released from jail for killing his folks as a teen, Tim Russell just wants to start over and forget about the horrors of his youth. His sister Kaylie, however, is still haunted, positive the killings were caused by an evil being that haunted the antique mirror that also lived in their childhood home. As Kaylie’s investigation deepens dark forces begin to invade their lives, restarting the nightmares of their childhood all over again. Reeling in the gore in favor of dread, Oculus uses its moments of violence to kick you when you’re down, jumping off your growing sense of unease for maximum effect. If you’re sick of jump scares and want a good old-fashioned haunting to trouble your dreams Oculus is a treat.

8) Cube (1997)

scary movies on netflix : Cube

Six people wake up in a square room wearing identical jumpsuits unaware of how they got there. The only thing they know is each side of the room has a door, leading them deep into a maze full of traps. Fans of the Saw series will appreciate the mix of unfolding mystery and clever kill scenes that punctuate this thoughtful cult classic.

 

9) Under the Shadow

98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

In 1980s Tehran, during the War of the Cities, a mother and daughter stay huddled up in their apartment as their city is bombarded by missiles. The historical horror and PTSD-inducing sights of rockets cracking roofs should be terrifying enough, but then an evil spirit takes interest in the little girl and things go from bad to worse. Directed by Iranian-born Babak Anvari, Under the Shadow deals with the social issues of a woman’s place in a fundamentalist Muslim society as much as it does demonic forces. —J.M.B.

10) The Ritual

70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

netflix thrillers and horror movies - The Ritual Netflix/YouTube

This indie flick stars Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, Hot Fuzz), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Arsher Ali, and Sam Troughton as four friends on a lads’ holiday hiking in Sweden after a recent tragedy. As you might’ve already guessed given that this is a horror movie, the trip does not go as planned. One of the men hurts his foot, sending them off the main trail and onto a shortcut through the woods. The third feature from director David Bruckner, the film is essentially a mythological riff on Deliverance. —Chris Osterndorf

11) The Ravenous

good scary movies on netflix - the ravenous UHM - Upcoming Horror Movies/YouTube

The Ravenous is a French-Canadian zombie thriller with an intriguing twist: the zombies react to sound. The survivors must stay as quiet as possible to survive, leading to a terrifyingly tense atmosphere. While it’s a rather obscure low-budget indie, it’s surely the most interesting zombie movie of 2017. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

12) The Nightmare

71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

Eight percent of the population suffers from sleep paralysis, defined as “a discrete period of time during which voluntary muscle movement is inhibited, yet ocular and respiratory movements are intact.” Basically, your body is completely asleep but you can’t move. For the people who suffer from this disorder, it can be a terrifying nightmare, being trapped in a body that can’t move. The Nightmare is a documentary about these people and the night terrors that follow them. While not everyone with sleep paralysis sees the dark figures that haunt the subjects of this documentary, we promise they’ll haunt your dreams long after your viewing. —J.M.B.

13) Cheap Thrills

88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix : Cheap Thrills Screengrab via Hollywoodstreams/YouTube

This gleefully evil black comedy is notable for being part of the career resurgence of former teen heartthrob Ethan Embry, but don’t let the “comedy” description fool you. Cheap Thrills is a brutal yet hysterical thriller about what happens when everyday life has already pushed you to your limits, and someone asks you to go farther. Comedian Dave Koechner anchors the whole affair, adding sparks of laughter when the darkness feels too oppressive. —J.M.B.

14) It Follows

97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

Sex will kill you. If you went to public school in a red state or have particularly overzealous parents, you’ve probably heard that idea once or twice. In It Follows, the warning is literal. Sex will kill you or, more specifically, will cause an evil spirit to follow you around, hunting you down until you have sex with someone else—like if the tape from The Ring was an STD. It Follows has brilliantly subtle direction that focuses on the characters while saving jump scares for when they’re absolutely needed. —J.M.B.

READ MORE:

15) The Void

73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

good scary movies on netflix : The Void Screengrab via Netflix

The ‘80s might be remembered for the slasher boom, but the era of Reagan was also a golden era of creature features. Fright Night, The Thing, Society, Re-Animator: No decade took low-budget prosthetic special effects further than the ‘80s. The Void is a tribute to those days of tentacles and blood, but don’t write it off as just a love letter to the past—this beast can stand on its own. A police officer finds a blood-soaked man limping down the road and takes him to the hospital, unaware that the people and things that caused the man’s predicament have not had their lust for blood sated. Dripping with gore, The Void is destined to become a cult horror classic. —J.M.B.

16) The Conjuring

86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

horror movies on netflix The Conjuring Netflix

Who would have expected James Wan, creator of Saw, to birth one of the most well-constructed ghost stories ever to grace cinemas. Based on a supposedly real haunting experienced by famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring became a worldwide phenomenon, grossing over $319 million on a $20 million budget. Dealing with witchcraft and cruel spirits, The Conjuring is the only R-rated film on this list to have earned its rating purely for being terrifying. Setting the film in 1971 makes it feel like a piece of lost history and removes all of the comforts we’ve become accustomed to in modern life from our protagonist’s options. Sometimes you forgot how terrifying life must have been before you could carry a flashlight everywhere you go. While it’s subsequent sequels and spin-offs haven’t had the same quality, the original is a rare modern classic in the haunted house genre. —J.M.B.

17) The Wailing

99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

netflix horror movies : The Wailing Photo via Rotten Tomatoes

When officer Jong-Goo begins to investigate a series of murders caused by oddly sick people, he’s drawn into a war between reason and folklore. As the sickness hits his home, Jong-Goo has no choice but to reach out to a mysterious force to save the ones he loves. Blending police procedurals with black magic is an odd mix, but this Korean nightmare serves up deeply upsetting horrors for our beloved hero to experience. Its gradual build lulls you into a sense of false security, but rest assured, you will never guess the path The Wailing takes. —J.M.B.

18) White God (2014)

89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scary movies netflix : White God Screengrab via Netflix

White God is not conventionally a horror film. It reads like the plot of a fairy tale: A teenage girl is searching for the dog her dad threw out of the house while the dog works to escape from the clutches of an evil dog catcher. The problem is White God takes place is a world where the dogs bite and people get seriously hurt because of it. The film is made all the more remarkable by the low-budget production’s use of 250 real dogs for the stunts. The animal performances have a humanity to them that’s hard to explain without watching it. If you want to be chilled something out of the ordinary, White God is a hidden treat on Netflix. —J.M.B.

19) The Transfiguration

86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

horror movies netflix : the transfiguration Screengrab via Strand Releasing/YouTube

Horror rarely gets respect from movie snobs, but this vampire tale was picked as an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, an impressive feat made all the more remarkable due to it being director Michael O’Shea’s debut picture. Milo is a 14-year-old African-American boy living in a gang-infested neighborhood and being raised by his older brother, a war vet suffering from PTSD. At night Milo pours through vampire movies, not looking for an escape but for tips on his own evening hunts for blood. The Transfiguration rises above the basic question of “is Milo actually a vampire,” however, and becomes something that will stick with you like a bite mark on the neck. —J.M.B.

20) Curse of Chucky

82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix curse of chucky Netflix

After spending almost two decades mired in camp with Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky, the Child’s Play series finally returned to its horror roots in Curse of Chucky. Chucky is scariest when he’s kept in the shadows, and here he lurks like the outline of a shark underwater. Still, on the hunt for a body to possess, Chucky mails himself to the home of a young wheelchair-bound woman dealing with a recent death. It’s remarkable how little screentime Chucky gets in the first half of the film while remaining a terrifying presence. When the gore finally ramps up in the second act, it’s a welcome rest from the sheer tension of what came before it. Who’d have thought the sixth movie in a horror series would be one of its best?

 

21) Oldboy

80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix : Oldboy Photo via Tartan Films/Rotten Tomatoes

There are a few films on this list that are technically not horror films. While more traditionally a suspense film, Oldboy is a deeply upsetting movie, leaving you far more shaken than most ghost stories could ever accomplish. A man is kidnapped, locked in a room for 15 years, and then one day released. He immediately sets out to discover why he was kidnapped, leading down the path to one of the darkest revenge thrillers of all time. Oldboy will haunt you, both thanks to its staggering physical and psychological violence. Stay away from the American remake. Accept only the original. And for god’s sake don’t read any spoilers. —J.M.B.

22) Teeth 

79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

good scary movies on netflix : teeth Netflix

Puberty isn’t kind to anyone, but Dawn is experiencing a particularly traumatic awakening. She has a second set of teeth, one that makes sexual contact a life-threatening possibility. This nuclear-powered tale of mutant genitalia and teenage angst was a cult hit upon its release in 2007, but this feminist horror treat is due for rediscovery. Teeth takes a B-movie premise and delivers a body horror masterpiece. —J.M.B.

23) V/H/S 2  

70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scary movies on netflix V/H/S 2 Netflix

 

Found-footage films often suffer from needing to be feature length, but some ideas don’t need an hour to be realized. V/H/S 2 exemplifies this philosophy, dealing up four original tales of ghastly horror in bite-sized mini-movies. With moments of dark comedy sprinkled in-between genuinely nightmare-inducing stories like the black magic cult segment “Safe Haven,” V/H/S 2 offers a little bit of something for every kind of horror fan. Just take a Dramamine if you get queasy during shaky cam. —J.M.B.

24) Trash Fire

70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

horror movies netflix : Trash Fire Screengrab via Circle of Confusion/Rotten Tomatoes

How you feel about Trash Fire will depend on how dark you like your movies. Entourage’s Adrian Grenier stars as Owen, an epileptic alcoholic who is barely hanging on to his relationship with his girlfriend Isabel, played with grace by Angela Trimbur. When Isabel learns she’s pregnant, she tells Owen she’s going to leave him if he doesn’t introduce her to his family. Of course, sometimes there’s a reason you haven’t met your lover’s family. Beginning as a pitch-black comedy, Trash Fire slowly evolves into a horror film dealing with family guilt and the lasting impact of abuse. If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if Chuck Palahniuk took a crack at a Faulkner novel, Trash Fire is your horrific answer. —J.M.B.

READ MORE:

25) 1922

85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

netflix original horror movie: 1922 review Photo courtesy of Netflix

There’s yet another Stephen King adaptation landing on Netflix, and this one involves rats and murder. In Zak Hilditch’s take, Thomas Jane plays Wilfred James, a Nebraska farmer who has a crisis of conscience when wife Arlette (Molly Parker) says she wants to move to the city and take their teenage son. What follows is a signature King ghost story but it expands in Jane’s dead-eyed portrayal of Wilfred. Mike Patton provides the anxiety-inducing soundtrack, and it couldn’t have been a better choice.Audra Schroeder

26) Raw

90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

good scary movies on netflix : Raw Screengrab via YouTube

Raw is so scary it reportedly had people fainting during film festival screenings, but it’s earned both its accolades and its reputation. Justine has just entered veterinary school, following in her family’s tradition of animal care. A vegetarian all of her life, Justine is forced to eat meat as part of a hazing ritual at school, but she soon discovers she’s acquired an expanding taste for flesh. Part college drama, part pitch-black comedy, this horrific entry uses cannibalism as a metaphor for destructive self-discovery, but it’s easy to enjoy as a gory treat on its own. —J.M.B.

27) They Look Like People (2015)

89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

horror movies netflix : They Look Like People Screengrab via Netflix

If you’ve ever let someone you haven’t seen in awhile sleep on your sofa, They Look Like People will make you think twice about it. When Christian invites his old friend Wyatt to stay with him during a trip, he doesn’t realize that Wyatt has developed some new ideas since they last spoke—ideas about the end of the world, the monsters who are slowly possessing his friends and family. Normally in a horror movie, the monsters would be real, but the film makes it very clear Wyatt is just suffering from a psychological delusion. They Look Like People examines what happens when the human mind breaks. The way director Perry Blackshear stages Wyatt’s delusions makes it clear why these visions are so terrifying, but by the end of the film, your empathy will be tested. —J.M.B.

28) Scream 2 (1997)

scariest movies on netflix : Scream 2 Screengrab via YouTube

This is the last great horror movie the late Wes Craven made. (Red Eye is a blast, but that’s a thriller.) A year removed from the bloodbath in Woodsboro, Sidney (Neve Campbell) is off to college. Like most college freshman, she has some lingering baggage. Unlike most freshman, that baggage literally cannot stop trying to kill her. But her loss is the audience’s gain. Campbell does legitimately great work, and her ability to make Sidney a sympathetic figure is a major reason why this film ranks high in the horror sequel pantheon. The series would lose much of its luster in subsequent sequels (and a TV show), but Scream 2 matches its predecessor laugh for laugh and kill. —Eddie Strait

 

29) Verónica

71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

veronica horror movie netflix BFI/YouTube

Verónica, from Spanish horror director Paco Plaza, made a splash on Netflix in March for being horrifying, and because it’s based on a (reportedly) true story. Verónica (Sandra Escacena) holds a seance with her friends in the basement of their Catholic school while everyone else is outside watching a solar eclipse. If this confluence of events sounds like a bad idea, you’re right, because instead of reaching her deceased father, she channels a demon. It’s a stylized haunt with emotional weight and solid performances. It also speaks to a woman coming of age (in the most horrific way possible). —Audra Schroeder

30) Gerald’s Game (2017)

best horror movies to stream Photo via Netflix

It’s the year of the Stephen King adaptation, and Gerald’s Game might be the best one. Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) takes a novel that has long been considered unfilmable and imbues it with tension and emotion. Carla Gugino gives a standout performance as Jessie, a woman who is left handcuffed to a bed in a remote cabin after her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) dies unexpectedly. The bulk of the film concerns her survival and how deep into the past she can go, and it actually improves upon the novel. —Audra Schroeder

Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, and comedy specials when you really need to laugh.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

Jam Kotenko

Jam Kotenko

Jam Kotenko is a technology reporter and graphic designer who specializes in coverage of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps. Her work has been published by Digital Trends, Bustle, and Gotta Be Mobile.

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adapter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also find him talking about religion each week on the Who’s Your God podcast and performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.

Upstream
From Our VICE Partners