Get your popcorn ready.
We’re months away from Halloween, but there’s never a bad time to spend a night in, binging the best horror movies Netflix has to offer. The only problem is knowing where to start.
We’ve culled together 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 on.
The best horror movies on Netflix
4/5 on Netflix | 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
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
3½ stars on Netflix | 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In this spooky ghost story, Ellison Oswalt, a true-crime author in need of a hit, moves his family into a house to work on his next book. There he discovers a box of reel-to-reel home movies, each depicting the brutal murder of a different family. As he tries to unravel the mystery behind the murders it becomes clear something supernatural is involved, and it has designs on his family. Despite the macabre subject matter, Sinister’s horrific violence is more often implied than shown, leaving you to fill in the nightmare blanks for yourself. You’ll never want to watch home movies again. —John-Michael Bond
3) The Babadook
3/5 on Netflix, 98 percent on 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.
1.5/5 on Netflix | 96 on Rotten Tomatoes
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.
3/5 on Netflix | 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
Screengrab via VICE/YouTube (Fair Use)
Filmed entirely in black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night follows the titular character around Bad City, a place teeming with crime, drugs, and prostitution. This scenario can most certainly pass off as a type of horror most of womankind faces on the regular, but what makes this Persian-language flick unique is the girl in question just happens to be a vampire. —J.K.
4½ on Netflix | 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
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.
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- The best horror movies on Netflix
2/5 on Netflix | 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
This horror movie—which premiered at South by Southwest in 2015—centers on a grieving couple trying to get over the tragic death of their son by moving to rural New England. There, they find an old house that seemed like the perfect place to forget… until they discover that it houses evil spirits. While the premise may seem like a common horror plot, watch for several unexpected twists. —J.K.
3/5 stars on Netflix | 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
This 1987 classic of British horror introduced the world to Pinhead, the sadomasochistic demon who wants to tear your soul apart. Built on a foundation of black magic, Hellraiser is a tale of human sacrifice and demonic sex with a dark sense of humor at its kinky heart. As much a fairy tale as a horror story, Hellraiser has inspired a generation of dark fantasy filmmakers. Thanks to Netflix, you get to see why. —J.M.B.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 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 Host
2/5 on Netflix, 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In the mood for a monster movie? The Host provides an equal amount of scare and laughs that make another great cult horror project to add to your Netflix list. This South Korean flick was so successful the year it came out (2006) that plans for a Hollywood remake were made but little progress has been made —J.K.
11) Starry Eyes
4/5 stars on Netflix | 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In Starry Eyes, you see just how much a young starlet is willing to let go of to see her name in lights. Blending Cronenbergian body horror with the surrealistic nihilism of David Lynch, Starry Eyes is a classic Hollywood tale of innocence destroyed by greed. The buckets of blood are just an added bonus. —J.M.B.
12) The Nightmare
4/5 stars on Netflix | 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.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
This is the 2013 American remake of the 2010 Mexican cannibal horror film, but each film stands on its own. It just so happens, the remake is the only one on Netflix. You won’t care. Transporting the tale from busy poverty-stricken Mexican City to the rural American South, We Are What We Are shows the versatility of the original premise and the universal nature of religion’s power over desperate people. It tells the story of two young girls who struggle to keep their cannibalistic family safe while their father mourns the death of their mother. A haunting piece of slow-burning gothic horror, We Are What We Are will break your heart and chill your blood. —J.M.B.
14) It Follows
5/5 stars on Netflix | 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.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
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