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.


7) Oculus

73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

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.

best scary movies netflix : Oculus Screengrab via Netflix ()()

8) Hellraiser

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.

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) 30 Days of Night

51 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

30 Days of Night puts the sexy vampire myth to bed, reimagining bloodsuckers as monstrous hing-jawed ghouls with maws full of teeth. Vampires can still be killed by sunlight in this spine-tingling romp, but that’s no help for the citizens of Barrow, Alaska, where once a year the sun sets and doesn’t rise again for 30 days, turning the town into a killing field. 30 Days of Night is a horror tale that tugs every uncomfortable thread it can find, from violence against children to broken homes.

best horror movies on netflix : 30 days of night Screengrab via Netflix ()()

11) Starry Eyes

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

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.


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) Honeymoon

73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix : Honeymoon Photo via Rotten Tomatoes ()()













It’s impossible to describe Honeymoon in too much detail without giving away the wonderfully dark secrets of the film. Lets just say this: Honeymoon is a film about a couple that goes on their honeymoon, some weird things happen, and it’s not what you think it is. The heart of Honeymoon is a love story, an oddly romantic counterbalance to AntiChrist’s nihilism, at least until it isn’t. While not a gore fest, when things get unpleasant they get really unpleasant, so consider yourself warned. —J.M.B.

21) The Good Son

27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

When Roger Ebert called The Good Son a “creepy, unpleasant experience made all the worse because it stars children too young to understand the horrible things we see them doing” he probably didn’t intend it as a compliment. It’s odd because that’s precisely why we love this movie so much. Following the death of his mother, Mark is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Main for a few weeks. His cousin Henry is his age, 9 or 10, and the two initially seem like they’ll be fast friends. Henry might have an odd definition of fun, but Mark needs a friend, at least until his cousin’s games begin to hurt people and he finds himself being blamed for Henry’s crimes. MacAulay Culkin’s lone dramatic role after exploding in popularity was understandably controversial, after all, it’s about a murderous kid. But Culkin’s performance, alongside a young Elijah Wood, is haunting in how innocent it makes evil feel. You get the impression Mark doesn’t get why his actions are wrong. In an era of killer teens and toxic male rage, The Good Son is a haunting thriller that was ahead of its time.J.M.B.

best scary movies on netflix : The Good Son Screengrab via Netflix ()()

22) 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.

23) 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.

24) 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.

25) 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.



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

27) 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.

28) 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.

29) The Road

75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

scariest netflix movies : The Road Screengrab via YouTube/apnatvHD ()()

Cormac McCarthy isn’t known for joyful storytelling, but The Road might be one of his bleakest works. In post-apocalyptic America, a father and son walk through the burnt-out husk of the country, avoiding the dangers of a fallen world and the cruel depths humanity will stoop to in its quest for survival. Armed with just a pistol and the clothes on their back, the two head towards the coast in hopes that they might discover a trace of humanity. The people they encounter along the way will show them that maybe humanity wasn’t worth saving in the first place. Endlessly bleak and punctuated by heartbreaking violence, The Road is horror wrapped in humanity’s worst characteristics, anchored by brilliant performances by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi McPhee. —J.M.B.

30) Children of the Corn

38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

best horror movies on netflix : Children of the Corn Photo via Rotten Tomatoes ()()

In many of these films, children end up the victim of strange evils. In Children of the Corn, it’s the children who embrace evil. Based on a Stephen King short story, Children of the Corn offers an odd intersection of religious horror and slasher films, and it’s only become scarier with time. Burt and Vicky go on a road trip to save their struggling marriage. While passing through a small town in rural Nebraska, they run over a young boy, only to discover the child had already had his throat cut. Driving into town to get help the couple finds a community led by children, all worshiping a dark god. Deeply pessimistic and cruel, Children of the Corn is a rare supernatural treat that chills your blood long before evil from the beyond begins to rear its head. —J.M.B.

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. 

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