10 scary movies on Netflix you probably haven’t seen

Don't let these slip through the cracks.

Jul 7, 2020, 4:03 pm*


John-Michael Bond 

John-Michael Bond

There are over 7,000 movies on Netflix, so it’s easy for some hidden gems to fall through the cracks. Nowhere is the danger of overlooking something higher than in the horror genre. Between Netflix originals and big-budget action flicks or dramas, scary movies on Netflix just don’t get the same attention. We understand the needs of gore-hounds and horror heads alike. If you’re worried you’ve drained all the blood from the horror section, here are 10 horror movies on Netflix you probably haven’t seen. (And, if these picks still don’t whet your appetite, you can check our list of the best horror movies on Netflix overall.)

The best horror movies on Netflix you haven’t seen: 10 good scary movies to watch

1) Await Further Instructions (2018)

Christmas morning is supposed to be a time of celebration, but the Milgram family is about to have a holiday from hell. They wake up to find their home surrounded by a mysterious black substance, with no answer in sight. As claustrophobia sets in, a mysterious message appears on the TV: “Stay indoors and await further instructions.” Soon more messages appear, pitting family members against each other with gruesome results. Save yourself from spoilers and revel in one of the best scary movies on Netflix, an underrated delight of paranoid horror.


2) 13 Cameras (2015)

Most people hate their landlord, but for newlyweds Claire and Ryan, Gerald is a special pain. As the two settle into their new home, Gerald just can’t leave them alone, adding more stress to a marriage already strained by a difficult pregnancy. Can you imagine how angry Claire and Ryan will be when they find out about the cameras Gerald’s hidden in their home? Netflix was made for this sort of small-scale stalker chiller. Just don’t be surprised if it leaves you checking your closet before bed.  


3) The Monster (2016)

If you make time for just one of these obscure horror movies on Netflix, make it The Monster. On paper, this is a simple film about a mother and her daughter lost in the woods with a terrifying creature threatening their lives. Instead, writer/director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) uses a familiar setup to explore the fears of a child raised by a selfish parent. The Monster is a creature feature at heart, but its emotional depth adds to its already crushing intensity. If this movie didn’t have a monster in it, Zoe Kazan would have won awards.


4) The VVitch (2015)

Writer/director Robert Eggers’ critically acclaimed debut might be a hard sell, but fans of slow-burning horror will adore this mystical period piece. In 1630 New England, a farmer and his family find themselves forced to move to a remote farm or risk banishment from the church. The land is bleak but fine enough—until crops start to die and a child disappears. As the world crumbles around them, faith and superstition put the family’s love to the ultimate test. Shot with period-accurate dialogue and stunning natural lighting, The VVitch is unlike all other horror movies on Netflix. Give this nightmare time to unfold and you’ll discover a chilling period drama with a crushing, yet beautiful, ending.  


5) Veronica (2017)

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, Verónica 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


6) All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

If All the Boys Love Mandy Lane had been released as planned in 2006, it would probably be remembered as a beloved horror classic. Unfortunately, it sat on a studio shelf for years, getting released overseas before being dumped on video in the states. Now you can watch one of the best slashers of the past 20 years on Netflix. A group of kids goes to a farm to drink and have sex. You’ve seen the setup before, but don’t let …Mandy Lane fool you. There’s a pitch-black feminist horror film hiding behind these clichés. People should mention All the Boys Love Mandy Lane in the same breath as Teeth and It Follows.


7) Cam (2018)

That cold panic you feel when your password doesn’t work? Cam takes that feeling and stretches it into a smart thriller about online identity and sex work. Written by Isa Mazzei, a former cam girl, Cam stars Madeline Brewer as Alice, a woman who performs as alter ego Lola and is trying to build a following like any modern content creator. Things take a turn when she’s locked out of her account and her doppelgänger starts putting on a show, and Cam drills down into the fractured identities we (sometimes inadvertently) create online. —A.S.


8) The Gift (2015)

Sick of slashers and ghosts? The Gift is one of the most chilling horror movies on Netflix with the smallest body count to boot. After moving to California with his wife Robyn, Simon runs into his old high school pal Gordo at the store. The two men catch up, and slowly start to rebuild their friendship. But there’s something unsettling about Gordo—something Simon forgot from their past, a grudge that’s been brewing for years. It’s OK if Simon can’t remember. When Gordo is done, he’ll never be able to forget.


9) Murder Party (2007)

Before gifting the world Blue Ruin and Green Room, director Jeremy Saulnier made a gory splash with Murder Party. On Halloween, a lovable dork named Chris finds himself on the receiving end of a surprise costume party invitation. With no friends and nothing else to do, he excitedly dresses up and heads out. But Chris doesn’t know he’s walking into a trap set by a pack of clueless artists who think murder might be their creative medium. Unlike Saulnier’s dark later work, Murder Party is a splatter comedy that doubles as one of the best obscure scary movies on Netflix. It’s ripe for splitting a six-pack with some friends—provided, of course, they have strong stomachs.


10) Christine (1983)

John Carpenter might have made his name with Halloween, but Christine is his most underrated film. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Christine tells the love story of a boy and his car. Part possession narrative, part examination of teenage rage, Christine packs a surprising emotional punch for an evil car movie. Best of all, the brilliant practical effects have helped the film age beautifully. You might not be able to catch Christine at the drive-in, but as one of the best scary movies on Netflix, its chills still work in the living room.


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*First Published: Apr 26, 2019, 7:00 am