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The best scary movies on Netflix (March 2022)
There’s no disputing that Netflix is one of the best and most successful streaming services for modern and classic movies, blockbuster TV series, and a wildly diverse selection of original programming. But when it comes to scary movies on Netflix, the service seems to lean towards quantity over quality. In short, there are a lot of horror movies on Netflix.
Read also: What’s new on Netflix
That said, there are some outliers, ranging from bonafide genre classics to blood-curdling modern masterpieces. Below, you’ll find our list of the best scary movies on Netflix you can stream right now. If you don’t have a subscription, you could pay as little as $9.99 each month by hitting the button below.
Now turn the lights off, grab your partner/pet/pillow tight, and prepare yourself for the best scary movies on Netflix.
Best scary movies on Netflix
Editor’s note: We will update this post as more scary Netflix horror movies are added to the service’s catalog and others are removed.
Based on a Stephen King novel, Gerald’s Game is scary because it’s so familiar. The story is incredibly simple: a husband and wife are facing a troubled marriage and decide to get away to a secluded retreat. An unfortunate set of circumstances then begins, putting the wife in a perilous situation.
If you’re looking for outright shocks or gore, you won’t find much here. However, the unsettling cinematography and some truly unnerving moments drench the whole film with a feeling of dread. This is a slow-burner but well worth the investment. It’s definitely one of the best scary movies on Netflix.
This is a true modern cult horror classic. The 2015 movie is centered on a woman who has a quick sexual encounter with a man. However, he wasn’t trying just to have sex. As it turns out, he’s also trying to get rid of a supernatural force that slowly but surely, comes toward the person attached to it and kills him. It is indeed one of the best horror movies on Netflix.
Not to be confused with the equally brilliant 2004 horror-slasher of the same name, 2014’s Creep is a profoundly creepy (as you might expect from the title) indie movie with a darkly comic streak. It also just so happens to be one of the best examples of the “found footage” horror sub-genre to date and one of the best scary movies on Netflix at the moment.
Not all horror movies need to be terrifying. This is a perfect example of a film that deftly balances creepy scares with flat-out silliness, enabling you to laugh and scream all at once.
Creep was co-written and produced by Mark Duplass, who also stars in a career-defining performance as reclusive oddball Josef and the world’s freakiest furry, Peachfuzz. Duplass has become something of a Netflix darling after producing a bunch of superb shows alongside his brother (such as the critically acclaimed Wild Wild Country miniseries). Creep and its enjoyable sequel (also on Netflix) are examples of horror-comedy done right.
This is yet another “found footage” movie from 2007, but it’s undoubtedly one of the best ones. A young couple moves into a normal suburban home, but it seems to be the home for some kind of evil demon. What starts as a haunted house movie slowly begins to turn into something else even more frightening. It’s definitely one of the best scary movies on Netflix.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Wes Craven’s original 1984 Elm Street movie is still the best of this long-running horror film series. The basic idea, that of a killer who enters the dreams of his intended victims, is at its purest form here, as the scarred and blade-wearing Freddy Krueger goes after the teens of this small town. Freddy is a lot less jokey than he became in the other films in this series, and that makes the movie even scarier to watch. Look for Johnny Depp in a small but memorable early role in this film as well.
This film centers on five friends who decide to go hiking. However, in a crazy set of circumstances, one of the group members dies. The remaining four decide to carry on with their trip and turn it into a tribute to their late friend. Since this is a list of the best scary movies on Netflix, you’ve already likely surmised that the trip doesn’t go well.
Even if you’re not a big horror fan, film buffs will appreciate the gorgeous cinematography here. Shot on location in the Carpathian Mountains, it’s a wonderful piece of cinema just for the location shots. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the film is pretty scary, too.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Is this the best movie ever based on the original Dracula novel? We think so. This 1992 Francis Ford Coppola movie is a visual feast, using old-school visuals combined with some excellent makeup effects and production design, making this film look unlike any Dracula movie before or since.
Gary Oldman is perfect as the title character, as we learn about his tragic love story before he became a vampire. However, there’s no doubt that he’s now pure evil, as he makes his way out of Transylvania in the late 19th century to prey on the people of London. Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, and Anthony Hopkins are also among this excellent cast.
Mike Flanagan has directed many great horror movies and TV shows, including The Haunting of Hill House for Netflix. This 2016 film has a perfect premise for a stalker movie. It features a writer who happens to be both deaf and mute and wants to get away from everything to write her next work. She heads to a remote house in the woods to work. Unfortunately for her, there’s also a masked killer out there who thinks she will be an easy victim.
Under The Shadow
British-Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari delivers chilling horror moments and imagery that will scar your subconscious in Under The Shadow. As any great horror film does, it uses the genre well to also throw political commentary and family drama into the mix.
Set in war-torn Tehran during The War of the Cities, the movie centers on Shideh and her young daughter, Dorsa. Accused of radicalism and bound by the restraints of Sharia law, Shideh finds herself in a battle against socio-political oppression, falling bombs, and what she thinks is a mythological demonic presence trying to corrupt and possess her daughter.
Under The Shadow succeeds in constantly making the characters and the audience question what is and isn’t real with nightmarish results.
This 2005 horror movie comes from genre master Eli Roth, who wrote and directed this film. What happens when two friends from the US, and another friend from the Netherlands, get lured into staying at a hostel in Slovakia, which is supposed to have sexy ladies? Nothing good, as this trio gets into serious trouble involving kidnapping and torture. It will definitely make you think twice about accepting an invite to an unknown hostel.
Here are a few more scary movies on Netflix that didn’t quite make our “best of” list but are still worth a look:
- The Babysitter — This horror comedy centers on a boy who finds out that his babysitter and her high-school friends are part of a demon-worshiping cult.
- Apostle — Dan Stevens stars as a man looking for his missing sister in the early 20th century. He does find her, but on an isolated island, that’s home to an evil community.
- Unfriended — Computer monitors, smartphones, and social networks are used to tell the story of a group of teens being killed off one by one.
- Crimson Peak — Guillermo del Toro directed this classic gothic horror tale of a woman who marries a rich man and moves into his home. However, his house doesn’t appear to like her.
- In The Tall Grass — Based on a story written by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, this movie follows a group of people who can’t seem to escape an isolated country field that has very tall grass.
Those are our picks for the best scary movies on Netflix. We’ll add more as new horror films come to the streaming service.