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 ton of horror movies on Netflix.
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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 $8.99 each month for one 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 for a secluded retreat. An unfortunate set of circumstances then begins, which puts 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 as well as 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.
A remake of a now-classic Japanese film, this 2002 movie paved the way for Asian horror themes to be adapted into Western films. Naomi Watts plays a journalist that’s investigating an urban legend. The legend claims that a mysterious videotape that will kill any person who watches the video on the tap seven days afterward. However, she soon discovers that not only is the videotape real, but so are its ultimate consequences.
The Ring has been a huge influence on the entire horror film genre since its release and has also been endlessly parodied. However, it remains 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 both 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 so, so right.
As Above So Below
This is yet another “found footage” movie, this time from 2014. However, it has a very cool premise. A team decides to go into the underground catacombs of Paris to film what few people have seen. This expedition quickly goes wrong, as the group finds themselves unable to get out of these catacombs. However, the legends claim that they need to go deeper into the catacombs in order to actually escape.
This is definitely not a movie for people who are claustrophobic, but if you can take it, you will find a very frightening movie. It’s definitely one of the best scary movies on Netflix.
Considering this film spawned not only a series of sequels but its own universe of spin-offs, you know it’s gotta be pretty good. One of the best horror movies on Netflix, The Conjuring is a modern masterpiece of terror.
Directed by James Wan — who also directed the horror staple Saw — this film centers on a pair of paranormal investigators. However, unlike most horror films, those investigators are based on real people, as are the events in the film. Obviously, the film isn’t a documentary and takes lots of artistic license in depicting true-life events. But knowing there are people who claim this all really happened makes it even scarier.
This film centers on five friends who decide to go on a hiking trip. However, in a crazy set of circumstances, one of the members of the group 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.
If you’ve only ever seen the dreadful 2008 US remake of Shutter, you owe it to yourself to see the source material. The original Thai production of this is so good at being creepy that it makes something as simple as snapping a photo utterly terrifying.
Shutter is an unsettling thriller-chiller that draws heavy influence from classic J-horror flicks such as Ringu (remade as The Ring) and The Grudge. While it arguably doesn’t quite hit the same level of quality as its Japanese peers, Shutter has earned a deserved cult following thanks to its gorgeous cinematography, sharp sound design, and clever visual trickery. If you dare look through a viewfinder again, it’ll leave you scratching at your eyes (and shoulders) for weeks.
Mike Flanagan has directed a ton of 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 into 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, making it one of the best scary movies on Netflix right now.
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 that’s 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.
It Comes At Night
This 2017 horror movie takes a different angle on the disease-based post-apocalypse thriller. At its heart, it’s a story of two families that want to survive. One family has fled civilization and is now hiding in a remote cabin in the woods. However, another family comes into the area, and soon they are both sharing the cabin. But is this outsider group to be trusted? There’s tons of tension in this movie as members of both family groups try to figure out which, if any, of them are infected.
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 Steven stars as a man who is 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 that are 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 home doesn’t appear to like her.
- In The Tall Grass – Based on a story written by Steven 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.