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.
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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.
1. Gerald’s Game
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.
2. The Blair Witch Project
In this day and age, the “found footage” genre is so overdone that it might be difficult to remember that this film started the whole trend. While it wasn’t the first found footage film ever, it was certainly the biggest. Even today, it’s still one of the most successful independent films of all time.
By now, you likely know the basic gist of this story. Three documentary filmmakers descend upon a small town searching for information surrounding legends about a witch in the area. As they venture into the woods looking for clues, they become hopelessly lost. The film you see is the supposed document of their journey.
If you haven’t seen this one yet, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. It’s one of the best horror movies on Netflix and is historically significant for its various trend-setting tropes. Plus, it still holds up as being pretty terrifying — especially at the end!
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.
4. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
The Blackcoat’s Daughter is one of those films that is a better experience the less you know about it. As such, we’re going to encourage you to avoid reading reviews or plot summaries. There are a lot of twists in this film and the narrative isn’t linear, which makes going in blind the best way to enjoy the ride.
We will say that this film is very disturbing, and most of the disturbing footage involves young women. If you have a weak stomach or any moral objections to kids engaged in downright terrifying situations, this is a film you’d want to avoid. It is, however, one of the best scary movies on Netflix for those who can handle it!
5. The Conjuring
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.
6. The Ritual
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Those are our picks for the best scary movies on Netflix. We’ll add more as new horror films come to the streaming service.