Movie List

30 Best Scary Movies on Netflix Right Now

January 23, 2020
24 min read

If you are looking for good scary movies on Netflix to watch, you have a lot of great choices. In fact, you might have a problem of plenty. There is just so much to chose from. That makes me think: Why are horror movies so popular in our pop-culture? Is it because of the harmless fun they provide? I think there is a part of us that wants to experience a little adventure every once in a while. And what better way to experience that sitting in your home?

While there are tons and tons of horror movies available, it is unfortunate that most of them are not good. A perfectly executed horror film can be an extremely gratifying movie experience, but they are hard to find. That’s why this article. Today, we are going to look at the list of really good horror movies on the Netflix that you can watch right now. Obviously, you can also consider these as options for best Halloween movies on Netflix.

30. 47 Meters Down (2017)

Albeit based on a rather loose premise, with its resemblance to countless shark movies out there, ’47 Meters Down’ offers much of the same, but with a slight twist. Although a lot many parts of the film seem off-putting and have an eerie demeanour to them, ’47 Meters Down’ still managed to garner more than 10 times its budget as box office revenues. The movie revolves around Lisa and Kate, two sisters who’re out on a vacation in Mexico and are stuck 47 meters deep inside seawater, thanks to a rusty cage that was a part of their experimental adventure and a lot of sharks amidst them and no one at their rescue. The horrors of deep water and prowling sharks is somewhat terrifying, but at some points, seems too much of the same. Watch this only if you have nothing more important planned for yourself.

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29. Cabin Fever (2002)

Eli Roth commenced his stint with the horror-thriller genre with ‘Cabin Fever’ which was followed by much gory and scarier flicks like ‘Hostel’, along with its sequels. The movie primarily begins with a group of five college students and friends, Jeff, Marcy, Karen, Bert, and Paul who’re out on a vacation in a remotely placed cabin. Unbeknownst to them, an infected man, who is also the carrier of a deadly disease, is murdered by one of the friends, only to know that his dead body has infected the whole bunch, along with potentially a large part of the populace, as he contaminates their drinking water supply. ‘Cabin Fever’ comprises of the gory scares and some really icky stuff, if you’re into such movies. Regardless, the novel premise and the decent CGI manages to keep things together.

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28. Delirium (2018)

A relatively recent flick, ‘Delirium’ surrounds the delirious mind of Tom, a man who has recently been released from a mental correctional facility after 20 years, owing to a crime he had committed as a boy. As it turns out, he has to mandatorily spend 30 days in a so-called haunted house before being released completely and proven of a sound mind. Apparently, in the same very house, his father had committed suicide a few days ago. The rest of the film comprises the horrors of the house and whether what Tom is seeing is for real or everything is a delirium – something the viewers also experience in a similar way. Although ‘Delirium’ sits on top of a well-conceived script, it could’ve been made into a far scarier and thoughtful movie. Still, it makes for quite an engaging watch.

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27. Dig Two Graves (2014)

For starters, this isn’t an instruction. A horror-thriller at the outset, ‘Dig Two Graves’ is perhaps the least scary movie on the list, although it has its own moments of thrill and suspense which are enough to get you on the edge of your seat. The movie begins with a young girl Jake and her brother who’re holding hands while trying to jump off a cliff into a lake. Just before the jump, Jake lets go of her brother’s hand and watches him fall, drown and die. While trying to help him, she is left with a scar on her forehead. Turns out, in the 1940s, the boy’s grandfather had concealed a crime and became the sheriff himself in the present day. Jake then meets with three strangers who promise to bring her brother back to life, which is what the rest of the movie is all about. ‘Dig Two Graves’ was hailed as haunting and captivating, with many critics calling it “a must watch”.

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26. Would You Rather (2012)

Yet another horror-thriller on this list, ‘Would You Rather’ begins with Iris and Raleigh – two siblings who are at each other’s expense. While Iris is burning her midnight oil for her studies, Raleigh is battling cancer and is awaiting a donor for his bone-marrow transplant. Raleigh’s doctor Barden introduces her to a philanthropist named Shepard, who offers her respite from all of her problems, including her brother’s treatment if she agrees to participate in and win a game he’s hosting the next day. As she accepts the offer, owing to her needs, she finds out that Shepard has also invited scores of other people and each of them has an inhibition or a weakness. While Iris is a vegan, she’s force-fed meat for an exchange of money, people recovering from addiction are offered alcohol and so the game continues. Weird ritualistic procedures, gore and killings form the remaining of the story. Spoiler alert – she wins only to find her brother succumb to a suicidal drug overdose. ‘Would You Rather’ is scary, but in parts.

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25. Killing Ground (2016)

Coming to a rather predictable and arguably lack-lustre storyline, ‘Killing Ground’ is the narrative of a couple – Ian and Sam who are off to a camping trip into the wilderness. As they’re a few days into the camping, they find a live baby smeared in blood and soon discover that the so-called abandoned camping site they were camping at has been the ground of a horrific crime. To their utter shock, the criminals are still on the loose and are prowling for campers like them. A bloodied conflict, chase and macabre follows, but we already know the outcome don’t we? ‘Killing Ground’ is passable at best, owing to its shabbily done script and shallow characters, still continues to be one of those scariest movies on Netflix as of today.

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24. The Boy (2016)

A weirdly different kind of horror with elements of surprise in it, albeit, the surprise isn’t because of a ghostly presence but its plot, ‘The Boy’ is set in the UK and surrounds an American lady Greta who is hired as a caretaker for the Heelshires’ kid in countryside UK. Greta, who has recently been dealing with a separation, finds her solace in the countryside job that would earn her a few bucks. Turns out, Mr and Mrs Heelshire’s son is none other than a life-size porcelain doll who they call Brahms. Despite the weirdness surrounding the Heelshires and how they treat a doll as their own son, complete with pep talks and everything, Greta agrees to the nightmarish job which turns out to be one of the biggest mistakes of her life as the Heelshires head for a vacation. ‘The Boy’ although has a very interesting premise, it fails to capitalize on it and lacklustre performances add to the spoilsport. Yet, it has its own jump scares one can be wary of.

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23. 6 Souls (2010)

Also released under the name ‘Shelter’ in many countries, ‘6 Souls’ is the narrative of Davis a.k.a. Adam a.k.a. Wesley, who is initially portrayed as a patient with a multiple personality disorder. Dr Cara Harding is a renowned psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in the notion of a multiple personality disorder and opines that counselling and help can get a person rid of all of their problems. When she meets with Davis/Adam/Wesley, a strange turn of events start taking place and spoiler alert – it is later revealed to the viewers that Davis/Adam/Wesley is actually a cursed priest who takes over the souls of those who are non-believers. Soon, Cara finds herself and her family members crumbling under his powers. ‘6 Souls’ has the elements of both a horror and a thriller and Julianne Moore’s performance takes you for a ride. However, the movie could’ve done a lot better with its storyline and coherence.

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22. The Promise (2017)

A Thai movie made with the title ‘Puen Tee Raluek’, ‘The Promise’ was an instant hit among the viewers given its pathbreaking performances and a decent storyline. The movie begins with two teenagers and friends Ib and Boum, who, in the backdrop of the infamous Asian Financial Crisis, decide to commit suicide and promise each other of that owing to their families’ destitute condition. At the eleventh hour, Boum backs off of the promise and Ib sticks to her word. Twenty years later, when Boum visits the same house with her daughter Bell, the past of her forgotten promises and Ib’s broken heart comes back to haunt her in the form of Ib’s soul. ‘The Promise’ also made news for having one of the best special effects as far as Thai cinema is concerned.

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21. As Above, So Below (2014)

Set mostly in the famed Catacombs of Paris, the underground tunnels beneath the city of Paris which houses tombs of more than 6 million people, ‘As Above, So Below’ is the telltale of a team of young explorers led by Scarlett, George and Benji who are on a quest to discover the Philosopher’s Stone, a stone that guarantees eternity and a long life which is touted to be 370 feet below the surface of Paris. As they move along the twisty and convoluted tunnels, they realize this could be their last trip that begun as an adventure. Shot in a found-footage movie style and comprising of ample jump scares, claustrophobic sequences and terrifying visuals, ‘As Above, So Below’ boasts of an impeccable plot and a great start. Though the movie couldn’t garner much success at the box office, it still is one of the rare found-footage movies which is watchable on a moonless night.

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20. Before I Wake (2016)

A supernatural thriller at the outset, ‘Before I Wake’ surrounds a couple Jessie and Mark, who are all set to adopt a child as their own son had died while he was in the bathtub. Cody is a sweet, young, eight-year-old who could seemingly replace the void left over by their deceased son. Soon, they realize that not only Cody is scared of falling asleep, but his dreams also manifest into physical reality as they are. On the first night after witnessing colourful, lit butterflies, which soon disappear as he wakes up, Jessie and Mark are wary of the nightmares his dreams have been turning into. While they want to dig deeper into what’s causing the nightmares, their modest lives are taken for a fright ride. The movie opened up to positive reviews worldwide and has ample scares to make you fall off your chair.

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19. Veronica (2017)

Based on a chilling real story, ‘Veronica’ begins with a 15-year-old girl Veronica who lives in Madrid with her siblings and her mother, having recently lost her father leaving them in financial peril. She befriends Rosa and Diana at the school who share similar interests with her. On the day of a solar eclipse, their teacher explains how many people do seances to invite evil spirits. Intrigued by the idea, she gathers her friends to the basement and tries to summon her father’s spirit, while her friend Diana wants to summon her boyfriend’s, who had died in an accident. Things go awry and soon Veronica finds out that an evil spirit has latched itself to her, preventing her to do daily chores and disrupting her social and physical well-being. Based on a true event as narrated by Spain’s police in the early 90s, ‘Veronica’ has often been touted as one of the scariest movies of all time.

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18. Creep (2014)

As the title of the film suggests, this is one of those creepiest movies you will come across. It isn’t one of those jump scare horror movies that get so old. It’s one of those original movies that make you sickly curious about what’s going to happen next. Found footage has long since descended into cliche droll, recycling the same jump scares and cinematography tricks to fool the viewer. And had ‘Creep’ been delivered with poor performances or an underwhelming plot, it certainly would have been categorized as such. Luckily, the isolated and often uncomfortably realistic tone leaves a lasting impression far after the runtime is over. You will like this whether you’re a fan of found footage or not.

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17. The Ritual (2017)

One of the most defining horror movies ever made that is mostly set in the woods, ‘The Ritual’ begins with a group of four friends – Luke, Hutch, Phil and Dom who decide to go on a hiking in the Scandinavian forests known as Kungsleden, in honour of their deceased friend who had initially proposed the idea. As they embark upon their staggering trek, Dom hurts his knee, and they witness demonic symbols carved on a tree along with gutted animals. The night brings a thunderstorm and they seek shelter in a cabin where they experience strange supernatural happenstances. Desperate to find a way out, they become entangled amidst the woods with an eerie creature continuously on their trail. In a deep, dark setting, some pathbreaking performances and impeccable direction, ‘The Ritual’ delivers what it promises and even though a little predictable, is scenic and horrifying at the same time.

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16. The Unborn (2009)

A David S. Goyer’s directorial, who is credited with penning the stories of movies like ‘Blade’, ‘Blade II’, ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ to name a few, ‘The Unborn’ is the narrative of Casey, a young woman who often has strange hallucinations of strangled beings and of a boy who is seemingly dead. While taking care of Matty, one of her neighbour’s kids, she is attacked by him and he tells her that “Jumby” wants to be born. Soon, she develops a heterochromia in her eyes and her father tells her that she had a twin brother (whom they had nicknamed Jumby) who died in the womb because of being strangled by her umbilical cord. She later comes to know that she’s been afflicted by a “dybbuk” – a possessing spirit according to Jewish mythology. While the scares are paltry in the film, the casting and the plot is interesting and engaging till the end.

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15. He Never Died (2015)

‘He Never Died’ approaches its subject matter with brilliant ingenuity. It is dark in nature and leaves you feeling satisfied when it is over, the kind of satisfaction derived from a piece of good cinema. The story is very refreshing – a take on the first murderer in human history. It has more than enough blood splattering and bone crushing to keep the avid horror fan entertained, but it also has a depth and a gauged inclusion of genuine humour that may draw horror skeptics to its cause. If you’re looking for something a bit different in your horror it’s definitely worth checking out.

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14. Apostle (2018)

One of Netflix’s latest entrants, ‘Apostle’ went on to garner critical acclaim for its gory sequences, outstanding performances, scenic visuals and some really scary moments that would make one fall of their chairs. ‘Apostle’ is set in the year 1905, when Thomas Richardson, a former missionary turned drifter, is travelling towards a Welsh isolated island to rescue his sister Jennifer from the clutches of a cult who have been demanding a ransom against her release. As Thomas reaches the island and discovers the strange lies peddled by the cult to all of its followers, he sets himself on a cleansing spree to expose them. The movie opened to positive reviews on a Netflix-only release and remains to be one of the best scary movies on Netflix off late.

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13. Hush (2016)

This movie is currently rated as a Netflix favourite all around the world. One of the rare horror movies with a genuinely likeable victim, ‘Hush’ feels unusually humble in places, mostly as a result of its protagonist’s protesting yet strong-willed charm as she attempts to avert danger. It’s easy to be on-board with the deaf woman’s plight as she does everything that a rational person could do in a tense and violent series of events. Its major theme is isolation, with the protagonist living in the woods all alone far away from any other contact, which is demonstrated in the first 10 minutes, as well as isolation from the world itself, as she can’t communicate with most people. It is an intense, breathless thriller that captivates its audience almost as soon as it starts as no minute is wasted without supplying an ample dose of suspense.

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12. Gerald’s Game (2017)

The movie begins with Jessie and Gerald, who are a middle-aged couple and who want to spice-up their low-key sex lives. They get to a remote lake house in Alabama, while Jessie dresses up, Gerald takes his erectile dysfunction pills to keep up the game. They begin with role-play sex, where they enact a stranger rape fantasy, while Jessie is handcuffed to the bed. Shortly after, Gerald dies of a heart attack and falls on the floor, leaving Jessie handcuffed. Soon, after dark, Jessie has to fight the demons lurking in her mind and in the isolated house, while a stray dog feeds on Gerald’s carcass. The performances are top-notch and the suspense really takes away the prize.

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11. The Invitation (2015)

One of the most unusual thrillers to come out in a while, ‘The Invitation’ is a slow-building movie, one where you absolutely will spend a great deal of it, most of it, in fact, wondering what’s coming. However, what the film builds to, building layer upon layer of tension throughout, is horrifying and jaw-dropping. It’s a small, composed one that gets better as each scene progresses. Its material could probably have still been presented better in some ways but, in the final analysis, this is a thriller that remains pretty interesting on the whole. Currently streaming on Netflix, this is a must see.

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10. The Witch (2015)

Stylised as ‘THE VVITCH’, this is one of those terrifying, nightmarish experiences that would render you shivering and promises a hair-raising experience through and through. ‘The Witch’ is set in the 1630’s England where a modest family led by William and Katherine who have come to the wilderness to lead a devout life after being expelled from their pilgrim community. On an unfortunate day, their newborn son goes missing while playing peek-a-boo with his sister. Calamities strike them one after the other and as it turns out, Thomasin, their eldest daughter has been the cause of all the evil happenstances coming on to them. ‘The Witch’ is dark, scary to the extremes and tragic. A must watch for all the horror aficionados.

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9. It Follows (2014)

‘It Follows’ features a completely different plot that is very much refreshing with horror films. It tells the tale of a demonic hunting caused by having sex with another who has the same adversity. Despite having very less to portray on its subject matter, the film uses inventive cinematic techniques to scare us to a massive extent. It takes time to convey its ideas in a crystal clear way which makes it all the more intriguing fact about the movie. Most of the characters featuring are young and it gives the movie an experimental, yet spontaneous style. A must watch if you have Netflix around.

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8. Under the Shadow (2016)

‘Under the Shadow’ is a real treat for those who love horror with a brain, as this also proves there’s a lot more to say in such an often overcrowded genre. It uses the haunted house set-up and classical filmmaking techniques expressly for political purposes. It gives us something to fear and something to think about, and that’s two more things than most horror films can claim. The film takes place in Iran somewhere in the ’80s when the Iran-Iraq war is on. Shideh and Dorsa, a mother and a daughter, find themselves abandoned and unprotected after the father has to leave in order to give his services as a doctor in the war zone. This is when they realize that something evil haunts their apartment. Scary, touching, simple though powerful, ‘Under the Shadow’ is a pleasant surprise not only for the horror genre but for cinema in general.

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7. RAW (2016)

A French horror film, ‘RAW’ is a universally acclaimed sexual-drama and horror movie, perhaps one-of-its-kind, which is the narrative of Justine, a vegetarian girl who has enlisted for her first semester at a veterinary school. During one of her ragging sessions, while all her other colleagues are forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys, she refuses and throws up, while her elder sister Alexia obliges, who’s at the same school. Soon, Justine develops a strange likeness for flesh, especially human flesh. Despite a lot of self-control, she doesn’t give up on feasting human flesh, be it her sister, her own body or from her boyfriend’s body who dies later on due to festering wounds. ‘RAW’ is a lot gory and we witness a lot of blood spill, visceral sequences, eroticism and yet, the element of horror resides in its surprise and none of the movie moments is predictable – perhaps the greatest asset of the film.

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6. Emelie (2015)

A genuinely unnerving psychological horror, ‘Emelie’ was touted as one of the most unsettling, enthralling and tense, owing to its theme driven by a single antagonist. The movie begins with its titular character Emelie who kidnaps Anna, the lady who’s the designated babysitter of a family with three kids and shows up instead, imposing as Anna. Emelie gives a free hand to the kids initially, while constantly portraying odd behaviour non-compliant with a babysitter. Jacob, the eldest kid soon senses suspicion and towards the end, the movie takes sharp turns – both in terms of its storyline and with respect to Emelie’s characterization which is layers deep in the outset. All the character actors, especially the child artists have done a marvellous job in terms of their performances.

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5. The Invisible Guest (2016)

‘The Invisible Guest’ is filled with twists and turns that will both leave you in awe one minute and then disappointed the next. It is a solid film that is weighed down just a tiny bit by being too clever for its own good. It’s well crafted, amazingly acted and written on a level unattainable for most. The plot revolves around a man who has been found next to the dead body of his lover and has to admit to, layer by layer, of the undeniable truth while he only has a couple of hours to prove his innocence. ‘The Invisible Guest’ literally hits every note that everyone wants to hit in a tale of mystery, deceit and murder. Spanish thrillers are always famous for its engaging narrative and visceral style, this one also falls no short of that.

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4. The Wailing (2016)

From the nation of South Korea, which is often known to be the powerhouse of some of the best horror flicks out there, ‘The Wailing’ begins with a Japanese man who has come to South Korea to settle down in a modest neighbourhood of a village. After his move, the villages apparently start falling in with rashes developing on their bodies, eventually leading to violence and death. In an apparent zombie outbreak, Jong-goo is an honest cop who sets himself on a hunting spree to track down the Japanese stranger. A woman named Moo-myeong helps him track the stranger down, who apparently has attacked Jong-goo’s men and thwarted them away. Jong-goo’s daughter Hyo-jin too starts developing the strange condition and a flabbergasted Jong-goo chases the Japanese stranger and also Moo-myeong, who turns out to be the actual perpetrator and demon. Spoiler alert – Jong-goo meets his nemesis at the hands of his own daughter. Tragic yet pathbreaking, ‘The Wailing’ is one of the most successful South Korean films of all time.

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3. Train to Busan (2016)

A movie which is often counted amongst one of the most popular South Korean flicks of all time, ‘Train to Busan’ is one of the most riveting and mindblowing zombie-horror movies of all time. The movie begins with people boarding the KTX 101 from Seoul to Busan – a supposedly one-hour journey which turns into everyone’s worst nightmare. The subject zero turns out to be a young woman who’s pulsating on the floor with a bite wound. In a chain reaction of events, the outbreak spreads to almost the entirety of the train and the relentless hide and seek follows, with zombies outnumbering humans almost every time, within the train or otherwise. The struggle for the survival of the human spirit couldn’t be any more definitive than what’s portrayed in ‘Train to Busan’. If you’re a fan of K-movies, this has to be on the top of your list.

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2. The Conjuring (2013)

And now to the undisputed king of creepy, scary movies, ‘The Conjuring’ has undoubtedly changed the horror game and has provoked many filmmakers to venture into the genre to continuously innovate and get past the benchmark. It wasn’t a surprise that the movie managed to garner more than 15 times its budget in Box Office revenues, a rare occurrence for horror movies. Surrounding the Warrens, the famed American Paranormal Investigators and one of their cases involving the Perron family, set in 1971, the film has ample events to scare the hell out of you for no reason. On top of it, the performances, the visual scares and the never-heard-before storyline is worthwhile and will definitely take you for a breathtaking ride.

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1. The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, this film is the scariest of them all and quite arguably the best horror film of all time. Like most Kubrick films, this stands on a league of its own and is an epitome figure in its genre which altogether reinvented the aspects of horror film-making and cinema in general. Kubrick uses nothing more than the textbook style of the making of what could be one of the most unusual cinema experiences you will ever have. At the start of it, after a few minutes or so, it will immerse you into the baffling world of it’s where even calmed silences possess the power to scare us over the top of numerous instances of extreme jaw-dropping. If you haven’t seen this film yet, it is a golden chance now to utilize as it is now on Netflix.

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