Movie List

30 Best Scary Movies on Netflix Right Now

Updated April 5, 2020
25 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 Netflix that you can watch right now. Obviously, you can also consider these as options for the best scary 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 demeanor 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, it seems too much of the same. Watch this only if you have nothing more important planned for yourself.

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29. Shutter (2004)

If you have never laid your eyes on a Thai supernatural film, here is your chance. 2004’s ‘Shutter’ revolves around the couple Jane and Tun who accidentally hit a girl while returning from a party, and instead of helping her, abandon her right there on the road. Tun is a professional photographer who suddenly notices that a white figure has appeared out of nowhere in all of his photographs. Jane thinks that this must be the ghost of the girl they just. Jane discovers that Tun did know the girl they hit, and was even in a relationship with her while in college. When he calls up three of his friends from college, Tun is shocked to learn that all of them have committed suicides. He believes that his former girl’s ghost is behind these deaths and his turn is coming pretty soon. The film boasts of some solid performances and interesting twists which will leave you jolted by the time it ends.

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. Rattlesnake (2019)

British actress Carmen Ejogo plays the leading character of this film, Katrina, who is desperate to save her daughter who has been bitten by a rattlesnake. It is during this crucial time that a mysterious woman appears in front of Katrina and tells her that she will help Clara recover, but Katrina would have to pay a certain price for it. Clara does recover from the fatal found, but a man comes up to Katrina and tells her that if she does not take life to complete the payment for Clara’s treatment, Clara would die pretty soon. This compels the otherwise innocent Katrina to go around a mysterious Texas town, looking for a person whom she can kill without much hassle. The film’s premise does have the germs for an interesting tale, but the opportunity is completely wasted with the screenplay not exploring the mental trauma an otherwise innocent person has to go through when she has been forced to commit a heinous crime.

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. Eli (2019)

Ciaran Foy’s film ‘Eli‘ is the story of a little boy who is suffering from a disease of which there is no cure. His immunity system has become so weak that he has to wear an astronaut’s suit throughout the day to prevent even ordinary air from killing him. His parents have tried a lot of ways to cure him, but nothing has worked so far. As a last chance, they decide to take him to a house where the mysterious Dr. Isabella Horn runs a medical facility of her own. Eli is at first overjoyed to know that he will not have to wear the suit here because the entire house has been quarantined. However, within days of beginning his stay in this house, Eli starts feeling that there are supernatural entities present all around him. His parents do not believe what he says because Horn has already told them that he will be experiencing hallucinations as a result of the medication that is being given to him. The main problem with the film is the fact that it has only one twist upon which the entirety of the story hinges. But in the end, even that twist is not able to pack as strong a punch as we would have liked it too.

24. In The Tall Grass (2019)

Stephen King and his son Joe Hill’s novella of the same name has been adapted by Vincenzo Natali for this Netflix original film. The film centers around Becky and Cal, two siblings who decide to go look for a boy crying for help from within a huge field of tall grass. However, once inside, Becky and Cal realize that this has been the gravest mistake of their lives. This field of grass seems to have a life of its own and keeps twisting space and time whenever the siblings attempt to proceed forward or escape from the dense vegetation. Though the cinematography of the film is brilliant and Natali manages to capture a sense of eerieness in the story, he overcomplicates the plot unnecessarily to a point where the audience might end up losing interest in the characters and the outcome of their misadventure.

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 counseling 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 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 began 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 colorful, 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 hiking in the Scandinavian forests known as Kungsleden, in honor 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. Bird Box (2018)

One of the most popular Netflix original films of 2018, ‘Bird Box‘ sees Sandra Bullock playing the leading role of a woman called Malorie Hayes. When we meet her for the first time, we see that Malorie is giving some instructions to two children about going down a river. We realize that all of their lives are in danger as the earth has been invaded by a mysterious entity whose influence is causing people to kill themselves. Unlike the zombies that we see in most films, ‘Bird Box’ deals with this entity which psychologically damages someone who even looks at it. This is the reason Malorie and the two children have to travel down the river with blindfolds on their eyes. Malorie has come to know of one safe zone where the children will be away from danger, and she is desperate to send them there no matter what the consequences are. ‘Bird Box’ does begin with a lot of promise, but fails to deliver a solid punch at the climax. The only saving grace of the film is Bullock’s brilliant performance which gives the story some sort of believability.

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 humor 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 traveling 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 of late.

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13. Hush (2016)

This movie is currently rated as a Netflix favorite all around the world. One of the rare horror movies with a genuinely likable 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.

10. The Witch (2015)

Stylized 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. Cargo (2017)

Martin Freeman stars in this post-apocalyptic horror film as a father who is desperately trying to keep his infant child Rosie safe from the attack of zombies. Andy was with his wife Kay and daughter Rose when a viral infection turns the entire earth’s population, barring a few, into such murderous zombies. When Kay climbs into a sailboat looking for some supplies, she is attacked by one of the zombies. Andy then takes Rosie and moves out to find a safer space for her. He realizes that he has been bitten by Kay, who has transformed into a zombie as well. Naturally, it is not long before he will turn into a zombie and maybe will end up biting his own daughter. The desperate search of a father for a haven of sorts for his infant daughter during a time of such peril is bound to touch your heart. Freeman’s solid performance is also something to watch out for.

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. The Open House (2018)

Written and directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote, ‘The Open House‘ is the story of the mother-son duo of Naomi and Logan who move into an old chalet belonging to Naomi’s sister after her husband passes away. Only a few days after they move in, some strange occurrences in the house make both Nicole and Logan extremely afraid of what might happen to them if they continue staying here. Unexplained noises fill the house, the water tank suddenly malfunctions and things start moving on their own accord. The duo asks a friendly store clerk called Chris to sleep on their couch for one night, but when Logan goes to check on him in the middle of the night, Chris appears to be missing. ‘The Open House’ is a pretty run-of-the-mill horror story the likes of which we have often seen. However, the film is quite entertaining and keeps you on your toes throughout its running time.

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 behavior 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 marvelous 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. 1922 (2017)

Stephen King is the author whose works have been most frequently adapted for the big screen. Like many other producers, Netflix authorities were surely quite excited when they managed to acquire the rights to film one of his works, ‘1922’. The story of this film centers around a rancher called Wilf who kills his wife when she probes him to sell off the land and house that they own and move to the city. Wilf even takes the help of his son Henry in order to bury the body inside a well. However, as the days pass by, remorse and guilt begin to eat away at the Henry’s as well as Wilf’s souls. Rats begin to follow Wilf wherever he goes, while Henry and his girlfriend Shannon go through a number of problems in their own lives. The filmmaker brings in an eerie atmosphere throughout the length of the film despite there being no ghosts per se. ‘1922’ shows us how guilt itself can become the harshest punishment of a crime committed.

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. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (2016)

A Netflix original production, ‘I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House’ is an atmospheric gothic horror film that relies more on inducing a sense of fear rather than going for jump scares and a lot of blood. The story begins with a retired horror writer called Iris Blum who lives in a large house in Braintree, Massachusetts. The manager of the estate finds a live-in nurse called Lily to take care of Blum, who, besides being old, also suffers from dementia. In her very first night at Iris Blum’s house, Lily experiences certain paranormal activities which make us realize that in here all is not what it seems to be. Moreover, Blum begins to call her “Polly”, and when Lily enquires about the name, she gets to know that Polly is the leading character of Blum’s most famous novel. The filmmaking has a minimalistic approach, and the brilliant direction of Osgood Perkins manages to hold on to the tension right from the beginning to the very end of the story.

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