A collage featuring stills from the best horror movies on Netflix right now (clockwise from top left): 'His House,' 'Annihilation,' 'Crimson Peak,' Incantation,' and 'Cam'

The Best Horror Movies To Watch on Netflix Right Now

This one's for the sickos.

The kiddies are heading back to school, fall is just around the corner, and the Halloween countdowns are well underway. As we scour the shops for decorative gourds and pumpkin spice, there are plenty of spooky streaming options for the next movie night. From reboots of old classics to menacing mumblecore and foreign found footage, Netflix has something to help almost every mortal soul get into the spirit of the season. This roundup assumes that you, dear reader, are no stranger to things that go bump in the night, and as such have already watched the likes of Paranormal Activity, Gore Verbinski’s remake of The Ring, and anything else that the streaming giant might front-load in its recommendations.

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The following list of the best horror movies to stream on Netflix right now includes some titles that deserve to be on your radar, depending on your personal tastes. Happy viewing, and don’t forget the rule: lights down, sound up!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Leatherface in 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' 2022 sequel: A large man is seen in silhouette holding a chainsaw

A sequel to one of the best horror films to ever do it, the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the ninth film, if you can believe it) takes place 50 years after the events of the original film. A group of young folks looking to gentrify the abandoned Texas town of Harlow accidentally stumble upon the home of Leatherface and incur his wrath. When Sally Hardesty—the sole survivor of the first film and now a hardened Texas Ranger—hears the news she decides it’s time to go back and confront her demons (literally and figuratively). Yes, it’s a similar story structure to David Gordon Green’s Halloween, but I love Leatherface, slashers, and old broads kicking ass—and this film has all three. It also serves as an important reminder: don’t threaten Leatherface’s home and he won’t bother you! – Brittany Knupper

Unfriended (2014)

A group of teens play a deadly game of "Never Have I Ever" over Skype video chat in 'Unfriended.'
(Universal Pictures)

In the past decade or so, a new form of visual storytelling has emerged across genres: the screenlife film. Borrowing from elements of found footage movies, screenlife showcases its entire narrative through computers, tablets, and phone screens, all in real time. One of the early screenlife efforts is Unfriended, from Georgian-Russian director Leo Gabriadze. Set on a computer screencast over a feature-length Skype chat, the story follows a group of teenagers whose conversation is crashed by a former student they bullied to death. A year prior, Laura Barns died by suicide after a video was uploaded of her passing out drunk and soiling herself at a party. The video went viral, and those who contributed to her torment never got their comeuppance—until user “billie227” enters the chat. What follows is a steady march toward doom for six high schoolers as their secrets are exposed and their loyalties are tested. Aside from the depressing relevance that cyber-bullying still holds today, Unfriended contains the most tense game of “Never Have I Ever” to hit the big (and laptop) screen. – Anya Stanley

His House (2020)

Rial looking confused and perplexed in His House
(Netflix)

I’ve waxed poetic about His House before, but if you are looking for a film that is gut-wrenching, beautiful, and terrifying then His House is where it’s at. When a Sudanese couple (Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu) fleeing war-torn Sudan move into their temporary housing in England, things begin to go awry and it becomes clear they are haunted by both their traumatic memories and by a poltergeist-like creature that has followed them to their new home. His House is a film about survivors’ guilt and PTSD, and it also has some legitimately unsettling jump scares. It is not to be missed! – BK

Creep (2014) and Creep 2 (2017)

Mark Duplass in 'Creep': A man in a black turtleneck looks directly into the camera. His smile is unsettling.
(Netflix)

Listen, it wouldn’t be a horror night if we didn’t have a little double-feature action! So let me pitch to you Creep and Creep 2. Starring Mark Duplass as Aaron, the titular “creep,” the Creep films are full of pitch-black, dark humor and gory kills. While playing with and sometimes subverting found footage tropes, both films follow an unlucky videographer who responds to an ad and ends up embroiled in one psychopath’s twisted version of friendship. Creep 2 takes it to the next level by having the videographer, Sara (now a wannabe documentary filmmaker), willingly play along and foil a disillusioned Aaron’s attempts to scare her. – BK

Cargo (2017)

Martin Freeman in 2017's 'Cargo': A man carries a baby on his back in a wooded area. There is blood on his face and hands.
(Netflix)

A different spin on your traditional zombie flick, Cargo is actually a post-apocalyptic road trip thriller in the vein of The Road. Martin Freeman plays Andy, a man who must protect his baby from zombies and other survivors while trekking across the Australian outback. Along the way, he meets a young aboriginal girl named Thoomi (Simone Landers) who joins him on his search for safety. The performances are fantastic, especially the rapport between Freeman and Landers, and the zombies are especially creepy and … gooey. – BK

Crimson Peak (2015)

Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) in 'Crimson Peak': a 19th century woman with long blonde hair navigates a dark hallway with a candelabra
(Universal Pictures)

Another film I love to rave about, Crimson Peak is one of Guillermo del Toro’s best. It’s lush, beautiful, and creepy. Plus, you see Tom Hiddleston’s ass. It is also a ghost story, and the oozing ghosts mimic the red oozing clay that is constantly seeping into the crumbling manor that our heroine (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself trapped in. It is full of mystery, luscious costume design, and Jessica Chastain delivering icy cold barbs. If you want a film lighter on the jump scares but heavy on aesthetics, Crimson Peak is the one for you. – BK

Apostle (2018)

Dan Stevens faces off against a pagan Welsh cult in 'Apostle.'
(Netflix)

Detractors classify Apostle as a ripoff of The Wicker Man, but that’s a reductive dismissal of Gareth Evans’ occult horror creepfest. Set in 1905, the film follows Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens), a devoted brother who travels to a far-flung Welsh island where his sister (Lucy Boynton) is held captive by a fanatic religious cult. Anchored by dedicated performances from Stevens (The Guest) and Michael Sheen (Good Omens), Apostle is one of Gareth Evans’ most slow-burning stories, where jump scares are few and far between. Instead, tension comes from the ever-growing sense of being caught in a turn-of-the-century Jonestown with a pagan deity at its center. At times it feels like a remnant of the old Tigon British horror movies with an updated visceral polish; torture devices meant for spiritual “purification” wouldn’t be out of place in old-school treasures like Witchfinder General or The Blood on Satan’s Claw. It’s much more homage than ripoff of The Wicker Man, and if folklore and witch cults are your thing, Apostle is worth a watch. – AS

Cam (2018)

Madeline Brewer in the Netflix original horror movie 'Cam'
(Netflix)

Set in the world of internet cam girls, Cam is a tense thriller about ambition, identity, and survival. Madeline Brewer plays Alice, a popular cam girl quickly climbing the ranks when she discovers one morning that someone (or something) has cloned her identity and replaced her on the site. What follows is an intense unraveling as Alice must go to increasingly desperate and extreme measures to reclaim herself. It’s fun, trippy, and taut without feeling exploitative or judgmental of sex work. It is definitely one to watch! – BK

Tin & Tina (2023)

Tina (Anastasia Russo) and Tin (Carlos Gonzalez Morollon) stand in bloodied bedclothes in 'Tin & Tina.'
(Filmax)

More psychological thriller than horror (but with definitive horror elements), Rubin Stein’s Tin & Tina is a bad-seed movie like Goodnight Mommy and Orphan. Set in 1980s Spain, the story follows a newlywed couple struggling to have children, who meet and adopt albino twins Tin (Carlos González Morollón) and Tina (Anastasia Russo) from a local convent orphanage. The twins take their religious piety to extremes, bringing biblical retribution to a class bully and attempting to baptize a baby by nearly drowning it. It all ties into a larger commentary on strict religion and its damaging effect on the family, and Stein pulls no punches in the twins’ derangement. Watch this one after putting the kiddies to bed—it gets upsetting. – AS

Annihilation (2018)

Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotnyin stand armed and ready to enter a quarantined swampland in 'Annihilation.'
(Paramount Pictures)

Written and directed by Ex Machina filmmaker Alex Garland, Annihilation is adapted from Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel of the same name. It’s about a team of professionals tasked with entering a quarantined swampland zone known as “The Shimmer.” The all-woman team contains, among others, a cellular biology professor (Natalie Portman), a physicist (Tessa Thompson), and a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), whose scientific skills are necessary to document and study what’s inside The Shimmer: some alien form of life that mutates all flora and fauna within its boundaries. This sci-fi horror is thoroughly cosmic: once inside The Shimmer, the women encounter abominations like a creature that can mimic human screams, and the team learns that they are being affected on a deep, cellular level. Add in an unsettling score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow that sounds like it was beamed in from another planet, and you’ve got one of the best movies of 2018. – AS

Incantation (2022)

A woman (Tsai Hsuan-yen) covered in painted runes prays for her cursed daughter in 'Incantation.'
(Netflix)

Incantation delivers on its title immediately: the opening scene features Taiwanese insignia while a woman (Tsai Hsuan-yen) narrates encouragement for the viewer to repeat a chant, supposedly to lift a curse on her six-year-old daughter Dodo (Huang Sin-ting). This is the movie’s buy-in: even if you don’t say the incantation aloud, its slow, unyielding repetition is so insistent that you can’t help but follow along in your head—you might as well have said it. The rest of the movie unfolds in found-footage format, following the woman’s troubles after she (along with her boyfriend and his cousin) poke around a rural village and pick up a Yunnan curse. This Taiwanese horror movie vaguely shares the principle of 2014 American dreadfest It Follows, that of spreading out a curse among victims in order to redistribute its killing power. – AS

The Ritual (2017)

Phil (Arsher Ali), Dom (Sam Troughton), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Luke (Rafe Spall) get lost in the woods in 'The Ritual.'
(Netflix)

Just when you thought it was safe to go camping…

The Ritual is an adaptation of Adam Nevill’s 2011 novel about a quartet of friends who brush up against an old-timey evil during their hike along northern Sweden. David Bruckner’s big-screen treatment sees Phil (Arsher Ali), Dom (Sam Troughton), Hutch (Robert James-Collier), and Luke (Rafe Spall) set off on a hike through the long and winding Kungsleden trail, just six months after the death of their friend Rob (Paul Reid), who was violently killed in a robbery gone wrong. After one of their party is injured, the men depart the marked trail and take a shortcut through the dense forest, where they find a gutted elk carcass suspended from the branches, strange symbols carved into the trees, and an old cabin with a creepy headless human effigy inside. Their trip gets exponentially worse from there. The story itself is a familiar one, but hit “play” on this gem to see one of the most creative and terrifying movie monsters in recent years. – AS

Old People (2022)

Gerhard Bos is an elderly feral madman in 'Old People.'
(Netflix)

“Thou shalt honor the old, for they are great in number.” The Empress star Melika Foroutan takes the lead role in this rapid-fire German horror movie by Andy Fetscher. Foroutan stars as Ella, a mother of two who’s returned home with her children for her sister’s wedding. The festivities are interrupted by the residents of a nearby home for the elderly, who have arisen from their rocking chairs, thrown off their afghan blankets, and taken on the feral feel of a zombie horde out for blood. There are worse ways to spend an hour and 41 minutes than watching Grandma and Pop-Pop go on a house-to-house killing spree; Old People might prompt you to give your grandparents a call and check up on them. – AS

(featured image: Netflix / Paramount Pictures / Universal Pictures)


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Author
Brittany Knupper
Brittany is a lifelong Californian (it's a big state, she can't find her way out!) who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles with her gigantic, vaguely cat-shaped companion Gus. If you stumble upon her she might begin proselytizing about Survivor, but give her an iced coffee and she will calm down.
Author
Anya Novak
Anya Stanley (she/her) is a writer for The Mary Sue, most frequently covering the horror genre across mediums. Among her six+ years of working in the digital media and entertainment industry, Anya’s past works can also be found at The AV Club, Fangoria Magazine, and Crooked Marquee. See her smug face on Shudder's docuseries Behind the Monsters. When she’s not consuming every scary movie she can find, she is trying to add to the word count of her non-fiction book in progress (her second author credit following her chapter in Scared Sacred: Idolatry, Religion and Worship in the Horror Film, by House of Leaves Publishing). You can find more of her ravings on X (formerly Twitter) @BookishPlinko.