A collage featuring some of the scariest horror movies on Netflix (clockwise from top left): 'Under the Shadows,' 'Fear Street,' 'Gerald's Game,' and 'His House'

The Scariest Movies To Stream on Netflix Right Now

Sometimes ya just gotta give the people what they want, and what they want is to be afraid. They don’t wanna think. They don’t wanna be challenged. They don’t wanna have to deal with “themes” and “symbolism” and all the film school BS that makes a horror film “elevated.” Rather than a Michelin-star meal, sometimes you just need an ice cream sandwich. It’s okay to revel in your simple tastes. Life is hard enough, sometimes it’s good to just do something easy. And these are easily the most entertaining scary movies that Netflix has to offer.

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Gerald’s Game

A woman is tied to a bed while a her husband looks on in "Gerald's Game"
(Netflix)

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Mike Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game is about a married couple named Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) who take a vacation to a secluded house to spice up their relationship. Gerald tells Jessie that he has a bondage kink, and Jessie lets him handcuff her to the bed. Bad idea. In the course of their lovemaking, Gerald has a heart attack and dies, forcing Jessie to figure a way out of her predicament before she succumbs to hunger, thirst, and the terrifying thing lurking in the shadows.

Hush

A masked man sneaks up behind a woman on a laptop in "Hush"
(Netflix)

Mike Flanagan strikes again! Hush is about a deaf author named Maddie (Kate Siegel) who lives in the woods. It’s a peaceful life, until a masked man shows up at her house one night with the intention of murdering her. Maddie doesn’t plan on dying that easily, and so begins a thrilling cat-and-mouse game between the two. Luckily for Maddie, she is able to use her deafness to her advantage.

His House

A woman looks confused and perplexed in "His House"
(Netflix)

Remi Weekes’ His House tells the story of Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), a refugee couple seeking asylum in the U.K. after fleeing violence in South Sudan. The pair have a difficult time adjusting, and are forced to confront systemic racism from both government agencies and their neighbors. Their efforts to assimilate are repeatedly thwarted by a spectral presence that haunts their house, seeking to punish them for a past transgression. Bol and Rial’s relationship is nearly torn apart in their effort to banish the entity from their home.

In the Tall Grass

A trio of people look distressed in the movie 'In the Tall Grass'
(Netflix)

Based on a novella co-written by Stephen King and his son and fellow horror author Joe Hill, Vincenzo Natali’s In the Tall Grass centers on a brother and sister driving across the country to visit family. When they stop near a field of tall grass in the middle of nowhere, USA, the pair hear a child crying for help among the stalks. Rather than letting the little bastard fend for himself, the pair venture into the tall grass—and soon find that they are unable to escape. Eventually, they stumble into a family who has been lost in the grass for weeks. The father of the family believes that they are being kept in the grass by the power of a mysterious boulder in the middle of the field. A boulder that he REALLY wants them to touch. Spoiler alert: it’s better if you don’t touch the rock.

Vampires vs. the Bronx

Three Black kids hold up crosses while shouting to ward off predatory vampires in 'Vampires vs. the Bronx'
(Netflix)

Osmany Rodriguez’s Vampires vs. the Bronx is exactly what it says on the tin: vampires have invaded the Bronx, and it’s up to a group of young kids to to rally their community and defend their homes. The film is a clever allegory for gentrification, as the wealthy vampires move in by buying up homes and businesses in the neighborhood in order to better control the populace. The vamps soon learn the hard way that this was a bad idea. They wanted a stake in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood gave them a stake in the heart.

Blood Red Sky

A woman holds her child while her reflection appear vampiric in the window of a plane in "Blood Red Sky"
(Netflix)

Peter Thorwarth’s Blood Red Sky is about a woman with a mysterious illness and her son, who are traveling on a plane that gets hijacked by a sadistic group of mercenaries. After the mercenaries threaten her son’s life, the woman reveals the cause of her affliction: vampirism! The vampire mom is then forced to cut a swath through the attackers in order to rescue her precious human baby. Any mother would do the same.

The Fear Street Trilogy

Olivia Scott Welch and Kiana Madeira in 'Fear Street'
(Netflix)

Leigh Janiak’s Fear Street trilogy is about the last place you’d want to live: the town of Shadyside. Taking place in 1994, 1978, and 1666, each installment of the trilogy digs deeper into the history of the cursed town, which is plagued by witchcraft and demons. Luckily, a group of teenagers from each era rise to the occasion to defend their homes! Many of them are murdered horribly in the process. Bummer.

The Strangers

Three masked assailants  in "The Strangers"
(Universal Pictures)

Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers is a classic home invasion genre film. A young couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) staying in an isolated vacation home soon find themselves terrorized by three masked assailants who knock at their door. Why they opened the door to three people in spooky masks, I’ll never know. Some people are just too foolish to live. Even more frightening than the invasion is the chilling answer given when the couple beg to know why the killers came to their door: “Because you were home.”

Creep

A man jumps out in a werewolf mask in "Creep"
(Netflix)

Patrick Brice’s Creep starts off like most horror films, with a bad idea from the protagonist. A boy named Aaron answers an internet ad from a stranger named Josef (Mark Duplass), who requests that Aaron spend the day filming him. Unsurprisingly, things take a murderous turn. What did Aaron expect? That they were gonna film an influencer-style “day in the life” vid? Aaron should have known that Josef had something pornographic in mind AT BEST. Unlucky for Aaron, Josef’s plan is much, much worse.

Under the Shadow

Shideh (Narges Rashidi) looks concerned while her daughter sits in the background, out of focus in 'Under the Shadow'
(Netflix)

Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow takes place in the 1980s in Iran, during the Iran-Iraq war. A former medical student named Shideh and her daughter Dorsa are forced to take shelter from the violence in their home in Tehran. When a missile lands—but does not explode—in their home, Shideh begins to believe that the weapon harbors a strange presence. Soon Shideh and Dorsa find themselves being hunted by a djinn, a supernatural spirit whose folklore pre-dates Islamic literature.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.