The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Finally, something scarier than your Twitter feed.

Shutterstock/Joyce Pierpoline

There's no reason to spend precious viewing minutes searching the troves of Netflix for the best horror movies to watch. At least, not anymore. Marie Claire has assembled a handy guide of the creepiest, smartest, most terrifying flicks currently streaming. Here are the very best horror movies on Netflix right now, for your pure terror and enjoyment:

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The Blackcoat's Daughter

This foreboding 2015 thriller-slash-horror stars Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka as students abandoned in a girls' prep school over the holidays. It's short on jump scares and big on atmosphere, with more than enough action to keep you interested. You won't see the twist coming, but you'll spend days afterwards thinking about how you could have missed it—and remembering Kiernan Shipka's hollow-eyed stare.

The Boy

This sleeper 2016 hit has all the horror elements you'd expect: The rural English countryside, a creepy doll whose parents think it's their real-life child, a constant fog, a death under mysterious circumstances, and, as a bonus, a hot grocer thrown in to help out the protagonist. While not exactly Oscar-worthy, this movie is captivating watch, and The Boy 2 (starring Katie Holmes!) is already in the works.

Friend Request

This so-bad-it's-good 2016 horror leans into its theme, from the tagline "Evil Is Trending" to the nonstop Facebook screenshots. I'm still not over the fact that someone made an entire movie based on the prospect of one college student de-friending another on Facebook, and I'm also not over how much I enjoyed it. It's ridiculous, but it knows it is—and, believe it or not, there are some sincerely chilling moments.

47 Meters Down

If you suffer from claustrophobia, even just a little, this movie will scare you senseless. The flick follows two sisters who accept a shady-sounding offer to be dropped into the ocean inside a cage, wearing scuba gear, to experience sharks up close. Safe enough, right? No, not at all. The underwater cage breaks off and falls, well, 47 meters down to the bottom of the ocean, where the two sisters spend much of 90 minutes trying to figure out a way out while swiftly running out of air. Take a deep breath.


There's really only one thing you need to know about this movie: Vagina dentata. The myth of "teeth in the vagina" has been covered in a lot of feminist writing, but this horror flick/satire is your comprehensive education on the subject. It gets pretty gory, but it's worth the watch if you can stomach it.

The Ritual

David Bruckner’s 2017 adaptation of a 2011 novel of the same name will give you major Blair Witch Project vibes, with a light sprinkling of The Descent for good terrifying measure. A group of guys go hiking in Sweden to honor the wishes of their dead friend and end up getting a bit lost—both literally and mentally—while attempting a shortcut through the forest.

The Conjuring

James Wan is no stranger to horror: He gave us the Saw movies, the Insidious series, and The Conjuring (as well as its sequel). The Conjuring explores the real-life case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren—and it's one of those movies that you have to watch with your face partially turned away from the screen out of fear. You can sense when something terrible is about to happen and yet you have to see what it is. It’s also the movie that, upsettingly, introduced us to Annabelle, the creepy doll.

It Follows

This movie is ostensibly about a sexually-transmitted curse, which could be problematic except that it’s so freakin’ creepy you'll forget all about that. (The underlying message is also handled surprisingly carefully so as to avoid the pitfalls you'd think that plot would fall into.) The soundtrack, provided by modern composer Disasterpeace, helps set the mood of absolute terror as a college student (Maika Monroe) is stalked by a sinister force that takes on different forms. It’s probably not the best horror movie for date night (sex curse and all), but it’s a must-see for spooky solo viewing situations.

Truth or Dare

In many ways, this 2017 teen horror starring Lucy Hale is pretty standard fare, but for one thing: The legitimately horrifying facial tic that every character has as they hiss "Truth or Dare" (they're possessed at the time, because of course they are). I don't know who came up with this CGI stuff of nightmares, but the tic alone is more than enough to base an entire horror movie off—which is good, because the rest of the movie is not.

The Witch

The Witch is not your average horror movie. You might get a little antsy waiting for something big to happen. But when that moment comes, it’s like being on a roller coaster when you get to that first big drop and you know sh*t’s about to get crazy. The story follows a family in the 1600s that—because of the father's religious zealotry—are exiled to the woods outside of the colony, where a witch may or may not have also taken up residence. The final few scenes should go down as some of the greatest in horror history: There’s definitely a couple of shots that leaving you thinking, Did I really just see that?

The Strangers

There are a lot of masked psycho killer movies to choose from, but writer/director Bryan Bertino pulled some of the inspiration for this one from several real-life home invasion cases. That’s what makes it so tough to watch: The unsettling feeling that this could happen to you is hard to ignore.


This found-footage indie horror movie showcases the talent of Mark Duplass and it. is. disturbing. The plot follows a videographer hired by a Josef (Duplass) to make a documentary for his unborn son. It’s clear as soon as they meet that Josef is a weirdo. The rest of the 77-minute run-time is a lot of Josef’s bizarre behavior, which will leave you screaming at the screen, "Why are you still filming this guy?" Creep 2 is more of the same and just as crazy-fun to watch.

The Babysitter

This Netflix original is as funny and campy as it is bloody. It’s about a boy who stays up past his bedtime to spy on his attractive babysitter and learns that she and her friends are planning to sacrifice him as part of their satanic cult ritual. The ensemble cast has some recognizable faces including Robbie Amell (The Duff) Bella Thorne (also The Duff) Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect). It’s a great option if you’re looking for scares of the less-intense variety.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Straight up, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is one of the best horror comedies that has ever been made. It's the story of two guys (Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk) who are mistaken for hillbilly murderers by a bunch of dimwitted college students on vacation. You'll laugh a lot, but there are some actual jump-scares in the mix as well. Watch if you’re looking for something that will spook you in the moment but won’t keep you from sleeping at night.

Train to Busan

The zombie genre is a robust one, but have you ever seen zombies on a train? This subtitled South Korean film is one of the best horror releases in recent years, about a dad trying to protect his daughter while traveling to a safe zone as a zombie outbreak spreads through the country. Even if zombies aren’t usually your thing, it’s just a fun, action-packed film. It also has some surprising heart, so you might want to keep a box of tissues nearby.

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