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Looking for terrifying entertainment from the couch? Look no further. Here's some good news: Netflix is currently hosting a virtual library of great horror films, bona fide (old and new) classics of the genre guaranteed to freak you out.
What's the scariest thing on Netflix? Here are highly recommended, extremely scary horror movies from all over the world you can stream right now on Netflix. This list includes traditional horror pics, horror comedies and thrillers with elements of horror. We've included Netflix originals as well as imports. Plus, some frightening honorable mentions!
This list is updated regularly, as titles come and go from the streaming service.
Best, Scariest Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now
1. Under the Shadow (2016)
An exquisitely crafted and thoroughly unnerving chiller, writer/director Babak Anvari's feature debut blurs the line between supernatural terror and the horrors of the real world like few films you'll ever see. Set in 1980's Tehran during The War of the Cities—the backdrop of Anvari's own fear-ridden childhood—Narges Rashidi stars as medical student Shideh who is barred from her studies because of her involvement in revolutionary politics. When her husband departs for the front, Shideh is tasked with protecting their young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) as the fighting and bombings escalate around them. It doesn't look like things can get any bleaker, and that's when Shideh and Dorsa are haunted by an evil genie.
The performances are powerful, and the filmmaking here is impeccable, evoking a war-torn Iran that is almost suffocating to watch. Anvari grew up in a culture where VCR's and VHS tapes were illegal, and his debut is made with the kind of passion for film that you can't put a price tag on. The supernatural scares work, but they're never quite as frightening as Shideh's reality, which seems to be Anvari's point. Esteemed British film critic Mark Kermode named this small-scale powerhouse the best film of 2016, and it is not to be missed.
2. Apostle (2018)
The Raid director Gareth Evans' horror/action freakout rewards a deliberate buildup with some stomach-turning violence and gore in the final act. The turn-of-the-20th-century period piece stars Dan Stevens as an Englishman who infiltrates a remote cult to rescue his sister.
Related: The Best Horror Movies on HBO Max
3. His House (2020)
Remi Weekes’ acclaimed supernatural horror debut follows South Sudanese refugees adjusting to a perilous life in small-town Europe. Like The Babadook or Under the Shadow, this is horror as dramatic art rather than a series of things that jump out and go boo. The real-world subject matter is twisted and devastating, all strikingly performed by leads Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu.
4-5. Creep (2014) & Creep 2 (2017)
One of the best found-footage films that followed in the wake of Paranormal Activity's enormous success, Patrick Brice's psychological thriller follows a videographer assigned to record an eccentric, probably insane client (Mark Duplass). Following a hit premiere at South by Southwest and a theatrical run, Creep found success on streaming. A sequel arrived in 2017, and a third installment is in the works.
Related: The Best Slasher Movies of All Time
6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
A Netflix original, Texas Chainsaw Massacre serves as a legacy-sequel to Tobe Hooper's iconic 1974 masterpiece, though it falls far, far short of it. It's a clumsy attempt to recapture the success of 2018's Halloween, but there's enough gore here to at least satisfy on that level.
7. Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning comedic chiller is one of the edgiest studio-produced films of the century—and one of the most influential, birthing a new movement in horror that’s still unfolding. Daniel Kaluuya stars as a young Black man terrorized by his fiancé’s white family.
Initially, there were widespread reports of Get Out polarizing Academy voters with many of the infamously archaic members flat-out refusing to watch it. This makes the picture’s four nominations (including Best Picture) and win for Best Original Screenplay feel even more triumphant.
8. Gerald's Game (2017)
A career-high performance from the always-good Carla Gugino is front-and-center in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix original, a Stephen King adaptation about a woman who ends up handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere when her husband drops dead. This is pure, high-concept psychological terror, not spooky, but gripping—and the ick factor is high.
9. Unfriended (2014)
Universal's trashy, undeniably frightening and ingenious found-footage thriller—centered on teens haunted by a vengeful spirit as they chat over Skype—was hugely profitable, grossing $64 million against a $1 million budget. The screen-based form of found-footage storytelling, also used in Open Windows, has been polished in years since, with Searching and Host receiving critical acclaim. In 2018, Unfriended was followed by a darker, arguably superior sequel Unfriended: Dark Web.
10. Us (2019)
With the staggering financial and critical success of Us, Oscar-winning Get Out helmer Jordan Peele was officially a multiplex auteur whose name can open a movie, like Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg. The gory, satiric and surprising thriller is more than a worthy sophomore outing, and it gets better with repeat viewings. Lupita Nyong’o deserved serious Oscar consideration for mighty dual performances.
11-13. Fear Street Trilogy (2021)
A Netflix original event based on the more gruesome, not family-friendly work of R.L. Stine, Fear Street Part 1 1994 aims to reinvent and subvert the slasher genre á la Scream. It's now streaming on Netflix. The trilogy continues with superior Part 2 1978, and Part 3 1666.
14. Crimson Peak (2015)
Gorgeous Gothic visuals, strong performances and retro-inspired chills run throughout an underrated Guillermo del Toro romantic ghost story set in Victorian-era England, starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain.
15-16. Ouija and Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
A box-office hit and a sign of good things to come from Mike Flanagan, Origin of Evil is about a million times better than its predecessor Ouija, and about 10 times better than you'd expect a movie called Ouija: Origin of Evil to be. The supernatural thriller is about a widow, her family's fake seance business, and a malevolent spirit that attaches itself to her daughter. The original is also fun though and stars House of the Dragon breakout Olivia Cooke.
17. Ma (2019)
Don't make me drink alone. Don't make me drink ALOOOOOOONE! Ma does not want to be drinking alone, and as it turns out, if you don't want to drink with her, she just might hit you with her car, lock you in a dog kennel or sew your mouth shut. Octavia Spencer's horror film about a middle-aged woman obsessed with local high-schoolers is perhaps a better internet meme (or should I say MAme) than it is a movie, but boy is it watchable. Ma's dancing. Ma's iconic one liners. Ma's progressively unhinged kills. What a delicious little horror flick.
18. Bird Box (2018)
Sandra Bullock stars in Bird Box as expectant mother Malorie, who’s forced to become a survivalist when supernatural forces decimate the world’s population. One look at these creatures—who we never see—causes your eyes to glaze over and moisten, then you go insane and commit suicide, by whatever means is handy. After surviving a chaotic early set piece of carnage and destruction on a massive scale, Malorie and her unborn child make it to a house where several strangers who’ve also evaded the outbreak have found shelter. Bird Box broke Netflix records and remains one of the streaming giant's biggest hits ever.
19. El Conde (2023)
While Pablo Larrain's Jackie and Spencer might not be horror films in the traditional sense, they certainly both give us final girls on the brink. The director's latest film, however, about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, is full-on horror. In Larrain's stunning black-and-white gore-fest, he reimagines some of history's most ruthless politicians as eternal vampires, moving from civilization to civilization thirsty for money, power and blood. El Conde is unlike anything you've seen before and pitting these monsters against a troupe of vampire-hunter nuns just takes the whole affair to a new level. Don't watch while eating though.
20. The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
You can't really talk about the suspense thriller as a genre without discussing the grandaddy of horror, Edgar Allan Poe. And while The Pale Blue Eye is based on a 2003 novel by Louis Bayard, not one of Poe's stories, it is set during the 1830s with a fictional Poe at its center. Christian Bale stars as a detective sent to the United States Military Academy to investigate a string of murders on the campus grounds. One of the suspects is young cadet Edgar Allan Poe (played by Harry Melling who you may recognize from The Queen's Gambit or as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films). The twisty historical mystery is worthy of Poe's name as it throttles towards its satisfying conclusion.