Netflix has such an impressive lineup of horror movies that this intro will be a list of titles that didn’t make the top recommendations. Try Forgotten (2017), a recently added South Korean psychological thriller. There is also The Rental (2020), directed by Dave Franco and starring Alison Brie; dark comedy horror The Trip (2021); psychological thriller Coming Home in the Dark (2021); Hush by Mike Flanagan (2016); the Fear Street Trilogy (2021); Supernatural Western The Wind (2018); Spanish supernatural horror Veronica (2017) and South Korean zombie horror #Alive (2020).
Scroll down for the best horror movies (with 70 or more Metacritic scores) currently on Netflix. Note that some of them are incredibly dark and should be approached with great caution.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
What could be more fitting for a horror list than one of the best horror movies ever made? The 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street launched the franchise – and Johnny Depp’s career. Depp made her supernatural slasher debut about a young girl who realizes she must stay awake to stop a killer from slaughtering her friends in her dreams. Sequels, a remake, and many more have spun off from the creepy genre play. See where it all started in this clever classic that still holds up today.
From Netflix’s impressive roster of international films comes Spanish sci-fi horror The Platform. Its concept story centers around a tower that delivers food to people at each of its many levels via a platform. Those at the top get the best and most abundant stream, which is devoured as the platform drops levels. Social commentary resonates throughout this dystopian thriller, which takes shocking, sometimes gruesome twists all the way to the bottom.
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A word of warning: The Nightingale depicts graphic, extreme scenes of violence and rape. With that in mind, continue with this heartbreaking story and you’ll see an important slice of history rarely told on screen. The Nightingale follows a young convict seeking revenge in the Australian bush of 1825. The second film from Jennifer Kent, who directed the powerful The Babadook, is a force to be reckoned with.
If you’re looking for further proof that the Duplass brothers are actually bad, here’s an easy sell. Patrick Brice (also director and co-writer) plays a videographer responding to a Craigslist ad for Josef (Mark Duplass), who wants to make a movie for his supposed unborn child. I generally like horror movies that rely on performances to get you on your nerves, because they’re incredibly difficult to pull off. And I have to give it to Mark Duplass. He is, in fact, super scary.
Before the impeccable The Haunting of Hill House series, Mike Flanagan brought us this clever adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game. Carla Gugino is huge as Jessie, a woman who goes on vacation with her husband to a secluded lakeside house in Alabama. When Jessie finds herself handcuffed to the bed with no one to help her escape, it becomes a matter of both survival and escape. Another chapter of Flanagan’s melancholy infused horror that turns into a silent triumph for its haunted characters.
Two movies named The Call were released in 2020. Check out the one from South Korea, a time travel thriller that revolves around, yes, a phone call. Twenty-eight-year-old Seo-yeon finds a phone buried in a closet in her childhood home. It rings – and the caller, it turns out, lives in the same house 20 years earlier. Twists to the last moment, plus a wild cat-and-mouse chase that alters past and present make this a must-watch.
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Like a few other titles on this list, this superb psychological horror subtly doubles as an allegory for larger social themes, such as oppression. Set in 1980s Tehran during a series of air raids known as the City Wars, it follows a mother and daughter haunted in their home by a mysterious evil. With echoes of The Babadook as well as its own fresh ideas, Under The Shadow is a great horror entry.
One of Stephen King’s most successful adaptations, this horror drama based on the 1922 short story is a slow burn with a riveting performance at its core. Thomas Jane, who you also know from 2004’s Boogie Nights and The Punisher, gives one of his career-best performances as the ever-proud Wilfred James, a farmer who makes the totally wise decision to murder his wife with the help from their teenage son. . The consequences are heartbreaking on many levels (if you don’t like rats, you really won’t like them after this).
This clever psychological horror is partly drawn from co-writer Isa Mazzei’s experiences as a camgirl (or webcam model). Yet Cam is not a documentary, following Alice Ackerman, a young camgirl who one day discovers an exact replica of herself resumed her show. This unique flashing red thriller with the threat of technology is a great feature to play.
Vampires Against the Bronx (2020)
Vampires Against the Bronx is a unique comedy-horror in more ways than one. Set in New York’s Bronx borough, it follows young Miguel Martinez, a kind-hearted kid who helps raise money for his struggling local bodega. But it’s not just new designer clothing stores threatening to move in: Pale, creepy neck-biters are devouring people and their belongings. A commentary on gentrification with goofy charm, twists, and thrills, Vampires Against the Bronx is a fresh and entertaining take on the genre.
This tense thriller set in the remote Scottish Highlands is far from an idyllic getaway. Prepare for an agonizing nightmare from which its protagonists are desperate to wake up. Vaughn and Marcus go on a weekend of hunting with the guys, but after a drunken night, they find themselves faced with events they could never have foreseen. Caliber lives up to its name, delivering an elegant package of dark and gripping drama. Let the full force of it hit you.
The expertly crafted horror film that quietly doubles as an allegory of STDs. You read that right: It Follows aims its lens at a supernatural entity that lives on the outskirts, constantly pursuing its prey at a slow, zombie-like pace. Our heroine Jay (played by modern Scream Queen Maika Monroe) is trapped at the center of this pool of anxiety, facing a terrifying stalker. A modern classic, with an original score inspired by John Carpenter.
Before Black Widow, Cate Shortland made a name for herself by making excellent independent films, including Berlin Syndrome. This psychological horror stars Teresa Palmer as Clare Havel, a young Australian who goes hiking in Berlin, only to meet a man who is holding her captive in his apartment. A game of cat and mouse between captor and captive ensues. Though slower at times in its confined setting, Berlin Syndrome certainly delivers a gripping thriller.
After watching this movie, you might just have a new favorite director in Julia Ducournau. Raw follows Justine, a vegetarian in her first year of vet school, who gives in to peer pressure, eats raw meat and ends up with a rash all over her body. The film tackles questions of identity in a viscerally powerful and symbolic way, and is a staple of Netflix’s indie bench.
A horror that strikes… close to home. Revealing their supernatural evils through a harrowing human story, His House follows Bol and Rial, a couple of refugees from Sudan, who struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town. Don’t expect mere scares – His House plays on the psychological specters of the past, adding even more corridors of torment. A heartbreaking and powerful piece.
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Haven’t seen what is widely considered the best horror movie of all time? 1973’s The Exorcist stars Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil, an affluent actress whose daughter becomes possessed by a demonic entity. Who are they going to call? A couple of Catholic priests to perform an exorcism. The Exorcist was so good that it became the first horror film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
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