Updated for May 2017
*This list is continuously updated and applies to the best horror movies on Netflix US. Not every film listed might still be streaming or available in other Netflix regions such as the UK, Canada, and Australia.
#Horror and #Netflix haven't always gone well together (as far as streaming goes). Any Netflix subscriber is no doubt well aware that the horror section is often full of some pretty bad horror movies, otherwise known as B-movies. Either that, or they're straight to video releases that not many people have heard about. In this list will feature the best horror movies on Netflix.
However, even with the abundance of horror sequels, B-movies, and low level releases, every once in a while there are some true horror gems that make their way onto Netflix. While they're not loved by every horror fan, they managed to rise in popularity and gain some pretty high viewer ratings.
With this list, we will focus on the best scariest horror movies streaming on Netflix. These selections were chosen out of personal preference and Netflix viewer ratings. I'm sure they won't resonate with everyone and some might disagree, but hey, that is okay. It can be difficult to find quality films on Netflix, especially in the horror section. Here are our best scary movies on Netflix you much check out right now!
The Best Horror Movies on Netflix for May 2017
1. Sinister (2012)
Sinister is perhaps one of the most surprising horror movies we've received in recent years. I was a bit nervous (at first) about the premise, but I wound up really enjoying it. The movie introduced a very menacing villain with Bughuul (a.k.a., Mr. Boogie) and the story itself was definitely creepy. I can't speak on the 2015 sequel, but the first one is a high recommendation if you're never seen it.
2. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
If you're looking for a gore fest with #BradleyCooper, you might find what you're looking for with The Midnight Meat Train. Cooper plays a photographer who is consistently seeking out dark subject matter, and winds up in the path of a serial killer. This movie features some pretty gruesome death scenes and Vinny Jones as the killer. If you like serial killer slashers, I would give this one a try.
1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
If you're looking for a true horror classic, look no further than A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film from Wes Craven sparked a franchise with nine films total (including a battle with Jason Voorhes), and it created quite possibly one of the most iconic horror villains of all time with Freddy Krueger. If you've managed to go this long without ever visiting Elm Street, Netflix is giving you a prime opportunity to catch up. Not to mention the movie has a very young #JohnnyDepp in his Hollywood debut.
2. Contracted (2013)
Contracted is pretty out there, but it's actually pretty enjoyable for what it is. It's basically a #zombie concept, but there are some serious twists and turns that not only amplify the germ motivated zombie theory, but it makes you downright uncomfortable. Basically, it's an incredible safe sex lesson because you definitely do not want to catch whatever the main character caught. Safety first, everyone.
1. The Craft (1996)
If you've been waiting (like I have) for Netflix to put another great horror movie on streaming, feel free to rejoice because we now have The Craft. This movie is perhaps one of the best witch movies ever made and it definitely amps up the "creep" factor - especially if you're watching in the dark. The Craft became a cult classic for a reason and if you've never seen it before, I recommend putting this in your queue for March.
1. Corpse Bride (2005)
Netflix hasn't been too kind or accommodating to horror lovers lately. With that said, there are still some "scary" gems that have arrived and one of them definitely is Corpse Bride. Although Corpse Bride is more kid friendly, that doesn't mean it isn't a fun addition to any horror marathon being hosted by adults. The subject matter is a bit heavy when you really think of it, and it does bring that signature macabre overtone that only #TimBurton can bring to the table. Plus, who doesn't love #JohnnyDepp and Helena Bonham-Carter?
2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
If you're looking for a more conventional horror movie to watch in February, I would check out The Blair Witch Project. This movie pretty much kickstarted the "found footage" style within the horror genre, and it did perhaps one of the best attempts we've ever seen. The style was unique at the time and the slow-burn pace complimented the story perfectly. If you've never seen it, I definitely recommend checking it out at some point. Especially since we got a long awaited follow-up with #BlairWitch in 2016.
1. The Shining (1980)
If you've never sat down and watched The Shining, you are truly missing out. This Stanley Kubrick classic psychological thriller is based off the 1977 #StephenKing novel and has inspired more pop culture references than you might think. It has inspired episodes of Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park, and Scream Queens - just to name a few. Not to mention being the main inspiration for a lot of the cinematography in American Horror Story: Hotel and the Thirty Seconds to Mars music video for "The Kill (Bury Me)." Here's Johnny!
2. It Follows (2014)
While some wouldn't necessarily consider It Follows to be 100% horror, I personally feel it's enough on the spectrum to belong in any horror marathon. Similar to our other mention for January, this movie seriously messes with your mind and the tension alone is enough to make you feel unsettled and nervous. After all, those are great traits for any #horror movie to have, right?
1. The Den (2013)
If you're a fan of found-footage horror, The Den is a good choice for you. Although it can be slow to start, don't give up on this film. The ending alone is worth giving this one a shot. It's bleak, unnerving, and definitely leaves you with something to think about.
2. House of Wax (2005)
Although this 2000s remake isn't necessarily the best we've ever gotten, you have to admit that House of Wax is a fun installment to any horror marathon. The basic plot of friends becoming stranded in a killer ghost town is pretty basic, but at least we had #JaredPadalecki to watch the whole time, right? Not to mention the pretty epic death sequence for Paris Hilton.
3. Hannibal (2001)
In the early tradition of sequels hitting years after the original film, #Hannibal brought us back to the rivalry between Hannibal Lecter and FBI Agent, Clarice Starling. Although we didn't get Jodie Foster back, this follow-up to The Silence of the Lambs is a worthy addition to any horror marathon. It's also not a bad sequel for what it's worth.
1. The Awakening (2011)
This is an interesting movie because it takes place in post-WWI England as the country is still stricken with grief from the war. A young writer and ghost-hunter is stumped on the case in this psychological film after arriving an a haunted boarding school for young boys. If you enjoy having your mind messed with, The Awakening is the movie for you.
2. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)
Although I personally wouldn't say The Human Centipede is a film that's necessarily great, there is no denying the elements that it introduces. When two American tourists seek out the help of a retired surgeon, they quickly get more than they bargained for when they discover his plan to create a "human centipede" with them an a fellow abducted tourist. This movie is gross, vulgar, and definitely not easy to watch. But hey, that's one of the great things about horror, right?
3. They Look Like People (2015)
They Look Like People is one of the newest releases streaming right now, but it's a pretty decent offering. When a man suspects the people around him are turning into evil creatures, he wonders if he should try and save his best friend. This movie is full of several creep factors and is definitely worth giving a try if you enjoy monster movies.
1. Queen of the Damned (2002)
I'm well aware that Queen of the Damned isn't necessarily one of the greatest horror movies out there. Seriously, you don't have to light up the comments to tell me that. However, if you're looking for a "Netflix and Kill" marathon for #Halloween this year, it is a worthy addition if you're looking for something with vampires. If nothing else, it has an amazing soundtrack.
2. The Uninvited (2009)
If you're looking for something that's more psychological, I suggest checking out The Uninvited. It's a remake of a 2003 Korean horror film, A Tale of Two Sisters, but unlike most American horror remakes, it wasn't all that terrible. It definitely messes with your mind and might leave you a bit confused at the end.
3. Holidays (2016)
If you haven't watched Holidays yet, you should just stop what you're doing and watch it right now. This holiday-themed horror anthology is not only a lot of fun, but it packs a lot of punch that horror fans have been missing in recent years. The segments are fun, gory, creepy, interesting, and crazy. I thoroughly enjoyed Holidays and hope it's a sign of more anthologies to come. Not to mention the segment directed by #KevinSmith is pretty awesome.
1. Jaws (1975)
Jaws is definitely a horror staple. Although it might not be considered scary by today's standards, this classic shark tale from Steven Spielberg terrified audiences and made people scared to do just about anything dealing with water. Along with the iconic musical score, Jaws is not a movie you should skip when preparing for Halloween season. Not to mention the fact that Netflix has all four Jaws films available to stream.
2. Practical Magic (1998)
Although this movie isn't so much a "scary" movie, you can't go wrong with a witch movie. Practical Magic is more of a lighthearted with movie, but it's still a fun one to watch if you've worn your horror queue a bit thin. Besides, who doesn't love Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman using magic?
3. Extraordinary Tales (2015)
If you're a fan of the dark, macabre Edgar Allan Poe stories, you should sit down and check out Extraordinary Tales. This animated anthology series gives visual treatments to five total Poe stories and features narration from horror icons such as Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, and Julian Sands.
4. The Amityville Horror (2005)
I know this remake of The Amityville Horror isn't nearly as good as the 1977 original, but it is still a decent enough to watch. At least as far as Netflix horror is concerned. Not to mention you get to see an abundance of Ryan Reynolds without a shirt on and a very young Chloe Grace Moretz.
5. Would You Rather (2013)
Reviews of Would You Rather are pretty mixed as some have enjoyed it, while others have written it off for being lackluster. For me personally, I enjoyed this movie for what it was and found it to be a rather interesting concept. There are events that definitely make you squirm in your chair and it makes you wonder, which would you rather do to yourself or someone else?
6. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Sweeney Todd wasn't Tim Burton's first stab at the horror genre and he delivered in a way only he knows how. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I would advise you to not let the fact that the movie is a musical dissuade you. It is still plenty full of bloody gore and vengeance. Plus, who can resist #JohnnyDepp in that awesome wig, or the voice of the late Alan Rickman?
1. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
This re-telling of the classic "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" story by Washington Irving was brought to us by none other than visionary director, #TimBurton. Although it packs just as much comedy as it does horror, Sleepy Hollow is one of those films you shouldn't be skipping over. We love seeing the familiar faces of Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Walken, but you also wind up loving the quirky, visionary approach that only Burton could bring to a story like this.
2. The Invitation (2015)
Imagine your ex-wife inviting you to a party with her new husband. If you want to experience that awkwardness without actually experiencing it, go ahead and give The Invitation a try. The story this movie tells is unsettling, to say the least, and will make you think twice before re-opening any previous wounds.
3. Dead Silence (2007)
If you're a fan of Saw co-creator (and The Conjuring mastermind) #JamesWan, you probably would find watching Dead Silence worth watching. While it's not one of my personal favorites of Wan's filmography, it does amp up the creepy doll factor and pack some suspenseful scenes. Not to mention yet another twist ending from the master himself.
4. Honeymoon (2014)
Relationships can be a scary thing and those fears are tapped into with Honeymoon. This story follows a couple on a retreat at a family lake cabin and things get weird rather quickly. This is definitely in the category of "slow burn" horror films and it really will make you look at your significant other a bit differently for a while. After all, how do you have any way of knowing what's really going on inside their head?
5. The Crow (1994)
The Crow isn't necessarily a textbook horror film, but it definitely has a darker element that shadows the key elements of the genre. After a man is murdered, he returns from the dead to avenge the rape and murder of his fiance. Yeah, this is definitely a dark one and it's great. It also marked the last performance of the late Brandon Lee.
6. Monsters (2010)
Before director Gareth Edwards was giving us films like Godzilla and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he gave us this horror attempt about an area quarantined between the United States and Mexico after an alien invasion. This low-budget film explored some interesting territory and made the invasion of an unknown species very interesting to watch.
7. We Are What We Are (2013)
I could be argued that one thing that separates humans from any other species on the planet is tradition. Most families have their own traditions passed down from generation to generation and We Are What We Are tells us the story of a particular tradition passed down within a reclusive family. This is technically an American remake of a Mexican horror film of the same name, but it is the film about cannibalism that you might have heard made audiences extremely uncomfortable at Sundance and Cannes in 2013. Just don't snack on anything while watching because it might get a little weird.
1. Hellraiser (1987)
Just in case you never really knew where Pinhead came from, you should check out Hellraiser. Despite being a late '80s horror offering, it does still pack some punch and Pinhead is as creepy as he ever was. It's definitely a classic from Clive Barker and definitely makes you weary of puzzle boxes.
2. Curse of Chucky (2013)
We can almost all agree that the Child's Play franchise has turned more into a horror-comedy franchise, but Curse of Chucky turned the tables around back towards horror. It's not flawless, but when you compare it to Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky, it definitely comes out on top. It also stars the daughter of Chucky himself, Brad Dourif.
3. Odd Thomas (2013)
If you're looking to remember, or pay tribute to, what a great and fun actor #AntonYelchin was, I would definitely check out Odd Thomas. It's a fun, dark comedy about a young clairvoyant who encounters a dark spirit. It is a great addition to any Yelchin marathon. May he rest in peace.
4. Cape Fear (1991)
Cape Fear isn't a textbook horror movie, but I felt it deserved some recognition on the list. Robert De Niro stars as a released rapist seeking revenge against the defense attorney he feels is responsible for putting him in prison. It's also what the classic "Cape Feare" episode of The Simpsons was directly spoofing.
5. Housebound (2014)
If you're looking for a fun horror film to watch with your friends, you should check out Housebound. Coming out of New Zealand, this horror-comedy follows a girl placed under house arrest who begins to suspect that the house is haunted. It matches the scares with laughs and is just a lot of fun to watch.
6. We Are Still Here (2015)
It's worth warning that We Are Still Here might be a bit slow for some people, but it is a decent offering if you sit through it. The film is set in the late '70s and follows a family that moves into a new home after the death of their son. Little do they know, the house comes complete with some rather ornery spirits.
7. Starry Eyes (2014)
This Kickstarter-funded film gives us a look into a girl's journey to becoming famous. Starry Eyes is another film that might be considered a "slow burn," but it has some scenes that will seriously leave you squirming and wanting to look away. I would recommend at least giving it a try.
8. Hush (2016)
Hush is probably one of the most refreshing horror movies I've seen in recent years. It was a big hit with audiences as it follows a completely different concept that we're used to. By that I mean it shows us a deaf-mute being stalked by a killer. While it's not the best horror movie out there, it definitely gives you a decent ride.
1. The Host (2006)
This monster movie gives us just about everything. We have horror, sci-fi, and satire in this story of a giant monster attacking Seoul, Korea. If you enjoy The Host and want to see more of what director Bong Joon-ho has to offer, you can watch Snowpiercer which is also streaming on Netflix.
2. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
This movie was definitely a warmup for future films like Planet Terror. The Tarantino written, Robert Rodriquez directed vampire flick is campy, gory, and ridiculous, but you can't help but love it. Any Tarantino buff who has never seen From Dusk Till Dawn should catch it on Netflix before it disappears.
3. Pontypool (2008)
This Canadian horror film will definitely make you think twice before opening your mouth to speak. After a virus begins to spread through language, employees of a radio station rush to find a cure. It's a fairly low-budget film, but it's a different and fun take on zombies.
4. The Nightmare (2015)
This horror-documentary was a surprising hit with audiences and is considered by many to be the most genuinely scary offering on Netflix right now. Part documentary and part thriller, the film explores the subject of sleep paralysis and definitely leaves the viewer with something to think about after it's over. Hope you have a nightlight.
5. Dead Snow (2009)
This horror-comedy from Norway is definitely a fun ride. The portrayal of "Nazi zombies" is full of gore, bone crunching, and leaking intestines. If your horror pleasure is a gore fest, I would check out Dead Snow. You're bound to love it and if you do, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is also streaming.
6. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
If you're a fan of the classic, black and white horror aesthetic, look no further. A Girl Walks Home at Night is a nod to classic horror films with its cinematography, story, and portrayal of #vampires. You just have to be prepared to read subtitles.
7. Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Many consider New Nightmare to have been Wes Craven's warm up for Scream. It's a fun, gory continuation of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise that brings back Freddy Krueger on a grand scale. If you're a fan of the classic slasher icons, don't skip past this one.
8. The Sacrament (2013)
Director Ti West did it again with this creepy portrayal of a dangerous cult. The Sacrament is yet another found-footage offering, but the way it captures tension and an overall creepy atmosphere is 100% worth it. It reminded me of the Jonestown Massacre where the leader made everyone drink the poisoned Kool-Aid.
9. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
This horror-comedy has become somewhat of a cult classic since premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and SXSW. The story of two West Virginia rednecks who are suddenly attacked by a group of preppy college kids is funny in all the right ways. If you were a fan of films like Shaun of the Dead, you can't miss this one. It's been featured on many top lists for both horror and comedy.
10. V/H/S (2012)
V/H/S is another found-footage offering that definitely paid off. This anthology series has become a somewhat underground hit among the horror audience, as it definitely packed a punch and delivered some inventive and creepy stories. Although I think the first one is the best, the sequels V/H/S/2 and V/H/S: Viral are also worth a watch — both streaming, too.
11. The Babadook (2014)
#TheBabadook definitely amps up the creep factor by combining things we all had as children: storybooks and imaginary friends. This Australian film does what a lot of current horror movies aren't doing by setting a real atmosphere and amping up tension. Sometimes the anticipation is scarier than actually seeing something visually on the screen.
Do you know of any other good horror movies on Netflix? What do you think are the scariest movies on Netflix?