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The Best Netflix Movies To Watch When You Want To Scream

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

Whether it's the end of October or if the Halloween season is still a few months away, you're always entitled to a good scare or two. The best horror movies bring frightful screams year-round for scare-lovers, and there are plenty of terrifying options to choose from on Netflix. Whether you're a fan of demonic horror films, spooky ghost stories where supernatural things go bump in the night, bloodcurdling gorefests, or good old-fashioned creature features, there's something for everyone available right now. So, if you're feeling in the mood to stream-and-scream, here are some of the best horror options you can add to your queue.

The Evil Dead

If there's one movie that's had people screaming for nearly 40 years, it would be The Evil Dead – the self-proclaimed "Ultimate experience in grueling terror." Even horror maestro Stephen King called it "the most ferociously original horror film of the year" back when it came out, and he wasn't kidding. 

Director Sam Raimi's feature film debut, The Evil Dead is about a group of college students who make an ill-fated getaway to a remote cabin in the woods — a plot recipe that would influence horror movies for years to come. In the cabin's basement, they stumble upon a wicked-looking Kandarian bone dagger, a book bound in human flesh (later to be known as the Necronomicon) and an old tape recorder that holds incantations to summons ancient demons. To no one's surprise, the curious teens play the tape and unwittingly unleash the sadistic "Deadites," who have the ability to possess the living. It's not long before gazillions of gallons of blood are sprayed, and bodies are dismembered in brutally spectacular ways. 

But The Evil Dead is more than just a blood-drenched, roller coaster ride of jump scares. What adds to the movie's appeal and shock value are the impressive practical effects for its time. Combine that with its effective sound design, inventive camera-work, and creepy makeup effects, and you have a classic gorefest that still holds up very well today — and it will very likely continue to keep audiences screaming for another 40 years and beyond. Oh, and it also stars national treasure, B-movie legend, Bruce Campbell, who makes his debut as the iconic Ash Williams, who would go on to star in two more sequels and an original series.

Poltergeist (1982)

Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist has reliably delivered scares for nearly four decades. Produced and co-written by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist is a haunted house flick about a powerful entity that torments the Freeling family residence and punches a hole into our earthly realm to abduct their youngest daughter, Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke). One surprising fact about the 1982 supernatural horror flick is that it actually holds a PG rating — though, it's because of a technicality more than anything. The PG-13 rating didn't exist at the time of its release, which is what it might've been labeled as if it were released today. But even for a horror movie with such a tame rating, it remains to be one of the scariest movies of all time that doesn't rely on gore or intense violence. 

What elevates the movie and ups the scare factor so much are the convincing performances by the entire cast — it has that Spielbergian touch – and the frightening designs of the practical and visual effects. You'll scream along with the Freeling family as they encounter ghostly apparitions, a terrifying living tree that has an appetite for children, ghastly corpses in swimming pools, and arguably the creepiest clown doll to ever grace the silver screen. 

Even the dialogue in the movie will send chills down your spine. Who can forget Tangina Barron's (Zelda Rubinstein) hair-raising monologue about death, the afterlife, and her bone-chilling reveal about the "The Beast"? Dim the lights, crank up the sound, and stream it now. If you haven't seen Poltergeist, you've been missing out on a true classic.

Our House

If you're looking for a ghostly horror outing, look no further than Our House directed by Anthony Scott Burns. A gifted college brainiac (Thomas Mann) is working on what could be a scientific breakthrough — a machine that can generate wireless electricity. But after his parents are killed in a tragic car accident, he suddenly becomes the parental guardian of his kid brother and sister and has no choice but to move in with them. 

While juggling his newfound parental duties as well as his studies, he transforms the garage into a quasi-laboratory to continue his experiments, and soon discovers that his machine has an unexpected side effect: It's allowing souls of the deceased to commune with the living. At first, it seems his sister is talking with their dead parents, but they soon discover it's something far more sinister. Well-filmed with likable characters and convincing performances by the three young leads, Our House definitely builds up to a spooky finale with smoky apparitions reminiscent of the ones in Poltergeist, and well-timed, effective jump scares — a gimmick horror films sometimes use too often, but this one does it just right.

Creep 2

What would you get if you threw the slasher, found footage, and dark comedy genres all into one? You'd get both Creep and Creep 2. In this follow-up to the original, we once again meet Josef, who is now going by the name of Aaron, having taken the mantle of his last victim. Once again, Aaron (Mark Duplass) invites a videographer to his home to document his life. This time, it's Sara (Desiree Akhavan from Girls) who has an online web series devoted to deep diving into the lives of lonely men who put personal ads online. She responds to Aaron's intriguing ad and the two meet up. 

He tells her upfront that he is a serial killer going through a unique midlife crisis of sorts — he's lost his passion for killing. As viewers of the first film would know, Aaron is a cunning, compulsive liar, and a psychopath, but also very charismatic and likeable, so it's no wonder his victims look past his apparent oddness and let their guards down. But Sara is strong-headed and unlike the others. She's cautious and doesn't exactly buy into Aaron's claims and decides to spend a day with him. As for where it goes — well, you'll just have to see.

Aside from its shocking opener and cat-and-mouse finale, Creep 2 is a slow burn, character study of a serial killer. We already know Aaron's a snake, but it's the anticipation of when — or if — that snake will strike that makes the film so unnerving. At a brisk 1 hour and 20-minute runtime, Creep 2 is a gripping and engaging indie-thriller. It's no surprise it sports a coveted 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Monster

From director Bryan Bertino comes this creature feature about a mother and daughter who must take on a mysterious and ferocious monster. Kathy (Zoe Kazan) is a young alcoholic and verbally abusive mother who has a very strained relationship with her headstrong daughter, Lizzy (Ella Ballentine). On a stormy night, just hours after a profanity-fueled argument, the two hit the road to take Lizzy to her father's house. On the way, they hit a wolf and find themselves stranded in their car on the side of the road. The wolf's body has unusually large teeth stuck in wounds along its body sparking Lizzy to ask, "what was it running from?" 

After their tow truck driver disappears and his severed arm thrashes up against the windshield, they soon realize that they're not alone and that some hulking monster is lurking in the nearby woods. The two must put their difference aside and, together, outwit the formidable beast. The premise may be simple, but Bertino makes the most of his budget and delivers some genuine scares while drawing a powerful performance from Kazan. It's also refreshing to see the titular monster brought to life with all practical effects and no CGI.

Would You Rather

How far would you go to save a loved one or to make lots of money? Those are the questions asked by the delightful horror-thriller, Would You Rather. Iris (Brittany Snow) is the sole caretaker of her terminally ill brother who's in dire need of medical attention, only she can't afford to pay for it. After meeting a filthy rich and sweet-talking aristocrat played by legendary character actor Jeffrey Combs (best known to horror fans as Herbert West from the Re-Animator franchise), she's invited to a dinner to play a game. The winner gets the money they desire, but there's a catch: If you lose, you don't just walk away empty-handed. You die. 

The participants learn this grim fact after agreeing to the terms, and they're held against their will and forced to continue the game. Would You Rather won't make you scream because of thrills or jump scares — this isn't that type of movie. But there are enormous amounts of body horror as the participants must choose between increasingly gruesome ultimatums if they want to make it to the next round...and let's just say it's sometimes plenty painful to watch. 

You'll scream, squirm, and flinch as characters are forced to endure inconceivable pain such as bludgeoning or self-mutilation. After the movie is over, you'll never look at your eyeball in a hand mirror the same ever again. But even if you're the squeamish type, Would You Rather will have your eyes glued to the screen as you wait and see how the twisted game all plays out.

Sinister 2

If creepy, murderous children and malicious demons are your thing, look no further than Sinister 2. The sequel follows ex-Deputy So & So (James Ransone) as he continues to investigate a string of murders linked to Bagul, an ancient Pagan demon who has a history of possessing and persuading children to murder their families in a snuff film fashion. Our hero tracks down the next home marked for death and finds that it's occupied by a mother and her two twin sons. 

Of course, by the time he arrives, he' s a little too late. The twins are already being manipulated by the relentless demon, so it's a matter of time before the bloodshed begins — and one son in particular appears to be a ticking time bomb. This time we get to see exactly how Bagul recruits and corrupts children and what leads up to the heinous acts he has them commit on film. These films-within-the-film are the easily most shocking and disturbing element of the movie. What happens in them is very likely every parent's worst nightmare. In typical Blumhouse fashion, the movie is well-produced and filmed, with moody lighting and a booming score for those loud jump scares — and there are many since Bagul is quite fond of appearing out of nowhere.

The Ritual

If you love movies like The Descent, The Blair Witch Project, The Cabin in the Woods, or any movies that play with the primal fear of being lost in the nature's darkest and most terrifying places, The Ritual is for you. Still shaken by a recent traumatic event, four men embark on a hike through the Scandinavian wilderness to honor the memory of their best friend, who was murdered during a liquor store robbery. During the hike, one of them is injured so they decide to take a shortcut and find themselves lost in the dense woods. It's not long before they come across a gutted elk, strange pagan markings in the trees, and ominous carvings in an abandoned cabin. While camping in the pitch-black night, they also start hearing beast-like roars and heavy stomping within the forest – something is pursuing them. 

The creature itself is right out of a twisted fairy tale. The design-work and execution is truly nightmarish, and it's arguably one of the most unique and freaky movie monster designs in some time. The other oddities the men encounter in an ancient village occupied by crazed worshippers are right out of a fever dream and show off the movie's outlandish production design. Dark, atmospheric and oozing with creepy style mostly thanks to its Nordic-infused mythology, The Ritual is an imaginative horror film with folk-horror qualities that shouldn't be missed.

The Green Inferno

If getting lost and isolated in the wilderness scares you, how about getting lost in the 80,000-acre Amazon rainforest with an entire tribe of cannibals on your tail? That's the premise of director Eli Roth's (Hostel, Cabin Fever) 2015 horror film, The Green Inferno, which is very much inspired by the 1980 cult classic Cannibal Holocaust. The story follows a group of college activists with good intentions who travel to the vast jungles of Peru. When their plane crashes, they're greeted by a hungry and not-so-friendly indigenous tribe. Of course, you could argue that the tribe is very welcoming of their visitors, but what the captured students soon learn is that they're actually welcome for dinner — and they're the main course. 

In typical Eli Roth-fashion, the gore-hound director never shies away from the carnage. The first ritualistic kill is one of the most gruesome scenes of the entire film, and Roth pushes the envelope on what can be seen in an R-rated movie. There are no monsters lurking in the shadows in this movie. A majority of the horror happens in broad daylight. But aside from the sheer graphic violence, the film is not without thrills and chills and some dark humor — a scene involving cannibals consuming cannabis-infused human meat is particularly amusing. But the thrills and suspense pick up as the group devises their escape plan. The Green Inferno is lean and mean and will definitely make you scream.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Having a morgue at the basement of your home might seem highly unusual for most, but it's pretty normal for seasoned coroner Tommy (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch). The two spend their days having father-and-son talks while tinkering with cadavers and determining causes of death. But their routine is turned upside down when a sheriff brings in the body of a mysterious girl, labeled "Jane Doe," who was found buried in the basement of a home where a grisly mass murder took place. 

Right off the bat, they observe many peculiar things about the condition of her pale and seemingly unscathed body — she displays characteristics of both a fresh corpse and a body that has been dead for some time. The list of unusual findings grows as they further dissect her corpse. As they try to piece together the reason behind her death, disturbing, inexplicable, and possibly supernatural occurrences start to happen around the house, forcing the two men to put their scientific beliefs aside. 

Every mysterious reveal will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat — and yes, it builds up to an intense third act with many well-timed scares sprinkled throughout. Masterfully directed by André Øvredal (Trollhunter, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) and expertly paced, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a smart, incredibly eerie, and consistently scary horror film.