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Best Horror Movies On Netflix, According To Critics

Netflix is home to a lot of great pulse-quickening horror movies, both ones the streaming service has licensed from outside studios and ones it has released itself. So many good ones — as well as bad ones — that scrolling through Netflix's horror category can be an overwhelming experience. Sometimes you might need a little help separating the wheat from the chaff. That's where critics come in. They watch all the movies so you don't have to.

The review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gathers up critical reviews of movies and TV shows from all over the internet, determines whether they're positive ("Fresh") or negative ("Rotten"), and assigns a number grade based on the ratio of positive and negative reviews. It's a very useful tool for gauging critical consensus. If a movie has a high Rotten Tomatoes score, it's probably worth watching (which isn't to say movies with low scores are necessarily not worth watching! Your taste may vary.)

But if you're looking to make a decision about what horror movie to watch next based on expert opinions, below you'll find movies on Netflix with exceptionally high Rotten Tomatoes scores. The list features supernatural, psychological, and zombie horror. You can't go wrong with any of these movies.

His House is basically flawless

Writer-director Remi Weekes' exceptionally well-made ghost story tells a harrowing, relevant tale of two refugees from war-torn South Sudan, Bol (Gangs of London's Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù) and Rial (Lovecraft Country's Wunmi Mosaku), who settle in decrepit government housing on the outskirts of London. Even worse, Rial comes to believe that the house is haunted by a witch called an apeth that followed them from Africa that demands payment for a debt they incurred while doing whatever it took to escape from the war. It's a psychologically nuanced story with great performances, technical aspects, and scares. 

His House is a rare narrative film with a 100% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it's more common for documentaries)."Remi Weekes' feature directorial debut not only exposes the horrors of the immigration system, but mines survivor guilt for a clever, bone-chilling thriller," writes Polygon's Robert Daniels. "His House is a terrifying debut that breathes a fresh voice into the haunted-house subgenre."

Gerald's Game brings the scares on multiple levels

Horror virtuoso Mike Flanagan's Stephen King adaptation is a tight, terrifying single-location genre workout. The Haunting of Hill House's Carla Gugino stars as Jessie, a woman who goes on a trip with her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) to a secluded lake house in an effort to save their failing marriage. He handcuffs her to a bed for some uncomfortable sexual roleplay, then dies of a heart attack. So Jessie has to find a way to survive being physically trapped where no one can hear her scream and psychologically trapped inside her own head, where she has to confront her own traumas and emotional problems.

The intense movie has 91% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "The movie does the most important thing for a Gerald's Game adaptation: it improves on the original while bringing it accurately to the screen, and it provides viewers with both the character-rich, internal side of King's work, and the startling, visceral side," The Verge's Tasha Robinson writes, calling it "one of the most compelling, eerie, memorable Stephen King adaptations to date."

The Invitation will have you shaking right up to the twist ending

Director Karyn Kusama's edge-of-your-seat psychological horror-thriller is a masterclass in suspense. Logan Michael Green stars as Will, who goes with his girlfriend (Emayatzy Corinealdi) to the lavish home of his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband David (Michiel Huisman) for a dinner party. Will and Eden divorced after the death of their son, and they're both still processing the loss in different ways. And when Will realizes that the dinner party is not what it seems and Eden and David have sinister ulterior motives and no one can leave, his mental state deteriorates.

The film has an 89% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its tension-building. "Kusama's handling of point of view is diabolically shrewd," writes the Boston Globe's Peter Keough. "She maximizes the terror potential of the vapidly ostentatious modernist mansion without fetishizing it. She intensifies the monstrosity of some of the characters by making them all too human. And as for guessing the ending — good luck. It's probably a lot worse than you imagined."

#Alive is a quick jaunt into the terrifying genre of South Korean horror

South Korea has been dominating the zombie horror subgenre in recent years. The country has produced a number of compelling zombie works, including the tense film Train to Busan, the innovative period piece series Kingdom, and the wildly entertaining flick #Alive. The latter film follows a video game streamer named Oh Joon-woo (Burning's Yoo Ah-in) as he tries to survive alone in his Seoul apartment during a zombie apocalypse.

The film has an 88% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Clocking in at 99 minutes, #Alive feels even more brisk than that," writes Pajiba's Dustin Rowles. "It's tight and fast-paced, the characters do a lot with the little space they have, and the action sequences are appropriately tense and disturbing, but there are also a few doses of humor." 

Interestingly, this is an adaptation of a script by American screenwriter Matt Naylor that was also made into an English-language film called Alone that was released a few months later and is not nearly as good. To wit, Rotten Tomatoes saddled that flick with a 40% "Rotten" rating. 

It Comes At Night uses realism to amp up the fright

This atmospheric, dread-filled 2017 horror-thriller takes on added resonance in the pandemic era. It takes place after a pandemic has wiped out most of the world's population, and centers on a family that's surviving by being completely locked down in a house in the woods. They uneasily welcome another family into their house, and, well, let's just say it doesn't work out. The small cast is packed with talented actors, including Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Christopher Abbott, and Riley Keough.

With an 87% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "It Comes At Night is a pared-down and ingenious horror film which benefits from writer-director Trey Edward Shults' very matter-of-fact approach to the grim events it depicts," writes Independent's Geoffrey Macnab. "[The characters are] aware that they can't escape their fate but that doesn't stop them taking extreme measures to survive just a little bit longer. This is certainly a bleak story but it's also a rich and very nuanced one."