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40 Best Horror Movies On Netflix [October 2021]

Netflix is constantly adding new horror movies. In fact, it feels like the streaming service gets a new licensed or original fright flick every week. The movies come from all over the world, and just about every horror subgenre you can think of is represented, from haunted house movies and slashers to sci-fi action-horror and character-driven zombie movies.

The "horror" tab on the Netflix app can be pretty overwhelming because there are dozens upon dozens of titles. And the thing about horror movies is that it can be hard to tell a bad one from a good one based on its Netflix tile alone. And you don't want to get stuck watching a clichéd supernatural slasher that's no different from a million other supernatural slashers. That's where this list comes in. We've spent untold hours watching Netflix horror movies to find the absolute 40 best, so that you don't have to waste your time scrolling. You'll find something on this list to make you scream.

Updated on October 7, 2021: Netflix's catalogue of frightening films is constantly changing. So be sure to check back here each month to find out what wonderfully horrific films are waiting for you on the streaming service.

1922

This harsh adaptation of a Stephen King novella is a neat mashup of a crime drama and a psychological horror story. It's set in Nebraska in the titular year and tells the story of a farmer who manipulates his 14-year-old son into helping him murder his wife — the boy's mother –- to keep her from selling the farm. They're haunted by their guilt, literally and figuratively, as their home and mental states deteriorate. It's a dark morality tale about how "in the end, we all get caught" in one way or another when we do bad things.

  • Starring: Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid
  • Director: Zak Hilditch
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

#Alive

One of the most inadvertently timely movies of the pandemic era was this Korean hit that came out in June 2020. "#Alive" is a zombie movie that follows a video game streamer named Joon-woo as he tries to survive a zombie apocalypse by barricading himself inside of his Seoul apartment. Sounds familiar, right? He manages okay until the internet goes out. And he can't live without the internet. Or running water, which also becomes a problem, but the internet! 

What keeps him alive is the connection he makes with Yoo-bin, the only other survivor in his apartment complex. They share food and messages over a zip-line between their apartments. Alone, they're dead. But together, they might find a way out. It's the perfect zombie movie for the social media age.

  • Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-hye, Jeon Bae-soo
  • Director: Cho Il
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Apostle

The "Wicker Man" vibes are strong in this gory folk horror flick from acclaimed writer-director Gareth Evans. In 1905 Wales, a man named Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island, where his sister is being held for ransom by a pagan cult. The cultists claim that the previously barren island was rendered fertile by their blood sacrifices. Thomas suspects that it's just a nefarious scam to get money –- and it is -– but when he arrives, he finds a lot more violence and terror than he anticipated. It's a gripping slow-burner with a hair-raising climax and a typically great performance from star Dan Stevens.

  • Starring: Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen
  • Director: Gareth Evans
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

The Babysitter

This blood-drenched horror comedy is as hilarious as it is gory. It's a coming-of-age story about a nerdy, bullied 12-year-old boy named Cole, whose only friend is his babysitter — a hot, charismatic older girl named Bee. One night, Cole stays up to see what Bee does after he goes to bed, and he discovers that his beloved babysitter is the leader of a murderous Satanic cult ... and he just might be their next sacrificial lamb. Now, Cole has to learn how to stand up for himself by getting the cult members before they get him. It's a darkly funny meta-throwback to '80s teenage slasher movies.

  • Starring: Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Hana Mae Lee
  • Director: McG
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Before I Wake

It's probably fair to say that Netflix and director Mike Flanagan have had the most fruitful studio-filmmaker partnership of the past decade of horror. For proof, you can check out titles like the "Haunting" series, "Midnight Mass," and "Before I Wake." This little horror flick tells the story of Jessie and Mark, who take in a foster child, Cody, after the tragic death of their son. Cody is a very special boy who doesn't like to sleep ... because when he sleeps, his dreams become real. When they're nice dreams, it's beautiful, but when they're bad dreams, it's a living nightmare. It's one of the better spooky child supernatural horror movies, and it tackles Flanagan's pet themes of grief and trauma.

  • Starring: Thomas Jane, Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay
  • Director: Mike Flanagan
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

The Block Island Sound

"The Block Island Sound" is a moody slow-burn monster movie from the "aquatic horror" subgenre. Strange things are happening on Block Island. Birds are falling out of the sky, and fish are washing up dead on the beach. One Block Island family is particularly affected. When Tom goes missing from his boat, his adult children don't agree on what happened to him. His daughter thinks he drowned while he was drunk, while his son suspects something more nefarious, possibly not human. The movie, with its fishing village setting and themes of family discord, is uncannily, coincidentally similar to "Midnight Mass," Netflix's limited series from its go-to horror maestro, Mike Flanagan.

  • Starring: Chris Sheffield, Michaela McManus, Neville Archambault
  • Directors: Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Blood Red Sky

"Blood Red Sky" is a unique twist on a vampire movie. This action horror flick takes place on an overnight flight from Germany to New York, where a woman named Nadja is traveling along with her son to get treatment for her mysterious blood disorder. However, the plane is hijacked by terrorists, and the only way for Nadja to save her kid and everyone else on board is to reveal the secret she's been keeping from her boy: She's a vampire. So the bloodsucker becomes the hero as she turns the hijackers into her in-flight meal. The movie's fast pace and high-octane action made it Netflix's most-watched German original so far.

  • Starring: Peri Baumeister, Dominic Purcell, Graham McTavish
  • Director: Peter Thorwarth
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 123 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Cam

This creative psychological horror-thriller wrings great suspense out of someone getting locked out of her online account. "Cam" follows Alice, who works as a camgirl using the name Lola_Lola, doing erotic livestreams for tips. She wants to be the #1 camgirl on the whole site, and she pushes her content further and further to try to move up the chart. 

Things are going well until a mysterious doppelgänger takes over her account. Alice can see herself performing online even though she's not doing it herself. As she tries to prove this is really happening and get her account back, no one will help her. Her psychological state deteriorates as she goes deeper down the spiral to uncover the truth. Emmy nominee Madeline Brewer gives a riveting, committed performance.

  • Starring: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
  • Director: Daniel Goldhaber
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Cargo

This gloomy zombie horror movie is set in the Australian Outback in the post-apocalyptic near-future, where a virus is turning people into rabid, flesh-eating zombies. Our main character, Andy, has been bitten, and he has to find someone to take care of his infant daughter in the next 48 hours before he turns. As he travels across the barren landscape, he encounters Aboriginal survivors and scary survivalists. "Cargo" is an emotionally heavy, serious-minded horror drama that's essentially an Australian take on Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic classic "The Road," with a powerful lead performance by Martin Freeman.

  • Starring: Martin Freeman, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter
  • Director: Yolanda Ramke, Ben Howling
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Conjuring

"The Conjuring" kicked off the most financially successful horror franchise of the past decade, with the eight films of the franchise collectively grossing over $2 billion. The supernatural horror flick that started it all popped off so hard for a simple reason: It slaps. It follows married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they try to help the Perron family figure out what's going on in their haunted farmhouse. It's a straightforward horror story elevated by James Wan's expert direction and Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's heartfelt performances.

  • Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
  • Director: James Wan
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Conjuring 2

In "The Conjuring 2," we follow Ed and Lorraine Warren across the pond as they investigate a haunting on the outskirts of London. The Hodgson family's home is under demonic attack after one of the daughters, Janet, invited an entity in with a Ouija board. The demon takes the shape of an old man named Bill Wilkins, who says the house is his. The Warrens aren't convinced that Janet really is possessed ... until Lorraine meets a demonic nun. It's an assured sequel that shows the success of the first "Conjuring" film was no fluke.

  • Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe
  • Director: James Wan
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Creep

An indie gem that became one of Netflix's first horror hits and has ascended to cult favorite status, "Creep" takes the found-footage horror genre to darkly funny and psychologically twisted places. Struggling freelance videographer Aaron travels to a remote cabin to make a video for a client named Josef, who hopes to leave the home movie for his unborn son after he dies of a brain tumor. But everything about Josef is off from the moment he startles Aaron upon arrival, and things quickly get more and more awkward and disturbing as Josef's story falls apart, and it becomes clear that he's not who he says he is. It's powered by a manic performance from star-writer-producer Mark Duplass

  • Starring: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
  • Director: Patrick Brice
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 77 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Creep 2

The sequel to "Creep" finds Josef luring a new victim into his web of deceit and terror. His new target is Sara, a YouTuber who films her meetings with the peculiar, lonely men she meets through Craigslist, seeking to make connections with them. Josef, tired of his old MO and going by the name Aaron in tribute to his victim from the first movie, tells Sara exactly who he is up front, and says he'll let her live for 24 hours if she makes a documentary about him. Sara doesn't believe that he's a killer and isn't intimidated by him. In other words, she's a perfect match for him. "Creep 2" has everything that was good about the original "Creep" and then some.

  • Starring: Mark Duplass, Desiree Akhavan, Karan Soni
  • Director: Patrick Brice
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Crimson Peak

Directed by horror master Guillermo del Toro, "Crimson Peak" is a blood-drenched gothic romance about an aspiring American writer named Edith who gets whisked away by a dashing baronet, Thomas Sharpe, who marries her after a whirlwind courtship. After the wedding, she goes to live with him and his sister, Lucille, at their decaying English manor. However, Thomas neglects her, and the sister is cold to her, and then Edith begins to see ghastly visions that alert her to the fact that the Sharpes have sinister plans for her. It's an operatic haunted house tale with spectacular production design and costumes.

Deep Blue Sea

"Deep Blue Sea" is a delightful B-movie that dares to ask the question, "What if the shark from 'Jaws' was smart?" It starts with scientists working on finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease by doing research on mako sharks because they have a special protein in their brain that could be the key to stopping cognitive decline (just go with it). But in order to get enough of the protein, they had to enlarge the size of the sharks' brains. So now the sharks are too smart, and they're rising up against the crew of the underwater research facility. It's peak late-'90s, high-concept blockbuster action-horror.

  • Starring: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Renny Harlin
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%

Fear Street Part One: 1994

The first installment of a trilogy based on R.L. Stine's young adult horror series, "Fear Street Part One" takes place in the murder-plagued town of Shadyside, where the people live miserable lives, especially compared to their prosperous neighbors in Sunnyvale. Legend has it, Shadyside's misfortunes date back to 1666, when Sarah Fier put a curse on the town before she was executed for witchcraft. After the latest Shadyside massacre, local high schooler Deena and her friends find out that the legend is real, and Sarah has marked them for death. As the reanimated bodies of Shadyside's past killers pursue them, Deena and her friends reach out for help from the only survivor of the previous Shadyside massacre. It's an extremely fun tribute to slasher movies of the '90s.

  • Starring: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr.
  • Director: Leigh Janiak
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Fear Street Part Two: 1978

The second chapter of "Fear Street" is a summer camp slasher in the style of "Friday the 13th" (with a dash of "Wet Hot American Summer"). The sole survivor that Deena and her friends met in the first film, Ziggy, takes center stage here. It's 1978, and Ziggy is a high schooler going to a summer camp attended by Shadysiders and Sunnysiders, where class tensions run high. Ziggy bonds with Nick, a young member of Sunnyside's prominent Goode family while her sister, Cindy, and her friends get caught up in Sarah Fier's curse when a massacre breaks out at the camp. They get close to freeing Shadyside from the witch's spell, but it's up to Deena and Ziggy in 1994 to end it once and for all. But first, they have to go back to the beginning, setting up the stakes for the third film in the trilogy.

  • Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Ryan Simpkins
  • Director: Leigh Janiak
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

The final film in the "Fear Street" trilogy switches gears with a Puritan-era horror movie heavily influenced by "The Witch." It tells Sarah Fier's origin story and reveals she wasn't a witch at all — she was just the original Shadysider, getting railroaded and exploited for the benefit of Sunnyside's elites. It reveals that the real curse is inequality. And it has a killer '90s soundtrack. The whole "Fear Street" trilogy has a strong "Stranger Things" vibe, as it has a similar throwback style in its tone, and the franchises share a visual sensibility and sense of humor, as well as cast members Maya Hawke and Sadie Sink. Plus, director Leigh Janiak is married to "Stranger Things" co-creator Ross Duffer.

  • Starring: Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacobs
  • Director: Leigh Janiak
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Gerald's Game

Mike Flanagan's inspired adaptation of Stephen King's 1992 novel is a frightening and emotionally deep psychological horror thriller. It's about Jessie, a woman who goes with her husband, Gerald, to a secluded lake house for the weekend to try to rebuild their crumbling marriage. He handcuffs her to a bed for some sexual roleplay she's not into, then promptly drops dead from a heart attack. Jessie's survival needs are twofold. She needs to survive being physically trapped with no one coming to save her and being psychologically trapped in her own head, where she has to face down her own history of trauma if she's going to find the strength to endure. Oh, and there might be some kind of horrifying ghoul in the room with her.

  • Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas
  • Director: Mike Flanagan
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Girl on the Third Floor

This supernatural horror flick is a fun throwback to '70s movies like "The Amityville Horror" –- with the gore cranked up to 11. Pro wrestler Phil "CM Punk" Brooks stars as Don Koch, a womanizing ex-con from Chicago who tries to get a fresh start by fixing up a decrepit old house in the suburbs for himself and his pregnant wife. But old habits die hard, and Don has an affair with a woman named Sarah he thinks is a neighbor. But Sarah is no neighbor. She's a ghost, and she gives every man who comes into the house the opportunity to destroy himself. When Don tries to cover up misdeeds, the house fights back. "Girl on the Third Floor" is a feminist horror movie with delightfully disgusting practical effects.

  • Starring: CM Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks
  • Director: Travis Stevens
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

His House

Writer-director Remi Weekes' brilliant ghost story is an emotionally complex stunner about two refugees from war-torn South Sudan, Bol and Rial, who settle in crumbling government housing in a depressing London borough. Even worse, Rial comes to believe that the house is haunted by a witch called an apeth that followed them from the old country. The apeth demands payment for a spiritually costly debt they incurred while escaping from the war. "His House" is a nuanced horror tale with devastating performances from stars Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku. It's a socially conscious movie that doesn't skimp on scares. 

  • Starring: Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt Smith
  • Director: Remi Weekes
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Hush

A winner from Mike Flanagan, "Hush" is a home invasion slasher about a deaf horror author named Maddie Young who retreats to a secluded house in the woods to work. She's interrupted by a masked killer who takes sadistic pleasure in hunting her around her house. Maddie has to try to survive, and her struggle is heightened by her disability, which gives her advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fighting back against her attacker. It's a clever script that doesn't have quite as much emotional depth as Flanagan's works have become known for, but there's not an ounce of fat on it, and Maddie is an unusually well-developed horror protagonist.

  • Starring: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco
  • Director: Mike Flanagan
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 81 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

It Comes At Night

This horror-thriller from gifted writer-director Trey Edward Shults takes on added resonance in the pandemic era. It's a slow-burner about a family that's managed to survive a globally devastating virus by staying completely locked down in a house in the woods. When they catch another, even more desperate family trying to break in, they uneasily welcome them inside. Things go relatively well for a little while, then paranoia starts to take hold, which leads to devastating consequences. The stacked cast includes Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Christopher Abbott, and Riley Keough. And it comes from the production company A24, the outfit behind recent classic arthouse horror hits like "Midsommar" and "The Lighthouse."

  • Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo
  • Director: Trey Edward Shults
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

May the Devil Take You

Indonesia has a thriving genre cinema community, boasting some great action and horror movies. One of the leaders of Indonesian action and horror is writer-director Timo Tjahjanto. He's most famous for "The Night Comes for Us," a crime drama so gory it almost counts as a horror film, and "May the Devil Take You," which definitely counts as a horror film. The latter is a devilishly entertaining supernatural story about the spiritual cost of greed. As her wealthy father is dying, a young woman named Alfie and her half-siblings go to his villa to look for valuables. They discover that he got rich by making a deal with a satanic priestess he then betrayed, and she's been haunting his house and family ever since. It's a gruesome tribute to anarchic '80s horror movies like "Evil Dead."

  • Starring: Chelsea Islan, Pevita Pearce, Ray Sahetapy
  • Director: Timo Tjahjanto
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Nightbooks

"Nightbooks" is a bit of a curveball on this list because it's a scary movie for children. But don't go thinking it's soft. It's produced by horror legend Sam Raimi, and it may even make adults jump. It's a riff on "Scheherazade" and "Hansel & Gretel" that's about a horror story-writing boy named Alex who gets kidnapped by an evil witch named Natacha who demands that he tell her a new scary story every night ... or else. Alex and his fellow captive, Yazmin, try to come up with a plot to escape Natacha's clutches before she deems them no longer useful and sends them to the terrible fate that's befallen many children before them. If you're a horror-loving parent who wants to introduce the genre to your 9-to-13-year-old, this is the perfect gateway.

  • Starring: Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, Krysten Ritter
  • Director: David Yarovesky
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight

This supernatural slasher is a Polish take on the summer camp massacre subgenre. A group of teenage campers goes on a three-day hiking trip in the woods with their counselor, Iza. They notice some concerning stuff on their way in, but they continue on. Very quickly, they start getting hunted down by some hulking, pustule-covered brutes who live in the woods. It's supposedly the first-ever Polish slasher movie, and it's packed with the over-the-top gore of a self-aware horror-comedy sending up genre tropes. It's a movie by slasher movie fans for slasher movie fans.

  • Starring: Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Michal Lupa, Wiktoria Gasiewska
  • Director: Bartosz M. Kowalski
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

No One Gets Out Alive

A haunted house movie with some unique elements, "No One Gets Out Alive" tells the story of an undocumented immigrant from Mexico named Ambar who rents a room in a decrepit boarding house in Cleveland ... where strange things seem to be happening. The owner, Red, is creepy, and his brother is even creepier. Plus, Ambar is hearing and seeing unexplainable things. And the house's other female residents seem to be disappearing. The film has some very effective scares and a claustrophobic, dread-filled atmosphere. It's also Netflix's second adaptation of a novel by horror author Adam Nevill, after "The Ritual," both of which are amazing options if you're looking for something frightening..

  • Starring: Cristina Rodlo, Marc Menchaca, David Figlioli
  • Director: Santiago Menghini
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

The Old Ways

In this striking demonic horror movie, a Mexican-American journalist named Cristina travels to her family's remote village in Veracruz to work on a story about witchcraft. But Cristina is alienated from her cultural roots and addicted to heroin, and the local bruja she meets insists she's possessed by a demon. So Cristina has to get back in touch with the old ways, as well as her own tortured past, in order to survive her trouble and become the person she's meant to be. It's a thoughtful variation on a possession story, where the demon being exercised is colonialism.

  • Starring: Brigitte Kali Canales, Andrea Cortés, Julia Vera
  • Director: Christopher Alender
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Piercing

This stylish and deeply messed-up arthouse horror thriller will put you in mind of "American Psycho." A blank-faced yuppie named Reed hires a sex worker with the intention to murder her. But the woman who arrives, Jackie, isn't who he expected. She has serious psychosexual issues of her own, and she isn't going to go easily. As the night stretches on, Reed and Jackie learn more and more about each other, and the possessor of the upper hand keeps changing, right up until the film reaches its unexpectedly hilarious conclusion. It's based on a novel by Japanese author Ryu Murakami ("Audition") and contains impressively meticulous production design and riveting performances from Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska.

  • Starring: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
  • Director: Nicolas Pesce
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 81 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

The Ritual

Before there was "Midsommar," there was "The Ritual," another death trip into the Swedish wilderness. The film follows four British men who go on a lengthy hike in the forests of Sweden. It was their fifth friend's idea, but he was killed during a liquor store robbery that another member of the group witnessed and did nothing to stop, choosing instead to hide in fear. As they hike, they start to see some disturbing stuff in the woods, like mysterious runes carved into trunks and a gutted elk carcass hanging from branches. And there might be something — something very large — following them through the forest. As the group's situation grows more dire, their unspoken resentments against each other come out. Even if they survive their terrifying journey, their friendship might not.

  • Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Rob James-Collier
  • Director: David Bruckner
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

The Strangers

"Why are you doing this to us?" 

"Because you were home." 

This chilling home invasion slasher cult classic is a masterclass in tension. James and Kristen are having a rough night to begin with because Kristen just turned down James' marriage proposal. And it gets even worse when a trio of masked, knife-wielding strangers break into their house and start terrorizing them for no apparent reason. It's a taut, effective thriller where there's no explanation for what's happening — it's just life in America. It features great performances from Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, and the three faceless killers (as well as an unexpected apperance from an "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star).

  • Starring: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward
  • Director: Bryan Bertino
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%

The Swarm

"The Swarm" is a French eco-horror drama about a mother of two trying to make ends meet after the death of her husband. She's having a really difficult time because she's in the peculiar business of raising locusts to turn into protein, and it would be hard to find buyers for food-grade bug protein even if she could get the grasshoppers to reproduce at a fast enough rate to sell in large, lucrative quantities. But then she stumbles on a way to speed up reproduction when she realizes the locusts really like to feed on blood ... so she needs free blood in ever-increasing quantities. "The Swarm" is an interesting horror movie because the monsters are nature and financial desperation.

  • Starring: Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne
  • Director: Just Philippot
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Sweetheart

After their boat sinks in a storm, Jenn and the body of her dead friend wash up on a desert island. The morning after she buries him, she finds his body gone and a trail of blood leading into the water. That night, she sees what took him -– a horrifying amphibious monster that comes out of the water at night to feed on what it finds on land. Eventually, two more of Jenn's friends wash up on the island, and they don't believe her that they're not alone. Suffice to say, Jenn has a lot of problems. "Sweetheart" is a pulse-pounding survival horror/creature feature mashup with subtle social commentary (Jenn is Black, and the friends who don't believe her are white) and a powerful starring performance from Kiersey Clemons.

  • Starring: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence
  • Director: J.D. Dillard
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Synchronic

Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have made names for themselves with indie horror flicks like "Spring" and "The Endless," and they take their visually stylish and narratively unpredictable talents up a whole new level with "Synchronic." In this 2020 sci-fi/horror flick, a New Orleans paramedic keeps going on calls where people who've taken a mysterious new designer drug are dying in strange ways, like getting bitten by a snake that's extinct in the area. People who survive are reporting seeing things that don't make sense, but their stories are all consistent. So the paramedic starts doing some investigating into the drug. What he finds will change his life forever.

  • Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Ally Ioannides
  • Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Till Death

This absolute corker of a psychological horror-thriller has an excellent high-concept premise. A wife is handcuffed to her dead husband and has to figure out how to get free. If you need a little more detail, Emma is unhappy in her marriage to her emotionally abusive husband, Mark, and she's having an affair with his employee. Mark, under the guise of wanting to rekindle the passion in their relationship, takes Emma to their secluded lake house on their anniversary. The next morning, Emma wakes up and finds herself handcuffed to her husband, who then shoots himself in the head. And that's just the first of many terrible surprises Mark has in store for her, which include hired home invaders. It's a satisfyingly twisty and morally complex survival story with an emotionally and physically impressive performance from Megan Fox.

  • Starring: Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Callan Mulvey
  • Director: S.K. Dale
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Under the Shadow

This Persian-language ghost story doubles as a story about the horrors of life during wartime in a place where women are oppressed. Set in Tehran in 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War, "Under the Shadow" follows Shideh, a former medical student whose doctor husband gets called away to the frontlines, leaving her alone to take care of their daughter, Dorsa. A creepy new neighbor boy gives Dorsa a charm, after which strange things start happening. A missile hits their building, and Dorsa's favorite doll goes missing. Soon after, Shideh begins to realize she and Dorsa aren't alone in their apartment. There's something else in there with them -– something malevolent. And there may not be any escape.

  • Starring: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
  • Director: Babak Anvari
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Unfriended

"Unfriended" was a pioneering movie in the "screenlife" genre, a twist on the found-footage genre where the entire movie takes place on a computer screen, in video windows, chat boxes, and social media pages. It's a mean little movie about a group of high schoolers who find themselves haunted online by the apparent ghost of a classmate who killed herself after being bullied. It came out in 2014, and its insights about the mentally and socially corrosive effects of the internet have only become more prescient in the years since. It's also genuinely influential, with a number of other "screenlife" movies following in its wake, including some really good ones like "Searching" and "Host."

  • Starring: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead
  • Director: Levan Gabriadze
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Vampires vs. the Bronx

"Vampires vs. the Bronx" does something really smart. Rather than make vampires a metaphor for gentrification, which could be corny, it literally has vampires gentrify a neighborhood, which is hilarious. It comes right out and says what it means, and it's fiendishly entertaining while it makes its point about how greedy real estate developers treating financially struggling communities as investment properties are evil. 

The film follows a young teenager named Miguel who notices something very strange about Murnau Properties, the real estate firm that's buying up every building in the neighborhood. It seems to be run by vampires, who are killing with impunity because the world doesn't notice if people from the Bronx go missing. So Miguel and his friends decide to get their "Blade" on and fight back to save their home. It's an intelligent horror comedy with a lot of love for the BX.

  • Starring: Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV
  • Director: Oz Rodriguez
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

We Summon the Darkness

"We Summon the Darkness" is a fun satanic slasher with '80s themes and style. Three girls go to a heavy metal concert where they meet three boys. The girls take the boys home, ply them with alcohol, and reveal their sinister plan: They're members of an extreme Christian sect and are going to kill the metal-loving boys. Why? Well, they plan on making it look like they were murdered by satanic cult so that the fear of Satanists drives more people into their religion. It's a clever, bloody flick that satirizes the phenomenon of the "Satanic Panic," which gripped the country in overblown fear in the '80s.

  • Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Amy Forsyth, Keean Johnson
  • Director: Marc Meyers
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

The Wind

There aren't a ton of horror Westerns, so "The Wind" stands out among the endless slasher and supernatural horror movies on Netflix. It's set in New Mexico in the 1800s and tells a story about two families driven to madness by the isolation of frontier life –- or maybe by a demon. A little of column A, a little of column B, you know? 

Lizzy and Isaac are from St. Louis, and their neighbors across the prairie, Emma and Gideon, are from Illinois. When Lizzy was pregnant, she became convinced that she was being haunted by a demon. Emma is pregnant now and experiencing the same thing. Is it paranoia, or is there really something there? And what's really going on between Emma and Isaac? Lizzy would like to know.

  • Starring: Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman
  • Director: Emma Tammi
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%