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Underappreciated Horror Movies You Need To Watch On Netflix

Where can you go to find all the best horror movies you've never heard of? One word, cinephiles: Netflix. From festival darlings that never found a distributor to limited release or direct-to-video sleeper hits, the streaming service is packed with zombies and vampires and hauntings (oh my!) that have flown under the radar too long. These hidden gems from the scary movie oeuvre never got the attention they so richly deserve—but can now be discovered and enjoyed by you, in the comfort of your living room. These are the most underrated, scream-worthy, stream-able films currently available.

The Wailing

In lieu of watching The Exorcist for the millionth time, consider a new twist on a classic premise with The Wailing. The atmospheric, artful thrills of K-horror meet a tried-and-true tale of demonic possession in this film from 2016, which follows a police officer as he tries to uncover the truth about the mysterious, violent sickness sweeping through his South Korean mountain village. Although The Wailing is the slowest of slow burns (it clocks in at a whopping two hours and thirty-six minutes, an eternity compared to the average 90-minute slasher flick), director Hong-jin Na earns every second of his movie's runtime by ramping up the tension to the perfect pitch and pacing out the scares like a pro.

Odd Thomas

Anton Yelchin, the handsome and talented star of Odd Thomas, was tragically killed in 2016 at the age of 27 and will never make another movie again, horror or otherwise. Hence, we must enjoy his existing body of work (with a box of tissues handy if need be). In this film based on a book by Dean Koontz, Yelchin plays a small-town fry cook and part-time vigilante psychic who uses his gifts to hunt down killers, but runs into trouble when his town is invaded by an evil beyond anything he's seen before. As horror flicks go, Odd Thomas is more whimsical—and occasionally, surprisingly sentimental—than spooky, but Yelchin is so charming in the title role that you won't miss the jump scares a bit.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

If you're looking to scream with laughter rather than terror, it doesn't get better than this pitch-perfect sendup of the camp slasher genre. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk star as a pair of backwoods BFFs who are just trying to enjoy a relaxing vacation at their fixer-upper cabin in the mountains. But when a group of preppy, judgmental college kids sets up camp nearby, a series of absurd misunderstandings unleash an unstoppable tide of rage, violence, and accidental deaths-by-woodchipper.


This Kiwi horror comedy takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to a classic trope: instead of movie about a haunted house, it's a movie about a haunted house arrest. Small-time criminal Kylie is sentenced to eight months on her parents' property, which is ghastly enough even before she realizes that her folks' place has an angry ghost in residence. Kylie's ankle bracelet also serves as a clever answer to the question that plagues most haunted horror films; unlike the dopey characters in other movies who inexplicably stick around to be terrorized long after they should've run screaming out the front door, the heroine of Housebound can't leave her ghost-ridden residence.

Troll Hunter

If you watched and enjoyed André Øvredal's much-lauded The Autopsy of Jane Doe in 2016, you'll definitely want to catch the Norwegian director's first entry into the horror canon while it's still on Netflix. (And if you haven't seen Autopsy, you should go ahead and watch this one first.) Set in the remote, forested northern fjords of Norway, this found-footage mockumentary follows a group of students as they try to catch an elusive species of giant troll on camera—without being eaten or trampled alive in the process. (Needless to say, some of the characters are more successful in that endeavor than others.)


In Hush, the ordinary home invasion thriller gets kicked up a notch by the injection of a unique twist: the heroine is deaf. Low on gore and high on suspense, the 2016 film succeeds despite a miniscule $1 million budget and almost no dialogue, thanks to its deliberate storytelling and creative use of sound and silence to ramp up the tension. Add in a stellar star performance by Kate Siegel, who anchors the movie she co-wrote with ease, and Hush is more than worth investing the short 80 minutes it takes to watch.


If you've been missing actress Rose Leslie since her untimely exit from Game of Thrones, this slow burn horror flick about a honeymoon gone wrong will put her back on your TV screen. Leslie stars opposite Harry Treadaway in a story about two newlyweds whose post-nuptial bliss at a secluded cabin is rudely interrupted by something strange lurking in the woods. Without spoiling anything, let's just say that the honeymoon gets real weird, real fast, before it's officially over.


The source material for this period horror flick will be unfamiliar to all but the most hardcore Stephen King fanatics, but Netflix definitely knew what it was doing when it snagged this little story for a screen adaptation. Based on a novella from the author's Full Dark, No Stars anthology, 1922 stars Thomas Jane as Wilfred James, a farmer living in rural Nebraska during the period leading up to the Great Depression. Money troubles and marital conflict lead Wilfred to hatch a murder plot that leads him to some very dark places—and just goes to show that sometimes, getting away with it is much worse than getting caught. Like many of Stephen King's best works, this is a character-driven horror, and strong performances make it a standout—particularly from Jane, who immerses himself in the role so thoroughly that it's hard to believe this same miserable, hay-chewing yokel wearing a pair of overalls with nothing underneath is the same cosmopolitan hero who once played The Punisher.


In 2014, filmmaker Patrick Brice set out to answer in spectacular fashion the question every digital classifieds user has asked since the dawn of Craigslist: What's the worst that could happen if I accept the weird, paid gig from this online person I've never met?

Without spoiling anything, let's just say that the answer is something really bad. That's what a videographer named Aaron (played by Brice himself) discovers when he goes to the home of Josef (Mark Duplass, who also co-wrote and produced the movie) for what's supposed to be a documentary project (which makes for a nice, organic way to build a film on the "found footage" conceit). Josef seems a little off at first but no more so than the average rando who's cruising Craigslist in search of someone to fulfill his needs. What starts out the ordinary weirdness of internet strangers becomes something much more disturbing. The result is a movie that more than lives up to its title.

Gerald's Game

With The Dark Tower and It tearing up the big screen in 2017, you might have totally missed some of the other, smaller adaptations in the works of stories by horror-master Stephen King—including this one based on the 1992 novel of the same name. Gerald's Game centers on Jessie Burlingame (played here by Carla Gugino), who ends up trapped, handcuffed to the bed at her lake house after her husband, Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), has a heart attack mid-coitus and dies. As she struggles to find a way to escape, Jessie is visited by a series of entities—some real, some imagined, and some that seem to straddle the line between this world and the next. One of Netflix's original feature films, Gerald's Game was eagerly anticipated by hardcore King fans but didn't get the kind of widespread attention merited by its creativity and star power. Despite the obvious challenges of holding down an entire two-hour film on her own, Gugino keeps it riveting, making this the finest horror movie set entirely on a bed since, well, maybe ever! Unless you count Bed of the Dead, but tragically, Netflix doesn't have that one.


Body horror is a favorite subgenre for ambitious, scary storytellers, but some anatomical myths are so terrifying that not even the Wes Cravens or John Carpenters of the world dare touch 'em—which is why the criminally underrated Teeth also has the distinction of being the only feature film ever to go deep on vagina dentata. Starring The Good Wife's Jess Weixler as a teen abstinence activist with a second set of chompers down below, this 2007 horror film skips the niceties and gets straight to the point.

And by "the point," of course, we mean "a revenge plot featuring more decapitated wieners than you can shake a stick at." (What were you expecting? A movie about vagina dentata where nobody's penis gets bitten off?)

Despite hewing closely to expectation on the biting-off-penises front, Teeth is a fun, unpredictable, and razor-sharp satire of fears surrounding female sexuality in addition to being a bloody good time. And in a moment where Hollywood is in the midst of a reckoning with sexual predators and badly behaved producers and directors and the like, this little indie horror from ten years previous feels almost prescient... even if the credits do swear that "no men were harmed in the making of this film."

The Invitation

If you've ever suffered through the exquisite agony of a couples dinner date where two members of the party used to date each other, you'll understand why The Invitation is nightmare fuel from the get-go. The film centers on Will (Logan Marshall-Green), who is reluctantly attending a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) at the home they used to share. Eden and her new hubs (Game of Thrones' Michiel Huisman) mysteriously dropped off the radar two years ago, but now they're back and want to make amends to all the friends they lost touch with ... or do they?

The big reunion becomes uncomfortable when it turns out that the guest list also includes two boundary-challenged strangers whose behavior is cringe-worthy and inexplicable even before the night devolves into a series of tense confrontations and weird, invasive party games. Even as Will starts to wonder if the dinner party pretense is cover for a much more sinister plan, The Invitation expertly mines the inherent awkwardness of group social gatherings to keep both its characters and its audience guessing, and, rather than going for supernatural scares, the horror is all too human. This underrated gem will leave you asking yourself how well you really know your friends—and shuddering when you realize the answer.