Check out our monthly update on the best new releases.
Netflix has a lot of content, but some would say it’s too much — it can be hard to dig through it all to find what’s worth watching. But that’s where we’ve got you covered with our monthly updates on the best new movies on Netflix. From Se7en to The Lost Boys to The Wailing to so much more, there’s a lot of good scary horror movies to choose from here!
Or follow these links for the best of other genres:
Here you’ll find the best horror movies on Netflix right now. It’s a genre that is particularly prevalent on streaming platforms, perhaps because there are so many horror movies. It’s as wild and as varied as a genre gets, and whatever the brand of horror you’re in the mood for, there’s something on there for you. So let’s take a look at the best scary new releases in horror streaming on Netflix right now, including many of the top recent horror movies from 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, as well as many of the all-time greatest classics. It’s horror for fans of all kinds, whether it’s Halloween or not!
Not a Netflix subscriber or prefer Amazon? We went ahead and added some links for those, if that’s your thing.
Please note: This list pertains to U.S. Netflix subscribers. Some titles may not currently be available on international platforms.
Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now
Ryan Reynolds stars in one of the creepiest and most unexpected serial killer movies, about a happy-go-lucky guy who goes home every night to his cat and dog, who talk to him and tell him to do things. He means well, but he just seems to keep killing people and hiding the body parts around his apartment. Most horror movies settle for depicting how scary it would be to get killed by a maniac. As directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), The Voices tackles the nightmare of living inside a serial killer’s mind, and being completely oblivious to just how mentally unstable you are. Reynolds gives his finest performance, and Satrapi’s eccentric, comedic storytelling style only dips us further into his skewed perspective.
This unexpected, creepy hit from 2016 stars Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) as a babysitter hired by eccentric millionaires to take care of their… doll? At first she thinks it’s the easiest gig in the world, but she gradually begins to suspect that the doll is more alive than it appears. Spooky atmosphere and some very unexpected developments make The Boy a standout creepfest.
The Sixth Sense
The film that made M. Night Shyamalan a household name is just as creepy and effective as it’s ever been. Bruce Willis stars as a child psychologist whose latest patient is a young boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, who thinks he can see and talk to the dead. The scares are subtle and mysterious, but the real draw here is Willis and Osment, playing perfectly off of each other as huge realizations dawn on them, filling their respective lives with fear. And the ending is still a classic.
Only a few installments in the Scream series are currently available on Netflix, and the original isn’t one of them. But the first follow-up, Scream 2, is an underrated and clever sequel with some unpredictable kills and a ton of suspense. The original killer may be dead, but someone has taken up the Ghostfase mask and starting killing all over again, this time at a college full of new, interesting characters who find themselves trapped in a slasher sequel, where everything is bigger and just about anything can happen.
David Fincher’s grotesque and disturbing thriller Se7en stars Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as detectives on the hunt for a serial killer whose victims are all guilty of “The Seven Deadly Sins.” He’s obviously a monster, but Fincher portrays the whole world as a monstrous cesspool in which good cannot thrive, creating an uncomfortable backdrop against which unspeakable acts of violence almost make perfect sense. A cynical horror/thriller, but a brilliant one.
The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys may be one of the most 1980s movies of the 1980s, with Corey Feldman and Corey Haim teaming up to kill vampires who look like they stepped out of an early era MTV music video. But it’s still enormously entertaining. Jason Patric stars as the older brother who falls in with the wrong crowd, a gang of leather-clad vampires led by a young Kiefer Sutherland, and only his kid brother and a couple of comic book shop nerds know how to save him. The characters are relatable, the gore is memorable, and that soundtrack is a killer.
A bumbling cop investigates a series of mysterious deaths in his small town, and discovers that the real horror may be closer to home than he realizes. The Wailing sprints from genuine dread to broad horror comedy and back again, keeping you on your toes the whole time. You’ll never know where exactly this movie is going, but you’ll be glad it went there.
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play supernatural investigators who take on a job protecting a large family from a malevolent presence. James Wan directs the hell out of The Conjuring, crafting memorable characters and scary set pieces that will make you jump right out of your seat, shrieking like nobody’s business. It’s as frightening as it is classy.
A single mother and her emotionally troubled young son fall prey to a storybook monster called The Babadook, which might be a terrifying otherworldly creature or might simply be the way they both interpret serious and dangerous mental illness. However you interpret The Babadook, Jennifer Kent infuses her film with incredible amounts of atmosphere and dread.
A college student and lifelong vegan is forced to eat raw meat as part of a hazing ritual, and soon she realizes that she wants more meat. A lot more. Raw is one of the most disturbing and, at times, grotesque horror movies in recent years, with an unsettling look at addiction and primal desires in their most destructive forms.
Carla Gugino travels to an isolated cabin with her husband to spice up their marriage, but he dies while she’s handcuffed to the bed, and now she’s trapped, starving, and staring down a feral dog that’s found its way into the house. Mike Flanagan’s impeccably constructed adaptation of the Stephen King novel is a suspenseful film, but also a bravura showcase for Gugino’s incredible acting talents.
Logan Marshall-Green is invited to his ex-wife’s house for a dinner party, but there’s something… off. He can’t quite put his finger on it but there are suspicious little details everywhere, and director Karyn Kusama skillfully keeps us on a knife edge the whole movie, wondering what the heck is really going on. The Invitation is a subtle horror thriller, but if you like a movie with a slow burn, and impressive psychological insight, it’s a must see.
Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky
If you like old-fashioned slasher franchises, Netflix kinda sucks right now. Freddy and Jason and Michael are nowhere to be found, but you will find two of the later, more interesting sequels in the Child’s Play franchise. Curse of Chucky finds the killer doll living with a new family, in a spooky old-fashioned slasher with a lot of great moments, and Cult of Chucky takes the series in wild new directions, with unexpected twists and turns and hallucinogenic imagery.
Brash, boorish, and completely unapologetic, the remake of the cult classic Piranha is about a spring break gone wild, gone wrong. Super deadly piranha have just been released in the water and they’re about to eat everyone and everything, and it’s going to be gory as hell. Alexandre Aja’s Piranha probably won’t terrify you but it’ll play great at parties, that’s for sure.
Under the Shadow
A single Iranian mother is trapped in her apartment with her frustrating young child and, after a missile strikes her building, a demonic djinn which starts manipulating them. Babak Anvari’s eerie and emotionally charged horror movie takes on a greater significance when placed against the political backdrop of Iran in the 1980s, but whether you’re picking up on all the subtext or only watching Under the Shadow as a straight-up supernatural thriller, you’re going to be impressed.
Train to Busan
The zombie apocalypse has been unleashed in South Korea, and a group of total strangers are stuck on a speeding train when the outbreak starts. Sang-ho Yeon’s breathless horror-thriller figures out every possible way to make “zombies on a train” seem new and exciting, and builds a whole cast of characters you won’t want to watch get eaten, even though you know most of them will. Train to Busan is one of the most pulse-pounding zombie movies ever.
A group of female spelunkers gets trapped in an underground cavern, and the only way out is to travel deeper into uncharted territory. Neil Marshall’s The Descent is scary enough in the first half, when the claustrophobia and helplessness are absolutely palpable, but when the monsters show up in the second half it kicks into high gear, and never stops.
It’s always following you, and you never know when it will catch up, and it’s going to kill you, and the only way to get rid of it is to give it to somebody else… by having sex with them. It Follows has a strange and kind of brilliant premise, and as directed by David Robert Mitchell it becomes a spine-chilling metaphor for every sexual anxiety anyone has ever had. It’s also incredibly suspenseful, with widescreen photography that makes you constantly search the backdrop, wondering who is following whom, and when they’re going to strike.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Eli Craig’s brilliant horror comedy takes the Texas Chain Saw Massacre genre and flips it upside down. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine star as two lovable southerners who just bought a vacation home in the woods, but when they’re discovered by a gang of visiting urbanites, they’re mistaken for killers and have to defend themselves against the violent city dwellers. Impeccable comic timing and some really gruesome gags make a great idea for a movie into a truly great example of 21st century splatstick.
Hellraiser 1 and 2
Most of the Hellraiser movies are genuinely quite bad, but Netflix has the two good ones. In Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser, an unhappy housewife seduces strangers and brings them back to her attic, where her undead skeletonized boyfriend can strip the skin off of them. It’s one of the best gore films ever, and the sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, is even better, dipping into the rich supernatural mythology of the series and sending its characters into one of the most vividly realized versions of hell in movie history.
A group of friends are backpacking through the woods, but after spending the night in an abandoned cabin with a bizarre religious icon inside, they start to experience inexplicable phenomena. There are some familiar elements in David Bruckner’s The Ritual, but the film’s got a great cast and eventually leads to unusual, horrifying conclusions.
John Dies at the End
Don Coscarelli’s trippy adaptation of David Wong’s hit novel tells the story of young monster hunters who unlock the secrets of multiple realities after taking some seriously messed up drugs. It starts out weird and only gets weirder and weirder. Don’t bother trying to make sense of John Dies at the End and just try to enjoy the superlative high of watching a master surrealist like Coscarelli tell a rousing supernatural adventure story in his own, inimitable fashion.
Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites play siblings whose childhoods were torn asunder after their parents acquired a haunted mirror, and now, years later, they’ve reunited to destroy the antique. It may sound like a silly idea, but in the hands of director Mike Flanagan it’s an inventive supernatural tragedy, equal parts exciting and sorrowful.
So there you have it: what to watch on Netflix right now in the world of horror movies. Check back here each month for new titles as Netflix adds them!
Note: This article is frequently amended to remove films no longer on Netflix, and to include more horror films that are now available on the service.