15 Scary Netflix Movies Horror Fans Need To Watch Right Now
By Dan Auty on
There has never been a better time to be a horror movie fan, especially with a Netflix subscription. The streaming platform has so many new horror movies and shows just this month alone--whether you're looking for some lighthearted satanic worship in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, deadly cult infiltration in Apostle, ghostly family drama in The Haunting of Hill House, or puzzling, bleak dread in Hold the Dark.
The sheer number of films available means that the biggest challenge viewers have is deciding what to watch--we've all spent way too much time scrolling through page after page of movies in search of the right thing. With so much content hitting services all the time, it's very easy to miss some great movies, and that's certainly true of horror films.
Netflix may be teeming with horror, but many of these movies arrive on the streaming service with little fanfare and no big stars, and it's easy to presume that most aren't worth a watch, since, let's face it, even the genre's biggest fan will admit that there is loads of terrible horror out there. But the fact is there are some outstanding recent horror movies currently available to stream right now. None of these films had a wide release and most are low budget, but they show that the genre has never been healthier or more diverse.
From ghost stories and monster movies to insane Asian shockers and disturbing Turkish gorefests, here are 15 of the best recent horror movies that you might have missed, all of which can be streamed right now on Netflix. Let's get scared!
15. Dig Two Graves
This acclaimed gothic thriller shows what you can do on a low budget with a great script and strong actors. It's set in 1977, and centers upon a 14-year-old girl who is given a difficult moral choice by three mysterious moonshine makers, who tell her that they can bring her dead brother back to life in return for her taking another life. There's no gore and few conventional shocks. But what first time director Hunter Adams delivers is atmospheric and engrossing, with stand-out performances from young Samantha Isler (Molly's Game) and Buffalo Bill himself, Silence of the Lambs' Ted Levine.
14. The Bar
Álex de la Iglesia has remained one of the most provocative Spanish filmmakers for several decades, with movies such as Acción Mutante, Day of the Beast, and Perdita Durango showing his skill at mixing horror, comedy, and wild, violent action. The Bar is another stand-out. It centers around a group of strangers who are trapped inside a cafe by a sniper, who is looking to kill one of them. But which one? It's perhaps a bit more restrained than some of Iglesia's earlier movies, but it's a tense and funny ride with some typically outlandish camerawork.
13. Before I Wake
Mike Flanagan is one of the best young horror directors working, with movies such as Oculus, Ouija 2, and last year's superb Stephen King adaptation Gerald's Game on his impressive filmography. Flanagan shot the haunting Before I Wake way back in 2013, but various legal issues meant that the movie did not get released until January this year, where it made its debut as a Netflix Original. It's an impressive, affecting ghost story in which a grieving couple are visited by the spirit of their dead son. Strong performances from Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Jacob Tremblay, and a deftly balanced mix of chills and drama, make this a must-see for fans of Flanagan's other films.
Mohawk is technically more of a historical action adventure than a straight horror, but director Ted Geoghegan's past experience in the genre ensures that the movie frequently tips into horror territory. It's a tale of revenge and survival, in which a native American woman must fight to survive against a squad of bloodthirsty American soldiers determined to hunt and kill her. It's a tense and violent film that gets darker and weirder as it progresses. There are great performances from rising star Kaniehtiio Horn and Eamon Farren, who gets to play a good guy after his turn as the despicable Richard Horne in last year's Twin Peaks: The Return, plus the acting debut of WWE star Jon Huber (aka Luke Harper).
11. The Devil’s Candy
Sean Byrne's first film, the darkly funny kidnap horror The Loved Ones, has become something of a cult favorite over the past decade, so expectations were high for his follow-up. Luckily, The Devil’s Candy didn't disappoint. It's a tale of madness and metal, in which a struggling, metal-obsessed artist finds himself going insane when he moves his family to a country estate with a dark past. On paper, it sounds like yet another rerun of The Shining or The Amityville Horror, but in Byrne's skilled hands, it becomes a scary, disorientating, visually stunning trip into hell. We can't wait to see what film no.3 delivers.
10. The Void
From Stranger Things to the adaptation of Stephen King's It, there's no denying that the 1980s is one of the most popular decades for horror filmmakers to get nostalgic about. The Void taps directly into the gore-laden monster movies of the '80s, with a clear influence from such cult favorites as The Thing and From Beyond. The film takes place overnight in a small hospital, where an unlucky group of people are besieged by both a sinister cult and tentacled monsters from some alternate dimension. With a John Carpenter-esque score and loads of gloopy physical effects, The Void is an absolute blast.
Not to be confused with the recent Hollywood comedy, this Tag is directed by the hugely prolific Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono. Sono is known for pushing the boundaries of taste when it comes to sex and violence in his movies, and Tag is no exception. It opens with an incredible sequence in which a busload of school kids are decapitated en masse and gets crazier from there, as a teenage girl finds herself trapped in a strange and violent game. It makes absolutely no sense, but fans of weird, subversive horror will love it.
8. Beyond The Gates
Another enjoyable dose of '80s-inspired horror, this quirky chiller resurrects the long-forgotten concept of the VCR board game, in which players had to watch a series of VHS videos while playing a game. In this case, it's a horror-themed game named "Beyond The Gates," which must be played by a pair of estranged brothers trying to find their missing dad. Genre icon Barbara Crampton plays the game's host, and the movie has enough charm, gore, and crazy neon visuals to make up for the low budget and a few variable performances.
7. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House
Director Oz Perkins might be the son of the legendary Psycho actor Anthony Perkins, but his two movies to date have seen the filmmaker step easily out of his dad's shadow. Having made the intense and disturbing The Blackcoat's Daughter, Perkins followed it with this Netflix Original. It's an old-fashioned gothic chiller in which a nurse comes to a remote house to look after the old, infirm author who lives there. Of course, some weird stuff starts happening. Perkins successfully avoids many of the cliches of the genre and delivers a subtle, atmospheric movie that'll appeal to fans of classic horror.
6. Creep/Creep 2
Prolific director, writer, and actor Mark Duplass is best known for his work on indie dramas such as Jeff, Who Lives at Home and the HBO series Togetherness, but he is also the man behind this pair of twisted found footage horror comedies. Duplass co-wrote both films with director Patrick Brice, and he stars as a strange man called Josef, who, in the first movie, places an ad to hire a videographer for the week. The bizarre, ghoulish events of Creep lead directly onto the even funnier and more unsettling Creep 2, which puts a fascinating spin on the first movie's plot. Both films walk a fine line between uncomfortable humor and genuine scares, and are anchored by Duplass's brilliantly unnerving performance. You'll laugh, jump, and cringe--usually in the same scene.
Body horror master David Cronenberg was clearly an influence on this strange French shocker about a young boy who lives in a seaside hospital with a load of other kids, all of whom are forced to undergo strange surgical procedures. It's a weird and unsettling experience, and at times is as much an art movie as a straight horror film. But it has a unique disturbing power and lingers in the mind long after it finishes.
Baskin is an intense, stylish headtrip from the warped mind of rising Turkish filmmaker Can Evernol. It takes its influences from the likes David Lynch, Dario Argento, and HP Lovecraft, and delivers a story about a group of cops who find themselves at the mercy of a deranged cult when they answer an emergency call. It's packed with surreal, nightmarish imagery and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Which of course makes it a must-see.
3. The Invitation
When it comes to uncomfortable dinner parties, it's hard to think of one worse than that in The Invitation. Karyn Kusama's tense, blackly funny horror thriller has a simple set-up--a group of old friends reconvene for a evening of food, drink, and conversation after many years. But it's clear early on that something is very wrong, and in particular with the host's new husband and his creepy friend (superbly played by Zodiac's John Carroll Lynch). To say any more would spoil the movie's many dark delights, but it's a brilliantly controlled piece of filmmaking that builds to a gripping conclusion and knock-out final twist.
2. The Wailing
Some of the weirdest, wildest, and most visually stunning genre movies have come from South Korea over the past 15 years, and The Wailing is no exception. It's a hugely ambitious, gripping mash-up of serial killer mystery, social satire, and wild exorcism movie, in which a policeman investigates an outbreak of mysterious deaths in a small town. It's stunningly directed by Na Hong-jin, who previous helmed the equally impressive action movie The Yellow Sea. The film is long--a whopping 156 minutes--but it delivers more scares, tension, twists, and dark laughs than anything released in the West for some time.
1. Under The Shadow
One the best horror movies of the past couple of years, Under The Shadow is a wonderfully effective ghost story with a fascinating historical setting, namely post-revolutionary Iran in the 1980s. A mother is trapped in her home during a period of heavy fighting in Tehran, but unfortunately for her, there's an evil spirit in there too, who wants to claim her child. The film works brilliantly as both a real-world drama and a terrifying horror movie, making it an essential watch for all fans of the genre.