From beloved classics to Netflix originals, from haunted houses to evil creatures, Netflix has something for every kind of horror fan. Here’s a look at the 10 best horror movies streaming on Netflix.
It’s been ten years since James Wan dropped Insidious on the world and announced himself as a major horror director. From a script by his buddy Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man), Wan directs the story of an average family whose boy becomes a vessel for another dimension of evil. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star in a film that already feels influential.
His House (2020)
One of the best horror movies on Netflix, this Sundance darling is the tale of a pair of Sudanese refugees who flee to London only to discover ghosts have fled with them. It’s a harrowing, terrifying piece of work, elevated even further by its impressive commentary about how much people bring with them when they leave. Houses aren’t haunted; people are.
The Invitation (2015)
Karyn Kusama gifted us with Jennifer’s Body in 2009 and then didn’t return to feature film directing for six years. But boy did she come roaring back with The Invitation, an exercise in creeping dread that stars Logan Marshall-Green as a man attending a dinner party at his ex-wife’s home, and she’s got a very surprising update for him and their shared friends. As Marshall-Green’s Will wonders if he’s going crazy, so will you, and the movie reinforces what you should already know by heart at this point: Always be suspicious of John Carroll Lynch!
Depicting an entire story solely via the images on a computer screen may sound like a ridiculous gimmick, but the clever, intricately designed horror movie Unfriended pulls it off with its basic but effective story about a group of teenagers targeted for revenge from beyond the grave. The movie perfectly captures the online lives of its characters while also delivering a satisfying and scary ghost story.
Creep is a somewhat predictable but cheerfully demented little indie horror film, the directorial debut by Brice, who also released this year’s The Overnight. Starring the ever-prolific Mark Duplass, it’s a character study of two men—naive videographer and not-so-secretly psychotic recluse, the latter of which hires the former to come document his life out in a cabin in the woods. It leans entirely on its performances, which are excellent. Duplass, who can be charming and kooky in something like Safety Not Guaranteed, shines here as the deranged lunatic who forces himself into the protagonist’s life and haunts his every waking moment. The early moments of back-and-forth between the pair crackle with a sort of awkward intensity. Anyone genre-savvy will no doubt see where it’s going, but it’s a well-crafted ride that succeeds on the strength of chemistry between its two principal leads in a way that reminds me of the scenes between Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina
The Conjuring 2
Speaking of that billion-dollar franchise, Netflix also has Wan’s follow-up The Conjuring 2 available to stream right now. The 2016 sequel picks up with the Warrens during the investigation of one of their most infamous cases, known as the Einfeld poltergeist, which finds them helping yet another spirit-plagued family, this time in the U.K. While The Conjuring 2 isn’t quite as downright scary as the first film, there are still plenty of wonderful Wan creatures to keep you on the edge of your seat, and of course, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are reliably endearing as the Warrens. Bonus, the film’s opening scene also pays tribute to another iconic horror franchise with a nod to the Amityville Haunting
Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic horror film seemed to start building a cult following the instant it was released. Sure, mainstream audiences who came to the multiplex in October looking for a scary movie didn’t quite respond to it, but a reappreciation started quickly. After all, this is a gorgeous, unforgettable piece of craft, a reminder that Del Toro’s vision is unlike anyone else working together.
Before creating the popular Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, Mike Flanagan directed the tense home-invasion thriller Hush, about a deaf woman (Kate Siegel) fighting off an implacable intruder. Flanagan ingeniously incorporates the main character’s deafness into the suspense, placing the audience in her shoes as she fights for her life.
As much satire as horror, Dan Gilroy’s Sundance hit stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an art critic who gets involved in the sale of terrifying paintings from an unknown artist that may have some sort of horrific curse associated with them. How far will the art world go to embrace a new talent, especially one that sells? The film a bit inconsistent, but contains some fantastic imagery, and a great ensemble cast.
The Guest (2014)
Dan Stevens is phenomenal in Adam Wingard’s ode to ‘80s thrillers, in which the star of Downton Abbey plays a vet who returns to the family of a fellow fallen soldier and works his way into their lives. Smart and vicious, it’s the kind of indie hit that will surely now find a bigger, appreciative audience on Netflix.