Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now (July 2023)

Halloween is weeks away, but horror movies can be enjoyed at any time. As a highly popular and profitable subgenre in cinema, audiences are always in the mood for spooky films. Thankfully, streaming services like Netflix offer a wide selection of chilling choices. With both original and licensed movies, there is something for everyone. To help you get started, we have found some must-see horror titles currently streaming on Netflix.

Best Horror Movies on Netflix

The Ring (2002)

Gore Verbinski’s The Ring kickstarted the wave of American horror remakes in the 2000s. Paying homage to Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Ringu, which was based on Koji Suzuki’s 1991 novel of the same name, The Ring is a genuinely horrifying film. Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, and Brian Cox form part of the cast that battles against Samara, a ghost with long, wet hair, and her deadly videotape. Verbinski skillfully creates one frightening scene after another as Samara claims her victims after seven days, making this one of the scariest films of its era. The film’s legacy is evident, with the “Katie Corpse” jump scare alone surpassing many forgotten horror releases.

Doom (2005)

Doom is the ultimate ruler here, no arguments. We’re talking about the film adaptation of the video game starring Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban, where space marines battle cosmic demons attacking a Mars science facility. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak is fully aware that he’s creating a movie for pure entertainment, perfect for the midnight slot dedicated to intense action and big freaking guns. What’s more, the first-person-shooter scene flawlessly brings the video game experience to the screen and remains just as impressive even after more than ten years. Doom belongs to the genre of mindless, enjoyable horror-action films that pay homage to video games and showcase stunning visuals. Unfortunately, these films are often overlooked when discussing video game adaptations.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Remember when Zack Snyder was in charge of a reboot of a George A. Romero movie that James Gunn had written? You should, because (so far) it’s the best reboot of a zombie movie ever. Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero is probably the best zombie movie ever made, but Snyder and Gunn’s dark and gritty version from the 2000s works on its own. Dawn of the Dead, which came out in 2004, was one of the first movies to use “fast zombies.” It also had a morbid sense of humor and a high level of intensity. It was a heart-pounding remake of Romero’s consumerism satires with a new, fierce bite. In this case, two Dawns are better than one original Dawn.

Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland is a top-notch horror comedy from the 2000s. Maybe that’s because of the “torture porn” craze that started after Saw or the huge number of remakes coming out of studios. Zombieland not only gave the zombie subgenre a new lease on life, but it also gave horror movies a sense of fun again. Twinkies, tips for escaping a zombie apocalypse, and one of the best cameos you can think of make this a crowd-pleaser about the dead. I hope you’re not as afraid of clowns as Columbus was.

Lights Out (2016)

Before he worked on Annabelle and joined Shazam, David F. Sandberg was known for his short film Lights Out. The short story was so popular that it led to a full-length movie about Scotophobia, which is the fear of the dark, and a monster that lives in the dark. It has a lot of jump scares, but that’s okay because Sandberg is so good at making them work. Teresa Palmer is the main character in this scary survival story. She plays a person who must use light as a tool against a villain who lives in the shadows. This leads to great scenes that will make you hold your breath out of fear.

The Thing (2011)

As a sneaky prequel that stays true to the spirit of The Thing, 2011’s secret remake was unfairly ignored. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s a shame that Amalgamated Dynamics’ practical effects were thrown out in favor of worse computer effects added after filming. But this frozen monster lock-in still has a lot to offer. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a force. Whether she is firing a flamethrower or trying to outsmart a chameleon creature, Joel Edgerton and others are just trying to keep up with MEW’s skills. Even though the effects might not work in real life, The Thing from 2011 is a good enough modern take on the story of The Thing.

I See You (2019)

I See You doesn’t follow the usual rules for scary movies. Sometimes you watch a show about finding people who have gone missing. Sometimes it feels like a found-footage thriller about a home attack. In I See You, Helen Hunt leads a group of people who are frustrated at home. There’s a killer on the loose, and you’ll learn what “Phrogging” is, which adds to the tension. It works better as a scary story about a family than as a drama about family problems, which is why it fits on this list. The scares are scary, and when a story works, fears take center stage. Give credit where credit is due.

Eli (2019)

As the story keeps changing, Eli can feel like a horror movie version of Mad Libs, but that’s what makes it so charming. It’s about a boy with an auto-immune disease who is put in lockdown and starts to think about his situation. The beginning of “Bubble Boy” turns into a haunted house story, and the third act gets even crazier, which I won’t tell you about now. I’m not saying that every big hit is a home run, but I’ll defend Eli as a horror movie that loves to surprise people. I’d rather watch something weird and crazy than something normal any day, especially when I can stream it instead of going to the theater.

Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight (2020)

Want to watch a Polish killer from the year 2020 that was made by people who liked 80s American horror movies? Bartosz M. Kowalski makes a modern slasher that feels as retro as re-releases of Crystal Pepsi by following the pattern of a killing at a campground. It’s the same old story of campers meeting horrible deaths one by one. There’s a big focus on practical effects, and the grossest and most offensive ones end up being the movie’s saving grace. Kowalski wants to show that Polish slashers can cut people up as well as anyone else, even though there isn’t much else to praise as enthusiastically. If you want blood, you can get a lot of it.

Girls With Balls (2018)

In Girls With Balls, a title volleyball team goes up against a group of killer rednecks. Expect a horror comedy with heads that explode and a singing cowboy who acts as a narrator and sings about the violence that isn’t necessary. Don’t expect Girls With Balls to be a brilliant subversion of horror movie gender stereotypes. Instead, it’s a killing spree with lots of effects that doesn’t try to be anything else. Some jokes are harder to laugh at in the United States because they come from other countries. However, if you can focus on the all-out aggression on screen, you should find entertainment in another bloody fight for life in the backwoods.

The Block Island Sound (2020)

Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus pull a creepy coastal mystery out of the murky seas of Rhode Island. This disturbing waterlogged mystery is a mix of different subgenres, and it’s more scary than mean. As the people of Block Island try to figure out why strange things are happening on their shores, you can expect psychological horror, eco-horror, watery horror, and even possession horror. The Block Island Sound turns the idea of “siren songs” into a weapon, plays with out-of-body dreams, and adds a spoonful of grief to a story that keeps going like a storm that won’t stop.

The Invitation (2022)

Is The Invitation good enough to be compared to the best vampire movies ever made? Nah. Is it still Good ActuallyTM, even though it was unfairly labeled a flop before it came out because its marketing wasn’t as pushy as that of other summer horror movies? Absolutely. Ready or Not and a lot of other erotic vampire tales seem to have influenced The Invitation. It’s not as good as its models, but it’s still a good bloodsucker movie with beautiful production design that’s a good choice for a weekend night on Netflix.

Before I Wake (2016)

From what I’ve seen, the movie by Mike Flanagan that gets the least attention but deserves it all is the one I just mentioned. Flanagan does what he does best, which is to use fear, family, and animals to tell a very moving story. Jacob Tremblay plays an adopted child who is afraid to go to sleep because of a scary character called “The Canker Man.” Butterflies and dream worlds don’t describe the scariest horror experiences. Instead, Flanagan relies on childhood imaginations that turn bad memories into terrifying monsters that can’t be gotten rid of. Maybe the lack of scares in the scare volumes, along with studio failures that forced an unceremonious Netflix dump premiere, is why they haven’t gotten as much attention as Flanagan’s other work over the years. I hope that my suggestion will help Before I Wake find a new life on streaming.

Under The Shadow (2016)

Under the Shadow by Babak Anvari is a fantastic look at how nightmare demons take over national grief. In war-torn Iran, djinns keep coming to bother a family, as if bombs going off outside and military threats weren’t enough. Anvari plays with shadows and makes spooky buildings in places where Iraq and Iran are at war. This shows how scary both situations are. There are some very effective scares and new takes on things that are usually done in horror movies. This is because, when in doubt, you can always turn to foreign flavors for something new.

The Wretched (2019)

Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce dive into folklore horror with a lot of witchcraft that comes from the ground. It’s advertised as “extreme horror” with a picture of a skeleton wearing antlers backwards, but I’d call it more of a “gateway horror” movie. It’s like an evil version of Wife Swap, with a kid in a summer vacation town thinking his neighbor is a witch who is making kids go missing. Backstory details can be a bit all over the place, but when Abbie, played by Zarah Mahler, turns on the horror thrills of the movie, whether it’s in the form of a Wendigo or a contortionist body horror? The Wretched shows why it’s a great place for young horror fans to start. It has a strong coming-of-age story and doesn’t hold back on Friday night scares that will test the whole family.

Unfriended (2014)

Back in 2014, Unfriended was one of the first movies to start the “Screen life” horror trend of making movies from the point of view of a laptop or other device. Long before books like Host and Searching blew up the field. On a Skype call, a dead classmate haunts her bullies, and we watch as if we were there. Technology and horror come together as supernatural forces take over digital worlds. I like the scary deaths, and I’m glad that the right permissions are being gotten so that iTunes and YouTube can be shown on camera, which keeps watchers grounded in reality. It was one of the first “Screen life” episodes and is still one of the best.

Incantation (2022)

Kevin Ko’s Taiwanese film made up of found footage Even though Incantation uses cliches, that doesn’t make them any less scary. You’ll get a few good scares as a mother must protect her daughter from evils that she called on by breaking religious rules. Foolish ghost hunters on viral videos resist the unknown and pay for it both then and later. In a “found footage” sense, the story isn’t clear about who can use the camera and what is and isn’t okay to do around the curse of the entity. Still, the idea of interactive found footage horror is interesting. Its focus on social media reminds me of the Ring movies, and you’ll make a few scary noises, but you could do a lot worse on Netflix.

There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021)

Patrick Brice’s remake of a slasher movie does two big things for modern horror movies: it keeps us wondering and kills without holding back. It’s another movie about a masked killer who cuts up teens, but it’s stylish and tough enough to stand out. Situational red herrings keep the audience thinking about who might be guilty of mass murder as characters point fingers and blood flows everywhere, from confession booths in churches to corn mazes that are on fire. Don’t expect the next Scream or anything like that. This is just a good modern killer that works when it counts.

Coming Home In The Dark (2021)

Do you want something so sad and scary that it makes you want to rip your sweater apart? That’s Coming Home in the Dark, an Ozploitation movie. It’s a sad story about a family on a road trip who meets the worst kind of people. It’s the perfect example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it shows how scary it is for parents to try to protect their children. There are no more cat-and-mouse games. People are the real monsters of horror, so there is no need for devils or other supernatural beings.

Cargo (2017)

One of the first scary movies made by Netflix is still one of my faves. In the movie Cargo by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, Martin Freeman plays a father who travels with his daughter through the Australian bush. There are also zombies in the movie. Think of The Walking Dead as a zombie movie that focuses more on the survival drama of its human characters than on zombie action. However, this one has strong emotional stakes. Freeman’s traveler meets psychos, dangerous walkers, and bad weather, all of which add to the excitement of Cargo. What’s surprising is that a baby doesn’t slow down the story. Horror movies with child subplots are hard to get right, but Cargo gets it right because the fears of the parents who want to protect their children are turned into a hearty zombie experience.

Till Death (2021)

“A woman is tied to a dead body as part of a plan for revenge.” In one of her new independent horror movies, Megan Fox plays the woman who is handcuffed to her stone-cold dead ex. Till Death is not groundbreaking, but what makes it interesting is how Fox makes a trick movie exciting as she drags her dead co-star around a house and away from killers. Till Death knows it was only ever meant to be a cold Friday night stream, and that’s the right way to think about it. Fox’s “comeback tour” raises eyebrows with Till Death, a movie whose idea is better than expected and is worth a gamble.

The Babysitter (2017)

Does The Babysitter fit McG’s style as a director who likes to use famous needle drops and pop culture quotes like a middle schooler who just found HBO? Yes. Is it also written by Brian Duffield, who wrote the great young adult dark comedy Spontaneous, and does it star Samara Weaving, who is becoming a modern scream queen? Luckily, these saving graces play into McG’s bounce-around approach to horror comedy when a child finds out that his babysitter is doing a cult routine while his parents are out for the night. Even though Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Hana Mae Lee, and Andrew Bachelor all reject certain “hunted home alone” tropes, The Babysitter is still Samara Weaving’s chance to shine. Tune in to laugh, watch a wicked Weaving performance, and see what Netflix’s funniest original scary show has been so far.

The Ritual (2017)

The Ritual, David Bruckner’s first movie as a director outside of small parts in The Signal, V/H/S, and Southbound, took Netflix’s original horror game to a new level. Four friends go climbing in northern Sweden to remember a fifth friend who died, but the trip turns into a nightmare in the woods. Visions starts with a layer of psychological horror as the characters face their fears or feelings of guilt. Then, cultism adds a sense of fear for the whole community, and Bruckner ends with a creature feature. One source of terror leads to another and causes more trauma. All of these things are linked, and Bruckner moves easily between different types of horror. There’s a lot to enjoy as the Swedish forest turns into an outdoor jail, and then everything goes crazy. Bruckner shows off his skills as a filmmaker in a big way.

Blood Red Sky (2021)

Peter Thorwarth’s Blood Red Sky is about vampires on a plane, but not in the way that a title like that makes you think of a SYFY channel filler. Nadja, played by Peri Baumeister, is a mother who drinks blood and whose only goal is to protect her son from terrorists who want to bring down a commercial flight. It’s a lot more tense and emotional than I thought it would be, and it’s not at all like another Snakes on a Plane knockoff. Performances are strong, whether they are from grumpy terrorists or fierce mothers. The action-horror experience is like the airliner hit Non-Stop, but with more blood sucked.

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak is the perfect movie to watch if you haven’t had a chance to see Guillermo del Toro’s latest, Nightmare Alley, or if you’ve already seen it and want something to watch next. It is one of the most beautiful movies ever made, and Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Jessica Chastain all give great performances. This hauntingly human story will keep you thinking because Edith Cushing and Sir Thomas Sharpe seem to be surrounded by supernatural forces.

Apostle (2018)

Gareth Evans did not make the beautiful and scary Apostle just for fun. Even though the Netflix original has been out for a few years, it still feels like this one didn’t get as much attention as it should have. Before Netflix original movies became very popular, Apostle follows Thomas Richardson (played by Dan Stephens) as he tries to get his sister out of a strange, isolated cult.

#Alive (2020)

South Korea makes zombie movies better than anyone else, and #Alive is one of the best. A video game streamer chooses to lock himself in his apartment while a zombie outbreak destroys the rest of Seoul. Just as he’s about to give up, he finds out that his neighbor in the apartment across from him is also still alive. The two make a zipline to share food and use walkie-talkies to talk to each other while zombies attack the world outside their walls. It’s a movie about surviving, but it’s also about how people need to connect with each other. The constant fear of zombies makes every moment excitingly tense.

Creep (2014)

Creep is one of the best point-of-view (POV) or “found footage” horror movies. In Patrick Brice’s first movie as a director, Creep, a filmmaker named Aaron answers an online ad from a strange man named Josef who wants to be filmed for the day. Josef says he is dying of cancer and wants to make a video for his future child. When Aaron gets there, he notices that there is something very strange about Josef. Since the camera is always rolling, we get to see the crazy and dangerous things that are going to happen to Aaron. Come to see Mark Duplass act crazy as hell, and stay for the Peachfuzz mask. If you like it, you can also watch Creep 2, which is also on Netflix.

The Fear Street Trilogy

Fear Street, a movie trilogy based on the famous book series by “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine, became the talk of the summer when it came out on Netflix. The three movies in the Fear Street series all tell the same story about the cursed town of Shadyside and how it affects the people who live there. Each movie is mostly set in a different time period. This gives fans of slashers, ghost stories, teen horror, queer horror, and folk horror a little something to enjoy. The three movies are best when seen all at once, but each one can work well on its own. This makes them a must-see trio.

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Gerald’s Game was thought to be the “unfilmable” work of Stephen King, but if anyone can prove King wrong, it’s Mike Flanagan. Gerald’s Game is one of Netflix’s best original horror movies. It was made by the same person who made The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, Hush, Doctor Sleep, and more. Gerald’s Game is a scary fall into madness, and Carla Gugino does a great job as the main character.

His House (2020)

His House, which is one of the scariest movies on Netflix, was made by Remi Weekes and is a real work of art. His House looks like a story about a spooky house, but it’s really about a couple who flees war-torn Sudan and finds that the English town they’ve fled to may be just as scary as the place they left. The scary parts of the movie come not only from the supernatural parts, but also from the themes of loss, guilt, rejection, racism, and trying to fit in. It’s a strong ghost story that will stay with you long after the movie ends.

It Follows (2014)

It Follows is the perfect movie if you want to feel even more suspicious and afraid of people than you already do because of a pandemic. It Follows is based on the simple but soul-stirring idea that something is always coming toward you, no matter what. The movie is full of creeping fear, effective jump scares, and a score that is sure to raise your blood pressure.

May The Devil Take You (2018)

If there’s one thing Netflix does well when it comes to horror, it’s their wide range of scary movies from around the world. Genre fans have been praising Timo Tjahjanto’s work for years, especially his short films The ABCs of Death and V/H/S/2. However, his feature films in Indonesia are probably his best work, and Netflix’s purchase of his films has made them more widely known in the West. In May the Devil Take You, a young woman goes to her father’s old home to find out what’s wrong with his strange illness, but instead she learns the terrible truth about her father’s past.

The Perfection (2018)

Try to go into The Perfection as blind as possible, but be aware that there is some rape content that might be upsetting. Part of the fun of this psychological horror movie is trying to guess what will happen next and failing. Allison Williams plays a former cello genius who goes back to her famous music school and finds that Lizzie, played by Logan Browning, has taken her place as the star student. The Perfection takes exploitation film tropes and turns them completely on their heads in ways that are impossible to guess. It’s a crazy thrill ride and wonderful in every way.

Vampires Vs. The Bronx (2020)

Vampires have been used as metaphors for othering in many ways, but Vampires Vs. The Bronx shows that development is humanity’s real enemy. When three young best friends find out that a family of vampires is planning to destroy The Bronx, they take things into their own hands and rally the community to fight back against the monsters who are trying to take over their home. It seems too easy to call it “The Lost Boys for a new generation,” but the Frog Brothers would be proud of how Miguel, Bobby, Luis, Gloria, Lil Mayor, and the rest of the gang handle the Murnau real estate movie with the same name. Take the adobo instead of the stick.

Halloween is weeks away, but horror movies can be enjoyed at any time. As a highly popular and profitable subgenre in cinema, audiences are always in the mood for spooky films. Thankfully, streaming services like Netflix offer a wide selection of chilling choices. With both original and licensed movies, there…

Halloween is weeks away, but horror movies can be enjoyed at any time. As a highly popular and profitable subgenre in cinema, audiences are always in the mood for spooky films. Thankfully, streaming services like Netflix offer a wide selection of chilling choices. With both original and licensed movies, there…

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