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The number of digital platforms on which fans of horror movies can find a good scare is just as frightening as the films they have available to stream. In fact, there is even one that specializes in bringing the best the genre has to offer (and then some). Of course, for those who only have so much time and money at their disposal, settling on Netflix to help deliver the spooks would not be a mistake.
There are enough horror movies available on the popular platform to keep you streaming into the wee hours of the night, mainly because you will not be able to sleep. Among the many fears you would be facing during this binge with iconically creepy classics, modern masterpieces of the macabre, and even some of Netflix’s own ominous originals, one you should not have to worry about is the fear of disappointment.
That being said, we understand that some phobias are more challenging to get over than others, so allow us to be a beacon of despair and point you in the right direction of what the best horror movies currently available to stream on Netflix. We figured that 13 would be an appropriate number, starting with an influential cult favorite that arguably pioneered the “cabin in the woods” thriller.
The Evil Dead (1981)
A weekend getaway and an old cabin becomes an unrelenting nightmare for one man (Bruce Campbell) after his four friends are possessed by an ancient spirit that turns them into grotesque and cruel creatures.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Writer and director Sam Raimi became the patron saint of low budget indie horror with The Evil Dead, that remains a timeless classic of astonishing influence that spawned two campy sequels, a brilliantly brutal remake, and a hilarious TV series that serves as a perfect send-off for Bruce Campbell's chainsaw-handed hero, Ash Williams.
Stream The Evil Dead on Netflix here.
A family seeks help when their youngest daughter is kidnapped by malevolent spirits that have invaded their suburban home.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: From producer Steven Spielberg and directed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre creator Tobe Hooper (well, depending on who you talk to), Poltergeist is an essential haunted house picture for how it expertly taps into traumas that people of all ages an relate to and may lead you to develop new fears as well, such as television static, perhaps.
Stream Poltergeist on Netflix here.
Child’s Play (1988)
A single mother (Catherine Hicks) enlists the aid of a homicide detective (Chris Sarandon) after discovering that the doll she bought for her young son (Alex Vincent) is possessed by the soul of a dead serial killer (Brad Dourif).
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Before there was Annabelle, there was Chucky, who may not have been the first toy responsible for giving children nightmares, but certainly became every horror fan's favorite of that kind upon the release of Child's Play, a classic slasher but pokes great fun at modern commercialism.
Stream Child's Play on Netflix here.
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
To catch a deranged murderer who skins his victims, ambitious FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Academy Award winner Jodie Foster) enlists Hannibal Lecter (Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins), a former psychiatrist and notorious cannibal, to help get into the mind of a criminal.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may prefer their choice for the Best Picture Oscar in 1992 not be called "horror," with Anthony Hopkins' chilling performance and breathlessly suspenseful direction by Jonathan Demme, it is hard to imagine The Silence of the Lambs in any other category.
Stream The Silence of the Lambs on Netflix here.
A graduate student (Virginia Madsen) investigating Chicago myths for her college thesis becomes especially interested on the story of a supernatural entity with a hook for a hand whom locals believe can be summoned by saying his name five times.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Tony Todd created quite a "buzz" in black horror history as the title character of Candyman, a creation from legendary writer Clive Barker based on the deliciously creepy concept of an urban legend whose existence depends on those who believe in him.
Stream Candyman on Netflix here.
After their eldest son (Ty Simpkins) inexplicably falls into something even doctors hesitate to call a coma, a family (led by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) begins to fall prey to a relentless evil that seems to follow them whenever they try to escape.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, the dynamic duo behind Saw who have since gone onto great successes on their own, created an indelibly frightening new classic to the haunted house sub-genre with Insidious, particularly for a nearly unprecedented twist that might actually have you thankful when it keeps you up at night.
Stream Insidious on Netflix here.
Desperate for another bestseller, a true crime writer (Ethan Hawke) moves his family into a house where a disturbing murder took place, which he plans to research for his latest masterpiece, only to learn that the truth behind the incident is much worse than he could have imagined.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Oscar-nominee Ethan Hawke became an unexpected "scream king" after playing the tragic hero of Sinister, from Doctor Strange and The Exorcism of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson, which is, arguably, the most ferociously unsettling supernatural crime thriller ever made.
Stream Sinister on Netflix here.
An amateur filmmaker accepts a request over Craigslist to film a terminally ill man's final message to his son, but quickly comes to regret the decision when his host's progressively concerning actions lead him to question if he is the one about to expire.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Conceived by its own stars Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice (the latter of which also directs), Creep is an underrated found footage gem that mostly lives up to its name (with a almost equally haunting 2017 follow-up that is supposedly the second of a planned trilogy), but the biggest shocker is how mumblecore pioneers Duplass and Brice essentially improvised the entire story from scratch.
Stream Creep on Netflix here.
The Invitation (2015)
A man brings his girlfriend to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife and her new lover, but is immediately, and unshakably, convinced that something sinister is afoot.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: As this tenuous, high-wire act from director Karen Kusama progresses, you may not be sure who among these party guests, even Logan Marshall Green's protagonist, is worth your trust, but one thing I can confidently guarantee is is that the final moment of The Invitation will rupture your brain.
Stream The Invitation on Netflix here.
Train To Busan (2016)
An emotionally distant businessman's commute for his young daughter to visit her mother turns out to be a one-way trip into hell when someone carrying a virus turning people into mindless cannibals invites herself on board.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Not only is the live-action debut of Korean filmmaker Sang-ho Yeon’s one of the most exciting and clever zombie films in recent memory, but Train to Busan, which has spawned a highly anticipated sequel, also succeeds as a moving thriller about the sacrifices we make for ones we love.
Stream Train to Busan on Netflix here.
Two beautiful late night partygoers (Jenna Kanell and Catherine Corcoran) are in for the worst Halloween of their lives when they fall prey to an unfriendly clown who has plenty of sadistic trick and treats in store for them.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: If you ask me, Pennywise has nothing on Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), the future slasher icon whom the title of Terrifier appropriately refers to for his whimsically morbid imagination and tenacious blood thirst that makes director Damien Leone’s third feature a masterpiece of unapologetic shock and "ugh."
Stream Terrifier on Netflix here.
In The Tall Grass (2019)
A pregnant woman (Laysla De Oliveira) and her brother (Avery Whitted) follow a young boy's cry for help into a large field of high-growing grass, but it soon it becomes apparent that there is no way out.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: Based on a novella by father/son writing duo Stephen King and Joe Hill, In the Tall Grass is a survivalist thriller with startling fantasy, engrossing mystery, and a menacing performance by "scream king" and The Conjuring star Patrick Wilson that makes this Netflix original one of the coolest surprises in horror of its year.
Stream In the Tall Grass on Netflix here.
Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010)
An idyllic vacation in newly purchased cabin turns into "a real doozy of a day" for a pair of well-meaning hillbillies (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) after an awkward misunderstanding with some young campers leads to a bloodbath.
Why It's A Good Option for Horror Fans: The old slasher trope of shady country folk is turned on its head in a most brilliantly hilarious, yet uncompromisingly graphic, way in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, which may prove to be perfect way to end your Netflix horror binge: with a morbid laugh.
Stream Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil on Netflix here.
What do you think? Have we captured all the best haunts on Netflix, or is the absence of your own favorite horror flick the scariest thing you saw on our list? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the freakiest genre in cinema, as well as even more rattling recommendations of movies and TV shows you can stream, here on CinemaBlend.