STREAMING: Get a fright of your life with these top Netflix horror movies you can watch now to take your mind off everything going on right now in the world. We dare you!
This Stephen King adaptation is one of those that seeps into your blood and poisons it. Thomas Jane stars as Wilfred James, a provincial man who manipulates his teenage son (Dylan Schmid) into helping kill his mother (Molly Parker) so she can’t take her share of the family’s money and ship off to the big city — effectively leaving their farm to die.
Wilfred and his boy struggle to cope with what they’ve done, and must try to survive their now-cursed life as killers.
The Invisible Man Elisabeth Moss in a still from The Invisible Man. (Photo: Universal Pictures)
The Leigh Whannell directorial is a modern adaptation of late English write HG Wells’ eponymous book. Whannell, known for films like Saw, Insidious and Upgrade, has also penned the screenplay. Elisabeth Moss plays the role of a woman who believes she is stalked by her dead abusive boyfriend, who she thinks has acquired the ability to be invisible.
This horror indie branded with the Netflix Original label makes this list for one reason: Florence Pugh. The star of Lady Macbeth and Fighting With My Family is fantastic as the reticent member of a group of scam artists who have been taking advantage of the grieving by faking hauntings in order to get paid to stop. Of course, they run into an actual haunting and learn a lesson or two about F-ing with the dark side. Great movie? No, maybe not even good, but Pugh is proving herself more and more with each outing. She makes it worth seeing.
Look, another Netflix Original! The Raid director Gareth Edwards moves from action to horror in this slow-burn period piece about a man who goes to rescue his sister from a remote cult. It starts as something dreamy and scary à la The Wicker Man but ends up being something much grosser and darker as it reaches its unforgettable climax.
The Witch (2015)
Robert Eggers’s Sundance hit is a master class in sound design and limited perspective. Using testimony from the Salem witch trials, the concept of Eggers’s script is beautifully simple — what if one of those trials was about a legitimate witch? The sound of branches hitting each other from the wind, the sound of footsteps on the leafy ground — this is a movie that understands that horror is often sensory more than purely conveyed through storytelling. It’s a modern genre masterpiece.
*As Above, So Below (2014)
This 2014 horror film came out right when people were just sick of found footage films but has developed a cult following in the years since for a reason. The story of a group of dumb tourists who end up getting into serious trouble when they explore the Catacombs of Paris deserved a better fate.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
There are very few horror movies with as perfect a setup as this one. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch star as a coroner and his son in a small town. They get a late-night delivery of a body that doesn’t make sense. Her exterior looks pristine but everything on the inside is a mess. As they’re trying to solve the mystery, things get very, very creepy.
Yes, the final scenes get incredibly goofy, but the opening chaos of this smash-hit Netflix Original is pretty effective and Sandra Bullock is excellent throughout. The Oscar winner plays a woman who survives the apocalypse, which starts when people begin to see, well, something and go insane. Compared unfairly to A Quiet Place, given how much of it hinges on sensory deprivation, Bird Box is one of Netflix’s most streamed films for a reason. It may not be great, but it’s worth a look on a lazy weekend.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
The son of Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins, directs this fantastic, creepy film starring Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton. Shipka and Boynton play two girls at a boarding school during a long break, where things seem to be going awry on a possibly supernatural level. Meanwhile, Roberts is in another plotline, working her way to the school. The two arcs converge in an unforgettable final act.
This Kristen Stewart starrer is about an underwater laboratory which is damaged by an earthquake, prompting the researchers inside to scramble to safety, if there is such a thing that deep into the ocean. If drowning was not enough, there are terrifying underwater creatures who want the researchers for a hearty meal.
Gretel & Hansel A still featuring Sophia Lillis from Gretel & Hansel. (Photo: United Artists Releasing)
Based on the Brothers Grimm’s famous German folklore tale, this Sophia Lillis starrer is a stunning looking film that, while not quite scary, is compellingly dark.
Nowhere near as good as the original Japanese version and even the American reboot, The Grudge still has a few decent scares that should satisfy horror fans.
The release date of satirical horror fare, The Hunt, was supposed to be September 27, 2019, but after two mass shootings in the US, it was delayed. The film finally saw the light of day on March 13 this year, only to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It has also inspired controversy for its premise. The Hunt is about global elites who gather at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport.