The 30 Best Scary Movies on Netflix Right Now
We don’t always enjoy getting scared out of our mind, but there’s something about the end of summer/start of fall that makes it semi-mandatory. And we’re not just talking about the classics (we’re looking at you, The Ring), but also physiological thrillers, indie flicks and suspense films. In fact, the last year brought a ton of new content to the platform, including Netflix originals and flicks that landed top spots on the most popular movies list.
So, if you’re looking for a real jump-scare—no offense, Netflix Halloween movies—then keep reading for the 30 best scary movies on Netflix right now. We also recommend pairing any of them with one of these Halloween-themed or seasonal cocktails).
1. ‘SINISTER' (2012)
Who’s in it? Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone
What’s it about? Sinister follows true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt when he discovers a box of Super 8 videotapes depicting several brutal murders that took place in his new home. However, what seems to be the work of a serial killer turns out to be not as straight forward as it seems. Warning: This one had us sleeping with the lights on for weeks and is definitely not for children.
2. ‘Gerald’s Game’ (2017)
Who’s in it? Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas
What’s it about? Based on Stephen King's 1992 novel of the same title, the psychological thriller centers around a couple who try to rekindle their marriage with a romantic getaway. Unfortunately, things take a morbid turn when he accidentally dies leaving his wife in a compromising and inescapable position.
3. ‘Cam’ (2018)
Who’s in it? Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
What’s it about? When a cam girl discovers that an automated doppelgänger has taken over her channel, she must go to extreme lengths to identify the mysterious culprit and reclaim her personal identity. The underlying message here? The internet is a scary place.
4. ‘'TRUTH OR DARE' (2018)
Who’s in it? Cassandra Scerbo, Brytni Sarpy, Mason Dye
What’s it about? Ever think of renting out a haunted house in Mexico on Halloween night? Well, that’s exactly what this group of friends decides to do in this film. They take it one step further when they decides to play truth or dare with a stranger.
5. ‘THE WITCH’ (2015)
Who’s in it? Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
What’s it about? When members of a New England town start to think a curse has come over them, they become increasingly paranoid when a family’s youngest son, Samuel, suddenly vanishes. As their concerns increase, members of the town begin to suspect Samual’s older sister, Thomasin, of practicing witchcraft. The family begins to question one another—as well as their faith.
6. ‘Pan's Labyrinth’ (2006)
Who’s in it? Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú
What’s it about? Guillermo del Toro's Oscar-winning fairy tale tells the story of a young girl in early Francoist Spain, 1944 to be exact, who becomes encased in her own dark fantasy world to escape her sadistic army officer stepfather.
7. 'APOSTLE' (2018)
Who’s in it? Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen
What’s it about? This one’s for the history buffs. This Netflix original takes place in London during the early 1900s and is about a man who goes to rescue his sister from a remote cult. Determined to get her back at any cost, Thomas travels to the idyllic island where he quickly realizes that something more sinister and dark is going on.
8. ‘EERIE’ (2019)
Who’s in it? Bea Alonzo, Jake Cuenca, Maxene Magalona
What’s it about? When a student unexpectedly commits suicide, the all girls Catholic school she attended is left with a ton of questions and not too much to go on. That’s when the school guidance counselor—who also turns out to be a clearvoyant—decides to step in and immerse herself with the students to try and uncover the mysteries of the young girl's death.
9. ‘It Comes at Night’ (2017)
Who’s in it? Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo
What’s it about? Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, the movie showcases a family’s shared experiences following a zombie-like outbreak. But when another family shows up looking for help, the father must make a life or death decision: Will he put his family at risk?
10. ‘The killing of a sacred dear’ (2017)
Who’s in it? Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
What’s it about? A heart surgeon's carefully curated (or should we say close to perfect) life edges toward disaster when a troubled teenage boy with mysterious motives begins to impose himself on his family and even asks him to make the ultimate sacrifice and kill one of his own.
11. ‘The Ring’ (2002)
Who’s in it? Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman
What’s it about? You simply can’t go wrong with this classic that made the entire world ultimately terrified of wells. The movie follows a reporter as she investigates a mysterious video tape that apparently kills anyone who views it seven days later.
12. ‘Veronica’ (2017)
Who’s in it? Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid
What’s it about? After losing her father, young Veronica and two classmates attempt to contact the other side with (you guessed it) a Ouija board. Unfortunately, something more sinister comes through and follows Veronica throughout her everyday life. You’ll need to turn on subtitles for this Spanish horror.
13. ‘The Platform’ (2019)
Who’s in it? Iván Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Zorion Eguileor
What’s it about? This sci-fi thriller is set in the future and follows prisoners housed in vertical cells as they watch inmates on upper levels feast on “the platform” which lowers down to deliver them scraps. The catch? Every few months, the prisoners switch floors but have no idea where they’ll end up next. It’s not long before a rebellion begins. Again, subtitles will be needed for this one.
14. '1922' (2017)
Who’s in it? Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid
What’s it about? Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the film follows a farmer who initiates a murderous plot against his wife…but not before convincing his teenage son to participate.
15. 'The Girl on the Third Floor’ (2019)
Who’s in it? CM Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks
What’s it about? A husband with a bad track record tries to start a better life for his family by moving to the suburbs and renovating a rundown Victorian home. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan after he meets and starts an affair with the neighbor. Oh, and the house might also be haunted too.
16. 'THE RITUAL' (2017)
Who’s in it? Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
What’s it about? Four friends embark on a hike in the Scandinavian mountains (we already know where this is going) in honor of their late friend. But not so fast. Things take a horrifying turn when they stumble upon a mysterious forest that is haunted by a Norse legend. More of a psychological thriller, The Ritual is a spookily-satisfying film, albeit with a sort of random ending.
17. ‘BIRD BOX’ (2018)
Who’s in it: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson
What’s it about? Perhaps one of Netflix’s most popular sensations, Bird Box tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic world (inhabited by Sandra Bullock) where evil beings attack people through their sense of sight and force them to commit suicide. Similar to a Quiet Place, the movie relies on suspense and loud sound effects. The ending isn’t the best, but it’s still worth a watch to see Bullock defend her family from evil beings while wearing a blindfold.
18. ‘Blood Red Sky’ (2021)
Who’s in it? Peri Baumeister, Alexander Scheer, Kais Setti
What’s it about? The Netflix film, which was released just this summer, follows Nadja, a woman battling an unknown illness who must fight to protect herself and her young son from terrorists trying to hijack their flight. Think of it as a mix between Flightplan and The Flight Attendant.
19. ‘IN THE TALL GRASS’ (2019)
Who’s in it? Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted
What’s it about? Incase you haven’t had enough of Patrick Wilson or Stephen King adaptations, this flick has both. While stopped on the side of the road, a young man and his pregnant sister venture into tall grass to search for what they believe to be a lost child. After searching for hours, they realize they may not be able to find a way out (and they may not be alone).
20. ‘Case 39’ (2009)
Who’s in it? Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane
What’s it about? In one of Zellweger’s only horror films, she plays a naïve social worker who brings a 10-year-old child into her home to rescue her from abusive parents. Unfortunately, it’s not long before she learns the girl is not who she first appeared to be.
21. ‘What Lies Below’ (2020)
Who’s in it? Ema Horvath, Trey Tucker, Mena Suvari
What’s it about? What Lies Below centers around socially awkward teenager, Liberty, as she finally meets her mother’s new fiancé. But his unmatched charm and dashing good looks seems to be fooling everyone else but her.
22. 'POLAROID’ (2019)
Who’s in it? Kathryn Prescott, Mitch Pileggi, Grace Zabriskie
What’s it about? One lonely highschooler, Bird, uncovers a polaroid camera with a tragic secret: whoever has their picture taken by it dies shortly after. Now, it’s Bird’s job to find a way to put an end to the mysterious curse.
23. 'INSIDIOUS' (2010)
Who’s in it? Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
What’s it about? A suburban family moves away from everything they know in an attempt to leave behind their haunted house. However, they soon learn the home isn’t the root of the problem—their son is. Staring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, Insidious centers on paranormal entities and possession, if you’re into that sort of thing.
24. ‘The Conjuring’ (2003)
Who’s in it? Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King
What’s it about? Patrick Wilson returns to the horror genre with the first of the Conjuring trilogy. In this installment, a family seeks help from a team of demonologists when their new family farmhouse isn’t as welcoming as they thought it would be.
25. ‘Under the Shadow’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
What’s it about? Set in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, the supernatural thriller follows a Tehran woman as she cares for her daughter while her husband’s on the frontline. As the duo are waiting out the war at home, it becomes clear that their safe place might not be as safe as they think. In fact, its perpetually haunted by evil spirits.
26. ‘Hush’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Katie Siegel, Michael Trucco and John Gallagher Jr.
What’s it about? A deaf writer isolates herself in a cabin for some much-needed “me” time. Her relaxing experience turns into a silent fight for her life when a masked killer shows up at her doorstep. If you enjoyed a A Quiet Place and Scream, this one mixes elements of both.
27. ‘Things Heard and Seen’ (2021)
Who’s in it? Amanda Seyfried, James Norton, Natalia Dyer
What’s it about? Life in a small town isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be for married couple, Catherine and George, who traded their life in Manhattan for something more simple. However, its not long before before Catherine realizes that both her home and her husband have sinister secrets. (For our full review of this one, see here.)
28. “THE PERFECTION” (2019)
Who’s in it? Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber
What’s it about? Charlotte is a talented young cellist, who’s forced to drop out of her prestigious music school to care for her ill mother. Years later, she heads down a sinister path after becoming reacquainted with the girl who replaced her. It may not immediately sound horrifying, but its worth giving it a shot if psychological horrors are more your thing. (it’s also unexpectedly gruesome.)
29. ‘Before I Wake’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay
What’s it about? Still mourning the death of their son, Sean, Mark and Jessie welcome foster child Cody into their lives. Soon they discover Cody possesses a dangerous supernatural power, and when he falls asleep, his dreams (often including the couple’s dead son) haunt the house.
30. ‘CREEP’ (2014)
Who’s in it? Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
What’s it about? Exploiting the potential horrors of Craigslist, this indie thriller follows Videographer Aaron as he takes a job in a remote mountain town and quickly realizes his client has some pretty disturbing ideas for his final project before he succumbs to his inoperable tumor. Clearly, the name is fitting.