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. 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.
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. ‘THE EVIL DEAD’ (1981)
Who’s in it? Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
What’s it about? Director Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead tells the tale of a group of teenagers who begin to turn into flesh-eating zombies during a visit to an off-the-grid cabin. Lesson learned: don’t read old books that could possibly reawaken the dead.
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. ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’ (1988)
Who’s in it? Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson
What’s it about? If you’re looking for an alien/killer crown hybrid (because who isn’t?), this one’s for you. The science-fiction horror-comedy tells the story of a band of killer clowns that descends from the sky to prey on small-town victims and makes them into a sweet treat to feast on later. We’re serious.
5. ‘THE WITCH’ (2015)
Who’s in it? Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
What’s it about? When members of 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 then begin 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. 'THE INVITATION' (2015)
Who’s in it? Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman
What’s it about? A man accepts an invitation from his ex-wife to bring his new girlfriend over for dinner. Although the offer seems genuine, the the get-together sparks tension between the former lovers, resulting in a thrilling twist. The unease will have you at the edge of your seat, especially during the last half-hour (this one’s kind of a slow build).
8. ‘CHILD’S PLAY’ (1988)
Who’s in it? Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent
What’s it about? Before there was The Cult of Chucky (or any of the other sequels/prequels or remakes), there was Child’s Play, a story about 6-year-old Andy who learns that his toy doll, Chucky, is the serial murderer that is terrorizing his town. Unfortunately, neither the police (nor his own mother) believe him.
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. ‘Devil’s advocate’ (1997)
Who’s in it? Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron
What’s it about? A young NYC attorney quickly learns that the head of his firm might have sinister itnentions. It may not have the usual jump scares or frightening creatures like some of the others on this list, but Devil's Advocate will definitely keep you on your toes with the amount of suspense. Not to mention, there’s a surprise twist we totally weren’t expecting.
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. 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. 'DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK' (2010)
Who’s in it? Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison
What’s it about? Horror fans will love Guillermo del Toro’s reimagining of the 1973 television movie. When young Sally Hurst and her family move to a new home, she discovers they aren’t alone in the creepy mansion. In fact, strange creatures also live there and they don’t seem too happy with their new guests. It’s important to note that the original film terrified del Toro as a young boy, so we’re going to say make sure the kids are asleep when you turn this one on.
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. ‘Train to busan’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung
What’s it about? The film follows a businessman and his daughter when she begs him to take her home to her mother for her birthday. Unfortunately, they opt to take a train just as the world begins to be taken over by a zombie apocalypse. And we’re not going to lie, these flesh-eaters are terrifying (and super contagious).
19. ‘The Wicker man’ (1973)
Who’s in it? Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Christopher Lee
What’s it about? A reclusive lawman travels to a secluded island, Summerisle, to investigate the report of a missing child. However, local residents claim they never knew the girl, and things become even more strange when his investigation leads him into a world of sun-soaked pagan rituals. Note: This one’s not to be confused with the 2006 remake of the cult-thriller starring Nicholas Cage.
20. ‘Green Room’ (2015)
Who’s in it? Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Sir Patrick Stewart
What’s it about? At the end of their low-budget music tour, the punk rock band, “The Ain’t Rights,” accepts a gig at an isolated rural club. However, they quickly realize that the hosts are neo-Nazis and must find a way to fight for their survival.
21. ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glen Close
What’s it about? After living through a zombie apocalypse, a gifted young girl (one of several children who are immune to the virus) escapes the safety of a special school and helps guide mankind's survival. This one has all of the adrenaline-pounding action you could want in a zombie film (with a hint of Stranger Things vibes).
22. ‘Candyman’ (1992)
Who’s in it? Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley
What’s it about? This blood-covered slasher flick focuses on graduate student Helen Lyle when she unintentionally brings to life the Candyman, a hook-handed figure who fillets anyone who says his name five times (this one is not for those who have a fear of bees because there’s a lot of them). It’s also worth mentioning that Jordan Peele has his own version coming in the not-too-distant-future.
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. 'POLTERGEIST' (1982)
Who’s in it? JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
What’s it about? It doesn’t get much more iconic than this malevolent film about otherworldly forces that invade a suburban home in California. These evil entities transform the house into a supernatural sideshow centered on the family's young daughter. We’re not going to lie, the special effects still hold up, even today.
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—actually her window. If you enjoyed a A Quiet Place and Scream, this one mixes elements of both.
27. ‘Cabin Fever’ (2002)
Who’s in it? Eli Roth, Cerina Vincent and Rider Strong
What’s it about? A college student accidentally shoots a man while vacationing with his five friends (casual). After trying to cover their tracks, they discover the victim has a highly contagious, flesh-eating virus. Spoiler alert: it starts to spread. Fair warning, the disease is pretty nasty looking. So, for all you queasy folk, we suggest keeping a pillow close by to cover your eyes.
28. ‘THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS' (1991)
Who’s in it? Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
What’s it about? Known as one of the most terrifying movies of all time, the film follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling as she ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned cannibal. The 1991 piece is based on a handful of real-life serial killers, so if stalkers and cannibals aren’t your thing, we recommend giving this one a pass.
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 followers 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.