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These are the 13 scariest horror movies on Netflix right now

From ghost stories to Stephen King adaptations, here's the scariest stuff currently streaming on Netflix.

By Matthew Jackson
Fear Street

Netflix has become one of the most popular destinations for horror fans in recent years. Not just because of its constantly shifting library of recognizable horror titles to stream, but because of its original productions that allow both established and up-and-coming horror filmmakers their shot at scary movie glory.

The result is a fairly impressive library of titles that include both terrifying long-form series and horror movies that you can easily queue up into a mini film festival for yourself. 

But if you are aiming to build a little horror movie marathon for a Saturday night on the couch, what should you watch first, what should you follow it up with, and where to do you go from there? We're here to help.

From Netflix originals to the best studio releases added to the service, these are the scariest horror films on Netflix right now. 

1. 1BR (2019)

"Person finds a seemingly-perfect apartment only to discover it is far from perfect" is a commonly used horror premise, and with good reason. But 1BR doesn't play by the more predictable rules of its setup. The movie centers on an aspiring costume designer (Nicole Brydon Bloom), who moves into a new apartment surrounded by a remarkable close-knit group of neighbors who aren't exactly on the up-and-up. It's a film that dials up the tension almost immediately, then pushes the scares into some unexpected, harrowing territory. The result is an extremely effective, small-scale chiller that will make you check your local real estate listings twice.

2. Apostle (2018)

If you love The Wicker Man, then there's a good chance you'll get obsessed with Apostle, the period folk horror film from The Raid director Gareth Evans.

Like Wicker Man, it's the story of a man who heads to a remote community to save a woman, only to find something very dark and disturbing happening at this place. Unlike The Wicker Man, the supernatural elements of this strange commune are considerably more overt. Featuring gorgeously creepy production design and a great central performance from Dan Stevens, it's a modern folk-horror essential. 

3. Cam (2018)

A horror film with a focus on a very specific internet subculture, Cam follows a rising camgirl star (Madeline Brewer) who likes to stage horror elements in her live shows to help her rise through the ranks. When real-life horror begins to intrude on the playful shows, though, she's sent on a frantic, paranoid search for a saboteur that may not be entirely human. Packed with tension and grounded frights, Cam is a remarkable exploration of the horrors of a very particular kind of para-social engagement. 

4. The Conjuring (2013)

There's a reason James Wan's original film about famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren launched a seemingly unstoppable horror franchise, and it's not just because the Warrens left behind many different case files. With compelling performances from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine, respectively, Wan's now-legendary ability to milk considerable tension before a jump scare, The Conjuring is the rare horror success that balances the scares with truly touching, emotional moments.

5. The Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Sure, technically Fear Street is three films instead of one, but there's an interconnectivity to the Fear Street films that means you not only need to watch all three to get the whole story, but that you won't be able to stop yourself.

Adapted from R.L. Stine's young adult horror book series of the same name, the Fear Street trilogy drops self-contained horror adventures in favor of an overarching mythology that is told over 300 years, through the eyes of three different young women. Packed with horror homages, great production design, and unforgettable death scenes, Fear Street does not disappoint on the bingewatching front.

6. Gerald's Game (2017)

In a landscape full of Stephen King adaptations, Gerald's Game felt like one of the few books that might never make the leap, or at least might never make the leap in a satisfying way. Enter Mike Flanagan, horror auteur extraordinaire, and star Carla Gugino. In their capable hands, Gerald's Game became one of the most pleasant surprises in the Stephen King movie canon, a dark exploration of trauma and survival that slowly infuses the supernatural into its narrative, and features one of the most memorable gore scenes in the last ten years of horror.

7. Girl on the Third Floor (2019)

Wrestler and actor Phil "CM Punk" Brooks headlines this haunted house shocker, which is more engaging that you would think after reading that it stars a professional wrestler. Brooks carries the film for much of its run time, as a man slowly unraveling as his own past — and the specters of the house he's repairing — slowly start to tear his life apart. What begins with mysterious stains and strange substances on the walls soon turns into an all-out assault of horrific imagery, complete with one of the best ghost designs in recent memory. The finale just might give you a permanent case of night terrors. 

8. His House (2020)

One of the best horror films of 2020, Remi Weekes' His House is essentially just two people in a haunted house. The action moves outside of those confines occasionally, but most of the film's genius stems from confining us to this haunted place with our two main characters: Two refugees from South Sudan (Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu). After relocating to the U.K., they struggle to get used to their new home only to discover that some... thing from their homeland seems to have followed them to their new life in England. This presence is not human and very tenacious, which leads to a shocking unraveling for our characters. Driven by incredible central performances and some of the most inventive haunting sequences of the last decade, His House is both an effective supernatural horror film and a chilling meditation on the toll of survival. 

9. It Follows (2014)

David Robert Mitchell's It Follows appears on many "Best of the Decade" horror lists for good reason. The simple story is full of complex and compelling potential: A young woman (Maika Monroe, in a star-making performance) must go on the run with her friends when she uncovers that she is the victim of a deadly entity that seems to transmit from human-to-human through sexual contact. It Follows is a film that works as both a high-concept metaphor for innocence lost and as a riveting, low-fi exercise in the tension that comes from being persistently pursued by an invisible, but sometimes tangible, dread. Plus, even when you get used to the film's clever premise, the notion of the entity changing shapes as it follows produces some incredibly effective scares.

10. Pet Sematary (1989)

Still considered to be one of the best Stephen King adaptations, King himself penned the screenplay for this 1989 adaptation of one of his darkest novels, and Mary Lambert directed the hell out of it. After a family moves into a new home located near the titular supernatural burial ground, that family soon unravels when a tragedy forces that family to take advantage of the cemetery's dark gifts. More than 30 years after its release, Pet Sematary remains a deeply unsettling supernatural drama. Whether it's Rachel Creed's flashbacks to her sister Zelda, or the legendary resurrection of Gage Creed, you are guaranteed to find something here to terrify you. 

11. Raw (2016)

Julia Ducournau's debut feature film reveals that her remarkable ability to create tension and fascinate us through horrific imagery was present well before her Palme d'Or-winning Titane. The film follows a vegetarian veterinary student (Garance Marillier) who, once at school, is forced to ear her  first bite of meat as part of a rush week ritual. Once she starts, she seems unable to stop, and the rest of the film is a descent into ravenous madness. Like Titane, it's both horrifying and, ultimately, heartwarming.

12. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

André Øvredal's adaptation of the children's book series of the same name will no doubt stir up a fair amount of nostalgia for the right viewers. But setting aside its connection to childhood scares, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a very effective horror flick. The script by Kevin and Dan Hageman (Star Trek: Prodigy) does a very effective job of blending several of the title stories together into one mythology, while also forming a meditation of the Vietnam War era, an ode to period horror, and a love letter to young lovers of scary things everywhere. Then there's the cast, led by a remarkable Zoe Colletti, who lend the whole thing an ensemble young adult adventure feel, while always preserving the essential scares. It's a gem that a lot of people missed during its theatrical run.

13. Under the Shadow (2016)

Is it possible to make a slow-burn horror film when the characters are surrounded by horrors for the entire runtime? That's the challenge Bakak Anvari sets out for himself with Under the Shadow, and it's one this filmmaker is more than game for.

Centered on a mother and daughter living in Tehran during the 1980s' War of the Cities, Under the Shadow begins as a tale of a woman who's been pushed away from everything she wants in life by the oppressive world around her, only to retreat to an apartment where the horrors of war constantly threaten what little life she has managed to preserve. Throw in a little bit of djinn-driven folklore, and you've got a recipe for a very effective horror film that keeps infusing new supernatural tension until the very last moments.