Top 20 Scariest Horror Movies On Netflix

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Top 20 Scariest Horror Movies On Netflix

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Netflix is your one-stop-shop for epic horror movies! For this list, we'll be looking at the most horrifying titles the streaming giant has to offer as of March 2022. Our countdown includes "Raw", “Crimson Peak”, "The Conjuring", “Gerald's Game”, "Creep", and more!
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Top 20 Scariest Horror Movies On Netflix


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Scariest Horror Movies on Netflix.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most horrifying titles the streaming giant has to offer as of March 2022.

Are you brave enough to watch these films? Let us know in the comments.

#20: “Unfriended” (2014)

The found footage subgenre can be a little predictable. But “Unfriended” puts a spin on the usual format, with the entire film taking place on computer screens. While on a Skype video chat, a group of teens start getting weird messages from a stranger. The messages come from the account of their deceased classmate Laura, who took her own life after someone anonymously posted a humiliating viral video. But now it looks like she’s back for revenge, psychologically and physically torturing them until the culprit is revealed. At first glance, it may not seem like much more than a schlocky teen horror movie. But this underrated gem is an original, immersing look into the scary world of the Internet.

#19: “Crimson Peak” (2015)

In 2015, the immensely talented Guillermo del Toro gave us gothic romance at its best. This beautifully crafted ghost story follows Edith, a young American heiress / aspiring writer as she’s wooed by Sir Thomas Sharpe. After they marry, she moves into Allerdale Hall, the family estate in England, which he shares with his cold-as-ice sister Lucille. The dilapidated mansion holds many secrets for Edith to uncover. She’s no stranger to spirits, but the ghostly inhabitants in “Crimson Peak” are horrifying, nonetheless. Between the star-studded cast and stunning Edwardian era setting, it’s sure to give you a fright. And an endorsement from Stephen King doesn’t hurt, either.

#18: “#Alive” (2020)

“#Alive” begins with gamer Oh Joon-woo (jeun) in his apartment when chaos ensues outside. Zombies swarm the streets, attacking everyone, leaving Joon-woo isolated in his home trying to communicate with the outside world. Upon its release in September 2020, this South Korean zombie thriller quickly shot to the top of the Netflix charts. Premiering during the COVID-19 pandemic made it prime lockdown viewing. Zombies have become so repetitive that they’re hardly scary anymore. So, another movie about escaping hordes of the undead doesn’t exactly stand out. But it’s the prolonged isolation that makes “#Alive” an especially chilling horror flick that we want to see.

#17: “Raw” (2016)

If you’re grossed out by watching people eat, then this French horror film might not be for you. As soon as she arrives for her first year of veterinary school, lifelong vegetarian Justine is subjected to grotesque hazing rituals. She’s pressured to participate by her older sister Alexia, and one of those “rituals” involves eating raw meat. This leaves her with an all-over rash and a new craving. You could call this a coming-of-age movie, though that would be a little deceptive. Justine definitely finds herself at college, but what she discovers is her suppressed cannibalism. Julia Ducournau’s (french - du-coor-noh) beautifully shot, disturbingly seductive feature directorial debut is sure to make you squirm.

#16: “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017)

Successful heart surgeon Steven Murphy develops a relationship with Martin, the teenage son of one of his deceased patients. Martin, played by breakout star Barry Keoghan (k’yown), makes himself at home within Steven’s life, even charming his wife and dating his daughter. What unravels is deeply unsettling, starting with Steven’s young son developing sudden paralysis, which is somehow tied to Martin’s unnerving presence. Writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos (YORE-goce LANTHI-moce) has a reputation for stylish, darkly hilarious films and distinct, deadpan dialogue. It may mix a few genres, but “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is pure psychological horror.

#15: “Hostel” (2005)

American backpackers Paxton and Josh, along with their new Icelandic friend Óli (OH-lee), travel around Europe, partying heavily. They hear about a hostel known for its beautiful women and make their way to Slovakia. The guys meet Natalya and Svetlana, and the debauchery continues. But the fun is cut short when Óli disappears after a night out. We’ll spare you the details, but just know that it only gets worse from there. “Hostel” came out in the mid-aughts during the Splat Pack era, and it remains a horrific tale that will test your limits. The visceral torture scenes are hard to sit through and many find themselves watching through their fingers.

#14: “The Perfection” (2018)

Former cellist prodigy Charlotte returns to the elite world of classical music after an abrupt departure and years of caring for her terminally ill mother. After her mother’s passing, Charlotte travels to Shanghai to meet up with her old mentor Anton and his new protégé. Lizzie is essentially living the life Charlotte would have had if she stayed. Naturally, she’s jealous, but there’s also an attraction between the women. Once the two spend the night together, it doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control. “The Perfection” is unpredictable, thrilling, and at times, pretty gross. But it’s one twisted Netflix original that’s sure to exceed expectations.

#13: “The Girl Next Door” (2007)

Trust us when we say this next one is not for the faint of heart. “The Girl Next Door” was adapted from Jack Ketchum’s novel of the same name, which was loosely based on the tragic real-life murder of Sylvia Likens. Set in 1958, the story follows Meg Loughlin (loff-lin) and her younger sister Susan as they go to live with their aunt Ruth after their parents die in an accident. Ruth begins severely mistreating the girls, particularly Meg, encouraging her sons and their friends to do the same. It’s a devastating and shocking film about the evils of humanity, and if you do watch it, you’ll likely only see it once.

v#12: “Apostle” (2018) After his father receives a ransom letter, it’s up to Thomas Richardson to go rescue his sister Jennifer. She’s being held on Erisden (air-izz-din), a secluded Welsh island inhabited by a mysterious cult led by prophet Malcolm Howe. Thomas poses as a follower and infiltrates the island, searching for Jennifer and always looking over his shoulder. The premise is scary in itself, but the cult’s practices, which include blood sacrifice and violent methods for punishment, are truly terrifying. The film is a slow-burning folk horror tale filled with dread. If you liked “The Witch” and “The Wicker Man,” “Apostle” is right up your alley.

#11: “Incident in a Ghostland” (2018)

Single mom Colleen, along with her teenage daughters Beth and Vera, have just inherited an old, decrepit house from their deceased aunt. Beth, an aspiring horror novelist, doesn’t mind the obvious creepiness, but Vera is more than unhappy. They hardly settle in before two intruders break in and terrorize them. Flash forward sixteen years, and Beth is living her dream life as a successful author. But when she’s contacted by her distraught sister, she has to return to the house to help her deal with the trauma of that night. Brutal, disturbing, and inventive, “Incident in a Ghostland” is everything you want in a horror movie.

#10: “Creep” (2014)

Mark Duplass is known for acting in shows like “The League” and “The Morning Show,” as well as running a production company with his brother Jay. But he reaches an impressive level of scariness in “Creep” (which he also co-wrote). This found footage-style psychological thriller follows Aaron, a videographer traveling to a remote cabin to meet his client, the clearly unstable Josef. The film has its funny moments, given the absurdity of Josef’s requests, and his increasingly unsettling behavior. But the overall atmosphere is eerie, and just like Aaron, we are constantly on edge. Duplass returned to the role in the 2017 sequel, where he’s just as playfully sinister as before.

#9: “Gerald’s Game” (2017)

Before director Mike Flanagan gave us the excellent Netflix original horror series “The Haunting of Hill House,” he proved himself on the streaming service with his adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Gerald’s Game.” Just the basic premise is enough to give you nightmares: a couple, Gerald and Jessie, attempt to rekindle their relationship with a romantic weekend getaway. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when Gerald has a fatal heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed. Equal parts fascinating and terrifying, the film is a psychological horror that stands out from the crowd.

#8: “Hush” (2016)

We often overlook the importance of sound in cinema. In the horror genre specifically, it provides a particularly interesting opportunity to get creative in terms of scares. In the 2016 film “Hush,” also directed by Flanagan, a deaf-mute woman named Maddie, living in an isolated area, becomes the target of a nameless male killer. It’s a rather straightforward slasher/home invasion film, but a very well-executed one that’s further elevated by the performances of its two leads. Further distinguishing the film is its handling of sound and silence, which it uses to crank up the tension to a fever pitch.

#7: “Fear Street Part Two: 1978” (2021)

Netflix’s 2021 “Fear Street” trilogy was a horror fan’s dream (or maybe nightmare). Based on R. L. Stine’s book series of the same name, the entire trilogy is a must watch. “Part One: 1994” is the familiar ‘90s teen slasher, while “Part Three: 1666” fits more in the rustic folk horror aesthetic. In “Part Two: 1978,” we see the events of the Camp Nightwing massacre play out. It’s a bloody good time, especially if you’re nostalgic for classic killer summer camp films like “Friday the 13th” and “Sleepaway Camp.” Maybe it’s the woods, or you know, the ax-wielding madman, but “Part Two: 1978” is definitely the scariest of the three.

#6: “Verónica” (2017)

Young teen girl, ouija board, demonic possession, an alleged true story - “Verónica” is a film with a lot of familiar elements. But trust us when we say that in the case of this particular movie, those add up to something memorable and truly terrifying. A Spanish-language film set in Madrid in 1991, “Verónica” follows the titular heroine as she succumbs to the influence of a demonic force after partaking in a séance during a solar eclipse. The relationship between Verónica and her siblings gives the film a real emotional core, while director Paco Plaza’s experienced hand ensures a heavy and consistent dose of fear.

#5: “The Ritual” (2017)

Based on the 2011 novel by Adam Nevill, “The Ritual” takes us to the Swedish wilderness, where four friends Phil, Dom, Hutch, and Luke go hiking in honor of their deceased friend Rob. Luke is plagued by nightmares, replaying the night of Rob’s unexpected death, which he witnessed and could have prevented. The journey becomes more challenging as the lads argue, sustain injuries, and take shortcuts that just get them lost. With a supernatural creature hunting them down, and a forest littered with mysterious symbols of witchcraft, they must do whatever they can to survive.

#4: “It Follows” (2014)

“It Follows” manages to be completely original while channeling the classic teen slashers of the past. When it came out in 2014, it was immediately one of the best horror films of the year, or even the decade. The plot is simple — a supernatural entity follows you until it’s passed to another person through sex. And when Jay contracts this supernatural STI from Hugh, she and her friends have to figure out how to stop it. However, Jay is the only one who sees its many forms walking toward her. There’s some seriously chilling imagery here that’ll stay with you for a while.

#3: “The Conjuring” (2013)

Directed by James Wan, “The Conjuring” is a critically acclaimed horror film that has since given birth to a movie universe. After having left his mark on the splatter genre with the influential “Saw” franchise, Wan gave us one of the best haunted house films in recent decades. “The Conjuring” follows real-life husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played to perfection by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The story takes them to Harrisville, Rhode Island, where the Perron family are being targeted by a malevolent spirit. It’s an old-fashioned horror film that nicely balances scares with anxious anticipation. Wan followed it up with “The Conjuring 2,” set in England, which is scary in equal measure.

#2: “His House” (2020)

This isn’t exactly your typical haunted house movie. South Sudanese refugees Bol (bowl/ball) and Rial (ree-AWL) settle into their new home outside of London. And while there’s a sense of relief that they now have a roof over their heads, it’s hard to adjust to this new life for reasons both realistic and terrifying. “His House” explores the immigrant experience and the harrowing journey of asylum seekers. But to make things worse, they have to fight against the spirits within the walls of their home. It’s a hell of a debut from Remi Weekes, who perfectly blends real social issues with genuine horror.

#1: “The Exorcist” (1973)

It’s considered one of, if not the, scariest films of all time, and rightfully so. “The Exorcist” is the terrifying story of twelve-year-old Regan who becomes possessed by a demon, and the literal hell she and her mother Chris go through. Many moments in the film are iconic, and if you haven’t actually seen it, chances are you know about it. The crawling, head twisting, projectile vomiting and the vulgar insults directed at the priest have all become well known in pop culture. “The Exorcist” shocked audiences back when it was released in 1973. And it still holds up today.
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Those horror movies are kinda scary!