Halloween is fast approaching, and there are plenty of new horror movies hitting theaters. But during spooky season, it’s often not enough for true Halloween heads to watch the new fright-fests hitting theaters; instead, it’s common to dig through streaming archives to find the most frightening, gory, and nightmarish movies around. And on Netflix, that’s a task easier said than done.
As the streamer’s library of films ebbs and flows, finding the right movie to watch can feel like bailing out an ocean with a spoon. Factor in the reality that horror is one of the cheapest genres to produce (not to mention, a famous crowd-pleaser among the bored and looking for anything new crowd), and you’re left with a tsunami of bloody titles that sometimes seem indistinguishable from one another.
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If you’re looking for a good horror movie to watch on Netflix that will truly scare you, picking a final selection can prove a more daunting task than sitting through yet another “Haunting of Hill House” rewatch; with or without its beloved “Bly Manor” chaser. But while the streamer’s priorities seem to shift as quickly as its content selection grows, Netflix’s horror library remains a high point — with original triumphs, including Guillermo del Toro’s “Cabinet of Curiosities” and a sizable offering of Mike Flanagan works, as well as plays in established franchises, like director David Blue Garcia’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2022).
From classics and a few box office toppers to obscure foreign titles you might have never discovered without the all-powerful algorithm, there’s something for every horror fan to enjoy. Just take “The Fear Street Trilogy,” which tells a surprisingly simple tale that writer/director Leigh Janiak smartly broke into three chapters. The filmmaker’s story of teens trapped in a cursed town is told across as many time periods, and allowed Janiak to explore ghostly images of the 17th century alongside ’70s slasher cliches and ’90s suspense tropes. Plus, three decades means three times as many cast members, with “Fear Street” featuring performances from Sadie Sink, Gillian Jacobs, Kiana Madeira, Fred Hechinger, Ashley Zuckerman, Maya Hawke, and many, many more.
To make your job of movie choosing just a little easier, we’ve compiled an updating list of some of the scariest horror movies currently available on Netflix. While the streamer is surprisingly light on additions to horror films added for the spookiest month of the year, it is at least bringing one of the 21st century’s undisputed genre classics to their library with “Get Out,” Jordan Peele’s 2017 satirical thriller masterpiece. Beyond “Get Out,” there’s still a robust list of slashers, monster movies, ghost stories, and thrillers to munch up like candy this month. Keep reading for 22 of our picks, including “His House,” “Gerald’s Game,” “Us” “The Perfection,” and selections from “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.” All titles are available as of November 1, 2023, and are listed in no particular order.
With editorial contributions by Wilson Chapman, Steve Greene, Tambay Obenson, and Zack Sharf. [Editor’s note: This guide was published in fall 2021 and has been updated multiple times since.]
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