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The 9 Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Just in time for Halloween, we’re serving up our nine favorite scary flicks from the Big Red N.

Netflix isn’t our go-to streaming service for horror movies (we think Tubi and Hulu offer way more scary choices), but we’ve found nine we recommend checking out this Halloween season. From slashers to witches to aliens to social media to sharks, it has a little something for everyone.

Fire up Netflix and let’s get to streaming and screaming!

The Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Based on the book series by R.L Stine, the Fear Street three-parter is a supernatural murder mystery, jumping time periods within the “cursed” town of Shadyside (Part One is set in 1994; Part Two, 1978; Part Three, 1666).

Parents take notice: Fear Street is more adult, bloody, and scary than most Stine works, with more in common with American Horror Story than Goosebumps. Part Three, set at a summer camp (classic slasher territory), is particularly intense.

Nightbooks (2021)

Kristen Ritter (Jessica Jones) stars as a fashion-forward witch with a fantastical Brooklyn apartment in Nightbooks, a horror-lite movie based on the novel by J.A. White. Said apartment lures and traps children from the building, but only those of use to the witch get to remain alive.

Fortunately, new capture Alex (Winslow Fegley) writes scary stories. The witch demands a new tale from the boy every evening, resulting in several whimsical stories within the Nightbooks story.

Polaroid (2019)

High school loner Bird (Kathryn Prescott) finds an old Polaroid camera and uses her insta-photography as an “in” with the cool kids. Problem is, those who have their picture taken start ending up dead either by a mysterious entity or damage to the photo (set the picture on fire = ya burnt, etc.).

Polaroid doesn’t take the hilarious concept of death by hipster affectation to the lengths it could have (you might say it’s “undeveloped”), but it’s still a decent fright.

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It Comes at Night (2017)

As a contagious disease overruns the world—too soon?—a family ensconces themselves in a home deep in the woods. The “it” that comes at night isn’t a supernatural monster, but other people willing to kill for supplies—and that deadly contagion, of course.

It Comes at Night is grim survivalist horror a la The Walking Dead, where humankind is its own worst enemy, and it makes the most of minimalist settings. It’s also a stone-cold bummer, but in a good way.

Unfriended (2015)

Unfriended, which is essentially a Skype slasher flick, takes on a little more meaning after a year of working and existing almost strictly online. A group of high school friends find their video chat has been infiltrated by a stranger they can’t delete, and they each begin dying in bizarre fashions (Unfriended might be the first movie to depict a death by curling iron).

You might want to close out of your social media accounts before watching.

Dark Skies (2013)

Arizona family the Barretts (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, and Kadan Rockett) begin experiencing strange occurrences in their home and the appearances of shadowy figures. They soon conclude their house has been invaded by aliens (obviously) and call in an extraterrestrial specialist (J.K. Simmons, providing comic relief).

If you’re into alien conspiracy theories, swanky suburban real estate, and Keri Russell (who isn’t?), Dark Skies is worth a look.

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The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers is a suspenseful home-invasion thriller that relies as much on darkness and silence as it does blood and gore for its horror. Couple Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) expected a chill weekend in their remote family vacation home, only to be violently accosted by sadistic, masked strangers.

“Why?” the family asks before receiving the spine-chilling answer, “Because you were home.” Skip the sequel, the rather meh The Strangers: Prey at Night.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Wired called it “the greatest non-Jaws shark movie of all time,” and Deep Blue Sea has become a bona fide cult hit since its 1999 release, thanks to its deft mix of shocks, action, snark, and maybe star LL Cool J’s soundtrack contribution (“I got a hat like a shark’s fin!”).

Genetically engineered sharks go kill-crazy in an underwater research facility, and it’s a race against time (and the ocean, and the sharks) for the crew to escape. Deep Blue Sea is scary-dumb fun for all.

Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg shark thriller Jaws was the first summer blockbuster theatrical movie and the first digital (LaserDisc) home video release in the ’70s—and it still holds up 46 years later. The story is simple: a giant, vicious shark terrorizes a beach resort town, prompting the local police chief (Roy Scheider) and a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfus) to hunt it down and kill it.

Jaws remains a masterclass in suspense, shock edits, and soundtrack enhancement (dun-dun . . . dun-dun . . . dun-dun . . . ).

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