It may be the time of year that we all bring festive cheer to every table, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy a little horror too. Luckily, this Christmas, Netflix still has a plethora of incredible scary movies to keep our tolerance up.
Where once upon a time friends and family might venture to Blockbusters on a dark, cold, stormy night, these days Netflix is the preferred choice of video rental, with the aforementioned physical store having long since been laid to rest.
Now, at the mere touch of a button, we can enjoy a multitude of films from the comfort of our own armchair, a particularly appealing thought in the spookiest month of the year.
Though Netflix holds a strange array of horror content, preferring small independent flicks such as Creep and Hush over other contemporary greats. It is also somewhat thin on the ground in terms of the classics, omitting the likes of The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though this doesn’t mean it’s entirely void of great horror titles ready to be enjoyed on Halloween.
To save you the trouble of the endless flicking and scrolling through the horror genre on Halloween weekend, we’ve put together the definitive list of horror films available on Netflix US right down below.
Best horror films on Netflix right now:
5. The Conjuring (James Wan, 2013)
One of the most popular horror films of the 21st century, The Conjuring stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators who explore the bizarre events taking place in a farmhouse. It picked up several awards and nominations in the horror genre, earning a nomination for Best Horror film at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
The filmmaker said, “People ask me, ‘Why do you like haunted house films? They’re so done to death.’ And I say, ‘There’s a reason that they’re done to death. If you can make it work, it’s a very effective subgenre!’ We can all relate to it. We all live in houses or apartments, and we can all relate to having siblings or a mom and dad. Right off the bat, you have the shorthand of the characters going into it.”
4. It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults, 2017)
Disappointing fans upon its release thanks to a dodgy marketing campaign, once the flurry of fury settled down following the release of It Comes at Night, its true quality as a unique mystery thriller shined through.
Whilst many audiences were expecting a physical beast, or at the very least some paranormal activity, It Comes at Night was instead a smart, subtle analysis of the fragility of human sanity. Brimming with tension, the characters of It Comes at Night bunker up inside a rural home against a sinister, unknown force and drive themselves insane with the fear of the unknown and the trauma of their new life. It’s a bleak, riveting watch.
3. His House (Remi Weekes, 2020)
In Remi Weekes’ debut film, His House, claustrophobia, isolation and discrimination reside in the very walls and ceilings of the titular decrepit home, communicating the fears that are imported with those who come to the UK as refugees.
Evading a war-torn South Sudan in the hope of finding refuge in England, the story follows couple Rial (Sope Dirisu) and Bol (Wunmi Mosaku), who awarded temporary accommodation, though find their attempts to assimilate with small-town English life, thwarted by a lurking evil. Large, empty crevices, inhabited by bulging paranoia, guilt and regret, manifest as watchful eyes, reminders of their harrowing past in this atmospheric terror.
2. Raw (Julia Ducournau, 2016)
Equal parts horror and dark coming-of-age drama, Raw is a disturbing vision of the adolescent struggle as it follows a girl newly enrolled in veterinary college who develops a cannibalistic taste.
Directed by the recent Palme d’Or winner for Titane, Julia Ducournau, Raw is a surprising film in that, despite featuring such animalistic gore, the main takeaway at the film’s conclusion is its deft touch and insightful approach to adolescence, with little to no indulgence in excess. At its very best, Raw is a smart and enthralling take on growing up with shades of horror sprinkled on top to well contextualise the horrors of change.
1. Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari, 2016)
Babak Anvari’s extraordinary BAFTA-winning directorial debut, Under the Shadow, is a captivating Iranian horror film that is as much a critical analysis of the terror of war on innocent civilians.
Focusing on 1980s Tehran, Under the Shadow follows a mother and young daughter who are struggling to cope with the terror of a war-torn city, whilst a separate ancient evil plagues their home. A creepy, atmospheric chiller, Anvari’s film provides a genuinely fascinating perspective of war by heightening the horror with the curse of the djinn, supernatural creatures rife throughout Islamic folklore.