Truth be told, I used to go with my cousin to the movies when we were kids, and she loved horror flicks. (I was actually painfully afraid but kept it a secret to keep up the appearance of being cool as a cucumber.) Now that I'm an adult, I don't have any problem admitting that certain films can keep me up for nights—especially those of the paranormal variety—which is why I prefer to watch the best horror films on Netflix. This way I can keep all my squeals and jumping to my couch rather than a public movie theater. Plus, this means I can make all the treats I want at home and not even have to pay for a ticket.
So the next time you want to watch something that will literally scare you silly, all you need to do is turn on your TV and peruse some of these top chillers. From classics to recent favorites to originals, these are the best horror films on Netflix that we want to write home about. Scroll through and then (wisely) take your pick.
This M. Night Shyamalan flick came out five years after his film The Sixth Sense made some noise (see below). It revolves around a town of people who implement strict boundaries for fear the monsters outside will get them. It's been dubbed a "contemporary take on The Giver," making this one to watch.
This '90s favorite may not be the original, but we'd say it's almost as good. When two people are murdered at a movie premiere based on the original Scream events, the survivors of the first set of attacks (Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Jamie Kennedy, and David Arquette) must go for round two with the masked murderer.
Dare we say this film is charming (and funny) in a creepy sort of way? Adam Scott plays a man who is madly in love with his new wife but thinks her 5-year-old son may actually be the antichrist.
This flick tells the saga of a group of recent grads celebrating the end of college. Little do they know that there's a flesh-eating virus that's about to change their futures for the worst.
What happens when your ex-wife invites you over for a dinner party after she ran away to Mexico for two years? This is the premise of The Invitation, which makes you wonder whether the main character, David, is paranoid about his ex-wife's plans or if he should run out of the Hollywood Hills as fast as he can.
This Netflix original explores the question: What do you do when you find out your favorite babysitter is actually in cahoots with the devil? Cole has to take on more than just staying up past his bedtime to save everyone he knows from his babysitter—and her clan's—evil scheming.
Even seven years after her husband dies taking her to the hospital to deliver their baby, Amelia still can't get over the tragedy. When her son Sam says he's having nightmares about monsters, she writes them off as child's play until a mysterious book arrives that makes her think there really is a demon after them both.
You never know when your past will come back to haunt you. When Simon (Justin Bateman) relocates to Los Angeles with his wife, a "chance" encounter leads the couple to run into an old classmate of Simon's called Gordo. Gordo keeps giving the couple gifts, leaving Simon uneasy. When it comes out that Simon used to bully Gordo, his wife doesn't know whose side to take and who she should believe is telling the truth.
An American nanny named Greta ventures out to the British countryside only to discover that she's been hired to take care of a life-sized male doll (the couple lost their real son 20 years earlier). But as time goes on and the parents treat the doll more and more like he's real, Greta starts to think that maybe this doll is, in fact, alive—and out to get her.
This film is (very) loosely based on the 1978 thriller featuring savage fish wreaking havoc on a group of spring breakers. When an earthquake causes piranhas to infest the waters, a group must work together to survive—and the characters poke fun at each other with some hilarious jokes along the way.
Chloë Grace Moretz plays a young vampire who befriends Owen, a 12-year-old boy who is bullied at school. She advises him to stand up for himself, but Owen doesn't know whether to follow her advice—or fear her—when he finds out who she really is.
What's supposed to be a romantic getaway turns into a disturbing mystery as Paul tries to figure out why his wife Bea is acting so strangely like "sleepwalking" naked in the woods late at night. The truth is that something is turning Bea evil and she wants to protect Paul at all costs, but she's not thinking clearly.
This classic '80s film based on a Stephen King short story is a Halloween favorite, but you don't need to wait until October to tune in. The plot revolves around a group of children who, following the orders of an evil being, kill the adults in town to make sure that the corn harvest is bountiful.
If you're looking for a nail-biter of a flick featuring flesh-eating monsters, then this movie that showed at the Venice Film Festival is for you. Watch as a group of women go on what's supposed to be a relaxing spelunking trip in North Carolina only to find out they're being hunted and it's up to them to escape from uncharted territory.
Kate Bosworth and Jacob Tremblay of Room star in this Netflix original about a couple who adopts an orphan (Tremblay) who is terrified of falling asleep. What the parents don't realize at first is that their adopted son's night terrors come true as he's dreaming them—and they're going to have to do some digging to make them stop.
This movie weaves a real horror in the form of the Iran-Iraq War with a supernatural force that makes its way into Shideh's apartment once her husband is drafted in the army. Alone, Shideh must protect her daughter from what she believes is djinn—evil Middle Eastern spirits that can move along with the wind—as she begins to act more and more peculiar. It takes a while for the scary to truly come out, which we happen to appreciate.
This best horror movie on Netflix is worth having to read the subtitles. Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia weaves together a tale of suspense and comic relief as a group of people are stuck inside a Madrid bar after a man is shot dead outside.
Siblings unite to take down a mysterious force that they believe turned their father insane and made him kill their mother. But since they believe the spirit is trapped inside a family mirror, it takes some reflecting (or possession?) to get to the truth.
When James and Charlie (played by the lovable Antonia Thomas from Lovesick) unexpectedly conceive and give birth to a daughter, creepy things start to happen. James leans on his father, a self-proclaimed expert in the occult, who explains that his granddaughter is a beacon, a person who is like a magnet to the supernatural.
In 1922, a man kills his wife with the help of his son in order to take over her inherited land in this movie based on a Stephen King novella. But when disturbing things begin happening on the land, he realizes that everything comes with a price. (Don't watch this one alone).
And now, a throwback flick for good measure. When Cole, played by Haley Joel Osment, starts seeing ghosts, he confides in his therapist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). As the pair try to find a way to make these otherworldly experiences less scary for Cole, there’s plenty of twists and turns along the way.
If you want to continue getting your scary on, check out these picks for best horror novels.