There’s nothing like a good horror movie to make you feel alive (and to make you worry that you won’t be for much longer). Good horror comes in all types: sneaky and suspenseful, eerie and upsetting, grisly and gross, loud and surprising, campy and goofy. There’s a bit of all of those types of great horror on Netflix, which boasts a catalog that includes everything from The Shining to Zombeavers, the latter of which did not make our list (sorry, Zombeavers fans, I’m sure the film has plenty of redeeming qualities). This is our list of the best horror movies on Netflix.
The Best Horror Movies on Netflix
John Landis’ cult classic An American Werewolf in London is about exactly what the title suggests: a young American, backpacking around London, who becomes a werewolf. It’s a weird, funny, and frightening movie that has more than earned its status as a cult classic.
This Aussie horror film has gained international acclaim and is also at the center of one of my favorite memes. The monster in The Babadook springs from a disturbing children’s book — and, as the rhyme in the book says, “you can’t get rid of a Babadook.” You may also know The Babadook from the internet meme claiming that the Babadook is a gay icon — which doesn’t have anything to do with what this movie is about, but is pretty funny nonetheless.
There have been about 800 Children of the Corn movies at this point, but this original one still holds up pretty well. This is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, and it’s chock full of creepy kids. There are no adults in the town run by the kids in Children of the Corn, and it quickly becomes clear that the kids have been offing everyone older than their teens. As you might imagine, that’s bad news for the couple whose car has just broken down there.
There are smart horror movies and there are dumb ones. Deep Blue Sea is so, so, so dumb. Here is what Deep Blue Sea is about: it’s about scientists who create super-smart mega-sharks. As in, like, giant murderous genius sharks. And then — you’ll never believe this — the sharks get loose in the lab and flood it, which is a problem, because the scientists put this lab in the ocean, so there’s not really anywhere to go. Anyway, this movie is as wonderful as it sounds. Samuel L. Jackson is in it. Watch it! You’ll love it.
It Follows is built on a brilliant concept that doesn’t fare well in explanation. It Follows is about a deadly shape-shifting spirit that follows a person until that person sleeps with someone else — and then it switches to the new person. If it gets you, it works its way backwards down the chain of sexual history. Yes, It Follows is basically about a ghost that is also an STD — but, as silly as that sounds, the concept works brilliantly on the screen.
At the time of this writing, there are three shark movies on our horror movie list (our list changes every month, so our shark quotient waxes and wanes as well). Netflix keeps getting rid of regular horror movies and adding shark ones. I’m not sure why.
Anyway, most of the shark movies on this list are really campy and bad, but Jaws is extremely not. Jaws is the only shark movie that matters, and it is amazing and terrifying and well worth watching. Netflix also has Jaws 2, Jaws 3, and Jaws: The Revenge in its catalog as of this writing, but if you’re at that point, maybe just watch Deep Blue Sea.
Looking for the campiest horror flick on Netflix? You’ve found it. Sharknado is self-aware but pretends not to be, and it fills its run-time with a nonsensical premise (Sharks! In a tornado!), terrible acting, and gratuitous gore. Sharknado was a made-for-TV movie, and that made-for-TV budget is on full display as we watch a bunch of people we’ve never heard of and, for some reason, Tara Reid do battle with fake-looking sharks that are flying through the air. If you can’t get enough of this, check out Sharknado 2: The Second One, which is also on Netflix and has pretty much the exact same plot except for being set in New York City instead of Los Angeles. There are also two further installments, but I can’t vouch for those, because I have never seen them and probably never, ever will.