1. It Follows/The Babadook
Alright, you probably already watched these because they’re everyone’s go to recommendation for Netflix horror films. That said, this list would feel incomplete without them. If for some reason you haven’t seen them yet, you should do so immediately. Though very different, both films represent a revolution in the horror genre. They’re beautiful, meaningful, and, above all else, terrifying. If this is a sign of what’s to come, I’m probably going to have to completely rewrite this list in the years to come.
2. The Void
Some of the fun of a supernatural horror is that it has the potential to go balls to the wall crazy, and few films have their balls pressed so firmly to the wall as The Void. The plot is ostensibly about a couple of people trapped in a hospital, but believe me it’s SO much crazier than that sounds. This 2016 Canadian film packs mystery, monsters and some of the creepiest cult members you’ve ever seen into the span of 90 minutes. Though all those disparate elements don’t come together in the most satisfying of ways, The Void is still a wonderfully bizarre sight to behold, and an entertaining way to spend a night in.
Yes, I know this is a children’s movie, but here’s the thing: Shut the fuck up. If you’re willing keep an open mind, Coraline has everything you’d want when you’re in the mood for a horror film. There are thrills, chills, and some of the most genuinely disturbing imagery that cinema has ever produced. Give it a chance and Coraline will both bring out your inner child and make said inner child shit their tiny little pants.
If you’ve never heard of Hush, it’s likely because it never got a theatrical release. How that is possible still eludes me because this movie is better than about 99% of horror movies out there. Though the premise is simple (Deaf author gets home invaded) Hush makes the most of it, cultivating a claustrophobic atmosphere and putting new spins on some well worn staples of the genre. Hush is far from revolutionary, but damn if it isn’t fun. Or, at least, ya know….as much fun as watching a deaf woman get tortured can be.
Found footage films get a lot of shit, but when they work they work. Creep is one of the few examples of the subgenre where you don’t often wonder why they haven’t put the camera down and for that alone it earns its place on this list. Beyond that though, it’s simply, as its title suggests, creepy. It tells the story of a videographer who takes a job off of Craigslist, only to end up alone in a house with a psychopath…or is he? Thanks to some fun performances and a chilling final scene, Creep is probably gonna stick with you long after you finish and Netflix starts autoplaying episodes of 30 Rock.
6. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
New Nightmare is beyond meta, telling the story of what happens when Freddy Krueger breaks into the “real” world and starts terrorizing the stars of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality, it uses Freddy to his fullest potential, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that truly feels like a nightmare come to life.
7. The House That October Built
Horror movies have gotten so good in recent memory that it sometimes feels like you’re getting totally screwed if you’re not watching a something revolutionary. That said, sometimes you just want something spooky that you haven’t seen before and The House That October Built will certainly scratch that itch. Following a film crew as they uncover a dark underbelly to the haunted house industry, The House That October Built is the kinda movie you forget about 10 minutes after credits, but not the sort of movie you regret having spent 90 minutes of your life on. If you’re looking to just click play and conk out for a bit, this is the spook-em-up for you.
You probably remember being terrified by Gremlins as a kid, and there’s a good reason for that: It’s fucking terrifying. If you’re looking to take a stroll down memory lane, flip on this Joe Dante classic. It’s still just as spooky and hilarious as you remember, though you might be shocked by just how dark it is. Despite my many, MANY, letters, Netflix has yet to put of the far superior sequel, but until they do, this should be more than enough to tide you over. (Please use the comments to discuss how good Gremlins 2 is. Thank you.)
9. The Silenced
If you’re willing to put up with some subtitles (or speak Korean) you’ll probably enjoy The Silenced. This undiscovered gem tells the story of a girl sent to a school in the countryside, only to discover some nefarious shit going on. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that the the movie slowly reveals more and more crazy shit, without ever feeling like it’s gone off the rails.
10. The Invitation
Some movies, the less you know the better. The Invitation is the definition of one of those movies. Since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, I’ll just say that it tells the story of the dinner party from hell. Other than that, all I have to say is that you should go watch it. It’s on Netflix so you have no excuses.