Films

The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now

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The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now 50

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The film-watching world can easily be split into two sections: those who enjoy scary movies and those who avoid them at all costs. If you fall into the latter group then you should probably stop reading (also, enjoy the creche). But if you enjoy the odd nightmare then take note, because here are the 25 scariest films available to watch on Netflix (also, enjoy the haunted creche):

From Dusk Till Dawn

That neck tattoo. That dance scene. That dodgy haircut on Tarantino. This swear-heavy, sex-smattered vampire gorefest turns 20 this year (yep, it makes us feel old too), but even two decades on it still has us gripped to the screen as much as the first time we saw it. We kinda don’t want Clooney’s tribal neck tattoo as much as we did back then, though. 

Watch it here

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

If you’re going to make a film about an exorcism, you’ve got a pretty high benchmark to reach for in the shape of, y’know, the greatest horror film of all time, The Exorcist. We’re not saying this is up there with it, but flippin’ heck it gives us the willies. The fact that this tale is based (albeit loosely) on a true story of a 19-year-old freshman just ramps up the creepiness.

Watch it here

The Amityville Horror

Don’t be so quick to jump on the ‘oh it’s only a remake’ bandwagon. Sure, the ‘79 original starring screen queen Margot Kidder can still reduce us to nervous wrecks (and carried the coolest horror poster quote of “For God’s Sake, Get Out!”), but this 2005 retelling of the true story of a demon-riddled house with a murderous history is a killer remake, especially Ryan Reynolds’ decent into darkness.

Watch it here

Hush

In terms of horror, you really can’t go wrong with a masked man breaking into the house and terrorizing the shit out of you. This highly-tense update on the old premise – which sees a deaf author put through the mill by a mask-wearing lunatic – owes a great deal to stalker classics such as Halloween and even Scream, but brings plenty of its own to the blood-splattered table.

Watch it here

Return of the Living Dead

A sequel to Night of the Living Dead of sorts - this was originally based on the novel by Night screenwriter John Russo before mutating into a riotous, blackly comic shocker. The story follows two warehouse workers who accidentally unleash a toxic gas that brings the dead back to life. Aside from its self-aware jokes and rampant nudity, it’s best known for introducing talking, fast-paced zombies with a taste for brains. A genuine cult classic.

Watch it here

Apostle

Gareth Evans makes very good action movies like The Raid and The Raid 2 (also, check out Merantau - it’s brilliant), but once, he made a very good horror movie, or at least a segment of one - the Safe Haven section of horror anthology V/H/S/2. Well now he’s made a feature-length one, and he’s taken Dan Evans along for the ride. Apostle follows a bloke who goes off to rescue his sister from a dangerous cult, and then of course, various disgusting objects hit the fan in increasingly gory ways. A good old-fashion 18-rated horror from one of the best directors in the biz. Best avoided if you don’t like drills. Or skulls. Particularly a combination of the two.

Watch it here

30 Days Of Night

Based on Steve Niles’ popular book, this one’s about an Alaskan town overrun by thirsty vampires – particularly bad news considering the town is experiencing a winter period when there’s no sunlight for a whole month. It’s as much of a siege movie as vampire flick, with the townspeople trapped by the bloodsucking brood – leading to a high octane gore-fest as town sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) and estranged wife Stella (Melissa George) try to save the day (of night).

Watch it here

The Invitation

Searing tension is on the menu for this dinner party from hell story. As soon as Will (Logan Marshall-Green) arrives at his ex’s house for a reunion meal with old friends, you just know something’s not quite right. Cue his ex’s smarmy git new boyfriend (Michiel Huisman – Game of Thrones’ Daario Naharis), a card-carrying member of a weird cult who might not be as friendly as they seem. One watch of this will give you a lifetime’s excuse for getting out of pretentious dinner engagements.

Watch it here

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Morgues are an absolute no-go area, thank you very much - the only possible reason to ever be inside one is if you’re literally dead. As such, a whole film set in a morgue isn’t going to be an easy ride, particularly when proper weird, scary stuff starts going down, big time. The film stars Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch as a father and son duo of coroners who have to examine the mysterious body of a Jane Doe, before the weirdness absolutely ramps up and you turn all the lights on, switch the telly off and put some Only Fools and Horses on to help you calm down. 

Watch it here

From Beyond

Here’s an 80s cult-classic from Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), about a meddling doctor who gets sucked into another dimension (how annoying) and returns as a gloopy, vile monster intent on killing everyone (also annoying). It’s an extremely OTT mish-mash of ideas – something to do with enlarged pituitary glands or something – but it somehow works, which is probably down to the ridiculous effects work. You won’t really have seen anything this weird on screen before…

Watch it here

The Boy

Films about dolls, eh? Done to death, innit. Yes, agreed, but still scary. So no matter that this one isn’t exactly original, because it’s still scary. This is mainly down to a fantastic doll design (and a fantastic doll name - Brahms) and a game cast, as well as a slightly different direction to the usual killer doll flick. He’s certainly no Chucky, but old Brahms will definitely scratch that scary doll itch you’re currently experiencing. Horrible, isn’t it? Right on the back of your neck and everything.

Watch it here

Don’t Breathe

This film is properly GREAT, by the absolute way. It’s about a gang of robbers who try to rob an old blind man’s house (they’re not exactly stand-up citizens, it must be said) but oh, guess what suckers, this blind man is hiding a BIG secret and they quickly grow to regret their decision. Regret it with their lives, whatever that means. Anyway, it’s from the same director as the Evil Dead remake, so you know you’re in for a bit of a fraught and frightful fracas (frucking hell, try saying that after a glass of framboise). 

It just does everything completely right, this film - it’ll have that sexy butt of your scooting right to the edge of whatever solid object you choose to sit on.

Watch it here

Misery

Easily one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made, and one of the only horror films to win an Oscar (Kathy Bates won Best Actress), this is essential viewing for horror fans, Stephen King fans, snow fans and fans of watching people get their ankles belted into ungodly ankles by a mallet. Bates plays a superfan who saves her favourite author from a car crash and nurses him back to health, whilst also - obviously - holding him captive in her home. And then doing that thing to his ankles that we mentioned just before. This is classic, flawless stuff.

Watch it here

The Belko Experiment

Now, this one isn’t scary in the traditional sense, but its central premise is, once you start thinking about it. Essentially: what would you do if you had to kill one of your co-workers? What about two? This is what happens here - a huge office building is put on lock-down and the employees are instructed to end each other; to murder thirty employees, otherwise 60 will die. Like, start thinking about a scenario like that and it gets altogether rather uncomfortable. It’s like the adult version of the first time you watched Battle Royale - not, very, nice!

Watch it here

Calibre

Is this one really a horror film? Perhaps not, but if we’re talking scary, then hooooo is this one that. It follows two blokes on a hunting trip up in Scotland that goes drastically wrong, and they go to increasingly fraught lengths to hide it. If you’re looking for unfeasible amounts of tension - like, it’s probably not even fun watching this movie, it’s that heavy - then this film will deliver it to your maw in spades. At no point are you permitted to relax during this one, and even once the credits roll it’s difficult to return your breathing to normal. SOUND LIKE FUN? OFF YOU GO THEN!

Watch it here

Veronica

Don’t play with a Ouija board, mate, just don’t bother ever playing with one. There are enough films out there that explicitly put forward the message that “having a quick go, oh please, go on” on a ouija board, is a bad idea (watch Witchboard, Ouija, Long Time Dead, etc, for evidence). 

Or you could watch Veronica, a Spanish horror flick that’s supposedly based on the true story of a young girl who explicitly ignored our advice and went messing about with a ouija board, causing quite the problem for her and her family. Numerous people have dubbed this “the scariest film ever”, so load it up and see for yourself. Then, like the girl in the film, again fail to listen to any warning we may have given you, and go and use a ouija board. Hope you like ghosts, idiot!

Watch it here

The Collector

The trailer above is not that good - we considered just putting a poster there instead to stop you watching it - but the film is. What you’re getting here is a classic these-guys-robbed-the-wrong-house movie (Don’t Breathe/The Neighbour/The People Under The Stairs/Intruders), and in this case the person getting robbed is obviously a fan of the Saw movies (director Marcus Dunstan wrote four of them, after all) and has rigged his house with traps. It’s seriously tense, but it’s also a gory laugh, so it’ll cater for most of the horror crowd. There’s a sequel, too - The Collection - which aside from having a hilarious and ridiculously blood-soaked opening ten minutes, is not as good. Shame.

Watch it here

Annihilation 

On the whole, this Netflix original was not marketed as a scary film, but there is absolutely no denying how utterly terrifying many parts of it are - like, Jesus, that goddamn bear. There’s not been such an edge-of-your-seat-arse-basically-on-the-floor scene like that this year - it’s a pant-wetter, make no mistake. What makes the film so scary is it’s ostensibly a sci-fi - in many instances a beautiful, relaxing one - and then suddenly something horrendous will happen, and it’s brown-trouser time. God we hate that bear.

Watch it here

Mama

It’s the guy who directed the IT remake, but it’s even scarier than that, which is good, isn’t it? No clown this time, but an angry ghost mum who hides in the shadows and takes turns floating about the place or crawling along the floor like a giant spider - she’ll put the shites up ya, basically. She also likes to kidnap children - a bad, scary egg, is Mama. Just watch her do this and try not to drop a deuce.

Watch it here

Wake Wood

Imagine Pet Semetary, but set in the UK and with a daughter, instead of a son - that’s sort of what Wake Wood is. It’s got a distinctly British, grounded feel - it was the first Hammer Horror film released theatrically in 30 years - and it’s not an easy watch in any way, regardless of the slightly ludicrous subject matter. Girl dies, mum sees weird cult ritual bringing person back from dead, decides to try it on daughter, things go fucking wrong.

Watch it here

Carrie

It’s probably best you ignore the remake of this (the second remake, sheesh) (or third, if you count the sequel, which is basically a remake) and stick with the original and best. Peculiar teenager Carrie can move things with her mind, and if you chuck a bunch of pig’s blood on her head, then she’s going to move something sharp right into your guts, mate. A classic supernatural adaptation - one of King’s best - that demands to be seen by any horror fan.

Watch it here

Wind Chill

Nobody has seen this, for some reason. Have you seen this? Have you heard of it? No, you haven’t, because nobody has - until now. It’s well worth a watch if you’re looking for a quick, simple, scary, 90 minute horror flick to pass the time, so let’s change this little-seen movie into one that is resolutely a-bit-seen.

Two college students (one a pre-megastardom Emily Blunt) share a ride home for the holidays, their car crashes in the snow, and yep, you guessed it: horrendous spooky bad things happen. Creepy stuff.

Watch it here

Kill Command

Remember how scary Dog Soldiers was? Remember how just absolutely great in every possible way it was? Well, what would you say if we suggested you watch a film that is essentially Dog Soldiers, but with robots? You would say “Yes, I would like to watch this film, I would like to watch it very much” - and then we would point you in the direction of Kill Command. It’s another underrated, unknown gem, and it’s just waiting there on Netflix to be discovered. So discover it, and then never trust any sort of artificial intelligence ever again.

Watch it here

Under The Shadow

How many Persian-language films have you seen? Not too many, most likely - their film industry isn’t as internationally known as China’s or France’s, say - but how about you sort that aching gap in your life, right out? Fill it with Under The Shadow, a supremely spooky (and in one particular case, AH GOD NO wake-all-your-flatmates-up-at-midnight-by-screaming, terrifying) domestic drama set in 1980s war-torn Tehran. You know in so many ghost movies when you finally see the monster, and it’s just some arsey nun in facepaint? This is not that, and that’s why it’s so scary.

Watch it here

Freddy Vs. Jason

Look, this isn’t scary in the slightest but it’s ABSOLUTELY GREAT IN EVERY OTHER POSSIBLE WAY.

Watch it here

(Image: Rex Features)

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