The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now

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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. Oh and there's a bloodthirsty alien behind you.

You might also like: The 8 scariest shows on Netflix 

But if you enjoy the odd nightmare then take note because here are the 25 scariest films available to watch on Netflix this Halloween.

(Images: All Star, Rex Features)

  • The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now

    Silent Night, Deadly Night

    If you thought Billy Bob Thornton was the baddest Santa of them all, think again. This not-so-festive slasher about a murderous Santa Claus makes Billy Bob’s profanity and drinking look positively toy town. It follows the story of a young boy who, after witnessing the murder of his parents by a Santa costume-clad criminal, grows up to be psychotically deranged (as you would) and punishes naughty people by, erm, killing them. Anyway, Merry Christmas.

    Watch it here

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    What is it with creepy kids and cinema? We’re never not freaked out every time a bowl-haired youngster finds themselves possessed by wrongdoing spirits. Hollywood just gets it. And they’ve certainly not let up for this riveting horror, which sees a couple fight supernatural forces when their son enters a comatose state, finding himself becoming the host for ghosts from an astral dimension. Whatever you do, don’t watch it alone.

    Watch it here

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Return of the Living Dead

    A sequel to Night of the Living Dead of sorts - an alternative sequel to George R. Romero's Dawn of the Dead if you like - 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

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    The Woman In Black

    Based on Susan Hill’s chilling novel, this sees widowed solicitor Arthur Kipps (played by Harry Potter… alright, Daniel Radcliffe) journey to the coastal town of Crythin Gifford to sort a dead client’s affairs. As expected, the town is home to a ghostly woman (in black, no less) whose very appearance means certain death for some poor kiddie wink. There’s relentless tension as Radders wanders an empty, obviously haunted house, followed by strange noises and inanimate objects moving on their own. Seriously spooky stuff.

    Watch it here

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    Green Room

    An intense, harrowing watch that’s likely to leave even the toughest of horror fans a jibbering bag of nerves. Anton Yelchin fronts a punk band who play a remote skinhead club, only to witness a murder and then find themselves trapped backstage by an evil Nazi version of Captain Picard (played by Patrick Stewart himself) and his gang of ultra-scary thugs. There’s tightly wrought tension and gut-wrenching violence as they try to make their escape – a masterclass in brilliant-but-almost-unbearable real-world horror.

    Watch it here 

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    The Human Centipede

    Forget the ridiculous, self-parodying sequels, the original Human Centipede is a skin-crawling masterstroke – a genuinely unsettling piece of 12-legged nastiness. With its central body horror premise – a mad doctor sews three people bumhole-to-mouth – the film’s notoriety is well earned, and the science experiment gone wrong (or right, depending on your point of view) is hard to un-see. 

    Watch it here

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    Child's Play

    Long before killer doll Chucky turned to comedy sequels, he was part of the slasher elite – a pint-sized peer of Freddy, Jason, and the other knife-wielding movie maniacs. The story follows six-year-old Andy (Alex Vincent), whose new doll happens to be possessed by a demented serial killer. It’s genuinely creepy when Chucky starts to move, not to mention some excellent scream-out-loud kills. Who doesn’t love a hammer to the face?

    Watch it here

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    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

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    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

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    A monster invasion has rarely been as much fun as this Irish creature feature. This sees a small island infested with man-eating tentacle-like aliens. But there’s a catch – the monsters can’t digest high levels of alcohol, which means everyone has to get as pissed as possible to avoid being eaten. Racks up as many laughs as it does jump scares and chompy deaths. 

    Watch it here

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    Let The Right One In

    A horror film that’s as beautiful as it unsettling. It follows the blossoming relationship between bullied schoolboy Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) and vampire Eli (Lina Leandersson), who moves next-door. The film’s chilling masterstroke is in what’s left unexplained – who is Eli, where does she come from, what’s the relationship with the “father” (all scaled back from the graphic details of the book). It also reworks the blood-sucker myth, making it arguably the most important vampire film of the last 10 years.

    Watch it here

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    Paranormal Activity

    Of all the found footage movies to trade off the ol’ Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity does it best. As the camera watches for some kind of, erm, paranormal activity, you’re drawn into every inch of the shot – just waiting for something scary to happen. This original instalment has none of the silliness from the sequels and moments of pure supernatural terror. You’ll sleep with lights on and camera well and truly off.

    Watch it here

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    You're Next

    Do you like scary men with baseball bats in creepy masks? Do you like badass female heroines turning the tables on said bad guys? Do you like things written in blood on walls? Do you like shocking violence and loud noises? If it’s a yes to any/all of them, then you will also like You’re Next. It’s a breakneck home-invasion horror thriller from the guys behind V/H/S and Blair Witch, and it is entirely worth your time. Do not mess with Sharni Vinson, is the lesson we all need to learn here.

    Watch it here

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    The Hallow

    I don’t know about you, but I am instantly drawn to gross movies about weird things happening to people’s bodies. Tentacles and spikes and all that kind of lark, coming out of mouths and bursting through skin – it’s my jazz, yo. And not to spoil anything here, but that happens at numerous points in this film, which starts innocently enough – a young couple move to a new woodland home – before descending into utter madness. Its English director impressed the horror scene so much that he’s been hired for the next Conjuring spin-off: The Nun.

    Watch it here

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    The Green Inferno

    You know Eli Roth: he likes to make disgusting movies like Hostel and Cabin Fever – he loves a gore gag, does Eli. But this film, which follows a bunch of activists who get captured by a murderous cannibal tribe, probably contains his most upsetting scenes. And if you’ve seen any of his other movies, you’ll know that’s certainly saying something. Once the shit hits the jungle fan in this one, people are picked off in extremely unpleasant ways – this is seriously only for those with a strong stomach. I still can’t even work out if I enjoyed it or not, it’s that horrible.

    I think I did?

    Watch it here

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    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

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    The Descent

    This is just over ten years old, but it’s already firmly cemented itself as a horror classic, as pretty much anybody who has seen it will tell you. This taut, tense and frustratingly claustrophobic horror about a group of girls on a caving holiday, hunted by rank underground monsters, is a top quality fright flick. It’s from Neil Marshall, who directed the (whisper it: even better Dog Soldiers), and if you’ve not seen it yet, please rectify that immediately.

    Watch it here

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    Starry Eyes

    How far would you go to become famous? What price does your soul hold? These are the kinds of questions that Starry Eyes poses. A young, ambitious actress gets involved in some pretty unsavoury activities in her pursuit of success, and things go decidedly off the track. It’s altogether unpleasant, and at least one scene heavily involves maggots, if that’s your bag. In fact, talking of bags, make sure you’ve got a sick bag handy – it gets messy.

    Watch it here

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    It Follows

    How on earth would you not want to watch a film about a sexually-transmitted curse? Basically, in this one, you’re followed by an unstoppable, slow-walking demon-of-sorts (often taking the form of a naked old person) until it kills you. Unless you have sex with someone, then it follows them. Simple set-up, original idea, sublimely terrifying execution. This is unique in the best way.

    Watch it here

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    Bone Tomahawk

    Cowboy movies aren’t typically scary, Westerns don’t usually lend themselves to frights. And if you can’t imagine one that does, then pop this on and see what you’re missing. Ostensibly a standard Western for the majority of its running time (albeit a very good one), this peculiar film takes an unbelievably shocking turn in its finale. And if you’d been bemoaning the lack of horror up until then, just be sure you’ll be well and truly satiated come the end. This film contains perhaps the most disgusting death scene I’ve ever witnessed. It is foul with a capital fuuuuuuck.

    Watch it here

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    Blair Witch

    I, for one, don’t know why this film never really set the box office alight. It was a sequel to one of the most profitable movies ever made – a classic of horror cinema – and it was damn good, to boot. I, much like you, am tired of found-footage movies, but they pulled it out the bag with this one. It’s properly intense and I genuinely needed a lie down afterwards – it’s absolutely relentless. Definitely not one for a relaxing Sunday, is my tip.

    Watch it here