Films

The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now

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The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now 45

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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

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

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 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. We still can’t even work out if we enjoyed it or not, it’s that horrible.

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 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 disgustingly 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

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-type-thing (often taking the form of a naked old person, natch) 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

Blair Witch

We 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. Found-footage movies may have become tiresome, but they pulled it out the bag with this one - it’s properly intense and you’ll genuinely need a lie down afterwards, it’s absolutely relentless. Definitely not one for a relaxing Sunday, is our tip.

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

The VVitch (or The Witch, however you bloody spell it)

If you’ve ever uttered the cliché, “Oh I’d love to go back in time and see what it was like!” then watch this film and shut your big, smarmy face. The past was terrifying! This visually stunning horror about a Puritan family living on an isolated farm in 1600s New England, isn’t frightening in your classic, jumpy, axe-wielding-spiders-in-your-face sort of way, instead it builds a claustrophobic, oppressive atmosphere – a lot like that other fantastic female-led film The Babadook. And if that’s not enough for you, then at least there’s a talking goat. Not ever really worth it without a talking goat, is there?

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)