The franchises are coming to Netflix. Freddy and Jason arrived on April 1, along with the Texas Chainsaw reboot. Not every franchise movie is strong enough to merit a mention as one of the best horror films available, but horror fans will be glad to know that their choices on Netflix have expanded greatly this month. Plan a night or two in with the best horror movies on Netflix available now.
Freddy vs. Jason
Two horror classics in one film? Sign us up. This surprisingly scary crossover movie features a Freddy Krueger whose power has been broken. In order to bring fear back into the hearts of Springwood residents, he disguises himself as Jason Voorhees's mother and encourages Jason to start killing again. Soon, Jason, infuriated by being used, is sparring with Freddy–and if people in Springfield or on Elm Street become casualties, so be it.
Under the Shadow
One of our favorite foreign horror movies of the last few years, Under the Shadow takes place in 1980s Tehran, where a family’s home has been hit by a missile. Afterwards, mother Shideh and daughter Dorsa find themselves haunted by nightmares… nightmares that seem to be coming to life.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
The quintessential teen slasher has come to Netflix at last. 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer mashed together 80s style slasher, urban legend, and revenge tropes to create the beginning of a powerhouse franchise. Teen heartthrobs Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. star, as four teens decide to bury the evidence that they killed a pedestrian on their way home from a party. The evidence–and the dead–won’t stay buried for long...
There are quite a few movies that are infamous for scarring the children who watched them at far too young an age. Poltergeist is perhaps the most iconic of these. Somehow rated PG, the 1982 film follows a family that moves into a home only to realize that someone–or something–is already there. When there’s a pool filled with bones in your family film, it’s bound to be a long night.
This Netflix original hit the web in October of 2018, and it’s been quietly (and effectively) creeping us out ever since. If you liked the folk horror aspect of The Witch, but felt that there just wasn’t enough creepiness or action to justify the skin-crawling tone, Apostle is for you. Dan Stevens stars as a man who goes undercover into a cult to save his sister. There, he discovers an all-too-real mystical force that governs the island. And it all comes together in a horrifically bloody, explosive ending.
This rarely-mentioned gem combines a retro 80s-style slasher film with the pure freakiness of a killer clown. If you make it through without covering your eyes once, you may have nerves of steel.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Set in Victorian London, a barber is falsely convicted and exiled by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who is infatuated with the barber’s wife. Fifteen years later, the barber returns to London—taking on the alias Sweeney Todd—and vows revenge for the cruel punishment and the treatment of his wife and daughter. Todd sets up his business again but his rage has him slitting throats instead of hair. Meanwhile, his landlady and accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, is cutting up the bodies and cooking them into succulent meat pies. Considered the bloodiest musical in stage history, Sweeney Todd the movie has plenty to offer.
This Netflix original was a pleasant surprise upon its 2017 release. No one expected much from a movie by McG that starred Bella Thorne and couldn’t get a theater release. But The Babysitter gives horror lovers far more than they may have bargained for. Following in the footsteps of teen horror from the 80s, you’ll find a few good scares and some great performances in this tight 80-minute flick.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Alright, so the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th didn't add much beyond what we already knew about the slasher franchise. But despite its lack of originality, this reboot has style and scares. If watching characters be dispatched with gleeful gore is your thing, it will definitely satisfy.
Considering the many beloved tropes found in The Lodgers, it’s a bit baffling that it slid so thoroughly under the radar. Ghost! Creepy twins! Family grudges! You’ll find it all in The Lodgers, along with some truly shocking scares.
If you're someone who cannot find the merits of Kubrick’s take on The Shining, preferring the smaller, more character-focused version of Jack Torrance slipping into insanity found in King’s original novel, you’ll like1922. This movie, based on a King novella, follows Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) as he loses his grip on reality after killing his wife to ensure that his land stays in his hands.
Although this movie is primarily remembered for its unusual male rape scene, Deliverance is a deeply terrifying film far beyond a single (brutal) rape. When Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds go on a canoeing trip, the rapids aren't the only thing their group will have to contend with. Four men are separated by the tides, then found by vicious locals. The quartet must fight their way out while navigating a swollen river to get back home.
Pro tip: Never go camping. Just don’t do it. Based (loosely) on a true story, Backcountry follows a young couple on a camping trip together. When they reach their destination, Alex plans on proposing to his girlfriend, Jenn. Instead, they encounter a bear who is quite hungry, and not too discerning about what type of animal–or human–will satisfy its appetite.
The Eyes of My Mother
Don’t be put off by the foreign language or the black-and-white film–The Eyes of My Mother is not just another art film masquerading as horror. It’s truly terrifying. Young Francisca is taught by her mother to remove eyeballs from their farm animals. Soon, she’s putting her talents to far more nefarious uses.
47 Metres Down
If you love a good (or bad) shark movie, Netflix has you covered. 47 Metres Down stars Mandy Moore as a goody-two-shoes encouraged to be more adventurous by her badass younger sister. But when said younger sister convinces her to go shark watching on a rather questionable boat, the situation gets hairy fast.
Train to Busan
This South Korean flick has quickly catapulted itself to the highest echelons of modern horror. As our main characters take a train to Busan, a zombie apocalypse breaks out. To keep themselves safe, Seok-woo and his daughter Su-an must fight their way through the zombies to the first class car, where passengers remain hidden and safe.
The first of a now-omnipresent franchise, The Conjuring takes its inspiration from the haunting of the Perron family as investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid The Conjuring movies until now, there’s no time like the present to dip your toe into the terrifying waters.
A strange infection is spreading through the South Korean village of Gokseong, and it’s just infected Sergeant Jong-goo’s daughter. Soon, the village and Jong-goo suspect a mysterious newcomer of bringing the infection, which causes violent outbreaks and death. The Wailing is a stranger, atmospheric cult horror film that no fan of the genre should miss.
We at The Lineup could write thousands of words about why Final Destination is perhaps the single greatest teen horror franchise, but we’ll settle for cajoling you to watch the movie. The first three entries are now available on Netflix–if you can make it through the teacher’s death without covering your eyes, you are tougher than us.
Based on Adam Nevill’s chiller of a novel, The Ritual follows five old university friends as they plan a hike in Sweden. After one of the friends gets murdered while they’re planning, the remaining four vow to undertake the journey in his memory. The group find themselves tortured by nightmares–both real and imagined–as they venture through a stark Scandinavian landscape.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Quentin Tarantino’s first screenplay became a movie that boasts a rather strange mixture of vampires, crime, thriller, and terror. But somehow, it all works. The pulpy cult-classic stars George Clooney in his breakout movie role (filmed in the midst of his ER run), along with Tarantino himself as brothers and bank robbers who get caught up in a vampire strip club. Yep, it’s a weird one, but well worth the watch for any Tarantino fans.
The intense power of Mike Flanagan’s Hush lies in its unexpected premise: Our heroine is deaf and mute. When a killer realizes that his prey is unable to hear him coming, he thinks he has a grand old time ahead of him. Luckily, Maddie is even tougher than she appears.
Is Ghost Ship really one of the best horror movies made? No. But there is much to be said for its silliness–and its terrifying opening scene. The ghosts of Ghost Ship may not haunt you evermore, but it is a memorable viewing experience.
Before I Wake
If Room taught us anything, it's that Jacob Tremblay has a gift for the blank-faced yet utterly terrified child roles. Mike Flanagan puts that skill to use in Before I Wake. A couple adopts a boy who has bounced around in foster homes after losing their first son in a tragic accident. They soon discover that the reason he couldn’t stay in one home is more terrifying than they could have imagined.
When Netflix announced their upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, we were hesitant. After all, most of the “action” of the book takes place with its heroine handcuffed to a bed. But once again, Mike Flanagan of Hush fame puts his expertise to terrifyingly good use, delivering a claustrophobic flick that manages to measure up to the King novel.
Related: The 6 Scariest Stephen King Books
The Sixth Sense
M. Night Shyamalan may have a less than stellar reputation thanks to more recent films, but The Sixth Sense stands the test of time. Thanks to Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, and Bruce Willis, this thoroughly unsettling movie about a kid who sees dead people will still freak you out.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
This under-the-radar flick stars Amber Heard as an unpopular high school student who hits puberty and returns to school looking like, well, Amber Heard. Suddenly, the boys in her class are showing all kinds of interest in her. The grindhouse-inspired movie has more twists and turns than you could possibly see coming.
Look, there are a lot of dinner party/cult horror movies out there. But The Invitation is one of the best. Director Karyn Kusama expertly builds tension throughout an evening of uncomfortable appetizers and presentations.
Starting as a Kickstarter pipe dream, The Void became a gory, Lovecraftian, 80s-inspired reality in 2016. Think of it as Stranger Things steeped in cosmic dread and slithering out from a mouth of madness, and you’ll have a good idea of what the movie’s like–and whether or not you’ll like it, too.
Sir Patrick Stewart plays aggressively against type as a neo-Nazi skinhead in this escape-the-room thriller. When a punk band accidentally plays a neo-Nazi bar outside of Portland, the bassist (Anton Yelchin) stumbles across a body hidden in the green room. Now that they’re a liability, the skinheads want the band dead too. The four must fight their way out, whatever it takes.
This Spanish, indie horror elevates a common premise. When a group of strangers are trapped inside a bar by an unexplained and unanticipated attack, they must work together to escape–or die trying.
Featured still of 'Terrifier' via Dark Age Cinema