Halloween: it’s the time of year when everybody gets to embrace their spooky side, whether it’s taking the kids around town trick-or-treating, or dressing up as ‘sexy Beetlejuice’ for a boozy Halloween party.
But for those who prefer to get their thrills behind closed doors, Halloween is the time to grab the popcorn and take in some bone-chilling movies – all from the comfort of the sofa.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the best horror films currently streaming on Netflix, including modern classics, black comedies and some that are just downright terrifying.
You have been warned…
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Contemporary horror giants Blumhouse produced this blood-curdling Netflix indie, in which John Gallagher Jr (The Newsroom) plays a masked murderer who torments a young deaf and mute woman (Kate Siegel, best known for her role in The Haunting of Hill House). Stephen King is among the many voices to lavish praise on the film.
In a chilling post-apocalyptic future, Paul (Joel Edgerton) and his family live alone, under constant fear of infection. When they reluctantly welcome another desperate family into their home, paranoia starts to take hold, in this undead indie horror.
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror is often reduced to a couple of iconic scenes – the perfectly-edited shower sequence, the horrifying ending – but the whole film endures as a tense, psychologically twisted masterpiece. Anthony Perkins stars as Norman Bates, the unsettling motel owner who loves his mother a little too much.
In this acclaimed 156-minute-long horror, a Japanese stranger seems to bring unspeakable evil to a remote South Korean village. With his daughter in peril, a bumbling police detective frantically tries to solve the mystery, which combines exorcism, shamanic magic and zombies.
In 2019, the idea of a ‘toxic fandom’ is a pretty widely understood concept. But rarely has a fan been as chillingly obsessive as Kathy Bates’ mallet-wielding Annie Wilkes, who plays nurse to Paul Sheldon (James Caan), in this famous 1990 Stephen King adaptation.
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is an unambitious everyman who barricades himself in a pub to escape from zombie hoards in this inventive, genre-literate horror comedy that doesn’t scrimp on the gore. Edgar Wright’s offbeat ode to George A Romero is considered by many to be a modern British classic.
A blood-splattered action-horror written by Quentin Tarantino, From Dusk Till Dawn woozily mixes genres and influences into one no-holds-barred B-movie. George Clooney and Tarantino play two crooks hiding out in Mexico, coming under attack from bloodthirsty vampires and undead strippers.
The lauded debut film of British-Iranian director Babak Anvari, Under the Shadow finds a mother and daughter haunted by a mysterious supernatural evil in war-torn 1988 Tehran. With no shortage of conventional frights, the horror also works as a thought-provoking metaphor for personal trauma during the Iran-Iraq War.
Adapted from the award-winning stage play by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, this frightening medley sees a paranormal debunker (Nyman) tasked with solving three ghostly mysteries. Structured a bit like a Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episode, the triptych comes crashing together at the end, to horrifying effect.
Produced and co-written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Joss Whedon, this meta-referential slasher deconstructs a litany of horror tropes and clichés. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards), the story finds a group of naïve, hormonal college students falling prey to terrible forces in a secluded woodland cabin.
Billed as a gory twist on Groundhog Day, this affable slasher sees Tree (Jessica Rothe) living through the same birthday time and time again, being gruesomely murdered at every day’s end. With plenty of campus humour and a reasonable whodunnit, Happy Death Day was a box office success, leading to a sequel released earlier this year.
This hit action-horror was built around an inventive (if impractical) idea – what if, for one night only, murder was completely legal? Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey star as a married couple who must protect their children amid a night of violent anarchy. There have been numerous sequels and a TV spin-off, with The Purge 5 set for a 2020 release.
A man brings his girlfriend to a dinner party after receiving a mysterious invitation from his ex-wife. With the spectre of a deceased child hanging over their heads, he starts to suspect there may have been an ulterior motive for the invite, in this slow-burn horror thriller.
Anyone who even hears the name ‘The Bye Bye Man’ is dragged to their horrible doom in this faintly daft horror. When a group of students find the name written down in a rented house, they unleash the (literally) unspeakable evil upon themselves.