I’m going to be honest here: The “scary” movies on Netflix are absolute garbage. They’re either super fake to the point of not even being scary, or the storyline is just plain boring. Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get in the spirit of spooky season. Ditch the Netflix movies and download Popcorn Time instead. It’s a great add-on you can get on your laptop that lets you watch movies and TV shows. They have a HUGE variety of films, and none of them disappoint.
The movies listed below are all scary, but they’re not all scary in the same way. Some are thrillers, some are slasher films, some are psychologically scarring, and some will make you jump out of your seat (or bed, whichever you prefer). Choose your own adventure and enjoy the night of horror with friends!
1. Silence Of The Lambs
My all-time favorite scary movie. Anthony Hopkins is amazing, and absolutely horrifying, as Hannibal Lecter. When I first saw the movie, I honestly couldn’t sleep for a while because certain lines were haunting my dreams. “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” YIKES. This has gone down in history as one of the best movies to watch, whether it’s Halloween or not.
2. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick, the director, did it again with this one. Jack Nicholson is a madman genius in this movie, and it’s fantastic. There are some elements of the movie that totally go over my head no matter how many times I watch it– what’s with the creepy twins and the blood tsunami in that one scene? What about the horrifying woman in the bathtub in that one room? So many questions… But whatever, I recommend watching it anyways.
3. The Ring
This movie is so unnaturally scary I honestly was terrified of watching any sort of movie or TV show after I watched it. It’s about this strange videotape that causes anyone who watches it to get a phonecall about their death. A week later, they die. Horrifying! You’ll never want to answer the phone when an unrecognized number is calling you after watching this horror movie.
4. The Exorcist
For me, the scariest part of this movie is what happened off set. We all know that horror movies are completely fake and orchestrated to seem like reality to scare people out of their minds, but some bizarre shit went down when this movie stopped filming.
One of the actresses, Ellen Burstyn, said that 9 people DIED while the movie was being made. Some were freak accidents, some doctors claimed a few of the deaths were natural causes, and others are downright unexplainable. It seems that the director unleashed some nasty energy. Watch it, and then go read about it. What you find will scare you half to death!
This movie is so legendary it’s spawned multiple spin-offs, including an extremely popular show on Netflix Bates Motel. That being said, the original movie was by far the most terrifying. It will make you thankful for healthy relationships with family members.
6. The Blair Witch Project
This movie will most definitely make you never want to go camping ever again or spend any time in the woods after dark at all. It’s considered one of the most successful independent movies of all time, so it’s worth watching. Pro tip: if someone tells you the woods you’re out exploring in are haunted, just get the fuck out of there ASAP.
7. Paranormal Activity
If you’re obsessed with ghost stories and all things related to the supernatural, then this is the movie for you. A couple suspects that there’s something haunted in their house, so they decide to bring out the cameras to find out what’s going on. Let’s just say sometimes it’s better not knowing what goes down when you turn off the lights…
8. Get Out
This movie will make you think about racial tensions in a whole new way. I’m not sure what’s more terrifying, the feeling that you can’t escape from the horrors of the movie, or the haunting message it says about the way white people still think about and treat African-American people.
9. The Cabin In The Woods
When I first watched this movie, I nearly thought it was a comedy. It manages to be goofy but scary at the same time. If you’re looking for something that won’t keep you up at night, but at the very least will keep you entertained, then this is the movie for you. It’s similar to Scream in that it’s almost a parody of the typical slasher movie, and you’ll probably want to watch it again and again every time Halloween comes around.
10. House Of Wax
I watched this with some girls on my volleyball team years ago and was absolutely horrified by it. It has Paris Hilton in it, so throwback to when she was at least kind of cool. Besides the lame cast, the premise is quite scary. A group of kids have their car break down and end up seeking help from a few guys who take them into a small town with a museum that contains terrifyingly lifelike “wax” figurines. I’ll leave you to figure out what happens next…
This movie is also funny, but it’s a classic horror movie for a reason. It contains legendary stars like Drew Berrymore and Courteney Cox, so it’s guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. The fact that I still to this day see people dressed as Ghostface when Halloween comes around means you need to watch this movie so you can get the reference.
12. Gerald’s Game
You don’t want to know what happens when a sex game goes wrong. Or maybe you do, and if that’s the case, then you absolutely need to watch this movie right away. It’s based on a Stephen King novel who is the absolute king of writing horror stories. My bet is you’ll never want to try bringing handcuffs into the bedroom again after watching this.
13. The Invitation
A man ends up at a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, and if that doesn’t sound like enough of a nightmare, then I have no idea what to tell you. Things take a turn for the worse, and I don’t think I need to tell you that it doesn’t end well. It’s not as exciting as some of the other movies on this list, but it’s not so dull that you won’t be able to get through it. Give it a shot next time you and your friends are looking for something to do the Friday before Halloween.
I didn’t quite understand this movie when it first came out. I watched it because it has Jennifer Lawrence in it, who is an absolute goddess. The plot is a woman lets in a stranger one night, who quickly makes themselves at home. More and more unwelcome guests start coming into the house, and it quickly turns to chaos. I never really got why it became such a problem, though. If the wife was so frustrated by all the unwelcome guests, why didn’t she just leave? Why didn’t her husband just not let so many people in the house? I didn’t make it through this one, so maybe you can tell me the ending in the comments.
What I love about this movie is you almost feel like you’re on Carrie, the “villains,” side. Even though she’s a murderous, terrifying and dangerous presence, you can’t help but feel sorry for her because of what she’s endured. She was abused by her mother and made fun of by her classmates. She’s stuck in a cycle of humiliation and uses her special powers to get revenge. If you like Stranger Things you should watch this!
I am NOT a fan of clowns, but I was a fan of this movie. It definitely gave me a good scare and proved what kids are capable of enduring when dealing with a maniac. They’re smarter and way less fragile than we think they are! If you’re anything like me, the clown will give you nightmares for months to come.
17. The Conjuring
Dolls, threatening ghosts, and a creepy house in Rhode Island, oh my! The Conjuring has all of those things and more. It’s another one of my favorite scary movies. It’s a great one to watch with friends so you can all jump and scream together. It makes the experience way more fun! Plus, you might actually be able to sleep afterward.
18. A Nightmare On Elm Street
I’m not a huge fan of slasher movies, but this one had to make the list because it’s a classic horror movie. Rick and Morty even made a reference to Freddy Krueger in one episode, so you know it’s a legendary film. This one is all about dreams, and trying to find a way to escape a madman who runs around with blades poking out of his gloves. Yikes!
19. American Horror Story
Okay, so this isn’t a movie. It’s still a great horror show, though. The best is season 1, or three, but they’re all terrifying in their own way. From haunted houses to cults, to witches, and hotels so scary they put the movie in The Shining to shame, this show covers it all. You’ll want to watch every season. It has its own cult following at this point.
A family lives in a house they suspect is haunted, so they move thinking everything will get better. Turns out the house wasn’t haunted, but their child is. Horrifying! This movie actually is on Netflix, but ignore what I said about scary movies on Netflix being bad. This one is quite good, and will probably make you never want to have kids of your own.
21. The Hills Have Eyes
The title should be enough to scare you. Who wants to be in a place where the hills have eyes?! Get me out of there. A lot of people say that the remake is actually better than the original, so you won’t be disappointed by it. It’s about a family who has their car break down in the middle of nowhere (not a good sign), and they are attacked by a huge group of cannibals. Maybe don’t go on any road trips if your car is on the fritz?
22. Children Of The Corn
This is also based on a Stephen King novel- can you tell he is the king of horror? Joking aside, this movie will truly scare you half to death. I couldn’t look at kids the same way for a while after seeing this. It made me afraid of cults, which are already terrifying enough, small children, and remote towns. Stay in populated places, people! Your chances of making it out alive are much higher.
It’s Halloween, and there’s a crazed killer on the loose. Yep, it’s pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare. This movie may just make you consider staying in on Halloween night. You never know who you’re going to encounter out there! One woman thought she was safe after being attacked decades ago, but then the killer escapes prison during a bus transfer and comes back for revenge. Hide yo’ kids and hide yo’ wives- he’s coming to kill everybody.
24. When A Stranger Calls
“Have you checked the children?” Is a line I will never be able to get out of my head. This movie scared me so much I didn’t want to babysit at all for a good while after watching it. It does have a good ending, but I won’t spoil it for you. Watch the whole thing before Halloween, and you’ll find yourself dodging phone calls when you’re at home alone.
25. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
In the era of the me too movement, I think we can all respect a vampire that preys on men who prey on women. This is a foreign movie, but if you can get over the fact you’ll have to pay attention to subtitles the whole time I think everyone will enjoy it. It’s actually quite a complex and interesting movie. It won’t scare the pants off of you, but it will intrigue you.