There’s no reason to spend precious viewing minutes searching the troves of Netflix for the best horror movies to watch this October. To help get you in the Halloween spirit, Marie Claire has assembled a handy guide of the creepiest, smartest, most terrifying flicks currently streaming. Here are 10 of the best horror movies on Netflix right now, for your pure terror and enjoyment:
There’s really only one thing you need to know about this movie: Vagina dentata. The myth of “teeth in the vagina” has been covered in a lot of feminist writing, but this horror flick/satire is your comprehensive education on the subject. It gets pretty gory, but it’s worth the watch if you can stomach it.
David Bruckner’s 2017 adaptation of a 2011 novel of the same name will give you major Blair Witch Project vibes, with a light sprinkling of The Descent for
good terrifying measure. A group of guys go hiking in Sweden to honor the wishes of their dead friend and end up getting a bit lost—both literally and mentally—while attempting a shortcut through the forest.
James Wan is no stranger to horror: He gave us the Saw movies, the Insidious series, and The Conjuring (as well as its sequel). The Conjuring explores the real-life case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren—and it’s one of those movies that you have to watch with your face partially turned away from the screen out of fear. You can sense when something terrible is about to happen and yet you have to see what it is. It’s also the movie that, upsettingly, introduced us to Annabelle, the creepy doll.
The Witch is not your average horror movie. You might get a little antsy waiting for something big to happen. But when that moment comes, it’s like being on a roller coaster when you get to that first big drop and you know sh*t’s about to get crazy. The story follows a family in the 1600s that—because of the father’s religious zealotry—are exiled to the woods outside of the colony, where a witch may or may not have also taken up residence. The final few scenes should go down as some of the greatest in horror history: There’s definitely a couple of shots that leaving you thinking, Did I really just see that?
This movie is ostensibly about a sexually-transmitted curse, which could be problematic except that it’s so freakin’ creepy you’ll forget all about that. (The underlying message is also handled surprisingly carefully so as to avoid the pitfalls you’d think that plot would fall into.) The soundtrack, provided by modern composer Disasterpeace, helps set the mood of absolute terror as a college student (Maika Monroe) is stalked by a sinister force that takes on different forms. It’s probably not the best horror movie for date night (sex curse and all), but it’s a must-see for spooky solo viewing situations.
There are a lot of masked psycho killer movies to choose from, but writer/director Bryan Bertino pulled some of the inspiration for this one from several real-life home invasion cases. That’s what makes it so tough to watch: The unsettling feeling that this could happen to you is hard to ignore.
This found-footage indie horror movie showcases the talent of Mark Duplass and it. is. disturbing. The plot follows a videographer hired by a Josef (Duplass) to make a documentary for his unborn son. It’s clear as soon as they meet that Josef is a weirdo. The rest of the 77-minute run-time is a lot of Josef’s bizarre behavior, which will leave you screaming at the screen, “Why are you still filming this guy?” Creep 2 is more of the same and just as crazy-fun to watch.
This Netflix original is as funny and campy as it is bloody. It’s about a boy who stays up past his bedtime to spy on his attractive babysitter and learns that she and her friends are planning to sacrifice him as part of their satanic cult ritual. The ensemble cast has some recognizable faces including Robbie Amell (The Duff) Bella Thorne (also The Duff) Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect). It’s a great option if you’re looking for scares of the less-intense variety.
Straight up, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is one of the best horror comedies that has ever been made. It’s the story of two guys (Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk) who are mistaken for hillbilly murderers by a bunch of dimwitted college students on vacation. You’ll laugh a lot, but there are some actual jump-scares in the mix as well. Watch if you’re looking for something that will spook you in the moment but won’t keep you from sleeping at night
The zombie genre is a robust one, but have you ever seen zombies on a train? This subtitled South Korean film is one of the best horror releases in recent years, about a dad trying to protect his daughter while traveling to a safe zone as a zombie outbreak spreads through the country. Even if zombies aren’t usually your thing, it’s just a fun, action-packed film. It also has some surprising heart, so you might want to keep a box of tissues nearby.