As Halloween approaches, some may want to start the spooky festivities early. The good news is Netflix has a collection of horror films that are always available. We’ve gathered a selection of the best horror films on Netflix that we feel are guaranteed to give viewers the chills this Halloween.
- Army of the Dead
- Fear Street
- Gerald’s Game
- I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
- The Woman in Black
While Zack Snyder’s latest zombie flick is unlikely to scare that many people, it is ridiculous zombie horror fun. Created as a homage to George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series, Snyder may have created something rather special. What appears to be a zombie-themed heist horror film on Netflix, actually has several more layers to uncover.
It’s fair to say that Army of the Dead won’t be winning any Academy Awards, it also doesn’t need to. The film benefits from multiple viewings as it’s full of easter eggs that tease a wider universe. The film explores some themes that may seem out of place in a zombie flick, but if some of the fan theories turn out to be true, this franchise could be heading in some wild directions.
A prequel called Army of Thieves is already on the way, as is a Netflix TV series, and various other projects. Its use of Kenny Roger’s classic The Gambler as a theme tune was also a stroke of undead genius.
Fear Street is a modern movie adaptation of R.L Stine’s classic young adult horror novels. Those who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s will appreciate this the most due to that being the series heyday. Fear Street was a series of books young people read once they became too old for Goosebumps.
R.L Stine knew his audience was maturing, so he also made his content more mature to continue to cater to his first generation of fans. While the Fear Street movie (and its two sequels) are aimed at young adults once again, they are littered with fan service for those who grew up reading these stories.
Hardened horror fans may find Fear Street tame, but those who grew up reading about the creepy town of Shadyside will love it. As will those keen to sample more YA fiction since the genre began to slump.
Netflix’s Gerald’s Game is an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 novel of the same name. The film’s screenplay has been written by Mike Flanagan who also serves as director. Flanagan himself is becoming one of the biggest names in horror. He’s also responsible for Netflix’s The Haunting series and the upcoming Midnight Mass.
The plot involves a married couple in an isolated house while on holiday. After handcuffing his wife to the bed, the husband, Gerald, suffers a fatal heart attack which leaves his wife trapped. Of course, she doesn’t have access to food and water, but she also doesn’t stay alone for long. But being trapped with her own thoughts could be the worst thing.
Hush is another horror film by master storyteller Mike Flanagan. In this film, a successful writer is stalked around her lake house by a masked serial killer who enjoys torturing his victims through fear. The first problem is the victim is trapped in the middle of nowhere without access to a phone, but there’s a bigger issue – she’s deaf.
The protagonist cannot hear her attacker coming and he’s well aware of this. This leads to a silent yet heart-racing game of wits between both characters, one which remains gripping until the credits roll.
One of the best things about Netflix is its willingness to share foreign films with a western audience. Korean zombie film #Alive is one of those horror films that many people wouldn’t get to see if it wasn’t for the service. The film is about a young man living in his apartment as a zombie apocalypse sweeps his nation.
The world around him goes to hell while he’s playing online games with his friends, seemingly ignorant to the devastation outside. Once he notices something is wrong, it’s too late and the undead are already at his door. His only option is to barricade himself in his apartment and scavenge other homes for supplies by using the balconies to move between them.
The film’s events parallel real life and at times are staggeringly similar. The story really drives home feelings of isolation as its protagonist is forced to stay indoors, watching from a distance while a deadly virus ravages his world. As the film came out in 2020, it’s clearly struck a nerve with audiences, as many of the themes it explores mirrored the feelings of those watching at the time.
Another zombie flick here but another one that really hits hard. The premise is Martin Freeman plays a father caring for his infant daughter. He’s trying to escort her to safety in a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world. However, the film is so much more than just another zombie story and it soon becomes clear why Freeman is perfect in the role, despite it being different from his usual ones.
The main themes at play are parental love, perseverance, and sacrifice. It can be difficult for parents to watch at times. However, this only adds to its value as a piece of cinema. Some films elevate the genre they’re in. This is one.
It’s tempting to describe Pretty Thing as a ghost story, but that’s not strictly true. Some people will interpret it this way, but others will have a different view. The film involves a carer coming to look after an elderly woman with dementia who was a successful horror writer when she was younger.
It soon becomes apparent that the elderly writer’s inspiration came from a very frightening source. Pretty Thing retains all the hallmarks of a classic ghost story but delivers something quite unique by the time the story is told.
If Pretty Thing is a thought-provoking almost-ghost story, The Woman in Black is a full-on spookfest. Based on Susan Hill’s classic novel of the same name, The Woman in Black is the classic English ghost story and might be one of the best ever told. While the movie isn’t as critically acclaimed as the novel, it nails the setting and atmosphere of the book.
The story involves Arthur Kipps, played by Daniel Radcliffe, a lawyer who travels to a dank, depressing seaside town to finalize the affairs of one of his late clients. While there he gets drawn into a horrific tale of child murder, loss, and revenge. Simply spending one night in the house of his client is enough to test his sanity. It also puts his life and the life of his family at risk.