Today we’re lucky to have Ari Borhanian, New 32’s web content producer, writing about scary movies on Netflix.
My friends, we are in a horror renaissance.
In 2022 alone, we saw horror hard-hitters such as Barbarian, X, The Black Phone, and Nope, along with dozens of other films and television shows to delight fright fans across the world. It’s hard to argue that this isn’t one of the best times in entertainment history if you’re into the genre. But for every theatrical horror movie being released, there are plenty of incredible films streaming online to enjoy in the comfort of your home, where no one can hear you scream. So, in honor of this incredible period in horror history, here are four of my favorite horror experiences that you can watch on Netflix.
In this positively twisted Taiwanese found footage film, mother Li Ronan attempts to lift a curse that she believes has been placed on her young daughter, Dodo. Having born witness to a terrifying cult ritual years before, her increasing desperation to figure out what is wrong with her daughter and how to save her leads her – and us – to a conclusion that is genuinely unlike anything I have ever experienced in any film, let alone a horror film.
Foreign horror is a gold mine of creative, bold, and original ideas that often explore themes and cultural fears that Hollywood horror either only scratches the surface of or ignores entirely, and Incantation, which has gone on to become the highest grossing Taiwanese horror film, more than deserves its place on that mantle. By the end of the film, I genuinely felt as though something dark and evil had passed on to my home from through the screen. That’s a feeling you don’t forget for a long time.
Okay, so this is three films, but by the time you finish watching them all, you’ll understand why I have included them on this list. R.L. Stine is often listed alongside other horror authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz as one of the most influential genre creators out there, and I genuinely believe this trilogy is the most exciting project his name has been attached to.
The basic concept of this trilogy, without giving too much away, is that a small town in 1994 is dealing with a masked killer straight out of Scream, but there is something much more sinister lying just beneath the surface. This isn’t the first town Fear Street has dealt with a masked killer. In fact, brutal serial murder seems to be a recurring staple. So what began the curse? Why do random people every once in a while seem to don a mask and kill as many innocents as possible?
The films, Fear Street: 1994, Fear Street: 1978, and Fear Street: 1666, progressively take us further back in time both in setting and in tone. While the first film is a clear homage to 90’s slashers, the second is a love letter to the work of the 70’s and the third is a straight-up period film. One thing no one can complain about are the kills. This series does not hold back on the brutality, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror series attempt as bold a storyline over multiple films. It’s a genuine treat, and with more films potentially coming in the future, this is a great time to explore the original trilogy.
A man says he’ll pay you a positively massive lump sum of money just to document a single day in his life. Would you take that deal? That’s the situation protagonist Aaron finds himself in when we begin this micro-budget 2014 indie found footage film. It’s a deceptively simple set-up. We know something is going to go wrong, but what? And when? And why?
Creep is the horror film I wish I had written. It’s only got two characters in it, played by the two men who wrote the film, and it revels in its simplicity. For all the supernatural, over-the-top horror films we love, it’s nice sometimes to sit with two men in a lonely house and contemplate how everything is bound to go horribly, horribly awry. And believe me, it does.
What makes Creep especially stand out is that it’s not afraid to be funny. Horror and comedy sit very close to one another, and by indulging in the comedy of this whole situation, the film manages to become even scarier. And if you enjoy this movie, there’s a follow up, Creep 2, which is just as fun, funny, scary, and bizarre. One of the greatest things about horror is its ability to give low-budget filmmakers a playground to explore their fears, and this is one of the greatest examples of that.
A woman sits in her home at night, alone. A mysterious masked figure watches through the window. He breaks in. Only problem for the woman (besides, you know, the masked figure)? She’s deaf.
In this home-invasion horror thriller, director Mike Flanagan (who you might remember from Haunting at Hill House) creates a masterful work of tension as we see if our deaf protagonist can fight her way out of an unimaginably terrifying situation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film utilize a conceit as effectively as Hush does, and there’s not a single misstep in this movie’s runtime. It’s scary, tense, exciting, and genuinely keeps you guessing.
I’ve seen my fair share of home invasion movies like The Strangers, and the deaf protagonist is not a gimmick. Horror-author Maddie is a character straight out of a Stephen King novel (no surprise given Flanagan’s clear love for the author’s work), and seeing if and how she can outsmart and outplay her potential murderer is absolutely thrilling. Even if you’re not typically a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to check this film out if you like a thrilling experience.
We are lucky to be living through a period of incredible horror films, but that doesn’t mean that we were lacking in the genre up till now. As new fans jump on board what I consider the most exciting film genre out there, it’s an absolute treat to be able to share relatively unknown gems. So if you’re a horror veteran, a new fan, or curious about frightening fun, and you happen to have a Netflix account, be sure to check out one or all of these films. I genuinely think you can’t go wrong with these movies, and you just might find your new favorite hobby in the twisted world of horror.
Thank you to Ari for lending your horror expertise and recommending these movies! What are your favorite scary movies on Netflix? Get in touch with us and tell us what we should include in our next round-up!