Looking for some horror films to
watch binge-watch? You can always count on Netflix to deliver the kind of entertainment you need. Be it slasher, supernatural or psychological, we have compiled a selected list of 10 Horror Films To Watch on Netflix This Halloween Month in alphabetical order.
1) A Quiet Place (2018)
No thanks to the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic that ruined our moviegoing experience, we missed a chance to witness “A Quiet Place Part II” in cinemas earlier this year. With the sequel currently pushed forward to April 2021, you have to make do with the first movie on Netflix. Two years ago, nobody would have thought that John Krasinski, the same comedian from TV’s “The Office”, is actually capable of pulling off a serious role. And if that’s not enough, he turns out to be a better-than-expected filmmaker, even though “A Quiet Place” marks his first time tackling the horror genre. The movie, where he co-wrote the screenplay, boasts an intriguing setup: A family led by Lee (John Krasinski) and his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) attempts to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. They have to live in silence as well since any form of noise can distract the alien creature to hunt the victim down. That’s pretty much of it but Krasinski made good use of the movie’s stripped-down approach to staging well-crafted suspense and tension. Look out for the memorable scene where Emily Blunt’s character is left all alone in the house.
2) Don’t Breathe (2016)
Fede Alvarez, the man behind the gritty reboot of 2013’s “Evil Dead”, does it again in “Don’t Breathe”. Unlike his blood-soaked debut, “Don’t Breathe” relies heavily on suspense and intense violence to get his point across. The premise itself is simple but effective enough to pique one’s interest: A trio of small-time thieves (Jane Levy’s Rocky, Dylan Minette’s Alex and Daniel Zovatto’s Money) attempts to rob a rich blind man (Stephen Lang) in his house. But what could have been an easy job turns out to be a nightmare after all. Alvarez successfully brings palpable and claustrophobic tension through its reasonably brisk 88-minute running time. There’s a notable blackout scene set in the basement shot in night-vision camerawork. Stephen Lang, in the meantime, deserves praise for his scene-stealing creepy portrayal of The Blind Man.
3) Hostel (2006)
It all starts here. The then-popular “torture porn” subgenre, which combines graphic violence, gore, nudity and sadism. “Hostel” is certainly not for the squeamish and director Eli Roth made sure of that. He pulls no punches when it comes to the torture-porn elements. The movie starts slow, as Roth taking his time establishing the setup. Two American tourists (Jay Hernandez’s Paxton and Derek Richardson’s Josh) along with Icelandic drifter (Eythor Gudjonssen’s Oli) are all looking to get laid at the red-light district in Amsterdam. From there, they find out about a hostel somewhere in Slovakia. It’s a promise of an erotic paradise until they discover something is very wrong about the place. Beyond its copious amount of shocking moments, “Hostel” also succeeds as a dark morality tale surrounding the sex-tourism trade and explicit nature of human beings.
4) Hush (2016)
A slasher film that takes place in a single-set location (in the case of Mike Flanagan’s “Hush”, a house deep in the woods) is actually nothing new. Flanagan, who both wrote and directed this film plays it straight and economical right down to the barebone approach. And yet, “Hush” is one of those rarities where it works well in its favour, beginning with the lone deaf-mute protagonist played to engaging perfection by Kate Siegel, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The movie also introduced an unnamed stalker and killer simply addressed as “The Man”, whose ambiguous nature of his existence makes him even scarier. And for that, the actor (John Gallagher Jr.) plays the antagonist role well enough. “Hush” leans more on the psychological intensity than relying heavily on creative gore and violence to keep us hooked throughout the movie. Not to mention the compact 81-minute running time is taut enough to make this a must-see horror film on Netflix.
5) IT (2017)
The first half of this two-part horror-thriller famously made a huge impact upon its release back in 2017. Based on the popular Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel of the same name, “IT” takes us back to the summer of 1980s in Derry, Maine. Here, we are introduced to seven innocent kids (among them are Jaeden Liberher’s Bill, Finn Wolfhard’s Richie and Sophia Lillis’ Beverly), as they work together to face the child-eating demon clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Those who used to watch the creepy two-part miniseries back in the 90s on television would remember Tim Curry’s frighteningly memorable portrayal of Pennywise. Anyone else who portrays that iconic role again is bound to be compared one way or another. Fortunately, Bill Skarsgård manages to make it his own, delivering the kind of sinister-looking Pennywise reminiscent of Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. The movie establishes its principal characters well enough while delivering enough gore and tension, notably the shocking opening scene.
6) Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Looking for an old-school horror classic on Netflix? Here’s one for you: Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby”. Based on Ira Levin’s 1967 novel of the same name, the movie follows newlywed couples Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Gus Woodhouse (John Cassavetes) moving into their new apartment in a gothic Central Park building. Then one day, Rosemary finds herself pregnant and she begins to feel a strange sense of anxieties. Mind you that “Rosemary’s Baby” can be too slow for some viewers. Instead, Polanski takes his time to develop the story piece by piece while capturing Rosemary’s ongoing fear, anxiety and uncertainty surrounding her first-time pregnancy.
7) Satan’s Slaves a.k.a. Pengabdi Setan (2017)
If you love jump scares in a horror film, then you might want to check out “Satan’s Slaves”. This remake of the 1980 Indonesian horror classic of the same name follows Rini (Tara Basro) and her three younger brothers facing strange phenomena around the house after their mother’s death due to a mysterious illness. Renowned Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar successfully evokes a foreboding sense of dread using sound and expertly-staged camerawork. Back to the jump scares, this is where “Satan’s Slaves” excels the most.
8) The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Mention the word “exorcism” and the first thing that comes to mind would be none other than “The Exorcist”. Then, there’s Scott Derrickson’s “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”. The same director who later brought us Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” and the upcoming sequel knows a thing or two about crafting a genuinely frightening horror film. And what’s more interesting, the movie combines part horror and part courtroom drama. Without relying on the typical gore and violence to prove his point, Scott Derrickson chose to explore Emily’s (Jennifer Carpenter in an engaging, yet sympathetic performance) psychological insights as well as her traumatic experiences. The movie also benefits from a strong ensemble cast including Laura Linney as the defence attorney Erin Bruner and Tom Wilkinson as Father Moore.
9) The Ring (2002)
During the late 1990s, Hideo Nakata’s “Ring” became a pop-culture phenomenon that breathes the life of J-horror cinema. The idea of remaking such a popular horror film was going to be an uphill task. But Gore Verbinski, who had never directed a horror film back in 2002, surprisingly did a good job remaking the movie from a Western perspective. This includes the eerie opening scene and of course, the terrifying re-creation of an iconic scene of a girl climbing out of the TV set. “The Ring” also benefits from Naomi Watts’ typically committed performance as a reporter investigating the mysterious case surrounding the cursed videotape.
10) The Ruins (2008)
Who would have thought vines can be both creepy and frightening? In “The Ruins”, four young American friends and a tourist embarks on a journey to the ancient Mayan ruins. Once there, they find themselves surrounded by danger between the angry Mayan residents and the mysterious vines. The movie, which takes place mainly on the ancient ruins, boasts a genuine sense of dread and psychological tension. Director Carter Smith also uses graphic violence sparingly to effective results, particularly scenes involving self-inflicted wounds.