Do you remember what it’s like to be scared speechless? When you turn around quickly to make sure no one’s behind you? Or, how sometimes, keeping your eyes closed for too long has the power to send your brain into a frenzy, entertaining all the possible ways you can die if you open your eyes and find someone watching you?
Well, these horror movies will definitely take you there. From gory slasher films to haunting sagas to slow-burning psychological thrillers, we’ve totally got you covered. Without further ado, here are five movies on Netflix that will make you too scared to turn the lights off. We guarantee it.
1. As Above, So Below (2014)
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, and Edwin Hodge
Beneath the metropolitan Paris we all know and love, lie The Catacombs. This dark and very real underbelly of the city houses more than six million skeletons. It was developed as a network of tunnels because the city was unable to keep the dead above ground due to overflowing cemeteries and graves.
In As Above, So Below, a group of people decide to explore The Catacombs — like really deep down in there — in the most claustrophobic ways possible. All of it is as creepy and disturbing as you’d imagine. There are walls made of bones and skeletons, which is not unusual for this situation, but everything changes when the explorers realize the space they’re in has somehow transformed. Not only can they not find a way out, but they’ve passed under an archway that’s inscribed with what is said to be the same inscription over the gates of Hell!
2. Malevolent (2018)
Starring: Florence Pugh and Ben Lloyd-Hughes
Make believe games are absolutely magical, that is until ghosts find you. Malevolent follows Jackson and Angela, a brother-sister duo who are very good at what they do: They rake in cash as ghost-busting con artists, pretending to legitimately tap into the paranormal realm. Angela fronts as a psychic who has visions and can communicate with the dead. Meanwhile, Jackson walks around with his paranormal-detection equipment, feigning to capture bad spirits.
When these siblings are brought on to investigate a foster home where girls were said to have been murdered and mutilated in the worst ways possible, things get too real. While they believe this will be their big Broadway debut — their chance to put their best acting skills to the test — something more sinister awaits them and Angela discovers that, maybe, she really does have The Gift.
3. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Alright, I know what you’re thinking: The Sixth Sense, really? And yes, really. This movie — no matter what pop culture has done to influence your sour opinion of it — deserves a second viewing (or, if you’re like me, an eighth).
The Sixth Sense centers on Malcolm, a child psychologist who finds himself working with a peculiar boy named Cole. Malcolm has previously worked with a patient like Cole, but failed miserably to resolve the boy’s issues. This time, he hopes things will be different. When Cole reveals that he sees dead people, Malcolm doesn’t realize just how different this case will be. From its visual effects to its well-crafted execution, The Sixth Sense comes together in a way that feels authentic and natural. Sometimes it feels like you are eavesdropping on these characters’ lives in the way that, perhaps, real ghosts might.
4. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (2016)
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban
Never judge a book by its gorgeous dust jacket.
Lily is a nurse who has been hired to care for Iris Blum, a famous writer of horror literature — think Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the writer of “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Because Iris suffers from dementia, she stays in one area of the house, leaving Lily’s co-existence with Iris as one-sided. Eventually, the silence in the house grows heavier on Lily’s mental state. She starts seeing things like spreading molds and strange figures in the shadows, until she can no longer tell the difference between imagination, reality, or worse — the existence of the dead.
Slow moving, quiet, and sharp, I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is a beautifully shot horror film. If you’re anything like me, it will definitely appeal to your literary sensibilities with its Victorian gothic edge.
5. The Strangers (2008)
Starring: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman
Sometimes you just need to listen to the quiet to know you’re not alone.
In this horror film, Kristen turns down her boyfriend, James’s, proposal and they return to the family home they are staying in. The couple prepares for a quiet evening, even though James is still hurt that Kristen rejected him. When a stranger knocks on their door, things start getting really weird.
The Strangers is terrifying because nothing about it is out of the realm of possibility. The realization that you don’t know the exact way other people think or see the world — and what they are capable of — is bone-chilling. At what point does the thought of killing become the act of killing? And how quickly does an individual transition between those two ideas? Atmospheric and haunting, this film is an absolute must see. Trust me.
What horror movies are you planning on watching this Halloween? What’s your favorite scary movie on Netflix right now? Let us know in the comments.
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