Best horror movies on Netflix in July 2024

Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring 2
(Image credit: Alamy)

With the best horror movies on Netflix, every night can be fright night. We've combed through the streamer's sprawling library to round up the best of Netflix's scary movies that will unearth your deepest fears. This includes one of our favorite horror franchises as well as critically acclaimed entries in the genre like "It Follows" and "His House." 

Horror movie fans may be drawn to the genre for wildly different reasons. Some love the adrenaline rush of getting the bejesus scared out of them, others the mystery of why that killer is out there hacking and slashing. Maybe you just want to watch unruly teens get terrorized because of some twisted karmic justice. We're not here to judge, and neither is Netflix. 

The best horror movies on Netflix right now

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'The Conjuring 2' (2016)

The Conjuring 2 - Main Trailer [HD] - YouTube The Conjuring 2 - Main Trailer [HD] - YouTube
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Say what you will about "The Conjuring" universe and its many, many spin-offs, but "The Conjuring 2" is easily the series at its best. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren are back at it again, this time hopping across the pond to help a single mother and her four children living in a house plagued by malevolent spirits. 

Madison Wolfe steals the show as Janet, a young girl seemingly possessed by an angry old man who appears in the family's armchair, insisting the house is his. While the reoccurring paranormal events terrify the family enough to flee their home, their story is called into question as the Warrens dig deeper, which adds an interesting wrinkle to the haunted house trope. "The Conjuring 2" also introduced several recurring characters and elements the series would revisit in later installments. 

Honestly, my biggest gripe with this movie is what came after it: The fact that the Nun inspired two mediocre prequels while the zoetrope-haunting Crooked Man hasn't gotten so much as a spin-off is nothing short of a tragedy. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente
Directed by: James Wan
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'Bodies Bodies Bodies' (2022)

Bodies Bodies Bodies | Official Trailer HD | A24 - YouTube Bodies Bodies Bodies | Official Trailer HD | A24 - YouTube
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A24's critically acclaimed horror comedy "Bodies Bodies Bodies" is a Gen Z twist on the classic "whodunit?" Pete Davidson stars as David, a rich 20-something who invites his fellow rich friends to a night of debauchery at his family's mansion to wait out a hurricane. They soon decide to play a murder mystery game, but things take a turn when, after a heated argument, the power goes out and one of them ends up dead. 

They start to turn on each other as they're forced to figure out who's behind the night's violent turn. Throughout the movie, the group is constantly taking verbal jabs at each other in a way that might make you think this is a satire of Gen Z. But rather than coming off as cringey and out-of-touch, "Bodies Bodies Bodies" has received praise for its biting observations, clever writing, and shrewd, class-aware humor. It's been hailed as the next generation's "Mean Girls" or "Heathers." - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%
Starring: Pete Davidson, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha'la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace
Directed by: Halina Reijn
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'It Follows' (2015)

It Follows Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Horror Movie HD - YouTube It Follows Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Horror Movie HD - YouTube
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One of the most acclaimed horror movies of the last decade, "It Follows" packs a simple premise: It centers on an entity that relentlessly pursues its targets. 

But it doesn’t hide behind corners or under the bed; it persistently follows. And that makes this supernatural force all the more terrifying because no matter how far you run, it will follow. 

The only way to rid yourself of this curse is to have sex with another individual to transfer the nightmare over to them, and that’s the impossible choice that protagonist Jay (Maika Monroe) faces. Compelling and impeccably directed by David Robert Mitchell, "It Follows" is a modern horror masterpiece that we’ll no doubt still be talking about in another decade's time.  - RM

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary
Directed by: David Robert Mitchell
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'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' (2019)

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Based on the book series of the same name by Alvin Schwartz, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" is a smart horror film about the narratives we tell ourselves and, more importantly, how they make for great nightmare fodder. It's also filled to the brim with haunting set pieces, terrifying practical effects, and entirely too realistic monsters from the legend himself, Guillermo del Toro. 

The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large over the fictional town of Mill Valley for generations. When a group of teenagers chance sneaking into the family's supposedly haunted mansion, they uncover a book of horror stories written by the young Sarah Bellows. These terrifying tales soon have a way of becoming all too real as Sarah, now a ghost, starts writing new short stories, resulting in horrible fates for the unsuspecting teenagers. The friends must learn more about Sarah's tragic past to put an end to these hauntings once and for all. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%
Starring: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint
Directed by: André Øvredal
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'The Ritual' (2017)

The Ritual | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix - YouTube The Ritual | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix - YouTube
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This Netflix original masterfully uses a monster movie framework to deconstruct moral dilemmas around fear, guilt and what we owe one another. While out drinking one night, two friends, Luke (Rafe Spall) and Robert (Paul Reid), break off from their group to stop by a convenience store. They walk in on a robbery gone awry, but Luke manages to hide and watches terrified as the burglars kill his friend. 

The rest of the group decide to honor Robert's memory by going on a hiking trip in northern Sweden. But as they venture deeper into the forest, they become hopelessly lost and begin to suspect a supernatural force may be stalking them. "The Ritual" expertly cultivates a sense of dread throughout by gradually revealing the unknown horrors lurking in the forest. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton
Directed by: David Bruckner
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'The Platform' (2019)

Two men scraping themselves up onto a ledge in The Platform

(Image credit: Netflix)

Plunged into the Pit, Goreng (Iván Massagué) lives his days in this massive prison tower, where a regularly descending platform brings sustenance. The further down it goes, the less there is to eat. Residents at the top of the prison get better quality food with more to go around. 

This leaves those living in the Pit at the bottom to starve. As the platform's food levels shift monthly, Goreng's alliances and beliefs are tested while residents are routinely shuffled around. When a cryptic message about a young girl surfaces, things change dramatically -- but the fight for survival is a constant. - BV

Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%
Cast: Iván Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Zorion Eguileor
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
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'His House' (2020)

Wunmi Mosaku as Rial Majur, Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù as Bol Majur in His House, one of the best horror movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Aidan Monaghan/NETFLIX)

One of the most unique and horrifying scary movies I've seen in recent memory, "His House" follows a young refugee couple, Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), who are granted asylum in a small English town after fleeing war-torn South Sudan. 

Met with hostility and racism in their new community, the couple struggles to adjust. Straining their relationship further is a mysterious malevolent force in their house that seems connected to their traumatic past. But while Rial insists something is not right and wants to move, Bol worries that making waves could get them deported. And so the two are on their own to face whatever's haunting them. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Starring: Wonmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, Matt Smith, Cornell John, Emily Taaffe
Director: Remi Weekes
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'Fear Street' trilogy

A skeleton in a reaper's hood in Fear Street, one of the best Netflix Horror movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix knocked out back-to-back-to-back home runs with its "Fear Street" trilogy films, which adapt the R.L. Stine books. Expect retro scares and spooky thrills, but updated for the audiences that grew up with the books, and expect a bit more scares than kid-fare. Expect a haunted camp, a literal witch hunt and much more. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83% (Part One), 88% (Part Two), 89% (Part Three)
Starring: Kiana Madeira, Gillian Jacobs, Julia Rehwald, Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd
Director: Leigh Janiak
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'Vampires vs The Bronx' (2020)

Method Man in Vampires vs The Bronx, one of the best horror movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Vampires have taken over all across the world, even in Staten Island (see "What We Do In The Shadows" for a laugh), but they just picked the wrong borough to battle. "Vampires vs The Bronx" frames the tried and true trope of vampires as an evil invading force, and applies it to a modern topic: gentrification. In this movie, we meet a group of kids just trying to live their own lives, except for Miguel Martinez. Known to many as "Lil Mayor," Miguel is trying to save the local bodega, which is fighting off rising rent prices. All the while, vampires are actually the ones behind family-owned businesses being bought out. "Vampires vs The Bronx" is the latest addition to our best horror movies on Netflix list for finding a way to make a vampire movie where it's not just the blood that's being sucked out, but the life of a neighborhood. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Starring: Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV, Sarah Gadon, Cliff "Method Man" Smith
Director: Osmany Rodriguez
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'Cam' (2018)

(Image credit: Netflix)

Alice Ackerman, a successful camgirl, used to have a tight focus on her reality. All that changes once she figures out that faking her own death will shoot her to the top of the charts, and get a ton of tips. But before she can seize on her popularity, a new rival named Princess_X — who looks just like Alice — appears and shatters the scene. The film seizes on the mob mentality behavior that drives social media circles wild and turns into a macabre thriller as Alice begs the police for help. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Starring: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
Director: Daniel Goldhaber
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'Bird Box' (2018)

(Image credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

This Netflix original stars Sandra Bullock, as Malorie Hayes, who is about to go on a terrifying journey downriver in a boat, with only the blindfolds on their heads to protect them. Yes, normally you'd expect that everyone would want their vision when they're pitted against ghastly terrors, including infected fellow survivors, and therein lie the mysteries of "Bird Box." Without the ability to actually perceive their enemies, the imaginations of Malorie and her cohorts conjure up even scarier possibilities of what's behind the blindfolds. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver
Director: Susanne Bier
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'Apostle' (2018)

(Image credit: Warren Orchard/Netflix)

"Apostle" builds its thrills slowly, as you watch Thomas (Dan Stevens) go undercover to save his sister Jennifer (Elen Rhys) from a mysterious cult. In a brilliant bit of casting, Michael Sheen plays Malcolm, the cult leader, a (rightly) paranoid creep who's obsessed with the roots and vegetation of the land. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
Starring: Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen
Director: Gareth Evans
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'Cargo' (2017)

(Image credit: Matt Nettheim/Netflix)

This Netflix original is the rare modern zombie movie done right. A cross between "The Walking Dead" and "The Road," it stars Martin Freeman as Andy Rose, a dad navigating the zombie-filled deserts of rural Australia with his wife Kay (Susie Porter) and baby Rosie after a viral pandemic turned those infected into flesh-hungry monsters. 

While "Cargo" does hit a lot of the same beats as other zombie flicks, Freeman delivers a strong performance that grounds the film in relatable humanity. It spins a story of post-apocalyptic survival around a poignant exploration of parental love and sacrifice. And the zombie designs themselves are worth noting too, with "Cargo's" undead transforming into something uniquely animalistic and disturbing. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Starring: Martin Freeman, Natasha Wanganeen, David Gulpilil
Directors: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke
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'Little Evil' (2017)

(Image credit: Katrina Marcinowski)

Parenthood is frightening enough, but "Little Evil" one-ups the perils of child-rearing with a question: What if your new stepson was possessed by an actual demon? And who better to be thrust into this sticky situation than Adam Scott, who works every flavor of awkward into each role he takes. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Starring: Adam Scott, Evangeline Lilly, Donald Faison
Director: Eli Craig
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'Gerald's Game' (2017)

(Image credit: Netflix)

Sometimes, married life can get a bit boring and predictable, and couples decide to spice things up in the bedroom. "Gerald's Game" is a cautionary tale, though, of what happens when husband Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) dies during the middle of one of these experimental evenings and leaves his wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) trapped, attached to the bedframe. And then Gerald haunts her. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas
Director: Mike Flanagan
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'1922' (2017)

(Image credit: Netflix)

What happens when you start a murder mystery by revealing the killer's identity? You get "1922," a Netflix-produced adaptation of a not-so-short story from Stephen King. It stars Thomas Jane ("The Punisher") as Wilfred James, who admits to the murder of his wife, which is what happened prior to his life falling apart. As rats plague James' life, the audience begins to question what it's been told, and how much it can trust the narrator, who thinks his wife is haunting him. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Starring: Thomas Jane, Neal McDonough, Molly Parker
Director: Zak Hilditch
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'Under the Shadow' (2016)

(Image credit: Vertical Entertainment)

"Under the Shadow" has one of those premises that feels so ripe for horror movie fodder, I'm surprised I haven't seen it done more. 

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Shideh (Narges Rashidi) must care for her daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), all alone. As the war escalates, a missile slices through their apartment building but fails to detonate. Though her neighbors evacuate, Shideh chooses to remain, and that's when things take an unsettling turn. Dorsa begins acting stranger and stranger until Shideh questions her own grasp on reality. She slowly grows to suspect that her daughter may be suffering from something more sinister than wartime shock. - AS

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
Starring: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi
Director: Babak Anvari
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'I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House' (2016)

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has leaned pretty hard into original content, so it was only a matter of time until the site created a horror movie. "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House" (directed by Oz Perkins) has a mouthful of a title, but it's a smart film that builds an eerie atmosphere. Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson) is a nurse, hired to take care of aging horror novelist Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss). Blum's ghosts may be more real than she lets on. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 58%
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban
Director: Oz Perkins
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'He Never Died' (2015)

(Image credit: Vertical Entertainment)

Being immortal sucks when you have to spend all your time alone. Jack (Henry Rollins) never ages or dies, but needs blood to survive. The easiest way to get it is to kill and eat people, which he doesn't really want to do — partially because he has little interest in leaving the house. A run-in with the local crime syndicate forces him out of his isolation, but life isn't easy when everyone looks like lunch. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%
Starring: Henry Rollins, Booboo Stewart, Steven Ogg
Director: Jason Crawczyk
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'Creep' (2014)

(Image credit: The Duplass Brothers/Blumhouse Productions)

Inspired by odd encounters when buying stuff off of Craigslist, "Creep" is a found-footage horror movie that ponders how much you risk when applying for jobs found in online ads. The film starts with Aaron (director/co-writer Patrick Brice), a videographer in need of work, answers a job ad posted by Josef (co-writer/co-producer Mark Duplass), who he soon realizes is a weirdo. Not only does Josef get a kick out of scaring his new employee, but he also carves "J+A" into a tree, giving Aaron a sense that this job is more than he bargained for. And one night, when Josef asks Aaron to stay for a drink, things get even weirder. You'll never think of the phrase 'peachfuzz' the same way again. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%
Starring: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
Director: Patrick Brice
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'The Pope's Exorcist' (2023)

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Yes, even the Pope gets his own exorcist. And, shockingly, this movie is based off of a real person: Father Gabriele Amorth, who founded the International Association of Exorcists. Here, Amorth (Russell Crowe) has to deal with the worst case scenario: the Pope himself is ill, and demonic foul play is apparently involved.

Critics say "The Pope's Exorcist" is the latest solid horror movie about possession, bolstered by Crowe's strong performance. It's not trying to claim or sully the grounds surrounding the original The Exorcist, just extend the lore. Oh, and a sequel is confirmed. - HTC

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%
Starring: Russell Crow, Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe, Franco Nero
Director: Julius Avery
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'Zombieland' (2009)

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The zombie apocalypse takes a fun, comedic spin in "Zombieland." Thanks to an infectious case of mad cow disease, many Americans have turned into zombies. One of the survivors is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a cautious person who follows a strict zombie survival checklist to stay alive.

While searching for his parents, Columbus runs into Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), an outlaw who agrees to give Columbus a ride to Ohio. As they make their way through America, the duo run into sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who convince the boys to accompany them to an amusement park in Los Angeles that’s supposedly zombie-free. Traveling to the park is a risk. But in a zombie apocalypse, what do they have to lose? - DG

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Director: Ruben Fleischer
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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.

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