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The Best Horror Films On Netflix UK

24 of the best scary movies to stream now.

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By Bustle UK
Updated: 

The formula for the perfect horror film has been hotly debated among movie makers and film buffs for decades now, and it looks like the furore around this topic won't be cooling down any time soon. So, when it comes to picking the best horror films on Netflix UK, some of our choices are bound to be controversial, but stick with us — we're sure there's something in this list to satisfy every taste.

Horror fans fall into very distinct categories: are you a traditionalist, with every Hitchcock movie ever made in your personal collection, or a modernist, AKA the first person in line for Jordan Peele's new era-defining flick? Or maybe you're a steadfast Stephen King fan with some serious *thoughts* on the new It adaptations? Whichever camp you fall into, picking out something to watch among Netflix UK's vast horror selection is far from easy. So we've done the hard work for you.

Below is a list of the very best horror films on Netflix UK that you can settle down with on a movie night with friends, a cosy date night when you're keen to have a snuggle, or — if you're brave enough — an evening in alone. But be careful: these movies are not for the faint-hearted. You have been warned.

Misery
Castle Rock/Columbia/Shutterstock

If you’re on a Stephen King kick thanks to his ongoing film adaptation renaissance, then you need to see this classic. Starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, Misery follows novelist Paul Sheldon as he is kidnapped and held captive by deranged fan and nurse Annie Wilkes. During his captivity, she forces him to rewrite manuscripts of his book series to her liking, while torturing him in the process.

Misery would also be a horrifyingly perfect companion to Psycho if you’re prepping for a Halloween marathon. Two films are both set in isolated locations and feature chilling villains that have become icons of horror cinema. Sounds like my kind of movie night. — Sophie McEvoy

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Final Destination 5
Jellystone/Kobal/Shutterstock

While the first four films aren’t available to stream on Netflix, Final Destination is one of those horror franchises that doesn’t require you to keep tabs on the overarching story. The plot of each film remains the same: after escaping death, a group of people are stalked by a supernatural entity that goes after them one by one — usually by seemingly mundane means. And, boy, does Final Destination 5 contain an ample amount of normal situations to become terrified about. After watching this instalment, prepare to develop irrational fears of things like laser eye surgery, working out at the gym, and acupuncture. — Sophie McEvoy

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The Silence Of The Lambs
Ken Regan/Orion/Kobal/Shutterstock

More psychological thriller than horror, but still very much worthy of a mention, The Silence of the Lambs uses tight framing and uncomfortably close POV shots to intimidate and terrify viewers psychologically. This, along with the crimes committed by serial killers Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Buffalo Bill (played by Ted Levine), will leave you feeling fairly shaken up.

There’s a reason why The Silence of the Lambs received a lot of critical acclaim, and you need to see it to truly understand what all the fuss is about. — Sophie McEvoy

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Orphan
Silver Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

There’s nothing like a creepy child to haunt your nightmares, and watching Orphan will achieve just that. The film follows a couple (played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) as they adopt 9-year-old Esther (played by Isabelle Furhman).

After fitting into their lives perfectly, Esther begins to display strange and terrifying behaviour, which eventually leads the couple to believe that there’s something terribly wrong with their adopted daughter.

The film has recently found traction again due to a bizarre case in the States where a couple adopted a Ukrainian child who they now believe is an adult woman. The case is ongoing, but the alleged similarities are eerie AF. — Sophie McEvoy

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Sinister
Summit Entertainment

If you’ve ever fancied the life of a true crime writer, Sinister will put you right off. Ellison Oswalt (played by Ethan Hawke) is in need of some inspiration for his new book. When he moves into the house where a murder took place he realises the only thing scarier than his writer's block is the box of eight homemade films he finds, which suggest that the murderer he is researching may have been at work for decades. This is supernatural spookiness at it’s finest. — Alice Broster

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Would You Rather
IFC Films

If you think Would You Rather features the game you’ve played a million times before then you’d be very mistaken. In a bid to help her brother, Iris (played by Brittany Snow) agrees to take part in one of the scariest games of "would you rather" you can imagine. The sadistic aristocrat at the centre of the game is not dealing in hypotheticals and she finds herself having to make the most gruesome decisions. If you’ve got a sensitive stomach, this isn’t the horror film for you. — Alice Broster

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The Purge
Universal

The Purge has been heralded as one of the scariest modern day horror films. Directed by James DeMonaco, who went on to create an entire Purge trilogy, the film is set in an altered U.S. where all laws go out the window for a 12-hour period. The story follows what people will do when there are no rules and how to survive when you’re being hunted. It may not star ghosts and ghouls but The Purge will have you triple checking that you locked your front door. — Alice Broster

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Before I Wake
Intrepid Pictures

After experiencing problems Jessie (played by Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) decide to adopt Cody (Jacob Tremblay). Happy that they finally have what they always wanted, Jessie and Mark don’t become aware of Cody’s affliction until it’s too late. They believe Cody’s trouble sleeping is do to with his turbulent upbringing. However, when he goes to sleep at night his dreams, and his nightmares, physically manifest with deadly consequences. They set out on a mission to find out why his nightmares become a haunting reality. — Alice Broster

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Insidious
Netflix

Directed by James Wan, the supernatural horror flick Insidious follows the story of a couple whose son enters a comatose state and winds up becoming a vessel for evils spirits in a dimension known as The Further. As the story unfolds, the entire Lambert family become increasingly affected by the ghostly goings-on, and realisations surrounding the origins of the supernatural activity begin to emerge.

The success of Insidious went onto inspire an entire franchise, which currently consists of one sequel and two prequels. Naturally, the best place to start your journey into the franchise is with the first outing, and buckle up, because this haunted house tale is sure to give you nightmares. — Sam Ramsden

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The Cabin in the Woods
Netflix

Despite being riddled with comedic elements, The Cabin in the Woods centres around all things horror, and as the title suggests, follows a group of American college students as they travel to a remote cabin in the woods. During their stay, the group fall victim to some horrific zombie-like figures, and an almighty twist reveals who is really manipulating the terrifying events thrust upon them.

The film went onto receive critical acclaim, and a consensus on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes praises the movie's ability to be "funny, strange, and scary" all at the same time. — Sam Ramsden

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Netflix

Supernatural horror The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel, a woman who underwent Catholic exorcism practises in the year prior to her death. The film centres around a defence attorney as she takes on a negligent homicide case, after a parish priest performs an exorcism on a young girl.

Due to the nature of the story, The Exorcism of Emily Rose could be compared to other heavyweights in the genre, including William Friedkin's The Exorcist, and this frightful flick manages to perfectly combine the elements of horror, religion and crime. — Sam Ramsden

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Videodrome
Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

In the mood for a truly mind-bending experience? Look no further than the work of David Cronenberg, most commonly referred to as the master of body horror. One of the best examples of his uniquely grotesque talent is Videodrome, where a mysterious TV channel that broadcasts brutal torture and murder begins to control the minds of those who watch it.

Combining the genres of sci-fi and horror, Videodrome has become a cult classic through Cronenberg’s mastery of creating terror from something so mundane. — Sophie McEvoy

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Await Further Instructions
Shudder Films

If Videodrome didn’t make you terrified of your own TV, Await Further Instructions most certainly will. Taking the concept of Videodrome in an entirely new direction, this films sees a British family trapped inside their home by a mysterious barrier while being fed specific instructions through their television. A horrific test of trust and resolve ensues and will leave you second guessing what your family would do in this bizarre situation. — Sophie McEvoy

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Christine
Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Horror fans interested in murderous inanimate objects should look no further than Christine. The only adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 horror novel, John Carpenter’s version has become a cult classic. The story follows a specific 1958 Plymouth Fury that seems to have a mind of its own with a penchant for murder. Later nicknamed ‘Christine’ by its owner Arnie (Keith Gordon), the car begins to wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those around him. — Sophie McEvoy

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Happy Death Day
Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

2017 saw the return of the beloved slasher genre through Happy Death Day, a film that’s basically Groundhog Day with a generous helping of terror. University student Theresa Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) has the worst birthday of her life (to put it lightly) when she’s murdered by someone wearing a mask of the uni’s mascot, only to wake up and find that she’s started the previous day all over again.

Theresa then has to live her ‘death day’ over and over until she can find out the identity of the killer to prevent the murder from happening in the first place. — Sophie McEvoy

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Annabelle: Creation
Annabelle: Creation / Warner Bros

Annabelle: Creation is the second in the Annabelle series and arguably the spookiest. Directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman, it follows the story of a doll-maker and his wife twelve years after the death of their daughter. With their house empty, they welcome some orphaned girls and a nun to live with them. However, their generosity has fatal consequences. The new arrivals become the next target for the doll-maker's incredibly scary, possessed creation Annabelle. — Alice Broster.

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The Ritual
The Ritual / Netflix

If you’re a fan of hiking then The Ritual may have you questioning your next trip. Set in the picturesque Swedish wilderness, five university friends embark on a reunion camping trip for old times sake. What they don’t realise is they may not make it back alive. The film is based on the novel by Adam Nevill and adapted for screen by David Bruckner and Joe Barton. A demonic presence stalks and torments the friends through a forest that's a feature of Norse legend for all the wrong reasons. — Alice Broster.

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Unfriended
Unfriended / Universal Pictures

The supernatural may be scary but Unfriended hits much closer to home. A group of teens sign onto a chatroom every night and bully one of their classmates. Their actions lead to the person dying by suicide. After their classmate's death, the teens notice that someone is continuing to sign on as if their peer is still alive. However, it’s a stalker with a much darker agenda. As the group comes to terms with the consequences of their cyberbullying, they start to realise they’re in danger. — Alice Broster.

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Eerie
Eerie / Netflix

Eerie is chilling to the core. It tells the story of an all-girls school turned upside down after a student takes her own life. A clairvoyant guidance counsellor goes to extreme lengths to find out what happened, with some help from a ghost and in the process discovers some dark secrets about the school's history. — Alice Broster.

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Eli
Eli / Netflix

Directed by Ciarán Foy and starring Charlie Shotwell, Eli tells the story of a seemingly very sick young boy whose parents ate in despair. Eli is receiving treatment for an auto-immune disorder but soon begins to suspect that his family home may have a part to play in his being unwell. However, it’s impossible to explain to the hospital staff that his home isn’t as safe as he thought. — Alice Broster.

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The Influence
Netflix

A woman is forced to revisit some truly haunting memories after moving back into her childhood home to help care for her elderly and comatose mother. However, an evil force within the house now also threatens her child, and the stakes quickly become much higher. — Sam Ramsden

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The Open House
Netflix

Starring Dylan Minnette, who you might recognise from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, this 2018 horror flick centres around a mother and her teenage son, who move into a relative’s secluded holiday home following a family tragedy. However, not all is as it first appears, and both mysterious and terrifying forces begin to rear their ugly heads. — Sam Ramsden

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Hush
Netflix

In an attempt to advance her writing career, a deaf author relocates to the woods with the hopes of living a life of seclusion. However, when a masked killer appears in her window, she is forced to fight for survival — and in complete silence. — Sam Ramsden

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The Perfection
Netflix

The Perfection sees a deeply disturbed young woman musical prodigy named Charlotte (Allison Williams) seek out new talent Lizzie (Logan Browning) at her former art school. While Charlotte initially befriends Lizzie, it’s safe to say this union doesn’t go too well. Think Single White Female but with an even bigger twist. Part psychological thriller, part horror (spoiler: lots of dismemberment) the movie proves how striving to be the best can turn very ugly. — L’Oréal Blackett

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