Now that the hottest days of summer are here, there's no better way to beat the heat than by chilling out .... no, not a frosty glass of frosé (though having one handy couldn't hurt), but some
scary Netflix movies so spooky they'll freeze the very blood in your veins. Fortunately, there are streaming scares for every taste available on the site. Want to catch up with the classics? Nothing like watching the snow and insanity slowly pile up in The Shining. Do kids make you nervous? If not, they will after watching The Omen's worst zoo visit in history. If your vacation budget's tapped, head to not-so-jolly-old England and check out the finest on-camera werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London. For something a little sunnier, Mulholland Drive lets you tour L.A. through the warped lens of David Lynch.
If you're looking for something less intense, maybe to get a couple laughs in between the shrieks, you can't go wrong celebrating Christmas in August with
Gremlins. Delicatessen, from the director of Amélie, has the same twee charm and romance — with a hefty side of post-apocalyptic cannibalism. With this many great films to choose from, it's time to crank the A/C, curl up in a dark room, and enjoy the goosebumps. 1 'It Follows' (2014)
It doesn't feel, it doesn't think, it doesn't give up —
It Follows delivers chills with an extremely simple premise done right. A sexually-transmitted terror inverts the usual horror trope of sex = death; here, sex might be the only thing keeping the faceless horror at bay... for the moment. 2 'An American Werewolf In London' (1981)
This might make you rethink spending that summer abroad. Backpacking through Britain, two friends are brutally attacked by an enormous wolf. Only David survives. When his dead pal Jack reappears fully mutilated to warn David he's becoming a werewolf, that's only the beginning of David's problems.
3 'Hellraiser' (1987)
A sadomasochistic tale of terror, based on director Clive Barker's original novella
The Hellbound Heart. All hell (literally) breaks loose when a sadistic uncle solves a devious puzzlebox and unleashes the Cenobites (including the well-known Pinhead). I can't even figure out a Rubik's Cube so this is petrifying. 4 'The Nightmare' (2015)
Shadows in the corner, or
Shadow People? It won't matter since I'll have all the lights blazing. From the makers of Room 237, this documentary on sleep paralysis will keep you awake for days. 5 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' (1984)
Before a thousand sequels watered him down to a (literally) hacky comedian, razor-fingered Freddy got his start in this story of revenge. Keep an eye peeled for a baby-faced Johnny Depp in his first film role.
6 'The Fly' (1958)
This campy '50s classic features all the hits: a mad scientist playing God, his faithful wife, a Science Experiment Gone Wrong, and, as a bonus to horror fans, Vincent Price as the scientist's brother/convenient narrator.
7 'Scream' (1996)
After serious burnout in the '80s,
Scream singlehandedly revived the slasher genre while slyly commenting on it, creating a new classic. The most frightening part of the opening is Drew Barrymore stuck using a landline. 8 'Starry Eyes' (2014)
How far would you go to be a star? This indie flick gives a gory twist on the usual Hollywood struggle. Aspiring actor Sarah thinks she's landed her big break, but the role requires more than she realizes, and it makes Method Acting look comparatively mild.
9 'The Legend Of Hell House' (1973)
If it was easy to hang in I guess it'd be called "Fun House." An atmospheric exploration of the "Mount Everest of haunted houses" by a motley crew of scientists, mediums, and the lone survivor of the last attempt at investigating it.
10 'The Babadook' (2014)
A tale of loss and unexpected single motherhood would be scary enough on its own. But add in a croaking, creeping storybook character who may or may not be a figment of mom Amelia's resentment towards her son, and you'll wish
you never heard of the Babadook either. 11 'Mullholland Drive' (2001)
Leave it to David Lynch to make a sunny car ride with friendly old folk into a frightening opening set piece. This noir Möbius strip twists the typical Hollywood star-is-born story into a grimy peek at the dark side of fame and love.
12 'House At The End Of Time' (2014)
Venezuela's horror hit is getting a U.S. remake in the near future, so catch the original time-bending tale of gothic terror first.
13 'Delicatessen' (1991)
In post-apocalyptic France, meat's in short supply and grain is currency. Unemployed Louison applies for a job at a butcher's shop, too distracted falling in love with the butcher's daughter to realize he might be next on the menu.
14 'The Shining' (1980)
Kubrick's classic gets better with each viewing — if you haven't seen it yet, no time like the dead heat of summer to watch the Torrance family struggle with being snowed in a haunted hotel. Just stay away from Room 247.
15 'TAG' (2015)
The latest from the bonkers director of
Suicide Club and Tokyo Tribe, Sion Sono. Like Luis Buñuel directing Marathon Man, the story follows three actresses playing the same character as they (literally) run for their lives from violent murder winds, angry teachers, and Death itself. 16 'Gremlins' (1984)
Technically a Christmas movie, Joe Dante's slapstick scarefest works all year round. Creepy critters terrorize a small town around the holidays, and it's up to teens Billy, Kate, and adorable Gremlin-spawner Gizmo to stop them.
17 'I Am Not A Serial Killer' (2016)
John Wayne Cleaver, potential-serial-killer-in-the-making, recognizes his tendencies and has kept himself in check with strict rules. When gruesome murders hit his small town, John's the main suspect. To find the real killer he'll have to break his own rules, and risk becoming what he fears.
18 'The Omen' (1976) "It's all for you, Damien!" You may rethink that babysitting gig after watching this eerie tale of a successful diplomat realizing his son just might be the Antichrist. 19 'We Are Still Here' (2015)
A new take on the old haunted house story,
We Are Still Here lulls you into thinking it's just a psychological thriller about a family mourning a son's loss...before snapping into hellish overdrive. 20 'Oldboy' (2003)
The first of Park Chan-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy,
Oldboy makes the horror cut for sheer brutality, both psychic and physical. Suddenly free after being locked in a hotel room with no explanation for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su wants revenge. Featuring the most brutal hammer fight put to screen. 21 'Antibirth' (2016)
A trippy pregnancy-horror featuring Natasha Lyonne as a party girl who finds herself knocked up despite claiming not to have had sex for a year. Chloë Sevigny plays her pill-popping best friend giving the worst advice possible. As the pregnancy advances at an alarming rate, the two try and cope the only way they know how — more drugs and booze. Possibly the
Absolutely Fabulous of body terror. 22 'The Host' (2006)
A government cover-up, a monster on the rampage, and a family determined to get their daughter back keep you on the edge of your seat in this action thriller. From the director of
Okja, who has a knack for putting adorable things directly in harm's way. 23 'Housebound' (2014)
The main complaint of haunted house movies is why don't they just
leave? In Kylie's case, she's under house arrest at her mom's. As strange events increase and the two learn the home's troubled history, Kylie decides to deal with the ghosts like she has with everything else in life — by smashing it in the face. 24 '#horror'
The second tag-team of Natasha Lyonne and Chloë Sevigny on the list. A stylish, stylized slasher from former Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff, where cyberbullying enters the real world at a girls' sleepover.
25 'Night Watch' (2004)
This effects-heavy Russian supernatural thriller pits Light against Dark in an all-out battle for dominance, hinged on a born loser finding a chosen child. If you're not creeped out, two words: "spider doll."
26 'Sweeney Todd' (2007)
Tim Burton tackles the Demon Barber's story in this grim tale of revenge. You may wonder 'how scary could a musical
really be?', but you probably won't get a shave and a haircut any time soon after watching. 27 'The Invitation' (2015)
Common sense says don't accept a dinner party invite from an ex no one's seen for two years, but that doesn't stop David. The tension ratchets as sinister intentions are revealed in this psychological thriller.
28 'Ravenous' (1999)
A pitch-black cannibalism comedy taking place during 1840s Mexican-American war,
Ravenous gives new meaning to the phrase "you are what you eat." 29 'The Human Centipede' (2009)
Those with squeamish stomachs beware — this film absolutely follows through on its audacious premise of sewing three women together to form the titular centipede. A scuzzy, dark number that will haunt you, even if you don't stick around to see the final mad experiment crawling around.
The best part of a scary summer is if you get too terrified, you can always step outside and bask in the sunshine. After all, it's
not like there's anything terrifying about the beach.
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