Finding the best horror movies on Netflix always feels far harder than it should. All you want to do is settle down for spooky Halloween viewing with friends and orange-colored snacks, but the horror section is an intimidating, if blood-spattered, mess. But, fear not – or do, but in a good way – because we’re here to help you with our pick of the horror movies you can find on Netflix for Halloween 2022.
Our collection of nightmares are lurking on both the US and the UK versions of the streaming service so wherever you are, you’ll be able to get the ultimate spooky viewing. From subverted slashers to innovative found footage and slick social commentary, it’s all here. So turn off the lights and let those pumpkin candles flicker. Here are the best scary movies on Netflix for spooky season 2022.
1. Incantation (2022)
Incantation is officially the highest-grossing Taiwanese horror movie, making it a treat (not a trick) that we can find it on Netflix in both the US and UK. This is the video diary of a woman called Li Ronan who finds herself on the wrong side of a curse, thanks to the breaking of a religious taboo. While she is merely trying to look after her daughter, something follows her that is seemingly unstoppable. It’s a little long for some at 111 minutes, but Incantation holds plenty of found-footage scares and some exceptionally effective imagery as we discover just how the curse came about. Add in a twisted clever ending and this is absolutely worth the creepy run time.
2. His House (2020)
Modern haunted-house movies are far more than just creaking staircases and more cobwebs than even Spider-Man would feel comfortable with. Bol and Rial are a refugee couple from South Sudan who have arrived to start a new life in the UK. But their grim accommodation has more problems than just the smell and lack of home comforts. Remi Weekes’ His House is a gripping and nightmarish ghost story as Bol and Rial desperately try to fit into their new surroundings while fighting the now literal demons of their past. Once again, this quietly and insidiously proves that horror is one of the best genres to address the modern truths that others will shy away from. Hauntings come in many forms.
3. Creep (2014)
The found-footage genre suffers no fools. On the surface it might look like the easiest genre with the lowest gates to entry but in reality, this is possibly the hardest to get right, as actors have to break down that fiction/reality wall. And it’s the level of the performances that make Creep truly terrifying. Writers and directors Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice also star as the central characters of this psychological horror. Cameraman Aaron is looking for work and takes on a new job, filming a video diary for Josef, an apparently dying man. It’s only as he spends longer at Josef’s remote home in the woods that things start to unravel in unexpected directions. This movie doesn’t play by any rules and is all the better for it. Plus, if you’re feeling brave, Creep 2 is sitting right there for a double bill…
4. Hush (2016)
Before writer and director Mike Flanagan became master of the Netflix 10-part ghost story adaptation, he was happily making great horror movies. Hush is in classic slasher concept territory – man in a terrifying mask arrives at the home of a lone woman – but Flanagan cleverly subverts the concept. Kate Siegel’s Maddie lost her hearing and ability to speak at a young age, making this game of cat and mouse especially tense and riveting as she attempts to outsmart her pursuer. And speaking of cats, there’s a great one of those in here too. At a lean 82 minutes, this is a perfectly taut and innovative slasher movie from a modern horror maestro. Oh, and just as a bonus, seek out Flanagan’s Oculus too. You’ll find it on Hulu in the US and to rent from the usual streaming stores in the UK.
5. Under the Shadow (2016)
Directorial debuts don’t get any better – or scarier – than Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow. This supernatural frightmare is set amidst war torn Tehran in the 1980s as a woman stays in the city with her daughter despite the dropping bombs. While the terror outside their apartment is bad enough, something significantly less human makes itself known inside. Like the best horror, Under the Shadow effortlessly blends social commentary with horrifying frights, and manages to balance its big themes with sneaking moments of true terror. This is the kind of horror film that leaves you terrified of those shadowy corners of your room as you turn off the light. If you’re looking for more Babak Anvari on Netflix, his English language thriller I Came By is streaming in both the US and the UK and shows a very different side to cuddly actor Hugh Bonneville.
And if you're looking for a TV upgrade to add even more atmosphere to these movies, keep your eye on our guide to the best Black Friday TV deals.
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Louise Blain is a writer and presenter specialising in tech, games, and horror entertainment. Thanks to the latter, she needs to avoid nightmares and regularly reviews the latest sleep tech for BBC Scotland, TechRadar and T3. Her specialist subjects include mattresses, weighted blankets, and sleep aids.