Digital Crave

The 10 best scary movies on Netflix you can stream right now

View gallery

.
Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In

'Tis the season for scary movies, with Halloween season in full scream this week. But it's a funny thing about the horror genre: Good scary movies can be really good -- some of the best pure storytelling films are in the horror arena. It's a noble autumn tradition to creep yourself out on purpose with these movies around Halloween.

But bad scary movies are just the worst -- particularly those lame splatter porn movies that substitute gore and shock for artful suspense. When queuing up a scary movie night at home, you want the good stuff.

Luckily, if you're a subscriber to Netflix' online streaming service, you can get to a remarkably generous back catalog of quality horror films instantly. Here are 10 of the best scary movies, in my slightly obsessive opinion, currently in the Netflix "Watch Instantly" library. Some of these are acknowledged classics, but several are unappreciated gems from the vaults, or just interesting variations on the theme.

Let The Right One In

The single best horror film of the last five years, as far as I'm concerned, this Swedish freakout tells the story of Eli, a child vampire in suburban Stockholm. Equal parts horror, drama and prepubescent Gothic romance, the film's tagline rather says it all: “Eli is 12 years old. She's been 12 for over 200 years. And she just moved in next door.”

Carrie

Director Brian de Palma's 1976 horror classic still holds up after all these years, thanks to two of the creepiest performances in scary movie history -- Sissy Spacek as the titular teenage pyrokinetic, and Piper Laurie as her fervently psychopathic mother. Not a lot of scary things actually happen in Carrie, until the end anyway, but the whole film is steeped in weird ambient dread. Highly recommended.

View gallery

.
Event Horizon

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

A scary and satisfying terror-in-space story (think Solaris or Alien) Event Horizon concerns the fate of a spaceship crew who encounter a portal to another dimension. Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne headline, but the real fun is in the way the story crosses the sci-fi movie with the haunted house movie by way of a malevolent, telepathic spaceship. This one tanked on theatrical release, but has since built a significant cult following.

The Cabin in the Woods

It's hard to describe what actually happens in this bonkers horror-comedy without giving too much away. But it's safe to say the filmmakers have cooked up a playfully bloody project that's both a satirical attack on lame torture porn movies and a notional reboot of the old-school slasher films that predated them. Why settle for a single boogeyman when you can have a hundred?

Evil Dead 2

Director Sam Raimi's original cabin-in-the-woods goof is actually more of a remake than a sequel to the original Evil Dead, and in any case it's much more fun than this year's attempted reboot. Bruce Campbell provides just the right comedy/horror attitude as hero Ash, who fights off ancient demons with disarming (heh) nonchalance and great one-liners.

The Awakening

British actress Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) can do no wrong in my book, and here she plays a kind of low-tech ghostbuster trying to rid a 1920s boarding school of a troublesome spirit. The film combines the best elements of the ghostly whoduit and the old haunted-house-on-the-moors story. A good choice if you prefer mood and atmosphere over scares and shocks.

View gallery

.
The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil

For a nostalgic horror movie night, The House of the Devil is an explicitly old-school horror movie designed to look, sound and feel like an 1982 direct-to-video cult classic. Cult is the operative term here – Devil is directly inspired by the early 1980s media mini-craze for stories of Satanic cults preying on America's teenagers.

Lovely Molly

Recovering addict Molly Reynolds (Getchen Lodge) has just moved back into her childhood home, with her new husband and her tenuous sobriety. When hubby has to leave for a truck driving job, Molly must confront her demons – figurative and otherwise. Lovely Molly takes elements of the haunted house story and the demonic possession story, then folds in the intriguing addiction angle.

Monsters

Six years after an alien space probe crash, giant tentacled monsters roam a walled-off “infected zone” in northern Mexico. Things get bloody when a pretty rich girl and a jaded photojournalist find themselves in the wrong place at the wrongest of times. The microbudget Monsters is lean, efficient and packed with tension. Like Jaws, the film follows the less-is-more rule of special effects. The aliens are only seen in glimpses until the eye-popping final scenes.

Re-Animator

Truly a cult classic, Re-Animator (1985) stars Jeffrey Combs in a mad scientist story for which the term "gratuitous gore" was seemingly invented. (Legend has it that Re-Animator holds the record, in gallons, for the amount of fake blood used on a movie set.) Based on the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, this is high camp horror of the b-movie variety, recommended if you're looking for something goofy.

View Comments (3)

Recommended for You

  • The At-Home Hair-Coloring Rules for Not Ruining Your Bathroom

    The problem, of course, with coloring your hair at home is that the dye has a terrible tendency to get everywhere and make a huge mess. Before you put on your gloves and start mixing up your color, remove and set aside items like hand towels, bath towels, bathrobes and fabric bath mats. Speaking…

    Racked
  • Five Brands Making Great Fall Shoes

    In anticipation for the early 2016 launch of Frances Valentine, Kate Valentine (formerly Spade), along with her husband, knew the only way to separate her newest venture from Kate Spade the label was to reinvent entirely. Frances studied footwear design in both Milan and London before taking an…

    Racked
  • Honestly, Why Do Clutches Even Exist?

    It’s a truth that should be universally acknowledged that clutches are awful. You can toss a purse over your arm and carry an umbrella, a book, a bag of Goldfish™ (trust me it’s a great idea), and your iPhone in it. In some cases you can carry a small dog in a purse if it is a brief period during…

    Racked
  • Six of Fall’s Biggest Boot Trends

    And how to shop them on any budget. They key to fall shopping (without getting insanely overwhelmed) is to get your basics right first. We’ve already covered denim; now, let’s knock out boots. Looking for the perfect pair is particularly exciting this season, because there are so many options when…

    Racked
  • The Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Richmond

    The indie boutiques and brands that make Richmond’s retail scene unique. Just large enough to have a stellar art and culture scene and just small enough that the cost of living is low, Richmond is a hotbed for small, independent artists and designers, from jewelry makers to ceramicists to knife…

    Racked
  • The Best Boutiques to Shop in Richmond, Virginia

    Along with its robust art, dining, and culture offerings, Virginia's capital has a lot happening lately retail-wise. A slew of vintage stores, indie boutiques, and clothing labels have cropped up over the last few years, augmenting a scene that already featured favorite shops like Need Supply Co.

    Racked
  • Vintage Shopping Tips From Richmond’s Rosewood Clothing Co.

    Shop owner and vintage pro Ashley Carruthers shares her best advice. A visit to Ashley Carruthers’ downtown Richmond vintage store Rosewood Clothing Co. is like an appointment with a personal shopper: Walk in and start looking around, and within minutes she’ll have pulled something from the rack…

    Racked
  • Model Ohwawa Tells Us Her Style Secrets

    Meet Destiny "Ohwawa" Owusu, one of our favorite influencers.

    Racked
  • Do We Have to Buy Inner Peace With Our Outer Beauty?

    This is just a fraction of what’s actually available at the Vitality Bar, a New Age-y addition in Naturopathica’s new Chelsea flagship.

    Racked
  • Where Can I Find: Affordable Chelsea Boots I Can Feel Good About Buying?

    The really, really nice ones are so expensive (Alexander Wang, etc etc). The closest thing I can find that look awesome are these Zara ones — they’re beautiful and I’ll probably buy them... but there HAS TO BE something out there that I can buy that won't break the bank (Wang) or won’t make me…

    Racked
  • Cat Eye Products For Any Idiot

    You ever looked at a cat and thought, 'I want your eyes?'

    Racked
  • Strong Suit

    The Dress for Success boutique in Manhattan is mid-sized and modest, with high ceilings and brown carpet. At the entrance, black and white portraits of smiling women hang on a red wall that also has the organization’s tagline — “Going places, going strong” — mounted beneath its block-letter logo.

    Racked
  • #OurVoteCounts: Racked's Pledge to Help Register 100,000 Female Voters

    Here’s how to make your voice heard. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, about 64 percent of women eligible to vote went to the polls in the last presidential election; for women ages 18-24, the number was just 45 percent. Those numbers aren’t nearly high enough in any…

    Racked
  • Real New Yorkers on the Really Weird World of Fashion Week

    These non-fashion folks tell us the truth about New York Fashion Week

    Racked
  • The Most Essential Online Menswear Shops

    Mr Porter: Mr Porter is an indispensable shopping site, and its stock of expensive labels like Prada, Gucci, Tom Ford, Raf Simons, and Balenciaga is second to none. Shirts, trousers, tees, and sweatshirts from brands like Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Acne, and Issey Miyake are treated with…

    Racked
  • A Yeezy Boost Story With a Happy Ending

    My two year battle with Adidas and Kanye West has finally come to a close and left me the supreme victor. The earliest known record of me attempting to get Yeezys comes from 2014, where it appears I was mad that someone who barely used Twitter won them. No big deal, I only tweeted about Adidas…

    Racked
  • Where to Shop for a Leather Jacket

    Plus, four different ways to wear them. The leather jacket is a true outerwear problem solver: it can be worn over a dress to transition into cooler months, or thrown over a T-shirt or thin sweater to pair with jeans for when it’s truly fall. Shop the best ones that are in stores now here, with a…

    Racked