We here at Arrow in the Head try to keep up with the horror selections on the biggest streaming services around, and as part of that endeavor, we have gone through the horror options on Netflix US to put together a top 10 list of the Best Horror Movies On Netflix Right Now.
Take note of the “Right Now” part of the subject line, because some of these films are not Netflix Originals and therefore could be removed from the streaming service at any time. If you want to watch them, be sure to start streaming in a timely manner or they may be gone!
BLOOD RED SKY (2021)
The “vampire vs. airplane hijackers” horror action thriller Blood Red Sky is a project director Peter Thorwarth had been wanting to make for 16 years before it was finally released, and his dedication to the concept paid off: within a month of its Netflix debut, it had already been watched in more than 50 million households around the globe. That’s not surprising, as it’s a film that can appeal to both horror fans and action fans. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s well worth checking out. It’s fun, exciting, and at times emotional as we watch a vampire mother battle a group of dangerous criminals to keep her son (who is not a bloodsucker) safe during an international flight.
PIRANHA 3D (2010)
Nearly thirty years after the insanity of Piranha 2, director Alexandre Aja revived the Piranha franchise with a 3D blast of awesomeness. Piranha 3D begins with an earthquake ripping a hole in the bottom of an Arizona lake, releasing large prehistoric piranha that have been trapped in an underground lake for millions of years… and these piranha have been set loose at the same moment thousands of spring breakers have descended upon the area to engage in hedonistic, drunken debauchery. The authorities try to figure out how to rid the lake of the ravenously hungry fish, but before they can the audience has been witness to a whole lot of gratuitous nudity and nasty gore effects. This movie is highly entertaining.
FEAR STREET (2021)
Here’s a three-for-one special, as Netflix has released an entire trilogy of Fear Street films (inspired by the R.L. Stine book series) that director Leigh Janiak made back-to-back-to-back. Over the course of the trilogy, Janiak shows us horrific things that occurred in the cursed town of Shadyside in 1666, 1978, and 1994, allowing for the series to bring to mind films like The Witch, Friday the 13th, and Scream at different points along the way. The films tell the story of an evil entity that, every couple decades or so, possesses Shadysiders and drives them to kill. Janiak and her collaborators crafted an engaging story with some good twists and turns, and she brought it to the screen with cool style and an awesome soundtrack.
CRIMSON PEAK (2015)
Crimson Peak is a haunted house movie from director Guillermo del Toro, but don’t expect a lot of the chills and thrills to come from the supernatural forces in the film. As del Toro has said (and as a character says in the movie), “It’s not a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in it.” The story is about the strangeness that occurs when aspiring author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) moves into the titular, crumbling mansion with her new husband Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) – and it’s the performances delivered by Hiddleston and Chastain that really make Crimson Peak worth checking out. Sir Thomas and Lucille are much creepier and more dangerous than any ghosts that might be lurking around.
Despite being a Blumhouse production and Universal release, director J.D. Dillard’s Sweetheart seemed to fly in under the radar when it hit VOD in 2019. That’s a shame, because this is a really cool creature feature that deserves more attention than it has gotten. Most of its 83 minutes is a one-actor show, with Kiersey Clemons playing Jenn, a shipwrecked young woman who has washed ashore on a small, uninhabited island. As if being stranded in the middle of the ocean wasn’t scary enough, Jenn also discovers that there’s some kind of carnivorous monster lurking in the water around the island – and this thing comes wading up onto the beach every night, looking for something to eat. Maybe more people would have watched this by now if it weren’t called Sweetheart; there’s not much of a reason for it to have that title.
NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994)
Natural Born Killers is one of those borderline movies, some may not consider this serial killer thriller / media satire to be part of the horror genre, and yet anyone who watches it will have to be able to stomach some very horrific things, as it deals with unsettling subject matter and is packed with brutal murders. The film Oliver Stone made from a story by Quentin Tarantino follows two characters, Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) who have one of the most passionate relationships ever put on film – and they happen to be bloodthirsty maniacs on a cross-country killing spree. The love they have for each other is deep and intense, and even though they have blowouts from time to time, they hold on to the idea that “only love can kill the demon”.
Mike Flanagan is one of the most interesting filmmakers we have working in the horror genre today, and thankfully he has a great set-up at Netflix. Their collaboration has given us the Stephen King adaptation Gerald’s Game, The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, and the upcoming series Midnight Mass – and it all started with Netflix releasing Hush. Starring Kate Siegel (who also wrote the script with Flanagan), this is a very simple and straightforward home invasion slasher, but it stands out from the pack of other films like this due to the fact that Siegel’s character Maddie is a strong, interesting, easy-to-root-for heroine who also happens to be deaf, which her attacker (John Gallagher Jr.) uses to his advantage when sneaking around in her house. Flanagan has several great entries on his filmography, and this 82 minute story of Heroine vs. Slasher in one secluded location ranks as one of his best.
THE CONJURING 2 (2016)
Some of the paranormal activity sequences in director James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 can come off as being overblown in comparison to those in the previous movie. But that bit of sequelitis aside, this is a solid and worthy follow-up that allows us to spend more time with two of the most endearing genre movie characters to ever be put on the screen: paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Wilson and Farmiga have great chemistry together, making their characters a joy to watch no matter what is going on around them. And what’s going on around them is quite creepy: they’re investigating the case of the Enfield poltergeist, the spirit of a hateful old man that has been tormenting a single mother and her four young children.
Some of my favorite films are zombie movies, but the sub-genre has gotten really played out in recent years. When zombies can be seen in TV shows every week, it’s tough to work up enthusiasm when a new zombie project shows up. The secret to success is to make sure the audience cares about the characters who have been dropped into the zombie apocalypse scenario, and that’s what Cho Il-hyung did with the South Korean film #Alive. #Alive centers on gamer Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-In) who is home alone in his family’s apartment when the zombie outbreak hits. Low on food and water, worried about his family, Joon-woo is about to give up – until he realizes there’s a young woman (Park Shin-hye as Kim Yoo-bin) trapped in the building across from his. These are very likeable characters, and it’s fascinating to watch them struggle to survive with a horde of flesh-eating creatures waiting just outside their apartments.
THE CALL (2013)
Session 9 director Brad Anderson crafted a really entertaining thriller with The Call, which is about a teenage girl named Casey (Abigail Breslin), who has been abducted by a serial killer and stuck in the trunk of his car. Luckily, Casey manages to call 911 from the trunk, getting in contact with a dispatcher Jordan (Halle Berry), who stays on the phone with her throughout her ordeal, trying to coach her through the situation while the police desperately try to track her down and catch the killer. Packed with thrills and tense situations, The Call is a riveting film that became the #1 movie on Netflix for a while when it reached the streaming service earlier this year, nine years after it was first released.
Do you think these are the best horror movies on Netflix right now? What are some of your favorites?
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