So now that fall has officially began, we can set our sights on the things that truly matter: having the bajeezus scared out of us.
October is right around the corner, so to celebrate the month of Eternal Spookiness I thought it would be fitting to have an extra special “What to Watch” in which I highlight some of the best horror movies you can watch on Netflix right this very second. I tried to pick movies that a lot of people might have never heard of before (or missed out on somehow) so don’t be alarmed if you haven’t heard of some of these. I went ahead and linked the trailers under the titles of each movie if you’re curious about them. If you’ve somehow heard of all of them already then congratulations: we could be best friends.
Now some of them might not be straight up horror movies (in fact, one of them is a comedy that plays off of horror tropes) but there’s enough genre variety here that everyone should find at least one thing that suits them.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
The Village (PG-13)
For: Fans of thrillers and atmospheric horror
I wanted to start with one of the more popular films first before making my way into the more obscure stuff. In case you missed it, this film was brought to us by M. Night Shyamalan before he became so bad that marketing executives had to hide his name in their movie trailers. The Village follows a group of villagers back in the day who are careful not to venture too far into the woods at night in fear of getting snatched away by monsters. It has a lot of really tense scenes and is my number 3 Shyamalan film behind The Sixth Sense and Signs. Because it is a Shyamalan film, there is a bit of a twist in the movie that pretty much polarized audiences when it released, so just keep that in mind before you send me hateful emails after you’ve watched it.
The Strangers (R)
For: Fans of home-invasion thrillers
As far as I’m concerned, this film invented the trope of seeing the bad guy in the background while the good guys go about their business blissfully unaware of what’s about to happen. If The Strangers didn’t invent it, it at least perfected it. This movie is really creepy, and you easily might find yourself looking over your shoulder every now and then just to make sure there isn’t some creepy weirdo standing there gawking at you. Basically a young couple are in for the night of their lives as they’re being stalked by a group of strangers whose intentions aren’t quite clear. Are they just being pranked, or is there something more malicious at play? Find out for yourself by checking this one out. And don’t be surprised if you double-check the lock on your front door tonight.
For: The Kids. And you, because it’s freaking creepy
I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t include at least one kid-friendly animated option, and I couldn’t think of anything to more perfectly represent the genre than Coraline. Seriously, just watch the trailer and tell me how creepy the Other Mother is. This film follows the adventures of a girl named Coraline who finds a doorway to a parallel world where everything is just a wee bit different. This one was directed by the same guy who made The Nightmare Before Christmas, so if you liked that movie then you’ll most likely enjoy this one as well.
The Babadook (R)
For: Fans of slower-paced films with nursery rhyme style horror
It was hard for me to actually pin down exactly who this film was for, because it can be a lot of things to a lot of different people. For most of us, this is probably just going to be a ghost story about a book and a creepy entity haunting a family. For others among us, it might be a harrowing tale about a mother struggling with her grief and depression. Either way, it’s a good film that is sure to make your skin crawl in the most fantastic of ways. Equal parts horror and nursery-rhyme-gone-wrong, The Babadook is sure to make you dread hearing someone knock on your door.
For: Action-oriented horror fans
VERY loosely based on DC’s Hellblazer comics, Constantine follows John Constantine as he’s caught in the middle of the eternal battle between the forces of heaven and hell. This one has less horror and more action, though there still are a few creepy scenes that might stick with you after you turn the lights off for the evening. If you like the idea of angels and demons running rampant on Earth and think an ass-kicking Keanu Reeves sounds like a fun time, then this movie is for you.
Battle Royale (R)
For: Foreign movie fans, action-based horror fans
What if The Hunger Games focused less on funny hairstyles and love triangles, and more on the brutality of children fighting to the death? That’s what you’ll get if you give the Japanese film Battle Royale a watch, which came out way before The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. This one is violent, gory, and absolutely disturbing in all of the best ways. If you were disappointed by how watered down The Hunger Games ultimately was in its film adaptation, then it’s possible that Battle Royale might scratch that itch for you instead. It’s creepy and horrifying and damn good fun.
Death Note (PG-13)
For: Fans of cat-and-mouse, mystery based thrillers
I almost hesitated to include this one because it didn’t quite hit a lot of the criteria I had for what qualifies as a horror series. Ultimately I had to include it just because of how good it is. There’s a reason Netflix made a pretty terrible live-action adaptation of this story and that’s because it’s an all-time classic. It might not be conventionally horrifying, but the idea of a psychopathic megalomaniac stumbling across a notebook that lets him kill anyone he wants to gets more disturbing the more you think about it. There’s seldom anything more horrifying than giving someone else the power of life and death over us, and this animated series explores the depths a soul will sink to when given almost god-like power. Netflix has both the English and original Japanese dubs, but I strongly recommend the Japanese dub for this one if subtitles don’t make you too uncomfortable. Even if anime isn’t your thing, trust me on this one. It’s great. (Avoid the live-action remake at all costs)
For: Fans of science-fiction, dystopian horror
This is the anthology series that everybody has been talking about for years now, but if you’ve somehow missed it then do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s easily the best anthology series since The Twilight Zone if you’re looking to get creeped out in all of the best ways. Most of the horror from this series comes from technology and our reliance on it as a society, so if you’re looking for something to provide a little social commentary while you get your horror fix then Black Mirror is exactly what you’re looking for.
For: Comedy fans, slasher parody fans
Oh man, what can I even say about Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil? It’s perfect from start to finish. It asks the question, “What if all of those redneck-killer-in-the-woods movies were all just a huge misunderstanding?” and then proceeds to answer that question in the most glorious fashion imaginable. Only watch as much of the trailer as you absolutely have to before checking this movie out, because the best part of the movie is being surprised by all of the gristly ways in which things go wrong for Tucker and Dale. This one is almost single-handedly a comedy film, but you’ll appreciate all of the horror-movie tropes it makes fun of just the same.
The VVITCH (R)
For: Indie-horror film lovers, slow paced and atmospheric
I actually just covered this one last week in “What to Watch: Week of September 23” but I felt like I had to include it here just the same. It’s quintessential horror drip-fed through a slow build up, but it’s engaging and creepy enough to get your heart racing. I felt the need to end things with a really creepy film for people looking for plain and simple horror, and I couldn’t think of a creepier one to conclude this list with than The VVITCH.
So there you have it! These are 10 spooky series I would definitely check out! If you enjoyed this content from The Bench Sports, check out our merch store here and pick yourself up a little something!