In time for Halloween, we recommend these movies—all streamable on Netflix—for some seriously creepy movie nights with friends. (And if you’re in the market for a full-day binge, try the eerie Netflix series Sabrina, Marianne, or The Haunting of Hill House.)
The gist: Black photographer Chris gets more than he bargained for when he reluctantly agrees to spend the weekend at the upstate New York family home of his white girlfriend, Rose, in a film that’s simultaneously a breakneck thriller and a savvy social satire.
Why we love it: Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut (and Oscar-winner for Best Original Screenplay) is a totally unique mash-up of Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, Rosemary’s Baby, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Featuring standout performances from Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams, Get Out is a modern horror classic that will make you laugh and scream.
Creepy rating: 7/10
Under the Shadow
The gist: Set in Tehran in the 1980s, Shideh and her daughter Dorsa face a dark supernatural force growing inside their home at the same time as the War of the Cities threatens their homeland outside.
Why we love it: Shideh is a smart and nuanced female character who you’ll want to root for. The dark and atmospheric film is creepy and supernatural, but at the same time, a deeply human portrait of a woman’s love for her daughter and her stubborn will to survive.
Creepy rating: 8.5/10
The gist: After a car accident, Jane and her photographer boyfriend, Tun, are haunted by a string of suicides and mysterious images that begin to appear in Tun’s photographs.
Why we love it: In the tradition of The Ring and The Grudge, Shutter is a supernatural thriller steeped in urban legend and featuring a vengeful female spirit. (Be sure to watch the original Thai version, rather than the lesser American remake.)
Creepy rating: 7/10
The gist: Amelia is a widow bringing up her challenging six-year-old son, Sam, alone. One night, Sam asks her to read a strange storybook called Mister Babadook. Sam becomes obsessed with the disturbing character of the Babadook as supernatural occurrences plague their home.
Why we love it: The Babadook is a beautifully shot meditation on motherhood, mental illness, and grief. Essie Davis, who plays the harassed Amelia, gives a stunning performance. Plus, what’s not to love about the film that gave us the iconic queer icon, the Babadook?
Creepy rating: 7.5/10
The gist: After receiving an invitation from his ex-wife, Will brings his new girlfriend to a dinner party in the Hollywood hills. Back in the home he shared with his ex-wife and their now-deceased son, Will finds himself reliving the trauma of their child’s death. And as his ex-wife begins to push her New Age beliefs about grieving and the afterlife, the night descends from awkward to dangerous.
Why we love it: This slow-burn of a thriller gets your heart pumping and your palms sweaty. The Invitation is as much about the anxiety of its relatable premise (who hasn’t had an awkward catch-up with an ex?) as it is about the aftermath of trauma, old friends… and cults!
Creepy rating: 6/10
(Original – 1960)
The gist: Marion Crane is on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer. Exhausted, on a stormy night, Marion stops at the Bates Motel and meets the proprietor, Norman Bates. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Why we love it: This Alfred Hitchcock classic is a classic for a reason. You probably already know the basics—the iconic score, that shower scene, Norman Bates… and his mother. But believe me when I say this movie is worth watching in full, preferably somewhere cozy on a dark and stormy night.
Creepy rating: 5/10
The gist: A group of old friends from university pay tribute to their recently deceased friend by hiking along the King’s Trail in northern Sweden. The group soon becomes lost among trees carved with strange symbols and begin to panic as they sense they’re being pursued.
Why we love it: Come for the beautiful, sweeping views of the Swedish landscape, and stay for some seriously creepy Scandinavian folk-horror!
Creepy rating: 6.5/10
Creep / Creep 2
The gist: Videographer Aaron makes the biggest mistake of life in accepting a job from Josef, a man supposedly dying of cancer, in this found-footage horror.
Why we love it: Mark Duplass, as the charismatic but deeply disconcerting Josef, is absolutely magnetic. The low-budget indie horror packs a punch in the over-saturated found footage field with its tense atmosphere and anxiety-inducing script. And don’t miss Creep’s equally creepy sequel, Creep 2.
Creepy rating: 10/10
The gist: After the death of her mother, artist Annie Graham and her family grapple with their dark family legacy and the demonic forces that torment them.
Why we love it: This one is not for the faint of heart. The emotional film is disturbing and, at times, terrifying. That being said, this superb debut from filmmaker Ari Aster is one of the best horror movies of the last decade. The wrenching film features an Oscar-worthy performance from Toni Collette.
Creepy rating: 11/10