The 11 Best Horror Movies on Netflix: October 2023


Boo! It’s October 1, which means it’s officially spooky season for the next 30 days. And what better way to celebrate the start of spooky season than by watching horror movies on Netflix?

In years past, Netflix has treated subscribers to a month of one new original horror movie a week. The streamer isn’t doing that this year, but there are still plenty of other horror movies in the Netflix library. That includes genre films from Guillermo del Toro, slasher franchises like Fear Street, and psychological thrillers like The Perfection. No matter how tough you are, we guarantee there’s a movie on this list that will scare you.

  • Crimson Peak Romance
    Photos: Everett Collection ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

    Director Guillermo del Toro knows how to make viewers both horny and scared. Mia Wasikowska stars as a young woman who goes to stay with an eccentric baronet (Tom Hiddleston) and his equally off-putting sister (Jessica Chastain). This is a true ghost story with impeccable vibes, that is sure to get you in the mood for spooky season.

    Photo: Everett Collection

    Directed by Jessica M. Thompson and written by Blair Butler, this 2022 horror movie is a fresh take on Bram Stroker’s Dracula novel. Nathalie Emmanuel stars as a struggling artist who takes a DNA test and discovers that she has a rich cousin in England. Not only that but said rich cousin also has a rich friend who is totally into her. It’s every starving artist’s dream come true… right? Too bad about that whole vampire thing.

  • In the Tall Grass Avery Whitted

    Directed and adapted by Vincenzo Natali, In the Tall Grass is a scary, disturbing, horrific film adaptation of a 2012 short story from Stephen King. Laysla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted star as two siblings, Becky and Cal, who are lured to a field of grass (tall grass) when they hear a little boy named Tobin (Will Buie Jr.) crying for help. This is no ordinary grass, however—this is evil grass. In the Tall Grass is full of twists and disturbing imagery, and ties it all up with satisfying emotional arcs for its characters. It’s a must-watch for fans of horror and King alike.

  • Fear Street Part 1
    Photo: Everett Collection

     Fear Street Part 1: 1994 on Netflix is not only a fun, gory, R-rated adaptation of the R.L. Stine book series, it’s also a super cute lesbian love story. The very charming Kiana Madeira stars as a teen girl in the ’90s named Deena, who recently broke up with her girlfriend Sam (Olivia Welch), after Sam transferred from the downtrodden Shadyside High to their affluent rivals, Sunnyvale. But soon the girls have more to worry about than drama and rivalries when a masked killer starts terrorizing their friends. Director Leigh Janiak manages to make Fear Street a fun, nostalgic throwback for ’90s kids that will also no doubt appeal to the horror-loving subset of Gen Z.

  • FEAR STREET PART 2: 1978
    Photo: Netflix

    After you finish the first Fear Street movie, you might as well follow it up with the sequel. Clearly drawing inspiration from—and improving on—’80s horror flicks like Friday the 13th, this second installment is fun, gory, and surprisingly romantic. It’s also even better than the already solid first entry in the trilogy. Stranger Things star Sadie Sink shines as Ziggy, an angry teenager from the downtrodden city of Shadyside who can’t understand her sister Cindy’s positive outlook on life. But when a murderer starts terrorizing their summer camp, the girls must set aside their differences and work together. Fair warning: this smart, funny, sexy, and gory slasher earns its R-rating, and may not be for the faint of heart.

  • Fear Street Part 3
    Photo: Netflix

    You’ve made it this far, so you may as well watch the third and final film in the Fear Street series.  Fear Street: 1666 is a satisfying ending to this fun, fresh, R-rated horror trilogy. In particular, the 1666 section of the movie—which finally gave viewers the chilling origin story of the Shadyside witch, Sarah Fier—delivered impeccable colonial horror vibes and kept the suspense alive. Also, like the first film, it’s very gay. The queer teens don’t know how good they have it these days!

  • UMMA, Sandra Oh, 2022
    Photo: ©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Sandra Oh as a scream queen? Don’t mind if I do! This 2022 supernatural thriller from writer/director Iris K. Shim stars Oh as a single mother, who lives with her daughter in an isolated farmhouse. That might be a fine existence if it weren’t for the ghost of Oh’s mother who keeps haunting them. Umma was also produced by Sam Raimi, the man behind the best Spider-Man films, if that sweetens the deal for ya.

  • Annihilation ending explained
    ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

    Yes, Annihilation is a horror movie, and no, I won’t be taking questions at this time. Filmmaker Alex Garland, who adapted the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, delivered impeccable vibes: Luscious green forests full of terrifying monsters, delicate flowers that can literally kill you, and that iconic soundtrack that never fails to send a chill down my spine. And this is the rare sci-fi movie that offers not just one, not just two, but five great roles for women—Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny as a team of soldier-scientists—and they all crush it. And yes, the ending is confusing, but if you really pay attention, it does make sense.

  • Allison Williams in The Perfection
    Photo: Netflix

    This psychological thriller from director Richard Shepard cemented Allison Williams’s place as a twisted scream queen. Williams stars as Charlotte, a former child prodigy on the cello who was forced to drop out of her prestigious music conservatory when her mother fell ill. After her mother dies, she seeks out her old mentor Anton (Steven Weber), and discovers he has a new favorite student named Lizzie (Logan Browning). Immediately, Charlotte and Lizzie fall into an intense sexual relationship. In lieu of spoilers, let’s just say that two women end up in a horrific situation, orchestrated by Charlotte out of jealousy. It’s not a perfect film (pun intended), but it features disturbing visuals you’ll never forget.

  • Russell Crowe possessed by a demon, screaming, with a distorted jaw, in The Pope's Exorcist
    Photo: Sony Pictures

    Directed by Julius Avery, this 2023 supernatural horror flick stars Russell Crowe as “the James Bond of exorcists,” aka Father Gabriele Amorth. To say The Pope’s Exorcist is “based on a true story” would be a stretch, but it is based on the memoirs of the real-life priest, Father Gabriele Amorth, who worked as an official exorcist for the Catholic Church from 1986 until his death in 2016. The late William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, even made a documentary about him back in 2018 called The Devil and Father Amorth. If you want to choose to believe, in the spirit of spooky season, we won’t tell.

  • Sandra Bullock in 'Bird Box'
    Photo: Netflix

    This surprise break-out hit for Netflix, directed by Susanne Bier, is pure genre fun. The great Sandra Bullock stars as a tough-as-nails lone wolf trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by mysterious monsters. One look at these monsters will drive you insane, so survivors are forced to wear blindfolds outside. It’s not exactly elevated horror, but it is a creative, original, and fun monster movie. Plus, Sandra Bullock!

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