Top 5 best scary movies & TV shows to watch on Netflix for Halloween

Tanner Pierce

With Halloween just around the corner, what better way to get into the spirit than by checking out some great fantastic spooky films and tv shows? These aren’t some boring slasher flicks though – these are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and some of the most unsettling things you’ll watch on Netflix.

Halloween and horror flicks go together like peanut butter and chocolate: While both are great on their own, they elevate each other to new heights when experienced together. Unfortunately, there are quite a few scary movies that are monotonous, boring experiences, which do very little to terrify you outside of cheap jump scares. And when a horror flick is bad, it’s VERY bad.

Fortunately, there are still some fantastic horror films and TV shows that fans of the holiday can sink their teeth into, especially on Netflix. While you won’t be screaming your head off like a ‘final girl,’ they will keep you steadily creeped out and unsettled during your time with them. It’s important to note, however, the following list is not a ranking, and represents very different and distinct horror styles.

The Haunting of Hill House

Mike Flanagan’s ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ mini-series is one of the scariest modern horror projects in recent memory, and is a perfect example of how directors of today can make a scary show that’s also smart.

For those who don’t know, the story is told through the Crain family in two separate time periods: one when the family is younger and living in a haunted house, and one when the family is older and dealing with the trauma from their childhood.

Between the clever ghosts hidden in the background of almost every shot and its unique way of telling the story of a family who has already experienced real-life horror, to its genuinely creepy tone, The Haunting of Hill House is absolutely terrific and a must-watch: Especially with the follow-up series, The Haunting of Bly Manor, already hitting the streaming service.

Silence of the Lambs

Some people might not call this a horror film, but it’s important to remember that all something in the “horror” genre has to do is make you unsettled. With that being said, Silence of the Lambs accomplishes this in spades.

Of course, most people are probably familiar with this particular title, as the film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. That, however, is one of the reasons it’s on this list. Being of such high pedigree is something that most films in general don’t have the distinction of having.

There’s just too many good things to say about this flick, especially between its engaging story and the brilliant performance of Sir Anthony Hopkins.


When most people think of Netflix and horror films, this is more than likely the first thing that comes to mind. Once again from Mike Flanagan, the same person who created the aforementioned ‘Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘Bly Manor’ series, this film takes the concept of a home break-in and turns it on its head by featuring a hearing impaired main character.

While not profoundly deep, nor elevating the genre to a new level, it’s still a very entertaining watch – especially with its unique main character and very limited amount of dialogue.

American Horror Story (Seasons 1 and 2)

While the show is currently nowhere near as good as it once was, the early seasons of American Horror Story were genuinely scary television, especially the first season.

For those who don’t know, each season has its own story and its own set of characters (at least for the first few seasons, that is), which essentially forces the creators to come up with something fresh each time. Unfortunately, later seasons got overly complicated with returning characters and storylines, which essentially turned it from what many saw as a horror show to a simple drama.

That being said, seasons 1 and 2, Murder House and Asylum are fantastic horror projects with very similar styles. If you’re in the mood for a horror show, these two seasons will do no wrong.

The Evil Dead

What horror movie list doesn’t have ‘The Evil Dead’ on it? The film practically set the stage for modern horror movies with its violence and gore, and while the films that were eventually inspired by these elements might be considered cheesy slasher flicks, this one works well.

The movie follows Ash Williams, who has since become one of the most popular horror characters of all time (even appearing in some video games like ‘Dead by Daylight’), and his friends in a cabin in the Tennessee woods. Demonic possessions of Ash and his friends occur, and after that, we are off to the races.

It’s just a fun time, and while director Sam Raimi’s frantic and chaotic style of filming may not be for everyone, there’s no denying this film’s place on the list.

While this list may not be the most complex in the world, it does highlight some of the best horror projects on the streaming service. If Netflix is your only option this Halloween, these will easily be your best bet. What are some of your favorites that you’d put in your own top 5?

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