The Best Scary Movies on Netflix

By Phill Powell

Netflix has so many horror movies to choose from, it can be difficult knowing what to pick. But here’s a potent handful of scary flix that are streaming right now on Netflix. Watch if you dare…

The Babadook (2014)

Now you see him. Now you don’t…

Struggling single mom Amelia can’t get any sleep due to her busy work schedule and her even busier son Sam, who’s convinced monsters lurk everywhere. Amelia is already wigging out when she finds a bizarre children’s book that starts haunting her and Sam. Enter Mr. Babadook, an evil spirit…or is sleep deprivation slowly driving Amelia insane?

There’s already plenty of buzz that this is a new classic. Master horror director William Friedkin claimed, “I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than The Babadook.” And he made The Exorcist!

Another Babadook fan: Horror writer Stephen King, who called it, “Deeply disturbing and highly recommended. You don’t watch it so much as experience it.” (Probably should be neither watched nor experienced by young children.)

Below (2002)

Funnyman Zach Galifianakis is wondering why his agent signed him up for a war movie/ghost story.

What if you were trapped with ghosts while under the waves as part of a submarine crew? Where would you go to escape? Those are the unsettling questions posed by Below.

During WWII, a U.S. sub picks up survivors of a boat sinking. Then weird stuff starts happening. Like a lot. Stranger still is the dramatic appearance of a pre-Hangover Zach Galifianakis.

The weirdest moment of all comes when one crewman gets so spooked by seeing a ghost onboard that he runs right out the sub’s torpedo hatch, preferring an instant death by drowning. Now that’s scared.

The Host (2006)

Armies of visual effects artists created the river monster that terrorizes Seoul, Korea in The Host.

The craziest “creature feature” of this century mixes a Korean river monster (about the size of a small truck) with a comedy about a dysfunctional family. Think Little Miss Godzilla.

Director Bong Joon Ho’s breakthrough movie – the most successful in Korean history – is many things at once: horror film, action flick, family comedy, political satire, etc.

The performances by the family members are incredible, as is the CGI title creature, a big mutated lizard with a strange mouth and frog-like skin. Words can’t really do it justice. You just gotta see it in action – especially during the ultra-intense initial monster-attack scene.

(Hint: We’ve watched The Host in Korean with subtitles and in dubbed English. The first way is funnier.)

The Harvest (2013)

Things get very dark indeed in The Harvest

The only monsters in The Harvest are human – but they’re more than enough. New kid on the block tries to get close to a very ill neighbor boy, who is treated at home by his mother and father (who work as a doctor and nurse, respectively).

Oddly, the parents don’t want their shut-in son to have any visitors, or any other human contact except for what they provide him. The new kid keeps trying to unravel the big mystery here, and when she does, it will definitely blow your mind.

This film features brilliant acting and one of the most bizarre premises you may ever see in any horror movie. No quick “funhouse” shocks like Paranormal Activity, but it’s got a revelation that’s such a stunner, don’t be alarmed when your mouth suddenly opens. That’s just your jaw dropping in amazement.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The_Sixth_Sense copy
You’d need an elaborate religious shrine in your bedroom, too, if you saw dead people coming to life.

And finally, one from the Classics bin. The Sixth Sense came out of nowhere and floored movie audiences, earning $680 million worldwide. The premise is simple: Young Cole (Haley Joel Osment) has a special gift that allows him to see dead people as if they were still alive, in the midst of living people who don’t realize the presence of the dearly departed.

Bruce Willis is a noted child psychologist who tries to help Cole figure out why he has this ability and what it all means. Along the way Cole encounters a series of living corpses, with whom he interacts and even tries to help.

The film’s twist ending is extremely simple yet highly effective. Director M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t been able to duplicate the wild success of The Sixth Sense, but that’s partially because movies like this one don’t just happen everyday. They are rare and worth remembering.


Filmmakers have made a fine art out of scaring us, and replicating our deepest nightmares. This coming summer you can discover filmmaking for yourself and see if it’s really as fun and rewarding as you think it is. Find out at one of Digital Media Academy’s summer tech camps that specializes in filmmaking and visual effects.

At DMA, you can take part in an actual production, and try on the different roles found on a production crew. And you’ll do this in a relaxed and fun setting with other kids and teens who share your creative interests. Check out DMA’s summer film camps today!

Happy hauntings…from DMA!