Whether you love a gore-fest, a psychological horror, or something a little more light-hearted, Netflix has you covered for horror content. Yet, with so many movies on the streaming service, it can be difficult to pick your preferred helping of scares off the menu when you settle in for a movie night.
Items on Netflix are constantly changing and updating, making it is impossible to come up with a definitive list of their horror movies. Trimming down the fantastic range of frightening content in their subcategories is a task. That’s where we come in. If you like your movies to leave an unsettling impression on you and you haven’t already managed to get through all these gut-wrenching offerings, put aside a day to check them out.
For skin-crawling scares, grab some popcorn, switch off the lights and settle down to watch these movies currently available on the streaming service. Or perhaps leave the lights on. Some of these troubling stories will make it impossible to sleep without them. Other will leave you itching for a shower.
Here are 15 Movies On Netflix Too Disturbing To Watch.
15 Hush (2016)
It is easy to dismiss Hush as yet another home invasion thriller. Directed and edited by Mike Flanagan, who debuted with Oculus in 2014, Hush raises itself above the clichés to deliver a claustrophobic thriller.
It stars Kate Siegel, who co-wrote the piece with Flanagan, as Maddie. A deaf author, Maddie has moved to a remote location to avoid distractions and finish her book. One night, she settles in to write, unaware that outside there waits a heavily-armed, masked intruder poised to break in.
What follows is a clever cat-and-mouse chase which will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Maddie is a resourceful protagonist but she is not unrealistic. The film manages to deliver the correct ratio of gore and suspense to frighten but not desensitize.
It leaves the viewer to wonder if they would fare as well given a similar desperate situation. You'll definitely check your doors are locked after watching this one.
14 Hostel (2005)
Eli Roth’s brutal 2005 horror Hostel is a slightly older entry on this list but one that has boasted an unexpected durability.
Best buddies Josh and Paxton spend the summer after graduation on a hedonistic backpacking tour of Europe. In Amsterdam, they meet Oli, an Icelandic traveler who shares the boys’ penchant for sex and drugs. Drawn in by enticing rumors of a Slovakian hostel filled with all their favorite vices, the three travel even further in search of women and thrills.
What they actual find is a slaughterhouse, one they cheerfully walk into in pursuit of beautiful women. Inside, rich denizens pay to fulfill their darkest torture fantasies - and Josh and Paxton are the entertainment.
The plot really is that simple. While watching the three dumb thrill-seekers undergo bone-crunching, eye-popping violence, the audience is placed in an odd position. The trio are unlikable but no one deserves that sort of abuse.
Hostel is an exercise in how much gore the audience can endure as much as it is about how much torture the characters can take.
13 Would You Rather (2012)
Would You Rather is a movie that might make you think twice about playing that particular party game ever again.
Director David Guy Levy’s twisted horror sees a sadistic millionaire force dinner guests to play a sick version of the game for large sums of money. The lead character is Iris, a young woman who cares for her seriously ill brother and desperately needs the offered money to pay for her brother’s medical treatment.
At first, Shepard’s dilemmas are nasty but relatively harmless. For example, making Iris, a vegetarian, eat a steak for a large amount of cash. Then the options become incredibly violent – forcing contestants to torture themselves or each other.
From electric shocks to stabbing, to slicing eyeballs, the film is a well-staged slaughter-fest. With a surprisingly low level of gore, the real chills come from following each person’s fatal decision-making process and wondering what you would do in the same situation.
12 I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House (2016)
An American-Canadian horror, I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a ghost story within a ghost story.
Starring is Ruth Wilson as Lily, a live-in nurse looking after an elderly lady with dementia. She becomes convinced the house is haunted. The opening frames are artful and chilling with a female voice-over speaking to the audience. The next frame reveals that the voice belongs to Lily and she lets us know, “three days ago I turned 28 years old. I will never be 29 years old.”
With Ruth's fate sealed in the eyes of the audience, it is difficult to not jump at every shifting shadow and creaking floorboard in the isolated manor where she now works. Mrs. Bloom, the elderly lady she cares for, was once a prolific author and keeps calling Lily "Polly" after a doomed heroine in her novel, The Lady in the Walls.
If you have the patience for horrors which offer a more cerebral and languid storytelling atmosphere then this is one to check out.
11 Creep (2014)
Creep is a found footage horror and the directorial debut of Patrick Brice. The genre is at time a sadly overdone shock trope, but Creep offers an unexpectedly fresh take.
The protagonist is a filmmaker who is short of cash and answers a Craigslist ad offering $1000 for a day’s filming. He arrives at a remote cabin to document the life of an odd recluse who appears friendly but as the day goes on is revealed to be less sincere.
Chilling in its simplicity, it is well-acted enough to feel uncomfortably realistic. The film-making technique lends itself to a truly personal horror and the interplay between the two main players is intense. There are no fast-paced thrills in this film but the last scene is worth waiting for.
10 Under the Shadow (2016)
Under the Shadow is an internationally co-produced horror film written and directed by Iranian-born Babak Anvari.
Shideh (Narges Rashidi) is a young mother and medical student, living in 1980s Tehran with her daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi). She struggles to hold her life together as the Iran-Iraq war rages around her. Set against this cruel war-torn backdrop, Shideh becomes convinced that a missile which fell on their home was cursed and that a supernatural force is attempting to possess her daughter.
Whether you believe the demons are real or represent the horrors of war, the movie still delivers some nail-biting scares. It takes the traditional supernatural horror tropes and places them in a setting which makes it all the more grueling and visceral. It's an intelligent story that challenges even as it frightens.
9 The Invitation (2015)
The Invitation is an elegant and tense drama with a simple premise. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) accepts an invitation to a dinner party at his former home by his ex-wife and her new partner. The party includes some new faces, who the hosts met in Mexico while visiting a community that helps you deal with trauma. They come across as a little unusual, but largely harmless. Will is convinced there's something wrong, however, and the incredible tension of the movie comes from waiting for him to be proven right - or wrong.
Karyn Kusama’s helping of emotive horror is praised for treating its audience like adults. Most unsettling due to its grounding in a relatable reality, the film take the audience on a psychological journey, exploring themes of grief and loss.
The atmosphere is definitely a slow burn but the whole set-up is disconcerting. It would spoil the surprise to reveal too much so make sure to watch it before you read all the spoilers.
8 The Babadook (2014)
Plagued by her husband’s tragic death, a single mother struggles with her young son’s erratic behavior as he truly begins to think a monster from a children’s book lurks in their house.
This Australian psychological horror is Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut. The Babadook manages to avoid almost all horror clichés but it is not for everyone.
The Babadook himself is eerie in his undertaker’s coat and hat, with long claw-like fingers. He delivers his chilling tale through rhyme and a children’s pop-up book. Yet, the real horror is far less obvious.
Essie Davis’ Amelia undergoes a chilling descent into madness and she struggles with her son’s behavior and her own buried fears. The core metaphors of motherhood and depression are obvious but powerful. The Babadook is guaranteed to haunt you long after the credits roll.
7 Unfriended (2014)
Unfriended combines two of the tiredest clichés in horror movies, as a found-footage entry in the teen-slasher genre. Yet the subversive nature of the content produces a film that is surprisingly scary.
A group of friends in an online chatroom are haunted by someone, or something, using a dead friend’s account. Thinking it a technical glitch, the teens are unconcerned until the account begins messaging them, claiming to be Laura, a girl who committed suicide exactly one-year prior.
The entity begins forcing the teens to expose their darkest secrets. Then the killing starts.
At heart, Unfriended follows in the footsteps of old slasher films like Friday the 13th as a supernatural force punishes the teens for their misdeeds. In this case, it utilizes modern technology to ground the horror in a situation that is familiar, and by extension more disturbing, to modern teens.
6 Mama (2013)
Guillermo del Toro serves as executive producer on this 2013 supernatural horror movie.
Mama is an unusual tale of two sisters discovered seemingly abandoned in a cabin, after their father kills his wife and takes the kids to the remote forest location. After five years alone in the cabin, the girls are eventually found and reunited with their uncle, the identical twin of their now deceased father. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, known by most as Jaime from Game of Thrones, stars alongside Jessica Chastain as the couple who make the difficult decision to foster the troubled girls.
It becomes obvious as the film progresses that something else has already fostered the feral girls while they were lost in the woods. An entity, which the girls refer to as "Mama", becomes increasingly hostile as the new carers bond with the girls.
Though high in traditional jump scares, the film is also a surprisingly emotional addition to the supernatural horror genre.
5 Funhouse Massacre (2015)
One of the few horror comedies on this list, Funhouse Massacre (2015) documents six psychopathic killers escaping from a local Asylum and taking over a local Halloween Fun House.
Animal the Cannibal, a cannibal chef who served his customers to his customers; Dr. Suave, a sadistic dentist; The Taxidermist, a man who enjoys stuffing humans as much as birds; Rocco the Clown, a wrestler who killed his opponents; and Manny Dyer, a cult leader who inspired his flock to commit suicide, all replace actors hired to play them and begin recreating their famous atrocities.
The plot is not particularly original and the main meat of the story focuses around traditional slasher mayhem. Yet the film leans into the tropes and the overall picture is surprisingly insightful.
As the six lunatics begin going to town on the unsuspecting Halloween thrill-seekers, the other visitors just think it is a part of the show. Teens take selfies with dying victims rather than help them and the crowd applauds the realism when Manny tries to tell them it has all been real. The most disturbing aspect of the movie is how plausible the audience’s reactions are.
While the psychopathic killers are comedy tropes, the desensitized audience members feel all too real.
4 The Human Centipede (2009)
Who doesn’t know the reputation of The Human Centipede (First Sequence)? It is so deplorable and revolting that it has achieved an almost cult status. Any list of disturbing movies would be incomplete without the Dutch body horror.
Roger Ebert said of the first film: "No horror film I've seen inflicts more terrible things on its victims than “The Human Centipede.”"
This is not an exaggeration. Dr. Heiter, an insane surgeon who lives in a luxury villa in a forest in Germany, has a sick life-time dream: to connect humans, via their gastric system, to bring to life "the human centipede." When some tourists break down near his home, he gets his chance.
If you have the stomach, Netflix currently has not one, not two, but all three entries in the infamous body horror set. Be warned, The Human Centipede is not for the faint-hearted.
3 It Follows (2014)
It Follows is one of few modern horrors to be hailed as truly original when it was released in 2014.
In a nutshell, a 19-year-old woman indulges in a fairly commonplace sexual encounter, only to find herself plagued by the sense that something is following her. Without giving too much away, she finds that the only way to rid herself of this relentless pursuing terror that only she can see, is by passing the curse onto someone else through a consensual sexual act.
Director David Robert Mitchell’s first movie was a coming-of-age indie flick The Myth of the American Sleepover, making this disturbing horror follow-up all the more shocking. The mysterious tale is a story of intimacy and sex, even as it is about horror and shame.
To explain too much would ruin the experience. It Follows is a suspenseful set-piece that lives up to the hype.
2 Honeymoon (AKA Luna De Miel) (2015)
Honeymoon, AKA Luna De Miel, opens in typical rom-com style as comically tragic Jorge tries and fails to speak to the object of his affection, his beautiful neighbor Isabel, in a series of cringe-inducing scenes.
Jorge is determined to live happily ever after with Isabel, not letting his shyness or even her current joyful marriage, get in his way.
The ruse of the jaunty opening serves to make the main substance of the story all the more disturbing. Jorge kidnaps Isabel, ties her up in his basement and performs a marriage ceremony. What follows is a colorless, clinical torture flick. To keep his new wife in line, Jorge resorts to an electric collar and various surgical punishments for her missteps and attempts to escape.
Mundane scenes such as Jorge washing Isabel in the shower while she weeps are shot unrelentingly close-up. The audience is placed at the kidnapper’s point of view, making them compliant in his cruel and gruesome actions.
Stark and unsettling, this movie leaves you feeling uncomfortable and oddly guilty.
1 The Neon Demon (2016)
At the same time stylish and perverse, The Neon Demon shocked audiences when it debuted in Cannes.
Elle Fanning plays Jesse, an aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles to seek her fortune but swiftly finds her innocent beauty tainted by the gilded cruelty of the industry; her talent is (literally) devoured by her narcissistic fellow models.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn, of Drive (2011) fame, paints a picture that is surreal and stunning. In this polarizing movie, Elle is presented throughout as an object draped across the lurid scenes in which she features, but also as one unnervingly aware of the gazes upon her.
Glamour and fashion are depicted hand-in-hand with cannibalism and necrophilia. Either shallow or a masterpiece, one thing is certain: The Neon Demon is a hypnotic feast for the senses.
How many of these movies have you watched? Which horror movie disturbed you too much to finish? Let us know in the comments!
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