Why when life itself gets so horrific — death, famine, eggs winning Instagram — why do we then seek the refuge of horror movies?
I don’t know the answer to the question. It was just rhetorical. Anyway, these are the 50 best horror movies on Netflix. Some of them are actually good.
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“1922”: Nebraska-set Stephen King adaptation starring Thomas Jane.
“All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”: Well-shot slasher starring Amber Heard.
“Apostle”: “The Raid” director returns with a “Wicker Man”-esque horror movie starring Dan Stevens.
“The Autopsy of Jane Doe”: Effective haunted morgue movie starring Brian Cox.
“The Axe Murders of Villisca”: A terrible movie, but one with local-ish ties.
“Backcountry”: A reliably riveting survival movie in which Missy Peregrym (of “Stick It” fame) tries to escape the wrath of an aggressive black bear.
“Barking Dogs Never Bite”: A man takes drastic action against a barking dog in this horror-comedy from the director of “Okja.”
“Bird Box”: The hit Sandra Bullock thriller, in which sinister beings have taken over Earth. If you see the evil things, you go mad, trying to kill yourself or others.
“Bride of Chucky”: Among the funniest Chucky movies and also the one that stars Katherine Heigl.
“Cam”: A webcam girl has her account taken over by her doppelganger and goes to grisly ends to log back in.
“Cargo”: Poignant ticking-clock zombie movie starring Martin Freeman.
“Christine”: Stephen King, John Carpenter and an evil car walk into a movie.
“The Bad Batch”: Wonderfully bizarre cannibal comedy featuring gonzo turns from Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves and Jason Momoa.
“The Collection”: Gruesomely inventive booby-trap thriller, the sequel to 2009’s “The Collector.”
“The Conjuring”: One of the best (and scariest) horror movies of the past decade.
“Creep”: Mark Duplass is a creepy guy who pays another guy to film him at a remote cabin.
“Cult of Chucky”: The Chucky saga continues.
“Death Note”: Unfairly maligned horror-fantasy in which a teen obtains a book of dark magic: If he writes someone’s name in the book, that person is killed horribly. Willem Dafoe co-stars as a rascally demon.
“The Devil's Candy”: Ethan Embry plays a painter who finds a muse in the Satanic forces living in his rural Texas home.
“Don't Kill It”: Dolph Lundgren plays a demon hunter named Jebediah Huntley who teams up with an FBI agent to battle supernatural forces in Mississippi.
“The Endless”: A slow, frustrating horror movie with a few interesting ideas.
“Evolution”: Gothic thriller set in a French seaside town with a history of bizarre medical procedures.
“The Eyes of My Mother”: I think most people generally aren’t prepared for how far this film goes.
“Flatliners”: The Julia Roberts/Kiefer Sutherland paranormal thriller about a group of medical students who tap into the afterlife.
“From Dusk Till Dawn”: The grimy and cruel outlaw thriller that becomes a goofy, gory vampire movie. Vintage Clooney.
“Gerald's Game”: A woman gets handcuffed to a bed during a sex game, and her partner dies of a heart attack, leaving her trapped.
“The Gift”: Joel Edgerton’s disquieting goatee.
“Green Room”: Punks. Nazis. Extreme knife violence.
“Hush”: A deaf woman is tormented by a masked killer, and uses her disability as a weapon.
“I Know What You Did Last Summer”: I still know what you did last summer.
“It Follows”: One of the best horror movies since “Blair Witch Project,” an ’80s nostalgia piece with an ingeniously scary premise: monster as venereal disease.
“Jason Goes to Hell”: The title is kind of a spoiler.
“The Monster”: Zoe Kazan stars as an ambivalent mother trying to save her daughter from a monster after her car breaks down on a deserted road.
“The Nightmare”: A horror-hued documentary about the terror of sleep paralysis.
“Piranha 3D”: The director of “High Tension” makes a dumb, cheesy, gory and irresistible remake of the Joe Dante classic.
“Rats”: Morgan Spurlock trades up cheeseburgers for vermin, traveling across the globe to explore the world of rats, and their complicated relationship to humans.
“Ravenous”: A beautifully made Quebecois zombie movie with a slow-burn build-up that steers into a surreal finale.
“Raw”: The best French coming-of-age cannibal drama that I’m aware of.
“The Ritual”: A well-done example of the there’s-something-evil-in-the-woods genre.
“Shaun of the Dead”: The brilliant Edgar Wright zombie comedy that launched a hundred lesser zombie comedies.
“The Sixth Sense”: M. Night Shyamalan’s career has been so rocky that it’s easy to forget what a good run he had with this, “Unbreakable” and “Signs.”
“The Strangers”: Never-shattering home-invasion thriller that makes sadistically good use of negative space.
“Train to Busan”: A wildly unpredictable zombies-on-a-train movie from South Korea.
“Under the Shadow”: An evil entity haunts a family in 1980s Tehran.
“Under the Skin”: Scarlett Johansson is an alien who uses her beauty to reel in men and process them for food to send back to her home planet. Problems arise when she begins to empathize with her food. One of the best and most unclassifiable films of the last 10 years.
“Veronica”: Solid demonic thriller from the director of “[Rec].”
“The Village”: This M. Night Shyamalan movie isn’t that bad, though it was the inflection point, the descent into madness that brought us “Lady in the Water,” “The Happening” and “The Last Airbender.”
“The Void”: A grotesquely gooey supernatural body horror movie filtered through a John Carpenter aesthetic.
“The Wailing”: Tremendous and bonkers South Korean thriller about a mysterious sickness spreading throughout a small village.
“The Witch”: Robert Eggers’ black-hearted horror movie, set in the 1630s and following a family as they're torn apart by the dark magic of a nearby witch.