If you’re looking for the best horror movies on Netflix, there are a trio of scary films new to the site that should do the trick. Whether you’re in the mood for horror movies about demon possession or a shark flick that will put you on the edge of your seat, Netflix has the answer for you. Two of the films listed below are recent releases, including the 2018 Netflix original Before I Wake, and one is a classic gem that is absolutely terrifying.
47 Meters Down
Every few years a new high-quality shark film is released; in 2010, audiences were treated to The Reef, 2016 brought The Shallows to the table, and 2017 gave horror fans 47 Meters Down.
Two sisters, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt), are vacationing in Mexico when they go on an adventure in the ocean to get a closer look at sharks. But once they are lowered into the water in a shark cage, the cage’s chain snaps, sending the siblings to the bottom of the ocean. The sisters have a limited supply of oxygen and must leave the cage to survive, but a group of hungry great whites are waiting for them.
Perhaps one of the scariest horror movies from last summer, 47 Meters Down is filled with edge-of-your-seat suspense. This Netflix feature does a fine job in bringing the sibling dynamic to life, and the pair feel relatable. With a run time of 89 minutes, the film moves along at a nice pace. Before you know it, the sisters are boarding the boat, entering the cage, and are plunging to the bottom of the ocean.
The scares from this horror gem come from a few different avenues. There is, of course, the sharks. But perhaps even more terrifying is the claustrophobic feeling the movie entices. With great whites circling above, Lisa and Kate are seemingly trapped in the cage. But their oxygen supply is rapidly running out, and Netflix audiences will feel every breath they take.
The filmmakers do a nice job making the audience feel like they are on this journey with the sisters. The ending of the film offers a nice twist, and most viewers will probably be surprised. If you’re looking for horror movies on Netflix featuring sharks, then 47 Meters Down is a must-watch.
— 47 Meters Down (@47MDown) August 3, 2017
Before I Wake
Listed as a 2018 Netflix original, Before I Wake received a limited releasing in 2016. Now that it is being distributed by the streaming site, it is quickly becoming a favorite among horror fans. IMDb provides the premise for one of the best movies on Netflix of the supernatural.
“In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody…At First, they assume his previous unstable homes caused his aversion to sleep, but soon discover why: Cody’s dreams manifest in reality as he sleeps. In one moment they experience the incredible wonder of Cody’s imagination, in the next, the horrific nature of his night terrors.”
There has been a litany of horror movies made where a young child is haunted, possessed, or has some sort of supernatural issue. And though it may seem that Before I Wake is yet another addition to this trope, it is anything but. This Netflix original entices fear with genuine suspense, and also by several jump-scare moments that work well.
But more than just a horror movie, Before I Wake also works as a psychological drama. Cody’s story is likely to touch the hearts of Netflix viewers, as well the story of Jessie and Mark. The drama doesn’t detract from the horror, as Before I Wake is filled with suspense from beginning to end. The story builds to a satisfying climax, and the ending is a bit different compared to other horror movies made in a similar vein.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is perhaps the scariest film on Netflix. Loosely based on true events, this scary movie breathed new life into the possession subgenre of horror. Netflix provides the synopsis for one of the best horror movies of the early 2000s.
“An agnostic defense attorney is alarmed when she starts to believe her client—a priest accused of negligent homicide after an exorcism gone wrong.”
Rather than relying on gore and jump-scare tactics, the film entices fear with genuine suspense and terrifying visuals that will stick to Netflix audiences long after the credits role. And though many movies have attempted the same — horror films like The Last Exorcism, The Devil Inside, and Deliver Us from Evil — none of them persuade fear like The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
The cast all deliver great performances. Jennifer Carpenter portrays Emily brilliantly, Tom Wilkinson as the priest is likely to lure empathy from Netflix audiences, and Laura Linney as the defense attorney, per her usual, is sharp. The movie is effective both as a horror flick and as a courtroom drama.
The crux of the film takes place in the courtroom, and then audiences are treated to terrifying flashbacks revealing the story of Emily and her possession. This Netflix favorite builds to a gripping finale showing the exorcism and the legal fate of Father Moore.
With titles like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, 47 Meters Down, and Before I Wake, some of the best horror movies are on Netflix.