Top Seven Horror Movies Streaming On Netflix
Let the Right One In (2008)
Ignore the American remake and head for the Swedish original. It's true, Sweden probably isn't on the top of your list of countries churning out good horror, but Let the Right One In isn't your typical horror movie. Beautifully shot and acted tremendously by its young leads, Let the Right One In is a coming-of-age of sorts about two very miserable, very bonded twelve-year-olds, one of whom happens to be a vampire. It's grim, gorgeous it's everything a vampire romance should be. Suck on that, Twilight.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Everyone knows the premise of Rosemary's Baby; an innocent woman is impregnated with the spawn of Satan. And while that's obviously no one's idea of a good time, the scariest part of the film isn't Rosemary's demon spawn, but her total isolation as she she makes horrified discovery after horrified discovery about the people around her who keep trying to convince her that everything is fine. An absolute must in the classic horror genre.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods does the impossible; it spoofs the horror genre in a way that's not overplayed, and it still manages to be unbelievably terrifying. It does start a bit slow, and someone who comes in without any knowledge of how Whedon likes to play with conventions might think he's playing the tropes--a group of college students, including one couple and one stoner and one sweet heroine head off into the eponymous cabin in the woods for a vacation--straight. But once the movie hits the ground, it hits it hard. The elevator scene ranks as one of the scariest moments in modern horror.
American Mary (2012)
Mary is a medical student running low on funds, so she decides to pay her tuition by doing extreme body modification surgeries on the side (her first client is a woman who wants to look like a human doll--and is almost there). When she uses her new surgical talents to enact revenge against a professor who attacked her, stuff starts to get...a little out of hand. The premise sounds B-movie as heck, but this is actually a pretty riveting film, with enough gore to keep everything moving.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Your mileage may vary as to how well it's aged, but The Blair Witch Project did for found footage horror what the Beatles did for rock-and-roll. It's a deliciously understated, fast-paced story about three people filming a documentary about a legendary witch in the Maryland woods who one-by-one start to disappear. As a Marylander and a rabid found-footage horror fan, I'd be crazy not to include this on the list, even if it's less impressive on re-watch.
Far warning: I'm not in the majority on this one. But if V/H/S works for you, it really works. Like I said, I'm a found-footage junkie, so a movie about vagrants breaking into a house and discovering a host of terrifying home movies? Score. I don't even care that the overarching plot makes absolutely no sense; what you're really watching is a series of unconnected shorts, so don't expect everything to come together. Each short was written and directed by a different theme, so the movie is, naturally, uneven, but the first short, pictured above, is truly bloodcurdling.
This one's not for the faint of heart when it comes to gore and mature content, so keep that in mind, and turn the subtitles on to catch all the mumbling. If you find you like it, the sequel V/H/S/2 (2014) is on Netflix as well, and has much better reviews. Go figure.
Funny Games (1997)
If Cabin in the Woods wasn't meta enough for you, there's always Funny Games. The remake of this one isn't bad, but the original Austrian version on Netflix is the classic. Funny Games builds right from the beginning, and the vibe of uneasiness is downright agonizing. The characters--but of course, only the bad guys, just to up the scare factor even more--break the fourth wall, winking to the audience before the scariest moments and asking you whether you think the characters will live or die. And when things don't go right for them, they just rewind the movie a little and try again.
Smart, senseless, and scary.