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Top 10 Most Popular Horror Movies Streaming on Netflix

27 October 2012 | Features, Film Lists, Guest Posts | by David Zou

As any true fan knows, the genre of horror movies runs the gamut from gory slasher films to tense thrillers. Many independent or low-budget horror movies are rarely shown in multiplexes and are nearly inaccessible to the masses. However, Netflix has made many horror films, ranging from popular to obscure, available through its instant streaming library.

Here are 10 of the most popular and best horror movies currently streaming on Netflix:

1. House on Haunted Hill (1959)


Starring one of the most well-known and beloved horror actors, Vincent Price, this film is about an eccentric millionaire who invites five people to his house for a party. A little-known fact about this film is that the large grosses for this film were noticed by Alfred Hitchcock, which led him to create his own low-budget horror film- Psycho!


2. The Fog (1980)


Set during preparations for a centennial celebration of a fishing village, an alcoholic priest discovers his grandfather’s journal of the founding of the town on a foggy night. Now, one hundred years later, the fog returns, bringing vengeful ghosts with it. The Fog was released to huge expectations after the smashing success of John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. It didn’t perform as well at the box office but is arguably a better movie. Come to see Jamie Lee Curtis play opposite her real-life mother Janet Leigh, stay for the creep-tastic encounter between a fishing boat and a ghostly schooner.


3. The Evil Dead(1981)

evil dead

Directed by then-unknown Sam Raimi for a mere $50,000, The Evil Dead is an undisputed classic. Five college students spend their spring break in a cabin in the Tennessee woods. They find the Book of the Dead and a tape recorder that plays incantations from the book, unleashing demonic spirits that inhabit their bodies and force them to kill each other. From the haunt-your-dreams tree scene to the final showdown between cult favorite Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead, this is one to watch with the lights on.


4. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)


This South Korean psychological horror film stars a female teenage psychiatry patient and her sister who struggle against an abusive stepmother shortly after the death of their mother. Inspired by thefamous Korean folk tale “JanghwaHeungryeonjeon,” this film is part heart-wrenching drama, part psychological thriller and part straight up horror masterpiece. The twisted ending will keep you up at night


5. Let the Right One In (2008)

let the right one in

Based on a novel, this Swedish romantic horror film describes the friendship that develops between a 12-year-old boy and what appears to be a young girl, suspiciously at the same time as a series of murders in the town. The cinematography is much higher quality than most US horror films (pay attention to the colors of orange and red that permeate most scenes). Skip the 2010 American remake with Chloe Moretz: the first revenge moment and the swimming pool scene in the original make up for the subtitles all on their own.


6. Nosferatu (1922)


One of the originals in the horror genre, this movie follows the plot and characterization of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In fact, the film maker’s had the vampire killed by sunlight in order to prevent being sued for borrowing so heavily from Stoker. A real estate agent travels to a hidden castle for a business transaction. Knowing that his host is no ordinary man, the agent and his wife make it their mission to stop the deaths that seem to follow the vampire everywhere he travels. Part of the magic of this classic is that almost all of it was shot on location in Eastern Europe. Hardly any sets were used in the production and the history and power of the old castles can be felt through the screen.


7. The Omen (1976)


Gregory Peck stars as a man who substitutes his wife’s stillborn baby with another baby orphaned at the hospital. As suspiciousdeaths come to pass, the father must take matters into his own hands.If the film itself isn’t disturbing enough, the rumors of the film being cursed sure are. Lightning struck the airplanes of both Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer on their respective flights to London for shooting. Peck cancelled a flight to Israel and the plane he would have been in crashed, killing everyone on board. Lightning almost hit producer Harvey Bernhard in Rome. The director’s hotel was bombed by the IRA and he was hit by a car. Rottweilers hired for the film attacked their trainers. Basically, the entire production was a bad omen.


8. Insidious (2011)


A young family moves into an old house filled with supernatural forces in this recent addition to the horror genre. When the young son falls into a deep coma, the parents must discover what lies hidden in the shadows of their new home. Fun Fact: watch for the mask the spiritualist puts on to enter the world of dreams. It’s the same mask used by the Sandman (Master of Dreams) in Neil Gaiman’sSandmancomic book series. Insidious is remarkable for its complete lack of horror clichés. When most films would cut away, it grabs you and holds on. A sequel, Insidious 2 is due to be released in 2013.


9. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

from dusk till dawn

Described as an action-horror movie from director Robert Rodriguez and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino, this film features a pair of violent brothers who steal, kidnap, and move to Mexico. The brothers stop at a Mexican bar full of angry vampires, and they must team up to defeat the blood-thirsty creatures. One of the most original movies of the mid-90’s, From Dusk Till Dawn is divided into two halves, the first exploring the relationships between the characters and the second evolving into an all-out blood bath. It’s worth a watch just to see a gritty George Clooney before he became a Serious Actor.


10. Candyman (1992)


A graduate studentsets off a series of gruesome attacksthat seem to point at her by unleashing Candyman, a hook-handed murderer who appears whenever his name is repeated five times into a mirror. Candyman takes horror out of the woods and into the gritty world of Chicago’s Cabrini Green projects. Some scenes were shot in the actual apartments and producers used local gang members as extras to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. Since the man whose spirit became Candyman was killed by bee stings, bees feature prominently in the film. All of the bees were bred specifically for the film and were exactly 12 hours old when filmed, so they looked like mature bees but didn’t have enough venom to be dangerous. The real legacy of Candyman is the number of people who have stared at each other in the mirror and dared themselves to say “Candyman” five times. Would you do it?


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  • Chris

    I can’t be a true horror movie fan, because I’ve never even heard of House on Haunted Hill (1959) Now I might have to go watch it to find out what I’m missing out on!

    • David Zou

      Just like you,I’m never a true Horror fan,but October is such a great time to make it up,I’ve read about many fantastic horror film names recently,but I doubt if I still got the momentum to finish them after Halloween.

  • Jean-Simon

    Interesting top 10. I really liked “A Tale of Two Sisters”.

    • David Zou

      Thanks Jean for commenting! A Tale of Two Sisters is probably one of the best South Korean horror movies!

  • http://Website Lucky

    I’m obviously getting started on this list a little late, but I think any time is good for a horror movie. I’m excited that I was able to find all of these movies from your list and add them to my Blockbuster @Home queue. I think horror movies are best on a big screen and with surround sound, so I traded in my Netflix subscription because Blu-rays don’t cost extra with my current membership. I meant to watch Let the Right One In before Halloween since one of my coworkers at DISH raved that it’s better than the American version, but now that it’s been recommended twice in the same week, I’m adding it to the top of my queue. Thanks!

    • David Zou

      Hey,Lucky,welcome to Taste of Cinema,I agree with you that one can watch horror movies any time,you are right that the best place to watch cinema is in cinema,but there are also pros of watching it at home,especially when you are alone,you can create the atmosphere yourself.
      Do check out Let the Right One,it’s a terrific horror film,I’m glad you can find them all on Netflix,enjoy!

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