If you’re the type that likes to be chilled to the bone from time to time, this will be right up your dark alley.
As far as horror movies on Netflix go, we know there is variety. There are classic cult horror movies, modern ones, psychological thrillers, and never forgetting foreign horror films.
We’ve previously compiled some light-hearted romantic comedies to stream as well as Korean dramas and travel documentaries — it’s only time that we dove into the dark underbelly that is the horror genre. In the list below, there’s something for everyone. Do you love gory, slasher films? We have something new for you. What about getting lost in the wilderness, or finding out you’re the sacrificial lamb in an occult? There are some choices below. As for folk tales with a grim twist? We’ve got you covered.
Now all you have to do is cosy up into your blanket and turn off the lights to set the mood. We’d advise against popcorn or drinks because those might be sent flying into the air during a jump-scare. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.
Jump To / Table of Contents
Horrific events happening in deep space? Sounds like the makings of a classic 90s horror film. Event Horizon is a cult classic that takes place in the year 2047 and involves a group of astronauts on a rescue mission. Naturally, when they get to the spaceship they’re supposed to rescue, things go awry. First, there’s evidence of a massacre in the spaceship. Then, the crew begins hallucinating, seeing dead people from their past urging them to kill themselves. It’s gory and messy, but it’s worth a watch to see just how people in the 90s interpreted horror.
One of the classic Thai horror films, Shutter is a must-watch for those in need of some good jump scares and a classic plot twist. The story begins with a young couple involved in a hit and run accident – Jane, who was driving the car, accidentally runs over a woman but her boyfriend Tun stopped her from getting out to help. Afterwards, Tun, a photographer, begins getting ghostly white apparitions on his photographs. Convinced that they were being haunted by the ghost of the girl they ran over, Jane begin her quest to identify the girl. Her findings led her to discover that her boyfriend is not what he seems, and that the ghost of the dead girl may actually be trying to help her.
“It’s just grass.”
Infamous last words you’ll keep hearing throughout this movie. Based on a Stephen King novella, the title of this movie is already a big clue as to what happens. During a road trip, a pregnant woman (Becky) and her brother (Cal) are distracted by the cries of a seemingly small boy from a field of tall grass when they stop by a church. Afraid for the boy’s safety, the pregnant woman ventures in to look for him — her brother follows suit. However, once they entered the field, they seem to be unnaturally separated from each other. They decide to call the search off and leave, except that they’re unable to find their way back out. During their time in there, Cal finds the small boy named Tobin, and Becky comes across his father. Then, Becky’s husband arrives and goes into the field upon seeing their car outside.
In true Stephen King style, apparitions appear and the flow of time changes, making for a dumbfounding but ultimately thrilling film.
Swedish folk have some pretty strange cults and folklore — if you’ve watched Midsommar, you’ll understand what we mean. Another similar movie you should watch is The Ritual. The British horror movie revolves around four friends who embark on a hiking trip in along the Kungsleden in northern Sweden, as a tribute to their friend who died in a robbery. One of them gets injured at the start of their hiking trip, and so the group decides to cut through the forest thinking that it would reduce their hike. Wrong move. While lost in the forest, they encounter a gutted elk and strange symbols carved into a tree. While trying to escape a strange monster, they encounter a bunch of local people who explain to them that the monster they were fleeing from is, in fact, a god-like entity — and they’re the sacrifices. Will they survive the woods? Find out for yourself.
Hailing from Iran, this Persian-language psychological horror film is the directorial debut of Babak Anvari. The film is set in 1980s war-torn Tehran and centres around former medical student Shideh and her young daughter. Against her husband’s recommendations, she stays in the city. Troubles arise when her neighbours take in a relative’s child, whose parents had been killed in an attack. The young boy whispers something into Shideh’s daughter’s ear and hands her a charm that wards off evil spirits. Shideh throws the charm away, and they start getting disturbances from a djinn.
Anything involving exes is a bad idea, and The Invitation just proves that. The premise of this 2015 horror movie by Karyn Kusama (of Girlfight fame) starts with a man bringing his girlfriend to a dinner party — at his ex-wife’s house. The dinner party comprises other guests who are, one way or another, linked to each other by way of grief. Throughout the night, things get even weirder, culminating in a massive kill-off. Watch this if you enjoy the psychological workings of a cult.
Slasher films rarely make sense, but they’re given an upgrade into the luxury world of fine art in Velvet Buzzsaw. Directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, the movie talks about a group of art dealers who come across a piece of artwork by an insane artist (now deceased). Naturally, whoever manages to sell the piece stands to get a lot of money out of it — except there’s a problem. Anyone who comes within close proximity of the art causes the latter to come to live and murder those who seek to make money off it, instead of engaging with the art.
Parasite may have gained international acclaim, but director Bong Joon-ho’s The Host released in 2006 was equally as good — and horrifying. Touted as one of the best monster movies of the decade, the film centres on a monster kidnapping a man’s daughter and his relentless attempts to rescue her. Beyond his rescue attempts, it also shows the daughter’s endeavour to escape the monster on her own, alongside two other homeless boys that the monster swallows. Will the daughter emerge alive? Watch it to find out.
The premise behind this 2019 mystery thriller centre around main character Pastor Park and his job of exposing suspicious religious groups. While he was investigating a certain deer garden cult, his findings intertwine with a police investigation centring on a female corpse found in a tunnel. Park’s findings end up pulling him into mysterious occurrences, various cults, beliefs, and religions. Directed by Jang Jae-hyun, the title ‘Svaha’ derives from the Buddhist denouement that loosely translates to “well said,” and indicates the end of a mantra.
Based on a Thai folk story, Nang Nak tells the tale of a man named Mak who returns home from war to his wife and newborn child. Little did he know, his wife died from complications during her birth, and the thing that he returned to was actually her ghost. Villagers who tried to warn him of his wife’s ghost all end up dead, but Mak eventually discovers for himself the truth. It’s a tragic tale of romance and horror, with a nice bit of tragedic melancholy.