From terrifying clowns to over-zealous zombies and everything in between, there’s a horror movie to push everyone’s fear buttons. The genre has seen a resurgence in the last decade, with avid cinephiles getting high off cold sweat-inducing, nail-biting and increasingly gruesome films.
So if the thought of a life-threatening pandemic sweeping around the globe right now isn’t enough to scare you, here’s a look at the top 10 horror movies on Netflix in the UK. Because it turns out that Horror movies aren’t just great for Halloween, they’re great for quarantine too.
The latest adaptation of Stephen King’s hugely popular novel will haunt your dreams. It tells the story of seven children who are forced to face their worst nightmares when Pennywise, a shape-shifting clown, reappears in their town. The clown lives in the sewers and stalks the children, using their deepest fears against them.
There are some great performances, spearheaded by Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as youngster Richie.
If you like clowns and psychological horror then It will be right up your street. Plus, as if you needed any more convincing, It holds the title of highest grossing horror film of all time and was named by numerous critics as one of the best films of 2017. A sequel, It Chapter Two, was released in September 2019
- IMDb: 7.3/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Released in 2017, Annabelle: Creation is the fourth installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise and the scariest thus far. Directed by David Sandberg, Annabelle: Creation tells the story of the Mullins’; a dollmaker and his wife whose daughter Annabelle dies when she steps in front of a car. Twelve years later the Mullins’ open their home to a nun and six orphans, one of whom finds an eerie porcelain doll containing Annabelle’s soul and unwittingly releases a powerful demon that begins to terrorize the girls. With jump scares around every corner, Annabelle: Creation will get your heart racing.
- IMDb: 6.5/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Brought to you by the same team that created the Saw movies, Insidious replaces gore and torture with a spooky tale that burrows under your skin. The film tells the story of Josh and Renai Lambert, whose son Dalton falls into an inexplicable coma after they move into a new house. Soon after, paranormal activity breaks out and Renai starts to see the frightening figure of a man around the house.
What follows is a jumpy psychic horror that will have you hiding behind your cushion on multiple occasions. Insidious is an oldie but a goodie that saves its piece de resistance for the final scene: you’ve been warned!
- IMDb: 6.8/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Based on Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name, Warm Bodies combines the Horror, Romance and Comedy genres into a surprisingly touching, albeit terrifying, zombie movie. Warm Bodies tells the story of the relationship between a young woman, Julie, and a zombie called R. Set 8 years after a zombie apocalypse, R tries to overcome his undead tendencies to further his love for Julie, despite the obvious obstacles to a happy ending.
Featuring performances from Hollywood stars Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max) and John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire), you can think of Warm Bodies as Twilight with teeth….and plenty more human flesh.
- IMDb: 6.9/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Written and directed by Na Hong-jin, this South Korean horror film was released to global critical acclaim. The Wailing centers on a police officer named Jong-goo who is investigating a series of violent murders in a remote Korean village. The mysterious killings all link back to a Japanese stranger, rumoured to be a shapeshifting demon.
The Wailing interlinks ancient east Asian mythology with common horror tropes, with the final product being an imaginative and cleverly constructed mystery that elevates it above traditional western horrors.
- IMDb: 7.4/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Told entirely through the medium of a computer screen, Unfriended provides a new take on the teen slasher genre. A group of online chat group friends are plunged into mysterious waters when they receive a message from a dead friend, Laura, while video chatting. While at first they dismiss the intruder as a prankster, they soon discover that something far more sinister is afoot and Laura’s spirit pays each of them a personal visit.
In a time when large swathes of the global population are in quarantine and glued to their social media, Unfriended exposes the dark side of the digital world.
- IMDb: 5.5/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is an American horror/comedy that tells the story of five college friends who take a vacation to a remote forest cabin. One by one, the students fall victim to gruesome dismemberment and death at the hands of wood-dwelling zombies. But, there is another factor at play. Completely unbeknownst to them, the students’ ordeal is being orchestrated by two scientists in an underground bunker as part of a dystopian ritual.
The Cabin in the Woods is not unlike the Scream or Saw series and provides a new, more sinister take on the classic “carload of teens goes to spend the weekend in the country” horror movie. Full of supernatural goings-on and with a healthy dollop of gore, The Cabin in the Woods is a bloody carnival that will leave you gasping with fear and laughing at the same time.
- IMDb: 7/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Hush is a sensory deprivation based American Horror film written and directed by Mike Flanagan. The story follows a deaf author, Maddie, who in a bid to rediscover her creativity, isolates herself in a cabin in the woods. The movie takes a twisted turn when one night, a masked killer appears at her window and Maddie is forced to fight for her life in silence.
Hush was the first in a wave of sensory deprivation horrors such as Birdbox and The Quiet Place that have become wildly popular in the last few years. Experiencing the ordeal through Maddie’s deaf perspective adds a unique twist to this psychopath stalker story.
- IMDb: 6.6/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
In this horror/comedy mashup about the Antichrist, a newly married man, Gary, struggles to connect with his new stepson. As Gary tries to bond with 5 year Lucas he becomes convinced that the child is the spawn of Satan. As Gary digs further into his new wife’s previous marriage he discovers a trove of murky and spooky circumstances surrounding the family and Lucas’ birth.
What ensues could be seen as a parody of The Omen series as catastrophe follows little Lucas around like a shadow. But during the second half, the film shows some heart and in between the scenes of maniacal college students and woodchipper massacres there’s a tale of friendship that elevates Little Evil above other horror/comedies.
- IMDb: 5.7/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
The Ritual tells the story of four university friends who decide to embark on a hiking trip to Sweden in memory of a friend who was killed a year previously. Almost immediately after they begin walking, one of them injures his knee and as they push further into the forest they encounter ominous signs such as a gutted elk and strange symbols carved into the trees around them. As night falls they come across an abandoned cabin which they decide to shelter in. Little do the men know, but they are being stalked by a supernatural Norse legend who is about to wreak havoc on their idyllic holiday.
The Ritual sets itself apart by being a more mature story than others on this list. It does not sacrifice character development for more screen-time spent on gore and scares. In fact, it does the opposite and in doing so brings out themes of guilt, redemption and friendship. But don’t let that fool you, The Ritual is still guaranteed to make you jump.
- IMDb: 6.3/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 73%