3/5 stars on Netflix | 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
This 1987 classic of British horror introduced the world to Pinhead, the sadomasochistic demon who wants to tear your soul apart. Built on a foundation of black magic, Hellraiser is a tale of human sacrifice and demonic sex with a dark sense of humor at its kinky heart. As much a fairy tale as a horror story, Hellraiser has inspired a generation of dark fantasy filmmakers.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In 1980s Tehran, during the War of the Cities, a mother and daughter stay huddled up in their apartment as their city is bombarded by missiles. The historical horror and PTSD-inducing sights of rockets cracking roofs should be terrifying enough, but then an evil spirit takes interest in the little girl and things go from bad to worse. Directed by Iranian-born Babak Anvari, Under the Shadow deals with the social issues of a woman’s place in a fundamentalist Muslim society as much as it does demonic forces.
2/5 on Netflix, 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In the mood for a monster movie? The Host provides an equal amount of scare and laughs that make another great cult horror project to add to your Netflix list. This South Korean flick was so successful the year it came out (2006) that plans for a Hollywood remake were made but little progress has been made.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
In Starry Eyes, you see just how much a young starlet is willing to let go of to see her name in lights. Blending Cronenbergian body horror with the surrealistic nihilism of David Lynch, Starry Eyes is a classic Hollywood tale of innocence destroyed by greed. The buckets of blood are just an added bonus. —J.M.B.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
Eight percent of the population suffers from sleep paralysis, defined as “a discrete period of time during which voluntary muscle movement is inhibited, yet ocular and respiratory movements are intact.” Basically, your body is completely asleep but you can’t move. For the people who suffer from this disorder, it can be a terrifying nightmare, being trapped in a body that can’t move. The Nightmare is a documentary about these people and the night terrors that follow them. While not everyone with sleep paralysis sees the dark figures that haunt the subjects of this documentary, we promise they’ll haunt your dreams long after your viewing.
4/5 stars on Netflix | 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
This is the 2013 American remake of the 2010 Mexican cannibal horror film, but each film stands on its own. It just so happens, the remake is the only one on Netflix. You won’t care. Transporting the tale from busy poverty-stricken Mexican City to the rural American South, We Are What We Are shows the versatility of the original premise and the universal nature of religion’s power over desperate people. It tells the story of two young girls who struggle to keep their cannibalistic family safe while their father mourns the death of their mother. A haunting piece of slow-burning gothic horror, We Are What We Are will break your heart and chill your blood.
5/5 stars on Netflix | 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
Sex will kill you. If you went to public school in a red state or have particularly overzealous parents, you’ve probably heard that idea once or twice. In It Follows, the warning is literal. Sex will kill you or, more specifically, will cause an evil spirit to follow you around, hunting you down until you have sex with someone else—like if the tape from The Ring was an STD. It Follows has the brilliantly subtle direction that focuses on the characters while saving jump scares for when they’re absolutely needed.