The Halloween season is upon us and the search is on for scary movies to binge-watch. For that, Netflix is a treasure trove of these spine-chilling and frightening gems that linger in the mind for days.
Partying and trick-or-treating may now be a thing of the past given the real horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic but watching scary movies—whether for the adrenaline rush or just to scare oneself out—remains to be a favorite Halloween season pursuit for many.
Here are 10 scary movies to binge-watch this season and beyond.
Dabbe: The Possession (2013)
The Turkish horror film, shot documentary style, presents Dr. Ebru, a psychiatrist who is a skeptic on everything paranormal, and Faruk, a local preacher and exorcist.
Ebru films a documentary for her class and follows Faruk on his exorcisms. The two travel to the ghost town of Kibledere (which stories and village itself exist in real life), where a woman named Kübra is possessed by demons prior to her wedding. Upon further examination of the case, the haunting past of the town is revealed and the horrors begin.
Watch this movie with caution as viewers have expressed on social media that they’ve experienced having nightmares and restless nights after watching this film, which is the fourth of the Dabbe series.
Asih is a spin-off of Danur, one of Indonesia’s highest-grossing horror film franchises.
The story is set 37 years before the events in Danur where a woman named Asih (Shareefa Danish) kills her baby and herself after being dismissed by her conservative parents and the villagers for having a child out of wedlock.
Asih’s restless spirit terrorizes expectant couples in the village to take their baby to the afterlife. If Asih’s still photo already gives one the creeps, watch out for the unexpected jump scares and the creepy scoring that would hound one for days.
Horror films that are based on true events are oftentimes the best ones; say The Conjuring series or The Exorcist. The Spanish ghost thriller Veronica, once described as the “scariest movie ever,” was inspired by the 1991 case of Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro in Madrid, Spain who mysteriously died after she used a Ouija board.
In the film, set in 1991 Madrid, 15-year-old Veronica (Sandra Escacena) and her friends perform a séance at school as they attempt to conjure the spirit of Veronica’s dead father using an Ouija board during a solar eclipse.
After passing out in the middle of the séance, Veronica starts to experience paranormal occurrences, one of the signs that the botched séance conjured a different spirit. The evil kind.
The American horror drama film 1922, based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name, focuses on Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) who seems to love living a simple, quiet life in Hemingford Home, Nebraska with his wife Arlette (Molly Parker) and son Henry (Dylan Schmid).
After Arlette voices out her plan to sell the farm and move to a bigger city, Wilfred, who is very much opposed to his wife’s plans, murders her with the help of his son. The story doesn’t end there as their secret starts to come out and haunt them. Literally.
The Thai horror film left many viewers horror-stricken in the early 2000s together with the early J-horror craze including The Grudge and the late ‘90s The Ring. Watching Shutter will not just bring nostalgia but will also bring back the time when sleeping with the lights on was always a must after watching this film.
Photographer Tun (Ananda Everingham) and his girlfriend Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) accidentally hit a girl on the road while driving on their way home from a wedding. Instead of helping the victim, they flee the scene. Upon their return to Bangkok, their lives are never the same. Ghostly figures appear in Tun’s photographs and the haunting and nightmares of the vengeance-seeking ghost begin.
Under the Shadow (2016)
This highly acclaimed film is set in 1988 Tehran during the Iran-Iraq conflict. It features Shideh (Narges Rashidi) who cares for her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) after her husband Iraj (Bobby Naderi), who is a doctor, is called for military service in Ilam where all the fighting is.
During a shelling, a missile strikes Shideh’s building and their neighbor believes the missile was cursed, which starts to set off evil spirits. Shideh tries to protect Dorsa from a demonic possession and it is unnerving that she has to face this malevolent entity while there is an ongoing war outside.
The Ritual (2018)
In this British horror film, a group of friends sets out on a hiking trip along the Klungsleden in northern Sweden to honor their friend who died in a robbery.
Eventually, they get lost and find themselves in a wooded area where they see a gutted elk hanging from tree branches and some ancient symbols carved in the tree. In horror movies, when a character says the line, “we shouldn’t be here,” you know that character is damn right. From there, the friends’ nightmare begins.
The Ritual is based on Adam Nevill’s novel of the same name.
The Apostle is a Netflix original film set in 1905 where drifter Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) embarks on a mission to rescue his sister who was kidnapped by a religious cult.
Thomas poses as a convert and witnesses the dark and frightening realities inside the mysterious cult.
This period film tackles blood sacrifices, brutal beatings, torture, “purification” rituals, and more—definitely not for the faint of heart.
Andy (Martin Freeman) lives in a world with a pandemic where it is overtaken by a virus from zombies that turns people rabid in 48 hours.
After he lost his wife due to infection, while he is starting to turn rabid himself after being infected, he only has 48 hours to walk the lengths of rural Australia to search for a safe sanctuary for his infant daughter Rosie.
This Australian post-apocalyptic horror drama was based on the viral short film of the same name.
Train to Busan (2016)
Who does not recognize the South Korean action horror film that overshadowed a lot of zombie movies after its release in 2016?
Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) and his daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an), who is celebrating her birthday, board the KTX 101 (Korean Train Express) to Busan. When an infected woman, who eventually becomes a zombie, boards the train, she attacks a train conductor, and immediately begins a killing spree. Passengers, who have to endure a 280-mile train ride to Busan, run for their lives, hopping from car to car, and eventually device a plan to stop the undead from infecting them. This happens as a zombie outbreak ravages South Korea.
Photos from Netflix