With Halloween coming up, I couldn’t resist creating this listicle where I share my favorite top 10 horror movies of all time…and yes, when I say “favorite horror movies”, I do mean that these are some of the scariest horror films that I can actually rewatch and still get spooked!
As someone who has grown up watching horror and thriller films, you’d think I would be immune to ghastly jump scares, revolting corpses, and creaking doors that have minds of their own, by now. But it’s the opposite actually. Even at the age of 20 something, I am still terrified of horror films…and can’t stop watching them. 🤣
My addiction to horror movies might have something to do with the fact that watching horror movies is something that I have always done with my mother, and later on, with my sister. My mother’s favorite genre is horror, and I grew up watching horror films hiding behind her back.
While I do agree with some people that this was a terrible parenting decision on her part, her purpose was educational: after every horror movie we would watch the blooper reels of that movie and the behind-the-scenes clips, and she would spend hours explaining to six-year-old me how it was all make-believe, like a game. This was her way of trying to help me get over my childish fear of ghosts and whatnot, and to an extent, it did work.
That’s not the best part though. My mother has excellent taste in films, and when she picked the horror movies she wanted to watch with her children, she always chose films that were more than your typical horror story; she picked films that had a deeper meaning, films that were both nail-biters and thought-provoking.
Top 10 Horror Movies And Shows On Netflix You Can Watch This Halloween
And today, I want to share some of those amazingly made films with you. Below are my favorite top 10 horror movies of all time,
N.B: Not all of these titles may be available on Netflix as many titles vary from country to country.
1. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This is hands down one of the most terrifying horror movies I have watched till date. Based on real events, this is a harrowing tale about a young woman who is possessed by demons and a priest who tries in vain to save her.
I love this movie because it avoids the typical gruesome gore and shock factors that are prevalent in most horror movies and instead presents an engaging debate about spirituality and mental health in the most terrifying way.
The movie starts with a lawyer attempting to defend a priest who is accused of manslaughter after trying to exorcise demons out of a young woman who was clinically diagnosed with depression and epilepsy.
It raises a lot of interesting questions about the existence of the supernatural and the more realistic horrors of mental health issues, and ever since watching this movie I have been terrified of the devil’s hour (3.00 am)…even though in Islam that is the hour when we believe Allah is closest to us and comes down from the seven heavens to answer all our requests.
2. The Orphanage
This is a heartwrenching, beautifully made horror movie that builds up suspense and fear. With very minimal gore and a focus on creepy haunted houses and disturbing midnight noises, The Orphanage is a Spanish 2007 horror film that cleverly combines real human terrors with supernatural ones.
The film tells the story of a young couple and their adopted son Simon, who has just moved into a creepy old house that used to be a shelter for disabled children (and also happens to be where our main protagonist Laura, was raised). The couple plans on reopening the house as a shelter for kids with learning difficulties, but strange things begin happening when Simon makes a rather unnerving imaginary friend named Tomas.
Throughout the film, we get lots and lots of creepy clues about the mystery of the house, and about Laura’s past. The film has tons of gothic elements that will send chills down your spine, but the real magic of this film is its ending when all questions are finally answered: it is at once satisfying, terrifying, and beautiful.
Number 3 on my list of favorite top 10 horror movies of all time is Oculus. This is the kind of horror movie that’s slightly predictable but still manages to get under your skin (and then makes you scared of mirrors for a long while after you have watched it).
Instead of relying on cheap jump scares, Oculus makes the characters featured in the film as well as the audience wonder whether the paranormal activities they are witnessing are real, or if it’s just a trick of their minds.
There are three things to really love about this film: the acting of the whole cast, the fast-paced plot, and the exploration of mental trauma that children from dysfunctional families suffer.
The movie takes place in both the past and the present, simultaneously building up the terror with each passing minute and making you wonder if a haunted object is truly to blame or if you are simply witnessing the aftereffects suffered by those who have grown up in traumatic, violent and abusive families.
4. The Haunting Of Hill House
If you haven’t watched this Netflix hit, what are you even doing with your life? Loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, The Haunting Of Hill House is a masterpiece of the gothic horror genre.
In my personal opinion, it is one of the rare cases where the adaptation is better than the book–while Jackson’s novel sent chills down my spine, the Netflix miniseries had me both terrified and emotionally invested in all the characters.
What I love about this show is that it is not just a horror show, it is also essentially a family drama that uses horror as simply a lens if you will, to explore themes of grief, mental illness, and coping mechanisms against trauma.
The details and symbolism in this series are what make it so mesmerizing and worth rewatching. The five siblings reflect the five stages of grief, and each tells real human stories about how people cope with trauma. Even if you are not the kind of person who enjoys horror, this is a series that you will definitely love and remember once you watch it.
5. The Haunting Of Bly Manor
Another masterpiece from the same creator of Oculus and The Haunting Of Hill House, this is one of the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful horror series that has more of a creepy, disturbing atmosphere rather than in-your-face horror littered with jump-scares.
While neither in the same universe nor a continuation of The Haunting of Hill House, this series stands out on its own for being a slow-paced, intriguing horror show that really questions what it means to be haunted. Check out my full review of The Haunting Of Bly Manor here.
6. The Menu
You don’t always need vengeful bloodthirsty ghosts to keep you up at night. Being stranded on a remote island, surrounded by insufferable, narcissistic, self-obsessed captives, and at the mercy of a crazed powerful man with severe emotional trauma can be a nightmarish situation to find yourself in.
And that’s exactly what you get with The Menu, a brilliant thriller that serves up equal servings of comedy, satire, and horror, all framed within an interesting social commentary surrounding the food industry and its players. It’s definitely a must-watch for anyone who likes a fast-paced movie that leaves you asking more questions by the time you reach the end, and with a powerful cast consisting of Anna Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and Ralph Fiennes, I can guarantee you will be in a for a ride! Check out my full spoiler-free review of The Menu movie here.
I remember watching 1408 back when I was a little girl with my mother, and to this day, it remains one of our favorite top 10 horror movies on Netflix. Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, this is a horror movie that really keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the main character, a supernatural investigator, to finally escape the haunted hotel room 1408 alive.
8. The Possession Of Hannah Grace
Next up on my list of the top 10 horror movies on Netflix is The Possession Of Hannah Grace, which is honestly a classic horror in my opinion, with just enough creepiness, jump scares, and action to make me want to leave the lights on when I go to bed at night.
I have no idea why this movie got so many negative reviews though, because if you want a good scare this is it. It has a great plot, along with a very beautiful message about facing your fears, the horror scenes were downright terrifying and Shae Mitchell was the kind of protagonist you would desperately root for.
If cult horror is a genre you like, then I would 100% recommend Hereditary if you have not watched it already. Although this genre is not really something I enjoy, Hereditary is hands-down one of the top 10 horror movies ever made, with its intensely intriguing plot that just gets more and more terrifying with every passing minute.
10. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe
A very underrated film, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe is another cult horror that is absolutely terrifying, even though the supernatural entity in this film doesn’t move a finger throughout the movie. The film centers around the autopsy of an unidentifiable dead woman, and as the coroners try to figure out what really happened to her, all hell literally starts to break loose. 15/10 recommend watching this if you enjoy being scared.
So there you have it, these are my favorite top 10 horror movies of all time, and I have often rewatched these films a couple times too. If you haven’t watched them yet, then October is the perfect time to grab some popcorn and enjoy these creepy thrillers. Let me know what you think of these in the comments below, or share your favorite recommended horror movies too!