The psychology behind our love of horror films is pretty simple: We love the adrenaline rush, and we feel comparatively safe knowing that a hatchet-wielding clown isn’t lurking outside our window. (Probably. Feel free to go check.)

If you’re ever in the mood for those particular thrills without leaving the comfort of your couch, there’s an easy solution: Kill the lights and check out any one of the best scary movies on Netflix right now.

1. Blood Red Sky (2021)

This creepy and inventive German-language chiller has become a standout hit on the service. When a group of terrorists hijacks a transatlantic flight, they're surprised to discover that one woman on board will go to any lengths to protect her son—up to and including unleashing her vampire side. Director Peter Thorwarth said he got the idea during a transatlantic flight, wondering what he would do if he were a vampire flying towards the rising sun.

2. The Perfection (2019)

The dark side of musical genius is explored in this gory thriller about a cello prodigy (Allison Williams) who returns to her old private school to find her teacher (Steven Weber) taken with a new student (Logan Browning). It's a triangle of jealousy that only gets twistier—and more twisted—from the first frame to the last. Williams and Browning did most of their own cello playing.

3. The Ritual (2018)

Four friends on a hiking trip in the Swedish wilderness find forces both natural and unnatural could interfere with their return home. Director David Bruckner has said he was influenced by The Wicker Man, The Descent, and even Deliverance, so if those titles appeal, this might be the movie for you.

4. Gerald's Game (2017)

A romantic weekend retreat turns into a claustrophobic struggle for survival for Carla Gugino after her husband drops dead and she's left handcuffed to their bed. This adaptation of Stephen King's novel is one of the rare films to do right by the author, preserving his psychological (and visceral) scares. For Gugino, however, it came at a cost: The handcuffs she wore for weeks were so uncomfortable that director Mike Flanagan, who wanted to show solidarity for his actors, could only wear them for five minutes before quitting.

5. Hush (2016)

At a remote retreat, a Deaf writer (Kate Siegel) finds her solitude disrupted by a masked intruder who has no apparent motive other than to terrorize her. The film was praised by Stephen King, and director Mike Flanagan would go on to make two King adaptations, including the aforementioned Gerald's Game and 2019's Doctor Sleep.

6. Creep (2014)

Mark Duplass stars in this low-budget found-footage chiller about a very strange man named Josef who solicits the help of a videographer. As the bizarre behavior mounts, Josef seems to be looking at his new hire more like a victim than an employee. Director Patrick Brice and Duplass originally envisioned it as a "dark comedy about two sad people forming a connection" under the title Peachfuzz, but feedback from friends convinced them to shoot more footage and go in a darker direction.

7. The Conjuring (2013)

The cinematic universe of paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren begins with the 2013 original. Here, a Rhode Island farmhouse is the setting for their spooky investigation. Screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes were approached to work on the film from the perspective of the homeowners but decided to switch it to that of the Warrens--a decision that helped spawn a franchise.

8. It Follows (2015)

A lethal evil is stalking a group of friends, passing from one to the next. It will take a lot of ingenuity--and a bit of luck--to break the cycle. Director David Robert Mitchell based the movie on dreams he had as a child of being followed.

A version of this story ran earlier in 2021; it has been updated.