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. The Perfection (2019)

The dark side of musical genius is explored in this gory and inventive 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), a triangle of jealousy that only gets twistier—and more twisted—from the first frame to the last.

2. 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.

3. The Boy (2016)

When a nanny is hired by a couple to watch over their young child, she's alarmed to discover it's not a boy at all but a doll—tiny Brahms, who has alternative plans for his new caregiver.

4. 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.

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.

7. Tales From the Hood 2 (2018)

Keith David headlines this anthology horror movie executive produced by Spike Lee and featuring five tales of socially-conscious terror.

8. The Invitation (2015)

Fans of the slow burn should enjoy this potboiler about a man (Logan Marshall-Green) invited to his ex’s dinner party, which takes a turn for the weird. The last scene is a killer.

Reminder: Netflix rotates their library of titles often, so our selection of the best scary movies on Netflix is subject to change. The above titles are part of Netflix's U.S. library. This story was updated for April 2021.