Thirteen Horror Movies to Netflix Stream on Friday the 13th (That Aren’t Friday the 13th)

Friday the 13th is kind of a bonus Halloween, an extra day to watch scary movies. And what better movie to watch on Friday the 13th than one of the 12 entries in the Friday the 13th series?

If you only have Netflix, then then you might be disappointed. Not only do they not have any movies staring the hockey-masked slasher Jason Voorhees, they don’t have many horror movies at all.

But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck! Here are 13 great horror movies streaming now on Netflix, so you can have a thoroughly frightening Friday the 13th.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Anyone who’s watched more than a couple slasher movies knows that they’re pretty ridiculous. Even the Friday the 13th series can’t help but make fun of itself, especially in Part VI: Jason Lives and the sci-fi entry Jason X.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil embraces these cliches and celebrates their goofiness. All good ol’ boys Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) want is to spend the weekend drinking and fishing at their newly-bought (and nearly decrepit) cabin. But they can’t seem to get away from a pack of college kids who, certain the pair are murderous hillbillies, keep causing their own bloody deaths.

Equal parts sweet and funny and gory, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil satisfies the urge for carnage while serving up plenty of laughs.

It Follows

The old “sex = death” cliche has been a horror staple since the great Victorian stories like Dracula, but few films grapple with the idea as well as 2014’s It Follows.

The “It” of the title refers to a shape-shifting entity that hunts the latest sex partner of a perviously cursed person, a curse that can only be lifted by passing it onto someone else through sexual contact. So when Jay (Maika Monroe) gets infected by her boyfriend, she must decide if she’ll try to outrun the entity or pass it on to another unwitting victim, before it finally catches up with her.

Stylishly shot with a fantastic techno score, It Follows is one of the best and most original horror movies of the past 5 years.

Creep

When The Blair Witch Project hit it big in 1998, found footage movies, films consisting of material shot by characters in the movie, became the biggest horror trend.

The appropriately titled Creep is one of the best examples of what the genre has to offer. Featuring footage shot by videographer Aaron’s (Patrick Brice) session with father-to-be Josef (Mark Duplass), Creep builds tension by testing the audience’s patience with a guy who keeps making bad decisions. Aaron tries to keep things professional and keep recording material for Josef, but the stranger his client acts, the more we shout, “GET OUT OF THERE!”

Creep (alongside its strange sequel, also on Netflix), is an inventive little horror movie that makes the most of the limitations of its premise.

Hush

Over the past few years, horror movies have gained greater respect by tackling political or philosophical ideas. But there’s something just as exciting to a simple idea, executed well.

Hush has the most basic horror premise: a masked killer chasing after a woman alone in her house. But in this case, not only is the woman in question completely deaf, but she is one of the most resourceful would-be victims in cinema history. Director Mike Flannegan hits most of the standard parts of a home-invasion movie — including cut phone lines and the killer staring through a window — but presents them in a way that still feels fresh and exciting.

If you’re looking for a well-crafted thriller that delivers the scares, then Hush is the movie for you.

The Invitation

From the classic Rosemary’s Baby to last year’s hit Get Out, conspiracies have been at the heart of some of the greatest, and most relatable, horror movies. After all, most of us haven’t been hunted by a dream monster or seduced by a vampire, but we’ve all felt all alone at a party.

The party at the center of The Invitation is thrown by the ex-wife of protagonist Will (Logan Marshall Green), who has gathered all of her friends to introduce her new husband and friends. Despite his efforts to make the evening go smoothly, Will can’t quite get past his ex’s dismissal of their past, and the sneaking suspicion that there’s something deeper and darker to her new-found happiness.

A character-based thriller that burns with tension before exploding in a fantastic climax, The Invitation gives plenty of reason to mistrust everyone, making the viewer feel just as uneasy as the characters.

Teeth

I’ll just come right out and say it: Teeth is about a young woman with teeth in her nether-regions. Anything that goes in, gets bitten off.

Yes, that’s a ridiculous hook, but writer/director Mitchell Lichtenstein mines both comedy and horror from the premise. Starring Jess Weixler as the virginal good girl Dawn, Teeth satirizes the vilification of female sexuality. The titular teeth represent not just Dawn’s fear of her own urges, but the monster she’s made into by men — the men who objectify and assault her.

It’s a delicate balance that few films would be able to pull off, but Teeth manages to be smart, silly, and definitely scary.

The Nightmare

Sometimes people ask horror fans, “Why do you watch scary movies when real life is so terrifying?” Few movies better answer that question than Rodney Ascher’s excellent documentary The Nightmare.

A mix between talking-head testimonials and dramatic reenactments, The Nightmare features eight people who all suffer from sleep paralysis. Although the participants have never met one another, there’s a striking similarity between their experiences. And those experiences are absolutely chilling, and Ascher shows us every dark creature and strange noise these people feel as they lay in bed, awake but unable to move.

Lots of movies keep you up at night, but The Nightmare will make you scared to go to sleep.

The Conjuring

Before slasher movies took over in the 1980s, gothic stories about creaky houses haunted by ghosts and monsters dominated the horror genre. Directed by Saw co-creator James Wan, The Conjuring is a throwback to those spooky classics. Adapting the adventures of controversial real-life paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren (played here by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), the movie focuses on a middle class family trying to hold it together in a haunted house.

Wan makes the most of the simple premise and the likable characters, filling the house with some fantastically frightening set pieces and makes us genuinely care about the people in the story. Plus, The Conjuring introduced the world to Annabelle, the creepiest doll since Chucky.

If you want some scary fun that won’t leave you scarred for life, The Conjuring is a solid choice.

The Sixth Sense

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, yeah, The Sixth Sense. ‘I see dead people.’ Everybody knows that movie!” It’s true, over the course of two decades, The Sixth Sense has gone from indie hit to an indelible part of the public imagination.

But among all the talk about catch-phrases and twist endings, here’s something you may have forgotten: The Sixth Sense is really good. Anchored by fantastic performances by Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, and Toni Collette (playing a mother just as complicated as the one in this year’s Hereditary), The Sixth Sense never lets the family drama choke out its ghost story. With its expertly crafted scares and deep empathy for its characters, its easy to see why writer/director M. Night Shyamalan was briefly hailed as the next Steven Spielberg.

It may not be the hippest horror movie Netflix has to offer, but The Sixth Sense is definitely among the most satisfying.

The Transfiguration

Where Twilight famously reimagined vampire mythology into a teen romance, The Transfiguration goes the other direction, using the tropes to tell a realistic urban story. Traumatized by his mother’s suicide, inner city youth Milo copes by immersing himself in vampire movies, certain that he has become one himself.

Like George Romero’s underrated Martin, The Transfiguration features several scenes of Milo attacking his victims with a pen knife and sucking their blood, but leaves enough hints to suggest that he’s imagining his condition. But the film is less ambiguous about the threats Milo and his girlfriend Sophie endure, simply because they live in New York City project housing.

A sobering drama with a great lead performance by Eric Ruffin, The Transfiguration is a great choice for those who want a lot of realism in their horror.

The Wailing

After dominating pop culture for nearly a decade, zombies have become too familiar to be truly scary. To catch our attention, a new zombie movie needs to offer more than shambling brain-eaters, and the South Korean hit The Wailing comes through is spades.

Mixing family drama, mystery, and supernatural forces with a plot about a zombie-like infection, The Wailing follows policeman Jon-Goo’s (Kwak Do-won) investigation into a series of violent murders around his village. When he traces the source to a virus that turns its victims into flesh-eating zombies, Jon-Goo enlists mystical help from a local shaman, help that can’t come soon enough when the virus strikes his family.

All of that might sound over-the-top, but The Wailing is a sober, sometimes even mournful film, simultaneously beautiful and chilling.

XX

For some reason, Netflix includes several anthology films in its catalog, like V/H/S and Holidays. A type of cinematic sampler, these films offer short stories from a variety of directors — not all of the segments work, but the dull entries don’t last long and the good pieces fill their short runtime with interesting ideas.

Of the many choices Netflix offers, I recommend 2017’s XX, a collection of four films directed by women. From veteran Karyn Kusama to newcomer Annie Clark (better known as musician St. Vincent), the shorts in XX offer a terrifying look at family life, including a macabre birthday party and a disturbing portrait of maternal care.

With four different stories from very different filmmakers, XX offers something to frighten everyone.

Let Me In

Some horror fans dismiss remakes as empty cash-ins, but no one can complain about a movie as well-made as Let Me In. Adapting the Swedish film Let The Right One In for American audiences, Let Me In features Kodi Smit-McPhee as a bullied boy in New Mexico who befriends a young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who happens to be a very old vampire.

Director Matt Reeves retains all of the original’s romance and terror, capturing the full beauty of two outsiders who bond together and never letting the characters off the hook for the destructive decisions they make. No one here is completely a monster (not even the vampire), nor is anyone completely a victim. The movie’s more interested in tracking the relationship between two lonely souls than it is judging anyone.

Moral ambiguity, top-level acting, and an unflinching look at horrors of just being a kid make Let Me In a moving and thoughtful film for your Friday the 13th.

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