16 horror movies and shows to stream on Netflix this Friday the 13th

Photo credit: Netflix/Slasher
Photo credit: Netflix/Slasher /

If cooling temperatures and falling leaves weren’t enough to get you in the Halloween spirit, the fact that October boasts a Friday the 13th definitely should. It’s the time of year to stay indoors, curl up in a blanket, and scare yourself silly with a good horror movie. Luckily for horror fans, Netflix provides a lot of options, with literally thousands of horror movies and shows to choose from.

There are the traditional options, like SupernaturalThe Walking Dead, and Stranger Things which are classic for a reason. But they also tend to be the options that horror fans have already seen before, possibly multiple times. So this is a breakdown of some slightly more obscure horror offerings that Netflix has to offer, all of which do a great job working within genre conventions and exploring complex themes.

Of course, the horror genre is massive, and everybody is looking for something different. With that in mind, we have provided a breakdown of eight of the best horror sub-genres, with a great movie and series for each that you can find now on Netflix.

Netflix horror movies and shows to stream on Friday the 13th

Photo: Slasher: Guilty Party production still / Mark ONeill, Netflix
Photo: Slasher: Guilty Party production still / Mark ONeill, Netflix /


The slasher genre is what most people think about when they want a formulaic, rule-based side of the horror genre. One or more masked killers hunt down teenagers, and those who do drugs and have sex are likely to die in some pretty brutal ways in a slasher.

Slasher is an anthology series, with each season following a particular person or group that are being stalked by a brutal serial killer. There are currently three seasons available on Netflix, all of which play with the idea that past sins will come back to haunt you in adulthood.

Based on the novel by Stephanie Perkins, There’s Someone Inside Your House plays with classic slasher tropes by amping up the audience’s desire to see the killer succeed in the film. The victims being targeted are guilty of heinous bigotry and horrifying crimes, but as the killer gets less discriminating in their victims, characters and audiences alike have to question their idea of justice.

Ghost Stories

Hauntings are classic parts of the horror genre, and the combination of eerie sounds and sights, a sense of foreboding, and the grey morality of the lingering spirits make them thrilling picks for any horror fan.

The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor are Mike Flanagan-led miniseries that both follow the goings-on at haunted locations over time, jumping from past to present to show how ghosts and memories can haunt a place. The shows balance scares with emotional messaging to make some of the most effective ghost stories in decades.

Combining the haunted house genre with the horrors of refugee experiences, His House takes the classic ghost story to a new and interesting place. In this film, a family from South Sudan flees to the United Kingdom, but they find that the horrors of their past have followed them into the inhospitable environment they fought so hard for.

Horror Comedy

Perhaps one of the widest sub-genres, horror comedies aren’t guaranteed to have any specific creature or tropes other than making standard fare funny. While they usually deliver a few good scares, they are great for those who want to lean into the Halloween spirit without feeling haunted when they try to get to sleep.

Santa Clarita Diet takes on the idea of an ordinary person turning into a zombie, but rather than focusing on the horror of the transformation, the show explores the zany situations such a change might cause. One of the best parts of the series is the idea that being a zombie isn’t nearly as hard as making a marriage work.

The concept of Vampires vs. the Bronx is that gentrification is a blood-sucking force, but the film works so well because it has fun along the way. The heroes learn everything they can about vampire hunting from Blade, and they make critical mistakes along the way, proving that comedy and social commentary can successfully co-exist in a horror movie.

serial killer movies
FEAR STREET PART 1: 1994 – (Pictured) MAYA HAWKE as HEATHER. Cr: Netflix © 2021 /

Teen Horror

Categorized as “Teen Scream” by Netflix, teen horror can technically take place within any other horror sub-genre as long as the main characters are teenagers and there are real or metaphorical connections to growing up. The general theme of teen horror is that being a teenager is a nightmare, and supernatural forces only make that worse.

The apocalypse came and went, and it left a bunch of zombified Ghoulies and exaggerated high school stereotypes in its wake. The Daybreak series follows Josh Wheeler and his friends as they try to survive, find Josh’s girlfriend, and generally navigate post-apocalyptic high school politics.

Based on the book series by R. L. Stine, the Fear Street trilogy is the epitome of modern teen horror, following Deena Johnson and Samantha Frasier as they attempt to survive their cursed town in the past and present. These films have witches, ghosts, serial killers, and the usual high school chaos all tangled together, making for a fun ride through the horror genre.

Psychological Horror

Psychological horror tends to exist within the real world more than most other genres, but there’s always the possibility that the supernatural is really present. Classic Ira Levin books like Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives fit into this genre, depicting both the horrors inherent in society and the torment of not being able to trust your own mind.

It’s hard for a television show to maintain psychological horror for long, so the anthology style of Black Mirror does the job best. The show is full of twists and turns that show off the worst of human nature, and episodes like “Playtest” really capture the best of the psychological horror genre by making characters and viewers alike uncertain of where reality starts and ends.

Alice works as a camgirl online in the movie Cam, but when her account is taken over by someone who looks and acts exactly like her, she has to figure out who her doppelganger is and what it means for her. While this doesn’t play with the audience as much as some psychological horror does, it does amplify the idea of losing control of your own body and livelihood in a way that is very authentic to many who have participated in sex work.


The zombie sub-genre took off in the last couple of decades, almost always co-existing with the apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic genres. Fast or slow, sentient or mindless, the zombie sub-genre taps into the fears of inevitable destruction and contagion that are present in the real world.

Although technically a prequel to the Syfy series Z NationBlack Summer is a force of its own in the zombie field. The series follows Rose and her daughter Anna as they try to navigate the early days of a zombie outbreak. While not a particularly original premise, Black Summer does have the distinction of being praised by Stephen King, who shared, “Just when you think there’s no more scare left in zombies, THIS comes along. Existential hell in the suburbs, stripped to the bone.”

One of South Korea’s many horror gems, #Alive follows Oh Joon-woo as he tries to survive the zombie apocalypse from within his family apartment in the film. It’s technically a safe location, but as resources become scarce, he has to make increasingly risky moves to keep himself alive long enough for a rescue that may or not be coming.

THE MAGICIANS — “Do Something Crazy” Episode 501 — Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY)
THE MAGICIANS — “Do Something Crazy” Episode 501 — Pictured: Olivia Taylor Dudley as Alice Quinn — (Photo by: Eric Milner/SYFY) /

Classic Monsters: Vampires, Werewolves, Witches

In recent years, classic movie monsters have been transformed into ordinary people living in extraordinary worlds. However, there is still plenty of horror to be found, particularly now that the leading question has become whether the supernatural or human sides of these hybrid monsters are the evil ones.

The Magicians starts as a cross between Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia before very quickly showing that evil people with magical powers are absolutely terrifying. This series gets very weird and campy at times, but it also has moments of sheer terror that are guaranteed to stick with viewers long after watching.

Viking Wolf brings the terror of deadly creatures in the woods back to the modern day, proving that werewolves are not all Teen Wolf. The kills in the movie are brutal, as are the questions about whether the human deserves to die for a transformation they didn’t choose and actions they cannot control.

Anthology Horror

Many horror series have a singular villain or monster that is causing all of the terror, one kind of horror that they evoke. However, Anthology Horror gives the writers, directors, and cast the opportunity to play with different sub-genres and put their own spin on each type, allowing audiences to experience a variety of elements in one piece of media.

Guillermo del Torro has made a career out of crafting unnerving visuals, and the anthology series Cabinet of Curiosities is one of his crowning jewels. All eight episodes take on drastically different stories, but there is a consistent feeling of dread and discomfort that carries across them all.

It’s incredibly difficult to pull off an anthology in just one sitting, which leaves only one horror anthology film to watch on Netflix: Ghost Stories. The movie is directed by anthology veterans Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Anurag Kashyap, each of whom tells their own stories of how the macabre coexists with the real world.

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