The Best Horror TV Shows on Netflix Right Now (March 2021)

Looking for a good streaming scream? Sometimes we want a horror movie, but sometimes we want a lot of horror, and when you’re looking for those binge-watch thrills there’s nothing better than a horror TV show to scratch the itch.

Fortunately, Netflix has a pretty impressive library of scary series, from classics like The Twilight Zone to modern ratings juggernauts like American Horror Story. Of course, if anthologies aren’t your thing, not to worry! There are horror comedies like Ash vs Evil Dead and Santa Clarita Diet, downright scary dramas like Penny Dreadful and Bates Motel, and of course, everybody’s favorite nostalgic binge, Stranger Things.

As always, we’ve got you covered with your streaming needs. So if you’re still looking for a scare and don’t find it here, be sure to check out our run down of The Best Horror Movies on Netflix, The Best Horror Movies on Amazon, The Best Halloween Movies on Netflix, and the Best Halloween Movies on Hulu for more.

Keep an eye out as we continue to add new titles to the list below, and be sure to sound off with your favorite spooky, suspenseful, and downright scary series on Netflix in the comments.

Kingdom

kingdom-netflix
Image via Netflix

Creator: Kim Eun-hee

Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na, Kim Sung-kyu

The wait is over, Season 2 is streaming, and Kingdom remains one of the best horror shows on Netflix. The ambitious South Korean horror drama heads back to 1500s Korea, where royal machinations meet a viral pandemic of the undead. The series is epic in scope, staging massive battle scenes amidst the striking scenery, and as a period drama, Kingdom offers a unique take on the zombie drama rich with royal politics, class warfare, and a sword-swinging army pitted against the legions of undead. Not to mention a very welcome aesthetic and tonal change of pace to the well-worn genre. Come for the hoards of zombies, stay for the absolutely ruthless Queen (who gives Cersei a run for her money); either way Kingdom is can’t-miss horror TV. — Haleigh Foutch

Castlevania

Image via Netflix

Creators: Warren Ellis, Kevin Kolde, Fred Seibert, Adi Shankar

Cast: Richard Armitage, James Callis, Alejandra Reynoso, Graham McTavish, Tony Amendola, Matt Frewer, Emily Swallow

It’s dark, it’s bloody, and it’s violent. Castlevania pulls no punches and manages to amp up what’s admittedly one of the most beloved video games and mythologies of the modern era. The first season serves to introduce Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Dracula, and his motivation for waging war against the human race. It also sets up the trio of Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sypha Belnades, who will act opposite the dreaded Count in future conflicts. And right now is a great time to revisit or catch up on Castlevania since Season 3 just arrived!

Dead Set

dead-set
Image via Channel 4

Creator: Charlie Brooker

Cast: Jaime Winstone, Riz Ahmed, Liz May Brice, Kevin Eldon, Andy Nyman, Warren Brown, Beth Cordingly

With a lean five-episode run, Charlie Brooker‘s E4 mini-series feels a bit more like a fleshed-out (pun intended) zombie film than a proper tv series, but Dead Set finds a perfect balance between the two mediums with a runtime that neither feels rushed, nor overstays its welcome. Before Brooker earned international acclaim for Black Mirror (and before The Walking Dead singlehandedly dominated the zombie genre), he proved his knack for killer concepts with Dead Set – a zombie apocalypse drama set on eviction night at the Big Brother house. That unique vantage point allows Brooker to bring a refreshing spin on the zombie apocalypse (along with the running zombies that were all the rage in the early aughts), not unlike George Romero‘s concept-heavy approach to constantly reinventing the genre. While Brooker’s thematic sensibilities are firmly rooted in character-driven action of classic zombie cinema, he and director Yann Demange (‘71) gleefully exploit the Big Brother angle for every clever set-piece its worth. Led by excellent performances from Jamie Winstone and early-career Riz Ahmed, and featuring one of the most villainous moments of on-screen cowardice I’ve ever seen, Dead Set is a proper old-school zombie flick by way of mini-series with a touch of Brooker’s knack for distinctly modern terrors. — Haleigh Foutch

Marianne

marianne-netflix
Image via Netflix

Creator: Samuel Bodin

Cast:  Victoire Du Bois, Lucie Boujenah, Tiphaine Daviot

The French-language series Marianne came out of nowhere at the end of 2019 to absolutely scare the pants off of anyone who stumbled upon it. Victoire Du Bois stars as Emma, a famed horror writer who based her stories on a horrifying figure named Marrianne who tormented her in her childhood dreams. When Marianne starts appearing to her again, Emma returns to her hometown, and the lines between reality and fiction start to blur in truly terrifying ways. Marianne uses a lot of familiar tricks from the paranormal horror playbook — distended mouths and leering figures are a big factor — but they’re so well executed they tap right into that visceral reaction that made them so popular in the first place. Marianne can be brutal, it can be beautiful, and it laces in plenty of high-stakes character drama amidst the haunts, but most importantly, it is legit scary and unsettling as heck, making witches scarier than they have been since Anjelica Huston peeled off her face. — Haleigh Foutch

The Haunting of Hill House

victoria-pedretti-the-haunting-of-hill-house
Image via Netflix

Creator: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Carla Gugino, Michael Huisman, Kate Siegel, Mckenna Grace, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Elizabeth Reaser, Victoria Pedretti, Lulu Wilson, Timothy Hutton, Violet McGraw, Julian Hilliard,

Hush and Gerald’s Game filmmaker Mike Flanagan delivers his most ambitious Netflix project yet (and that’s really saying something when you’re talking about someone who successfully adapted Gerald’s Game) with The Haunting of Hill House. Inspired by Shirley Jackson‘s seminal ghost story, the series carries over almost none of Jackson’s narrative (though occasionally too much of her prose), and focuses instead on the haunted lives of the withering Crain family. Bouncing back and forth between the summer the Crain’s spent in the titular haunted mansion and the years of grief and family trauma they endured in the aftermath. Flanagan has proven in previous works that he’s got a knack for upsetting visuals and well-composed scares, but his great success in The Haunting of Hill House is the way he ties the scares into a rich, intertwining tale of family tinged with tragedy. Led by a spectacular ensemble, the series veers between emotional revelation and moments of horror that give you full-body chills. It’s the most moving and honest portrayal of mortality and grief this side of Six Feet Under, but it’ll give you a whole lot more nightmares. — Haleigh Foutch

Ash vs. Evil Dead

bruce-campbell-social
Image via Starz

Creator: Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi, Tom Spezialy

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Dana De Lorenzo, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Lee Majors, Ted Raimi

You asked for more Ash, baby, and boy did you get it! Created by Ivan RaimiSam Raimi and Tom Spezialy, the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead picks up with Bruce Campbell‘s chainsaw-wielding king of groovy, Ash Williams, 30 years after the events of the original films. To no one’s surprise, he’s every bit the self-obsessed deadbeat with a gift for the ladies (and attracting the undead) that he was the last time we saw him. After he accidentally conjures some malevolent spirits (again), Ash is pitted against the forces of evil with two new pals at his side (Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago) and an intrepid investigator on his tail (Lucy Lawless). Ash vs. Evil Dead walks a fantastic line between the distinct tone of the films and the demands of the serialized format, honoring Raimi’s singular stylings without becoming beholden to them and opening up the world with inventive, disturbing, and always blood-soaked of the Evil Dead. —Haleigh Foutch

Penny Dreadful

penny-dreadful-eva-green
Image via Showtime

Creator: John Logan

Cast: Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Harry Treadaway, Billie Piper, Rory Kinnear, Danny Sapani, Helem McCrory, Douglas Hodge, Simon Russell Beale

From The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen back to Abbot and Costello and Bobby Pickett‘s immortal song, monster mashes have been popular for decades, but they have rarely been created with such devotion and consummate style as John Logan‘s Penny Dreadful. The three-season Showtime series takes the hallmark characters — Dorian Grey, the Wolfman, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster (and his bride), Dracula and the lot — and reimagines their intertwined relationships in Victorian England. Created with a profound love for gothic horrors, Penny Dreadful remembers what so few do: that these monsters are born out of literary classics and they deserve to be taken seriously. Logan pays them that respect, diving deep into the psychological scars and supernatural scourges that haunt their lives, draw them together, and rend them apart. That love for the characters is translated on screen with all-around exceptional performances by Josh Hartnett, Rory Kinnear, and the incomparable Eva Green, in particular, and a flair for rich, decadent style in the proud tradition of Grand Guignol. — Haleigh Foutch

Santa Clarita Diet

santa-clarita-diet-image-4
Image via Netflix

Creator: Victor Fresco

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Skyler Gisdondo, Liv Hewson, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Richard T. Jones

Created by the mind behind the tragically short-lived Better off TedSanta Clarita Diet is a laugh-out-loud funny zany comedy anchored by killer comedic performances from Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, But don’t let that fool you, because this horror comedy is also dripping in blood, body parts and bile each and every episode. Victor Fresco leans into that unrated Netflix freedom and serves up some seriously deranged imagery in his zombie comedy, with a slowly-unfolding mythology to match, but he never loses sight of the heart of the series (and not just the still-beating hearts ripped from the chests of Shiela’s victims). Underneath the blood spatter and raucous comedy, Santa Clarita Diet is one of the best family comedies on TV, featuring the kind of supportive marriage most people would, well, kill for. — Haleigh Foutch

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4
Image via Netflix

Creator:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Gavin Leatherwood, Lucy Davis, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Miranda Otto, Jaz Sinclair, Richard Coyle, Tati Gabrielle, Alexis Denisof

A dark new spin on the beloved comic/90s TV icon Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina pulls from the recent comics run, re-imagining Sabrina as a righteous half-human born into a stifling, Satan-worshiping coven. While the teenage drama doesn’t always land (especially when it comes to the human half of the series,) but when Chilling Adventures hones in on The Academy of Unseen Arts and the institutions of its most powerful witches and warlocks, it treads into sumptuous, fascinating territory with surprisingly sharp insights on faith, church, and how they can be twisted into antiquated systems of control. Plus, there’s a badass magical cat. So, you know; sold. — Haleigh Foutch

The Twilight Zone

rod-serling-twilight-zone
Image via CBS

Created By: Rod Serling

Cast Rod Serling

Even if you’ve never seen an episode of The Twilight Zone, you probably know the theme—doo-doo doo-doo, you’re hearing it right now—and the intro, Rod Serling, cigarette in hand, welcoming us in his inimitable voice to “a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.” But those weren’t just words; what makes The Twilight Zone such a timeless wonder is the sheer variety of its hour-long tall tales. The show could be philosophical (“The Eye of the Beholder”), funny (“Cavender Is Coming”), disturbingly relevant (“The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”), or just straight-up terrifying (“The Masks”). Flip on any random episode and you’ll probably land on an iconic moment—those broken glasses in the apocalypse, that alien book that isn’t what it seems, William Shatner doing battle with a gremlin 20,000 feet in the air—but you’re just as likely to find a hidden gem to rattle your bones as badly as it did for anyone who caught it in 1964. The Twilight Zone was doing bonkers anthology horror and sci-fi before American Horror Story was even a twinkle in Ryan Murphy’s eye, and it’s still the gold standard for a reason. — Vinnie Mancuso

Black Summer

black-summer-jamie-king
Image via Netflix

Creator: John Hyams, Karl Schaefer

Cast: Jamie King, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr., Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Erika Hau, Gwyneth Walsh

A Z Nation spinoff in concept alone, Netflix’s Black Summer ditches the camp in favor of the tried and true survivalist scares of the zombie genre, and while the series isn’t always consistent in quality, the series boasts a number of inspired scenes that boast some of the best zombie action in years. Jamie King stars as Rose, a woman desperate to find her daughter in the spreading zombie epidemic, but the series thrives on alternating perspectives, introducing an ensemble of characters that are rarely heroized or glamorized. To the contrary, they’re often baffling, infuriatingly stupid, and while that may be a deal-breaker for some, it can be a refreshingly honest depiction of how utterly unprepared the average person is for an apocalyptic nightmare. — Haleigh Foutch

You

you-elizabeth-lail-penn-badgley
Image via Lifetime Television

Creators: Sera Gamble, Greg Berlanti

Cast: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Ambyr Childers, Victoria Pedretti, Jenna Ortega, James Scully, Shay Mitchell

The Lifetime series turned Netflix original You is a curious cocktail of genres. Based on the blended archetypes of romance and thrillers with a steady undercurrent of dark humor, You also veers straight into horror every now and then with some terrifying reveals. And the scariest trick of all? Making you fall for or feel for the murderous Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) no matter how many horrific deeds he does. That unusual blend makes for some of the most addictive binge-watching thrills you’ll find on Netflix. — Haleigh Foutch

American Horror Story

american-horror-story-apocalypse-sarah-paulson-fx
Image via FX

Created by: Ryan Murphy

Cast: Jessica Lange, Connie Britton, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts, Dylan McDermott, Denis O’Hare, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Taissa Farmiga, Finn Wittrock, Chloe Sevigny

American Horror Story is classic soapy melodrama with a twisted horror infusion that I just adore. As a narrative, American Horror Story tends to falter, focusing on the “horror” over the “story”, but as a spectacle it always delivers. Inevitably, each season concocts a mad pastiche of horror traditions, turning familiar tropes into debauched, and sometimes downright kinky, tales of terror. Then there’s the genius concept — a rotating troupe of actors reinvented each season as they inhabit new time periods and subgenres. Genuinely amazing actors like Sarah PaulsonAngela Basset and Kathy Bates return to Murphy’s crazy worlds time and time again because they get to perform such unusual out-of-the-box roles, and it’s obvious how much fun they’re having doing it. But perhaps the greatest of all American Horror Story‘s achievements — it gifted us with the resurgence of Jessica Lange. All hail The Supreme. — Haleigh Foutch

Black Mirror

black-mirror-uss-callister-jesse-plemons
Image via Netflix

Created By: Charlie Brooker

Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bryce Dallas Howard, Kelly Macdonald, Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Smiley, Rory Kinnear, Toby Kebbell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jesse Plemons, Rosemarie DeWitt, Letitia Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Alex Lawther, Wyatt Russell, Andrea Riseborough

American audiences were a bit late to the Channel 4 anthology series, but when Netflix released the first six episodes of Black Mirror to streaming, the internet collectively lost its mind over Charlie Brooker‘s dark, unsettling spin on contemporary culture. Often described a modern-day Twilight ZoneBlack Mirror tackles subjects like politics, technology, fame, and grief through the lens of genre fiction, leading to self-contained episodes that are engrossing, terrifying, wrenching and occasionally revolting (Looking at you, The National Anthem). A touch of Kurt Vonnegut, a splash of William Gibson, and yes, a hint of The Twilight ZoneBlack Mirror is its own beast entirely, but like all the best sci-fi, it rattles your perceptions and leaves you wanting more. And now, with brand new episodes produced exclusively for Netflix, there’s even more Black Mirror to enjoy, including some of the best episodes yet (look no farther than USS Callister for a very special type of technophobia you never knew you had). Have fun debating your favorite episodes with your friends. — Haleigh Foutch 

iZombie

izombie-season-4-image-8
Image via The CW

Created By: Rob Thomas and Dianne Ruggiero

Starring:  Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders

Loosely based on the comic by Chris Robersonand Michael AllrediZombie stars Rose McIver as Liz, a medical resident with the perfect job, perfect fiancee, and perfect life, who loses it all one night when she’s transformed into a zombie. But this isn’t a Walking Dead situation. Her hair may be chalk white, and her heart may only beat twice a minute, but she can still walk, talk, act, think and feel like a human – as long as she regularly feeds on human brains. The good news is that Liz uses her medical degree to land a job at the local morgue where she has a regular supply. Bad news is she temporarily inherits the memories, personality, and skills of anybody she eats, which puts her on the scent of a series of murders enacted by some less morally-sound zombies. Working under the guise of a psychic, she uses her visions to work with a local detective (Malcolm Goodwin) in order to solve the murders and give her new life a sense of purpose.

From Rob Thomas and Dianne Ruggiero, the minds that brought us Veronica MarsiZombie is often oversimplified as “Veronica Mars with zombies”, but that description does a disservice to the originality of both series. To be clear, there is one and only one Veronica Mars, and while there are similarities, Liz is another witty blonde sleuth, for one, they’re largely different shows. Despite dealing in death, the first season of iZombie is mostly lighter fare that leans in on the procedural element. Fortunately, the cases of the week are infinitely fun thanks to McIver’s consistently likable but wonderfully variable performance as she adopts the personality traits of the victims. –Haleigh Foutch>

Stranger Things

Image via Netflix

Creators: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery, Noah Schnapp, Dacre Montgomery, Sadie Sink, Matthew Modine, Sean Astin

Netflix’s out-of-nowhere hit Stranger Things is the perfect antidote for anyone feeling nostalgic for the things that gave them chills and thrills as a kid. Inspired heavily by the many works of the two Master Steves—Spielberg and King—with a pinch of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Ridley Scott thrown in for good measure, the Duffer Bros’ series takes place in the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980’s. What starts as a typical nights of Dungeons & Dragons for bike-ridin’ misfit crew Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp) turns into a saga of demons, alternate dimensions, and a telepathic little girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) thanks to the shady Hawkins National Laboratory on the outskirts of town. What could have easily been a random hodge-podge of Easter Eggs and homages developed into a story with a real beating heart thanks, mostly, to a fantastic young cast that also includes Natalie Dyer as Nancy Wheeler and hair icon Joe Keery as Steve Harrington. But Hawkins’ adults are no slouches; Winona Ryder is a chain-smoking revelation as Joyce Beyers and David Harbour is the GIF that keeps on giving as Sheriff Jim Hopper. Stranger Things is an extremely easy catch-up if you haven’t dived into the Upside Down yet, a binge made even easier by the fact that you can and 100% should skip the season 2 episode, “The Lost Sister.” Besides that, it’s all Demogorgon gold. — Vinnie Mancuso

Bates Motel

bates-motel-season-4-norma-norman
Image via A&E

Created By: Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Anthony Cipriano

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Nestor Carbonell, Kenny Johnson

It’s a rare thing indeed when a prequel loosely inspired by a seminal film like Psycho can stand on its own and inspire its own cult following, but such is the dreamy weirdness of Bates Motel. As Norma Bates, Vera Farmiga gives one of the most charming and hypnotic performances you will ever see, and acts as an anchor for a series that, narratively, takes some time to find its way. But Farmiga is never less than stunning, and is soon matched by Freddie Highmore as her troubled son Norman. The series introduces several non-canon characters early on that it only later figures out what to do with (like Norman’s brother, played by Max Thieriot, and his friend Emma, played by Olivia Cooke), but it is well worth the ride to get there. From the start, Bates Motel’s location in the Pacific Northwest imbues it with a cold, foggy aesthetic that the series augments for a maximum creep factor. And while the show is a slow-burn (it takes almost the entire run of the series for Norman to fully realize his deranged potential), when it does make it there, it’s not only chilling but enthralling and emotionally devastating.— Allison Keene

Slasher

slasher-tv-series-image
Image via Chiller

Creator: Aaron Martin

Cast: Katie McGrath, Christopher Jacot, Jim Watson, Paula Brancati, Leslie Hope, Brandon Jay McLaren, Steve Byers, Lovell Adams-Gray

Nothing coy about this one. The title says it all and what you see is what you get. Chiller’s first original TV series delivers on that simple promise with an engrossing, genuinely surprising small town hack ‘em up series with truly disturbing kills. It also happens to be the first title in years to make me cover my eyes and scream at the screen, so points for that. Slasher stars Katie McGrath, a woman who returns to the small town where her parents were murdered by “The Executioner” on the night of her birth. She’s not home more than a week before a new series of murders begin, each one a grotesque punishment for violating one of the seven deadly sins. None of this is groundbreaking, and series creator Aaron Martin enjoys indulging in familiar slasher archetypes, but what he does with the twisted small-town mystery is much cheekier and gutsy than your average fare. Every character in Slasher has a secret dramatic enough to spawn a series of its own, and as the mask is pulled off of one twisted resident after the next, the payoff is a rollicking horror-mystery hybrid that always goes for broke. —Haleigh Foutch

Crazyhead

crazyhead
Image via Netflix

Creator: Howard Overman

Cast: Cara Theobold. Susan Wokoma, Lewis reeves, Tony Curran, Arinzé Kene, Riann Steele

If Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural had a baby and raised it with a distinctly British sense of humor, the result would be something like Crazyhead, and what a delight it is. The series follows two young women raised to believe they’re insane because they have the “gift” of seeing the demons that walk the earth among us. As a result, they’re a pair of weirdos to boot, and it’s only when they find each other that they start to make sense of, not just their own issues, but the extent of the otherworldly forces that surround them. Misfits creator Howard Overman works his comedy/genre-hybrid magic again with the E4/Netflix import, and as the demon hunters in question, Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma are a knockout comedic duo whose energies bounce off each other beautifully through the increasingly insane and otherworldly scenarios. At a trim six-episodes (we’re still not-so-patiently waiting for a Season 2 renewal), Crazyhead keeps the action tight by staying laser-focused on the power of friendship and empathy, even in the face of hellish forces.  — Haleigh Foutch

Wynonna Earp

wynonna-earp-melanie-scrofano-tim-rozon-dominique-provost-chalkley
Image via Syfy

Creator: Emily Andras

Cast: Melanie Scrofano, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Tim Rozon, Katherine Barrell, Shamier Anderson, Michael Eklund, Greg Lawsom, Varun Saranga

What starts off essentially as a female Supernatural (that is, two ass-kicking, evil-fighting sisters with a destiny to keep the demons of Hell where they belong), the quirky and charming Wynonna Earp quickly morphs into its own very unique series. Taking place in the fictional town of Purgatory, the Wild-West-meets-horror aesthetic includes not just the fantastic, “Peacemaker”-wielding Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and her whip-smart sister Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), but also an immortal Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon). The trio teams-up with the Black Badge agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and local cop Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) to fight off reincarnated outlaws that Wyatt Earp once killed, and from there the fast-paced series never slows down. With a seriously charismatic cast and exceptional character work, Wynonna Earp is a hidden gem of supernatural series. — Allison Keene

operation-varsity-blues-matthew-modine-social
‘Operation Varsity Blues’ Trailer: College Admissions Scandal Comes to Life on Netflix

Yes, it’s a documentary, but reenactments based on FBI wiretaps feature Matthew Modine as mastermind Rick Singer.


About The Author




Source link

Spread the love