Netflix Horror Movies to Watch on Friday, May 13

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Though Halloween is still months away, Friday the 13th is upon us, giving those who dream of the cobwebs and cauldrons of October an excuse to indulge in a bit of spooky fun. And what better way to celebrate such a hair-raising holiday (because every Friday the 13th is, in fact, a holiday) than with a horror movie marathon? Thankfully, Netflix has more than enough horror films for a perfectly ghoulish movie night.

The Best Horror Movies Currently Available on Netflix

Listed below are 13 fantastic horror films to add to your Friday the 13th marathon, all of which are currently streaming on Netflix. They’re separated into three categories: horror for the faint of heart (for those looking for spooky fun without the nightmares), classic horror, and modern horror – this category includes two series, which will take up an entire day by themselves.

Horror for the Faint of Heart

  • Anaconda (1997)
  • Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
  • Dark Shadows (2012)

Anaconda, Thirteen Ghosts, and Dark Shadows are all great introductions to horror, as they’re far lighter than the gore and nonstop jump scares of the rest on the list. Dark Shadows is more comedy than horror and Anaconda is a delightfully absurd movie about a documentary film crew kidnapped by a snake hunter (who is eventually eaten by said snake). Finally, while Thirteen Ghosts is the scariest in this category, it’s nothing a horror novice can’t handle.

Classic Horror

  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • Pet Sematary (1989)
  • Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Sadly, the classic horror selection on Netflix is rather sparse. However, the streaming service isn’t entirely without the essentials. The Exorcist and the Wes Craven classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street, are absolute musts for any horror fan.

Freddy vs. Jason, another Wes Craven film, isn’t quite as legendary as the others. But who doesn’t want to watch two titans of horror, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, in a brutal 90-minute fight to the death? Then there’s Pet Sematary, a film adaptation of the iconic novel by the emperor of horror writing himself, Stephen King. Anything from Stephen King should be read/watched at least once.

Modern Horror/Series

  • Friday the 13th (2019)
  • It Follows (2014)
  • Fear Street 1994, 1978, 1666 (2021)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

Finally, the modern horror films. The 2019 remake of Friday the 13th doesn’t hold the same magic as the original, but you can’t have a Friday the 13th movie marathon without a Jason Voorhees solo film. It Follows is extremely polarizing – you either love it or you absolutely hate it. I’m in the latter category, but you can make up your own mind about the supernatural thriller.

Last but not least, there are two series that are great options for a horror marathon. Keep in mind, however, that they’ll take up the entire marathon by themselves. First is the Fear Street trilogy, a relatively new series based on R.L. Stine’s beloved book series of the same name. There are a few gruesome scenes, but it’s also an incredible story.

The Haunting of Hill House is a TV series, not a movie, but it has every bit of the ominous supernatural charm you would want in a paranormal horror film. It takes about 10 hours to get through the entire thing, however, so you might want to break it up into a two-day viewing.