The 5 best horror movies to watch on Netflix this February

Happy February Polygon readers and horror movie fans.

For us, horror is a year-long pursuit. Long gone are the days when this great genre was just limited to the month of October – instead we can spooky to our hearts’ content all year round.

This month we picked five great spooky tips to watch on Netflix in February. Some are leaving Netflix at the end of the month, some have upcoming sequels, some are seasonally appropriate, and some are just the norm.

Without further ado, let’s get into that.

The incantation

Image: Warner Bros. Image

Year: 2013
Duration: 1h 52m
Director: James Wan
Pour: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston

One of the best demonic possession films of all time and probably the real prelude to the horror boom that is still going on. Director James Wan’s first film about the demonologist couple remains one of the best and most entertaining horror films of the last few decades. The film follows the Perron family who must call in the Warrens (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), a church-backed, albeit unofficial, team of exorcists willing to take on some of the more difficult cases that might be a little… are too marginal for official Vatican sanction.

Aside from just launching a monumentally successful franchise and horror film universe – which now has two official sequels, three Annabelle films, a Nun film (soon to be two) and The Curse of La LloronaThe incantation is full of carefully constructed suspense and expertly crafted freakouts, punctuated by a few good-natured jump scares. But it’s also just an extremely funny movie – at least as funny as a movie about a mother of five who is possessed by the demon Bathsheba could be. —Austen Goslin


Image: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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Year: 2017
Duration: 2h 15m
Director: Andy Pussetti
Pour: Bill Skarsgard, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis

In the long canon of the 2017 Stephen King adaptations It chapter 1 remains one of the best and most faithful of all time. The story follows a group of children played by actors like Finn Wolfhard (stranger things) and Sophia Lilis (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves) and her battle against an intergalactic clown who feeds on fear known as Pennywise.

King’s original novel combines two separate stories, decades apart, in which his main characters battle the monster known as It. But as sometimes happens in King’s work, the earlier part is much stronger than the later. Luckily, the first half is everything with all the main characters as kids It chapter 1 covers. The kids themselves each have their own terrifying encounters with the creature, but it’s Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the dancing clown who really steals the show here. His menacing smile, with blood red lips darting up his cheeks and through his eyes, has already become iconic, and his dancing has been a meme since he first appeared.

It chapter 1 is equal parts funny adventure story and gory horror show, which director Andy Muschietti keeps in perfect balance, making it an excellent choice for a Netflix evening. —Inc

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Image: Universal Pictures

Year: 2016
Duration: 1h 39m
Director: Mike Flanagan
Pour: Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalize Basso

Ouija: Origin of Evil may at first seem like just a cash-in prequel to a board game-based horror series (which it technically is), but it turns out to be a much more interesting and much better-made film than its own Origins might recommend. But under the care of author and director Mike Flanagan, who now practically belongs to the royal family with series like Netflix The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manorand the best, midnight fairthe film gets a little better and more immersive than you might expect.

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origin of evil follows a young widow who works as a medium with her two young daughters. Knowing her job is a scam, the woman keeps her daughters busy with the tricks, at least until her youngest starts exhibiting strange behaviors that indicate she really is connected to something supernatural. As fans of Flanagan’s might expect, origin of evil focuses primarily on its characters, showing how this supernatural haunting affects each one, and throwing in more than a few spooky monologues. origin of evil is not Flanagan’s best film – that title is still part of his Director’s Cut of doctor sleep — but it’s pretty spooky and loads of fun for anyone who’s loved their Netflix work since. —Inc

scream 4

Image: Dimension Films

Year: 2011
Duration: 1h 51m
Director: Wes Craven
Pour: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

There’s a new Scream movie coming out next month from the creators of the last one. What better time than now to catch up on one of the most enduring franchises in Hollywood history.

scream 4 is the final entry in the franchise helmed by Wes Craven, who in a performance of unmatched Hollywood consistency spawned four consecutive smash hits on the series. In the fourth film, Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro on the 15th anniversary of the original murders (scream 4 was published 15 years after the original Scream) and the killings begin again.

The new additions to the cast are great – Emma Roberts steals every scene she’s in, and Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin and Alison Brie round out a strong list of new faces. And the meta comment, this time, is about social media and the internet. It’s the usual hilarious mix of poignant thrillers and knowing inside jokes that makes the franchise so special.

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You can watch every Scream movie online somewhere – the other entries in the series are on Paramount Plus. So if you’re a die-hard Scream fan, now is a great time to revisit the franchise or just revisit the fourth entry before it leaves Netflix on March 1st. But if you’re new to the world of Scream, you’ve got some good times ahead of you. —peter people


Image: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Year: 2014
Duration: 1h 23m
Director: Levan Gabriadze
Pour: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson

The first time I watched Unfriended, it was on a laptop screen in a Starbucks surrounded by people. It was a surreal experience because I was absolutely transfixed – it felt like a spell was being cast, pulling me out of the presence of other people and straight into the screen in front of me.

I have seen Unfriended a few times since, and it never fails to amaze me no matter what screen I watch it on. A found footage film with the added gimmick “it all happens on a computer screen” Unfriended is, for my money, the best version of the computer screen thriller we’ve seen replicated in movies Seek And Miss. The sense of isolation and confinement within the screen bezel is intoxicating and terrifying.

In Unfriended, a group of high school friends are joined by an unexpected guest on their Skype call before they die horribly one by one. It’s a fairly simple setup, but it’s the execution of the gimmick that makes it special.

If you would like UnfriendedYou should definitely watch the sequel dark web, which takes the premise of the original and gives it a fun twist to keep things interesting. And I highly recommend watching it on a laptop screen if you can to enhance the experience. —PV

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