I haven't seen all of the movies on Netflix by far, or even MOST of them, but whenever I do go to watch I'm always torn between what I should watch because there's a lot of time-wasters out there. If you're in the same boat, here's a list of the flicks currently available that I have seen, ranked by my personal preference.
If there's a movie available I haven't listed and you're wondering about it, leave a comment! I'll try to watch it and rank it.
The Cabin in the Woods
subgenre: dark comedy
Brilliant send-up of horror movie tropes. Superbly acted, tons of detail, darkly funny.
subgenre: dark comedy / vampires / cult / campy
One of Jim Carrey's first movies, this vampy teen sexfest gets five stars only because it was one of my favorites when I was younger. You will enjoy this if you have nostalgia value for it or if you like stupid '80s comedies (both of which are true for me).
subgenre: serial killer / slasher / bizarre / brutal
Dark and creepy, fascinating and bloody.
The People Under The Stairs
subgenre: dark comedy / cult / dysfunctional family
One of my all-time favorite dysfunctional family films! It's spooky, it's funny, it's just all-around creepy fun.
Tucker & Dale VS. Evil
subgenre: dark comedy / slasher / backwoods killers / cult / campy
Another great send-up, this time of the 'backwoods slasher' genre. Campy but not overly so.
subgenre: bizarre / brutal / scifi / hauntings
One of my favorite movies. Rescue team encounters a 'haunted' spaceship. Bizarre and bloody.
subgenre: dark comedy / cult / slasher / serial killer / revenge
One of the original comedic (yet still tense) send-ups of the horror genre; brilliantly done.
subgenre: dark comedy / cult / campy / slasher / serial killer
This wintry thriller about a living snowman possessed by a serial killer knows it is a camp-fest and delights in going over the top. I was hooked in the first three minutes.
subgenre: hauntings / serial killer / dark comedy / cult
Peter Jackson pre-Lord of the Rings fame shows his chops yet again with this dark and twisted but terribly fun tale that gets surprisingly dark by the end. One of my all-time favorites.
subgenre: hauntings / dark comedy / cult / bizarre / lovecraftian / creatures
Another childhood favorite that manages to be both funny AND scary, a rare combination.
subgenre: japanese / cult / slasher / brutal
People often (unfairly) compare The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. Just because two movies have a similar premise does not mean one rips off the other, or that they are remotely the same. This is a difficult but excellent film.
H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator
subgenre: cult / campy / bizarre / brutal / lovecraftian / creatures
If loving Herbert West is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
The Ninth Gate
subgenre: devils and demons
Slow-burn thriller about Satan.
Not actually a terribly good movie, yet I love the atmosphere (the house is amazing) and I adore Lili Taylor. If you like haunted houses and haunted actresses, give it a watch. If you don't, pass.
subgenre: slasher / bizarre / brutal / revenge
Katharine Isabelle gives a stunning performance as the titular Mary, a medical student who finds an unusual way to pay her bills… and seek some revenge after a terrible incident.
subgenre: hauntings / devils and demons
Supernatural Dad and Kyra Sedgwick star as a divorced couple with two daughters; one daughter unwittingly gets caught up in the supernatural. Good acting, good pacing, fairly fresh mythos.
House at the End of the Street
subgenre: slasher / dysfunctional family
I'm a sucker for crazy families and also for Jennifer Lawrence. Enjoyable, well made, fairly run of the mill.
The Haunting in Connecticut
Well-acted, well paced, relatively run of the mill haunting story. Big bonus for this one is that the main characters had heart and I cared about their story.
subgenre: zombies / creatures / video game
A fairly decent video game flick with some good bloody scenes. Enjoyable even if you haven't played the games.
This Joe Dante thriller isn't a traditional 'ghost' movie. The three kids carry the movie well and it has a good slow build of tension. Excellent intro to horror if you have younger horror fans at home.
subgenre: creatures / dark comedy / Irish / campy
An entertaining romp with a good monster, full of drunken Irish people. It's hard to go wrong.
Paranormal Activity 3
subgenre: hauntings / devils and demons / dysfunctional family / found footage
If you've made it this far into the series you already know the drill with these films. I thought this one was better than 2, on par with 1.
subgenre: hauntings / cult / creatures
Not a terribly good movie and yet I'm a big fan. The first Stephen King story to genuinely frighten me, and the movie has some shining moments.
The ABCs of Death
subgenre: anthology (hits most genres)
ABCs of Death is composed of 26 short films by various horror directors; one for each letter of the alphabet. Some are a total waste of time. There's enough of those to make it kind of 'meh'. Some are absolutely brilliant though, and make this film well worth watching.
subgenre: anthology / campy / hauntings / revenge / creatures
Not as good as the first, but still memorable and fun. Three creepy tales. The Raft scared me quite a bit as a kid.
Stephen King's Children Of The Corn
subgenre: creepy kids / cult / slasher / devils and demons
A decent representation of King's short story, with some truly memorable performances.
subgenre: serial killer
A decent, tense thriller about how far people are willing to go when they're desperate.
Really well done zombie outbreak film with some interesting twists.
subgenre: serial killer / slasher / dark comedy / cult / revenge
A sequel that holds up well and manages to deliver some delicious twists and turns along the way.
subgenre: bizarre / brutal / dysfunctional family / backwoods killers / revenge
A dark and memorable tale that simultaneously engrossed and repulsed me. A few shocks that even managed to get under my skin, and I consider myself pretty jaded. Well done.
subgenre: cult / slasher / brutal / devils and demons / creatures
Clive Barker always manages to get under your skin (sometimes literally), and Hellraiser is no exception.
subgenre: creatures / bizarre / cult / campy
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. If that doesn't make you want to watch it, nothing will.
subgenre: vampires / dark comedy / cult / campy / bizarre
Hilarious little '80s vampire gem with some truly excellent bizarre performances.
subgenre: serial killer / slasher
Saw it a long time ago. Don't remember a lot. Good performance, some good scenes, mostly meh. Worth a watch at least once.
subgenre: hauntings / found footage
I don't have much to say about this one other than 'meh'. Watchable but I wouldn't revisit it.
subgenre: serial killer / revenge / brutal
I really wanted to like it because I'm quite fond of Melissa Joan Hart. It was just OK.
The Legend of Lucy Keyes
This movie was so bland that I watched it twice, and didn't remember I had already watched it once until I got to the end. It's not bad, but it's not good either.
John Carpenter's movies are very hit or miss, and unfortunately this one is mostly 'miss'. It's another bland entry that is completely unmemorable. I've already forgotten the majority of the details about this film.
Evil Dead 2
subgenre: hauntings / slasher / dark comedy / creatures / devils and demons / brutal / cult / campy
I'll probably get flak for ranking this one so far down, but it's my least favorite of the Evil Dead films. The first Evil Dead and Army of Darkness are so much better.
The Devil's Carnival
subgenre: musical / dark comedy / devils and demons / cult
I'm a big fan of Repo: The Genetic Opera *and* carnivals, so I was really excited when I heard about this movie. Unfortunately it's not as good as Repo, both in terms of content AND music. It was worth a watch, and I heard they are making a sequel and I would watch that too, but this didn't catch me as much as I hoped it would.
John Dies At The End
subgenre: drugs / surreal / dark comedy / cult / creatures
What the fuck did I just watch?
This made absolutely no impression on me.
subgenre: surreal / cult
Yes, I *got it*, Donnie Darko-lovers. I just didn't LIKE IT. It's got some interesting ideas it never manages to flesh out and it's not as brilliant as people want to think it is. Frank the bunny was pretty scary though.