The darkest movies you'll find on Netflix

Netflix's catalog of movies is one of the best among the streaming services vying for your hard-earned dollars. With around 4,000 movies to keep you entertained at any hour of the day, even if they've lost a few titles to new competition in the last few years, it's still the go-to streaming service for the discerning, sitting-on-the-sofa moviegoer. And among all the comedies and dramas and action flicks, you'll find a decent showing of some of the weirdest, disturbingly dark films ever produced. You know, for when you're in the mood for a good scare or just can't handle another episode of the Roseanne reboot.

There are titles on Netflix you're not going to find anywhere else thanks to their amped-up original productions, and a great mix of older movies you may have missed the first time around or forgotten about completely. So what are the darkest movies you'll find on Netflix that are actually still good? Let's get started.

Veronica will make you afraid of Ouija boards again

When Veronica premiered on Netflix, it was widely touted as being a film so scary people couldn't even finish watching it. In addition, it had the pedigree of being based on a "true" story, something horror producers have made the most of since the days of The Amityville Horror and later The Blair Witch Project to add that extra dimension to the marketing.

Truth is, Veronica, a Spanish flick directed by Paco Plaza, is a tense little tale that quickly impressed critics and currently sits at 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. (This means 88 percent of critics recommended seeing it.) Few horror movies even cross into positive territory in the eyes of most critics, so clearly there's something there.

For a movie with this much hype, it's actually a surprisingly good film with some great performances by very young actors. The movie follows a teenage girl and her two younger siblings, relying on them to carry the drama with very little adult support, and they do a great job. It's at times intense and creepy, and definitely features that edge-of-your-seat build-up to dread you want in a horror movie.

Raw will make you lose your appetite

For a purely visceral, shocking film experience, you can't get much better than 2017's Raw, a movie that mixes burgeoning sexuality and gut-chewing violence in a curious coming-of-age story. And it's about cannibals, so it's got that going for it.

Most people wouldn't want to sit down to watch Raw with Ma for a fun afternoon. It's intensely graphic and pretty gross at times in its stark refusal to water down the brutal aspects of the subject matter. When it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, an ambulance had to be called because a couple moviegoers actually passed out in the theater, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If that's not priceless marketing gold for a horror movie then nothing is.

In a bizarre twist for a movie so graphic and disturbing, it was also a critical darling because sometimes a movie about eating people really touches your heart in a different way than someone actually eating your heart would. The French-language film is rocking an extremely respectable 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics agree it's a wonderful story, as long as you view it with some lights on and an empty stomach.

Teeth will make you cross your legs

This is absolutely not the kind of dark movie you want to watch with grandma around, unless you have a pretty out-there family. In that case, grab some snacks and sit down to a darkly funny horror that lays waste to all cautionary tales of sex and promiscuity that came before it. With a name like Teeth, you know you're heading for dark territory, and this movie delivers.

What makes Teeth memorable is what the titular teeth are. Or really where they are. In this tale, the teeth are in a part of the main character's anatomy that really shouldn't have them, if you follow. And if you don't, the trailer starts with the main character's trip to the OB/GYN, which gets right to the core of the issue.

Thanks to the crazy story and also some very solid performances, critics enjoyed Teeth and it's got a decent 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Make no mistake, it's a seriously disturbed movie. As Digital Spy's review says, it's "probably too lurid and graphic for the mainstream's tastes." If you're mainstream, this might be biting off more than you can chew. If you enjoy the lurid and graphic, this could be a nice movie morsel.

Mexico Barbaro is eight times disturbing

Horror anthologies are fairly rare. Often you end up with too much of a mixed bag, one part that's great, one part that's terrible and several in between. So it's always a treat when you find a new one because half the fun is discovering where each segment fits into that scale. That's part of the fun of Mexico Barbaro, a Mexican horror anthology that delves into Mexican folklore and doesn't spare on the full throttle, over-the-top darkness.

Featuring eight different short stories from eight different directors, this Spanish-language movie is a trip from the get-go. It's not light, happy fare, so you'll need to be prepared to see some things you've probably never seen on film before, and maybe a few things you never wanted to see. And you may need Google handy if you're not super current on Mexican and Mayan folklore because when you run across something like an Alux in the middle of the movie, you'll want to know what it is. (It's basically a spooky, vengeful spirit.)

Mexico Barbaro is like V/H/S or Tales from the Darkside with a Spanish twist and a heck of a lot more disturbing scenes. What more can you ask for?

The Wailing will draw you into its mystery

From Korea, 2016's The Wailing is not just an excellent horror film, it's an excellent film in general. With a staggering 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes this movie has been nearly universally praised for its engaging story and performances while at the same time being pretty dark. The atmosphere, the visuals, the symbolism — they're all rich and layered and make this movie well worth a watch.

Packed to the gills with religious allegory, you've got a lot of small-town-evil going on in The Wailing, but it's also nicely couched in a police mystery, so it has some good crossover appeal even if you're not a fan of straight horror. It's a bit like a Korean Silence of the Lambs meets The Exorcist. And while it does have its share of blood and gore, it's not over-the-top like some dark movies that can turn people away. Not everyone needs to see gallons of movie blood every time someone stubs a toe. And it even manages a few scenes of levity to contrast some of the more awful aspects of the movie.

The Invitation offers up a party you won't soon forget

If you've ever found yourself feeling anxious in social situations, then The Invitation just might be the film for you. With its setup of a simple dinner party invite that slowly degrades into something much more sinister, this is the perfect dark and twisted tale for everyone who'd rather stay home than deal with other people.

This critically hailed movie pushes the envelope on tension straight from the start, in which everything is just slightly off enough to give you that ominous sense of dread about what's yet to come. You know something's wrong, you're just not sure what it is yet. Then it continues until the payoff, which is just unbridled madness with a twist or two along the way. As ScreenCrush points out, the fun in the movie is found in the "increasingly bizarre and uncomfortable evening." A real claustrophobic vibe settles over the whole movie, mostly set in a single home from which escape isn't entirely an option. And hey, there's a creepy cult thing going on, too, so bonus.

The Void is basically a waking nightmare

This entry from north of the border proves Canada has more to offer than maple syrup, Drake, and delicious poutine. 2016's The Void is a horror that takes us back to the days of David Cronenberg and John Carpenter. It features practical, gross effects in a body-horror nightmare world that's confined mostly to one lonely, creepy hospital and a handful of very unlucky people. Doesn't that sound fun? Not for them necessarily, but for you watching it's pretty entertaining.

With 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, The Void was well received by critics and audiences alike, but to really appreciate the movie you need to be a fan of old school practical effects, and it doesn't hurt if you also like gruesome, mind-blowing weirdness. The movie brutalizes its cast and gives you everything a fan of '80s horror could want from crazy cults to undead monstrosities to mutating bodies and an every-increasing sense of hopeless dread that maybe we're not heading for a super-happy ending for everyone.

As the Arizona Republic's review notes, the movie is "off the rails, unhinged, absolutely bonkers." So definitely worth putting in your queue.

Train to Busan is one ride you can't miss

Another entry from Korea, Train to Busan breathed new life into the zombie genre with a film widely lauded by critics and audiences alike. Decider called it the best zombie movie of the decade. It's hard to keep a zombie movie fresh, but Train to Busan does it and actually makes you care about the characters at the same time, instead of patiently waiting for them to be eaten by the undead. Don't worry, though. Lots of people get eaten by the undead.

The real strength in Train to Busan comes from the layered and believable performances. You're right there with these people, it's just unfortunate they're all on the brink of dying and the world seems to be ending. Plus there's an amazing performance from Kim Soo-Ahn, a little girl who proves you can have children in horror who don't make you want to rip your hair out.

There's blood and guts aplenty in Train to Busan. It never skimps on the zombie gore and actually manages to inject some crazy new ideas, which is something any good zombie movie needs to do. The fact it's sitting at 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes is no mistake.

The Bar will make you want to stay home for breakfast

Straight from Spain comes The Bar, with a dark comedy edge to a paranoid nightmare. The Bar puts you right alongside the confused patrons of a Spanish restaurant fearing for their lives and draws from some classics of the genre that keep you guessing. Is it a zombie apocalypse? A serial killer? The breakdown of society as we know it? Hard to say, but it's clear you don't want to go outside to find out.

There's a real intensity to The Bar, potentially due to the fact that director Álex de la Iglesia is a former comic book artist with an eye for packing each frame with a frenetic energy that draws you into the next. It also makes great use of limited space — the entire movie is split between basically three locations that are all cramped and uncomfortable, if not downright gross. That and a decent dose of random violence, intense paranoia, and the odd bloated corpse should be enough to keep you interested until the end of the movie.

Creep will get under your skin

Another critical favorite –- holding strong at 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – Creep is a master class in making you feel uncomfortable thanks in no small part to the "unhinged" performance of actor/writer Mark Duplass, which Variety claimed was the strongest aspect of the whole film. The title of this movie isn't a metaphor or a random word pulled from a hat; it's completely on the money describing the film's antagonist.

While a lot of movies in the horror genre rely solely on trying to manipulate fear through terrifying imagery, Creep builds up its character with awkward, cringe-inducing weirdness. You feel uncomfortable watching this guy, and it just gets worse as the film progresses. You know the other shoe is going to drop, you know you're watching a horror movie and have to expect the worst, but the journey there is what sets Creep apart. This is the kind of guy you fear ever meeting in real life because, unlike a Jason or a Leatherface, this guy seems real.

The film makes use of the found-footage trope effectively, and thanks to the performance by Mark Duplass as the titular Creep, there's enough awkward humor to keep the film from getting bogged down in too much cringe.

Gerald's Game is not playing around

A Netflix original based on a book by Stephen King and directed by Mike Flanagan, who brought us Oculus and Hush, Gerald's Game is an exercise in tension and total discomfort. Alongside It, Gerald's Game made 2017 a banner year for Stephen King adaptations, which have a pretty rocky history in terms of quality. Feel free to check out Maximum Overdrive for proof.

Gerald's Game jumps into an awkward, uncomfortable scenario almost from the beginning and then ramps into overdrive and stays there for the rest of the film. King's book seemed like the sort of thing that would nearly be impossible to film given the nature of the story, but Flanagan gives it hell right out of the gates and with some clever storytelling techniques puts you right alongside star Carla Gugino for a psychological kick to the head complete with one of the most hard-to-watch scenes ever filmed. You'll know it when you see it.

The Verge called Gerald's Game one of Stephen King's worst books but acknowledged it became one of his best movies at the same time, and critics quite enjoyed the movie, too.

The Ritual leads you into a dark forest of grief and remorse

Folk horror is a subgenre that deals with the modern, civilized world clashing with its dark, pagan past. Key examples are 1973's The Wicker Man (the original one, you memelords, not the "ahhh bees" remake with Nicolas Cage), 1968's Witchfinder General, and 1971's The Blood on Satan's Claw. In addition to having completely baller titles, these movies all deal with big city outsiders encountering the dangers that come with leaving the protective walls of town and delving into a darkness modern life thought it had left behind.

2017's The Ritual is a formidable new entry into that particular subgenre, dealing with four friends who embark on a trip dreamed of by the fifth member of their squad, who had been killed in a robbery the previous year. This trip takes the four British men deep into the woods of a Swedish national park, where they face harrowing visions and inexplicable effigies, while one friend must confront the guilt he feels over his failure to prevent his murdered friend's death. It's best to go into this movie fresh, so skip to the next paragraph if you don't want even the most minor of spoilers, but if you need further selling, The Ritual also has easily the dopest creature design of the last decade of horror films, as the quartet's journeys lead them to a village that worships an ancient evil. It's a look that will really stick with you (and your dreams).

The Ritual is currently rocking a respectable 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but it honestly deserves better.

A Dark Song summons the horrors of loss

You know how a lot of horror movies have that one scene where someone attempts an occult ritual, but then everything goes wrong and it's super overwhelming and terrifying? Well, 2016's A Dark Song is a stunning, lyrical, but also really scary movie that dares to ask, "What if that one scene was the whole movie, actually?"

A Dark Song tells the tale of a grieving mother who engages the services of an occultist (played by the excellent Steve Oram, who brings over some of his darkly sardonic sensibilities from 2012's Sightseers) to perform a hugely intricate and physically exhausting months-long ritual by which she hopes to summon her guardian angel and beg a favor. She has rented an enormous and lavish but crumbling mansion in the Welsh countryside to carry out her ritual away from human eyes, giving the entire film a creepy, isolated atmosphere. As a super cool added bonus, the movie is inspired by an actual ritual from a real-life grimoire that you yourself could also perform if you have the will, the desire to speak to your guardian angel, and the freedom to take months off from work to invoke the 12 Kings and Dukes of Hell. And, needless to say, two clashing personalities in isolation doing highly stressful work means things don't go off without a hitch.

The movie currently has a very classy 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with Collider saying it "spins many webs of mystery and keeps you puzzling out every mystery up until the audacious ending you definitely won't see coming."

Apostle takes you to the last island you might ever visit

Director Gareth Evans rose to cult fame thanks to his absolute slobberknocker of an entry into the field of martial arts films, 2011's The Raid, as well as its follow-up, 2014's The Raid 2. However, he caught the eye of horror fans with "Safe Haven," his entry for 2013's V/H/S/2, which many fans have hailed as the best segment in the entire three-film anthology series. The segment deals with a film crew caught inside the compound of an Indonesian cult when things start — so to speak — popping off.

2018 saw Evans return to both horror and religious cults in the Netflix original film Apostle, though in this one he moves away from his familiar Indonesian settings in favor of a utopian cult based on a Welsh island. Set in 1905, this movie features Dan Stevens (who, depending on who you are, you might know as Cousin Matthew from Downton Abbey, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, or the guest from The Guest) as a former missionary who is sent to infiltrate a mysterious cult who has kidnapped his sister, presumably with dark designs on her life. The further he digs into the truth of the cult while trying to keep from himself being discovered, the darker, bloodier, and more eye-opening events become.

Apostle is a solid new example of folk horror, currently holding an 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus that it "resists easy scares in favor of a steady, slow-building descent into dread led by a commanding central performance from Dan Stevens."

Terrifier's murder clown is actually scary

To be clear, 2017's Terrifier is not, like, a good movie. But you're here for dark movies, and Terrifier fits that bill. It's dark, and it's also grimy and bloody and gross. If you want a scary movie full of subtext and themes, you should queue up It Follows or The Babadook. If you want a straight-ahead slasher throwback about a clown who smears doodoo all over the wall and saws girls in half the hard way, put this one on.

Terrifier completely serves as a showcase for the character of Art the Clown, previously featured in the 2013 anthology All Hallows' Eve, and the success of the film kind of hinges on his presence. Fortunately, Art is a genuinely disturbing character in his appearance and demeanor, helped immensely by the able performance of David Howard Thornton. The scene early in the film where he silently harasses two girls in a pizza parlor is affecting in a way that the later parts of the movie can't make up for with gore effects and crazy cat ladies. However, there is at least one scene that will completely catch most slasher fans off guard with the way it breaks the "rules" long established by the genre.

Terrifier currently holds a score of 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with the British Film Institute calling it "an unapologetically 'pure' genre entry, confronting — and amusing — us with all the sinister masked vicariousness of the Halloween spirit."

Eyes of My Mother is a haunting odyssey into a traumatized mind

If you want to traumatize yourself in the classiest way possible, 2016's The Eyes of My Mother might be the way to go. You could probably even convince a friend or loved one that this is just a straight-up art film thanks to its title and beautiful black and white photography until the murders and eyeball slicings start. (Your defense after they try to storm out is that Un Chien Andalou is one of the most famous art films of all time and definitely features eyeball slicing.) Hopefully everyone sticks around for this one, though, because it's a high-quality and beautiful if unremittingly bleak cinema experience.

The film centers on Francisca, a young woman who as a child saw her mother beaten to death in her home by a stranger, after which her father came home, knocked out the murderer, and kept him prisoner in his barn. The good news is that Francisca manages to process this trauma in a very healthy and productive way, and the rest of the movie is about her totally normal interpersonal relationships. No, that's a lie. This is a horror movie. Things get pretty dark, what with the killings, eviscerations, child abductions, and what have you.

The Eyes of My Mother has a score of 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with a consensus that it "uses a shocking trauma to fuel a hauntingly hypnotic odyssey whose nightmarish chill lingers long after the closing credits." Definitely give it a shot as long as you're not looking for a fun, carefree night of streaming or unhaunted dreams.