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Specifically Scary: 6 Great Horror Movies with a Lovecraftian Vibe on Netflix

Lovecraftian horror movies tap into an unshakeable fear. Those brave enough to confront it can start here, with the best Lovecraftian films on Netflix.

Image: Tomas Mazowski
Updated: January 10, 2022

American author H.P. Lovecraft's prolific writings in horror and oddities have created a genre all their own. Almost a hundred years after his death, the specific style of terror that Lovecraft delivered still reflects on his writings. He worked in an unparalleled manner of fear, and those who found it have a hard time drumming up the same response to anything else. 

The Best Lovecraftian Movies on Netflix

What makes something Lovecraftian? The hallmark of Lovecraft's horror is the theme that something terrible lurks under the surface and that we're not equipped to handle it. Whether that surface hides a universe filled with vicious aliens, a forest possessed by demons, or a field that holds an ominous presence, the Lovecraftian horror finds terror in the unknown, especially if that unknown is hidden by the banal. Typically light on gore and heavy on the feeling of impending doom, Lovecraftian horror movies tap into an unshakeable fear. Those brave enough to confront it can start here, with the best Lovecraftian films on Netflix.

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead

Long considered one of the ultimate horror movies; The Evil Dead doesn't skimp on the terror. Lovecraft's Necronomicon or book of the dead makes an early appearance in the story of five college friends planning to enjoy a peaceful vacation in a remote cabin. When they discover it, they release its magical properties through incantations and subsequently end up possessed by demons. Noted for its grisly gore, its genuinely terrifying moments, and its slightly campy vibe, The Evil Dead has long secured a cult following for its combination of frights and laughs. It deserves to be at the top of every horror lover's list.

The Evil Dead (1981)
Director: Sam Raimi
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

It's hard to find a film that pinpoints the cosmic horror of the unknown the way Event Horizon does. When a spaceship returns after mysteriously disappearing for seven years, the rescue crew sent to investigate soon find the ship brought something back with it, and that something is both powerful and ominous. Event Horizon's scariest elements aren't the gore that ramps up as the movie goes on, but instead, the suspenseful tension throughout. There's no relaxing in Event Horizon, only a terrifying unease. The chills never seem to dissipate.

Event Horizon (1997)
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee

The Endless

Offering up the mind-bending thrills that are a hallmark of the Lovecraftian theme, The Endless follows two brothers who managed to escape a cult ten years earlier. The pair receive a video message that draws them back to the cult they left, where they find nothing is as they remember it. Noted for its immense impact and low budget, The Endless delivers the best of the bizarre, alongside the ever-present feelings of impending doom that are vital to the genre. Stunning visuals, mind-blowing twists, and a version of reality that is unsettling, to say the least, makes this film worth watching. 

The Endless (2017)
Director: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson
Cast: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, Lew Temple, James Jordan, Tate Ellington



Set in 1905, Apostle is the story of Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens), a man determined to rescue his young sister who has been kidnapped by a cult. Traveling to a remote island and posing as a convert, Richardson infiltrates the group believing they're crazy, only to find there's something much more sinister going on. Full of the overwhelming edginess requisite to films of this nature, Apostle reveals that there's something unstable here beyond the cultists. As Richardson peels back the layers to find the root of what's so disturbing, the atmospheric thriller hits all the right spots in creating an eerie film that doesn't slow down.

Apostle (2018)
Director: Gareth Evans
Cast: Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins, Richard Elfyn

The Ritual

Following their friend's untimely death, four former classmates embark on a hiking trip in Sweden to celebrate his memory. When an injury takes them off the main path, they discover there may be an evil force present in the forest, and they're the next target. The Ritual balances Sweden's stunning backdrop with the disquieting doom that surrounds the friends, leaving audiences with a highly effective feeling of evil lurking around every corner. As the tension ramps up and the terror looms, The Ritual proves that safety is an illusion.

The Ritual (2018)
Director: David Bruckner
Cast: Arsher Ali, Rob James-Collier, Rafe Spall, Sam Troughton

In the Tall Grass

In the Tall Grass

Hearing a child calling for help, siblings Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted) follow his voice into a field of grass, hoping to rescue him. Instead, the pair find themselves quickly disoriented and separated, with some outside influence keeping them from finding a way out. Full of symbolism, confusion, and indescribable dread, In the Tall Grass keeps audiences hovering at a mild panic throughout. This thoroughly unnerving film delivers the type of psychological horror that persists far beyond any gore. It completely rattles your perspective, demanding a rewatch to untangle the threads. 

In the Tall Grass (2019)
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Harrison Gilbertson, Rachel Wilson, Will Buie Jr.
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