To celebrate the release
of The Beach House this week, we decided to choose our picks for some of the
greatest sci-fi horror films currently available on Netflix.
Struggling with Netflix algorithms and odd suggestions? The Flixboss search engine
makes the selection process practically effortless, with specific filters for genre, year,
and even IMDb rating.
Ever since its inception, horror cinema has always had a tendency to cross over
subgenres and seamlessly blend vastly different concepts into something effortlessly
complex and entirely unique. Arguably one of the best genre hybrids, science-fiction
and horror mix particularly well, given their immense subcultural appeal and some
notable similarities between the two. From Alien and The Thing to Under the Skin and
High Life, this incomparable fusion of fan-favourite genres still has more than enough
fresh ideas from some of the finest filmmakers working today.
One of the most prolific sci-fi writers of the 21st Century, Alex Garland is no stranger to
the horror/sci-fi amalgam; having penned 28 Days Later and Sunshine, Garland’s
distinct writing style is most likely familiar to any horror film fan. After getting his
directorial debut with the supremely chilling Ex Machina, Garland set out to adapt Jeff
VanderMeer’s expansive world of Area X in the form of Annihilation. Bolstered by
Garland’s signature moody atmosphere, the otherworldly score, and an all-female
ensemble cast, this visionary, high-concept sci-fi horror is one of the best films Netflix
has to offer. Eerie, confounding, and absolutely mesmeric, the world of Area X is surely
worth a look.
The sophomore feature from the directorial duo The Spierig Brothers, Daybreakers
sees Ethan Hawke in search of a cure for an unknown virus that turned the greater part
of Earth’s population into bloodthirsty vampires. Stylish and slick, this vampire flick
combines intriguing world-building, moral dilemmas, and gore-filled action to create
something entirely singular. Daybreakers may not have enough bite to power its
undercooked sociopolitical message, but horror and sci-fi fans will be delighted to see
this film’s unabashedly brutal portrayal of humanoid bloodsuckers.
Treading the same path as Saw and Cube, this contained sci-fi horror film is much
more concerned about the human aspects of terror: fear and hubris reign king aboard
this deadly game. Fifty people wake up in a dark room and have to figure out the rules
before a mysterious device kills all of the contestants. The directors here took a rather
nihilistic approach to such concept, but one that ultimately pays off: as the narrative
grows darker and much more tense, examining the viciousness of human nature, the
motives of an unknown entity slowly begin to take shape. It’s taut, deeply
uncomfortable micro-budget filmmaking that strives to ignite conversations.
The first chapter in the series of films about the interplanetary mercenary Riddick, with
Vin Diesel reprising his dorkiest role to date. After a transport ship crashes on a desert
planet, a group of unlikely survivors has to work together and try to survive an onslaught
of deadly underground species. Arguably the best one in the trilogy, Pitch Black
amplifies the horror elements of Riddick’s hazardous world: suspenseful and gory in
equal measure, this sci-fi horror film draws heavily from classic franchises such as
Alien and Predator in order to craft a gritty, nasty creature feature with a wildly
The black sheep of this list, The Platform is a one-of-a-kind, knotty sci-fi horror film
with a warning disclaimer – this thing is extremely unpleasant. Set in a dystopian,
futuristic tower where each floor is fed with the leftovers from the previous one, the
plot centers around Goreng, a man who voluntarily agrees to enter the facility in
exchange for a diploma. Once again, created in the same vein as other contained
horror films, The Platform pits its human characters against each other in a fight for
survival – albeit this time the twist is much more grotesque and sadistic. While not
especially complex with its message, the film a well-crafted social critique that lives up
to its cynical premise.
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GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.