12 Best Horror Movies on Netflix for May 2023

The best horror and thrillers you should be watching on Netflix in May.

The cult classic comedy-thriller The Cable Guy (1996) is now streaming on Netflix!

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For the month of May, Netflix added a few must-watch horror and thriller movies from previous decades including Dawn of the Dead (2004) and The Cable Guy (1996). Our latest must-watch list includes these and more with a focus on including a variety of subgenres to satisfy nearly any horror taste. We’ve also made sure to include a few horror movies about motherhood in honor of Mother’s Day. As always, when paired with our ongoing Best Horror Movies on Netflix article, you should be able to find tons of great stuff to watch throughout the month.

Must Watch Netflix May 2023

1. The Cable Guy (1996)

Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy (1996)
In addition to Jim Carrey (pictured), The Cable Guy also features Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, and Jack Black.

Director: Ben Stiller | Runtime: 96 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: thrillers, dark comedies, Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is phenomenal in The Cable Guy, using his manic comic energy to bring to life a disturbed cable installer raised by television. Funny, tense, and sad all at the same time, The Cable Guy is a cult classic that needs to be seen.

2. Psycho (1960)

Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho (1960).
Anthony Perkins forever became associated with his character Norman Bates thanks to the performance of a lifetime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Runtime: 109 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: classic horror, psychological horror, serial killers

Psycho is quite possibly the greatest horror film of all time. Now that it’s on Netflix, you have no excuse not to watch Hitchcock’s masterpiece of suspense that continues to influence filmmakers more than half a century later.

3. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

A zombie about to get its head blown off in Dawn of the Dead (2004).
Dawn of the Dead was Zack Snyder’s feature-film directing debut, and the script was written by James Gunn.

Director: Zack Snyder | Runtime: 100 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: zombies, action horror, apocalyptic scenarios

Zack Snyder helped breathe new life into the zombie genre in this update to George A. Romero’s all-time classic. With fast zombies and intense sequences, Dawn of the Dead (2004) is one of the best action-oriented zombie movies ever.

4. May the Devil Take You (2018)

May the Devil Take You (2018)
A sequel, May the Devil Take You Too, was released in 2020.

Director: Timo Tjahjanto | Runtime: 110 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: gory movies, Indonesian horror, demonic possession

A man’s debt to an evil, supernatural force is taken out on his family in this great horror film from director Timo Tjahjanto. May the Devil Take You is bloody, violent fun for fans of pulpy horror in the style of something close to an Evil Dead.

5. Incantation (2022)

Incantation (2022)
Incantation is a creepy found-footage movie with a great finale.

Director: Kevin Ko | Runtime: 111 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: curse movies, found footage, Taiwanese horror

If you’re looking for something to watch around Mother’s Day, try Incantation. It is a found footage movie about a mother who documents her supernatural experiences in the hope that a viewer will be able to lift the curse on her daughter.

6. Bird Box (2018)

Sandra Bullock in Bird Box (2018).
Bird Box is another good choice for May, the month that includes Mother’s Day.

Director: Susanne Bier | Runtime: 124 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: apocalypse thrillers, cosmic horror, drama

In the post-apocalyptic world of Bird Box, Malorie (Sandra Bullock) tries to travel down a river with two young children while under the constant threat of an entity that shatters your mind if you look at it. Bird Box is an engaging thriller with a foundation in cosmic horror.

7. The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963)
Hitchcock drew inspiration for The Birds from the short story of the same name by author Daphne du Maurier, though the stories are quite different.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Runtime: 119 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: natural horror, animal attack movies, suspense

The master of suspense created one of the most masterful animal attack movies when he made The Birds. Tippi Hedren stars in this classic tale of a small California town besieged by belligerent birds.

8. Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal Activity (2007).
Multiple endings were conceived for Paranormal Activity, and they’re all bleak.

Director: Oren Peli | Runtime: 86 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: found footage, supernatural horror, haunted house movies

A couple attempts to document the supernatural activity in their home in this found-footage classic. Paranormal Activity has been imitated many times, but the original is still unnerving.

9. Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out (2016)
James Wan is a producer on this standout supernatural horror film.

Director: David F. Sandberg | Runtime: 81 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: creepy supernatural horror, unique monsters, effective scares

Featuring a supernatural entity that appears when the lights are out (or turned down low), Lights Out is a great jump-scare horror movie with some genuinely creepy images and scenes.

10. Zombieland (2009)

Woody Harrelson in Zombieland (2009)
Woody Harrelson (pictured) stars alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin in Zombieland.

Director: Ruben Fleischer | Runtime: 88 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: zombie comedies, road trip movies, ensemble casts

If you prefer your zombie movies funny rather than frightening, you can’t go wrong with Zombieland. This is one of the most well-loved zombie comedies ever.

11. Incident in a Ghostland (2018)

Incident in a Ghostland (2018)
Incident in a Ghostland (also known simply as Ghostland) is a Canadian-French co-production from Pascal Laugier, the writer/director of Martyrs (2008).

Director: Pascal Laugier | Runtime: 91 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: psychological horror, violent movies, hostage films

Two sisters suffer a horrific ordeal involving two intruders in their new home. Years later the incident still haunts them, but the past might not be just in their heads. Incident in a Ghostland can be a tough watch because of its grueling nature, but it’s a superb film for fans of movies like Martyrs (2008).

12. Cam (2018)

Cam (2018)
Cam was inspired by screenwriter Isa Mazzei’s own experiences with having her image stolen and used online.

Director: Daniel Goldhaber | Runtime: 95 minutes

For viewers who enjoy: psychological horror, internet horror, mysteries

A camgirl (Madeline Brewer) has a mind-bending identity crisis when her streaming account is taken over by someone who looks and acts exactly like her. Cam is a smart and quirky psychological horror film.

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Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.