Love sitting on the edge of your couch and binge-watching movies about creepy, otherworldly terrors? These are some of the scariest films now streaming in South Africa, delivering everything from blockbuster-level frights to unexpected indie twists. Thank us later – when you’ve recovered.
25. Pet Sematary (2019): Showmax
Dr Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, move to rural Maine with their two young children. When their daughter Ellie discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home, Louis is quick to put her at ease. But these woods belong to something else. Something that brings things back from the dead. This 2019 adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars Oscar nominee John Lithgow, Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz.
24. Child’s Play (2019): Showmax
Chucky’s back. Even better, he’s now a smart home assistant, and voiced by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars). From the producers of It, Child’s Play cleverly updates the 80’s horror icon for the Internet of Things era – and as RogertEbert.com says, the result is “nastier, more playful, and just as good if not better than the original film.” Look out for Aubrey Plaza as single mom Karen.
23. The Golem (2018): Netflix
Set in the 17th Century in a Lithuanian Jewish village, this spooky movie is about a woman called Hanna who conjures up a monster to protect her community from the threat of a neighbouring village. The monster resembles her deceased son, and, of course, her plan goes horribly and chillingly awry.
22. Cam (2018): Netflix
Described as a thriller for the internet age, Cam follows Alice (Madeline Brewer), a “cam girl” who strips in front of her webcam for money. But when someone usurps her online persona and her income starts to dwindle, she realises that she may, in fact, no longer own her identity at all… This one may veer more towards thriller than horror, but it is ticks the “terrifyingly scary” box, and then some.
21. The Prodigy (2019): Showmax
“Mommy, will you always love me, no matter what I do?” asks Miles, at the end of the viral hit trailer for The Prodigy. But Miles is not like other children, so we can forgive his mother for not answering straight away … Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie in It) earned a 2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Award nomination for his chilling performance as Miles, while Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Taylor Schilling (Piper in Orange Is The New Black) plays his increasingly terrified mother.
20. Malevolent (2018): Showmax
Siblings Angela and Jackson scam people into thinking they are able to contact the dead. They find themselves in over their heads when they’re hired by an old woman living in an abandoned orphanage with a dark and disturbing past.
19. Ma (2019): Showmax
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer plays Sue Ann, a lonely woman who invites a group of teens to party in the basement of her house under strict rules. Soon the youngsters find themselves in a terrifying situation.
18. 8 (2020): Netflix
Netflix’s first South African Original horror movie is about a man fallen on hard times who moves to a farm he’s inherited with his family. But he has no idea of the danger they’re all in when they arrive on the land.
17. Rancid (2011): Showmax
Four people sign up for medical experiments, each with their own agenda. Locked in a remote facility, they’re left to figure out what part they’re supposed to play. But the experiment quickly devolves into a fight for survival.
16. Rage (2020): Showmax Original
What is supposed to be the best holiday of their lives turns to horror as a group of teenagers is picked off one by one in a small coastal village.
15. Parable (2020): Showmax Original
While trying an extreme form of conversion therapy, a preacher summons an evil demon – one that’s intent on triggering a mass suicide.
14. The First Purge (2018): Showmax
This is how it all started: as an experiment. Political party the New Founding Fathers of America wants to test the theory that crime will drop significantly by introducing 12 hours of lawlessness. Prequel to the Purge movies.
13. The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (2014): Showmax
Fleeing Nazi bombs, a couple evacuate orphans to Eel Marsh House. But the longer they stay, the more evil starts to grow there in this terrifying, blood-curdling horror.
12. Us (2019): Showmax
A family’s beach holiday turns into a terrifying nightmare when their doppelgangers show up in the middle of the night and begin to terrorise them. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elisabeth Moss.
11. Hell Fest (2018): Showmax
A group of friends plan a fun night out at a horror festival. But someone is killing people in plain sight and no one can tell whether it’s part of the show or not.
10. Invitation (2015): Netflix
If there was ever a good reason to decline a dinner invitation from an ex, this movie is it! After accepting to attend his ex-wife’s dinner party, a man finds himself in an unsettling situation.
9. The Strangers Prey at Night (2018): Showmax
Two teenagers visit their aunt and uncle in a trailer park but end up making a gruesome discovery. Their relatives are murdered, and their killers are at large. Will they leave to save themselves or fight to avenge the death of their aunt and uncle?
8. Overlord (2018): Showmax
Two paratroopers caught behind enemy lines on D-Day find themselves fighting not only Nazis, but also mysterious supernatural forces that were the result of a secret Nazi experiment.
7. The Silence (2019): Netflix
A family tries to stay alive after the world falls under attack by deadly creatures who prey by sound. Starring Stanley Tucci and The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina’s Kiernan Shipka.
6. Bedeviled (2016): Showmax
This horror flick will have you looking at your smartphone in a whole new light. A group of friends is terrorised by a paranormal presence after they download a mysterious app called Mr Bedevil.
5. The Meg (2018): Showmax
Jason Statham is in full action-hero mode, but this time he’s out in the ocean trying to rescue researchers from the depths of the Pacific who are being hunted by the largest marine predator in history: the Megaladon.
4. The Perfection (2019): Netflix
A music prodigy reconnects with her former mentors, only to find out that they have all been captivated by a new talented student in this twisted horror-thriller. Like Get Out, this one stars Alison Williams.
3. Captive State (2019): Showmax
Two brothers are part of a rebel movement planning to overthrow the alien race ruling Earth, 10 years after they first invaded the planet.
2. In the Tall Grass (2019): Netflix
After hearing a boy’s cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother go searching through a field of (yes, you guessed it) tall grass, and discover that there may be no way out. Starring Patrick Wilson.
1. Hereditary (2018): Showmax
In this eerie horror, a family mourning the loss of its matriarch makes some frightening discoveries about their ancestry. Starring Toni Collette and Alex Wolff.