15 Horror Movies Without Jump Scares on Netflix, Because Popcorn Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
It's rare to find a scary movie that isn't jam-packed with jump scares. Some of the best horror movies (we're looking at you, It and A Quiet Place) will keep you in a constant state of anxiety, waiting for the next unexpected noise or surprise arrival. There's even a website dedicated to jump-scare counts, so if you'd rather not have your heart in your throat for two hours straight, you're not alone. Check out the gallery for terrifying horror movies without jump scares streaming on Netflix, because a movie can still be scary without making you toss your popcorn bowl.
This psychological horror film is set in the world of webcam pornography, starring Madeline Brewer as an erotic cam girl who finds her popular channel hijacked by a look-alike. We don't know what's better: the fact that Cam doesn't glamorize, glorify, or romanticize sex workers, or the fact that it doesn't rely on cheap scare tactics.
With an all-star cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, and Sir Patrick Stewart, this horror-thriller revolves around a punk band whose members find themselves pursued by a terrifying clan of skinheads after they accidentally witness a murder at a nightclub outside of Portland. You can expect an underground drug lab, a gruesome scene with a boxcutter, and exactly zero jump scares.
This horror flick is adapted from Stephen King's novel of the same name, telling the story of a Nebraskan farmer, a dispute with his wife over inherited land, and a decision to commit murder — with the reluctant help of his 14-year-old son, of course. This one will likely make you scream, but at least it won't be due to any unfair surprises.
With a cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, and John Malkovich, among several others, this postapocalyptic horror film follows a woman and two unnamed children in their attempt to find sanctuary after a haunting vision drives the majority of the population to suicide. However, there's a catch — to avoid succumbing to the same fate, they must complete the trip blindfolded.
Train to Busan
This South Korean horror flick revolves around a zombie apocalypse that takes over the country and traumatizes a group of passengers en route to Busan. We promise it's way better than it sounds, and it's genuinely terrifying — no zombie jump scares required.
The Blackcoat's Daughter
Emma Roberts stars in this movie as a troubled young woman determined to visit an isolated Catholic boarding school in the dead of winter, where two students whose parents never picked them up for Winter break (played by Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton) are up against some malevolent force. This one will keep you guessing until the very end.
This horror-fantasy flick follows a young woman who — after a near-death incident lands her in the hospital — discovers that the man who raised her in captivity isn't actually her father. Anna begins a new life on the outside, and though she was told all her life to be afraid of the outside world, she gradually realizes she may be one of those creatures she was raised to fear.
Anya Taylor-Joy stars in this horror flick as Thomasin, a young woman who witnesses the disappearance of her youngest brother in 1630 New England and, as a result, is accused of witchcraft. The only surprise in this one is just how terrifying a demonic billy goat named Black Phillip can be.
When an American moves to England for a nannying job, she never expects that her new charge will be a porcelain doll named Brahms, which the eccentric old couple who hired her treat like their son. As it turns out, the real Brahms died in a fire on his eighth birthday 20 years before, and the creepy doll may just be inhabited by his spirit.
The Girl With All the Gifts
Based on Mike Carey's novel of the same name, this postapocalyptic horror flick tells the story of an exceptional girl named Melanie, who — as well as being immune to a mutated fungal disease turning the world into zombies — has learned to curb her appetite for flesh, giving her the power to lead the world to survival. Just like Train to Busan, you thankfully won't see any zombies popping out of nowhere in this one.
In the Tall Grass
Based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King and Joe Hill, this thriller tells the story of a brother and sister who follow the cries for help of a young boy into a field of tall grass. However, instead of finding a kid, they find themselves separated and at the will of an evil presence that's far scarier than a jump scare.
Berlin Syndrome follows a young Australian backpacker exploring Berlin on a solo trip who decides to join a sexy local at his place for a one-night stand. It all seems to be going well — that is, until the next morning, when she discovers her new Berlin lover has no intention of letting her leave. You'll never want to hook up with a stranger again after watching this one.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
In this creepy flick, a retired horror writer suffering from dementia hires a live-in nurse to care for both her and her Braintree, MA, estate. However, what the writer fails to mention to her new caretaker is that Polly — the fictional protagonist of her most popular novel, The Lady in the Walls — is not actually fictional, and Polly might have been killed in the very estate where the writer and nurse now live.
Yet another adaptation from a Stephen King novel, Gerald's Game tells the story of a woman (played by The Haunting of Hill House actress Carla Gugino) who accidentally kills her husband during a kinky tryst, leaving her stranded in their remote lake house and chained to their bed. That may not sound like much of a plot, but believe us when we say this one is a wild ride.
Allison Williams stars in this intense thriller as a cello prodigy who is forced to abandon music after a family tragedy, only to return to performing years later with the help of a rising new star, played by Logan Browning. Nothing can prepare you for The Perfection's ending, but you can at least rest assured that this one won't make you lose your popcorn.