35 Best Horror Movies to watch in New Zealand

Last updated: December 8, 2021 Shares: 0


The movies range from old classics to the latest blockbusters. It is not easy to compile a list that suits everyone’s liking but we have compiled the list that will suit most people out there. Some of these movies are going to send chills down your body and keep you hooked to your screen.

Beware, you may not be able to sleep alone after watching them. Exquisite directions and production make all those supernatural/paranormal activities look as realistic as they can be OR ARE THESE ACTIVITIES REAL? Well, why don’t you find that out yourselves!

30 Best Horror Movies to watch in New Zealand

The following is a list of some of the best horror movies Hollywood has churned out of its bucket.

1. The Empty Man (2020)

Director: David Prior

Writer: David Prior, Cullen Bunn

Cast: James Badge Dale, James Lasombra,

IMDB Rating: 6.1/10

An ex-cop is on the lookout for a missing girl when he stumbles across a mysterious group attempting to call a deadly supernatural entity.

The camera hangs on a painting in the corridor when James first enters the Pontifex Institute. The painting depicts the hut where the four hikers take refuge at the beginning of the film. Overall, it is one of the best horror movies. 

2. Don’t Breathe 2 (2021)

Director: Rodo Sayagues

Writer: Fede Alvarez Rodo Sayagues

Cast: Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace,

IMDB Rating: 6.1/10

Norman Nordstrom, a blind soldier, has been hiding out in a remote cottage for some years. He now lives with a young girl and has rebuilt the family taken from him by a drunk driver.

When a gang of evil criminals kidnaps her, their peaceful life together is destroyed. To save her, Norman will have to dig into even deeper and more imaginative instincts.

3. Candyman (2021)

Director: Nia DaCosta

Writer: Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld

Cast: Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Teyonah Parris

IMDB Rating: 5.9/10

A ghost story revolves around a supernatural, hook-handed killer who tormented Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing developments for decades. In the current day, an artist decides to research Candyman’s macabre past.

However, he was unaware that it would unravel his sanity and unleash a horrific wave of violence, putting him on a collision course with fate. It is among the best ghost stories. If you love watching the best horror movies, go for it!

4. Army of the Dead (2021)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten

Cast: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnel

IMDB Rating: 5.8/10

Following a zombie apocalypse in Las Vegas, a crew of mercenaries decides to take the ultimate risk and enter the quarantine zone in the hopes of pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. Scott cannot ignore such a life-changing gift.

Nevertheless, the laws have changed, and the horde of the walking undead appears to be more organized than they would have thought. However, the clock is ticking. Will they be able to make it out of Vegas alive and well? if you like watching psychological thriller movies, it is the best option for you.

5. The Invisible Man (2020)

Director: Leigh Whannel

Writer: Leigh Whannel, H.G. Wells

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

Cecilia is the protagonist of the film, who was told about the suicide of her boyfriend. After that, she starts to make positive changes in her life. Finally, however, her sense of reality is questioned as she suspects her deceased lover isn’t dead.

Her ex-boyfriend pretends to die and then stalks and torments her. Then, she starts having unusual experiences and decides to investigate on her own. This modern classic film is also among the best scary movies of all time.

6. The Lighthouse (2019

The Lighthouse (2019) - Horror Movie NZ

Director: Robert Eggers

Writer: Max Eggers, Rober Eggers (Co-writer)

Cast: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeria Karaman

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Image Credit: What’s the Motive

Description: This horror story tells about England in the 1890s, Ephraime Winslow gets a job contract as a lighthouse keeper “Wickie” for a month. The movie revolves around him and his demanding supervisor “Wake”, who makes Winslow do some serious hard work.

Finally, in this short story winslow deals with hallucinations and horrors of being on the seaside and they both deal with shortages of food and ruthlessness of the lighthouse and the sea. It is also included in the list of the best horror movies. 

7. Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror (1922)

Nosferatu – Horror Movie NZ

Director: F.M. Murnau

Writer: Bram Stoker (Dracula)

Cast: Max Schrek, Gustav von Wangenheim

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Image Credit: Ian Farrington

Description: In Wisborg, a German town in 1838 Thomas Hutter is sent to Transylvania by his employer to meet a client “Count Orlok” who is interested in purchasing a house in Hutter’s town. When Hutter went into an inn, he found out the locals would be frightened even hearing the name of Orlok and began suspecting why?

His suspicions become reality when he finds out that Orlok is a Vampire. Hutter and his wife “Ellen” look for ways to kill the vampire. One of the best scariest movies on IMDB ratings. Overall, it is a great option for horror cinema lovers. 

8. The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) NZ Horror Movie

Director: Drew Goddard

Writer: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison

IMDB Rating: 7/10

Image Credit: Mubi

Description: A group of five friends goes out to a remote cabin in the woods for adventure and fun. They get more than they bargained for, as they find a cellar door and without any doubt want to investigate (because you know that is what everyone would do).

Once down they find relics and stuff. One of the girls starts to read from some book and somehow manages to awaken zombies inside (not on purpose though) and the adventure turns into a nightmare.

The frightening stuff keeps on piling one over the other to keep the audience interested. Overall, it is among the greatest horror movies. 

9. Halloween (2018)

Halloween (2018) NZ Horror Movie

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: Jeff Fradley, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride

Cast: Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Jamie Lee Curtis

IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

Image Credit: Empire

Description: The sequels of the Halloween series have not been up to the mark but this one is making up for it. The last confrontation between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the masked figure who has been haunting her for over forty years since that killing spree on Halloween keeps the viewer on their toes.

The movie’s ending shows the series is all but over. If you love streaming horror world, don’t miss it. 

10. The WITCH (2015)

The WITCH (2015)

Director: Robert Eggers

Writer: Robert Eggers

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

IMDB Rating: 6.9/10

Image Credit: Variety

Description: One of the best horror films, it takes the audience back to New England in the 1600s where a family had to move and live on the edge of a forest owing to religious disputes from the puritans.

The family of five has their lives turn around when the newborn goes missing. The family starts turning on each other and believing that their situation is due to their sins. Finally, it is for the cult classic horror genre fans. If you enjoy streaming pure horror, go for it. 

11. Sinister (2012)

Sinister (2012) - NZ Horror Movie

Director: Scott Derrickson

Writer: C. Robert Cargill, Scott Derrickson

Cast: Juliet Rylance, Ethan Hawke, Fred Dalton Thompson

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Image Credit: Roger Ebert

Description: In this one of the best horror movies, a writer who writes crime stories gets his family to move into a house where a crime took place in the past. The family didn’t know.

He found out a video to help him research for the book but soon finds out that he has got himself into trouble with things he never thought he would encounter.  The film had a sequel in 2015 but wasn’t up to the mark of the original story. If you like the horror genre, this movie deserves your time. 

12. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring (2013)

Director: James Wan

Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingstone

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Image Credit: Medium

Description: In 1971, the Perron family moved into a farmhouse in dilapidated condition. Soon after moving into the house, they start to notice paranormal activities going around up to the point that the activities started terrorizing them.

The family decided to call experts to figure out the situation. The experts find out that the whole area is under satanic powers’ control and now they are after the perron family. The family needs to find a spiritual way to get themselves off the hook.

13. Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980) NZ Horror Movie

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Writer: Victor Miller

Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: In the year 1957, a young man named Jason drowns in a lake near Camp Crystal. One year later two counselors get murdered. Some 20 years later, the owners of the lake reopened it with the help of some counselors. The fate of the counselors is the same as the previous two. The mystery remains as to why is it all happening or who is doing it?

14. Carrie (1976)

Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: Stephen King

Cast: Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, William Katt

IMDB Rating: 5.9/10

Image Credit: Showbiz Cheatsheet

Description: An ostracized teenage girl Carrie is bullied at school by her classmates. Her mother is a very pious/religious woman to the point of self-punishment for sinful acts.

When she has her first period, she is not able to cope with what is happening to her and a spiteful boy makes a video of her to show around everyone. Carrie finds out she has the power of telekinesis and uses that to her advantage.

15. Saw (2014)

Saw (2014) NZ

Director: James Wan

Writer: James Wan, Leigh Whannell

Cast: Cary Elwess, Danny Glover, Monica Potter

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

Image Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Description: The movie is about a jigsaw killer who ruthlessly kills everyone coming his way. Two men wake up in a bathroom “Adam” and “Dr. Lawrence Gordon”, they find out that the jigsaw killer has captured them and they must break free before time runs out on their lives.

16. IT (2017)

IT (2017) NZ

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Stephen King

Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgard

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Image Credit: The New York Times

Description: Kids in the town of Derry are disappearing one after the other. Seven of the kids unite in the barren who have been traumatized by the clown-like thing. The kids who have dealt with the horrifying experiences with the clown get together with the stern determination of killing it. The movie is definitely up there to give you some chills.

17. Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931) NZ Horror Movies

Director: James Whale

Writer: John L. Balderstone, Mary Shelley, Peggy Webling

Cast: Colin Clive, Mae Clark, Boris Karloff

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Image Credit: Time Out

Description: Frankenstein is a doctor who is devoting time to making the dead walk. He succeeds in doing so and yells in delight “It’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE” and when retorted with “Henry! In the name of God” he retorts back “In the name of God? Now, I know! what it feels like to be God!”. An iconic movie in which the dead then have to live among the living again.

18. Don’t Breathe (2016)

Don’t Breathe (2016)

Director: Fede Alvarez

Writer: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayageus

Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: A woman named Rocky who wants to live a better life along with his sister plans to rob the house of a wealthy blind man with the help of her boyfriend and his friend Alex. When they get inside, they find out that the blind man is more capable than they ever anticipated and they must get out of the house before he kills them.

19. A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet Place - NZ Horror Movies

Director: John Krasinski

Writer: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski

Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: The movie is one on the list of the best scariest movies. The earth is devastated by possibly an extraterrestrial creature that is attracted to sound. Even the slightest sound can make it trigger and it will not spare the life of one who made that sound.

The story revolves around a family that somehow finds a way to live among all this insanity and they must find a way out.

20. The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers (2008)

Director: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Bryan Bertino

Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: Three masked men knocked on the door of a couple who was returning from the reception of a wedding. The couple gets overpowered and taken under custody. What ensues is a violent struggle to break free from them.

21. Scream (1996)

Scream (1996)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Cast: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Image Credit: Regal

Description: A year after Sydney Prescott’s mother’s death, she and her friends start receiving very disturbing phone calls from a serial killer, who wears a white mask and black clothes has different questions like What are your favorite scary movie and a lot of trivia regarding scary movies. What ends is in a bloodbath. Overall, it is among the best scary movies. 

22. Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary (2018)

Director: Ari Aster

Writer: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: The film begins when a mentally challenged mother of Annie (Toni Collete) dies, her family of one husband, a son, and a daughter all mourn the loss. Each of them finds their own way of dealing with the loss.

Annie and her daughter though find a very different way and start to get involved in otherworldly/supernatural things. The sinister secrets that have been through the generations of their family keep haunting them. Overall, this movie is a good option for horror fans. 

23. Train to Busan (2016)

The Invisible Man - NZ Horror Movies

Director: Yeon Sang-ho

Writer: Park Joo-suk

Cast: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung yu-mi

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

Image Credit: Roger Ebert

Description: A father who doesn’t have much time for his daughter to get on board a train traveling from Seoul to Busan. During the journey, the apocalypse happens in the world and the population starts to turn into zombies.

The people in the train start protecting themselves and in doing so are turning against each other and in the whole chaotic situation, every man is for himself.

24. The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man - NZ Horror Movies

Director: Leigh Whannell

Writer: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

Image Credit: The Guardian

Description: The movie follows a girl named Cecilia who receives the news of the death of her ex-boyfriend. She starts to build her life fresh, however, the turn of events is such that she starts wondering if the ex-boyfriend has actually died or not? The abusive ex may be out there plotting revenge for some unresolved issues.

25. Insidious (2010)

Insidious (2010)

Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Image Credit: Mubi

Description: An intriguing story of a family who has a son who mysteriously fell into a coma while being in the attic. Little did the family know that the boy is not in an endless sleep for any other reason than some supernatural happenings.

In order to get their boy back, they must find the history and work it out. Finally, its horror story brings it in the list of the best horror movies. 

26. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street - Horror Movie in NZ

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Cast: John Saxon, Ronie Blakely, Heather Lagenkamp

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Image Credit: MoMA

Description: Nancy Thompson along with a group of her friends is living on Elm Street. A dangerous killer is on the spree thirsty for their blood as he is looking to kill them all. Whenever they are asleep he will come for them one by one and who is going to be there to save them? Or how can they save themselves?

27. Trick ’r Treat (2007)

Trick ’r Treat (2007)

Director: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty

Cast: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Anna Pacquin

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Image Credit: Letter Boxd

Description: This movie is an amalgamation of five different but intertwined stories. A school principal who is secretly a serial killer, a lovely couple who find out what happens to them when they put out the lantern before it is midnight.

A bunch of teens who play a mean prank that they take way too far, a young virgin girl who may have found the right guy for her, and a hermit who is paid a special visit by a trick ‘r treater. If you are a fan of the best horror movies, it is for you!

28. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Horror Movie NZ

Director: Marcus Nispel

Writer: Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper

Cast: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: A group of five people driving through the forest picks up a traumatized hitchhiker, the hitchhiker killed herself in their van. Stunned by this, the group starts looking for a place where they can find people to tell them what happened.

To their dismay, they find a lone home in the middle of nowhere which is housed by mentally handicapped people who had become so different through inbreeding. The problems continue to pile up. Finally, it is one of the best horror movies. 

29. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973) NZ Horror Movie

Director: William Friedkin

Writer: William Peter Blatty

Cast: Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Cobb

IMDB Rating: 8/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: The movie revolves around three main stories. One, of a woman who is constantly under tensions over the behavioral changes and physical, make up of her 12-year-old daughter, a priest near Georgetown who starts doubting his faith while dealing with the terminal illness of his old mother, and a frail priest who recognized the need to fight a demon entity.

30. The Mist (2007)

The Mist (2007) NZ Horror Movie

Director: Frank Darabont

Writer: Frank Darabont

Cast: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Harden

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

Image Credit: YouTube

Description: In a small town in Maine, a family of Drayton’s life, one night there is a massive downpour, a thunderous storm followed by an unusual mist on the next day.

The family is stuck along with many other residents after it is established that the unknown mist contains something toxic and is intent on killing people. If you like streaming the best horror movies, it is a great option for you. 

31. The Fog (1980)

The Fog (1980) NZ Horror Movies

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Debra Hill

Cast: John Houseman, Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Curtis

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Image Credit: Letter Boxd

Description: In the coastal town community of Antonio Bay, California people are about to celebrate the centennial festival. During the preparations, a strange supernatural occurrence happens and a strange fog comes up. A 100 years ago, the natives of the area committed heinous crimes.

The people against whom the crimes were committed are now back for revenge as there are disappearances and killing of people all around.

32. Candyman (2021)

Candyman (2021) NZ

Director: Nia DaCosta

Writer: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta

Cast: Yahya Abdul Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarret

IMDB Rating: 6/10

Image Credit: Screen Rant

Description: Many years after the towers of Cabrini have been torn down, Anthony & his partner shift into a new loft in the now redeveloped Cabrini. As an avid painter, upon getting to know about the Candyman he was anxious to use the details in his studio.

He unknowingly opens the door to an intricate past that sets off a wave of violence. Overall, it is among the best horror movies of 2021. 

33. Child’s Play (1988)

Childs Play (1988)

Director: Tom Holland

Writer: Don Mancini

Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon

IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

Image Credit: Strange Harbos

Description:  Escaping from the cop Mike Norris, Charles Lee Ray takes his soul and puts it into an innocent-looking doll named Chucky. Andy Barclay soon became the owner of that same doll and unknowingly bought a hell for him.

As the events turn out to be extremely rough as Chucky confides in Andy and murders a lot of people and till the time people start believing Andy, the time has already passed. If you like streaming the best horror movies, it is a good option. 

34. The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook (2014)

Director: Jennifer Kent

Writer: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney

IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Image Credit: IMDB

Description: Amelia who had lost her husband in a car crash while on her way to childbirth struggles to cope with the problems of being a single mom. The young kid Samuel’s fear of monsters is also on the higher side and often violent reactions come from him.

They both read the book “Babadook” in which there is a story of a monster who hides in the dark. Both Mother and kid become frightened and the story revolves around them coping with the fear.

35. Get Out (2017)

Get-Out-NZ Horror Movie

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer: Jordan Peele

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Image Credit: Vox

Description: Chris along with his girlfriend Rose takes a trip upstate to meet his family. Upon reaching there, the peculiar behavior of the girl’s family seems to him as a problem that her family may have about the interracial relationship of their daughter. But to his surprise, the details were way more frightening than he could have ever imagined.

The young man tries to get out of the hypnosis the frightening people are trying to inflict upon him. He copes really hard through the situation to Get Out of that hell hole.

The Final Verdict

Modern horror classic is a diverse genre that may not be limited to movies about witches and black magic. It may range from fear within to fear of supernatural creatures. It is the magic of classic horror film Directors that sometimes make a small paranormal activity shown in a way that becomes more frightening than ax-wielding monsters.

However, sometimes actual ax-wielding monsters are so frightening that they put small paranormal happenings to feel “Meh!”. The list has been compiled considering each aspect of the genre so that people may find all kinds of movies that fit the genre.

The movies have been handpicked and we hope that you are going to love each and every one of them. The list contains the best new as well as all-time best horror movies.

So, if you are looking for old classics they are on the list and even if you want to see the latest cinema, we have tried to keep the list stuffed with modern cinema too.

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