Morbidly Beautiful

Your Home for Horror


Before you bemoan there’s nothing good on Netflix, try these helpful hacks to access better, more user-friendly, focused recommendations.


Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord.”

Who says social media can’t be educational?

As per usual, rather than sleeping last night, I was doom-scrolling Instagram at two in the morning. I happened to come across a Reel from hilarious influencer @jordan_the_stallion8.

He was talking about how he had made a video explaining that Netflix’s categories and recommendations for movies you might like are typically not that great. As we all know, it’s tough to find something you want to watch — especially if you’re in the mood for a specific type of film.

In the video, he explained that Netflix has secret codes you can put into the search function that will automatically categorize what you want and recommend movies you might like that they wouldn’t automatically recommend.

After releasing the video, he claims someone from Netflix contacted him and warned him to be careful sharing the codes. I’m not sure why they would care, except maybe Netflix — like all major social and streaming platforms — needs to maintain careful control over its algorithm to maximize profits.

He created a follow-up Reel where he listed the codes for the top-level categories you can search for. They are as follows:

Action: 1365; Family-Friendly: 783; Comedy: 6548; Documentary: 6839; Scary: 8711; SciFi: 1492; Anime: 7424

I, of course, had to check this out for myself.

I entered 8711 for scary films — and, sure enough, a treasure trove of easy-to-scroll-through horror films magically appeared.

What’s the difference between this method and using Netflix’s Genres dropdown menu to view certain types of films?

For one, you’re not at the mercy of what Netflix wants to show, including their preferred order and categorization. There’s no featured film with an auto-play trailer. And it does make it easier to see a bunch of films all at once, rather than having to side-scroll through specific categories based on how Netflix wants to show you films.

It also looks like it filters out all of the shows and only serves up the feature films, which is especially helpful when you know you want a movie night and aren’t in the mood for binging a series.

Now, the downside is that horror films aren’t categorized, and you may prefer to have Netflix give you more guidance regarding the type of film it is (i.e., supernatural horror movies). Although, if you’re like me, you don’t find Netflix’s categorization particularly helpful. You get a lot of categories like Trending Now, Popular on Netflix, For You (which can be frustrating if you share a Netflix account), and Because You Watched.

I’ll also say that the filtering is far from perfect.

Films like Sing 2, Pitch Perfect 2, The Magic School Bus, Steel Magnolias, and Flushed Away all appeared when I searched for horror. That’s a little annoying. But it’s pretty easy to filter those out at a glance and focus only on the actual horror content.

After discovering this hack I had never heard of until now, I wanted to do more research. I found that these secret category codes date back to the earliest day of the company, and this list is constantly growing.

I also discovered it’s not just a handful of high-level category codes.

There are an insane amount of specific sub-genre codes you can use to access highly targeted content if you happen to know exactly what you want to watch.

Think of it like ordering off a secret menu.

The Reel I watched instructed me to enter codes into the Search function. But most of the articles I found online told me to type in “” and then add my ID code of choice to the end of the URL.

For example, if I wanted to watch a film on Witchcraft & the Dark Arts, I’d see that particular subgenre has a code of 81552046. So, I’d type the following into my browser:

This time, I get a page that looks very much like the main genre category and home pages of Netflix (with a featured film/trailer at the top and films organized by type like “Popular on Netflix”). However, the movies shown are all specific to the subgenre I selected, and I got a vast collection of films I’d never ordinarily find on the main search pages.

On this page, I was excited to check out tons of movies I never knew existed on Netflix.

Here’s another super cool trick. If you’re pressed for time or sick of the two-hour (plus) long movie trend of recent years, you can enter a code that will only show you 90-minute movies. That code is 81466194.

A quick spot check looks like the filtering is pretty darn accurate here.

You can filter further, including 90-Minute Horror (81466239) and 90-Minute Thrillers (81466222).

If you want more like this, you can even check out the category Short-Ass Movies (81603903), inspired by Pete Davidson’s rap of the same name on Saturday Night Live.

Apparently, these cool codes date back to the days when Netflix was still only sending out DVDs in the mail and had not yet become the streaming behemoth it is today. At the time, had a public-facing genre tree that linked out to all the various types of films and TV series, each of which has its own specific ID code. A fan scraped the genre tree for all the codes and shared the list online, and it continues to be used today by those looking for a more curated content offering.

Some of my favorite categories include Small Town Scares (81496215), Twisted Christmas (2300975), Cyberpunk (1964512), Dystopian Futures (2299461), Anime Horror (10695), and, of course, High Brow Horror (3261672).

As much as I hate to admit it, horror might not always be what’s best for your movie night. In that spirit, here are some other fun things to check out.

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a category called Human Connections (81271205) was created to try and help people feel better. And that may be just the thing when you’re feeling a little low or overwhelmed by real-world horror. There’s also the super fun Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (81614959), Don’t Watch Hungry (3272152), Movies Directed by Women (2974953), and Totally Awesome ’80s (2314106).

If you feel like binge-watching a show rather than watching a movie, you might love the category Watch in One Weekend  (3182735) or even Watch in One Night (3178549) for those with less time on their hands.

Another cool hack can help you find movies or series that are similar to ones you’ve previously enjoyed.

Netflix Similar Titles

If you just finished watching something you loved, click on the title and copy the title ID at the end of the title’s URL. Now paste the ID at the end of Netflix’s special URL for similar titles:

Press enter. And voila! You have a great list of other films and shows you might also dig. For example, let’s say you just watched the Netflix exclusive The Babysitter, which was a total mood. Copy that film id (80164456) and enter:

You’ll get a lovely curated collection of films tailored to “Because you watched The Babysitter”.

Below is a more comprehensive list of subgenres.

Keep in mind some of these are much more robust than others. But this should give you plenty to chew on, whether you want horror or something else entirely.

Action & Adventure (1365)

Anime (7424)

Children & Family Movies (783)

Classic Movies (31574)

Comedies (6548)

Cult Movies (7627)

Documentaries (6839)

Dramas (5763)

Foreign Movies (7462)

Gay & Lesbian Movies (5977)

Horror Movies (8711)

Independent Movies (7077)

Music (1701)

Romantic Movies (8883)

Sci-Fi & Fantasy (1492)

Sports Movies (4370)

Thrillers (8933)

TV Shows (83)

Have fun and happy Netflixing!

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