Stream To Scream: 7 Scary Movies To Watch On Netflix This Halloween
Halloween is upon us and there you are stuck in front of TV with a browser window open (shame on you IE users!) with Netflix on it. You’re probably thinking, “Hmmmm, what should we watch tonight? If only I had someone to help me out on this.” Fear not! I am here to help you navigate the plethora of drudgery that populates the popular streaming site’s library of horrific carnage.
It’s the same story every year. You hover your mouse over a few different choices, unsure of which movie to click on. Well, this year you’re in luck. I’ll be up front and admit that some of these are not the greatest films horror has to offer. But what I am willing to bet is that you either haven’t seen, or even heard of, some of these hidden gems. So here are 7 horror films I’ve picked out for you to try on Halloween night (after you’ve put the kids to bed of course). Maybe even sandwich one or two of these picks in between a classic like Halloween or The Shining. Enjoy!
7 Scary Movies To Watch On Netflix This Halloween
The People Under the Stairs
This film, from Horror legend Wes Craven, is an absolutely bizarre tale about a teenager from the ghetto who gets roped into looting a house that supposedly has countless priceless gold coins that liter the basement of the archaic home. What they end up finding out is that the house is owned by a psychotic married couple who keep people locked up without any hope of escape. The film is essentially a fairy-tale masquerading as a nightmarish clash of classes between the wealthy suburbanites of L.A. and the unfortunate souls of the city’s inner quarters. The film is shocking at times and Craven lets the blood flow in a few scenes, but the film is engaging on multiple levels and will appease viewers who not necessarily adore the Horror genre.
Let the Right One In
If you like your Horror with a heavy dose of devastating drama, look no further than this Scandinavian vampire film. While I prefer the American remake (yeah I said it), this Swedish original is heartbreaking in its telling of a lonely young lad who is constantly alone and picked on by kids at his school. Enter Eli; a young vampire who has lived for decades living off the blood of innocent people. Together they form a close bond and must rely on one another to survive their daily plights. Yes, it is bleak (the American remake even more so). And yes, it is sad and hard to watch. But this is one of the best (and overlooked) vampire movies in recent years.
Also streaming on: Amazon Prime, YouTube (paid subscription)
Now this is an interesting Horror movie that tries to rise above its genre and for the most part, it succeeds. Michael gets a message from a friend, Chris, who is camped out in an abandoned cabin as he battles a meth addiction. Mike decides to head out there to have one last go at Chris to help him go cold turkey. He gets to the cabin and immediately hand cuffs Chris to the wall. Everything seems to be going fine until the two friends start getting strange messages from the future. In one instance Michael’s laptop turns on by itself and shows the two friends a video from literally a minute into the future and in another they play a CD in a car stereo that involves dialogue from them at a later period. The film naturally builds to a bloody, final conflict that will either have you clapping or throwing the remote at the TV. I personally loved it.
To be completely honest, I’m not necessarily sure this movie is even that good so much as it is something different. Maniac offers up some real treats in terms of visuals and pulsating, vibrant score that oozes dark 80’s synth pop at every corner. The film is primarily told from a first person perspective of a man who is clearly mentally ill. He prowls the city streets for beautiful young women to scalp for his mannequin shop that he inherited from his parents. The movie at times is pretty disgusting and Elijah Wood (as the killer) is pretty unconvincing and non-threatening. But aesthetics and killer (no pun intended) are something to behold.
About 7 years ago, Asia (particularly South Korea) had a stranglehold on world cinema, churning out all kinds of instant classics. One of those is one of the best monster genre flicks of the past 20 years, The Host. When a shadowy (U.S. based) military outfit dumps a chemical into the drain that leads into Seoul’s main river, it creates a beast that years later comes back to wreak havoc on the city and in particular one family. What The Host does so well is that it focuses on the intimate details of what makes a close knit family tick. In return the viewer is heavily invested in what happens to them. The film runs 20 minutes too long, but there is no denying the insatiable power that director Joon-ho Bong creates along the way.
Also streaming on: Amazon Prime
The Howling III
I will be the first to admit, The Howling III is a terrible movie. But it is so bad that it must be seen to be believed. It takes place in Australia and couldn’t be wackier if it tried. If you are unfamiliar with The Howling series, it’s essentially about werewolves. Most of the films are unrelated with some stories, like this one, taking place in different countries around the world. An odd race of human-like marsupials is discovered in the land down under and things get ugly when they start attacking citizens of the lovely city of Sydney. There are some scary scenes, there are some comedic scenes and then there are scenes that are completely baffling, including one that hilariously breaks the fourth wall.
Also streaming on: YouTube (with ads)
This Canadian Horror film was very much overlooked upon its release more than 4 years ago. Unjust, if you ask me. A former shock jock (the magnificently underrated Stephen McHattie) is sent to the small town of Pontypool to do the morning show of the local radio station. On this particular morning a massive snow storm hits and the residents start going insane. Taking place inside of a basement of a church for literally 99% of the runtime, Pontypool is all claustrophobic horror as everything you hear about the outside world and how its crumbling is experienced through only 2-3 people in a small room. As the walls start to close in on our heroes, we watch, helplessly, as they maneuver the perilous situation and try to figure out how to survive the apocalyptic event. Pontypool is a fun lark away from the usual Horror fodder that populates your usual Halloween viewing.