While the circumstances humanity has been forced to endure have been beaten to death, we choose to try and think on the bright side...Or the dark side, in this case...Quarantine isn't all bad. It gives us a little extra opportunity to catch some great horror across the streaming spectrum. As we discussed it briefly on our last podcast, here's a list of 10 horror film gems to watch on streaming services. To keep it interesting, I'm going to try to stick to exclusive content or lesser known films while avoiding things that had theatrical releases this century. We'll see how long I let those guidelines stand...
Little Monsters (Hulu) - Hulu is currently boasting a throng of great horror films to marry with their flawed yet admirable Into The Dark series. They just dropped Ma, The Dead Don't Die, Annabelle Comes Home, Glass, The Meg, Brightburn...I could make a list just off of everything they've added in the last week...But I'll give it to Little Monsters since it's a Hulu exclusive. A fun little horror comedy about a slacker and a teacher who try to keep their troop of kids alive from a mob of the undead. Think: Australian Cooties.
Happy Death Day 2U (Hulu) - I'm going to put one on here that I happened to not mention from my Hulu love fest above (Hulu, give us money...) and also haven't happened to see yet. Efrit was able to catch it in theaters and said it doesn't have quite the same appeal as the surprise original, but it's still a really fun time. Here's hoping!
Captive State (Hulu) - While not a horror film, this indie scifi drama/thriller follows a young man trying to navigate an alien-controlled America that is policed by its own human citizens. The concept feels frighteningly accurate to how we would likely invade a planet and offers some unique symbolism to the passive oppression many feel. It's a slow burn, but a thoughtful one.
Sweetheart (Netflix) - An enjoyable monster flick we saw at Telluride Horror Show last year. I've described it to others as Cast Away meets a monster movie. It balances CG and practical effects well and lets the tension build with the reveal of its monster. It isn't much for character development or story progression, but still a fun popcorn flick.
The Perfection (Netflix) - Efrit and I constantly rave about this amazing Netflix film and it is easily one of the most disturbing and unpredictable horror films of the decade. Going into it blind is the best of ideas, but be prepared, it's got some heavy content and disturbing imagery at times.
Murder Party (Netflix) - Director Jeremy Saulnier is one of my favorite filmmakers today. Blue Ruin is an all-time top-10 film for me and Green Room is one of the most brutal thrillers to ever exist. But the guy kicked it off with this awkward, low-budget horror comedy that sees a group of hipsters try to commit murder seemingly for the artistic value of it. It's not flawless, but it's satirical gold with some black comedy sprinkled in. You'll also recognize Saulnier movie staple Macon Blair wandering around.
The Ritual (Netflix) - This film has benefitted from some healthy word of mouth, but it's still worth mentioning. While it does have a few disturbing moments, it is one of those films that does a good job of bridging the gap between regular movie patrons and horror movie fans. The subtle treatment towards its mythos makes it all-the-more intriguing. It's one of the best horror films on Netflix that was chosen to be solely distributed through the streaming service.
Dog Soldiers (Amazon Prime) - Most hardcore horror fans are very familiar with this werewolf action/horror flick from England, but it's had time to cool over the years, so it might be worth reviving it in conversation. GOOD werewolf films are hard to find and this is definitely one of the better ones out there.
Leviathan (Amazon Prime) - I've been a little surprised to find out just how many horror fans haven't seen this movie, though it does make sense considering its lack of success around The Abyss release and it hasn't made any streaming services until recently. Sure, it isn't anywhere close to perfect. Despite a lot of recognizable faces, the acting is bland and the script teeters between weak and campy for most of the runtime. The directing and editing are amiss as well, rarely showing off the fun practical effects in the right light. But, dangit, it's a fun, gruesome scifi/horror/monster movie like The Thing set underwater.
Daniel Isn't Real (Shudder) - This fantastic psychological horror film is FINALLY on Shudder!!! I've sung its praises for a long time now, to the point that I may have overhyped it for some (sorry), but I'm easily excitable when I see a film out of the blue that suddenly rivals champions of horror that I've held for a long time. It tackles a lot of themes in its seemingly simple concept, and the acting, directing, score and imagery seem to mesh perfectly. A great horror film.
Honorable Mentions: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Netflix) - A favorite of ours from the festival circuit years back. Train to Busan (Netflix) - EVERYBODY knows about this one by now, so maybe not worth mentioning, unless you're wanting to find where you can watch it again!
Stay safe, everyone! And try not to get too bored. There's plenty of horror out there to binge, after all.