Here we are kiddies – the beginning of the Halloween season. If you’re like me, then you celebrate Halloween all month long (or all year, I won’t judge). And, if you’re anything like me, you’re already adding all the spooky goodies to your Netflix Streaming queue for some fun whiskey-fueled horror movie nights (whiskey optional). While Netflix hasn’t added any new horror titles of note to their online roster lately, there are still many spooky films to get you in the Halloween spirit.
Here are 21 movies I’ll be watching this month. Join me, won’t you?
I first saw American Mary at the 2012 Screamfest in Los Angeles and it was an immediate standout for the yearly horror movie festival. Written and directed by The Soska Sisters, the movie stars Katharine Isabelle (“Hannibal”, See No Evil 2) as down on her luck medical student who turns to the extreme underground body modification community to alleviate her financial troubles. Chaos literally ensues.
The Cabin In The Woods
There’s a reason why this movie was on so many “Best of 2013” lists. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard delivered so much comedic and horror goodness with this film that it’s hard to pick out which scene is my favorite. The Cabin In The Woods is now one of those movies that is a definite “must-watch” every October.
The ’90s is a decade not really known for outstanding horror films, but there are a few gems here and there that stand out. One of the gems in question is Clive Barker’s Candyman. Not only did the movie break Tony Todd out of acting obscurity, it also succeeded at playing on my stupid fear of bees. And mirrors. But mainly bees.
Children of the Corn
Really, this one is a no-brainer right? Netflix has kept Children of the Corn available for online streaming for a while now. Based on the Stephen King short story, this classic is the only installment (there are many) in the series worth watching. Also, how can a bunch of creepy kids in a cornfield not be…well…creepy?
While I’m not sure why Creepshow is not available on Netflix Instant, the second in the series is. This is another title that has been available for viewing online for quite a while. And while the first is still the best, Creepshow 2 has deserved its own classic status in the world of must-see horror films. It’s campy, spooky and what we used to expect when it comes to anthology-horror.
Day of the Dead
I’ve been told by some that Day Of The Dead is not one of the better George Romero zombie flicks and I usually respond with a blank stare. I’d have to agree that Dawn Of The Dead is a better movie but you can’t go wrong here. Also: Bub.
I’ve only seen Event Horizon once and that was during its original theatrical run. I know this means not only should you sit down and give this film a gander, I should sit down and revisit the damn thing. Starring Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill, the scene that stands out most in my mind can only be described as “Hellraiser in space.” Not to be confused with that one Hellraiser sequel that took place in…well…space. [Note: Hellraiser is also currently on Netflix Instant.]
Fright Night (1985)
I wanted the remake of Fright Night to be good. I really did. But much like that godawful Carrie remake (available on Netflix Instant this month!), it’s very tough to reclaim the glory of the original. Tom Holland is the director behind the original vampire tale and it’s still so damn good. If you are tempted to watch the Colin Farrell film and have never seen the original, I highly implore you to give this one a shot first.
Remember when I said the ’90s were a horrible decade for horror films? It was. There are only a handful of titles from the decade I’d suggest for people to watch. And while The Frighteners wouldn’t technically be on that self-made list, it is an under-appreciated movie that is also currently available for viewing on Netflix Instant. Also, it’s got Michael J. Fox in a darker role than we were used to seeing him in. Oh, and it’s probably worth noting that Peter Jackson directed The Frighteners. [Note to self: re-watch The Frighteners.]
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
I’m a little biased here but if I were to choose between Invaders From Mars (also on Netflix Instant) and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, I’d choose this one. The 1978 version still holds up pretty well today. Plus, it’s pretty hard to beat the creep factor of the human-faced dog and a possessed Donald Sutherland at the end. Oh, sorry…spoiler.
John Dies At The End
Don Coscarelli returned after a long break with one of the most original and strange horror films I’ve seen in recent years. John Dies At The End became an immediate favorite of mine and it may have helped to throw in Paul Giamatti. I’ll see that guy in anything! You’ll never look at soy sauce the same way again.
Let The Right One In
Just when you think nothing new can be done with the vampire genre, 2008’s Let The Right One In comes out and slaps you in the face. The love story here between an innocent boy and a young vampire girl is endearing while the vampire story is dark, gory, and sometimes rather violent. Still, overall it’s a beautiful story with a little effed up twist thrown in for good measure. Don’t even bother with the remake.
With the popularity of Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal” on NBC and the retelling of the Will Graham/Dr. Lecter story unfolding on television, it’s only right I list Manhunter on this list. This is the original film telling of the story that would later be told in the Edward Norton movie Red Dragon. Michael Mann delivers his trademark style while directing this film and Bryan Cox does a decent job as Hannibal Lecter. Keep an eye out for the always captivating (and creepy) Tom Noonan as “The Tooth Fairy.”
Never Sleep Again
Hey look, I threw in a documentary! Instead of telling you to watch any installment of A Nightmare On Elm Street, I’m telling you to check out Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. I know some of the people involved with this movie and it really is an in-depth look at every sequel in the series. If you love Freddy and horror movies, get on this ASAP!
Night Of The Creeps
Three words: Tom F*cking Atkins!
Pontypool is still one of my all time favorite zombie movies because it’s not your typical zombie movie. Based on Tony Burgess’ novel “Pontypool Changes Everything”, this is one of those movies that seemed to come out of nowhere and leave a lasting impression with me. Words are dangerous.
Ravenous is another movie I only saw in the theater. Actually, I watched it at one of those “sneak preview” screenings and I left not really sure if I liked the film only to come to terms with the fact that cannibalism movies aren’t my favorite. Still, there’s a good cast and story here and I got a nifty little knit cap with the word “Ravenous” embroidered into it. That’s gotta count for something!
I was treated to an advanced screening of Ti West’s The Sacrament at AFI Fest last year and it was one of the highlights for me from the entire festival. Inspired by the Jim Jones massacre, the movie here is easily West’s best work to date. It’s a jarring punch-to-the-gut kind of movie and is packed with great performances by all involved.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
This movie. This goddamn movie. There are always those films that scarred you during your childhood and I swear, The Serpent And The Rainbow was one of them for me. I remember seeing this trailer all over the place and was able to sneak into a theater near my home to watch. Maybe it was the fact that this movie was made by Wes Craven and inspired by a “non fiction” book. Maybe it was the snakes, voodoo, and being buried alive. It may be a cheesy looking film but dammit, this is still one of those movies that gets me.
There was a lot of buzz going around about Troll Hunter last year and one night while my wife was out, I sat down and enjoyed a quaint little movie night. I must say, Troll Hunter is a movie that does not disappoint. I loved the most recent Godzilla for what it was but felt way more fulfilled by the story here. That’s right, I said it!
Hey look, it’s another movie starring AJ Bowen! What are the odds? You’re Next was supposed to be box office gold, or at least we were left thinking this after being bombarded by so many posters and trailers for the film last year. Written by Simon Barrett, directed by Adam Wingard and starring a cast of talented but relatively unknown actors, You’re Next is a home invasion film flipped on its head, and it’s pretty good, too. I’m just left wondering if the film would have been more successful back in 2011 before Lionsgate decided to shelve it for three years. We’ll never know.
Hey! I bet you thought I was done with this list. Surprise, I’m not! Since Netflix isn’t planning on adding many new horror titles this month, I thought it’d be only fair to also put down a quick list of the new scary films headed to VOD for the month of October. Here’s the rundown:
Open Windows (October 2nd)
The ABCs Of Death 2 (October 2nd)
Stephen King’s A Good Marriage (October 3rd)
Horns (October 3rd)
Sharknado 2 (October 7th)
Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead (October 7th)
Automata (October 10th)
The Purge: Anarchy (October 21)
V/H/S Viral (October 23rd)
Deliver Us From Evil (Oct 28th)
Yes, we’re finally at the end of the list, but it doesn’t have to mean we’re at the end of this conversation. This is only a chunk of the horror goodies available to view online this month. What will you be watching? Tell me in the comments below. Happy Halloween!
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