Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Horror on Netflix Watch Instantly

Netflix has become the most popular streaming service. With that in mind, I put together a list of the horror films they currently have available through their Watch Instantly streaming service. This is just a list of the films that are worth watching for one reason or another. It may be that the film is particularly creepy or funny, disturbing or thought provoking, had a particular cultural impact or is just plainly well made. It just means that for one reason or another I'd suggest seeing the film. They're only listed in the order I found them, with the exception of sequels or franchise entries, they'll be listed together. I've also included links directly to the films through Netflix. If I've reviewed the film previously, I've also included a link for my original review.

My review is behind the link, though if you're a fan of horror films, the chances are good that you've heard how great this film is. Now that it's on Netflix, there's no reason to miss it. 
Watch Instantly 

Horror fans are going to know this one well. Sam Raimi's classic bloodbath by way of demonic forest spirits is one of the more innovative and creative horror films of its time. This is a great, great horror film from the days of yore. This is a much more straight forward exercise in horror than the other two films in the series, and it kicks ass, there's just no other way to put it.

The sequel to Sam Raimi's incredible debut drops the majority of its horror in favor humor, and a heaping helping of the surreal, combined with the same kind of sheer joyous film making creativity that he used in the first film. 
 Watch Instantly

 I know a handful of people who are absolutely unnerved and discomfited by this film. They'll tell you it is one of the scariest films they've ever seen. I can't say that I'd go that far in my description, but it is well crafted, interesting and has some great performances. It has some great story elements that make it interesting and somewhat unusual. 
Watch Instantly 

 Brian De Palma directed this film based on the Stephen King novel. His direction is very Brian De Palma, so it's heavy handed occasionally and it's definitely stylized in a certain way. The things that make this film a must see are the performances by Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, and even with De Palma's heavy hand, it gets at the core of what made the Stephen King novel worth reading, it was dead on about just how horrible, heartless, disgusting and vile American teenagers can be. In a way, Carrie, almost seems like a warning today. If you can understand and sympathize with Carrie, the various students who've shot up their schools across the country, shouldn't be the kind of thing you're walking around talking about by saying, "I can't understand how this happens."
Watch Instantly 

I don't know that I completely agree that this is a horror movie, but it was much, much better than it had any right to be and there are definitely some horrific elements to it. I'd read and heard some great things about it while it was in theaters, but didn't give it a fair chance. I caught it when it came to digital streaming, and it's a pretty bad ass film. It's definitely not time wasted. 
Watch Instantly 

This is one of the great horror comedies in the past decade or so, and there have been plenty of them. Don't miss it. It's hilarious and smart, and has a heart with it's horror. 
Watch Instantly 

 All I have to say is go read my review. Suffice it to say this is one of my favorite movies in a long time. It's more fun, creative, surreal, and off the rails than anything that's been coming out of Hollywood or the larger indie studios for years. This film knew what kind of crazy I really love and gave it to me raw. 
Watch Instantly 

Wes Cravens original slasher/giallo/deconstructionist film is still fun today, 
no matter how bad some of the sequels may have been.  
Watch Instantly 

Timur Bekemambetov created a visually stunning horror fantasy that is plain out fun, even with some difficult plot holes etc. It's fun, inventive, wild and over the top in some great ways.
Watch Instantly 

Peter Jackson made this fun little blast of weird in 1996 most people were still completely certain that The Lord Of The Rings was unfilmable. He has, of course, gone on to much bigger things. This is one of the steps between Dead Alive and Meet The Feebles  and Lord Of The Rings
Watch Instantly

 Roman Polanski's classic is packed with camp and creep. 
This is a must see for every self professed horror fan. 
Watch Instantly

 Jen and Sylvia Soska created this insane little gem. 
My original review can be found here
Watch Instantly

This is a great sci-fi, horror comedy by one of the most interesting directors to come along in the last decade, James Gunn. If you haven't seen this yet, do yourself a favor and sit yourself down to check this out ASAP. 

This anthology has some great segments. One or two segments are definitely weaker than the others and there are some troublesome aspects of it all around, but it's well made with some truly creepy segments. The second film hits a stride and barrels forward to become one of the best horror anthologies of this new generation of them. It is better than the first film in just about every way, but the wrap around story in the second film does connect to the first.
V/H/S Watch Instantly
V/H/S 2 Watch Instantly

At this point, you can watch the entire series of Hellraiser films on Netflix, but you don't really want to watch the entire series. These are the only two worth seeing. Everything else is pretty terrible, but the original is a great allegory with some effects that hold up incredibly well. The second film is visually interesting in many ways, and does some unfortunate things with the mythology, but isn't terrible by any means and for the most part is pretty fun.
Hellraiser Watch Instantly
Hellbound: Hellraiser II Watch Instantly

Wes Craven's been writing and directing some great horror films since the 1970's. This is one of the more twisted stories and it has some very creepy elements and ideas. If you have children, this should scare them senseless.

The original Vincent Price spookfest is available for your viewing pleasure.


Like zombies, it seems that vampires are everywhere these days. And like anything that every media conglomerate on the planet thinks they can make money on, zombies and vampires are both getting over done with 90% of the films and stories dedicated to them being crap. Stake Land, thankfully doesn't fall into the category. This is one of the films that hasn't gotten it's full due and hopefully will find it's following now that it's available on Netflix. 

This is probably one of my all time favorite films. This is the way camp and horror should be done. It's like concentrated entertainment, packed into 95 minutes. Don't miss this. 

This is an excellent, effectively creepy and wonderfully performed film. I'd definitely suggest this, if you're a horror fan, I wouldn't really suggest watching it in the middle of the night with the lights off, but I'd suggest watching it. It's also a killer cast. 

I can almost hear the eyes rolling now, but of all the photogenic teen horror movies that hit theaters in the 90's, this is one of them that I like the most. The basic concept is tried and true, but it gets a nice polish with this version and throws in some really interesting tidbits as well. It's a very, very fun film.

For many horror fans around my age, Tales From The Crypt was the first must see T.V. The HBO show lasted 7 seasons and kept up a remarkably consistent level of quality, drawing talent from all over film and television. It was popular and well liked to spawn two films from the production team. Demon Knight is the better of the two, by far. William Sadler, Jada Pinkett Smith, Thomas Haden Church, CCH Pounder and Billy Zane (in probably the last decent performance of his career), under the direction of Ernest Dickerson make this one extremely fun film.
Watch Instantly

This is probably my favorite vampire film of all time. Beyond that, it's heart breaking meditation of childhood, loneliness, lover and loss. It is great film making in just about every way. This is a film that whether or not you're a horror fan, you should see as soon as possible.
Watch Instantly

Kevin Smith decided he wanted to show the world he could do more than the write snappy dialog for the slacker generation and announced he was going to make a horror film. Along the way he pissed off critics and industry insiders by being blunt and up front about how he felt about trying to make and market films in the current atmosphere. The film that resulted only resembles a "Kevin Smith" film in that it still shows an ear for dialog, but in every other way, it's a completely different animal. It's not a horror film in the traditional sense of the description, but it is in many ways, deeply terrifying. If nothing else, Smith deserves credit for not just throwing together some simplistic pat on the back for the authoritarian wing of what passes for liberals in the U.S. The performances are absolutely outstanding as well.
Watch Instantly

Cult camp before cult camp was cool, Killer Klowns is a hallucinatory, mind bogglingly silly and ridiculous film. It should be seen with a group and it should never be taken at all seriously.
Watch Instantly

 This is one of the most influential silent films of all time. Max Schreck's turn as The Count is still the stuff of nightmares and the make up effects are absolutely astounding, especially for their time period. This is one that can not be missed. 
Watch Instantly

The Child's Play series took a very serious nosedive following the first film. Where the original was creepy and weird, the sequels were just ridiculous and beyond over the top. Beginning with Bride Of Chucky, Don Mancini decided to start taking those most ridiculous aspects of the Child's Play mythology a whole lot less seriously. What results are two very funny, very silly movies about a homicidal talking doll and his family issues. 
Bride Of Chucky Watch Instantly
Seed Of Chucky Watch Instantly

Ti West directs this funny and touching tale of the final weekend of a purportedly haunted hotel, its staff and guests. Sarah Paxton and Pat Healy are great as the staff and Kelly McGilis comes out of retirement to take the role of one of the guests. Things get weird. Really, really weird, but this is still a fun and at times very, very spooky film. 

Based on true events surrounding a series of killings in Australia, Snowtown is in many ways a deeply brutal and sad excursion into exploring just how people can get caught up in cults and other dangerous organizations which share many of their traits. This is at times a very hard film to watch, it is by no means a comfortable experience, but it is extremely well made.

By far the most famous film to come out of Troma Studios, this is one incredibly ridiculous cult film. How it ended up in the horror section on Netflix, I'll never know. Either way, it's entertaining, another great one to watch with a crowd.

With the number of different zombie projects being created in the last few years, it would seem like there couldn't possibly be anywhere new the genre could go. Pontypool proves that untrue by taking an interesting, creepy and smart perspective. There's a lot more going on here than your average zombie film. 

From the new and interesting to the blatantly obvious. Dead Snow is a film about zombie Nazi's. It is everything the title and the premise suggest, and then some. This is ridiculous, blood drenched camp and it works. These are the zombie Nazi's you've been waiting for. 

Mario Bava helped create the Italian giallo. Black Sunday is one of the films that was responsible for that. It's an interesting trip, with all of the things that made Bava great.

This take on the monster movie by Joon-ho Bong out of South Korea should be a lesson to all future film makers on how to make something that can both be an homage (to so many monster movies of the 50's and 60's) while also being it's own thing completely. It's a roller coaster ride and is more than worth the time spent watching it.

Like the zombie genre, the vampire genre has seen more than it's fair share of resurgence in the last decade. And like Pontypool, The Hamiltons manages to take the genre into new territory and present the story in a way that's new. It's a smart, occasionally creepy little film that came out of one of the middle iterations of the After Dark Horrorfest. 

One of the things I most enjoy about this film is that it absolutely lives up to its name. It is bizarre, and weird. After Trick 'R Treat was released, the horror anthology was given new life. The Theatre Bizarre is among the better examples of the last few years.

Ju-on: The Grudge
Among the spate of J-horror films that came along in the late 90's and early 00's, Ju-on and Ringu were among the best. The American remakes both changed the stories enough to make American audiences be able to more easily identify with the characters, and were good for remakes, but it's always good to go back to the source. Creepy, creepy movie. 

In the early 00's, Peninsula Films inked a distribution deal with Lions Gate. Peninsula would produce a series of "true life" horror films and Lions Gate would make sure they got DVD distribution. What resulted was a package of films centering on the biographies of serial killers. Gacy is just one. It's fascinating, horrifying, disturbing, mind blowing and just plain well done. Mark Holton, who many will recognize from various jobs as a character actor is pretty incredible as John Wayne Gacy.

The second of Peninsula Films serial killer biographies to make the list is also the one that is both most heart breaking and the most weird. The others are plain out disturbing, but this is just strange. Given the subject, it's not shocking, but it is weird to walk away from the film almost feeling kind of bad for the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer (played perfectly here by none other than Hawkeye of The Avengers and lead in The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner). It's just well done, pretty much all around, like Gacy and the next film, the last of the Peninsula films to make the list.


John Wayne Gacy was a creepy, creepy guy. The whole clown outfit and kids parties thing is just cringe inducing. Jeffrey Dahmers attempts to create living zombies is also deepy strange, creepy and unsettling. When it comes to pure sociopathy, real naked insanity and the most horrifyingly evil of human beings, it's hard to beat Ted Bundy. This film is as well done as the other two, which both works in its favor and against. Bundy was a person of such bottomless malice and arrogance though that being as close to the truth as these films are, it makes it just downright hard to watch. Michael Reilly Burke isn't quite as recognizable as Mark Holton, and definitely not as well known as Jeremy Renner at this point, but he delivers as strong a performance as either of those two. This is a hard film to watch, be warned. It's fascinating in a way, but it's downright brutal. 

I really dislike the thesis of this film. I hate what it has to say, to it's very core. That being said, I also recognize that it is an extremely well made film. Michael Haneke is one of the better directors of his generation. This isn't his finest film, but it's damn well made. It's preachy in a way I've never seen before and does some things that were genuinely different at the time. As I said, I don't agree with the basic thesis of the film at all, but it is well made and it is something people who love horror films should see, if for no other reason than that it takes all of the things that have been used to attempt to censor horror and actually finds a way to say them on film. I can have respect for that, while still feeling like the film is just plain wrong. 

The 80's produced a number of really outstanding horror comedies. his one gets far less respect and admiration than it deserves. The first film for director Steve Miner after helming Friday The 13th Part 2 and Part 3 was House. This was one of the more inventive and wonderfully ridiculous of the horror comedies that were flooding the market in the 80's. It's incredibly fun, absolutely not rational and definitely unusual. Add to that a cast of 80's television stars like William Katt (Carrie and The Greatest American Hero), George Wendt (Cheers), and Richard Moll (Night Court). This is great, great fun and it gets for too little recognition. 

When James Cameron jumped ship after three days of filming, Joe Dante ended up taking over and and producing what is essentially a spoof of the biggest blockbuster of that era, Jaws. This is a very different film from the recent remake. It's a fun flick no matter how you cut it. 

This inspired piece of surreal, hallucinogenic lunacy is disturbing and disquieting as much because of just how weird and mysterious it plays as anything else. It goes a good long way into that kind of weird, Twilight Zone area where nothing is particularly clear and everything is just off. It's a well done version of what it is and it succeeds in being creepy and unusual. 

Three separate chapters, each chronicling the same event from the three different perspectives. Each of the chapters has it's own particular flavor as well. One of them doesn't quite live up to the other two, but overall, it's an inventive fun flick.

I have made no secret of the fact that I have a deep fondness for this film (my original review can be found here). Ti West came to the attention of the horror community when his ultra low budget chiller The Roost got a mostly positive word of mouth reaction on the festival circuit. He was then tapped to direct Cabin Fever 2, which ended up sitting on a shelf for a few years. House Of The Devil ended up hitting theaters and DVD first, and it is a wonder. More than being an homage to the horror films of the late seventies and early eighties, it is an uncanny imitation. Shot on 16mm, and every detail lovingly tended to, it is a serious slow burn creeper.

Long before he became known and loved world wide as Merle, the psychotic hillbilly in The Walking Dead, Michael Rooker had proven his ability to be genuinely threatening and evil in Henry. Another serial killer biopic, this one about Henry Lee Lucas and his would be side kick Otis Toole, Henry is a dark, twisted, emotionally exhausting ride down a rabbit hole of testosterone overload gone as wrong as it can go and misanthropy taken to it's furthest logical conclusion.
 Rooker and co-star Tom Towles are horrifying. 

What happens when you cross The Office with Friday The 13th? Severance is what happens. Danny Dyer kind of steals the show in Christopher Smiths second film about an office team building trip to a secluded cabin, gone terribly wrong. It's funny, brutal and has some really interesting social commentary tossed in there too. It's an all around great cast that pulls it all off perfectly. 
Give is a shot. 

The Clive Barker short story on which this film is based was one of the most frightening pieces of fiction I might have ever read. Something about this particular story gave me the kind of anxious, tension in the chest feeling that I generally associate with real terror or only the best horror films. I will never forget the first time I read it. Hearing a film adaptation was on the way, I was skeptical as you can imagine. It doesn't live up to that first reading for me, but it's a very good adaptation that touches on all of the things that made the original short such a well crafted piece of work. 

I stumbled across this more or less by mistake. I hadn't found anything else to watch and started this, expecting something along the lines of some 80's straight to video crapfest that would be entertaining for it's utter lack of quality. What I got was a small independent film that is full of a very dark gallows humor and has some genuinely creepy elements to it. This was a real surprise and lucky discovery and it's worth suggesting to anyone who'll listen. It's not going to change the world or anyone's life, but it's better than it has any right to be.

These two films aren't listed together because one is the sequel to the other, they're listed together because they have the very same visual aesthetic and the same general feel. They're both batshit crazy films produced by Andy Warhol. Let's not for one second forget a very, very young Udo Kier as Dracula. Both of these films are drenched in blood, sex and camp. They're making the list more out of their level of novelty than they are because of anything they've specifically done. This is the bawdiest of high camp and worth watching for it's historical and hysterical value. 
Blood For Dracula Watch Instantly
Flesh For Frankenstein Watch Instantly

J.T. Petty directs this odd little film that plays with the lines of reality, fantasy and obsession. This is an unusual and very different little film, that is compelling and engaging. It becomes disorienting relatively quickly, but its'very well done. If you're looking for something creepy, smart and well made, this will do it for you. 

Malevolence is a hard film in many ways. It's different than the average blood and guts slasher and almost tip toes up to the line of exploitation, but it is trying to tell a story and it does a much better job of bringing a genuinely frightening villain to life. It has it's problems, but overall, it's a good film. Things get really interesting with the sequel, Bereavement, which accomplishes that rarest of feats and is actually a sequel that is better than the original. Not only that, but it adds to what we understand about the first film in a way that actually makes the first film better. It adds mythology to the franchise by making the entire thing essentially more full and with a stronger foundation. Writer/director Steven Mena has said he is currently working on the next film in the series, and this is one of those very few times when it would be exciting to see another installment in a horror franchise. 
Malevolence Watch Instantly
Bereavement Watch Instantly

Lucky Mckee has written and directed one of the the most feminist centered horror films of all time with May. That film is a punch in the gut of the emotional variety. He has now done it twice. The Woman caused chaos at Sundance Film Festival when it played there because some of the audience just essentially could not handle it, and some of them just didn't understand it. This is a hard, hard film, which causes feelings, lots and lots of feelings and most of them are not at all pleasant, but it is in it's own way a brilliant film. It's just not a film for the weak of stomach. 

This is the kind of film that seems like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone, in the best possible sense of that phrase. Ray Wise and Lin Shaye are great here as husband and wife and the movie gets funny and weird. It's an interesting little movie and some folks will probably know where it's going before it's finished, but it's still worth the ride. 

This is a great little movie that took the found footage idea into new territory as it was about to become a staple of modern horror. Not only that, but there are aspects of the story that are probably even more relevant today than they were in 2002 when the film was released. It's not a great film, but it's much more interesting than the majority of the films of its ilk.

George Romero is responsible for one of the most successful and influential franchises in the history of film. Before George Romero and Night Of The Living Dead, zombies were only really a part of voodoo lore. The variety of zombie that we now understand to be the undead flesh eating monster, came from George Romero. Unfortunately, he hasn't been recognized for much of his other work. Bruiser is an interesting little morality play, done really well and gets pretty bloody along the way. 

This is a heavily stylized run at a new version of the Jean Rollin variety of vampire film. It's gorgeous, it's fun and it's erotically charged. I've got a full review for it here.

The Classics Than Need No Explanation

The link under each of the poster images will take you directly to the films page on Netflix. If you need an explanation or reason for deciding to watch them, this section is probably not for you. For those who are looking to bone up on the history of the horror genre or even just the history of film in general, this is a good place to start. 

The Wolf Man

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments should be respectful. Taking a playful poke at me is one thing (I have after all chosen to put my opinion out there), but trolling and attacking others who are commenting won't be accepted.