Since October is already halfway over, I wanted to share my recommendations for horror movies streaming on Netflix. It took me a while to put this list together, but I feel confident that these are my favorites.
It Follows (2015) This is one of my favorite horror films of the last few years. One the one hand, this movie is a major tribute to 1970s horror flicks like David Cronenberg’s Shivers, especially visually, but the story rewrites the classic trope of teenage sexuality/fear of teenage sexuality and creates a truly terrifying monster that passes on from person to person through sex. It also employs the most haunting use of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” that I’ve ever seen on screen. It must be said that A24 Studios is currently producing some of the most arresting American horror films. Pay attention to what they do.
Hush (2016) Directed by Mike Flannigan, this film does something unique with the home invasion and slasher tropes. The film centers around Maddie (Kate Siegel), a deaf mute who has to protect herself against a masked home invader. The use of sound in this film is especially nail-biting.
Raw (2016). This French film, directed by Julia Ducournau, is my favorite horror film of last year. It has a lot working for it: well-developed characters, strong visuals, unnerving scenes, and oh, cannibalism.
Creep (2014) This low-budget horror flick, directed by Patrick Brice, only features two characters: Josef (Mark Duplass) and Aaron (Patrick Brice). The film is haunting for the ways that it explores loneliness, social interaction, and what can happen when we respond to a Craigs List posting.
The Babadook (2014) What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this film? Memorable horror literature and films stand as allegories for our deepest anxieties, and I can think of few films in recent memory that explore the anxieties of child-rearing and motherhood as well as The Babadook.
Honeymoon (2014). I LOVE this film! The first time I watched this, it left me unsettled for days, and because I consume so many horror films, it is VERY rare that a film does that to me. This is another low-budget indie film, one that centers around a newly married couple who slowly learn that there is a lot they don’t know about each other. This film has prefect pacing, chilling scenes, well-written dialogue, and engaging characters. Check it out.
Hellraiser (1987) I had to include one classic on the list, and unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t have a lot of classic horror stock. This is the best Hellraiser film. Based on Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, this is the only Hellraiser film that he wrote and directed, and it maintains his exploration of sex, violence, pain, and pleasure that can be found in the novella. Pinhead and his merry crew of Cenobites are only in this for about the last 20 minutes, but the payoff is worth it. The humans are far more monstrous in this film, anyways.