As Netflix moves closer and closer to essentially becoming a streaming service that offers its own content, it can be hard to find good films that don’t hold the Netflix title, and films that are not Netflix content sometimes don’t stay on there for very long.
That said, there are two films recently added to Netflix that are worth any horror movie fan’s time. The first is a Korean movie entitled The Wailing. Directed by Hong-jin Na, this 2016 film clocks in at nearly three hours, but very few scenes feel like they drag. The film follows a police officer who investigates bizarre murders caused by a mysterious disease. People start to wonder if a Japanese stranger is the source of the village’s ills. Eventually, the officer’s daughter succumbs to the disease, and well, I don’t want to give away much more of the plot or spoil anything. The film is atmospheric, heavy on Biblical imagery, and generally unnerving. In fact, it’s the first horror film in quite a while that got under my skin and stayed with me for days after my initial viewing. The film’s use of A-horror tropes, especially the idea of ghosts and the past manifest in the present, is well done. It also has one of the best exorcism scenes I’ve ever seen on film, if you can even call it an exorcism scene.
My second recommendation is the 2017 French-Canadian film Ravenous. Directed by Paco Plaza, this film generally plays with the zombie genre. At this point, I can understand why people would be tired of the endless barrage of zombie flicks, but this one works. Like 28 Days Later or Dawn of the Dead (2004), these zombies are more threatening. They run. They charge. They seem to be everywhere. The film follows a group of survivors in a remote, wooded town. The use of sound is the film’s most effective technique. This is a low-budget film, but one that employs sound in such a way that it makes it stand apart and above a lot of other recent zombie flicks. You can hear people crying off-screen, either survivors devoured by zombies or people turning into zombies. You can hear the thump, thump of an axe or a pipe wielded by a survivor as they kill one of their best friends who just turned. Unlike other zombie flicks, the movie isn’t as heavy on guts and gore and instead uses sound to establish it scares. When it does use gore, it feels breathtakingly real and gritty, streaked on the face of the survivor’s after they kill one of their friends, for instance. Furthermore, the shots of zombies standing on their porch stoops or standing in fields are just as unsettling. The film is well-worth the time.