Halloween Streaming Season (Pt. 4)


This is my final post regarding streaming recommendations for the Halloween season. This post will focus on Amazon Prime, only movies that you can stream for free with a membership. You can check out my Hulu recommendations here.,  my Netflix recommendations here, and my Shudder recommendations here.

Let’s get down to business!

Gothic (Directed by Ken Russel, 1986) This is a strange little movie that, in part, recounts the story of the Romantic poets sitting around Lord Byron’s castle and telling each other ghost stories, which is how Mary Shelley found the inspiration for Frankenstein.

Hell House LCC (Directed by Stephen Cognetti, 2016) Since the release of the Blair Witch Project in 1999, there has been a slew of found footage films within the last 20 years. Some are better than others, but Hell House LCC is one of the most  interesting of the last few years and one of the best contemporary films to watch around Halloween. The plot is simple: On October 8th, 2009 a haunted house attraction opened its doors to the public in upstate New York. The entire crew was found dead, except for one. Five years later, a documentary crew found her…and the video footage from inside the house.

The Exorcist III (Directed by William Peter Blaty, 1990) To this day, The Exorcist III doesn’t get the love it deserves. This is a much more philosophical, slow burn film than The Exorcist. There is no preteen spewing pea soup at priests. Instead, this film is more concerned with the nature of good v. evil, but it also has one of the best jump scares in all of horror cinema. Both Brad Dourif, as the Gemini Killer, and Jason Miller, as the tortured Father Karras, give superb performances.

High Tension (Directed by Alexandre Aja, 2005) This is one of the best and still one of the most controversial films of the French Extremity movement from the first decade of the 2000s. It’s also the film that made Aja a director to watch within the horror genre. Before he filmed the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, he filmed this brutal home invasion flick. Saying more about the plot would give too much away. Check it out now.

Shadow of the Vampire (Directed by E. Elias Merhige, 2000) This is a retelling of F.W. Murnau’s classic German Expressionist film Nosferatu, sort of. In this take, John Malkovich plays Murnau and William Dafoe plays the vampire. During filming, people start disappearing, and the surviving cast and crew suspect the vampire may not be acting at all. For anyone who is a fan of the horror genre and film in general, this is a must watch.

Amazon Prime has a number of classics to stream as well, including Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Dario Argeno’s Opera and Inferno, just to name a few.

So this concludes my horror recommendations per streaming service for the Halloween season. If you have any of your own recommendations, please feel free to comment below. Happy Haunting!

Halloween Streaming Season (Pt 2)

As promised, I’m going to offer my recommendations for horror movies that I think you should watch this Halloween season. Last week, I focused on Shudder. This week, I’m offering my Netflix recommendations. Once again, I’m going to stick to films that I think are deserving of more attention. After all, most of you have seen Halloween or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre dozens of times.

Apostle: This feature, directed by Gareth Evans, is not for the squeamish. Set in 1905, the story follows Thomas Richardson’s (Dan Stevens) journey to a remote island to save his sister from a religious cult. There is gore galore and serious folk-horror vibes in this, a-la the original Wicker Man.


Cam: This was one of Netflix’s best horror additions last year. In short, it follows a cam girl (Madeline Brewer) who suddenly realizes that she has a doppelganger willing to be as extreme as necessary to generate more viewers. From there, things get weird…. and weirder.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe: Before he directed Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, André Øvredal directed this feature, a 2016 flick about a corpse who may or may not have been a witch and is left in the hands of father and son Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch). This film is heavy on atmosphere, and the scares build and build the more that the duo learn about the young woman and her history. Watch this now if you haven’t yet.


Gerald’s Game: Mike Flanagan is one of the best American horror directors working in the business, and Gerald’s Game is a solid adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a wife, Jessie (Carla Cugino), who is left handcuffed to a bed after her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) has a heart attack. Left for days, Jessie starts to have bizarre and creepy hallucinations

The Blackcoat’s Daughter: Oz Perkins is another director to keep an eye on. This movie is a lot of things- part haunted house story, part possession story. In short, it’s about two girls, Joan (Emma Roberts) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka), who are left alone at their boarding school over winter break and have to battle an evil force. It’s a slow burn, one heavy on mood and bleak tones.


TV worth binging: Everyone knows about Mike Flanagan’s “The Haunting of Hill House” from last year, but I can’t recommend enough the 8-part French series “Marianne.” It deals far more with abject horror and it has some scenes just as horrifying as the bent-neck lady in episode 5 of “Hill House.” “Marianne” is one of the most underrated series released on Netflix this year.

Time to Cue Up the Horror Flicks

Happy October! It’s that time of year when everyone is looking for that one good horror recommendation. First, let me state that if you want some solid suggestions, check out Horror Homeroom or Signal Horizon any day of the week for some of the best insight on contemporary horror.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll offer some suggestions for the major streaming networks. I will keep each list fairly short and try to offer recommendations beyond the usual mainstream fare. First up, I’m focusing on Shudder, the all-horror streaming network owned by AMC and also available through Amazon Prime.


One Cut of the Dead (2019/Directed by Shinichiro Ueda) This Japanese flick is one of the most creative films available anywhere. Even offering too much of a description will give too much away. That said, it rewrites everything you think you know about the zombie narrative, and the closing minutes are one big kiss to independent film-making. It also begins with a 36-minute long continuous shot. Stream this now!

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019/Directed by Issa Lopez) This Spanish film is beautiful, heartbreaking, and terrifying in its depiction of gang violence in Mexico. The child actors are simply phenomenal, and the fairy tale-like quality is reminiscent of early Guillermo del Toro. This is a must watch and will probably end up on several best-of lists at the end of the year.

Body Bags (1993/Directed by John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis) This is  a rare anthology featuring three separate stories loaded with celebrity cameos, including Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Tom Arnold, and John Carpenter as a wise-cracking mortician. Shudder is most likely the only place you’ll be able to watch this, so check it out while you can. It’s a fun horror comedy perfect for this time of year.

Incident in a Ghostland (2018/Directed by Pascal Laugier) This French film by the director of Martyrs is imperfect, especially in its portrayal of trans people, which, in this case, happens to be a one-dimensional central villain. While Incident in a Ghostland may not be as haunting or horrific as Martyrs, it still has a lot to say about trauma and fractured memory. The plot is simple: a mother and her two daughters suffer a terrifying home invasion during the first night in their new home. That story-line, coupled with the visuals, make this a must-watch. Laugier is one of the most interesting directors working in the genre right now.

The Old Dark House (1932/Directed by James Whale) When it comes to Universal’s first golden age in the 1930s, The Old Dark House is sometimes lost in the conversation. Everyone talks about Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and the Universal Monsters in general, but this is one of my favorite films from that era. Whale’s direction here is stellar in creating a creaky old house that travelers stumble upon. Then, they encounter a family with dangerous secrets. There is plenty of subtext to unpack here, and as usual, Karloff is phenomenal. Between Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, Whale created another horror masterpiece.

Other contemporary films to stream: Satan’s Slaves, The Witch in the Window, Terrified (a must see, one of the best of 2018), The Taking of Deborah Logan (Odd, creepy, unsettling, unique for the found footage genre), Hell House, LCC.

Classics to stream: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, Zombi, The Changeling, Deep Red, Hellraiser, Re-Animator, Phantasm, Henry, Black Christmas

TV shows to stream:

  • “Creepshow” Yes, the reboot is really that good! A new episode will air every Thursday through Halloween. Horror lovers shouldn’t miss this.
  • “Dead Wax” This is such a creative Shudder original about a record that kills people. Hopefully, it gets a second season.
  • “Channel Zero” This four-season series based on Creepy Pasta stories initially aired on the Syfy network  and was cancelled way too soon. The final season drops this month on Shudder.
  • “NOS4A2” A worthy adaptation of Joe Hill’s bestselling novel.


Up next, I’ll offer recommendations for HULU. Stay tuned!





Even MORE Halloween news

After it was announced recently that Halloween (2018) is getting not one, but TWO sequels, “Halloween Kills” and “Halloween Ends,” more news has been trickling out. We already know that Jamie Lee Curtis will reprise her iconic role as Laurie Strode. Now it’s been reported that the original Shape, Nick Castle, will  also return. Castle was in a brief scene in the last film, but an important one, the moment when Strode first sees Myers, thus confirming her worst fears that he’s still alive. Additionally, it’s been reported that James Jude Courtney will return as the Shape, most likely for the duration of both films. This is positive news, as fans seemed to have enjoyed his performance.

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Nick Castle playing the Shape again in Halloween 2018

Even more interesting are the rumblings that the character of Tommy Doyle will return for “Halloween Kills.” Doyle was the little boy that Strode babysat in the first film. He returned as an adult in Halloween 6, played by Paul Rudd, but since Halloween 2018 ignores all of the other films, other than the original, it’s best to forget that movie.

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Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Tommy (Brian Andrews)

If Tommy Doyle is being written into the script, it raises a lot of questions.

  • How is this narrative actually going to work? Ignoring all of the sequels, and focusing on this timeline, it has to be acknowledged that Laurie and Tommy have not seen each other in over 40 years. How and why would they actually reconnect?
  • Will their meeting be organic? Let’s hope David Gordon Green and his screenwriting team don’t just thrust this character into the script for the sake of merely adding him and trying to please fans.
  • Will Tommy’s story focus on trauma? Halloween 2018 was about Laurie’s trauma and confronting/overcoming her past. Is it possible that a similar theme will be explored with Tommy’s character? How did that night in 1978 affect him?
  • Will Lindsey show up? Whatever happened to the other kid that Laurie babysat that same night, Lindsey, the one who had a crush on Tommy? Is she going to make an appearance?
  • Who will actually play Tommy? If the character is indeed part of the next chapter, who’s going to be cast? A few articles noted that Paul Rudd was approached but declined, due to a conflicting filming schedule.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Feel free to share your thoughts about the rumors that Tommy Doyle may in fact be part of the next Halloween sequel. How/why could it possibly work?


Horror Movie Recommendations (Netflix Streaming)

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.

Celebrating Halloween

Every October, I try to make the most of Halloween because it’s my favorite holiday. This weekend, I plan to purchase pumpkin ale and watch some horror movies on NetFlix that I have yet to see, including Lovely Molly and Insidious, both of which are contemporary films that have gotten positive reviews. If you are looking for horror movies to watch on Netflix, there are several to choose from. If you want something classic, Netflix offers a slew of Vincent Price films, including The Masque of Red Death, House on Haunted Hill, and others. They also have some of the universal monster horror movies, including The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Out of all the horror options on Netflix, I recommend Masters of Horror, a series that features 45-minute films by several well-known horror directors, including John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Dario Argento, Tobe Hopper, and others. Both seasons are available for streaming. Check out “Cigarette Burns,” “Jennifer,” and “Imprint.” Those  were my favorite in the series.

If you want to watch something from the 1970s/1980s (the best era in American horror cinema, in my opinion), check out AMC’s 24-hour horror movie marathon that runs from now until Halloween. They’ll be playing The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, and a lot of the Halloween movies, as well as reruns of The Walking Dead, with a new episode to debut Sunday night.

If you want something spooky to read, check out this column in  Electric City. I mentioned in the column “cemetary Nights V” by Stephen Dobyns as a good read for this time of year, but I also recommend Charles Simic and Mark Strand as some other poets to check out. They have plenty of work with unsettling, eerie, deep images.

As we await for the Frankstorm to hit the East Coast, there’s plenty of movies to watch and books to read to celebrate Halloween.