Tuesday, October 29, 2013

11 Netflix Gems for Halloween

Year after year I become more and more disappointed with the movie selection on TV the night of Halloween. As almost everyone my age would opt for streaming options off of Netflix anyway, I figured I'd highlight some of my faves that are up right now (as well as some tamer fodder for all of you Halloween-loving babies):

Scream:



A satire on the horror genre, this movie was the first to point out typical trends in scary movies. When a killer is on the loose targeting young teenagers, local news crews and the police get involved trying to solve the mystery of who the killer is. Pretty graphic, even for a slasher movie, this one still packs a punch.

Cabin in the Woods:



An even larger satire on the horror genre, this movie puts a pretty clever spin on the regular isolated-in-the-woods teenager tale. A group of teenagers go on a vacation to a cabin in the woods and start to experience some strange circumstances that might bring some former horror movies to mind. This movie takes the genre and turns it on its head. A great movie for conspiracy theorists and horror fans alike.


The Innkeepers:


A little quirkier than your average ghost story, The Innkeepers keeps you on your toes throughout. A guy and a girl working at an old hotel struggle through their last night shift. Is the hotel's gruesome history getting to their heads or is there something unnatural lurking within the structure's walls? Some super scary bits that break up the normality.


The Possession:



Refreshingly different take on possession movies, this one involves a Jewish twist. When a young girl unwittingly opens a box that's housed by a demon, she becomes possessed by it. Interesting to see how they try to get the demon out of her without the power of Christ compelling anyone.


The Awakening:




Another ghost movie that doesn't quite follow all of the rules. A ghost-debunker sets out to a haunted school to try and figure out what the real root of their paranormal phenomena is. But as things keep happening you start to wonder if she's going crazy or if there's some other explanation to the things that keep affecting her personally.


Rosemary's Baby:



Pregnant people beware: you may want to skip this one. A young, happy couple move into an old apartment building and are almost immediately assaulted by their new neighbors. An old New York couple, they are constantly giving Rosemary and her husband, Guy, advice on how to live their lives - especially when Rosemary becomes pregnant with their first child. As Rosemary's pregnancy gets stranger and stranger, it takes a while before she figures out why. A serious horror classic.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark:




Who can resist wild card Guillermo del Toro? At it again with his mystical realism, this movie follows a man, his young new wife, and his 10-year-old daughter moving into a historical house that houses little monsters. Only coming out at night, these tiny creatures befriend the young child, and end up having a penchant for children's teeth. Imaginative and different, you'll think twice about turning off your lights.

The Fourth Kind:




I was never afraid of alien movies until this one. If you think that the "truth is out there" you might want to think twice before watching The Fourth Kind. Scarier than possession movies, this one combines "found footage" with professional reenactments in a way that is disturbingly real. If you wanted to see what one person imagined alien abduction would look like, this is it. You're not going to look at owls the same way ever again.

Children of the Corn:


A little dated but I still love this one. Any movie that involves murderous children or occult phenomena is classic horror gold - and this movie has both! Yay! When a couple accidentally wonders into a ghost town, they are discovered by a group of children that murders adults and worships what seems to be fields of corn. Not allowing adults in their town, they try to murder the couple every chance they get. Again, campy and horribly acted, but I still get a kick out of this one.


Carrie:



If I were you I would skip the remake of this one and watch the original for free. Spacek's creepy character is easily better than Moretz's hard-to-believe one. A fragile girl raised by a religious lunatic of a mother, and bullied by mean girls at school, sets into motion a sequence of events that leave her senior prom more bloody than beautiful. I can't emphasize enough how much I prefer Spacek to Moretz! If you haven't seen the original, catch it on Netflix!


Silent House:



A thriller-horror hybrid, this film follows a young girl as she helps her dad clean out the old house where she grew up. But after her dad disappears and she discovers an intruder in the house, it's up to her to figure out how to get out and how to find help. The ending was really good!



For the wimps:
Not everyone can handle a full-fledged horror movie, so here are a few creepy ones that'll give you some Halloween flavor without giving you nightmares:

Paranorman - A young kid who can talk to ghosts discovers that he is responsible for keeping his town safe from the curse of an evil witch. But sometimes zombies and witches have roots that we all forget about, as we find out in this stop-motion masterpiece. (You can also find a full review of this one here.)

The Nightmare Before Christmas - For those of you caught in between Halloween costumes and Christmas music, here's one that fuses the two holidays together. Some more creepy stop-motion and killer tunes that'll be stuck in your head for daaaays.

The Twilight Zone - Okay, not a movie, but the creepy factor of this TV show paired with its age give you a little of that spooky mystery without all of the gore and the nightmares.


Honorable mentions:
Evil Dead -  Bunch of kids go to a cabin and a girl gets possessed by a seriously sadistic demon.
Hellraiser - A tortured soul from hell does something with a puzzle box. Still haven't seen this one, but review up when I do.
Maniac - This serial killer story is sure to give you the creeps. Especially if you hate Elijah Wood. Which I do.
6 Souls - My mom saw this and said it was good, but very dark. Psychologist looks to cure man of multiple personality disorder but get more than she bargained for.
Darkness Falls - Oh man, haven't seen this one in years. But, long story short, it's about an evil tooth fairy.
The Skeleton Key - Laugh at me if you will but that voodoo/hoodoo stuff is some creepy shiz, yo. Points off for horrible casting of Kate Hudson who has emotional integrity of wet mop.
VHS - Bizarrely scary, this movie is a collection of tapes that a group of teenagers find in some random guy's house.
Lovely Molly - Full review here, this movie is about a girl who moves into her old house and becomes tortured by the ghost of her dead father. 
They - Again, creatures that only come out at night. Not a bad one, but not very memorable either.
Devil - Oh M. Night. Another brave attempt at repeating your The 6th Sense success. This one doesn't quite hit its mark, but is pretty suspenseful nonetheless.

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