It’s that time of the year. Snow and cold winter keeping people indoors. Everyone needs something to do ‘lest they fall into a Jack Torrence style cabin fever. But with many recent purges on the Netflix archives, it has become increasingly difficult to find good horror movies to stream. Digging through the monumental listings, here are five great films you’ll want to add to your que and watch. Before its too late!
1) The Cabin In The Woods
What is there to say that hasn’t been said already? Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s masterful upending of horror tropes and the very genre itself. The original synopses I feel tells it best without revealing too much: “Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know the story, think again.” If you’re late to the fun or it just went unnoticed, the less you know before watching the first time, the better! This is the kind of movie that can be re-watched repeatedly (and I’ve seen more times than I can count) each time picking up on new details and foreshadowing that I had never noticed before. You cannot watch Cabin In The Woods just once, which makes the capability to stream it all the more convenient!
This 2012 Irish-British horror-comedy fell stateside recently as silently as it’s titular space monsters. A shame being it’s such a great modern monster movie! The story revolves around a couple of cops and villagers of a small Irish island that becomes under siege by a horde of sea beasts from outer space who have but one weakness… alcohol. The solution? Drink heavily and fight them off at a last stand at the pub! The perfect film for a Saturday night watch with a bottle. As well as a great creature feature with some twists, making good use of a combination of practical and CGI effects for its tentacled abominations.
3) The Keep
A personal favorite and perhaps the least known Michael Mann film in his repertoire. A historical horror film set in the midst of World War II about a platoon of German soldiers who accidentally release something ancient and evil within a Transylvanian castle. Calling upon the aid of a Jewish archaeologist (Played by Ian McKellen) and his daughter to try and figure out the secrets of The Keep. The film’s story may not be for everyone due to its ambiguous nature, and though it’s flawed, I feel it aids in giving it a dreamlike or nightmarish quality. A parallel between the horrors of war and supernatural fear. The major draw being the incredible synth soundtrack from Tangerine Dream, which hypnotic songs that will stay with you long after you stop watching. And having never been released on DVD, this is one of the only ways to watch it legally. This is definitely one for late night viewings or if you’re in the mood for a scary movie with a fantastical ambience.
A surprisingly frightening ‘animal amok’ film. Set at a Floridian college, it revolves around a group of med students and their teacher (Roddy McDowall!) as they stay after hours to play an elaborate LARP/Dungeons and Dragons. They only discover too late that the baboon they were experimenting on earlier has escaped, and starts picking them off one by one. An entertaining survival horror movie, the titular Shakma steals the spotlight. No supernatural elements, no real monsters, just the terror of a real life creature going around and brutally killing its former captors.
5) Beyond The Black Rainbow
A movie as horrifying as it is mind boggling. Set in a bizarre version of 1983, it revolves around a mute psychic girl named Elena being experimented upon and tormented by a therapist/scientist, who himself is slipping into madness. The film is a widespread homage to triply science fiction and horror of the 70’s and 80’s, successfully managing to blend the feel and age of its inspirations it creates something new entirely altogether. Though this may be a negative aspect for some. Set with the same slow pacing of Stanley Kubrick’s works, this is not very action heavy, with every shot seeming to be a lingering one. If you have an open mind and you’re up for a genre movie of unconventional magnitude, or just something ‘different’ I cannot recommend it enough.