Some actually good horror movies to watch on Netflix this weekend
Sorting out the scary wheat from the non-scary chaff.
How often do you find yourself spending an hour scrolling through Netflix trying to find something to watch only to settle back on watching Season 2 of Ricky & Morty for the 15th time? If the answer to that question is heaps, then you're not alone. You can count at least me as someone who also does that. And with that in mind, here's a little list of the best horror movies you can currently find on (Australan) Netflix if you want to watch some actually scary shit to celebrate Halloween in ways that aren't getting shit-faced dressed as Harley Quinn or Pablo Escobar this weekend:
A fantastic Aussie thriller from a couple of years ago featuring a hard-working single mum losing her mind, a terrifyingly real young boy who is the definition of problem child, and one creepy-as-fuck antagonist/movie monster, The Babadook. Watch as the mum spirals into insanity under a mountain of stress in a creepy old house.
Another taught Aussie thriller featuring a few friends who get stranded in the mangroves and menaced by a giant salt water crocodile. Made on a shoestring budget and one of those 'based on a true story' movies, instead of chucking a stupid-looking CGI crocodile at you, it just pretty cleverly cuts together real footage with high tension as they try and make it out alive. Makes for a good double header with The Reef (next).
Made by the same team as Black Water and shot in a very similar, low-budget fashion. The best - and scariest - part about both films is the impending inevitability of death. You're stuck in this horrible situation and the chances of survival go from shitty to basically zero real quick as friends drop off next to you left, right and centre.
The Cabin In The Woods
One for the real horror movie fans, The Cabin In The Woods get seriously meta very quickly, dabbling in all the classic horror movie tropes in a way that still manages to scare (and provide laughs, like any good old school horror movie), it's the kind of good time horror movie we don't get much of anymore. And even though everything feels familiar for a lot of the film, the absolutely batshit insane final stanza is briliant.
A creepy (ha!) little indie horror movie, Creep is a "found footage" movie about a guy who answers an ad in a paper to hang out with a terminally ill dude who wants to make a video diary for his unborn son. Needless to say said dude isn't exactly all there, and the tension just continuously ramps up from there.
The Descent is probably my all time favourite scary movie, basically on account of it actually scaring the shit out my horror-movie-hardened brain. That's probably got something to do with me being somewhat claustrophobic, but a lot to do with it being wonderfully shot and filled with scary af underground monsters. If you're in a double header mood, The Descent 2 is a pretty worthy follow-up, although basically the same as the original.
This one surprised me a little with how decent it was - twsiting the home invasion genre just enough with an interesting premise (our protaganist is deaf and mute). It gets surprisingly brutal in some parts, and despite having to make a few leaps in logic here and there, it's an awesomely tight little thriller. And makes a great home invasion double header with You're Next (below).
Featuring a star turn from Neighours alumni Sharni Vinson, a bunch of extended family goes for a weekend away that very quickly turns south as masked assailants storm the house and pick off family members a) quickly, and b) brutally. Packing a few descent twists and turns, you can kinda guess where it's going reasonably early, but none-the-less a damn good time at the rodeo.
Imagine going to a dinner party with some old friends and the whole time you feel like something is way off but no one listens to you. But you're totally convinced that things are off. For some people that is an absolute nightmare situation in itself, and where this movie goes from there, while slightly predictable, is still a gripping ride.
This was everyone's favourite indie horror from last year so there's a good chance you've seen this. But if you haven't, you should, because it's worth the hype. A sexually transmitted evil presence just follows you around until eventually killing you, unless you can literally fuck it off to someone else. This is just a super cool, well made horror movie, and you should defs check it out if you haven't seen it yet.
This documentary looks at the terrifying world of sleep paralysis, which is scary enough in itself, but the movie is almost shot like a horror movie. It's terrifying stuff, especially when the documentary pretty quickly establishes that there are instances of these night terrors being passed on to people just by talking about them. Like they do in the documentary. To youuuuuuuuuuuuu (said in a spooky voice).
Shaun Of The Dead
An absolute classic and one of the best zombie movies ever made, period. Yes it's more of a comedy than a horror movie, but it still manages to do both really f'in well, and kickstarted the careers of Shaun Pegg and Edgar Wright. And great if you're looking for some more light-hearted horror, and makes a great double header with Tucker & Dale (below).
Tucker & Dale Vs Evil
This would also work as a great double header with The Cabin In The Woods, as it riffs on classic horror movie shit but flips it on its head - Tucker and Dale are just trying to have a relaxing weekend at their own cabin in the woods, but these pesky kids keep getting in the way (and horrifically murdered, accidentally, by Tucker & Dale). Frequenly hilarious, Alan Tudyk is always awesome to watch, and this is whole movie is just a delight.
I seem to be pretty alone in my undying love for this movie, but I'll keep telling people to watch it until they see it for the fucking terrifying masterpiece that it is. Directed by one of the few who really gets Stephen King adaptations - Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) - a creepy mist rolls into a small town and all kinds of horrors ensue. If you're not absolutely shitting yourself during the pharmacy scene, then you're made of sterner stuff than I. Another movie that relies on the inevitability of impending doom for scares - to great effect.
I'm gonna finish on a double-header for the more intellectual and thriller-inclined, one that also happens to be a David Fincher-directed two hander. Zodiac is a long but incredibly rewarding cinematic experience, looking at the Zodiac killer who stalked the San Francisco bay area during the 1960s and 70s. Looking at the Zodiac killer's methods in chillingly realistic detail, it's more an examination of the men trying to find the Zodiac, and how the killer destroyed their lives through obssession. Great double header with Seven (below).
Dark, brutal, horrific and brilliant, Seven stars a young and bristling-with-rage Brad Pitt alongside a peak-of-his-powers Morgan Freeman, hunting for John Doe, killing people in line with the seven deadly sins. Some of the deaths are f'in brutral and make this not for everyone, but it's a stone cold classic crime thriller, and essential if you've never seen it before.