Last year around Halloween, I talked about my favorite horror movies that were on Netflix. Netflix always shuffles around their streaming content and a number of those movies are no longer available, so I’ve tried to find a few new fun ones. I’d also love to hear what you’ve found and enjoyed, as I’m sure that I’m missing some good ones.
First, I wanted to mention a couple of movies that are in theaters right now.
Goodnight Mommy is an Austrian movie, and was easily one of the movies I was most excited to see in the theater this season based on the trailer. The funny thing about it is that it’s quite long and isn’t scary until fairly late in the game. The majority of it feels like a mundane family drama. The last act has a strong crescendo that builds to a spectacular climax, though. My husband and I had really different opinions on the movie … I liked it, particularly because it ends on such a strong note, but he found it a little torturous because of the long, drawn out beginning and then because the plot turns to, well, actual torture.
Crimson Peak was sort of the opposite for me. I actually thought the trailer looked kind of dumb. Like, pretty … but dumb in terms of plot and characters. And some of the movies that Guillermo Del Toro has been involved in lately have left something to be desired, so I’d started to question whether his association lent any assurance of quality. I enjoyed this one a whole lot more than I thought I would, though. It plays off of the Gothic Romance style, which does sort of help explain my “meh” feelings about the premise, but the blend of beauty, violence, strong central female characters, and a playfully over-the-top approach to style really works, I think. It’s fun.
On Netflix, I found myself sort of wandering aimlessly around the horror and scary movie categories.
The most important movie I watched was probably Rosemary’s Baby, which I’d never seen before. I’d actually started it on Netflix, no joke, over three years ago but never finished, and I was able to pick up where I’d left off. Watching the old classics for the first time is kind of funny, sometimes they hold up well and sometimes not so much. This one is pretty entertaining, especially considering how it remains so mundane and so low-key for as long as it does. I love the neighbor characters.
Much earlier in the month while I was visiting my parents I watched The Babadook (Australian/Canadian) and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Iranian) with my dad. The Babadook was just ok for me. I think a lot of people like this one and my dad liked it more than I did, though I will say that the two lead actors, the mother and son, were really pretty fantastic. The horror of it just didn’t quite do it for me. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the moody surrealism and surprising tenderness of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I think it takes a place among my favorite vampire movies. It’s also directed and lead-acted by women. I’d never seen the trailer for it but had seen the poster displayed at a small theater once and knew I had to see it. I’m so glad it’s on Netflix.
I came across Housebound (New Zealand) and had to give it a look because Netflix gave it a projected 5 stars. This is another one that people seem to love, it has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, for goodness’ sake. It’s dark, funny, and startling, but the problem for me was that I never felt any sort of attachment to the characters, so I was uninvested in the revelations the come about later in the movie.
I also watched Devil for the first time, which I’ve heard good things about. I enjoyed it for the most part but wasn’t particularly impressed by the big reveal at the end. The ending definitely has Shyamalan’s fingerprints all over it (he wrote the screenplay but didn’t direct it). It’s only 80 minutes long so it moves fast and I definitely wasn’t bored.
The Awakening was another one I watched because of the projected rating, and I’d never heard of it before. It has fun actors in it (Detective McNulty! Bran Stark! Professor Umbridge!), and is a moody British ghost story. I liked it. The revelations at the end are a bit, um, elaborate, but I did enjoy how they wrapped up the final scenes.
The Others is a similarly moody ghost story and another one that I like. I’d seen this before – I actually remember watching it in the theater when I was in high school. It’s not quite as creepy the second time around, but it’s really strong movie. I’ve watched a handful of these demon/ghost stories recently, and I really love how The Others builds and resolves at the end. It’s well done and wonderfully satisfying.
I think that about covers what I’ve been watching! I just started to watch Horns, too, but then 10 minutes in I decided that I wanted to stop and write this post so I don’t know how I’ll like it just yet. 🙂
Do you like scary movies? I’d love to hear your take on any of these movies, or if there are others on Netflix that you’d recommend I check out!