I’m still waiting for the NetFlix arrival of all the Christmas themed horror we so crave this time of year. Apparently someone decided fans either didn’t care about it, or would somehow forget to seek out works like Silent Night, Deadly Night, Santa’s Slay and Christmas Evil this December. Whatever the case may be, somebody is dropping the ball here. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any quality pictures to check out online right now. In fact, NetFlix is catering to some hardcores this month with some cool franchise blocks and strong new additions. If you’re a subscriber, this guide should help you with recommendations!
Scream 1-4: The first two Scream flicks were pretty damn awesome. The third was a complete clunker. The fourth took strides to get the franchise back on track, but still comes up a bit short. Overall, it’s a solid franchise with a few real star offerings, and right now the entire series is available on NetFlix Instant. Go get ghosted!
Omen I-III: I’ve never been a big fan of the Omen films. That said, they’ve picked up an enormous following over the years, and not a single one of them is what I’d label a technical disaster. If evil kid/religious flicks float your boat, now is the time to check out the franchise.
Friday the 13th I-VIII: And yet another awesome franchise stretch is featured. You won’t get the entire Friday series from Netflix (none of the New Line flicks – IE the remake, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason – are featured online right now, but every last one of the Paramount offerings are present and accounted for), but the first eight movies should more than hold you over through one amazing binge session!
Mimic 1-3: While I’m not big on the third Mimic movie, the first two proved worthy of watching. In fact the franchise opener – from Guillermo del Toro – is flat out amazing. The sequel isn’t shabby, and the three together could definitely make up for a fine block of horror viewing.
Oculus: If you’re not at least a little familiar with Oculus, you may have been living in a cave recently. This creepout from Mike Flanagan is awesome. Well acted, shot and even a little frightening, the film oozes uneasy atmosphere. It’s one of the stronger commercial releases to come our way in the last few years, and you’d be doing yourself an injustice by not watching it.
The Damned: Is The Damned a perfect flick? Definitely not. However, it’s a decent little lunatic-demon-set-free kind of film with a couple really cool aesthetic moments. It’s worth a look if you haven’t checked it out already.
Come Back to Me: Come Back to Me starts off rough, but proves its worth by changing the tides in the second portion of the film. There’s an amazing twist in store, followed by yet another amazing twist, and that explosive conclusion certainly makes it a must watch this month.
Dream House: Underrated as all hell, Dream House is a true surprise. There were so many hiccups that surfaced during and after the filming of this one that it’s unbelievable. If you followed the media you probably bypassed the movie, as it was the victim of serious criticism. But guess what. It’s a world better than you’re expecting.
Mercy: Okay, I’ve got a confession. I had consumed a fairly large amount of alcohol before viewing this film. My recommendation may be ill conceived. Then again, maybe I’m right. It’s all about a fading grandma with some dark secrets. Look into it, and get back to me with some sober insight!
World War Z: I’m not typically huge on genre pics that place action in the foreground, but I’d be a liar if I said Marc Forster’s World War Z adaptation wasn’t rather entertaining. I’m not a fan of the visual effects, but Brad Pitt was as awesome as we’d hoped for, and the story itself is rather engaging. It moves fast, and it’s pretty unrelenting in savagery.
Knights of Badassdom: I don’t care how many critics tell me Knights of Badassdom is one of the worst films made in recent memory, I got a very real kick out of it. Is it wildly stupid? Yep. Is it also damn humorous in spots? Abso-friggin-lutely! In my mind, Joe Lynch created a killer flick in which Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, and Peter Dinklage all shine.
Returning Films, Safe Bets
You’re Next: You’re Next has been on NetFlix Instant off and on for months. Right now it’s the on season, and you should be taking advantage while you can. You want an amazing home invasion flick? This is the one for you.
Frozen Ground: This is more of a severely dark thriller than a horror pic, but it’s a ridiculously entertaining project all the same. John Cusack is solid in the flick, but the real surprise is Vanessa Hudgens, who turns in a riveting performance. It’s a true story about a sadistic serial killer, and it leaves quite the impression.
Absentia: Another Mike Flanagan film earns showcase from me because, well Flanagan is effin’ awesome, and Absentia defines the idea of maximizing minimal resources. This is just a super chilling picture that relies on quality storytelling, not insane visuals, to frighten viewers. It works. Quite well.
Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: If you’re a fan of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, then you’ve got to watch the long discussed director’s cut, which finally hit markets a few months back and features over 40 minutes of unseen material and has undergone a wicked remaster. This is the definitive rendition of the flick, no two ways about it.
Day of the Dead: George Romero’s first three Dead films were true works of beauty. Night of the Living Dead was a serious game changer, Dawn of the Dead may be the very best zombie film ever made and Day of the Dead took zombie terror to uncharted regions. A winner in every sense, Day of the Dead should be watched more than once, and now is your opportunity to make that happen.
Evil Dead 2: Do I really need to discuss this one? Sam Raimi’s earliest films were his greatest, and Evil Dead 2 definitely fits right in the mix of his prime offerings. Ash Williams is awesome, but this movie is just groovy.
The Found Footage Pick
The Blair Witch Project: There are a few found footage features on NetFlix Instant right now, and they all owe debt to this one, which reignited interest in a virtually non-existent subgenre (it did exist however, as FF flicks date back to 1980). It’s a little slow, to be honest, but there are some remarkable scenes and the final sequence will leave you chilled to the bone. I don’t care what the detractors say, The Blair Witch Project is a-okay in my book.