It’s that time of year again. The time for ghoulies, and ghosties, and long-legged beasties. Halloween is finally here. In preparation, This Guy’s put together the ultimate Halloween watch list of horror. . . available on Netflix (we work with what we have). These flicks will chill your bones, and put you in the proper mood for All Hallows’ Eve. So, lock your doors, turn off the lights, and curl up with these spine-tingling tales of terror.
10. Bone Tomahawk
This is a real fun hybrid. The western-horror subgenre is criminally underrepresented in cinema. The unknown mystique of the untamed American frontier is just ripe for delving into the unknown darkness. Enter Bone Tomahawk, written and directed by Craig S Zahler. This tale sees a small frontier town beset by raiders in the night. A deputy and young woman are taken away, and there seems very little clue as to where or by whom. Leave it to Sheriff Hunt (Kurt Russell) to put together the perfect posse to hunt down who or what took their people. But as they hunt down the monsters of the wild, are they being hunted in turn? It’s an unexpectedly awesome, and brutal genre flick from a terrific up and coming director.
9 & 8. Creep / Creep 2
Now this pair is a fantastic horror double feature, and luckily Netflix currently has both. Mark Duplass stars and co-writes these two insane journeys into the mind of a killer. In the first Creep, Josef (Duplass) hires Aaron (Patrick Brice) to film a video for his unborn son, as Josef is dying of cancer. This is of course bullshit, and what follows is Josef’s sick set f mind games as he gets into Aaron’s head for his own twisted pleasure. In Creep 2, Josef returns to terrorize another innocent person, who he asks to film his final day so he can better understand himself and the things he’s done. It’s a great indie series, and is currently slated for a third film to hopefully finish up Josef’s reign of terror.
7. The Ritual
The Brits just know horror. I don’t know; maybe it’s the dreary weather, or the constant werewolf attacks or something. But they just get it. The Ritual is a “Netflix original” horror that finds a group of friends hiking through a Swedish national park. When one of the men is injured, they decide to take a shortcut back to the lodge by way of. . . the woods. Always a brilliant fucking plan. The friends are soon knee deep in nightmares, hallucinations, bloody carcasses, and sounds from the darkest wild around them. This pretty standard setup will actually end up impressing you with its great acting (of course), creepy atmosphere, and very original creature design.
This will be Mike Flanagan’s first of three entries on this Halloween horror countdown. co-written by, and starring his wife, Kate Siegel, Hush introduces Maddie, a deaf author living alone. . . in the woods. Jesus Christ, people, learn! Maddie’s simple life is rudely interrupted when a serial killer murders her best friend right on he doorstep, but Maddie doesn’t hear the cries for help. Seeing the potential for some fun, the killer lets Maddie know he is there, and decides to play with her. Maddie is forced to defend herself from an intruder she cannot hear coming up behind her. It sounds gimmicky, but as you’ll learn, Flanagan can take just about any setup, and deliver an awesome horror experience.
Now here’s a deep cut. Netflix acquired two obscure Stephen King adaptations last year. 1922 stars Thomas Jane as Wilf, a simple farmer who wants to simply farm. When his wife decides she needs more, and threatens to take his son with her, Wilf hatches a plan. Together, his son and he kill Wilf’s wife and hide the body in the well. What follows is Wilf’s descent into paranoia and madness as he is haunted by the guilt of what he’s done. Or is there something else haunting him? It’s probably Tom Jane’s best acting of his career. A bit of a slow-burn, this isn’t a flick for any Halloween parties. But for a nice quiet night by the fire, it’s a great tale of macabre and madness.
4. Gerald’s Game
Not for the faint of heart, Gerald’s Game is the other King adaptation, and Mike Flanagan’s second film on this list. In an attempt to spice up their marriage, Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (Carla Gugino) go up to their lovely vacation home (in some kind of woodsy area), and decide to break out the handcuffs. Jessie has a bit of a panic attack and while her and Gerald argue, her hubby drops dead of a heart attack. Jessie is left cuffed to her bed, alone, thirsty, no one around for miles. Except of course the hungry stray dog that found it way through their front door. Jessie has to battle the multiple voices in her head telling her to give up, and face some demons from her past in order to free herself. Before any other uninvited guests arrive. Carla Gugino commands the screen in a powerhouse performance, carrying the film almost entirely herself. If this wasn’t a Netflix horror flick, it’d probably have gotten awards attention.
3. The Witch
An absolute masterclass of filmmaking, The Witch took a lot of people by surprise when it hit theaters a couple years back. A Puritan family is banished from their community,and forced to find a new home on the edge of the woods (for fuck’s sake). It’s not long before the family gets their first visit from the titular witch, as she absconds with their infant son, and uses his flesh to make herself a nice anti-aging cleanser. . . or something. The family is obviously thrown into chaos as they mourn their loss, and fear what might happen next. Will their beautiful daughter be taken? Do their creepy twins know more than they say? Is their black goat, Phillip involved? Every moment is tense, every shot is perfect, and the ending is absolutely insane. What more could you ask for?
Now this one will be a bit divisive. As a huge fan of The Raid, This Guy was stoked for a horror flick from Gareth Evans. And you have Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen in the mix? What could go wrong? Apparently a few things. One, you have to have an idea how the movie will end when you start making it. Two, see number one; it’ll solve most problems. That said, Apostle has a lot to offer for fans of the spooky and the strange. We have a creepy cult on an island, a strange barn in the woods, a mysterious old woman wandering around, and a seemingly vicious plague surrounding it all. What the film lacks in subtlety and grace it makes up for in atmosphere and blood.
1. The Haunting of Hill House
Now this is Mike Flanagan’s third entry here, and it’s also a bit of a cheat. The Haunting Of Hill House isn’t a horror film, but a series, but it is absolutely Netflix’s greatest horror content to date. This new adaptation of the classic film is a horror tale for the modern age. The Crain family moved into Hill House one summer to flip it. After a few short months, the mother is driven mad by the house, and the father runs with his kids and never looks back. Now, 26 years later, the house wants to finish them off, and it’s willing to reach across the country to find them and bring them back within its walls. Mike Flanagan has created an immensely engaging and creepy series. It’s endlessly binge-worthy, and shows that horror, drama, and award-worthy quality don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This isn’t American Horror Story, which, I’m sorry, is basically trash. This is THE American horror story.