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Turn Down The Lights And Grab Your Blanky: 8 Excellent Horror Films On Netflix Instant

By Jodi Clager | Seriously Random Lists | October 31, 2013 | Comments ()


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When October rolls around every year, I have a Horror Movie Binge. I watch horror quite often during the rest of the year, but in October I strive to watch at least one horror movie per day. Some days I watch old favorites. Other days I prowl Netflix to see what hidden treasures I can find. Since I am a kind and generous overlord…ess, I’m sharing some excellent finds and old favorites with you.

Pontypool

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This intense thriller follows the jaded Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) as he drinks his way through a small town morning radio show and pushed the limits of his producer, Sydney Briar (Lisa Houle). Grant wants to spice up the morning of these sleepy Canadians and Sydney is vehemently against his shock jock techniques. Before the two can fully come to a working understanding, something causes the residents of Pontypool to become crazed, jabbering murderers.

Resolution

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Chris is a crackhead squatting in a sh*tty house, shooting imaginary birds and screaming at no one. Michael is his best friend that is so determined to sober him up that he handcuffs Chris to a pipe in the house and keeps him there until the drug is out of his system. As the two friends fight and reconnect, Michael is intrigued by a mysterious story being left before him in different places around the house. I don’t want to say much more because much of the charm is derived from the unique plot.

The Entire Scream Quadrilogy

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I shouldn’t even have to explain this to you. Even the worst Scream movie is better than other teen horror flicks. Sit your ass down and ENJOY.

Grave Encounters

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Grave Encounters takes the found footage route, purporting to be the last recording of the crew of a paranormal investigation television show. The group arranges to film while being locked in the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, the supposed location of years of paranormal activity. You know where this is going, but it’s done entertainingly enough to keep you interested.

BUT YOU STAY AWAY FROM THAT Grave Encounters 2! THERE IS NOTHING GOOD THERE!!

Session 9

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Stephen has said it before, but it bears repeating: This film is an underappreciated gem. An asbestos abatement crew has accepted a job to clean up an old insane asylum (Danvers State Insane Asylum in Danvers, Massachusetts). Their boss, Gordon, needs the job very badly to help keep the company afloat and provide for his wife and infant daughter.

Once inside the asylum, one of the crew finds some old reel-to-reels of an interview with Mary Hobbes, a woman who lived in the asylum in the 70s. Upon discovering these interviews, strange things begin to happen to the crew. It’s much more nuanced and tense than the description would have you believe and David Caruso shouldn’t put you off either. I just hope you don’t have any friends named Simon.

Maniac (2012)

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The most intriguing thing about this film is how it is presented. You are seeing things through the eyes of the maniac, Frank (Elijah Wood). You only see him when there are reflections or photographs shown to Frank. It puts you right into the thick of things and close to the brutality caused by the Frank’s frayed psyche.

Frank owns a mannequin shop where he lovingly restores old mannequins to their former glory. One day an artist named Anna (Nora Arnezeder) is taking photographs of the store front and Frank invites her inside. The two become friends as Frank’s obsessions cause him to hurt more and more women.

Slither

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James Gunn’s disgusting horror movie stars Nathan Fillion as Bill Pardy, officer of a small town that becomes infected with parasites after a meteorite crashes to Earth. Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) is the first to be infected, driving his wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) to team with Bill to save the town.

This one is hilarious. Jenna Fischer, the former Mrs. Gunn, has a small part as a dippy receptionist and everyone in the cast has fun with the B-movie premise. The creature things are super gross. Like worms but worse. If you are prone to vomiting, you should probably skip this one, Puke Master.

Let The Right One In

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You may only be able to watch this one once a year because of the intense bullying Oskar is made to endure during the film. Or if that stuff doesn’t bother you, maybe you can watch it weekly and enjoy the faint thumps emanating from where YOUR HEART SHOULD LIVE.

As I pointed out last week, Let The Right One In is a horror movie with a very relatable feeling at its core: loneliness. Oskar endures severe bullying at school, has no friends, is missing his father, and doesn’t confide in his mother. Eli lives a life of solitude, with no one except her caregiver for company, because no one can know that she is a vampire. You’re both relieved and pessimistic when the two find each other and the ending is gut-wrenching for several reasons.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Peep_Jerky

    If you liked Resolution, Pontypool, and Session 9, I also
    recommend The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh. Aaron Poole is
    pretty much the only actor you see on screen in the entire movie, as
    it's just him in his recently deceased mother's house as he deals with
    what to do with her belongings. It does a great job of building the creepiness slowly through the sound design, the little conversations he has
    on the phone, and especially the sets with all the creepy items crammed
    into the house. It also makes awesome use of light and shadow, and the
    reveal of what is lurking around the house gave me serious chills, which
    isn't easy to do anymore. It's on Netflix Instant and I think I'll watch it again tonight.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I almost included The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh!

  • Nicholas

    That movie sucked!

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I've seen most of those and they're all very enjoyable but you had a few I haven't heard of and THANKSI'MGOINGTOWATCHTHEMTONIGHT!!!1!

  • Jezzer

    Wait, we were supposed to feel sorry for Oskar?

  • apsutter

    You left out so many great ones! Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, Carrie, The Faculty, The House of the Devil, I Saw the Devil and so much more. Honestly if there is two things that Netflix is great at it's having tons of good television series and a huge selection of varied horror/suspense movies

  • So I have a couple of additional recommendations, though both come tinged with a bit of "buyer beware". The first is the recently released (to Instant) V/H/S 2. It's an anthology piece, much better than its predecessor in my opinion. There are four shorts plus a framing story. The framing story gets a little wonky toward the end, but it's light years better than the one for the first movie. The first two shorts are entertaining, if lacking a bit in polish and substance. The fourth short is sort of fun and creepy, but nothing particularly special. However, the third short, "Safe Haven"...it's a short about a documentary crew shooting a film about a cult in Indonesia, and that's all I'll say. It's easily the best horror short I've seen in a long, long time. Even if you don't watch the whole movie, I would recommend fast-forwarding to this short ASAP. It starts about 42 minutes into the film.

    If you want weird, atmospheric dread horror, I'd also recommend YellowBrickRoad (all one word). It's about a film crew investigating the story of a town that one day walked down a road and disappeared, never to be seen again. The crew follows the path, mysterious music starts playing in the woods, and from there...well, it gets really weird in a super creepy way. The end wobbles a bit, and there are a couple of terrible CGI moments, but other than that it builds a really nice sense of dread for a sustained period.

  • apsutter

    Thanks for the review of VHS 2. I didn't really care for the first one which was a huge bummer because I love anthology films and I kept seeing the sequel on Netflix and wasn't sure whether to pull the trigger on it.

  • Bea Pants

    I never looked at Grave Encounters because I just sort of assumed it actually WAS one of those paranormal hunter shows. I just added that along with Resolution and Maniac to my queue! I wholeheartedly agree with everything else on this list.

  • chanohack

    My neighbor and I watch horror movies about once a week, and Absentia is also pretty good. It doesn't completely fall together, but it's original, the main actresses are great, and you could do a lot worse on Netflix instant (looking at you, Paranormal Activity IV).

  • apsutter

    The bf and I always laugh because for some reason the genre we choose to watch on Netflix is almost always B horror and suspense movies. We've seen a lot of crap but also a ton of great low budget & foreign horror.

    ETA- It's particularly funny because he doesn't really care for scary movies all that much and would never watch them alone lol

  • chanohack

    My bf doesn't particularly care for them either, but I'm such a fan that he'll watch them with me occasionally. My siblings will have nothing to do with scary movies, my dad isn't too keen, and my friends don't enjoy them.

    My neighbor is a godsend, is what I'm saying. Can't wait to show her this list.

  • chanohack

    I just did a happy song and dance to see Pontypool at the top of this list, and I'm not ashamed. I LOVE that movie.

  • badkittyuno

    I haven't seen Let The Right One In but I read the book and it broke my heart. The bullying was horrible. I wasn't bullied (or a bully) as a kid, but I have two little boys and Oskar's experiences made me so sad for them. The violence was the easiest part to handle of that book. No way I'm gonna watch the film.

  • Interesting. I don't usually go in much for the horror genre, but I might have to try some of those out.

    I must confess, the only thing I can think of while looking at the Session 9 pic is that all those hanging suits are going to start playing a game of ghostly grab-ass with the mullet-wearing dude walking down the hall.

  • Maguita NYC

    I watched it over a decade ago, and don't think it would truly hold today, especially if you have become immune to the genre.

    But ten years ago, it scared the bejesus out of my mind.

  • "The Awakening" is on Instant as well. Very atmospheric ghost story starring Rebecca Hall (The Town) as an English ghost debunker in the early 1900's investigating a boarding school. Also stars Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, and Issac Hempstead Wright (Bran from Game of Thrones). Goes nuts by the end but really well made and acted.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I love that one too! If I'm being honest, this list could have been very, very long.

  • axis2clusterB

    Session 9 is all kinds of awesome. And Elijah Wood absolutely killed it (pun totally intended) in Maniac.

  • jarradcvh059

    my aunty just got a 9 month old Lexus RX 350 SUV by working parttime
    off of a macbook air. straight from the source J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Well, lah de frickin' dah, she has a MacBook Air... I remember the days when all we had to earn a car was a broken slate and a bit o' tailor's chalk to scribe with.

  • AvaLehra

    Let the Right One In is soooo lovely. It's shot beautifully, too. Much better than the American remake.

  • BWeaves

    This has been said before, but in case you missed it.

    a. Watch the original "Let The Right One In" and not the American redo.

    b. Stream "Let The Right One In." Do NOT watch it on DVD. The subtitles are different! The streaming version has the better subtitles.

  • Basement Boy

    "Severance" is available on Netflix streaming... a darkly comedic twist on the "group of people go into a dangerous wilderness" theme.

  • BlackRabbit

    Absentia is a deeply creepy film-worth a Halloween watch.

  • amylu

    Just finished this based on the recommendations in this thread. I actually did like it a lot. It wasn't scary, but it was creepy. Loved the very end of the movie.

  • axis2clusterB

    I LOVE this movie.

  • Ben

    I'm never going to stop recomending Feast, no idea if it's on Netflix because Australia, but seriously everyone should go watch Feast, it's disgusting, gory, hilarious and brilliant. Also it's got Henry Rollins and Jason Mews in it.

  • manting

    thats the one Ben Affleck and Matt Damon produced and there was a tv show about the actual production.

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    i am gonna checkout Resolution and Maniac.

    i cannot sing the praises of Pontypool enough. i loved it's very creative and weirrrrd take on a familiar horror trope. Slither and Let The Right One In are also wonderful horror movies.

    i'd add the Orphanage, one of my favorite horror movies ever. from IMDB: "A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend."

    there's a simple scene with a simple children's game being played, but good lord did it give me nightmares.

    it gets reaaally heavy with adult fears and the like, and the ending was devastating so get ready for some tears to accompany your chills.

  • apsutter

    I LOOOOOOVED Orphanage so freaking much! I have recommended it to pretty much everyone because it really impressed me. Parts of it were genuinely scary and the ending was just so sad and sweet all at the same time.

  • amylu

    You might not have meant it as such when you suggested it, but The Orphanage isn't on Netflix Instant. Believe me, I looked two nights ago.

    And I think I must be in the minority; I watched Pontypool based on buzz but didn't care for it. Session 9, however, is one of my all-time favorites for love of the use of Danvers alone.

    I'd also give a rec to The Pact (trailer: http://youtu.be/6ztc5Nq1JL4. Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMo.... It's a solid indie horror with a few genuinely creepy moments.

    Thanks, Jodi Clager, for the Maniac and Resolution tips. Maniac is one that I wanted to see when it was released, but then I promptly forgot about it.

  • apsutter

    I liked The Pact and thought it was interesting but had to laugh when it was over because the poster was so cool and interesting and it had literally nothing to do with the story.

  • amylu

    [SPOILERS]

    I didn't think the poster was cool, but it made more sense to me than the title of the movie did (what pact?). There was actually a man living behind the walls, so the poster art made sense to me in that regard.

    [/SPOILERS]

  • apsutter

    The whole guy living in that hidden room made sense but at the time the poster and the vague description made me think it was going to be a cool haunting or poltergeisty type movie and it was most definitely not that lol

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    oh wow, just saw Resolution. the sense of dread was just so thick once the elements coming into play started to click with me

  • Slobby79

    Let the Right One in, is for me more then a horror movie. it gutted me. So sensitive and full of devastation. the kids are just so good they just crushed me. it was a weird feeling to both feel heartbroken and then have the horror scare glee.

  • lowercase_ryan

    The original Funny Games (Germany, 1997) is streaming according to a website I just looked up. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

  • manting

    Has anyone seen Dead Shadows? French horror movie - it looks amazing but I cant find it online anywhere. Here's the trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • Robert

    You guys have to see Resolution. Like, it's sincere metahorror done right. Most metahorror winks at the audience; Resolution doesn't have to by the very nature of the story it's telling. Amazing acting and a super inventive screenplay, too.

  • Kala

    Took me forever to see Let the Right One In, as the novel completely TRAUMATIZED me, and I was horrified at the idea of any of that nightmare food being brought to life. I am forever grateful that they didn't.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Any list with Pontypool and Slither is a good list.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I'm genuinely curious why "Session 9" keeps popping up on peoples' lists of "under-appreciated horror movies". I was BORED TO TEARS watching it, and the only good thing to come from it is David Caruso's amazing "fuck you" scene.

    And I was excited after seeing multiple recommendations for both "Pontypool" and "Grave Encounters", but I couldn't get more than 10 minutes into either.

    I would recommend torrenting "You're Next" or "The Orphanage" (since the latter is apparently no longer on Instant :( ).

  • Session 9 is a slow starter that is TOTALLY worth it. There are scenes from that movie that I will never forget.

    Pontypool is a slow starter that...um, gets better in the middle and then has a kinda silly ending.

    Slither - After watching this movie once I bought it. I watch it on rainy afternoons. I love the fuck out of this movie; it has the perfect balance of self-aware humor and scaryassedness.

    Let the Right One In - Yes. Everyone should see this movie. I also quite liked the American remake, even though most Internet people seem to have hated it. It was not as good as the original but it was still pretty good.

    Resolution and Maniac are now on my watch-this-weekend list, a list which did not even exist before I read this post. Goodbye, weekend.

  • el_mediocre

    For some reason I prefer the remake of Let the Right One In, though I will certainly concede that the original is the better film. I'm gonna shrug now.

  • Andrew J Moore

    It's weird how this film splits audiences. I guess it comes down to how much you're willing to engage and how many people disconnect from it.

  • manting

    the orphanage is great, really liked it. Use solarmovie though - no downloading - just streaming and they have everything.

  • John W

    Pontypool and Session 9. Yes.

  • Jim

    But, if you're looking for a comedy to giggle away the scares, Atlas Shrugged is a laugh riot!

    Just a sec, the other half is speaking. {turns away} What? Really? Oh, you're joking.

    {turns back} Never mind. My bad.

  • manting
  • Maguita NYC

    You know what I find scary: When a Pajiban has a loud conversation with his imaginary friend. That shit, is spooky. :p

  • Jim

    We are legion.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Pontypool was such a weird, yet totally engrossing movie. And I found myself chanting "Kiss is kill" at odd moments after watching it.

  • chanohack

    I can count the movies my boyfriend has rewatched on one hand, and he's seen Pontypool at least thrice.

  • Al Borland's Beard

    I don't know if I could handle an entire movie through Elijah Wood's cold, dead eyes.

  • Maguita NYC

    Session 9. Just reading the title brought tears of nervous dread to my eyes. That movie pulls you in, and gives you nightmares for weeks on end.

  • DataAngel

    I don't get it. I'm the only person I know that hated Session 9. I thought it was boring and completely unmemorable.

  • Maguita NYC

    It depends on a few factors, namely your tolerance for the nerve-wrecking horror genre, as well as how much horror you had under your belt before watching Session 9!

    Many other movies followed suit after Session 9 with the asylum theme, but back in 2002, the deafening quiet at times broken by the testimonial sessions, and the pursuits through the building was just so intense and scary for me. The movie was quite well made, and the actors delivered beautifully.

    And Finally, Simon. His voice. (I won't be able to sleep tonight, I scared myself into insomnia).

  • Session 9 is an amazing movie. Great recommendation. It's slow but when it's over and you think back on it, or even better watch it again, it's so much more creepy and it's pretty damn creepy the first time. You start to dread every time Mike starts listening to the sessions because they are so unsettling. Terrific performances too, including a largely unrecognizable Josh Lucas.

  • Maguita NYC

    Simon.

    "And where do you live Simon?"
    "I live in the weak and the wounded."

  • I'm gonna hit "Play" on Scream the second I post this comment.

  • Slither! One of my favorite horror flicks...

    (and I guess we don't need to include Cabin in the Woods at this point...)

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I thought about it, but then I decided y'all should damn well know already!

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