It’s mid-October. The chilly breeze rolls through your window. The leaves swirl and rustle on the ground outside. You sit inside your cozy house as the sun sets. It’s time for a spooky movie to celebrate the Halloween season. Here’s part one of my top 13 horror movies available to stream on Netflix that you should be watching this Halloween.
Starting off this list is a handful of amazing indie horror films that have all come out in the past two years: The Babadook, Starry Eyes, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Guest, Housebound, and Creep.
I wouldn’t fault anyone for arguing that The Babadook is the best horror movie to come out since the turn of the decade. It’s just that good. Essie Davis stars — and does a fantastic job — in this Australian film that focuses on her character Amelia and her young son Samuel. Amelia is a recent widow who is struggling to cope with losing the love of her life. Before bed one night, she finds a storybook in her son’s collection she wasn’t aware of before called Mister Babadook. She reads it to Samuel, but the book turns out to be quite nightmarish and not at all suited for a six-year-old boy like Samuel. Samuel soon begins to have nightmares and claims he sees the creature from the storybook in his room, and it’s not long before Amelia actually believes him. This film is a wholly original, truly mind-bending psychological trip and it really is one of the best horror films released in the past five years.
Starry Eyes is a very recent addition to my list, as I watched it for the first time just this past week. The film follows Sarah (Alex Essoe), who is just one of the many young girls trying to make it in Hollywood. She tries out for a part in a horror film called The Silver Scream, which is produced by a once big power in Hollywood. The audition doesn’t really go too well, at least she doesn’t think so. But she keeps getting callbacks, and while she is excited, the callback auditions keep getting stranger. However, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to be a star. Starry Eyes is fairly slow to start, but ramps up in the last 20 minutes, turning into one of the most sickening horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s both a fantastic send-up of the ridiculous lengths some will go to become Hollywood stars, and at times a striking homage to 80s slasher flicks. Starry Eyes is one you won’t soon forget.
The next one on this list is my favorite from the six entries I have listed from 2014-2015, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. This strikingly sexy black and white film features an amazing soundtrack, beautiful visuals, and one of the best love stories in any horror film that involves a handsome young man falling in love with a vampire. There’s not much more to say about this film other than the fact that I seriously cannot recommend it enough.
The Guest is the follow-up film from creators of You’re Next, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, and its a fun 80s-style slasher flick. Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Maika Monroe (It Follows) star in this horror-action thriller that has 80s influence all over it. David Collins (Dan Stevens) is an army veteran who unexpectedly shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family. The Peterson family recently lost their eldest son Caleb to the war. David happened to be a close friend of Caleb. David quickly takes to everyone in the Peterson family and helps them with their own problems. There’s something mysterious about David, however, that soon makes him the worst problem the Peterson family has ever had. The Guest is possibly the most fun you can have watching a horror movie this October.
On the funnier side of things is Housebound, a surprising and genuinely hilarious New Zealand horror flick. Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) is a mid-twenties lowlife who, in a moment of desperation, attempts to steal from an ATM. She and her partner screw things up and are caught, and she’s put under house arrest with her parents for a handful of months. It’s not long before Kylie discovers that there’s some weird, paranormal kind of stuff going on around the house, and she’s going to get to the bottom of it. This is very much a light-hearted film when compared to the others on my list, but it does offer up some good scares along the way while throwing a ton of great jokes at you as well.
The movie concluding the first half of my list is Creep, which came out just a few months ago. Creep is another installment in the stale genre of found footage movies, but this one is actually done extremely well. First-time director Patrick Brice also plays the main character in the film, Aaron, who answers a Craigslist ad that calls for a videographer to simply record a man’s life for an entire day. This man is Josef, who is played brilliantly by Mark Duplass. Josef is strikingly off-putting even from the first time he’s on-screen, and Aaron sees this, too. It doesn’t take long before Aaron starts to dislike what Josef is asking him to record, and things just get worse from there. Creep is a quick, surprising, and genuinely creepy movie that gives me hope for the found footage genre.
Please come back in the next few days as I delve deeper into the best horror movies you should be watching on Netflix this month. The second half of my list will include the likes of American Psycho, Day of the Dead, and Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, to name a few.
— Michael Lane, Blog Editor