I have more guilty pleasures than most people. Oh sure, some people like eating bonbons and watching sappy movies or long baths followed by soft towels, but I prefer being scared spitless watching terrible, horribly violent fates befalling people. I love a good horror film, and sometimes Marissa does too. We go on horror kicks, but if you follow horror films you know that it is a genre littered with stinkers. Anyone can make a horror film, and big studios figured out long ago that people would pay for even for the cheaply made stuff. Found footage films dominated the last few years following The Blair Witch Project. You can make a found footage film with your mom’s camera and a couple of friends in the course of a day. Making a good found footage film takes a bit longer. Then there are slashers and all the tropes that each horror film must follow — simple characters, screeching sound, jump moments. I hate them.
So let Rissy and I sort out the bad films. Here is my list of good horror, and these are ALL on Netflix.
1. Oculus – Starring Karen Gillan is basically enough to make me watch anything, but Oculus would still be a good film even without her. This is one of my all-time favorite films. I wouldn’t say it’s the scariest film, but it does mess with your mind as it slowly combines two storylines in different time periods into a single tragedy.
2. The Babadook – A character from a children’s book comes alive to terrorize a mother and child, or is it really just the crushing agony of losing a loved one? The Babadook is a film steeped in metaphor and symbolism making the viewer analyze what a monster really is and whether or not a monster can really be done away with. It never made me feel scared, but it made me tense in a way no other film has.
3. Absentia – The first film of the writer/director behind Oculus, Absentia is a deeply flawed movie with slow pacing and bad acting. It was made on a tight budget with funds from a Kickstarter campaign, and it shows. Still, it’s hard not to love. It has a few jump scares, but the unique monster, real characters, and everyday setting means it sticks with you after you’re done watching.
4. Pontypool – Another fantastic indie film, this one tells the story of zombies that are created by language. It’s a tense film that gives a great new twist on old zombie tropes. This was originally a radio drama.
5. Darknet (No RT Link) – A Canadian TV series that shows our neighbors in the north are just as messed up as we are, Darknet tells several interconnected urban legends each episode as they’re reported on a website catering to the macabre. Of course, you’re a part of this website too as you watch the goings on. This series steers away from the supernatural and likes to tie everything together.