Howdy folks! It’s The Kendog with some Halloween viewing suggestions that you might not have thought of.
As a long time subscriber to Netflix I know as well as most that a lot of what’s out there is junk, but every once and a while you find some gems. This Halloween I’ve got a couple of suggestions for you to try if you’re interested in streaming some scary stuff on Halloween night.
Note: These are not in any particular order.
1. Carrie (1976) - While the remake is perfectly serviceable you still can’t beat Brian De Palma’s original adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel. The dreamlike nature of De Palma’s camera work and the riveting performance from Sissy Spacek make this film a spooky masterpiece and right now it’s available for streaming on Netflix.
2. V/H/S and V/H/S 2 (2012 & 2013) - Both of these found footage anthology films are a tad uneven and not every tale works, but in the hands of several talented filmmakers these two movies have some incredibly effective and haunting imagery. The first and last stories in the V/H/S will definitely get under your skin, while the centerpiece set among an Asian cult is the bone chilling high point of V/H/S 2. Both available to stream on Netflix.
3. Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010) – This isn’t really a horror film but a horror comedy that flips the “hillbillies in the woods” stereotype on its ear and is extremely funny. The less said about the plot the better and be warned: while the film is a comedy it is also extremely gory (that’s part of its considerable charm.) Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are aces in their roles as brothers whose attempts to restore and old cabin are constanly besieged by all manner of problems. Available to stream on Netflix.
4. The Cabin In The Woods (2011) – Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s head trip of a horror film is one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve had in the theater in a long time. It starts out as a typical young adults in peril at the hands of demonic whatevers but then turns into something else entirely. There’s a little bit of Lovecraft and a whole lot of monster fun involved. The less said about the specifics the better. Go into this one with your eyes open and you won’t be disappointed. Also gleefully gory. Available to stream on Netflix.
5. Nosferatu (1922) – For something a little different, we have the silent classic from F.W. Murnau that is visually one of the most frightening versions of Dracula put to film. A great deal of that credit is due to Max Schreck as the villainous Count. His alien movements and creepy makeup create an unsettling visual palate that is still effective even after ninety years. Give this one a chance, especially if you like silent films. Available to stream on Netflix.
6. Stakeland (2010) – This is a neat little post apocalyptic vampire film that does a lot with a little. Connor Paolo plays Martin, a young man whose family is murdered by a plague of vampires. He is rescued by a ruthless hunter named Mister (Nick Damici) who takes him under his wing and teaches him how to hunt the vicious creatures of the night. Stakeland plays like a zombie/vampire hybrid that works surprisingly well. A hidden gem well worth checking out. Available to stream on Netflix.
7.Let The Right One In (2008) – Tomas Alfredson’s moody vampire flick is an exquisite exercise in atmosphere and tension. As long as subtitles don’t bother you, you’re going to be in for a haunting experience. The tale of a pre-adolescent looking (but very old) vampire and her young companion moves at a measured pace but the payoff is worth the wait. The performances are outstanding and the film is moving as well as haunting. Available to stream on Netflix.
8.Grave Encounters (2011) - This is a neat little found footage horror film about a ghost hunting TV show whose crew encounters the real thing at an abandoned asylum. Not only are the scares efficient but the script smartly deals with the problems a lot of these films present, like being able to leave the haunted residence for instance. It’s not perfect, but damned effective and chilling to boot. Give this one a try. Available to stream on Netflix.
9.Evil Dead (1981)/Evil Dead 2 (1987) – Sam Raimi’s cult classics are both available to stream on Netflix. Low budget, gleefully glory, and a lot of fun, the Evil Dead films are perfect Halloween night fare. I personally prefer the gorier, more comedy-centered second film then the first but both films are very good and Bruce Campbell is a horror movie god. Watch these both with the lights out and a big ole bowl of popcorn.
10. Pumpkinhead (1988) – Stan Winston’s film about a vengeful demon after a bunch of kids is a lot better then the title suggests. It has an evocative atmosphere, a great performance by lead Lance Henriksen, and a cool creature designed by the great Winston himself. It’s one of those films that grows on you with repeat viewings. Available to stream on Netflix.
Don't forget to check out my other features and reviews at Dog's Moviehouse!