Netflix has an odd relationship with horror. Most die-hard fans can surely identify with wasting many a Saturday night perusing the so-called Horror section only to find ourselves considerably underwhelmed by the movies on offer – Friday The 13th 2 but not 1, 3 or 4? That random movie that came and went six months ago that nobody’s thought of since? And no sign of the indie darlings we’ve been salivating over all year.
The most popular streaming service in the world might have nothing a lot of the time, but right now the selection of genre movies on offer is pretty great. Ranging from little-known gems to mainstream favourites, Netflix is stuffed like the proverbial Christmas turkey. Here are five awesome horror flicks to stream immediately, if not sooner, before they mysteriously disappear again:
Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s fifth outing as a writing-directing team (seventh if you count their terrific V/H/S segments, eighth if you’re pretending The ABCs Of Death is a thing that actually happened) is their most adventurous and genre-bending yet. With a killer star turn from Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens as a devilishly handsome stranger, and the debut of our newest Scream Queen Maika Monroe, The Guest is a fast-paced, thrilling and very gory jaunt into madness set to an awesome techno soundtrack. If you’ve somehow managed to miss it, you owe it to yourself to watch it immediately.
This low budget indie creature feature from our wacky German friends has already been described as one of the best killer bee movies ever (not that there’s much competition in that category). Stung balances the horror and comedy elements just right, with one particular gag at the end landing even better than the beasties themselves on the attack. These kinds of flicks live or die on their creatures, and happily the featured bees look, sound and behave as one imagines giant insects would. They’re terrifying and, although the action grinds to a halt whenever they’re not around, there are some great characters to root for, too, making this considerably more than the sum of its parts.
It’s arguably even harder to find a decent werewolf movie than one featuring killer bees, but Late Phases is up there with An American Werewolf In London as one of the best examples of the sub-genre. Celebrated character actor Nick Damici stars as grumpy, blind old war vet Ambrose who finds himself as an unlikely hero when the sleepy retirement community into which he’s just moved is besieged by hungry lycans. Boasting the coolest transformation sequence since London and the most bizarrely tear-jerking voicemail imaginable, Late Phases is a triumph of genre filmmaking and a must-watch for anyone who’s grown tired of being disappointed by werewolf movies.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Few horror movies manage to be as simultaneously stylish, intelligent and memorable as Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. Ostensibly a drama about the late-night goings on in the fictional Bad City, the film is actually a romantic vampire movie at heart, its lead, a skateboarding, chador-wearing cool kid known only as The Girl stalking the streets for prey. Subtle, nuanced and achingly cool, Amirpour’s lusciously dark take on a well-worn sub-genre is one of those rare treats: A horror movie that makes you think, feel and recoil in equal measure – often at the same time. Miss it at your peril, this is one of the best of the year.
Zombeavers, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish entirely. Or dam of beavers, as it were. The title should be taken quite literally as the foes of the film’s central group of doomed, scantily-clad young-ish things here are, in fact, zombie beavers, their creation via nuclear spill illustrated in a nifty animated sequence. The laughs and frights come hard and fast, but the flick is truly worth seeing for the critters themselves. Lovingly created using puppetry and prosthetics, they’re entertainingly dodgy at times, but still often scary. It’s not exactly ground-breaking styff, but Zombeavers wins points for originality and gall (while also boasting its own pretty awesome transformation sequence).