Blood Over Texas contributor, Eric Harrelson, scours Netflix for horror gems to feed your horror appetite. The new series, NetFLIX Horror FIX, will appear on this main page every Wednesday and will be archived on the Film page. So get the bloody popcorn ready and stream some horror.
CLASSIC MUST-SEES AND SEE-AGAINS
Netflix why do you torture me so? It’s just like being in the horror section of the video store (everybody remembers video stores, right?) Thousands of titles and no idea what to watch. Well lucky for you, I’m FUNemployed and have nothing but time to sift through all the online offerings to find those tiny flakes of gold. I will dive into the depths of the obscure, the low budget, the amateur. I’ll ascend to the heights of the incredibly well made, classic, the rare diamond of cult. I will mix metaphors and imagery all in the quest to bring you the finest horror that Netflix streaming has to offer. I’m doing this for you, appreciate my sacrifice. This week we’ll start off with a collection of better know titles that you may not have seen, and that you really owe it to yourself to watch. And they are streaming down the world pipes as we speak!
CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011)
Directed by nerd demigod Joss Whedon.
Much like Wes Craven’s Scream, this film takes the horror movie tropes that we all have come to love and respect and openly acknowledges that they exist and form a sort of rule set for behavior. A group of friends drives out for a nice weekend in the titular Cabin in the Woods, and what happens next won’t surprise you, right up until it does. Unicorn? This film is definitely made by a horror movie fan for horror movie fans, with all sorts of references, allusions, and inside jokes that are clearly meant for those of us who grew up on a steady diet of horror.
ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
Directed by Roman Polanski and staring Mia Farrow.
A classic psychological horror film, with an incredible performance by Mia Farrow. From the era before the grindhouse slasher, this film is widely regarded as one of the most important films in the genre by fans and critics alike. A young couple moves into an apartment and shortly after the woman becomes mysteriously pregnant. Strange things begin occurring and the woman starts to fear for the safety of her unborn child. Tense, claustrophobic and paranoid, Rosemary’s Baby really shows Polanski’s love of Hitchcock and serves to push the genre forward, paving the way for movies like The Omen, and arguably, The Shining.
ICHI THE KILLER (2001)
Directed by Takashi Miike.
The American horror scene was, in my opinion, stagnant in the late nineties and early oughts, so fans had to look overseas to fill that ragged, gaping, sucking chest wound left by the failings of the American movie machine. Takashi Miike easily filled that gap with films like Audition, and Ichi the Killer. This film follows a sadomasochistic Yakusa hit man that runs across deranged and repressed Ichi. What follows is an exploration of pain, gore, and shocking brutality. Like much of Miike’s work, Ichi the Killer challenges the conventions of numerous genres, and brings freshness not only to the genre but to the medium itself
THE RE-ANIMATOR (1985)
Directed by Stuart Gordon and stars Jeffery Combs as Herbert West.
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West-Re-Animator, this film tells the story of a medical student and his girlfriend who begin research on the reanimation of dead tissue. Combs delivers a wonderful performance as Herbert West, the unhinged medical student obsessed with his research. Both nerdy and menacing, Combs is a big reason why this film is such a favorite among horror fans, that and zombie cat!!
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986)
Directed by Fred Dekker, who also directed Monster Squad.
An honest homage to the B movies of the 50’s and 60’s, this film does it all. Alien invasions, slasher nods, insane asylums, evil slugs that turn people into zombies, seriously, what more can one ask for? Really a fun watch and one that if you haven’t seen, you really owe it to yourself as a horror fan to check it out.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)
Directed by Tomas Alfredson, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
I have been a fan of Lindqvist since I read Let the Right One In around 2010. A real breath of fresh air to the horror/thriller genre, Lindqvist has a unique take on established horror tropes, and it is evident here with Let the Right One In. The story begins with an outcast young boy who befriends an mysterious young girl who is new to his neighborhood. She can’t go outside during the day, doesn’t eat, and can only enter if invited. Alfredson’s film really conveys the feeling of isolation and loneliness that is so central to the story. Truly a standout film, proving that good horror can come from anywhere. Forget the remake, subtitles aren’t that bad, just suck it up and read.