Best Horror Movies on Netflix Instant
It’s late at night and you’ve already watched every episode of “Restaurant Impossible” and seen last week’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”. The nightly news is depressing, not to mention boring, but you’re not quite ready to sleep yet. You flip open your laptop and start to peruse the best of what Netflix has to offer. Starz is gone, so there goes watching the semi-pornographic Spartacus, and you’re not capable of testing your patience with some mediocre independent title. 80′s sci-fi is nixed, as is some steamy thriller or crappy National Lampoon teen comedy…so what’s on tap now?
Hit the lights, grab a late-night snack and settle in for everyone’s ultimate guilty pleasure: the horror movie. You might not like to admit it, but horror movies have always been the go-to move for our indecisive movie choosing tendencies — and the studios know it. Horror movies often have low budgets, and almost always have a high profit margin. No matter how crappy the movie is, there’s always going to be a theater at least half full of middle schoolers counting on their date to jump in their laps when the cat jumps out of the closet. But, we here at Current Ground are concerned with quality.
That’s why we’ve decided to compile the best horror movies on Netflix Instant right here, for you. Don’t get us wrong. There will always be that soft spot in our hearts for the cheesy B-Horror or the gory teen slasher, but those are easy enough to find. So, tonight, instead of idling for forty minutes, sifting through the 75% of Netflix movies that are absolute garbage, go with one of these sure bets. Whether you’re alone, with your significant other or sitting in a crowd of your friends, these are all sure to prevent a good night’s sleep.
I made the grave error of watching this film the night before an exam last week, after the gentle prodding to do so by fellow CG writer, Jay. Let me just say this is the best horror movie I’ve seen since the original Paranormal Activity. Not surprisingly, I learned that Insidious was created by writers of both Paranormal and the original Saw. Director James Wan, who also directed Saw, is in fine form with this gem. Here’s the lowdown. Wan was working with a budget of a little over a million, half of which probably went to Rose Byrne for her role. Basically, he had to get creative to produce the chills necessary for any good horror flick, and boy, did he succeed. Insidious tells the tale of a family under the impression that their house is haunted, but soon they learn that it’s no haunted house, but their eldest son who’s got some serious demon possession issues. While the film isn’t perfect (the second half is admittedly a bit silly), the spooky and unnerving atmosphere more than make up for it. There’s no CGI when it comes to the baddies; we’re talking old school make-up, and it works. The creepy-ass old lady demon is one of the most horrifying ghosts I’ve ever seen on screen, and you’re sure to get a healthy helping of demented smiles and overall psychological damage from this one. But what really sets this apart? The absence of cheap scares and the music. If you’re familiar with Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” prepare to never think of it as an innocent folk song, again.
Okay, okay, so I know picking The Exorcist isn’t exactly original, but you’d be surprised how many people still haven’t seen it. While it’s completely devoid of the jump-out scares and high pitched shrieks that have become the primary ingredients in today’s horror movie, it’s still the granddaddy of all exorcism movies to date. Everything you know and love about ‘em now — the possessed little girl with a dirty mouth, rolling heads, impossible body contortion and holy water steaming off foreheads — it all started here. Even with modern CGI, the original The Exorcist still has the most disturbing visuals I’ve ever seen.
You’re going to need a strong stomach for this one, baby. If you have anything against mutilated genitals, children falling out of windows or Willem Dafoe, then you ought to opt for one of the other choices. Lars Von Trier has made recent mainstream headlines with his most recent film, Melancholia, but this is still my favorite work of his. It definitely strides away from the typical horror movie recipe, and its disturbed nature injects itself directly into your mind. That is to say you won’t be jumping out of your seat, but you will be noticeably messed up for days. The film is actually quite beautiful; a married couple tragically lose their son, and then to decide to take a therapeutic trip to the woods, where they inevitably fall into madness. If you haven’t seen a Lars Von Trier film before, then fasten your seatbelt. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen — distinctly artistic, insufferably dark yet shockingly welcoming. It has also boasts one of the most gorgeous opening scenes in recent memory.
Forgive me, but I had to include at least one film noir, best of all time, choice on this list. Indeed, this is one of the classic, scariest-of-all-time movies that has paved the way for countless modern filmmakers. Rumor has it that Alfred Hitchcock was influenced by Les Diaboliques when he was busy filming his classic, Psycho. This movie deserves a spot on the list for its pure ability to screw with your head. It’s relentlessly suspenseful, and was one of the first films to utilize the twist ending to full effect. Despite its 1954 vintage, its age hasn’t slowed it down a bit.
Note: Diabolique has recently been taken off Netlix Instant, but I’m confident it’s available on Youtube and/or Hulu.
For a while there, it was only the shitty sequel available on watch instantly. Weeks ago, however, Netflix decided to relinquish their grip and release the original on instant for their loyal customers. I thought long and hard about including this one, since most people have already seen it, but ultimately decided it had to be on here. Paranormal Activity took the Blair Witch Project handheld camera idea and propelled it to a new level. With an absolutely miniscule budget, the creators have officially secured the retirements of their great grandchildren with the success of this film, and now the franchise. It’s scary as hell, and will make you want to sleep in a separate bed from your girlfriend for at least a month. I still get the willies sometimes at the thought of that crazy bitch Katie standing over Micah for four straight hours while he sleeps. If you somehow have yet to see it, be sure to do so, tonight.