After a series of multiple subpar horror movies released in the 90’s, Wes Craven was desperate for a new hit. Ironically, he found one by parodying the “slasher” genre he helped invent with Nightmare on Elm Street. Making the characters and the film’s narrative self-aware of the “rules” in “slasher” movies, Scream transcends regular horror and becomes a masterpiece in satire of the state of horror films today. As a masked killer preys on teenagers in a small town, slasher clichés are uprooted and mocked. The killer even asks his victims over the phone what their favorite scary movie is. However, just because the movie has its fair share of funny moments in it does not mean it does not scare. The movie is violent and unpredictable. Laugh at horror on Netflix now.
The Walking Dead
AMC is the HBO of cable television. Knowing this, Netflix recently bought the rights to stream every single AMC original show. This includes masterpieces like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, but especially The Walking Dead. Based on the hit, long-running comic book series of the same name, this show treads surprisingly new ground by putting a human face on the zombies. No longer are these simply flesh-eating monsters. And as the main character learns when he wakes up in a hospital and is greeted by the abandoned streets and zombies of the apocalypse, these soulless killers used to be humans, used to have families and used to smile, laugh, or cry. The pilot episode hooks you from the very first scene. Frank Darabont of Shawshank Redemption and The Mist fame directs, using amazing cinematography, great acting, and superb writing. This show isn’t about getting a headshot off a zombie, it is about the life that they lost and now are forced to live.
Very few recent zombie movies (with the exception of 28 Days Later) have been able to capture the political subplots and psychological fear that was elegantly conveyed in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. However, The Crazies comes close to capturing it. Remaking a previous Romero film of the same name, the movie is able to convey both the infected monsters and the government agents sent to “protect” as villainous. Taking place in a small mid-west town, a sheriff and a small band of people are forced to survive when a virus begins to infect the small town, turning normal humans into insane monsters. While it is not technically a zombie film, it still works like one. The best part about the movie though is it doesn’t give you a chance to take a breath. It just keeps pulling you deeper and deeper into the ruined lives off this small American town with no hope and no escape.
This is one of those films on Netflix that you might look at the cover, laugh and then go about your day, wondering who the hell would make a movie about nazi zombies. Well, this group of Norwegian filmmakers did, and it is well worth your time. Throwing plot accuracy and logic out the window, the film focuses on the subtle parts of zombie movies: the guts and gore. As it is a foreign film, you will have to read subtitles. But please don’t complain. You are in college. The film will surprise you scene by scene as the Norwegian teenagers use a variety of weapons and vehicles to fight off the Nazi zombies. Don’t go into this expecting intellectual meaning. Go into it for the blood.
Deep Blue Sea
I will go ahead and say it at the start. This movie is mediocre. It is average horror and average scares and average plot. But even with all that in mind, I love this movie. It never portrays itself to be more than what it is. It is a movie made for fun about mutant sharks that hunt down action stars with a few funny or badass lines mixed up with it. The film also pulls the carpet under your feet a few times. It isn’t as predictable as you might think. That main character in the beginning might not be the main character for very long. Here’s looking at you Samuel L. Jackson.
Released in 2002 as a prequel to Silence of the Lambs, this film features Edward Norton as the FBI agent Will Graham who works with Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter to hunt down a serial killer named the “Tooth Fairy.” Although it was a commercial success when it came out, it was received with mixed reviews that it did not quite deserve. Although it isn’t as effective as some of its predecessors, the movie acts as an engrossing thriller that keeps you guessing. The twist at the end is enough to give it four stars.
Let Me In
Rarely do remakes become better if not just as good as the original, but, in this case, it does. This film is the remake of the Swedish masterpiece Let the Right One In. Set in a wintery New Mexico, the movie centers on a boy played by Kodi Smit-McPhee who develops a friendship with a vampire next door played by Cloe Grace-Moretz. While the Swedish counterpart is an elegant and beautifully shot film, the American remake is darker, more violent and more emotional. Each has its benefits but any movie that conveys bullies just as villainous as murdering vampires deserves a golden star. This movie is more than a horror movie. It is a twisted, but authentic love story. The end will send shivers down your spine.
This movie is, hands-down, the best horror movie of all time. Some others will name movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Halloween or even The Exorcist, but none of those movies achieved what this film achieved. The music is atmospheric and creepy. The acting is superb and real. The effects are revolutionary. The cinematography is chilling (no pun intended) and pioneering. The premise is new. What scares you is not the violence or monsters that you see on the screen, it is the ones you don’t see or can’t quite put a finger on. Directed by John Carpenter and led by Kurt Russell, this movie is about the simple conflict of friends turning against one another. There is no true resolution to this movie, only guessing. Watch American scientists in the Arctic try and fight off an alien creature that copies their DNA and appearance on Netflix today.