So you’re getting ready for your Halloween movie viewing, but would like to branch out from the old horror movie standbys?
Well you’re in luck. I’ve pored over the current horror offerings on Netflix Streaming, and have found ten great underrated, obscure horror treasures that will spice up your viewing on October, 31st.
These titles cover a variety of sub-genres; horror comedy, gothic horror, found footage, foreign films, retro-horror and more. So without further ado, here are 10 titles worth adding to your Netflix Queue this Halloween:
10. ‘John Dies At The End’ (2012)
Director Don Coscarelli has always had a cinematic approach akin to a Jackson Pollack painting; throwing as many bizarre concepts on film as he pleases, with little regard to continuity or linear storytelling.
But ‘John Dies At The End’ outdoes his other bonkers horror films like ‘Phantasm’ and ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’ with a tale of inter-dimensional travel and ghosts. If you’re up for going along for a wild ride it provides a fun trip.
9. ‘Mad Monster Party’ (1967)
Ok, so ‘Mad Monster Party’ isn’t the least bit scary, but it’s a fun oddity; a stop motion movie from Rankin-Bass, normally associated with Christmas fare like ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.’ And unlike ‘Rudolph’ it remains a cult item which is rarely aired on television.
Boris Karloff plays Frankenstein again, but this time’s he’s the Dr, not the monster. He gathers Dracula, The Creature From The Black Lagoon and other iconic movie monster for a party, but he has a sinister agenda.
‘Mad Monster Party’ is a great intro for children to get into the Halloween spirit without being too scary.
8. ‘Troll Hunter’ (2010)
No sub-genre in horror has become more grating and overused than the ‘found footage’ genre, but ‘Troll Hunter’ gets it right, with a surprisingly engaging tale of Norwegian college students who get more than they bargained for when they make a documentary investigating a bear poacher but find something far more sinister when they discover mythic beasts are far too real.
Part tongue-in-cheek and part genuinely creepy, ‘Troll Hunter’ is a blast.
7. ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ (2010)
I recently reviewed ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ so click here for my full synopsis. But in a nutshell, it’s an interesting retro-80’s tale of a young girl with psychic powers who is abused by her maniacal doctor.
The film is very slowly paced, but that’s what makes it unique, along with the lurid 80’s neon look and synth score, ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ casts a unique spell.
6. ‘Black Sabbath’ (1963)
Italian horror director Maria Bava lends his lurid touch to this horror anthology featuring three different vignettes of macabre delight. Horror legend Boris Karloff (making his second appearance on this list) provides the connective thread as the narrator.
And yes, the band Black Sabbath lifted the title for their own moniker.
5. ‘Bloody Birthday’ (1981)
‘Bloody Birthday’ makes you feel uneasy from the get go with its tale of three murderous bratty children. What keeps it fun is its strange humorous tone, often ridiculous plot, and some genuinely engaging performances from its child stars.
Its controversial use of kids as murderers is what likely gave it underground status, but it’s a hoot.
4. ‘Black Sunday’
Director Maria Bava returns on our list with his stylishly gothic Italian horror piece.
An 16th century witch faces execution for her craft (which involves a spiked metal mask hammered on her face), but vows to curse the descendants of her killer, who also happens to be her brother.
Two centuries later she returns and exacts her vengeance. Can she be stopped? This movie will keep you guessing.
3. ‘Stakeland’ (2010)
‘Stakeland’ concerns a gruff loner who takes a young boy under his wing as they battle vampires in a post-apocalyptic America. Borrowing bits of ‘I Am Legend’ (the novella, not the botched Will Smith film), and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ it’s an intriguing mix of horror and coming of age story, with the stylistic touches of an indie movie.
2. ‘Monsters’ (2010)
A decidedly cerebral take on the giant monster movie genre, ‘Monster’ is the tale of a reporter who helps the daughter of his boss cross from Mexico to the U.S. Border.
Problem is the area in-between said borders is now occupied by giant monsters who arrived from an unknown planet.
‘Monsters’, like ‘Stakeland’ is a movie of just as many quiet moments as loud sequences of violence.
And director Gareth Edwards’s next project will be an adaptation of classic movie monster Godzilla, which if it matches its impressive trailer, should provide a bold new take on the Japanese icon.
‘Monsters’ marks the fourth movie from 2010 that made this list, an impressive year for horror cinema.
1. ‘The House Of The Devil’ (2009)
‘The House Of The Devil’ is one of the best horror movies made in the 21st century, but it feels like it could have been shot in 1980.
This is entirely the idea, as director Ti West has doused the film in retro touches, from the soundtrack, to the 16mm cinematography, it’s slow but deliberate pacing, and it’s tale of a young babysitter who is the target of evil Satanists.
If you’re a horror fan and you’ve yet to see this film, you must correct that error now, because ‘House Of The Devil’ is as good as horror gets.
So that’s our list of the top 10 underrated horror movies currently available on Netflix streaming. Make sure to add them to your queue!
Agree with our choices? Have some unsung gems you’d like to bring attention to? Tell us in the comments.