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“10 Streaming Horror Movies to Get You Through These Troubled Times”
(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)
Matt: A few days ago, Chris and I decided this week’s theme should be “feel good” horror movies because we can all use some hope and empowerment. Simpler times when our US government’s only failure was 2020’s pandemic response. At this very moment? I’m writing about horror movie recommendations while America is literally burning to the ground. “Now Scream This” feels especially trivial in the grand scheme, currently. Why watch a scary movie when the purest representation of horror is an unfit, tyrannical president posting on social media about killing protesters? Do you want to feel terrorized? Scroll through Twitter for about five minutes. Need a brief smile to combat, well, *gestures around*, all this? If only for a few blinks? We’ll do our best.
Chris: Things are bad, kids. I won’t go off into a rant about how utterly screwed-up everything seems right now, but if you haven’t realized that for yourself by now, you’re in denial. But we here at Now Scream This have a job to do, damn it, and we’re going to do it. Horror can often be therapeutic in times of distress – there are actually studies about this – and while the horror genre can often be bleak, it can also be hopeful. Or make you laugh. Or at the very least distract you from all of this *motions at literally everything*.
Blue My Mind
Now Streaming on Shudder and Tubi
Matt: A popular complaint amongst horror fans is the overall lack of werewolf content (quality werewolf content, at least), but you know what creature gets the shaft worse? Mermaids! The Lure is my constant go-to mermaid horror recommendation, but Blue My Mind deserves subgenre recognition. A companion to beastly coming-of-age flicks like When Animals Dream, mapping a young teen’s transformation into womanhood. “Blue My Mind’s liquid coming-of-self fluidity is a well-represented young girl’s experience with new feelings, unable to wrestle against changes far beyond her control,” I once wrote. I stand by those words. Find yourself, find self-assurance, and find peace within metamorphosis as emotional waves come crashing downward.
Chris: I haven’t seen this, but I have seen The Little Mermaid. Does that count?
The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh
Now Streaming on Shudder
Matt: “Matt, isn’t this a tremendous film about grief and loss?” Yes. A bazillion percent. The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh is about a son’s return home after his mother’s death, and what he discovers in her absence. Why is this inspirational or uplifting? Rue Morgue founder Rodrigo Gudiño writes and directs a beautiful rumination on two intersecting lives from the afterlife and beyond. Rosalind’s narration plays atop her son’s “journey,” making for a storytelling choice that, for my money, plays aces in terms of “supernatural” reinvention. I’ve loved this movie ever since journalist-turned-filmmaker Brad McHargue brought it to my little podcast, Certified Forgotten, for a deep-dive episode neither myself nor co-host Matthew Monagle (/Film local) were ready to grapple. That, right there, is the payoff.
Chris: I love this little-seen movie. It’s simple, it never leaves one location, and yet it packs a punch.
Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Now Streaming on Netflix
Matt: Whenever I call upon horror to plaster a big stupid grin across my face, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is my go-to. Two yokels who want to spruce-up and enjoy their “vacation” home are mistaken for slasher killers by college-type partiers. Flip the script, convince the “not killers” a suicide cult is targeting them because bodies keep piling up as the young adults keep “offing themselves” in brutal ways. The biggest of misunderstandings, but justice is served when Tucker and Dale prove themselves the heroes – no antagonists. It’s a story about how jumping to stereotypes might not be the best course of action. Also, how easy it is to launch yourself into a woodchipper. Be safe out there, readers.
Chris: Why haven’t they made at least five sequels to this by now? Such a treat.
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime
Matt: A post-apocalyptic superhero joint that plays like a Saturday Morning cartoon got an “M for Mature” makeover? Turbo Kid is all that and a bag of chips, with phasers set to “gory dispatches.” Oh, sorry. That’s not the hopeful and sweet part. For that feeling, I look towards “The Kid” and Apple’s relationship development as they traverse “The Wasteland,” facing off against BMX bandits who shoot buzzsaws from cannons. Did I mention there’s an arm-wrestling cowboy? Thunderdome battles? Heroic undertones as “The Kid” overthrows the Mad-Max-adjacent tyranny of a cruel, egotistical leader who will stop at nothing to service himself over the Wasteland? In the end, “Zeus” gets what’s coming (an incinerating explosion). Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded how the bad guys always eventually lose.
Chris: A tribute to those movies of the past where the year 1999 was portrayed as an apocalyptic wasteland, Turbo Kid has heart and a can-do attitude that’s endearing.
Now Streaming on Hulu/Amazon Prime
Matt: I know this is an unpopular “In Defense Of,” but Hell Baby cracks me up like a fool. It’s Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon’s offspring all the way, which is how they’re able to assemble a bang-up cast of comedians to emphasize the “comedy” aspect of this horror comedy. Kumail Nanjiani plays a stoned character who drives away “without acting suspicious,” which might stand as the funniest long-form comedy I’ve seen since Hell Baby’s release. It’s a happy ending because the demon-child gets electrocuted and then explodes, I promise. It’s also my brand of Reno 911 humor, so proceed with caution. Love what makes you happy. Every day is a privilege.
Chris: Oh hell, baby, I haven’t seen this either.
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