A NETFLIX HALLOWEEN FOR 2013
(Posted: 31 October 2013)

Film Bizarro wanted to make another list this year to help celebrate Halloween but we wanted to keep it simple. Since most people have Netflix these days (or a similar VOD service) we decided to sit down and go through the titles that Netflix (US) has available, currently, through their On-Demand catalog. We picked a total of 20 movies that we thought could make today just a little bit more fun.


THE WOLF MAN (1941)
Director: George Waggner

We'd be assholes if we didn't include a Universal horror on here, wouldn't we? As we said last year too, it's an obvious pick but it needs to be here for a reason! To be honest, either of the classics would fit right in here, but "The Wolf Man" always stood out to me. It's just really gripping, and you might find that you actually care more about the characters than seeing the wolf man - something very rare in a werewolf movie. I don't think I need to force feed you my opinion on this, but here it is as a reminder of its tragedy, atmosphere and Lon Chaney Jr.'s wonderful performance.

MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (2012)
Director: Eric Walter

Maybe true ghost stories are more of your thing when it comes to Halloween. While it's hard to say what's true and what's not when it comes to the infamous "Amityville Horror" case (depending on what you personally believe), but the documentary "My Amityville Horror" takes a look at the story from the perspective of Daniel Lutz. The oldest boy of the Lutz family and someone who sheds some new light on the case that could spook you more than any horror movie could, with previously unknown "facts" and personal stories.
ED GEIN (2000)
Director: Chuck Parello

It's easy for the everyman to forget that many of the classic horror movies such as "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Psycho" were based on a real person. As you know, that person is Ed Gein. This movie, which is also known as "In the Lught of the Moon", is one of my favorite depictions of his life because it's not really a horror movie. It's a drama from his point of view, where the horror is more from what he did as a person than what we actually see. Not to mention Steve Railsback as the title character is surely worth a watch. Not your traditional Halloween watch, but maybe it would be a great opening title before venturing into one of the many titles he "inspired"?
GHOULIES 2 (1988)
Director: Albert Band

Just when you thought it was safe to take a dump…"Ghoulies 2" may not be scary -- probably doesn't even qualify as "good" -- but it's another horror movie that features just the right amount of ridiculousness and cheese. It's an enjoyable experience of watching toilet demons terrorize a carnival. From minor things, like glueing two teens together, who are in the middle of making out, with snot. Or eating a clown that's fallen into a dunk tank. Yes, break out the beer and pizza, or the soda and popcorn, for this complete and total ham fest.
DEMON KNIGHT (1995)
Director: Ernest R. Dickerson

"Tales from the Crypt" had a very successful TV run, obviously, but some people might have missed that they also made two movies. Enter "Demon Knight", a movie with packed with all the demonic essentials. And Billy Zane as their wacko leader! This plays like an episode from the show, so you kind of know what to expect. It's a gothic demon horror that is just pure entertainment and filled with great demon make-up, one-liners and boobies! If you liked the last half of "From Dusk till Dawn", then this might definitely be up your alley.
FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982)
Director: Allan Holzman

Recycled footage from other movies? Yep. Reused sets and costumes? Of course. Gore and nudity in replacement of a decent story and a good movie? You bet! You can't have a celebration and not invite Roger Corman to the party. "Forbidden World" is one of Corman's many, many "Alien" knock-offs -- another one is "The Terror Within" which is also available on Netflix -- but is a great piece of exploitive schlocky-horror that features all the Corman trademarks. It won't scare you much but man oh man is it a trashy good time.
FASCINATION (1979)
Director: Jean Rollin

Halloween can be sexy, right? And so can vampires, am I right? If you think vampire flicks are sexy but haven't seen a Jean Rollin title, then you might realize here and now that he was the king of erotic vampires. Even if he rarely got it right as a horror movie, they should be seen and "Fascination" is one of his top titles. It's much more erotic and entertaining than many movies attempting the same thing - twisting the vampire lore - and would work as a good entrance to his work.
A BAY OF BLOOD (1971)
Director: Mario Bava

Noted as one of the films that founded the slasher genre, Mario Bava's gore soaked giallo is a great film that merges Italian thrillers with American horror. There are a few other Mario Bava and Italian horror films available on Netflix, but this might be the most enjoyable one of the lot for Halloween. It can also serve as a great introduction to Italian cinema that doesn't suffer from the cheese factor that others do, and because it's still just as good and nasty as it was when it was originally released.
HOUSE (1986)
Director: Steve Miner

The '80s was filled with comedic horror movies, but I think few of them made better use of the comedy by making it really bizarre and funny as "House". It's all over the place and never settles down, and I think that's exactly why it's a Halloween movie. When you think about it, this movie is kind of like a haunted house attraction coming to life, so maybe after you've been out trick or treating and you're tired of screwing about, you're ready to step right into this house of horror.
ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1988)
Director: James Signorelli

When picking movies for Halloween you are obviously going for one of two choices: scary or fun. "Elvira: Mistress of the Dark" is definitely the latter and it's impossible to have a Halloween celebration and not include the bodacious Cassandra Peterson as everyone's favorite horror hostess, Elvira. Her movie is as ridiculous and cheesy as the movies she use to host and it features clichés from other genres, besides horror, that adds to its cheesy charm. Just a good flick to turn on and have fun with.
FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (1973)
Director: Paul Morrissey

Without getting into the "who directed it!?" drama, the focus here should be the grotesque movie itself. Udo Kier as Baron Frankenstein, truly giving his all at it, is a sight to see on its own, but above all you can't skip out on the truly bizarre, trashy and tasteless things that happen in this take on Mary Shelley's story. When everything else has gone wrong for you, "Flesh For Frankenstein" is surely the right direction to take!
SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE (1986)
Director: Carol Frank

There aren't too many slasher classics on Netflix but you owe it to yourself to watch at least one of the slumber party favorites from the '80s. Horror movies about nubile young women being picked off by a killer maybe a joke these days, but that doesn't change the fact that there were some enjoyable slasher flicks back in the day. Most were legitimate attempts at horror, regardless of what pop culture says. "Sorority House Massacre" is one of those movies and it's better than what the title may lead you to believe.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (2007)
Director: Gregory Wilson

Have you had a lot of fun tonight? Many laughs? Well it's time to get depressed and terrorized with this adaption of the novel by Jack Ketchum. I'd rank "The Girl Next Door" as one of the more disturbing movies of quite a few years, and not due to being explicit. It's a really hard movie to get through because it makes you so angry. It's not far from reality and it's all about despicable people doing horrific things. Definitely a psychological terror worth spending Halloween night on. Unless you plan to feel good, because then you should scratch this one.
TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2010)
Director: Eli Craig

Shockingly, there are some people out there who don't like horror movies, even on Halloween. The weirdos! "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" is a comedy-horror that has enough laughs in it that it should be fun for everyone. At the very least, it's one of the more entertaining movies to come along that bucks the horror trend by poking fun of the genre while still remaining as a true-to-its-roots campy horror movie. It manages to be funny but without that horrible self-aware aftertaste that horror and non-horror fans can both appreciate.
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE (2006)
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Shinya Tsukamoto's first real venture into horror is literally a thing of nightmares. It gives us an intriguing story with real emotion, but also a highly intense and disturbing horror movie that oozes in your mind long after it ends. It's a dark, surreal and unique vision, and unfortunately it's a movie that is often missed in Tsukamoto's filmography. It's a joy to see that this is on Netflix because that might mean more people see it - and Halloween is an appropriate evening for it!
RESOLUTION (2012)
Director: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

We weren't sure about picking this title for another list since it was on Film Bizarro's Best of 2012 list but I (Preston) didn't get to see until this year and it is a phenomenal movie. An amazingly well made independent movie with great characters and good laughs, but the movie is unbelievably unsettling with it's creepy atmosphere and tense ending. If you're looking to watch a newer movie this season, then "Resolution" is a great place to start. Good luck looking out your window at night after you watch this movie. God help you if you hear a tapping sound.
LAST KIND WORDS (2012)
Director: Kevin Barker

It's late Halloween night. Everyone you care about have left, but you still have a ton of candy and booze left. You're ready to cry. You're ready for "Last Kind Words". Okay, it's not a movie that will move you to tears, but it's a really well-crafted ghost story that makes good use of romance and despair. Odds are that this might be one of the titles to best enjoy either by yourself or with a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife, rather than a bunch of drunk friends.
SESSION 9 (2001)
Director: Brad Anderson

Everyone loves a good haunted house on Halloween so why not watch a movie that uses a real world location -- an abandoned mental asylum known for paranormal activity -- as its primar set piece. "Session 9" is kind of a under the radar independent movie but one thick with atmosphere as it skirts between psychological and supernatural horror. The audio recordings used in the movie and the location will give you plenty to be creeped out by throughout the night, Doc.
THE FRIGHTNERS (1996)
Director: Peter Jackson

Halloween should be fun, a little twisted and scary. Peter Jackson's fantastic genre-mixer is therefor one of the perfect Halloween movies out there. It's one of few movies to actually manage to make me laugh while also have the power to have me on the edge of my seat towards the end. Where it has its clichés, it makes good use for them, and takes you on a roller coaster ghost ride. 
THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
Director: Sam Raimi

It is unlikely that you haven't seen this and we tried to avoid listing the typical "genre classics", but fuck it. It couldn't be helped with "The Evil Dead". Far from its comedic counterpart, "Evil Dead 2", the original movie is one of the ultimate horror titles for us at Film Bizarro. One that still remains genuinely creepy and scary because of the detail in things such as the sound design and Raimi's willingness to go beyond typical filmmaking boundaries. It's a movie that's always worth a revisit, especially on Halloween, and one that could be a real treat if you haven't seen it before.

So...There you have it. Watch. Enjoy. And Happy Halloween, everybody!




 

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