Saturday, 29 October 2016

Netflix Halloween

I have watched quite a few of the horror films on Netflix. Most of them are rubbish but here are some I can recommend (if not always unreservedly) should you want something spooky to watch over Halloween weekend.

30 Days of Night

One for the gore fans, 30 Days of Night sees a group of absolute bloodsucking bastards descend on an isolated Alaskan town as it bids goodbye to the sun for a month. Violent and impressively nasty, it's not for the squeamish but wrings effective scares from its nightmarish premise.

As Above, So Below

I normally dislike found footage films, and As Above, So Below commits many of the sub-genre's sins (cheap jump scares, making you wonder why the idiots keep filming), but wins points for going absolutely batshit mental in it's final 20 minutes. A group of urban explorers venture into the Parisian sewers looking for the plot and keep heading downwards until they reach possibly Hell itself. Not brilliant by any stretch but worth a look.

The Babadook

One of my favourite films (horror or otherwise) of the last few years and one of the best films on Netflix. A single mother and her odd son become haunted by the titular whatsit after reading the world's scariest bedtime story. Most of my favourite horror films don't scare me, but The Babadook had me hiding behind a cushion. Add two amazing central performances and a rich thematic depth exploring grief and bereavement and you have one truly astonishing film.

From Beyond

Another (very loose) HP Lovecraft adaptation by Reanimator director Stuart Gordon, with a scientist again messing with things Man Was Not Meant To Know. Instead simply bringing the dead back to life, this one involves all sorts of interdimensional nasties and stomach churning body horror. Laced with black humour and filled with dated but charming physical special effects, it's one to watch with a few beers in you.


A young woman is fitted with an electronic tag and sentenced to house arrest back at the family home. Unfortunately said home appears to be haunted. As much a comedy as a horror, Housebound features one of my favourite female protagonists of recent times; practical, world weary and not about take any shit from anyone, ghost or not.


Though it loses it badly towards the end by over-explaining the nature of it's big bad and climaxing in what looks like a mid-80s soft rock video, the first hour of Insidious is actually a great mainstream horror film. It has some effective and inventive scares including one jumpy moment that still sends shivers down my spine.

The Keep

An early curio from Michael Mann, this sees a bunch of German soldiers in WW2 coming up against a demonic entity in the titular castle. Genuinely odd and unsettling, it won't be for everyone but is worth a look if you're after something different.

Paranormal Activity

I intend to write a longer post about why I think the Paranormal Activity films squander their interesting premise, but suffice to say here at the first film is still an effective chiller. Number 3 is also surprisingly good, probably delivering the best scares of the series (oh god that bit with the bed sheet). Worth a look if you haven't watched it. Micah is a dick though.


Almost feels like a spoiler calling this one a horror, and the horror elements are pretty low on the list of what I like about it. A young American man, mourning his mother and having pissed off the local gangster, sods off to Italy where he meets a beguiling and gorgeous young woman. Obviously she's not what she seems, but the film doesn't take the obvious route at any point. Part naturalistic drama, part romance and part horror, Spring is an odd merging of genres but it makes it work. Also I didn't cry at the end. Nope. Definitely not.

What We Do In The Shadows

More comedy than horror, but has it's moments. A mockumentary about a group of vampires living in New Zealand (3 of these 10 are Antipodean btw, just felt it worth mentioning), it shows how they deal with modern life, vampire hunters and the local werewolf pack. Genuinely funny but with enough spookiness to satisfy your Halloween cravings.


  1. "The Keep" I saw on telly when I was a kid and probably shouldn't have been up so late watching telly. The few scenes I saw really burned into my brain. It's very interesting. I've backed a cloudfunding thing to make a documentary about this forgotten oddity/gem.

  2. Thanks man, this'll keep me going for a bit!