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Friday, October 31, 2014

Now Screaming on Netflix Instant

Last Fourth of July, we here at Geek Rex decided to help you find a great movie to watch with friends by suggesting some fantastic, holiday-appropriate films you could easily stream online. And what holiday, my friends, lends itself better towards turning off all the lights, sitting down with a friend or two, and turning on a movie than Halloween?

We've been going over some of our favorite horror movies of all time in a series of articles, but not all of those are easily available streaming - though that doesn't mean you shouldn't hunt them all down, of course! So, with that said, here are some excellent horror films to sit down with this Halloween weekend.

You're Next (2013)
Directed by Adam Wingard

The 'home invasion' horror movie isn't a genre with a lot of classics on its list, but this fun, crowd-pleasing entry is fantastic with a group of friends. Erin is attending her boyfriend Crispin's family reunion out in a remote mansion (... this isn't the last 'remote mansion' on this list) when proceedings are rudely interrupted  by a group of masked murderers hunting down the family members one by one. They thought this would be an easy kill, but Erin is, it turns out, the daughter of Outback Survivalists, and she has a trick or two up her sleeves. You're Next is a ton of fun, but it's also a great inversion of horror's 'Final Girl' trope, giving us a character who plans for the worst and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty in a fight.

Absentia (2011)
Directed by Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan's 2011 indie horror Absentia has something few other modern horror movies have: A sense of subtlety. Tricia's husband vanished 7 years ago, and she is finally ready to have him declared dead in absentia, without a body. But after an eerie encounter with a man in a tunnel, things start to get weird in her life... and then her husband shows up, bloody and bare-foot, at her door. Flanagan's story is creepy before then, but as he quietly builds a background mythology into where Daniel disappeared to, the supernatural ramps up in creepy, unexpected ways. To say too much would spoil what is a surprisingly thoughtful little horror film, but I can definitely recommend it.

Directed by Ti West

Ti West made his name with this moody, slow-burn horror movie that plays on the 'Satanic Panic' films of the early 1980s. College student Samantha needs some extra cash to pay the security deposit on an apartment she badly wants, which prompts her to take a babysitting job in a remote mansion. West plays with our expectations expertly, building tension slowly but surely and never giving us the comfort of a jump scare to dissipate it. And if you liked that, check you can follow it up with West's next two features, 2011's ghost story The Innkeepers and 2014's killer cult flick The Sacrament

Directed by Charles B. Pierce

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is an undeniably sloppy film, but it's also an odd, fun, fascinating one, a horror movie that is part Zodiac, part Halloween. The movie, ostensibly based on a true story, takes place in Texarkana, a town on the border between Texas and Arkansas, and it tracks a series of brutal serial murders that rocked the town in the late 1940s. Like Zodiac, the bulk of the film is about the town's police trying to hunt down this killer; like the slasher flicks that would follow, the film get its illicit thrills watching a masked madman chase down and try to kill nubile young teenagers. The Town That Dreaded Sundown has a weird, goofy comedic streak that doesn't really fit, but it's still an interesting film... and one that is getting a highly-praised remake this year.

Directed by Roman Polanski

Rosemary's Baby is one of the best horror movies ever made. Rosemary and her husband move into a new apartment together. They make friends with the kindly old neighbors, her husband's career starts moving forward, and after a nightmarish evening being raped by Satan, Rosemary finds herself pregnant. But was she really offered up to the devil? Or is it just the stress of a new place, pregnancy, etc... making her imagine things, as she is constantly reassured by every man around her. Rosemary's Baby is gorgeous, creepy, and thoughtful, the kind of horror movie that doesn't make you jump, but sticks in the back of your head for days after viewing.
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