First things first: I’ve loved scary movies since I was a kid. That’s probably because I’ve also loved scary books since I was a kid. I was that weirdo who got excited when I found an extremely old paperback edition of Agatha Christie’s 13 At Dinner at a church rummage sale and bought it for a dime.
The thing is, the scariest movies usually aren’t slasher movies. (Obviously, that’s entirely my opinion, and it’s as subjective as any other opinion out there.)
Films loaded with jump scares (GTFO random plot waypoint cat) and blatantly manipulative music stabs are just irritating. If you feel the same, you’re going to love this list.
With that in mind, on this #FridayFreeForAll, I’m presenting some of my favorite underrated scary movies of recent time. (I’m not posting trailers because I don’t want to spoil anything. Watch them at your own risk. I’d suggest just watching these on Netflix without checking the trailers first, but that’s a personal preference.)
Four Scary Movies to Stream This Weekend
It Follows (2014)
Starring: Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Keir Gilchrist
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
This movie is beautifully shot, and made with an understanding of and love for Detroit that shows. While Mitchell went to extraordinary lengths to make this a creation out of time, and seemingly just to the side of our own universe, it’s a movie that couldn’t have been made anywhere else. The score composed by Disasterpeace is an integral part of this film, the way that good scores should be.
What’s most refreshing of all is that you might think you know what kind of horror film this is going to be. The good news is, you don’t–even if you’re extremely familiar with the tropes of the genre. Pop some corn, sit back, and enjoy.
Train to Busan (2016)
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Su-an, Jung Yu-mi
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho
If you’ve been suffering from zombie overload, this is the movie for you. A great movie can take an old subject and make it feel new again, and that’s exactly what happens here. There’s an American remake coming, so you should definitely see the original ASAP.
Starring: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Ah, the fiction writing life. You hole up in some cozy, secluded place, away from all the cares of the world. You bring your laptop, some food, and maybe also some research materials. Oh, and you’ve also been deaf your entire life, but you definitely don’t let that impede you in any way.
And then some crazed stalker shows up to ruin your writing plans AND your life.
Watch what happens next! This director also brought us Oculus, which is another personal favorite of mine. While I’ll say that was the superior film of the two, this is also definitely worth your time–especially if you’re in a dark, secluded house on your own for the weekend.
Starring: Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru
Directed by Gerard Johnstone
Both horror films and comedy films have their own specific challenges to overcome. Making a good horror-comedy is at least twice as difficult as either genre alone. Amazingly, this film delivers on both counts. If you live for dark comedies and also love a well-executed horror film, I’m not sure why you haven’t seen this already.
You should remedy that right now. Add this to your queue immediately.
All four of these films are currently streaming on Netflix (US). If they aren’t streaming in your area, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update this post accordingly. I definitely suggest watching them another way if you can; they’re all worth your time!
What scary movies have you loved in the past few years? My list never seems to grow any shorter, no matter how many films I watch. Hey, there are worse problems to have. 😉