We are all stuck indoors, so why not watch a bunch of scary movies. It's what I've been doing for the last couple of months, and I've curated a selection of lesser known recent movies you can stream on your home device. Just wear some spooky pajamas, order pizza with pepperoni shaped like a skull, and enjoy a frightening film fest.
Welcome to the Lockdown Fright Fest!
Come to Daddy
What do you do when your long-estranged father invites you to stay in his isolated cabin? And what do you do when he starts acting weird and hostile?
Elijah Wood's new career as a horror celebrity (Cooties, Maniac) continues with this twitchy gothic thriller. It's got some fun twists and he creates a fantastic perfomance as a ridiculous hipster with daddy issues. Once you figure out what's going on the movie loses a little bit of steam, but the opening is genuinely chilling.
A very well-timed addition to our film fest, this odd little Irish film is about an introverted scientist who tags along on a fishing boat as part of her research. They encounter a weird and previously unknown sea life that easily infects people and explodes out their eyes. The crew want to return home but she insists on quarantining themselves. Pressure rises from the impulsive, superstitious crew to return to land while the contagion streads.
People watching the spread of the quarantine and the outbreak of armed idiots storming government buildings will find a lot to sympathize with the poor scientist's struggle to keep things together in the midst of a very small armageddon.
It's not a horror film, but this hyperviolent yakuza love story reads like a shaggy dog romance between a shy boxer and a prostitute on the run from gangsters after she's unwittingly wrapped up in a drug deal gone sour.
Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) keeps the manic energy of his earlier work in this surprisingly sweet love story. Sure, a bunch of people get shot up and some bad guys get decapitated and a battle between the heads of the Yakuza and the Chinese Triads basically destroys a big department store, but the two kids at the center get a happy-ish ending.
Girl on the Third Floor
One of my favorite recent haunted house movies, this story has wrestler CM Punk as a man working to refurnish a house that was once a bordello. As the spirits of the place begin messing with him, we learn that he's the perfect person to be cursed by the spirits of the house of ill repute. An imaginative and entertaining horror flick with some unique scares.
A woman wakes up in a locked casket, escapes, and flees through a wilderness. Soon she realizes that other women are with her, and they're all being stalked by masked killers. They quickly realize that someone has created a very strange game, and saving their lives will require them to figure out the rules before the killers find them.
This Australian slasher film continues the country's tradition of hardcore horror with some of the nastiest kills I've ever seen put to film. It's kind of like The Hunger Games, but with people getting their faces peeled off.
This incredible zombie film is about an epidemic that Native Americans are immune. As the rest of the world collapses and the survivors huddle around Native-led encampments, the leaders struggle with a young angry man who want to punish the remianing survivors for the injustices of the past.
This has been one of my favorite zombie movies of the last few years. Made with a fantastic cast of Native American actors, it uses the zombie apocalypse as a way to subvert old and corrupted social orders. It's a great movie.
Man, Hollywood did Mark Patton wrong.
This documentary is about the star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, who was drummed out of the film industry at the brink of stardom for the homosexual undertones of the movie. The movie became a cult favorite for gay audiences who were looking for characters to identify with and it brought Patton out of hiding.
Patton's tale takes place in the era of the 1980s AIDS epidemic and his place in horror history reflects those tragic times. This documentary is the redemption story that Patton needs, where he finally gets to confront the screenwriters and directors who stood by while his career tanked. Check this fascinating film out.
We Summon the Darkness
The Satanic Panic of the 1980s has become a backdrop for some really fun horror films (Satanic Panic, House of the Devil) and this film fits into the subgenre. As satanic serial killers wipe out whole families, a trio of girls meet three dopey guys at a metal concert. They take the party back to the girl's house, where the Satanic serial killing spree reaches their front door.
This movie is just really funny. The twists and turns will take you by surprise and it's just a big splattery fun time.