netflix + chills

I just have to start by saying this: I LOVE Halloween. Once the summer ends, Halloween is the carrot dangling from the long, bloody stick getting me through dwindling hours of sunlight of September and October. I love everything about it. Costumes, pumpkins, The Monster Mash, candy, all things spooky and scary. There’s no better way to spend a chilly October night than turning on a scary movie, killing the lights, lighting some candles and cozying up with a warm spiced cider. Scrolling through Netflix searching for the perfect horror movie can be a buzzkill, so here are my favorite recent scary movies streaming right now:

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5. The Houses October Built (2014)

Director: Bobby Roe

Starring: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Jeff Larson

Every October, haunted house attractions pop up across the country. The Houses October Built focuses on a group of friends in an RV making a documentary determined to find THE scariest house in all of the good ol’ US of A. What they find is an underground world of haunts that goes far beyond the fake blood and creepy masks. Sometimes you don’t just go to the haunt. It comes to you.

I tend to not always love found footage movies, but I found THOB to be a very creepy movie. The cast is likable and believable as friends and I really enjoyed the chemistry they had with each other. I’ve always been fascinated by haunted houses and have heard about “underground” haunted houses that are so intense I can’t believe they are legal (getting kidnapped, waterboarded and essentially tortured?! I’m good, thanks). The Houses October Built is about the closest I’ll be getting to one.

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4. House of the Devil (2009)

Director: Ti West

Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Greta Gerwig, Tim Noonan

Broke college student Samantha takes a mysterious babysitting job during a lunar eclpise in the hopes of earning some extra cash to move into a new apartment. When she arrives, she is told there are no actual children to watch (RED FLAG) but she is asked to watch the couple’s ailing mother. She initially turns it down, but is eventually lured by the very tempting amount of $400. After discovering a terrifying secret, Samantha realizes she made a huge mistake.

Specifically shot of 16MM film that would give it a very retro look, House of the Devil combines several horror genres, including slasher, haunted house and devil worshiping. HOTD made me nostalgic for scary movies my girlfriends and I would rent from Blockbuster (RIP) for our Friday night slumber parties as kids. It would fit right into the line up of The Slumber Party Massacre, Sleepaway Camp and Prom Night, and right before you broke out the Ouijia board and stuck the first girl asleep’s hand in warm water.

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3. Creep (2014)

Director: Patrick Brice

Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass

Josef is a very CREEPy (sorry-couldn’t help myself) dude who hires a videographer named Aaron off Craigslist to film him because he is dying and wants to leave behind the video as a token for his unborn child. Sad and kind of sweet right? WRONG. This movie is proof that when answering any ad off of Craigslist you can be communicating with a total lunatic. Don’t do it.

Creep was a movie I stumbled on after one of those nights after scrolling through Netflix for close to an hour, which is just about when I start to lose my patience. I came across scary and Mark Duplass and I was sold. And rightfully so, because now it’s listed on just about every “Best Scary Movie” list.

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2. The Babadook (2014)

Director: Jennifer Kent

Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall

This Australian flick centers on a recent widow and her troubled son, 6 year old Samuel. Amelia is asked by Samuel to read a mysterious popup book found on his shelf, entitled Mr. Babadook. Samuel becomes convinced the Babadook is following them and their lives begin to spiral out of control, leading the family into utter chaos and turmoil.

Creepy kids have long been synonymous with horror movies (The Shining, Poltergeist, The Omen, The Ring…stop me because I can keep going) but the Babadook  a genuinely frightening movie that has earned its place in the Creepy Kid Hall of Fame.

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  1. You’re Next (2011)

Director: Adam Wingard

Starring: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn

Erin joins her boyfriend for his family reunion at their vacation home in the country.What follows is chaos caused ax wielding maniacs trapping them in the middle of the woods as one by one the family is picked off by masked maniacs.

If you thought your in-laws were bad, they look like the Brady Bunch next to the Davisons. You’re Next is a bloody, gory, raucous romp with one of the best twists I’ve seen in horror in quite awhile. 

What are some of your favorite scary movie picks?

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