We can’t think of anything scarier than midterms or all-night study sessions that leave you feeling like an actual zombie. However, Netflix is on point with the horror flicks this Halloween season ⎯ so why not take a break from studying yourself into a downward spiral and get your scare on? Take a sec to check out four of these spooky selections now streaming on Netflix. Don’t worry, we slept with the light on too.
Though this 2016 home invasion thriller follows the typical cat-and-mouse storyline found in most run-of-the-mill slasher flicks, it serves as a paragon of heart-pounding suspense in an otherwise predictable genre. Familiar without being trite, the plot serves up plenty of gore and jump-inducing scares without being campy or contrived. One of the biggest twists? The victim, a writer who has sought solitude in a secluded cabin in the woods, is deaf and mute. When a masked stranger shows up at her window, she must rely on wit and bravery to fight for survival in silence, upping the ante in an already terrifying scenario. The film periodically switches to the protagonist’s point of view, leaving the audience to experience the series of events with no sound, a technique that is as innovative and effortless as it is eerie. The otherwise subtly spooky soundtrack makes for a solid slice of nuanced suspense. The film has a healthy mix of your typical “Oh shit, he’s around the corner!” scares with deeper “What would I do in this situation?” moments. If its impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.5 stars on Netflix doesn’t sell you, taking a gander at the trailer will surely leave you on the edge of your seat (and possibly hiding under it.)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Netflix says it’s: violent, suspenseful, scary
College Times says it’s: 4.5/5
If it’s one thing I can appreciate in a horror movie, it’s a good twist. The whole haunted house ghost story plot is a bit played out, but halfway through the movie, when your mind feels like it’s being stretched in ten different directions and you realize your hand has been clasped over your gaping mouth for the past five minutes, you know you’ve come across a real gem. The film is set in England in the early 1920s, so it will also appeal to old-fashioned film buffs. I can’t say I’m partial to period pieces, but it definitely added to the eeriness of the plot. The film chronicles Florence Cathcart, a supernatural skeptic, who is called to a haunted boarding school after a series of ghost sightings. The movie is like a rollercoaster in that it takes forever to get to the good stuff, but it eventually offers an almost three-dimensional cinematic experience, taking the viewer on a series of unexpected twists and turns. I don’t know about you, but I like to take the straight-no-chaser approach when it comes to scary movies. If I’m not shaking in my boots in the first 20 minutes, I get bored. This movie was an exception to that rule. The film does an excellent job of building suspense without the audience even realizing it. Though it starts out slow, the ending is like a fear-filled fever dream that may not keep you up at night, but leaves your mind seriously bended.
Director: Nick Murphy
Netflix says it’s: chilling, suspenseful, scary, ominous
College Times says it’s: 4/5
Last Shift seamlessly blends the supernatural and psychological thriller genre and turns a seemingly simple plot into a complex mind game. The movie takes place over the course of one night in a shuttered police station where a rookie cop’s first assignment is to stand guard and forward phone calls to the new station. Plot twist: a bunch of creepy, paranormal stuff ensues. All joking aside, there is a nightmarish, nail-biting twist at the end that left my knuckles white and mouth agape. As previously mentioned, it seems as though it’s all been said and done when it comes to horror movies, but this one threw me for a serious loop. I tend to be that annoying person that tries to predict when scary movies take a sharp turn, and I did not see this one coming.
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Netflix says it’s: scary, ominous, suspenseful
College Times says it’s: 5/5
In his directorial debut, Dan Gilroy has produced a thought-provoking thriller that scared the socks off of audiences in 2014. The shock and suspense continues on the small screen. You won’t find ghosts or vampires, but it deserves a spot on this list for the sheer ingenuity and eeriness factor. Although it’s not categorized as a horror movie per se, it will still leave you looking over your shoulder or perched on the edge of your seat. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays a young criminal who becomes a crime reporter (trippy, huh?) whose passion for the payout turns seriously sinister. Gyllenhaal’s performance as a camera-slinging sociopath combined with the twisted turn of events that play out throughout the movie make it a must-see.
Director: Dan Gilroy
Netflix says it’s: dark, gritty
College Times says it’s: 4/5