Ghosts and goblins, witches and vampires, and all the things that go bump in the night. It is one of the greatest times of the year, where we all huddle under a blanket on a dark, stormy night, watching our favorite slasher and monster movies. Today, we will look at 5 movies on Netflix that will have you checking around every corner and jumping at any sound.
5. The Ritual
The winner of the British Independent Film Award in 2017, The Ritual follows a group of college friends who try to reconnect following the death of one of their own by going on a hiking trip to Sweden. When an injury forces them to go off the beaten path and into the foreboding forest things start to get really tense. Going deeper and deeper into the forest they stumble upon ghoulish figures and signs, allowing the audience to watch in growing horror to conjure up in their minds what is really in the forest.
The Ritual walks a fine line between the crumbling bond among the friends and the ever-present danger of the supernatural. Relationships are strained as the psychological and physical danger marches closer and closer. This puts the audience in an uneasy position, as the danger perceived by the characters and the danger perceived by the audience begin to merge.
The film uncovers the frailty of the human spirit and slams you in the face with the unimaginable horror of The Ritual.
4. Raw (Grave)
A French film (subtitles are needed for this one) about the coming-of-age story of a young woman, Justine, who is going to veterinary school. The classic transformation from child-hood into adult-hood takes on a terrifying twist, as this young girl is not just coming into her woman-hood, but also into her full being as a cannibal. That’s right. Cannibal.
Growing up as a vegan, Justine has to undergo a hazing ritual for incoming students. The act of consuming raw rabbit flesh. While this alone is hard to watch, the grotesque scenes only get more and more horrible. Filled with body-mutilation and cannibalistic moments, Raw will take you on a ride like no other. Watching as Justine discovers her taste for human flesh, and battling that urge alongside her sister.
Raw is full to the brim with uncomfortable moments that caused many film festival moviegoers to faint from the sight. This one will have you wishing to pry your eyes away, but being unable to do so. Just a tip, no finger foods for this one.
Taking on the fear of clowns, Terrifier delivers a brutal and terrifying slasher. Taking place after a massacre by Art the Clown, the audience is dropped in on an interview of the only surviving victim from the chaos. It is then revealed that Art the Clown is watching the interview and is enraged, putting on his makeup and grabbing a bag of weapons to go out on the town for another massacre.
Following a group of three friends, Terrifier has a superb combination of uneasy moments and in-your-face slaughter. From watching the girls flirt with the clown to seeing decapitated heads, this ride holds nothing back. This one is for those of you who enjoy a classic slasher over the slow build of a paranormal movie. No one is safe when they get in the path of maniacal Art the Clown.
2. Truth or Dare (2017)
As this is a Netflix list, only the titles currently found on Netflix make the cut, so don’t confuse this 2017 ‘Truth or Dare’ with the 2018 Blumhouse Productions’ film of the same name. While Blumhouse has become synonymous with “horror”, this 2017 ‘Truth or Dare’ from Cinetel Films is far from a kid’s game.
When eight college friends get together at a “haunted rental” for their annual Halloween tradition in a sleepy town, things go from bad to worse, and fast. The house they stay at is infamous for a game of truth or dare in which all but one of the participants had died, but left the survivor scarred and mutilated. The new crop of friends, having taken in more than their fair share of vodka, decide it’ll be great Halloween fun to start their own game of truth or dare.
Right off the bat, the first truth threatens to tear the group apart. The subsequent dare sets the bar high for what the group is in for, as one of them must set their hand on a hot stove. The group is locked in for three rounds of increasingly difficult and life-threatening dares when they learn whatever dark thing is in the house is forcing them to complete the game. They learn quickly that if you don’t do the dare, the dare does you.
1. The Witch
The Witch takes place in 1630s New England, as a family that has isolated itself near a dark forest is ravaged by the forces of black magic, witchcraft, and possession. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as a young girl, Thomasin, who is blamed by her mother for losing their baby to a wolf. The family dynamics are strained further and further as witchcraft employs dark powers against the family. The audience is left guessing at every turn what is about to happen, what is real or not real, what is possible and impossible.
The whole cast of characters add interesting depth to the film. A father trying to protect and provide for his family, dealing with a failing crop. A distraught mother mourning the loss of her baby. A young girl trying to understand what is going on, not believing she is to blame. A boy who wants to step up and be a man to help his family. And two young children who may be just a bit too obsessed with the black billy-goat, Black Phillip.
Thomasin frightens her younger sister, who is blaming Thomasin for losing the baby, by claiming to be a witch and threatening to cast a spell on her if she tells their parents. When strange things being to happen, Thomasin must wrestle with her family’s accusations of being a witch. This one is a slow burn that will leave you feeling as lost and isolated as the family.
Now that you have some ideas, grab a blanket, turn down the lights, and get your scared on!
If you have any suggestions for a scary movie night-in comment below and share with your friends!