Five horror movies to stream now

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One of my favorite horror movies of 2021 was this one deeply moving and brazenly violent drama, written and directed by Jonathan Cuartas, about a young and frail blood drinker and his siblings who care for them. Cuartas said he was inspired by the own difficult experience take care of his grandmother at the hospice; the pain of that time shines through in her deep and empathetic film about mercy and what it means to be blood-bound.

Dwight (Patrick Fugit) spends nights luring loners and outcasts to death on behalf of his housebound brother, Thomas (Owen Campbell), who needs fresh human blood to survive. Their sister Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram) juggles her work as a waitress and her responsibility to keep the secret of the united family a secret. As Thomas longs to leave home and make friends, his thirst for blood begins to overwhelm the family and the consequences threaten to tear the siblings apart.

Cuartas does something clever with his film: he never uses the word vampire, and the characters struggle with emotions around sacrifice, sadness, and resentment – not what usually motivates a vampire tale. Instead, the director and his brother Michael Cuartas, the man behind the film’s grisly cinematography, turn our expectations upside down and in turn deliver a heartbreaking and brutal film that will break your heart.

A young mother (Najarra Townsend) drives down a desolate highway on a dark night as a thunderstorm approaches, her daughter asleep in the back seat. In a gas station, she agrees to drive a young woman (Leah Lauren) whom she meets in the bathroom. They don’t get far before a creature throws itself in front of the car, and they discover that a doll has replaced the sleeping child. As the women try to figure out what lies behind these bizarre events, they discover that their meeting was no accident.

This propulsive and frightening Writer-director Eduardo Rodriguez’s thriller is more than just a monster movie – it’s a poignant exploration of the limits of compassion and what it means to be a parent through trauma. For a low budget movie that is mostly set in a car at night, that also sounds like a million bucks. Credit goes to production designer Jason Fijal, who has a knack for realistic oozes and splashes, and cinematographer John De Fazio, who makes almost any shot look artfully sinister.

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Struggling to succeed as an actress, Laura (Lorelei Linklater, daughter of director Richard Linklater) returns to her small hometown of Texas where her sister Winnie (Maddy-Lea Hendrix) disappeared 10 years ago on Halloween. There, she meets identical twin brothers Charlie, the sweet one who prefers nerdy cardigans, and Vincent, the scary one in black. (Kudos to writer-director Riley Cusick on a bizarre performance as twins.)

Now earning a living as the owners of a haunted attraction, the brothers know what happened to Winnie that night, but they kept the tragic event to themselves. That’s until Vincent, a hothead obsessed with an owl mask, decides the secret has been buried long enough.

What kept me stuck to this strange movie were the shocking moments in which the death came quickly and unexpectedly, like when a guy gets stabbed at his surprise birthday party. Those and other moments that come out of nowhere are what give the film the jolts of terror, which it needs to balance even the most sleepy scenes. Carson Bailie’s cinematography is a strange companion of strangeness.

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Have you ever woken up naked in bed with a stranger wondering, “Who are you?” In this scary thriller from Spain, this is what happens to David (Pablo Derqui) and Sara (Marina Gatell), except they don’t wake up next to each other – they wake up sewn up. together at the level of the abdomen. And they have no idea where they are or how they literally came together.

It’s good that this movie is 70 minutes long, because there’s no denying that this macabre and cute marriage of Brian De Palma’s pastiche and “The Human Centipede” is a one-ride pony. (That would be one hell of a play.) But director Mar Targarona keeps the tensions high and takes her time pacing the many revelations, making it a dynamic and engaging, even melodramatic, exploration of a relationship that really it hurts.

Jim (Gerald Chew) did something stupid at work and was fired from his job as an engineer in Singapore. He keeps news of his wife and daughter for months, and to earn money he starts driving for a rideshare company.

One night, he drives a young man who tells him the story of a monster which terrorizes a village. The timing of the story is odd, given that Jim sees gruesome figures and hears evil whispers since losing his job. As Jim’s job prospects crumble, he has flashbacks to a playground incident with his sister who still tortures him even at age 50. Soon his personal demons turn into real angry demons.

This soapy horror thriller Writer-directors Goh Ming Siu and Scott C. Hillyard saves the best scares for the final 20 minutes, so be patient with his blunt “Death of a Salesman” -type message about the destruction of a family man. (The horror might have landed better if Jim had been played by a more naturalistic actor than Chew.) The final scene is a scary doozy.


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