Put some spook in your step: Netflix’s best horror movies

Photo courtesy of https://www.imdb.com

Photo courtesy of https://www.imdb.com

With Halloween just around the corner, what better way to get into the spooky spirit than by binge-watching horror movies? Netflix offers a wide variety of cult classics, as well as independent horror films. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to watch first. The Hullabaloo has compiled a list of some of the best (and scariest) horror movies on Netflix to help give you something to be scared of — other than midterms, that is.

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Oculus — Directed by Mike Flanagan, written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (2013)

The movie opens with Kaylie Russell (Karen Gillan) picking up her younger brother Tim (Brenton Thwaites), who has just been released from a psychiatric institution after 11 years. After reconnecting briefly, Kaylie makes known to Tim her intentions of acquiring an antique mirror, which had previously been owned by their family. It soon becomes clear to Tim as well as the audience that Kaylie is obsessed with this mirror and the circumstances surrounding her parents’ death, as she attempts to prove, once and for all, that the mirror is possessed by supernatural forces. We learn the characters’ backstories and motivations through a series of flashbacks woven seamlessly throughout the main plot. This non-linear form of storytelling, coupled with the mirror’s ability to trick the characters’ perceptions of reality and manipulate their actions without them knowing, will leave you questioning what’s real.

Gerald’s Game — Directed by Mike Flanagan, written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (2017)

Based on the novel by Stephen King, this Netflix Original tells the story of a romantic getaway gone wrong. With the hope of reigniting the spark of their marriage, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her husband, Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), decide to spend a few days alone in a remote cabin in the woods. But things take a drastic turn for the worse after Gerald suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed. The style of filming and pacing are similar to that of “Oculus”, however, “Gerald’s Game” abandons the paranormal in favor of more realistic fears. As Jessie begins to hallucinate due to starvation and dehydration, she is forced to face her inner demons in order to see if she has what it takes to survive.

The Witch — Directed and written by Robert Eggers (2015)

Set in New England during the 1600s, “The Witch” centers on the lives and misfortunes of a family living on the edge of a secluded forest following their banishment from the nearby village due to their radical religious beliefs. After their newborn baby mysteriously disappears from his crib while under the care of older sister Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), William (Ralph Ineson) becomes obsessed with hunting down the animal he believes responsible for his child’s disappearance. Meanwhile, his wife, Katherine (Kate Dickie), is convinced that Thomasin is a witch and blames her not only for the death of baby Samuel, but also for many of the hardships the family faces throughout the movie, such as the disappearance of her other brother, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), who returns home with an a devastating illness. While this movie deals heavily with the concept of supernatural forces, the primary means of suspense comes from the way in which both the characters’ imaginations are allowed to run wild, leading to delusions which inevitably result in violent ends.

Veronica — Directed by Paco Plaza, written by Paco Plaza and Fernando Navarro (2017)

The No. 1 rule in any horror movie: don’t mess with the Ouija board. Set in Madrid, Spain during 1991 and based on real events, “Veronica” follows a teenage girl (Sandra Escacena) who attempts to contact her late father by having a seance with her friends during a solar eclipse. Needless to say, things don’t go well. Though cliché at times, “Veronica” is definitely worth watching — if you can make it to the end. According to Netflix statistics, most viewers cannot make it through the entire film. As far as jump scares go, this movie is hardly on the level of “Insidious” or “The Conjuring;” however, creepy moments throughout the film are sure to set your spine tingling. Though watching this movie with the lights out is highly recommended, it might be a good idea to watch with a friend.

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