Netflix has become essential in most homes across the U.S. With their up-to-date blockbuster films and hit television series, as well as the inclusion of fan favorites, some consider the streaming service the better alternative to traditional cable. But Netflix’s partnership with Disney that allows streaming of movies like Black Panther and Beauty and the Beast, isn’t the only thing that’s heightened its popularity.
In recent years, Netflix has created their own lineup of critically acclaimed televisions series and films, such as Stranger Things and The Little Prince. Seeing their success, Netflix has only taken on bigger original projects, seeing continued partnerships with big-name franchises like Marvel.
As Netflix continues to grow their original content, some of their film genres, especially horror/thriller have added highly accredited stars and captivating stories.
With Halloween around the corner, here are some of Netflix’s must-watch horror/thrillers:
In this Stephen King adaption, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) plan a weekend getaway at a secluded lake house in efforts to spice-up their withering marriage. When they arrive, Gerald has an idea of a “game” to play to increase the sexual tension. After he ties Jessie to the bed and tells her to scream for help, enacting a stranger rape scene, she quickly becomes uncomfortable and demands Gerald unties her. As Gerald yells back that she doesn’t care about fixing their marriage, he suddenly dies of a heart attack — leaving Jessie restrained and alone with only her thoughts, or maybe not.
Gerald begins to speak to Jessie, but his dead body remains on the floor. He taunts her, telling her she is beginning to die of dehydration and exhaustion, as well as recounting some of the most painful parts of her life. Jessie must ignore the triggered and devastating memories of her past and remain calm and overcome what’s threatening her chances of survival more than anything — her mind.
Gerald’s Game was directed by acclaimed horror writer and director, Mike Flanagan.
BEFORE I WAKE
Most horror films play on typical human fears: the darkness, claustrophobia, death, supernatural beings, and so on, but Netflix’s Before I Wake does something different —delve into true human sadness.
Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) take in an eight-year-old foster boy named Cody. They soon learn that Cody is terrified of going to sleep at night (reminiscent of Nightmare on Elm Street). The couple assumes their new child’s resistance to sleep is simply due to his past unstable home life, but in actuality, it’s because his dreams manifest in reality. The family experiences the wonder of the boy’s imagination but at other times, are threatened by the horrors that unravel in Cody’s nightmares.
Director of Gerald’s Game, Oculus and Hush, Mike Flanagan, brings both his creative experience in directing and writing horror in Before I Wake. Flanagan uniquely crafts some of the most terrifying elements of the film rooted entirely in character, making them even more disturbing and realistic.
In recent years, beginning with AMC’s hit television show The Walking Dead, zombies have remerged in pop-culture. Movie lovers and comic book readers alike have yet again, taken to the idea of a global pandemic. So, in addition to adding The Walking Dead to their stream able television shows, Netflix attempted their own zombie film.
Critics raved about Netflix’s Cargo starring Martin Freeman as the lead, saying the film has evolved the zombie genre. Freeman’s character, Andy, is in for the fight of his life when an epidemic spread across all of Australia. With most of the population turned to zombies and food and other essential supplies scarce, Andy travels, fighting off zombies and his own newly proclaimed demons, in hopes of finding sanctuary for his young daughter.
Writer and co-director, Yolanda Ramke brings the gore, thrill and basic human trials all zombie-horror fans are sure to love in Cargo.
I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE
In I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House a soft-spoken hospice nurse named Lily (Ruth Wilson), is sent to care for an aging horror writer who suffers from dementia. Following her arrival at the secluded Blum mansion, Lily’s mind begins to wander after encountering a few freighting sights of shadowy figures and eerie-looking women. Playing on more than just creepy sounds and atmospheric freight, the Netflix original gives off a similar psychological and Yellow Wallpaper–eqsue, that creates a tension between the living and impending death.
In this Oz Perkins written and directed horror thriller, many prominent elements of the genre are approached with enticing detail. From artistic and dark visuals, classic horror sounds and well-rounded acting, the film is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, with booming pulsations, only guessing at what happens next.
In yet another Stephen King adaption, Netflix’s credibility in original films continues to skyrocket. The Zak Hilditch written and directed 1922 promotes similar themes from Edgar Allen Poe’s famous The Tell-Tale Heart, as a proud farmer (Thomas Jane) faces the guilt of killing his wife with the help of his reluctant son (Dylan Schmidt), to take over her inherited land.
After burying the body, strange incidents and seemingly supernatural occurrences unravel, leading the pair to wonder, is it simply guilt driven hallucinations or a sinister haunting?