Friday, October 31, 2014

Your queue: Halloween Netflix Recommendations

Happy Halloween, boys and girls!

And happy birthday, Heroine Jones!

A little over a year ago, I kicked off this bookish blog with a list of classics for Halloween, but a lot of good that list will do you today.  It's Halloween right now.  You don't have time for books!

But I bet you might watch something terrifying tonight.  And if you don't have something in mind, I'm here to help you out, boys and girls.

Jarrod has a soft spot in his heart for horror films, zombies, and anything Stephen King, and while I have come to enjoy Stephen King and most horror films are manageable with an unmentionable amount of wine, I have found that I really prefer psychological thrillers to classic horror films.  You know the real creepy ones that leave you feeling slightly ill?  The ones that went where you weren't ready to go?

That's what this list is about. I've put some movies I've streamed from Netflix recently on a creepy continuum, starting with the safest and ending with the weirdest things I've possibly ever seen.  These aren't the heart-pounding, armrest-gripping, involuntary-jumping scary movies.  These are the creepy ones that a lot of Netflix scary movie round-ups I've seen have forgotten.  And remember that creepy doesn't often coincide with Academy Awards, so buckle up.

Creepy Fun

The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)
I bet you've seen this movie already, but I'm here to remind you it's available on Netflix. Tim Burton is so good at making you feel a little uncomfortable without feeling like you can never be in a room alone again, and this is the kid version of that, so it's totally safe.  It's just some good family fun with wonderful music and a cute ghost dog.

Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton again with another melancholy kinda-dead girl hopelessly in love with a tall, skinny guy. There's also an arranged marriage gone morbidly wrong and some more fun musical numbers.

Creep Only a Cult Could Love

Donnie Darko (2001)
Cult classic. Troubled boy. Rogue airplane engine. Pills. Adult bunny costume. Last day of earth scheduled for Halloween. Kinda creepy but you'll be fine afterwards.

A Young Doctor's Notebook (2012)
A British miniseries with Daniel Radcliffe as a doctor in his residency in a small village hospital and Jon Hamm as the older morphine-addicted version of Radcliffe (that guy grew about a foot from his late 20s to his 40s! Remarkable!)  This is for people who are into dark British humor and comically gory surgery scenes.  Normally I wouldn't recommend this since I'm not sure if I ended up really liking it that much, but it could be a funny, gross 90-minute series to watch on Halloween.  (Has anyone seen this besides me?  I haven't heard anyone talk about it. What did you think of it?)

Creepy Mysteries 

The Paperboy (2012)
Not so much horror as suspense, this movie has Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Zac Efron, along with Matthew McConaughey in a role similar to his Mud character and set in swamp country like True Detective.  Kidman's character is in love with an incarcerated creep who was wrongly convicted for the murder of a sheriff.  Efron and McConaughey are brothers who get caught up in the case with a journalist friend.  Despite its great cast, The Paperboy did not get rave reviews across the board, but I found it interesting and definitely creepy.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Decades-old rapes, murders, and a disappearance mystery center around one unusual family in a small Swedish town. A male journalist and a gifted but troubled girl team up to solve this creepy mystery by delving into a creepy family's past.  (Heads up, there's a lot of weird sex stuff in this one, and actually The Paperboy has some, too.  This is the Creepy Mysteries with Some Weird Sex Stuff category, I guess.)

Creepiest Movie Ever Candidate

We Are What We Are (2013)
Proof that a scary movie can be made on a tiny budget, this independent film will leave you horrified.  Two socially-isolated sisters are forced to carry out their cannibalistic family's absurd interpretation of a Bible passage.  The ending will sort of make you wish you'd never watched it, which means it's probably a great film for Halloween.  Watch this one at your own risk.

Skip the candy and go straight for this salted caramel apple martini

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