Five Horror Movies to Stream Now

by The Technical Blogs


Rent or buy on major platforms.

Kyle McConaghy’s knockout neo-noir thriller is a sinister yet humane parable about blind faith and religious manipulation. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

After suffering a traumatic brain injury in a brutal attack, Mansa (Aaron Phifer) takes a job editing videos for a struggling church led by the young and charismatic Pastor (Nick Heyman). Mansa, who is Black, disregards a neighbor’s warning that the white Pastor is a bootleg preacher who suckers Black people out of money. When Pastor, enraged, kills a parishioner, he convinces the trusting Mensa that God uses sinners for his will and wants Mensa to help Pastor get rid of the body in the California desert.

This film, with a screenplay by McConaghy and Phifer, is about two people but contains many contradictions; its twists take you down paths that are unnerving but tender, specific yet universal, bleak but not without hope. Race underscores it all: In a filmmaker’s statement, Phifer said he was inspired by the “convenient allyship” of white people he never heard from again after they reached out during the George Floyd protests, and by “the lack of substantive action in the white church” of his youth. This film may look lean and humble, but it speaks a mighty word.

Guilt looks like a ghost in this creepy two-hander from the Australian filmmakers Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell.

It’s late one dark and stormy night when Patrick (Brendan Rock) hears someone frantically knocking on the door of his isolated trailer home. It’s a barefoot and wet young woman (Jordan Cowan) asking for a ride back to town. Patrick invites her in, makes her soup and lets her take a shower, but cautions her that getting back home will be a challenge. “This thunderstorm is strange,” he tells her.

As the sounds of torrential rain and creaking floorboards set an increasingly macabre mood, Patrick slinks toward pure paranoia as he wonders who his mysterious yet familiar-looking visitor might be, and what she’s after. Bell’s script becomes more abstract and supernatural as the uncertainties mount, but she and Allen are assured enough directors that the scary stuff stays grounded, and hence more menacing than silly. Maxx Corkindale’s cinematography bathes Patrick’s cramped trailer in a stylish eeriness, the right mood for a claustrophobic house of horrors.

Stream it on Screambox.

In 2022, the director James Rich made “Follower,” which at first looks like a run-of-the-mill slasher: Three young women — Sam (Gigi James), a social media influencer, and her friends Heather (Revell Carpenter) and Riley (Molly Leach) — survive an attack during a camping trip at the hands of a masked madman who livestreams his violent acts to fellow incels who call themselves the Wolves.

Like that film, this crackling sequel — written by Rich and Zac Hersh — is a calculated exercise in depravity. (You don’t need to have seen “Follower,” which is streaming on Tubi, to be freaked out by this film.) Here, the action mostly takes place inside a mansion where the women and their partners gather for dinner after a documentary about their ordeal airs.

As the Wolves crash the party, Rich uses understated visual cues — off-kilter framing, oddly-paced scenes — that renders the violence uncannily and chillingly real. What could have been a mess of tired horror tropes is instead a refreshing and nasty take on a home invasion movie, a low-budget cousin to “You’re Next.”

Stream it on Paramount+.

Spending time with an energy-sucking monster is a nightmare. But when a narcissistic gorgon is also viciously funny, what you get is Kristoffer Borgli’s smart dark satire about the seemingly unquenchable thirst for center stage.

Signe (Kristine Kujath Thorp) has a bad case of main character syndrome, and her symptoms are rage and jealousy toward her boyfriend, Thomas (Eirik Saether), a conceptual artist who’s making a splash in Oslo’s gallery scene. As Signe’s desperate need for attention turns pathological, she starts taking a bootleg drug she got off the internet that’s known to cause severe deformities. Her twisted Munchausen maneuver pays off: When the pills turn her face bloated and bloody, she claims to have a one-of-a-kind disease, a lie that gets her a newspaper cover story and a modeling gig for a clothing brand appropriately named Regardless, not to mention abundant sympathy from friends. But at what cost?

Thorp beautifully underplays her character’s toxic absurdities, landing somewhere between Carol, the tragic heroine of Todd Haynes’s “Safe,” and Penelope, Kristen Wiig’s mousy “Saturday Night Live” character who is so much better than you.

Stream it on Fandango at Home.

Chris (Rory Wilson, heartbreaking) leaves his pregnant wife in America to travel to a remote cottage in Wales, searching for clues in the mysterious death of his good friend Billy (Ieuan Coombs). Billy left behind video messages for Chris documenting the research he was doing on a cult that worshiped the Origin, a bloodthirsty deity. Chris soon starts seeing black-cloaked figures outside his cabin, and has nightmares in which the ancient Origin speaks in a growl, telling him: “All that you love will bleed.” From there, the film’s creeping dread turns into a sprint.

David A. Roberts’s feature film debut is a tense yet tender meditation on death and the regrets it can leave behind. It’s a gem of Lovecraftian folk horror: supernatural in action yet deeply human in spirit. The script explains too much and shows too little, but Shaun Bishop’s haunting, storytelling cinematography makes up for the uneven momentum. Bonus: Fandango at Home is streaming the film for free.


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