The Best Scares

By BLAIR WEISINGER

There was once a time when Netflix had classic horror movies like slasher blood, but since the fall of 2017, Netflix has lost scores of horror greats, and done a poor job of compensating. This is why it is necessary to make a list of a few of the best horror movies on netflix. As always, there are a few things to keep in mind when browsing this library of three horror movies. Netflix is very much lacking in iconic horror movies and franchise staples. Don’t expect to find any Halloween or Friday the 13th entries here. What they can usually claim, though, is a decent number of more recent, solid small-budget horror pictures. The key is knowing which films to watch, and not getting sucked into watching the trash, which proliferates on Netflix like weeds.

Oculus: When one hears that the central focus point of Oculus is a haunted mirror, you expect a fairly self-contained ghost story, but this recent release proved to be a surprisingly ambitious concept from a promising horror director, Mike Flanagan. It simultaneously juggles accounts of the mirror’s evil influence in two timelines, following the same characters as children and adults. The segments as children feel a tad by-the-books, but the pleasantly over-the-top performances in the adult portion are particularly enjoyable, as a young woman attempts to scientifically document and then seek revenge upon the source of her family’s misery.

It Follows: It Follows is a film that thrives in the borders, not so much about the horror that leaps out in front of you, but the deeper anxiety that waits at the verge of consciousness—until, one day soon, it’s there, reminding you that your time is limited, and that you will never be safe. Forget the risks of teenage sex, It Follows is a penetrating metaphor for growing up.

The Babadook : The Babadook is perhaps less purely entertaining but makes up for that with cerebral scares and complex emotion. It’s an astoundingly well-realized first feature film for director Jennifer Kent, and one that actually manages to deal with a type of relationship we haven’t seen that often in a horror film. Motherhood in cinema tends to invariably be portrayed in a sort of “unconditional love,” way, which isn’t necessarily true to life, and The Babadook preys upon any shred of doubt there might be. The film’s beautiful art direction approximates a crooked, twisted fairytale, with dreamlike sequences that never quite reveal what is true and what might be a hallucination.