Halloween is approaching fast and we all want to snuggle in bed and watch scary movies while eating candy we bought ourselves. Here’s my top five horror/thriller Netflix movies based on plot, originality, suspense, and creepiness. Unfortunately, most Netflix horror movies aren’t very good, so I didn’t have much to pick from.
You need to watch Creep 1 before watching this movie. Creep 1 is good, but the sequel is much better.
Synopsis: A video artist who craves shocking stories realises she has made a mistake when she meets a serial killer in a cabin, after he posts an ad on Craigslist.
First 10 min: The serial killer is up to his same old antics, but this time he is having a midlife crisis. Then walks in an attractive female who responds to his Craigslist ad and agrees to be his videographer for the day, but she has her own agenda.
Review: You’re always on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen, who will die, and when Aaron will kill his next victim. There are a few jumpscares, but what gets you most is the continuous plot twists when entering the mind of a serial killer. The dialogues are compelling, and this movie has improved in nearly all aspects compared to the first film. The ending will take you by surprise.
Synopsis: Reuniting after the tragic death of their friend, four college pals set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. A wrong turn leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn.
First 10 min: It’s relatable watching a group of college friends, who go on reunion trips once in a while, argue about where their next destination will be. Within the first 10 minutes, a tragedy occurs that will determine why the characters make the decisions they do throughout the film.
Review: The group encounters strange noises, dead animals, and an abandoned house with a creepy totem in it. They realize they are not alone in the forest, but we never really know what this creature is for most of the movie. With the effective use of sound and eerie shadows, the filmmakers really made the story believable. Most movies stall showing the creature for as long as they can, because when they do, it’s usually a bit of a letdown. Same old giant with a lot of teeth. But the creature was worth the wait in The Ritual.
As Above, So Below
Synopsis: Archaeologist Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) has devoted her whole life to finding one of history’s greatest treasures: Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone. When she learns that the stone is hidden underground in the Catacombs of Paris, she assembles a crew to guide and document her historic mission. As they begin their descent, the team-members have no way of knowing that they are entering their own personal hell.
First 10 min: Right off the bat, your heart is racing as you follow the main character, who is an alchemy scholar, into an Iranian cave. There’s a sensory overload, with eerie red lights flickering and sirens blaring. You watch her through her raw camera, as she has less than one minute to find the legendary Rose Key, before the cave will be exploded.
Review: The movie was brilliant until the last 30 minutes. It had so much potential to be spectacular, but the ending was poorly executed. For an archeologist with three degrees and a scholar father, she sure is dumb to enter a tomb that reads “Abandon all hope, ye who enter.” There are numerous moments where you just want to scream at the characters through the screen for making terrible decisions, but if you’re looking for a good scare and a suspenseful plot, this is the movie to watch.
Synopsis: A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears in her window.
First 10 min: Within the first 10 minutes, we already have one dead character and a psychotic killer is on the loose. The plot only thickens from here.
Review: Aside from the fact that living alone in a huge house in the middle of the woods is a terrible idea, and that the killer has no logical motive to attack the main character, this movie is as realistic as any intrusion film gets. Kate Siegel’s acting portrays raw terror and gives us a fresh perspective on intrusion films. There are moments where you scream “Why would you do that?” at the screen, but overall the film is compelling and suspenseful.
Synopsis: Haunted by the violent demise of their parents 10 years earlier, adult siblings Kaylie and Tim are now struggling to rebuild their relationship. Kaylie suspects that their antique mirror, known as the Lasser Glass, is behind the tragedy. The seemingly harmless reflections contain a malevolent, supernatural force that infects the mind of anyone who gazes into it. As Kaylie gets closer to the truth, the siblings become caught in the mirror’s evil spell.
First 10 min: The first 10 minutes include a series of time jumps to give the film some context. The characters are likable so far, and the creepy aura around this antique mirror will keep you watching to find out what the hype is about. The first ghost appears at about 12 minutes, so the story moves along fairly quick.
Review: Oculus invests time into creating suspense rather than constant predictable jumpscares. The performances are solid, the plot is unique, and the use of time jumps helps narrate the story effectively. This movie is more of a psychological mystery than a horror film, but that doesn’t make it any less chilling. If you’re one to look in the mirror often, that’s about to change. Although the ending could have been more satisfying, this is definitely a plot you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.