(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: For this first edition of “Now Scream This,” I thought it important for Chris and myself to give y’all a sense of who we are as horror fans. One a child of refined genre elegance, and the other – me – the guy who’s about to demand you watch Detention. These films are tethered to our streaming catalogs for rewatches on rainy, dull or any flippin’ day because everyone has their favorites. A gift to you from our most malevolent heart of hearts, curated with love and our deepest desire to entertain, torture and scare each one of you silly. How better to introduce ourselves as your harbingers of cinematic damnation?

Chris: I’m very excited about this column, because based on this inaugural entry, you’re in for a wide-variety of great horror, reader. In a sense, this also proves how malleable the horror genre is. It doesn’t fit neatly into one specific package, but changed, and evolves, and bends its shape to whatever the story needs it to be. Horror, like comedy, is subjective – what’s scary to one person might be laugh-inducing to another. Yet with this column, we hope to provide you with a wide-ranging list of great horror, ready to stream at a moment’s notice.

Deathgasm

Now Streaming on Netflix/Shudder/Amazon Prime

Matt: Jason Lei Howden’s Deathgasm checks every single “party horror” requirement on my list. Gratuitous practical demon pulverization that literally runs streams of blood? Check. Heavy metal influences from the Norse gods of corpse-painted growlers and riff-heavy distortion trailblazers? Double check. A satanic story about garage bands, an antichrist reborn, recluse rockstars and so much more gruesome hilarity? Triple, quadruple, infinity check. Ever since SXSW 2015, this has been my go-to cinematic rager by way of Raimi meets Dio meets a PETA-protested slaughterhouse – DEATH TO FALSE METAL!

Chris: Horror-comedy is a tricky genre to get right. Far too often, a filmmaker will lean either too hard into the comedy or too hard into the horror, and unbalance the whole damn thing. Deathgasm is one of the rare exceptions, finding the sweet-spot to sell its gloriously goofy premise.

[REC]

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Found footage is such a damning stigma in most horror circles, but [REC] will always be an untouchable exemplification of how the subgenre can be used for good. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza take us inside a quarantined apartment complex and after thoroughly shocking, tormenting and shaping their own “zombie” mythos, lead us out with knees buckled. Still, to this day, [REC] holds one of my all-time favorite jump scares almost a decade later, but it’s far more than “diseased” victims sprinting towards screens. Such a rare found footage masterpiece that can build tension, depth and intrigue without relying on cheap tricks that now define handheld brands of horror.

Chris: Back before found-footage became oversaturated, [REC] proved how effective the medium could be. The final few frames of this film are nightmare-inducing to the point where you’ll probably feel like as if you’re losing your mind when you watch them.

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon

Now Streaming on Shudder/Amazon Prime

Matt: Scott Glosserman’s Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon is one of the 00s’ most prolific cult-worshipped horror movies. In the mockumentary, we meet a slasher villain by the name of Leslie Vernon who guides us through the ins-and-outs of living as a horror legend. Vernon (Nathan Baesel’s crowning performance) reveals how Jason Voorhees can walk so fast, allows us to trail his preparation, sets up an all-important killing spree – then a tonal switch is flipped and behind-the-scenes perspectives morph into an actual, third-act slasher bloodbath. It’s remarkably fresh despite satirizing years of post-Scream and Saw subgenre saturation, featuring cameos by veteran icons such as Robert Englund, Zelda Rubinstein, and Kane Hodder. A must for horror lovers of the modern age (probably something you’ve heard twenty-times over by now).

Chris: Behind the Mask hinges on a clever premise: what do slashers do in their downtime? What easily could’ve been a one-note joke turns into an increasingly original love letter to the slasher subgenre.

Detention

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Stop. Sleeping. On. Detention. I’m sick of Twitter threads where I’m the only one defending Joseph Kahn’s time-travel slasher amalgamation of mindreaks, pop-culture massacring and unconstitutional wackiness. Yes, Cinderhella’s intentionally slapstick reign bounces all over the place, but it’s with Kahn’s signature punk-pop-laced energy of Hoobastank backhands and charismatically uncool Josh Hutcherson/Shanley Caswell. Uncompromising, bleak, but still John Hughes sweet in the most meta-happy way. Truthfully a harder pill to swallow than what I’ve covered so far, but I’m forever addicted to this temporal classroom comedy covered in cafeteria food, severed limbs and quick-cut upbeats.

Chris: My blind-spots are showing. I’m well-aware of Detention, and yet I’ve never actually seen it. Fine, Matt, you convinced me. I’ll finally watch Detention. I hope you’re happy now.

Maniac

Now Streaming on Shudder/Showtime On Demand

Matt: Whenever challenged to name “one horror remake that’s actually good,” an easily refutable question in its own right, my no-thought answer is Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac. A completely revamped beast from the killer’s point of view – perversely and perfectly played by Elijah Wood – yet still representative of William Lustig’s sewer-sludge-dirty exploitation grime. Atop the creepy mannequin imagery and sharp “how to make a murderer” storytelling, Khalfoun and Wood force audiences into the suffocating skin of serial murderer “Frank.” A psychological transplantation that exudes unease like a snuff film, undeniable in its masterclass of trauma and heavy-breathing genre theatrics. No frills, no bullshit, pure under-your-skin skeeves for 90 straight minutes.

Chris: So. Much. Neon. Maniac is stylish to the extreme, and it’s framing device – seeing the entire film through the point of view of the killer – should get tedious after a while. But it doesn’t. This is one of the most fascinating horror films in recent memory, and it deserves much more attention.

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