Now Scream This: Close Out Summer With These Great Horror Movies

(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: Between San Diego Comic-Con, Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival and some much needed away-from-keyboards vacation time, Chris and myself decided to ditch a theme this week in favor of making things a tad easier on ourselves. Consider this week a celebration of streaming horror staples, as dictated by personal favorites and recent discoveries. Maybe a haunted attraction found footage flick I finally caught up on. Maybe an old favorite my Netflix scroll-through uncovered. In any case, we've got 10 more horror streaming recommendations coming your way whether you like it or not. Hopefully the former, because why else would you be here?!

Chris: While I love the "theme" entries Matt and I have come up with in the past, we both needed a reprieve this week. So if you're looking for a theme, you're screwed! That said, if you're looking for some great horror options, you're in luck! The themed entries will return in our next edition. For now, just enjoy this laid-back installment, won't you?

Hell House LLC

Now Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime

Matt: Stephen Cognetti's Hell House LLC has evaded my gaze for the last few years, but news of next month's surprise sequel made viewing a necessity. The premise (of Cognetti's original)? Veteran haunted attraction creators select an old hotel with a dark past for their latest project. My immediate reaction? I was in the mood for a The Houses October Built double-bill. This is a good thing, because The Houses October Built is a good movie. Hell House LLC goes behind the scenes of Halloween event magic to provide a glimpse into the world of "scare actors" and architects of fear, while also injecting horror by way of unexplainable occurrences. A fake haunted house that's actually haunted – not the most "creative" idea, but Cognetti executes manageable frights on a small budget. Those of you who found enjoyment in The Houses October Built, check out Hell House LLC and vice versa. Sure as hell safer than attempting the real thing based on these movies (j/k MOVIES AREN'T REAL LIFE).

Chris: I watched this film on Halloween last year, and was not disappointed. While the movie has a few issues here and there, its heart is in the right place, and there are some genuinely creepy moments peppered throughout. And now I'm 100% ready for summer to get the fuck out of here, so Halloween season can come rolling in.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: The Chiodo Brothers' Killer Klowns From Outer Space is legendary cult classic content when it comes to horror circles, so my assumption is many of you will be marking this as a rewatch, not new discovery. Small town America, alien clown monsters, sticky pink cocoons. This big-top midnighter buys into a carnival of chaos with such effusive creativity and commitment to theme, from bright stripy costume designs to whirring cotton-candy-shooter guns painted like a small child might design extraterrestrial tools. Not exactly a frightening endeavor, but the Chiodo boys evoke hammy delights of cream-covered humor and B-movie performances from such actors as John Vernon or Christopher Titus. Worth it alone for the clowns themselves, full-body goofy goobers whose hijinx are only out-shined by their massive practical masked heads. They just don't make 'em like they used to (pours one out for the '80s)...

Chris: This is one of those rare movies that starts off clearly as a joke – "Hey, what if there were clown aliens?!" – and somehow keeps the momentum going throughout. Every now and then, someone in Hollywood will pump out a goofball film that sells itself through title alone (cough cough Snakes on a Plane cough cough). But more often than not, the film itself turns out to be a bust. The filmmakers never get beyond the initial joke. Killer Klowns is the opposite. It takes its silly premise and runs with it, rewarding us all in the process.

Cult Of Chucky

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: When MGM's Child's Play remake was announced, I had some feelings to work out. None of them particularly supportive or cheery. That said, what irked me even more was the outpouring of "fans" labeling Don Mancini's franchise "stale" – then admitting they stopped watching after Seed Of Chucky. Frustration and rage aside, I'm here to say if you're one of these people, or simply just haven't gotten around to Mancini's currently direct-to-video Universal run, please change that. Cult Of Chucky – Curse Of Chucky's continuation – ventures into realms never even pondered by franchise lovers, opening new worlds for Chucky's continued massacre. "Stale?" Did you see the shot with three Chucky dolls all in frame, animated and...well, I've said too much already. Just know that anyone calling Chucky's current run "stale" surely hasn't educated themselves properly or just wants to score some outrage points. Well, it worked. Now it's my turn to remind everyone how wrong such a statement truly is.

Chris: Child's Play is my favorite horror franchise. The way Don Mancini and company have adapted and evolved the series, essentially rebooting the story with each new entry, has kept Chucky alive while other slashers have faltered. I say all this to preface this controversial comment: this movie is bad. I wish it weren't true, because Fiona Dourif – daughter of Chucky voice actor Brad Dourif – is a wonderful addition to the franchise, and she does some great work here. But hoo-boy, this movie...just never comes together. I'll always love the Child's Play franchise, but this is the entry I know I won't revisit that much.

Intruders

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: When you watch as many new-release horror movies as I do, the gems shine so much brighter. Adam Schindler's Intruders is one such surprise thriller that captured my attention with no warning, as original as it is home-invasion vicious. What you need to know is three criminals break into an agoraphobic woman's house and her affliction won't allow her to flee. What you don't need to know – and need to experience yourself – is the secret Anna keeps, which leads to a far different cat-and-mouse game than expected. The criminals – including Martin Starr – might enter with an upper hand, but don't expect Anna to roll over. Actress Beth Riesgraf fights back in a most surreal way that makes for a feisty lead performance drenched in dread, while Rory Culkin shows up as Dan the sweet food delivery boy who, well, we'll say "gets involved." Truly one of the more enjoyable horror twists of 2016, which most of you probably didn't even hear about.

Chris:  Intruders is surprisingly clever, especially in terms of the already overused home invasion subgenre. You might think you know where this movie is going when it starts, but I promise you, you're wrong.

The Last Circus

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Álex de la Iglesia's The Last Circus is the ballad of a sad clown, a happy clown, and the beautiful trapeze artist who must choose between the two. Guess I'm on a bit of clown kick this week? In any case, sad clown Javier (Carlos Areces) has witnessed too much tragedy in life to be funny – hence his role as abused patsy to happy clown Sergio (Antonio de la Torre). Sergio's wife is Natalia (Carolina Bang), the alluring acrobat, whose conflicted love interests begin slinging jealousy like fluffy whipped pies. Where Killer Klowns From Outer Space plays towards chuckles, The Last Circus evokes darkness uncompromised. Clowns forced into Spanish Civil War battle while swinging machetes and slicing through invading forces. Heavy artillery, white face makeup running downward under the sweat of combat. As one IMDB user review states, "Crazy Clowns with guns....what could be wrong?" Nothing, CrazinessCax. It's the tragic human tightrope walk only Mr. Iglesia could pin a bright red nose on.

Chris: I've never seen The Last Circus, but one time I went to a circus, and an elephant picked my pocket with its trunk, and then ate all the money in my wallet. "That's it!" I cried, throwing my popcorn to the floor. "This is the last circus I'll ever come to!"

Channel Zero: Candle Cove

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: I've said this multiple times here on slash film dot com, but Channel Zero is the best horror show on TV right now. Each season is inspired by a different story from the world of Creepypasta – the same brand of online urban legends that gave birth to Slender Man. The first season – which in my opinion is still the best – is now streaming on Shudder, with future seasons to follow. Candle Cove involves a mysterious children's TV show that may or may not be real, missing children, and a creature comprised entirely of human teeth. It's creepy and wonderful.

Matt: Guess who has two thumbs, has never seen a single episode of Channel Zero and will be binging Candle Cove in what's probably considered to be an unhealthy period of time? This guy. Blame my need to review as many new release movies per week. Sorry horror television. It's not you, it's me.

Interview With the Vampire

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: Neil Jordan took Anne Rice's flowery prose and worked it into this melancholy tale of life after death. To this date, Jordan is the only person who understood how to adapt Rice's work, and the results are stunning. Centuries go by as vampire Brad Pitt recounts the story of his dark gift. Rice (and other) threw a fit when Tom Cruise was cast as the fiendish yet charming vampire Lestat, but Cruise proved the haters wrong. So much so that Rice even wrote a letter apologizing for being so judgmental. This is one of Cruise's best performances – he really sinks his teeth into the role.  

Matt: If you lust for sparkly Uniqlo model vampires Robert Pattinson or Kellan Lutz over Victorian vamps Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise, recheck your priorities. Interview With A Vampire tells a tale of romance, bloodsucking and eternal life on a far more accomplished scale than mumbling teens and poster-porn ab shots.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Now Streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime Video

Chris: The Blair Witch 2 defender has entered the room. When Book of Shadows hit theaters on the heels of the monumental success of The Blair Witch Project, the odds were not in its favor. Already, a strange backlash had begun to settle in against the first film. On top of that, rather than make an exact clone of the original, director Joe Berlinger instead decided to try something completely different. It was so different that Artisan ended up re-editing it. And yet, the final result is much better than its reputation suggests. Yes, some of the performances are a bit shaky, but the film's plot – involving a bunch of Blair Witch fans who get up close and personal with the legend – results in some genuinely unsettling moments. Berlinger understands that confusion can cause fear, and he plays with the audience's expectations at every turn.

Matt: Since I'm one of the positive reviews holding up Blair Witch's 35% on Rotten Tomatoes – the 2016 direct sequel – can't hold much against Chris here. Would have loved to see Joe Berlinger's cut before Artisan hacked it all up, but there's an interesting Blair Witch under an easy sequel punchline for critics who don't care to look deeper.

Last Shift

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: Anthony DiBlasi's Last Shift is like Assault on Precinct 13 meets Hellraiser, and I am here for it. The film finds a rookie cop working the last shift (hey, that's the title!) at a soon-to-be-closed police station. As bad luck would have it, the police station is home to some inhuman, supernatural forces that are closer to the rookie than she realizes. This is low budget horror done right, with the filmmaker making great use of mood and atmosphere before descending into outright horror. Last Shift builds, getting spookier and spookier with each scene. The plot eventually becomes too convoluted for its own good, but for the bulk of its runtime, Last Shift is a winner.

Matt: Concerning prison-set horror movies in 2015: Let Us Prey > Last Shift. I know Last Shift is at bit of a favorite streaming recommendation for many horror fans, but to me it's just "Spooky Moving Office Chairs: The Movie." I'll take my Cult Of Chucky, Chris can have Last Shift. Life goes on.

See No Evil

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Sometimes you want a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant. And sometimes, you want fatty, greasy junk served up somewhere cheap. See No Evil is that junk, and best of all, it's junk that knows it's junk. This nasty slasher film stars wrestler (and recent mayoral-elect) Kane as a hulking, mute killer named Jacob Goodnight (great name!). Jacob stalks around an abandoned hotel, just waiting to rip some eyeballs out of someone's head. When a group of juvenile delinquents are forced to clean up the hotel as community service, Jacob finds himself a fresh set of victims. See No Evil never tries to be anything more than a big, loud, violent slasher film, and for that, I salute it.

Matt: I mean, sure? Certainly not the worst product WWE churned out. Betcha' didn't know there's a sequel to the The Condemned.