Now Scream This: 10 Oscar-Worthy Horror Movies Streaming Right Now

(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: Welcome to our new post-Oscars reality where Green Book is your (Academy voted) Best Picture of 2018. The bad thing happened, Academy members proved themselves clueless once again, and life moves on. So why lament over an Oscar winner that features a single scene where Viggo Mortensen folds one entire NY-style pizza in half and eats it in bed? Chris and I decided to wash away this year's Oscar hangover with a selection of our favorite streaming horror titles that deserved Oscar consideration. After all, honoring genre content has never been in the Academy's wheelhouse. Leave that to the "Now Scream This" boys.

Chris: The Academy does not like horror. Sure, every now and then, some things will slip through. They nominated The Exorcist for Best Picture, and a whole slew of other awards. And Silence of the Lambs performed a clean-sweep, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. But more often than not, horror is an outlier. And we won't stand for it! So we're highlighting horror films that have Academy Award-worthy elements, be it the film itself, or performances. Side-note: I really wanted to include Toni Collette's work in Hereditary on here, but I already wrote about the film for a previous entry. So just pretend it's here. 

Tumbbad

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: Unless you devoted your 2018 to horror festival coverage – hello, my people – there's a 99% chance you never heard of Tumbbad. Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi, and Adesh Prasad's dark Indian fable played events such as Fantastic Fest and Brooklyn Horror Film Festival only to be dumped on Amazon Prime in late December (removed, then re-added). Why? International distribution red tape in Indian cinema and nothing less. To some, nothing but a disregarded indie among countless others in a streaming queue. To me? Tumbbad at the *least* deserves a Best Cinematography nomination for the way Pankaj Kumar creeps around thorny thickets or elevates ancient Indian temples by scanning the most photogasmic landscapes. Don't let one of my favorite 2018 horror films become another load-off statistic. This treat for the eyes is a sumptuous, exploding feast of optic flavors.

Chris: The last installment of Now Scream This marked the first time since Matt and I started doing this that I had seen all the movies on his list. And now, this week, Matt immediately shatters that. I have not seen this.

Horror Noire: A History Of Black Cinema

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: If all horror documentaries were dependably as insightful, entertaining, and passionately realized as Horror Noire: A History Of Black Cinema, chances are you'd be watching more horror documentaries. Xavier Burgin's roadmap direction, Shudder's trust in vision, Ashlee Blackwell's wealth of cultural representation throughout horror alongside co-writer Danielle Burrows...the list is endless. Created from a place of utmost agency and experienced frustration as a means of ensuring the pendulum does not swing backward – but still enthusiastically informative. When it comes time to discuss 2019 Best Documentary nominees, there's no doubt my arguments will circle Horror Noire: A History Of Black Cinema. So much more than talking heads, dusty facts, and regurgitated periodical blueprints. Burgin's is a documentary with soul, momentum, and passionate composition. The beauty in being told to "shut up and listen" is just...sublime.

Chris: Horror Noire is indeed fantastic. It's entertaining and educational, which is rare. All horror fans should watch this.

Ghost Ship

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Why isn't there an Oscar for Best Opening Scene, yet? In the year of our lord Cthulhu, 2002, that award should have gone to Steve Beck's Ghost Ship. Most horror fans already know the sequence in question, but if you don't – well, why spoil? Let's say the atrocity brings new meaning to "cutting up the dance floor" and yes! Pun emphatically intended. It's gory, limp-ripping, and so intensely horrifying based on how quickly the act splatters a perfectly swabbed cruise liner deck. Not to mention the rest of the voyage plays out with the wild abandon of a late 90s, early 00s horror flick that don't give a damn about nothin'? Maybe not the smoothest sailing, but Ghost Ship is fun!

Chris: When I saw this film on the list, I thought Matt had lost his mind. But I will admit the opening scene of this otherwise stupid movie is a banger.

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Now Streaming on HBO Go

Matt: Zack Snyder's best movie is Dawn Of The Dead. As far as remakes go, as far as standalone films go, and as far as intensified apocalyptic scenarios with a heavy darkened punch go. Alongside 28 Days Later, this is where "fast zombies" sped forward into horror "relevance" – as far as the times dictated – thanks to just how goddamn *vicious* Snyder's sprinting hordes appeared on camera. I don't care what Oscars you'd want to nominate Dawn of The Dead for because it's honestly one of my favorite movies of 2004 so you best believe it'd be in my 10-title Best Picture pool. I'd be just as happy with a technical win – Best Editing, perhaps – but Dawn Of The Dead is one of the top post-2000s zombie movies for so many reasons beyond that Richard Cheese "Down With Sickness" montage (in my modest opinion, of course).

Chris: I was one of the many horror fans intensely skeptical when word of a Dawn of the Dead remake surfaced. But the end result was surprisingly good! In fact, I'd say this is Zack Snyder's best movie.

The Girl With All The Gifts

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Matt: Despite Glenn Close's best efforts, the Oscars awarded Olivia Colman Best Actress gold for her regal brattiness in The Favourite - but I'm not here to offer the ever-talented Ms. Close redemption for her part in The Girl With All The Gifts. Instead, I point towards Sennia Nanua's *feature debut* as a hybrid zombie child under close observation because of her generational response to an apocalyptic fungal infection. She balances primal urges with inquisitive curiosity – having to remain a child with flesh-hungry outbursts – but it's interactions with the characters around her that sets Nanua apart. Paddy Considine's sergeant, Gemma Arterton's mentor, believers, fearful masses – Nanua bares the weight of Colm McCarthy's YA riffage with such unshaken strength. Give this little wunderkind a Best Actress nod I'm sure even Glenn Close wouldn't deny.

Chris: Sennia Nanua's work here is wonderful, and it would've been awesome if the Academy had recognized her.

The Others

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: I'd go so far as to suggest that Alejandro Amenábar's spooky 2001 ghost story The Others is good enough to land a Best Picture nom. But if that seems like a long-shot, Nicole Kidman's performance sure as heck doesn't. Kidman even got a Golden Globe nod for her work here, but the Academy turned up their snobby noses. Kidman is a nervous wreck here, playing an overprotective mother convinced her big, spooky mansion is haunted. It's a raw, aching performance, and helped make more people realize she was a serious actress worthy of bigger things.

Matt: The Golden Globes dared to nominate Kidman! The Oscars? Cowards, as usual. The Others is as chilling as you've heard, and Kidman is that good. Why you still sleepin' on this?

Mandy

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Nicolas Cage has turned into somewhat of a walking meme, often going extremely over the top with his performances. And on the surface, you might think he's doing the same thing in the brilliant, disturbing Mandy. But despite one lengthy freak-out scene in a bathroom, Cage is actually surprisingly reserved in this nightmarish acid trip. As a result, he gives one of his best performances in years. Cage plays Red, a grieving man hunting down crazy cultists. With furious eyes and a constant snarl on his lips, Cage is unforgettable here. There was no way in hell it would ever happen, but he deserved a Best Actor nom for this.

Matt: *Immediately thinks about the bathroom scene where Cage chugs vodka in this tighties* Yeah, I mean, I can't really argue this one. (Real talk, Mandy uses Cage in an emotionally driven yet still batshit way that offers more than "memeable" highlights.)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: There's never been a serial killer performance as terrifying as Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. John McNaughton's nasty, grungy character study inspired by real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas finds Rooker giving a performance so believable it's downright scary. If you had somehow never seen Rooker in anything else, and you watched his work here, you might think he really was a serial killer that McNaughton had somehow talked into being in his film. It's such a believable, scary and realistic portrayal that if it had appeared in a more mainstream movie, I'm positive it would've racked up awards.

Matt: Michael Rooker's will *deservingly* be remembered as Yondu by mainstream/younger audiences, but those with darker draws? Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer is...I mean...fuck.

The Village

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: I'm not going to get into an argument about whether or not M. Night Shyamalan's often maligned The Village is good or not (it is, by the way). If you want to hate on this beautiful, somber meditation on grief and seclusion, be my guest. But even if you think The Village is bad, it's nearly impossible to deny how exceptional Bryce Dallas Howard is as the lead of the film, Ivy, a blind young woman living in a secluded village cut off from the rest of the world. This was Howard's first major role, and she knocked it out of the park, creating a sympathetic, charming character full of fire and spirit. The rest of the cast isn't too shabby either, but this is Howard's movie, and if there was any movie justice in this dumb world, she would've been a lock for a Best Actress nomination.

Matt: You can have this one, Chris. Just ain't my cup of Shyamalan as he wrestles with a shapeshifty story that doesn't land alongside his best finales.

It (2017)

Now Streaming on Max GO

Chris: All of the young members of the Losers' Club in Andy Muschietti's It gave memorable performances, but the truly Oscar-worthy work here belongs, of course, to Bill Skarsgård, playing Pennywise the Clown. Rather than imitate Tim Curry's work in the It miniseries, Skarsgård created his own unique take on the murderous clown, playing him as unmistakably inhuman, complete with a strange voice and unwieldy mannerisms. I've sat and talked with Skarsgård in person, and let me tell you – he's so far removed from the character he plays here that I'm shocked he was able to pull this off. It's one of the most unforgettable horror movie performances of the 21st century. Oh well, maybe he'll get a nomination for It Chapter Two. (Just kidding, nothing that cool will ever happen).

Matt: It was one of my favorite movies of 2017, so yeah – good job Chris! Only one disagreement this week. Pretty solid number if you ask me.