Now Scream This: Forget The Avengers – Stream These Horror Movies Instead

(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: The week on "Now Scream This" – Matt got super busy and couldn't throw together a theme! Don't blame Chris. We tried to come up with something Avengers: Endgame related, but hey, life comes at you real fast sometimes. To make up for the lack of shared context between picks, we've got a grab bag of freakish favorites you can stream at this very moment. Even better, I know Chris is going to raz me something fierce for at least two of my selections, which has become my favorite part since partnering for /Film's most excellent (and only) horror streaming column. 

Chris: Sometime it's nice to kick-back with a grab-bag of titles. Sure, a theme is fun, but you know what's equally fun? Giving us a break and reading whatever the heck we're offering you! Matt and I have returned from the moldy crypts of the streaming world and brought back ten terrifying titles to traumatize. 

The Nun

Now Streaming on HBO Go

Matt: Corin Hardy's lesser-received "Conjurverse" entry boasts a stinkin' 26% Rotten Tomatoes score, but my review is one of the few positive logged for The Nun. I respect how Hardy doesn't deliver another James Wan carbon copy à la Annabelle or The Curse Of La Llorona because neither of those films recreate Wan's signature aesthetic. The Nun could have been "just another," but Hardy's "Hammer Horror" vibes paint a more lively picture of monsters, mayhem, and maybe some zombification subplots? Demián Bichir and Taissa Farmiga battle Valak's "Waniverse" evil, while Jonas Bloquet's Romanian guide "Frenchie" allows for B-Movie comedy to succeed in bursts. It may be a more generic horror flavor, yet is still tasty as a bite of investigative convent chills.

Chris: I'm a fan of this entire series, but The Nun left me cold. It has a great premise, and some neat production design, but I wanted more. Oh well, there's always The Nun 2.

The Collector

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: After a few Saw and Feast franchise entries, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan whipped up an idea for The Collector. A bit Home Alone, a bit Saw, a bit The Strangers. Josh Stewart plays an ex-con trying to scrub some debt through a robbery scheme, but little does he know a second criminal has targeted the house. This "collector" of sorts as the title states, who imprisons the Chase family in their home and rigs traps in each room that Stewart must avoid. Sounds incredibly Saw-like, correct? That's because Melton and Dunstan originally pitched the concept as a Saw sequel, but the idea was rejected. No bother, since The Collector is a savage serial killer story that oozes tension and takes credit for spawning one of my favorite horror sequels in recent memory.

Chris: This is a nasty movie, as its sequel. That's a compliment.

Await Further Instructions

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Johnny Kevorkian's Await Further Instructions is the Coherence of Christmas horror. Having released less than a year ago, this sci-fi screamer about screen obsessions is one of the newer dysfunctional holiday treats available to viewers. Racists grandparents, survivalist siblings, lockdown quarantines dictated by flashing words on television screens – it's everything we fear about family dinners around the holidays. No way out and no explanations, just tasks being issued by an unknown force. Act I seals the exits, Act II tears blood relatives apart, and Act III drops a trippified A-bomb of unexpected practical oddness that's of no use to anyone spoiled. Kevorkian's film has a lot to say about being enslaved by technology, and in my opinion, doesn't get the love it deserves. Time to change that!

Chris: It wouldn't be Now Scream This without at least one Matt rec that I haven't seen!

Grand Piano

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Grand Piano is Speed in a concert hall where Elijah Wood plays a virtuoso pianist, scripted by Damien Chazelle, and starring John Cusack as the film's antagonist. A+ tension is taut like finely tuned music wire. Any further words I type in this paragraph are obsolete given how you should already be logging into Shudder with Grand Piano on your mind. As Wood tickles the ivories, his life depends on striking every single note with exact precision. "Play one wrong note and you die," his sheet music reads in red marker. What in the name of Beethoven's ghost are you still doing here?! Grand Piano deserves a national holiday dedicated in its name given how impeccably the premise is executed and is one surprisingly fun-filled watch given the "trapped" premise.

Chris: Oh hell yeah, I love this Brian De Palma homage.

The Unseen

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: I caught The Unseen during 2016's Fantasia Film Festival, after which Geoff Redknap's "Invisible Man" riff evaded US distribution until only a few months ago (if even). Veteran makeup artist/SFX guru directs one father's vanishing act as former NHL prospect Bob Langmore (Aden Young) hides away from society as his body becomes more exposed – or unseen – by the day. That's until his daughter goes missing, and Bob straps on his ass-kicking boots. Expect more fatherly fist-pounding than pure terror, but visual effects make for some frightening Frankenstein and Hollow Man homages. Damn fine invisibility glimpses reveal muscular tissue, pumping veins, and the inner-workings of Bob's body as his form becomes more see-through by the day. Not like Redknap needs to peel away Bob's exterior to feel the beating heartbeat powering this touching parental thriller.

Chris: Thought I was going to get through this week's entry with only one Matt pick I had yet to see. But no! I guess you could say The Unseen remains...unseen. Thanks everyone!

The Legend of Hell House

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: John Hough's The Legend of Hell House, based on a novel by Richard Matheson (who also wrote the script) has a very familiar set up: a group of strangers gather together in a huge haunted house to find proof of the paranormal. Sure enough, they find that proof, and instantly regret it. While this scenario has become a bit rote, Hell House finds ways to make it incredibly fun, and spooky. This has that '70s British horror movie charm, where the everyone dresses very groovy, and the entire film looks as if it's being shot through a thin sheet of gauze. It culminates in a big, loud, violent conclusion that still has power all the years after its release.

Matt: Twitter was abuzz with hype the minute Hell House hit Shudder – while I was caught up in SXSW coverage. Still on my to-do list.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: No remake can ever come close to approaching the grainy, nightmarish, realistic terror of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. But the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre is surprisingly strong. The film can at the start of the remake craze of the early 2000s, and while the remakes that followed tended to be rather terrible, Texas Chainsaw manages to pummel its audience with enough nasty shocks to make an impression. The story is the same: a group of youths run afoul of a cannibalistic family in Texas. This new take has the added bonus of R. Lee Ermey on hand, chewing scenery as an evil sheriff. I know the very existence of this film is considered sacrilegious to some, but I've always liked it. However, the sequel, or rather prequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, should be avoided at all costs.

Matt: A solid remake that released when so many were outraged over Hollywood's lack of creativity. Looking back on "remake culture," we were too hard on some films.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Chris: David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a nightmarish, unrelenting prequel to his mind-bending Twin Peaks series, and it gets better every time you watch it. The film was derided when it opened in 1992, but has been rightfully reappraised in the years since. The film goes back to show us what happened to Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) before she ended up dead, wrapped in plastic, in the first episode of the cult TV show. Lynch is telling a story about abuse and trauma, and filtering it through his own unique, jarring lens. Bonus: David Bowie making the cameo to end all cameos.

Matt: "Bonus: David Bowie making the cameo to end all cameos." Worth the price of admission.

The Wolfman (2010)

Now Streaming on HBO Go

Chris: First, let me be clear: the 2010 pre-Dark Universe remake of The Wolfman is kind of a mess. But it's an interesting mess! And that's what matters. This film suffered from a troubled production, with Universal Studios clearly unsure about what the hell to do with this. Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was originally hired to helm, but his vision proved to be too challenging and different for the studio's tastes. So instead they hired workman director Joe Johnston...which was probably a mistake. No offense to Johnston, who helmed the fantastic The Rocketeer, but he's just not exactly a master of horror. The behind-the-scenes turmoil shows in the film, which is uneven. But the stuff that works really works well. Benicio del Toro is great as the cursed werewolf Lawrence Talbot, Emily Blunt does the most she can with her underwritten role, and Anthony Hopkins hams it up big time. The real draw here is the amazing make-up effects from the legendary Rick Baker, who creates killer werewolf create effects, some of which Universal stupidly altered with CGI. But I can't help but appreciate this movie and all its gothic charm.

Matt: One man's "interesting mess" is another's "there's a reason this Dark Universe never took off." The Wolfman is a disaster of poor CGI and shoddy pacing, dynamite cast aside.

Scream 4

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: Scream 4 ended up being the last movie Wes Craven would direct, and I've always felt like it didn't get enough praise. When the movie arrived in 2011, the Scream franchise felt almost forgotten. As a result, the reaction to the movie was muted. But that's a shame, because Scream 4 is a great return to form. In fact, I'll just go ahead and say it's the only Scream sequel I consider to be good (sorry, Scream 2 fans). The movie is designed to be a kind of sequel and reboot. It's a film where a new, young cast is front and center, but the older original cast keeps getting in the way. The movie is also shockingly violent – maybe one of the most violent movie Craven ever made. The kills here are exceptionally brutal, and often disturbing. One early murder, where a teen girl is brutally flung about her bedroom and eventually has her guts literally pulled out, is upsetting to the extreme. We all miss Wes Craven, but as far as swan songs go, Scream 4 isn't a bad movie to go out on.

Matt: While I'll apologize for my co-host to fans of Scream 2, he's not wrong about Scream 4. Would have loved to see more franchise entries follow this one's jumping-off point.