Now Scream This: 10 Great Superhero-Tinged Horror Movies Streaming 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: With the upcoming release of supervillain horror origin Brightburn, Chris and I offer some alternative streaming tales of terror that we deem as displaying superhero qualities. Maybe not all come with spandex and capes, or a Marvel company stinger, but superpowers appear in all forms. Freddy's superpower is a command of dreamscapes, Jason defies mortality, heroes can turn evil damn quick – you're with us, right? It's about time we ditched the squeaky-clean Cap'n America schtick for a bit. Rest well, Avengers. Let the "bad guys" take over. 

Chris: I really liked Brightburn and I think the general concept – evil superhero! – is neat. The movie purports to be kicking-off a new subgenre, superhero horror. But there have been super-powered horror movies before Brightburn, and that's what Matt and I are highlighting this week. So if you go see Brightburn, and then find yourself wanting more, why not give these titles a try? They're super good! Except Matt's picks, probably. 

Blade

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: Stephen Norrington's goth-vamp Marvel origin Blade is a bloody good comic book adaptation born from industrial warehouse raves and martial arts influence. Wesley Snipes *is* "Blade," assassinator of bloodsuckers. The film's 1998 release is well before our now recognized Marvel Studios canon, hence juicy sanguine dance parties and more emphasis on gore than franchise cross-promotion. I mean, Udo Kier and Traci Lords are in a Marvel movie. How is that not enough initial radness? Blade kicks massive amounts of ass, is so very 90s "cool" especially where Stephen Dorff's villain is concerned, and represents the premiere intersection of "superhero" and "horror."

Chris: Featuring one of the greatest lines in film history: "Some motherf***ers are always trying to ice skate uphill."

Friend Request

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Simon Verhoeven's (no relation) Friend Request is a more slasher-structured Unfriended that adopts techno-horror via social media. Yes, the tagline is a lame-as-hell "Evil Is Trending" laugher. No, the movie isn't as terrible as the pun suggests. Where I'll pull "superpowers" in is by telling you the film's loner evil spirit requests you on Facebook or whatever equivalent, and can digitally stalk/kill your friends via WiFi waves. Computers are her weapon, binary horror her language. Maybe that'll teach you to always be connected online? In any case, expect ghastly glitches and some solid scares in this very streamable "pizza and Netflix" kind of Friday night frightfest.

Chris: I haven't seen this, but I have seen Unfriended. Unfriended is pretty good! Pick that next time, Matt.

Revenge

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: In Revenge, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz plays a legit superhero. Coralie Fargeat's lead is a bubblegum-pop female who's raped, left for dead by her assailants, and forced to seek bloody vengeance when her wounds prove non-fatal. Here's the superhero part: not dying after being pushed from a high cliff and impaled by a spiked bush. Blood leaking everywhere, forced to ingest drugs to withstand the pain of searing her damage. From there, she goes on a gruesome rampage that ends with the death of guilty parties, but my, what a spectacle. Many lesser heroes would've been done in under such circumstances.

Chris: This is a bloody work of art; like a Roy Lichtenstein piece painted in gore. See it (if you can stomach it).

Splice

Now Streaming on HBO GO

Matt: File Vincenzo Natali's Splice under "movies y'all don't talk about enough." Adrien Brody! Sarah Polley! Intercourse with a human/animal hybrid genetic experiment! Delphine Chanéac loses herself inside the role of "Dren," transforming into a superhuman concoction of random blended DNAs. As Dren evolves at an alarming rate, so do her hormones and abilities. Play God, suffer the consequences. Lest we forget how Natali ensures his sci-fi warning to humanity is far more than just another "species on the loose" take. Undoubtedly one of the top subgenre examples in the last 10-or-so years in its field.

Chris: This is a weird, kind of kinky movie that no one talks about anymore for some reason. I don't even know if I like it, but I appreciate it for how wacky it gets.

Hatchet

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: Is a slasher villain a superhero? That's the point I'll argue by selecting Adam Green's Hatchet. One of the only slasher icons to emerge over the last decade or so. Victor Crowley's bayou origin is one hack-em-up good time. A Louisiana urban legend based on voodoo magic and a hungry desire to kill unlucky swamp boat tourists. Crowley's superpowers seem to be resurrection (sequels), strength (ripping people apart with ease), and hatchet skills. Never understood why this slasher franchise didn't expand past Green's "Hatchet Army" faithful, as I sit here waiting for my full slasher renaissance to swing back into horror's forefront. For now, I'll keep rewatching ridiculous Hatchet kills on repeat.

Chris: You like gore? Then you'll like this.

Scanners

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy

Chris: Yes, that movie where the guy's head explodes. David Cronenberg's Scanners is a tense, sweaty, shocking horror thriller focuses on individuals with alarming telepathic and telekinetic power. The most powerful scanner is a man played by Michael Ironside, and he's in the midst of creating a movement bent on world domination. The only way to stop him is to recruit another scanner, played by Stephen Lack. The head-exploding scene is at the start of the film, and in truth, the rest of Scanners can never quite live up to that literally mind-blowing experience. But there's still plenty of cold, calculated Cronenbergian goodness lurking within.

Matt: I use the Scanners head explosion .gif at least three times a day. Partly because I love the movie, partly because life is a helpless barrage of chaos and anxiety.

Darkman

Now Streaming on MaxGo

Chris: Before he made Spider-Man, Sam Raimi took a shot at the superhero genre with the funny, violent, twisted Darkman. Liam Neeson is a scientist hideously burned by gangsters and left for dead. Instead, it turns him into a man who doesn't feel pain – something he uses to his advantage to get revenge. Raimi pulls out all the stops, using his trademark zooming, swooping, swirling cameras and employing incredible practical effects to craft one hell of a ride. Darkman spawned a few sequels, but none had Raimi involved, so you can skip them. He's the secret weapon to making all of this work. Pray no one ever remakes this.

Matt: Darkman is my kind of superhero film. Sam Raimi, Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand? Not to mention a heavy sci-fi lean and hero qualities that play for punishment.

WolfCop

Now Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime Video

Chris: Everything you need to know is in the title: WolfCop! He's a werewolf cop! Yes, this movie is silly as hell. But that's what makes it fun. Embracing gore and practical werewolf effects, WolfCop find drunken cop Lou Garou (Leo Fafard) cursed to be a werewolf. But he's not letting his lycanthropy keeping him from seeking justice. I'll admit the movie can't quite sustain its premise, and there's one too many comical subplots thrown in to pad the runtime. But when WolfCop is embracing its title, it's worth howling about.

Matt: Aw yeah, nice to see Chris getting in the WolfCop spirit after my initial praise! The greatest form of superhero wears a law enforcement uniform and suffers from lycanthropy.

Jason X

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: Jason X gets a lot of shit, since the surefire sign a horror franchise has run out of steam is when it shoots its characters into space. But you know what? Jason X is a blast. Yes, it's about Jason in space. And yes, the script is dumb to the extreme. But there's something joyous about watching Jason Voorhees in the future, bumping off horny space teens. Best of all: Jason gets blown up midway through the film, but fancy futuristic technology reassembles his body and turns him into Uber-Jason, making him even more unstoppable. I dare you not to have fun with all of this.

Matt: Jason X is, no sarcasm, an extremely fun Friday The 13th sequel and possibly one of my favorites. Fingers crossed the ongoing rights lawsuit is settled soon so I can stalk and slaughter friends aboard the Grendel in Friday The 13th multiplayer console game (announced but halted).

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Shudder

Chris: What if a horror movie slasher got his own superhero-style origin story? It might look something like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. This mockumentary follows a documentary crew following a young man who wants nothing more than to become the next great mask-wearing killer. The end result balances both comedy and horror quite well, all while paying loving tribute to the slasher genre, and the iconic films that served as major inspiration. It's a shame this didn't spawn a franchise of its own.

Matt: This genius slasher mockumentary/serious horror flick is one of the best meta-genre commentaries you'll find. No hyperbole. I've written about Scott Glosserman's film here before. Now it's Chris' turn.