Now Scream This: Stream These Great Horror Marathons For Your Holiday Weekend

(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: This week on "Now Scream This," Chris and I put on our "Film Programmer" hats. Weekly themes typically coincide with popular movies released in tandem with posting dates, but we're trying something different. I posed to Chris, what if we curate five-film streaming marathons? Piece together mini-festival by whatever parameters we set? Chris obliged, titles were selected, and here we are. Allow us to be your masters of ceremonies should you want to spend an entire day/weekend indoors? Let us know whatever themed foods and drinks you come up with to serve during our provided programming.

Chris: I wanted to change things up a bit with my selections this week. The result: horror documentaries. Docs that focus on both scary subjects, and horror films in general. Shudder is a great one-stop shop for this sort of thing – they're loaded-up with horror docs. But there's an entire world of documentaries out there focusing on things that go bump in the night. Why not check some of them out? 

Lords Of Chaos

Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: Kicking off my "Heavy Metal Horror" setlist is 2018's Lords Of Chaos. Jonas Åkerlund recounts the birth of Norwegian Black Metal through Mayhem guitarist "Euronymous." Rory Culkin stars as the big-dreaming scene rocker, narrating at the onset it's "his story" and it will all "end badly." That it does for a large group of people, from Jack Kilmer's vocalist "Dead" to Emory Cohen as barbarian Varg. Euronymous' story is one of betrayal, posers, and crunchy guitar riffs, coming together like Super Dark Times for black metal fans. Purists still rage over the legitimacy and representation of Mayhem on screen, but as someone watching from an outside standpoint, Lords Of Chaos remains one of 2018's most engaging portrayals of tragedy.

Chris says: Hey kids, do you like violence? If so, this is the film for you! 

The Devil’s Candy

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: My second film continuation is Sean Byrne's The Devil's Candy, a "possession" tale where runnin' with the devil isn't as fun as Van Halen made it sound. Ethan Embry stars as Jesse Hellman, a father and husband whose family moves into a cursed Texas home. Jesse's artwork starts to take a mind of its own when visions plague his barnyard work sessions, while a cherry-red Flying V guitar evokes the devil's chords. Byrne's soundtrack includes Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and more, plus Sunn O))) lends straight-from-the-underworld black metal chants. The Devil's Candy is a "Metal AF" home invasion that rocks hard and rolls into uncompromising devastation. I'd give anything to wail on that red-devil axe, even my soul (especially if it meant we'd get another Sean Byrne horror movie).

Chris: You know, when I first saw this movie, I felt like it didn't work for me. And yet I was unable to get it out of my head. So job well done, Devil's Candy

Pyewacket

Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket may wear musical influences on denim jackets more than through audible background tracks, but that doesn't make it any less metal. Nicole Muñoz's Leah Reyes calls upon a vengeful demon when lashing out against her mother, finding comfort in the soothing satanics of bands like Carach Angren. What Reyes forgets is that emotions pass, yet black magic incantations cannot be as easily aborted. Following in-step with The Devil's Candy, Pyewacket is a family's fight against advancing evil. Laurie Holden such a standout amidst grief-stricken parenting as Muñoz acts on her teenage angst in the worst way imaginable. As I've said many times, MacDonald's film is Lady Bird for horror fans. I promise my marathon is about to balance out all this emotional heaviness.

Chris: This is one of my favorite recent horror movies; it's bleak, creepy and endlessly surprising. 

Deathgasm 

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: My fourth selection is a necessary palate cleanser in the form of Jason Lei Howden's Deathgasm. Howden won New Zealand's 2013 Make My Horror Movie contest with nothing but a tagline (if interview memory serves me correctly), which translates into a Sam Raimi-inspired horror comedy reverberating the aggressive riffage of 10,000 Drop-C-Tuned Schecter guitars. Practical effects are magnificently gruesome and unforgivably bloody, but what's better is a loner's accidental summoning of apocalyptic forces then having to rebox them. Milo Cawthorne sells a pitch-awkward underdog hero, but my favorite performance still goes to good-girl Kimberley Crossman after metal music corrupts her purified soul. Deathgasm deserves all the metal horns, and still stands as one of my favorite rewatchable horror films of the decade.

Chris: I like the concept of this film, and some of the ideas. But it ultimately felt more like a clever short film stretched to feature-length. Your milage may vary. 

Phantom Of The Paradise

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Last but not least is a – *checks notes* – Brian De Palma movie? Indeed! Phantom Of The Paradise hit Shudder not too long ago, which would be hard information to miss if you follow don't Fangoria's chief Phil Nobile Jr. on Twitter. In any case, this eccentric Phantom Of The Opera retelling is an extravagant feast for the eyes that makes a bonkers tonal comparison when starting this marathon with Lords Of Chaos. More "glitz and glamour" arena extravagance that some characters listed above might mock, but how can you deny the performative hypnosis laid down by Gerrit Graham's "Beef?" This movie is wild, lively, and updates a classic with the most sensational enthusiasm. As much as I hate to agree with Phil, this movie rocks so freakin' hard.

Chris: This is a masterpiece, without question. From the very first few moments, accompanied by narration from Rod Serling, you know you're in for something special. God help us all if someone ever attempts to remake this. 

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: I wanted to go with a documentary horror theme this week, and what better title to kick things off than Horror Noire? I consider myself pretty well-versed in all-things-horror, but this documentary, which chronicles black American horror films, took me to school. There's nothing I love more than being educated while being entertained, and that's exactly what Horror Noire does. Even if you think you have a grasp on the topics being focused on here, I promise you you'll still learn something new. The only qualm I have with the film is that it fails to provide title cards for the majority of the clips it shows. I recognized a good chunk of the films shown here, but there were a handful I would've loved to know more about. That issue aside, Horror Noire is essential viewing. 

Matt: Why don't we have more horror documentaries? Well, actually, let me rephrase. Why don't we have more horror documentaries as good as Horror Noire? Educational and entertaining. It's easily one of the best horror movies of 2019 so far.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Hey, do you have almost 7 hours to kill? If so, I invite you to sit down and watch Crystal Lake Memories. This epic doc takes you through the entire Friday the 13th franchise, from beginning ot end. That may sound like a frivolous topic, but Crystal Lake Memories is fascinating, focusing on the behind-the-scenes stories behind each of the films in the series. You may think there's nothing of value to learn about a cheesy horror franchise like this, but you're wrong. Informative, funny and, yes, really long, this doc will make you want to sit down and burn through the entire franchise all over again. 

Matt: IMDb lists this Friday The 13th documentary at roughly 400 minutes. I'm a Child's Play guy myself – not sure I've got more than 120 minutes of documentary talk in me about Jason.

Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: I'm a Pet Sematary junkie. All-things Pet Sematary appeal to me, including this documentary, which serves as a kind of love letter to the 1989 film adaptation. Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is not the most professional of documentaries, but it's made with such love and care that you can't help but become engrossed in it all. The doc tracks the making of the 1989 film, and features interviews with most of the folks involved (sadly, Stephen King didn't partake). Any question you might have about the '89 film is answered here, along with some informative background info on the book itself. 

Matt: Alright, Chris is schooling me this week with his documentary lineup. Is this payback for always dropping unknown titles?

Cropsey

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Cropsey isn't about horror movies – but it's very much a horror documentary. Directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio start the film exploring an urban legend about a mythical killer on Staten Island, before coming around to focus on real-life convicted child killer Andre Rand. Is Rand a real-life boogeyman, or a hapless scapegoat? Crospey digs into the power of gossip and legend, and how scary stories can cloud our judgement and reasoning as we search for real-life monsters lurking in the shadows. 

Matt: You are correct to assume I have not seen Cropsey. This one looks especially chilling, based on a real Staten Island boogeyman.

Killer Legends

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Having already explored one urban legend, Cropsey co-director Joshua Zeman decides to take on several others with the follow-up Killer Legends. While not as focused or effective as Cropsey, Killer Legends is a captivating dive into the type of supposedly true stories that have terrified kids and parents for decades – razors in Halloween candy; the escaped killer with a hook for a hand; scary phone calls coming from inside the house, and more. Where does the truth begin in stories like this, and why are we so obsessed with sharing them again and again? Killer Legends doesn't really provide an answer, but it does a good job trying to find one. 

Matt: Well, at least I've seen one of these documentaries?