Now Scream This: Horror Movies To Stream Before Seeing 'It Chapter Two'

(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 release of It Chapter 2 next weekend, Chris and I are tackling horror films based on common phobias. Trigger warning and all that. Not specifically just clowns, either. I'll leave Chris to recommend any eight-legged scare flicks, because yes, even the fearless Matt Donato has a phobia or two. Everyone's got their own worst nightmare; mine happens to involve creepy crawlies of a particular kind.

Chris: What scares you? If you're like me, the answer is: everything. But there are a handful of horror films that hone in on very specific fears, with It and the upcoming It Chapter Two being two of the most high-profile examples. With the impending It Chapter Two release, Matt and I have delved into films that exploit certain phobias. So watch out! 

The Perfection

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Those who have Entomophobia may want to steer clear of The Perfection, thinking of gruesome insect inserts. Places where nasty buggies very well should crawl or squirm. Also, hypochondriacs will turn ghost-pale at the notion of a contagion spreading through airborne pathogens. Richard Shepard forces actresses Allison Williams and Logan Browning to endure a crucible of horrors as orchestral rivals duke wits and schemes, always favoring absurdist overstretching. It's wild, disgusting, and topsy-turvy in unforgettable ways. A rare modern midnighter that embraces whiplash twists and somehow doesn't leave viewers in pain.

Chris: The Perfection really is as crazy as you've heard. I like the first half more than the second, but I appreciate how unflinchingly bonkers the whole experience is. 

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Necrophobia, not to be confused with another "necro" habit, is a phobia exposed by André Øvredal's The Autopsy Of Jane Doe. IFC Midnight's father-son coroner's nightmare works some solid spooks into the family funeral business. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch forced to survive an onslaught of terrors brought upon when a "Jane Doe" corpse brings along supernatural forces. As Øvredal proves in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, he can deliver the "scary" – previously asserted in this 2016 cold case. A film that many lauded as one of the year's best when it was released.

Chris: Super creepy, super subtle, super stylish. I love this movie and all its spooky charms. 

The Lift

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Dick Maas made a Dutch movie about a killer elevator. For real. Those who have Claustrophobia or Cleithrophobia (the fear of being trapped) will want to avoid Maas' downright outrageous shaft-happy horror film. You'll get everything you envision from a foreign killer elevator movie with Mass' creative juices splashed everywhere. Maas himself even provides another winning original score worth prime placement in any collector's vinyl library – a cherry atop this "mind of its own mechanical devil" flick. I repeat, "KILLER ELEVATOR MOVIE." Iconic enough to spawn a 2001 remake titled Down starring Naomi Watts.

Chris: I have not seen this yet, but I'm well aware of it. 

Hagazussa

Now Streaming on 

Matt: This one's for the Galaphobia contingency out there! I see you, those afraid of milk. Hagazussa is a pagan slow-burn that drips period atmosphere – almost as much as it drips streams of dairy liquids. Some herald Gwen this year's The Witch, others choose The Wind for that comparison, but in terms of the year's best era-specific selection of dreadful satanic horror, Hagazussa is the clear winner. If only for a gothic and striking glimpse of top-tier cinematography inside a cave lined with bone-white skulls.

Chris: A slow-burn freak-show, Hgazussa is like The Witch crossed with a Werner Herzog film. 

Possum

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: Matthew Holness, the visionary behind Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, exploits Pupaphobia and Arachnophobia in his directorial debut. Sean Harris's disgraced children's puppeteer returns home and attempts to discard of Possum – his monstrous marionette friend. Long, pincer-like spider legs with a baby doll's head attached. Possum's physicality is like some antique torture chamber mascot, as Harris sells a tremendously paranoid leading performance alongside his unsettling sidekick. Traces of parody hide behind Holness' style, but the tone remains effectively dire under the gravest of reappearing Possum circumstances. Freaky as hell, that's emphatically sure.

Chris: This movie is very upsetting! Puppets! Spiders! Sean Harris! 

Arachnophobia

Now Streaming on HBO Now

Chris: I am terrified of insects. I know how irrational that sounds, but the sight of them scurrying about gives me the god damn creeps. That includes arachnids – spiders are creepy, man. That makes Arachnophobia extra unsettling, as real spiders scurry about. But this Frank Marshall-directed film is also surprisingly fun, with a wicked sense of humor. Small-town doctor Jeff Daniels has to deal with a horde of deadly spiders killing off the townfolk, aided by an exterminator (John Goodman, stealing the show) and a Entomologist (Julian Sands). If you're scared of spiders, you really should skip this one. 

Matt: No, I've never seen Arachnophobia. You read my intro. Maybe I will someday. When I meet someone I trust enough to share a couch with while I squirm and demand constant comforting. Someday I'll find my Arachnophobia partner.

Dr. Giggles

Now Streaming on Starz

Chris: Iatrophobia is the fear of doctors – and after one look at Dr. Giggles, you can understand where that fear might come from. This over-the-top gore-fest finds Larry Drake playing a killer doctor terrorizing some teens with comically deadly medical instruments. To this day I remain baffled as to how we never got a single Dr. Giggles sequel. I mean, christ, The Dentist got a sequel – why not Dr. Giggles? Had this inspired an entire direct-to-video franchise, I would've watched every single one. 

Matt says: All I know about Dr. Giggles is that Anya Stanley demands everyone should see it. Now I have another reason.

The Hole in the Ground

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: I'll say it: children are scary. The fear of children, pedophobia, makes perfect sense when you watch The Hole in the Ground, Lee Cronin's slow-burn Irish horror flick about a woman who begins to suspect her young son isn't actually her son at all. The weirder the kid acts, the more certain his mother becomes that he's been replaced by some sort of malevolent imposter. Is she right? Is she going insane? You'll have to watch to find out. 

Matt says: A rare 2019 horror movie Chris has seen that I haven't! Released during some festival coverage and couldn't find time. It'll be viewed before my end of the year list, don't worry kiddies.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space 

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: It wouldn't be a list honoring It without at least one scary clown movie. Coulrophobia, aka the fear of clowns, is the name of the game in Killer Klowns from Outer Space, a gloriously goofy horror-comedy about alien-clowns who come to Earth to feast on us puny humans. The clown effects are perfectly disgusting, and the film's theme song is banging. What a joyfully silly treat this is. 

Matt says: Best attraction at last year's Halloween Horror Nights was the Killer Klowns "Scare Zone." Hands down. Took a picture with some cotton candy cocoons. Very fun experience for cheeseball horror fans.

Chopping Mall

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Chopping Mall highlights two different fears. One is agoraphobia, aka a fear of crowded, open places – like shopping malls. The other is robophobia – the fear of robots. In Chopping Mall, a group of teens locked in a shopping mall overnight have to contend with a trio of deadly, murderous security robots. Malls are scary enough on their own – throw in some killer robots, and you've got a sure-fire recipe for terror. 

Matt says: Barbara Crampton fighting murderous robots in a shopping mall. We didn't deserve the '80s.