Now Scream This: Kick Off The New Year With These Streaming Horror Movies

(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: Wow, we did it. We witnessed the 2010s flip to 2020s and can someday tell our grandkids. I'm not one for resolutions, yet the passing of an entire decade makes me want to look forward to betterment at least a wee bit. That's why I suggested this first "Now Scream This" of a brand new era be about films neither myself nor Chris have seen but will rectify by 2021. Plus I was anticipating my New Year's Day hangover and didn't think my analytical wits would be about myself, which, low and behold here we are!

Chris: Happy New Year, I guess! I started off the New Year in a fairly positive mood, and then the entire world went to hell on the second day. But hey, that's what horror movies are for – escaping the nightmares of the real world for the nightmares of the cinema. In the spirit of trying new things, Matt and I are changing the column up this week and picking movies we haven't seen, but plan on finally watching this year. 

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Now Streaming on Shudder/Hulu/Amazon Prime

Matt: One of my favorite topics of debate in horror conversations is the best one-two combo when it comes to originals and sequels. Mine currently stands as [REC] and [REC] 2, but Twitter users were quick to heap plenty of praise onto Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II. I'll admit that my completionist tendencies haven't reached the Hellraiser franchise as of yet, which means its time to see if y'all are right about some Cenobite double-whamming. Who knows, maybe my answer to the previously mentioned question will change? Probably not though, since [REC] and [REC] 2 make a perfect combination.

Chris: This is a very exciting list for me, because usually these lists are filled with titles that Matt has seen but I have not. The tables have turned, my friend! Ah ha ha! Anyway, Hellraiser II – pretty good! 

Tenebrae

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Italian horror and giallos are a massive blind spot for ol' Donato. No hiding such truths. Dario Argento's prolific catalog remains one of my largest mountains to conquer, but it's time to get those legs in motion. Shudder has more than one Argento option to pick from, and it's a damn shame that Dracula 3D remains one of my only reference points to Dario's work (in addition to Suspiria and Deep Red). I know. I've been a bad horror fan, only because I entered the game so late in life and without anyone to guide me. I've basically been playing a mad catchup game since college ended. Think I've done pretty well thus far? Pitter patter, nonetheless.

Chris: You can't beat early-to-mid-period Argento. Late period Argento, however, should be avoided at all costs. 

Lovely Molly

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: I've seen Lovely Molly recommended a ton by users on the Twitter machine. That's my simple answer as to why it's showing up on this list. I've got nothing better for you here. It sounds vaguely reminiscent of The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh, another emotionally haunting story (that I watched this year and fell in love with). I'm finally going to do it, y'all. I'm finally going to watch Lovely Molly.

Chris: This is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. A bleak, terrifying portrait of a woman coming completely undone, haunted by her traumatic past...and possibly something else. 

Terror Train

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: This past October was an exercise in getting in touch with horror's 70s and 80s slasher roots, which led to a few Jamie Lee Curtis appearances. You've got your Prom Night, Halloween (obviously), but one of her earliest still escapes me: Terror Train. A costume party on a train that turns into a slasher? Working through this Curtis fixation just seems natural. Plus how am I to ignore a Canuxploitation film with a killer who wears a Groucho Marx mask? None of this sounds like a real plot that should exist, so yes, I'm very into checking Terror Train off my list.

Chris: I've seen this, but I somehow can't remember a single thing about it. Always a sign of a good film. 

Ginger Snaps

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: I often lament how werewolf movies aren't releasing as frequently as they should, but how am I to make such claims without seeing every werewolf movie in existence? Ginger Snaps has been on my list for a while, like many, MANY titles I've yet to indulge, so it comes into 2020 in my crosshairs. A story of adolescence, metamorphosis, and hairy details. Maybe this will hold me over until Issa López's in-the-works werewolf western finally releases (we've got some time still).

Chris: There should be more coming-of-age werewolf flicks, I say. 

Jigoku

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Chris: I must confess that foreign language horror is a bit of a blind spot of mine, and one that I'd very much like to fix. This 1960 Japanese horror movie from Nobuo Nakagawa follows a student who commits a hit-and-run, and is then tormented by unspeakable horrors. By almost all accounts, Jigoku was the first movie – ever – to employ special effects gore. 

Matt: *Looks at plot synopsis, adds to "Must Watch" list*

Shivers

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Chris: I've seen almost all of David Cronenberg's films, yet I've somehow never seen Shivers, his first real feature. Since this is a Cronenberg film, and an early Cronenberg film to boot, body horror is the name of the game. The story concerns residents of a high-rise apartment being infected by parasites. The parasites then turn them into murderous sex-fiends. I mean...how can you not want to watch that?

Matt: Cronenbergian cinema is another one of my glaring blind spots, Shivers included. I know, I've got a lot of homework still to do!

Backcountry

Now Streaming on Netflix

Chris: Backcountry is one of those movies I've had sitting in my Netflix queue seemingly forever. Everyone tells me this tale of campers being chased by a hungry, hungry bear is "actually pretty good!", yet I keep on avoiding it. That changes now, damn it. And by "now" I mean "sometime this year." 

Matt: It's Jaws but for campers. A well-told woodland creature feature with an emphasis on tension and one grizzly pursuer.

The Exorcist (TV Series)

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: I watched the premiere episode of The Exorcist TV series when it first aired, and was not impressed. At all. Yet by all accounts, the show gets much, much better, especially in its second, and final, season. The series uses the original movie as a springboard for something bigger, and while I'm sure it never comes close to capturing the horrific magic of William Friedkin's film, I'm still mighty curious. 

Matt: What is this, Chris?! I don't even have time for movies, let alone television! Blasphemy.

The Zodiac Killer

Now Streaming on Tubi

Chris: This is a low-budget movie made in 1971 – a time when the Zodiac Killer had stopped killing, but was still out there, somewhere. Fast food franchiser Tom Hanson had always wanted to break into movies, and he got a bright idea: he would make a movie about the Zodiac and use it as a trap to catch the real killer. Hanson had an entire team set up in the theater when the film premiered, all of them looking to spot someone who resembled the Zodiac killer's mugshot. Hanson himself swears up and down that he actually saw the guy there, too – in the bathroom. But was unable to do anything about it. That story alone makes me mighty curious about Hanson's The Zodiac Killer, which completely ignores most of the facts of the real case. 

Matt: "In a 2012 interview and again in a 2017 interview, Hanson stated that the production of the film was motivated by an elaborate plot to catch the killer, who Hanson reasoned would not be able to resist attending the film's premier." Come again?