Now Stream This: 'The Guest', 'The Death Of Stalin', 'Don't Look Now', 'Blade', 'Scare Me', And More

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

The Guest

Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2014Genre: Action-HorrorDirector: Adam WingardCast: Dan Stevens, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, Lance Reddick

What would happen if you crossed The Terminator with Halloween? You might get The Guest, a nifty blend of action movies and slasher pics. Dan Stevens (who got very ripped for the role) plays a soldier who shows up on the doorstep of the family of a fallen soldier. He said he was good friends with the dead soldier, and the deceased man's family welcome Stevens' David into their lives, with the dead man's sister (Maika Monroe) clearly enamored with David's very prominent abs. But David has a secret, and things turn out deadly for more than a few characters. Fun, stylish, and seasonably appropriate, this should become a new Halloween staple.

For fans of: HalloweenThe Terminator, colored lights.

The Death of Stalin

Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2017Genre: Dark ComeyDirector: Armando IannucciCast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Paul Whitehouse, Jeffrey Tambor

For no reason at all – certainly not because of current events, oh no – here's an extremely dark comedy about a group of government insiders scrambling, lying, and making complete idiots of themselves as they try to deal with the grave illness that has befallen a cruel dictator. Anyway, The Death of Stalin comes from Veep creator and In the Loop director Armando Iannucci, and it's cut from the same acidic, acerbic cloth as those titles – it's funny as hell but also kind of terrifying, because it's based on fact. What starts off as something very funny – when Joseph Stalin is on death's door, the men who work for him have no idea what the hell to do at first and then start vying for power. It descends into something shockingly bleak. You know, just like life.

For fans of: In the LoopVeep, actors not even attempting to use the correct accents.

Don’t Look Now

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1973Genre: HorrorDirector: Nicolas RoegCast: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland

If all you really know about Don't Look Now is that it has a very memorable sex scene, there's much more waiting for you to discover. After their daughter drowns, a couple, Laura and John (Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland) relocate to Venice. Once there, Laura encounters two elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be able to communicate with the dead. Laura believes it and wants the old woman to contact her dead daughter, but John thinks it's all nonsense. But as skeptical as he might be he's also haunted by what appears to be a child running all over Venice – a child wearing the same red raincoat his daughter wore. Is it the dead girl's ghost? Is John going crazy? Director Nicolas Roeg captures it all in a dream-like state. Christie and Sutherland's performances are both grounded to the point where the film feels real, but at the same time, it's surreal. Editor Graeme Clifford plays around with time, cutting in moments that could be real or could be fantasy. Or maybe both. The end result is a horror classic.

For fans of: The Sixth SenseThe Changling, Donald Sutherland's glorious mustache & wig combo.


Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1998Genre: Action-HorrorDirector: Stephen NorringtonCast: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N'Bushe Wright

A year before The Matrix there was Blade, an action movie full of black leather and bullet-time action. Wesley Snipes, full of badass bravado and movie star charisma, is Blade, a "daywalker" – a vampire who is able to move about in the sunlight. Blade spends his days hunting other vampires, using all sorts of cool gadgetry like a blood-craving James Bond. Vampires and humans have coexisted for centuries, but half-breed vampire Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) wants to change all that and have vampires rule the world. Not on Blade's watch, baby. Fun, violent, and so far removed from the superhero movies of today, Blade is the type of Marvel movie that we need more of these days.

For fans of: The MatrixBlade II, motherf***ers always trying to ice-skate uphill.


Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1978Genre: ThrillerDirector: Michael CrichtonCast: Geneviève Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley, Richard Widmark, Rip TornMichael Crichton (yes, that Michael Crichton, the guy who wrote Jurassic Park) directs this slick medical thriller based on the book by Robin Cook. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold) begins to think something's up when random patients at her hospital start going into comas during routine procedures. Her boyfriend, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) thinks she's being overly paranoid, but Dr. Wheeler is determined to get to the bottom of things, even if it costs her career. Sure enough, there's a sinister answer to what's going on. Cold, sterile, and often surprisingly unsettling, this is a little gem that deserves to be rediscovered.For fans of: The HospitalExtreme Measures, brief appearances from young Ed Harris.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1992Genre: ThrillerDirector: Curtis HansonCast: Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Ernie Hudson, Julianne Moore

This trashy little domestic thriller from director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) has Annabella Sciorra being terrorized by Rebecca De Mornay in foggy, upper-class Seattle. Sciorra has just given birth to a new baby and she needs some help around the house. Enter De Mornay, who claims to be a nanny. But in one of the film's more clever approaches, we know right from the start De Mornay is bad news – she's the wife of an obstetrician who sexually assaulted Sciorra's character during an exam. Sciorra reported her assault, the obstetrician killed himself, and De Mornay's character lost her baby in the process. Now, she's out for blood, slowly working to destroy Sciorra's character so she can take over her life. Like I said: it's trashy. But it's the sort of solid, trashy studio pic we really don't get anymore.

For fans of: Fatal AttractionPacific Heights, supporting actor Julianne Moore.


Now Streaming on HBO Max

Release Date: 2011Genre: DramaDirector: Steve McQueenCast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole BeharieSteve McQueen's raw, unflinching drama Shame features two killer performances from Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Fassbender is Brandon Sullivan, a New York City executive with a serious sex addiction problem. Mulligan is Sissy, his sister who comes to visit, complicating things. Thus the stage is set for a character study that never shies away from unpleasantness, with Fassbender giving a unique, unfiltered performance as his character struggles with the past and present. It's a film so brutal in its honesty that it might be hard for anyone to ever revisit. But if you haven't seen it yet, now's your chance.For fans of: Little ChildrenNymphomaniac, being uncomfortable but fascinated.

Running Scared

Now Streaming on HBO Max

Release Date: 2006Genre: Action-ThrillerDirector: Wayne KramerCast: Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga, Chazz PalminteriPaul Walker seemed like a nice guy, but his film and acting choices left a lot to be desired over the years. One notable exception was Running ScaredWayne Kramer's ultra-stylish crime thriller full of surreal touches. Walker plays a low-level gangster who is tasked with getting rid of a gun used in a homicide. Unfortunately, the gun ends up being stolen by Oleg (Cameron Bright), a kid who lives next door. Now, Walker's character and his wife (the always-great Vera Farmiga) have to run all over town trying to find the kid, and the gun, before it's too late. It's a simple premise, but Kramer milks it for all its worth, throwing one wild set-piece after another in our face (there's a sequence with a ghoulish couple who want to murder Oleg that has to be seen to be believed).For fans of: Judgement NightBad Lieutenant, neon hockey pucks flying at people's faces.

Scare Me

Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2020Genre: Horror-ComedyDirector: Josh RubenCast: Aya Cash, Josh Ruben, Rebecca Drysdale, Chris ReddJosh Ruben's Scare Me is the perfect treat for the Halloween season. Would-be writer Fred (Ruben) has locked himself away in a cabin with the hopes of writing a novel. He's not entirely sure what the novel will be about – maybe werewolves, or maybe a character from the Bible, who knows? – but he firmly believes that if he has the chance he can pound out a bestseller. But then he runs into Fanny (Aya Cash), another writer who actually has written a bestseller. When a power outage strands the pair in Fred's cabin, Fanny suggests they tell each other scary stories to pass the time. And here is where Scare Me gets really clever. Rather than cutting away to show dramatizations of the stories the two characters are telling, horror anthology style, Ruben instead keeps all the action located in the cabin. Ruben and Cash carry the entire movie, acting out their individual stories, complete with voices, and it's incredibly entertaining (Cash is particularly adept at selling the tales she's spinning). And as the night wears on, Fred's jealously at Fanny's talent grows into something dangerous. I missed this at Sundance this year, and I'm kicking myself for that because I imagine this plays great with an audience. Still, watching it from the safety of your own home via Shudder is a good option to have.For fans of: CreepshowTales from the Crypt, the many voices of Aya Cash.

American Murder: The Family Next Door

Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2020Genre: DocumentaryDirector: Jenny PopplewellAmerican Murder: The Family Next Door is not your typical true crime documentary. For one thing, there's no narrator. There are no talking-head interviews. There's no editorializing. Instead, director Jenny Popplewell has assembled countless hours of footage – police cams, interrogation room footage, and footage shot by the subjects of the story – and pieced it together into a coherent, heartbreaking narrative. In 2018, Shanann Watts and her two children went missing, an act that almost immediately triggered alarms in Shanann's friends. Shanann's husband, Christopher Watts, appeared helpful at first, but it became quickly apparent to seemingly everyone – even the Watts' next door neighbor – that he was hiding something. Shanann was something of a social media aficionado, constantly filming her family, and Popplewell is able to use that footage and splice it against footage taken during the investigation into the disappearance, resulting in something harrowing and heartbreaking. To be clear: this is not for the faint of heart. There's nothing graphic or grisly shown on screen here, but the storytelling method, of putting us up close and personal with the victims, and the perpetrator, is disarming to the extreme. Unlike so many other true crime docs that focus on what happened after the crime, American Murder shows us the intimate lives that were cruelly snuffed out. This is definitely worth watching, but I can't imagine ever having the emotional strength to sit through it more than once.For fans of: Innovative true crime.