Now Scream This: Celebrate Thanksgiving 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: I'm not going to fake positivity. This Thanksgiving will suck on levels that no holiday has any right to, because I'll assume we're all doing the responsible thing by staying home amidst growing concern over (once again) increasing COVID-19 cases. The somewhat salvageable news? In October, roughly 40+ new-release horror films hit VOD platforms and streaming services. Far too many titles for the sane and rational moviewatcher to tackle in a single month, now with an extended four-day weekend and lots of at-home lounge time. Here's to chipping away at our backlogs instead of needlessly extending future lockdown protocols!

Chris: It's been a month. Hell, it's been a year. Things are rough, and now it's Thanksgiving time – but I really hope you're not traveling. I get it – you're used to the tradition and want to go home and see your people. But you really, really shouldn't. Not this year. Sooner or later, we'll be on the other side of this. And while I'm not going to sit here and lie and say everything will be back to normal, things will be better. Because they have to be. For now, though, you should probably spend the holidays at home. And if you're looking for something to fill your time, we're rounding up some horror titles you might have missed in the last few weeks (you've probably had other things on your mind, what with...ya know...everything). 

Vampires Vs. The Bronx

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: In Oz Rodriguez's Bronx bloodsucker, gentrification sucks. Vampires pose as property managers who replace landmark bodegas and nail boutiques with hip artisanal pizza joints, promising New York residents a greater life outside their borough only to out-price locals then drain their souls. It's up to Miguel (Jaden Michael) and his bike crew to thwart the supernatural takeover in this bitingly satirical and often humorous culturally relevant horror story. Younger audiences should appreciate the gateway vibes that introduce genre elements, while Bronx natives will sense the immense neighborhood respect from casting (Method Man, The Kid Mero) to unshakable sensations of community. Adventurous, empowered, and Bronx-strong.

Chris: This is sitting my in queue, waiting to be watched. Waiting...

The Cleansing Hour

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: When I get the chance to write about sexy faux YouTube exorcist Ryan Guzman, I have to. Thems the rules. Especially in regards to Damien LeVeck's The Cleansing Hour, about when "Father Max" (Guzman) has his falsified demon expulsion series exposed by an actual demon. Kyle Gallner stars as his producer and problem-solver, as the two fight against an entity that lights effects guys ablaze and tortures the longtime friends who must race against time, viewer counts, and mounting confessions. Also, Alix Angelis plays the poor woman strapped into Father Max's chair as a supposed actor who becomes possessed and gives off major "Jane Levy as a Deadite" vibes. You know this is a good thing.

Chris: I saw this at Fantastic Fest last year (in fact, I think Matt was sitting right next to me when i saw it; I could be wrong, though, as I had one or two or ten drinks by then), and I remember being not very impressed with what was on the screen. Maybe I'll give it another shot... 

The Mortuary Collection

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: I'm a sucker for practical effects, horror anthologies, and exploding genitals – all of which exist in Ryan Spindell's The Mortuary Collection. Enter Clancy Brown as Montgomery Dark, a Lurch-looking mortician who regales his hopeful protege with phantasmagorical tales of deaths based on the bodies that've crossed his cold workbenches. A sticky-fingered woman, a college ladies man, a foolish lover. All of which meet grim endings, complete with out-of-bounds effects work from skeletal creatures climbing out of opened books to phallic punishment to plenty more gnarly demises. It's loads of fun, calling back to 70s and 80s anthologies in a way that makes for quite the Halloween party watch.

Chris: There's some gorgeous production design in this movie, but like so many horror anthology films, there's at least one story that just doesn't work and should've been cut out entirely. Still, it's a fun little treat. 

Nocturne

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: I feel like I was (deservingly) hard on Amazon's Welcome To The Blumhouse collection, so I'll play nice and recommend the one title that rose above the pack: Zu Quirke's Nocturne. I'm a sucker for horror narratives that blend musical accompaniment, so I'll admit, dead ringer. Sydney Sweeney stars as a pianist who finds the "Devil's Trill" arrangement in a deceased student's notebook, and she falls victim to the siren song of fame. Maybe she's improving her skills. Perhaps the sinister selection is taking hold in ungodly ways. In any case, tension strings like an appropriately-tuned instrument, and while it's never groundbreaking, it's hardly a wasted Amazon Prime stream. The ending especially lands in a way that lingers its devastation, which shouldn't be hard to notice.

Chris: All of the Welcome to the Blumhouse movies so far have been snores and bores, in my humble opinion. 

His House

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Remi Weekes' His House deserves feature-debut praise on the same level as Jordan Peele's Get Out without question. A haunted homestead stunner about Sudanese immigrants who flee oppression but are chased by the ghosts of survivors guilt and whitewash remorse. Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku star as refugees who make unimaginable choices, as Dirisu comes face-to-face with his demons each night who crawl from the crumbling walls of his new English dream. It is immensely passionate, socially-charged, and so important a horror film that blends cultural importance with outright terrifying ghoulish encounters. Weekes' talents shine as a filmmaker, which will undoubtedly be the year's most impressive genre debut.

Chris: His House is fucking great. Please watch it. 

Run

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: This ultra-intense little thriller from Searching director Aneesh Chaganty has a star-making turn from Kiera Allen. In Run, Allen is Chloe, a sheltered teen who uses a wheelchair and spends all her time with her mother, played by Sarah Paulson. But Chloe is restless and wants to leave home for college. Unfortunately, mom doesn't want that – and she's not going to let Chloe get away so easy. Paulson, who can play this type of character in her sleep at this point, is predictably great as the overprotective mother from hell, but it's Allen who really steals the show. And Chaganty stages one nail-biting set-piece after another as Chloe tries to get the hell away.

Matt: Allen is fantastic, but the setup and execution feels only a small step above being an Into The Dark episode. Take that how you will. Negatively, in my case.

Underwater

Now Streaming on HBO Max

Chris: A nifty, lean little aquatic horror movie featuring yet another cool-as-hell performance from Kristen Stewart. Underwater isn't what you'd call "original" – it's borrowing heavily from Alien and The Abyss – but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Sometimes you just want something predictable, you know? In Underwater, Stewart is part of a team of deep sea researchers trying to get to safety after an underwater earthquake recks their fancy submerged lab. And oh yeah, there are monsters. 

Matt: Underwater is so much freakin' fun and doubly comfort-delicious for an aquatic horror fan like myself. Sure, it's Alien underwater, but as Chris said, why is that a bad thing?

Maximum Overdrive

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: Stephen King's one and only attempt at filmmaking is Maximum Overdrive, a 1986 shitshow about killer trucks (and other machines). King was on top of the world at the time, but he was also living off a steady diet of cans of beer and lines of cocaine. A year later his friends and family staged an intervention, causing King to get clean. But in 1986 he was riding high and happy to make a movie where Emilio Estevez has to fight sentient soda machines. It is no way shape or form a good movie, and yet I kind of love it? Maybe it's because I love King. Or maybe it's because I love trash. I don't know. All I know is that it's hard to hate Maximum Overdrive, a film where King has a cameo as a man gets upset when an ATM calls him a**hole. There's some alternate universe where King stayed on the beer and coke a little longer and made at least one more junk movie like this. Imagine it. 

Matt: One man's trash is another man's treasure as the saying goes. Maximum Overdrive, around these parts, is that treasure.

Fallen

Now Streaming on Hulu 

Chris: These days, if anyone remembers Fallen at all, they remember it as the source for the now-famous gif of Denzel Washington clutching his chest and suddenly looking relieved. But this is a fun little thriller that came on the heels of Seven, when studios were like, "Hey, Seven was full of really dark cinematography, maybe our thriller should have really dark cinematography, too!" Washington plays a Philadelphia city cop who discovers that there's a body-jumping demon on the loose. It's pretty silly stuff but Washington, movie star that he is, makes it work. Bonus: John Goodman, James Gandolfini, and Donald Sutherland all have supporting turns as fellow cops, while Elias Koteas plays a serial killer, and they all get to ham it up a little. 

Matt: I...need to watch this.

Coherence

Now Streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu 

Chris: James Ward Byrkit's ultra-creative Coherence is one of those movies where the less you know the more impressive the movie is. Here's what I can tell you: a group of friends gather for a dinner party the night a comet is passing over the sky. In the midst of their revelry, the power goes out on the whole block – except for one house at the other end of the street. And then things get weird. Using a cast that relied heavily on improvisation, Coherence feels both natural and unnatural, and when you finally start to realize what's going on, the hairs on the back of your neck prickle up. It's proof that you don't need a budget to create something that gets the job done. 

Matt: Coherence is so damn smart and should be part of every film class curriculum when exemplifying how to achieve science fiction intrigue on a shoestring budget. What's accomplished is once-in-a-hundred. Films with quadruple the budget wish they were this put-together.