Now Scream This: The Best Horror Movies Streaming Right Now

(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: Welp, you've done it now. You've faked courage long enough to utter "Nattyman" into a mirror five times, and here comes Donato to drink all your Natty Lights and drop a few horror recommendations. Luckily for you, there are probably no cans of liquid gold in your refrigerator — so I guess I'm just left presenting spooky streaming options. I'll have to deplete my neverending Naturday stash while adding a few more titles to reader watch lists until I vanish for another two weeks or however long it takes to crank out another "Now Scream This" these days.

Chris: Life is pretty horrifying lately. What better way to distract yourself from all that horror with ... uh... more horror! Once again, Matt and I have rounded up some currently-streaming horror movies that we think you should check out. It's September now, which means it's officially Halloween season. Which means it's time for you to start streaming horror movies every single night (assuming you don't do that already). 

The Boy Behind the Door

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Filmmakers David Charbonier and Justin Powell have cornered the 2021 market on adolescent endangerment and gateway horror. I rather enjoyed The Djinn earlier this summer, and only a few months later, the duo hit Shudder with "The Boy Behind The Door" because one feature a year just isn't enough. Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and Kevin (Ezra Dewey) are kidnapped little leaguers who must escape a predator's den in the middle of nowhere. That's the entire plot from start to finish, nothing much added beyond a cop who interjects—it's a gamble to challenge child actors, but The Boy Behind The Door succeeds on pint-sized talents. Don't expect anything beyond proper tension and grounded vileness until a finale that doesn't spare youth from painful brutality. When it goes "there," the knife doth turn.

Chris: This is an exceptionally well-made, very intense movie. I'm not sure the direct references to shots from "The Shining" add much, but the film itself is pretty damn solid.

The Fear Street Trilogy

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Leigh Janiak's conquering of "Fear Street" would be a marquee horror event in any blockbuster season. Three feature films, three standalone tales of terror, one unified experience with unsubtly damning societal commentary. In 1994, one of the year's gnarliest, most memorable kill sequences accentuates a "Scream" inspiration filled with slasher baddies. In 1978, "Friday The 13th" becomes a source of homage that once again spills blood and does so indebted to 80s campground slashers with a smile. In 1666, everything comes full circle as puritans damn Shadyside with the curse of Sarah Fier that zips through time for a witch hunt beginning and ceremoniously satanic finish. It's thoughtfully thematic, bursting with genre adoration, and boasts another dazzling Marco Beltrami score that I snatched on vinyl instantly upon announcement. The hype, dear readers, is real.

Chris: Hell yes. I love the "Fear Street" trilogy with my heart and soul. I want more.


Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: At the intersection of splattery horror-comedies, rock n' roll soundtracks, and musician cameos you'll find Matt Donato. "Suck" isn't the most famous example but still sits proudly in my physical media collection as a comfort favorite. Alice Cooper as The Devil? Moby as a meat-hurling metal singer? Malcolm McDowell as "Eddie Van Helsing?" Rob Stefaniuk assembles an all-star cast for a film he writes, directs, stars in, and arranges music for as the singer/songwriter of "The Winners"—a band that sells their souls for fame by becoming vampires. I get plenty of chuckles and genuinely would slug cheap swill beers while watching a basement "The Winners" show, which equates to a recommendation. Damn the man, fight the corporate suits, drink some blood in celebration.

Chris: This sounds like a fake movie. Nice try, Matt!

House on Haunted Hill

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: No, not the 1999 Dark Castle remake (that's on HBO Max). Willian Castle's 1959 ghost story starring Vincent Price is black-and-white, loaded with splendid whodunit performances, and unsurprisingly a standout Price role. Frederick Loren (Price) is a macabre party organizer who challenges guests to stay overnight at a haunted house as requested by his untrusting wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart). The way Price and Ohmart verbally spar as callous partners (any love has faded) who wish death and flaunt infidelity is a masterclass in dramatic deliveries, which becomes even more entertaining than the house's undead secrets. Talk of bodies dissolved in wine cellars leads to a possible murderer on the loose, for a more playful, treacherous take than 1999's outright gothic horror tale. It's a byproduct of early-cinema limitations—make do with the effects you've got, in which case humans are the far scarier monsters (even still).

Chris: "Darling, the only ghoul in the house is you."


Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: This lesser-known character study featuring Julie Benz is a straightforward and sadistic game. Fifty humans regain consciousness in a black room, standing atop spaced dots, with no explanation. Every two minutes, someone dies—either voted on via light pulses flicked by hand or chosen by silent overseers if the group cannot decide. Businessmen, pregnant women, and knee-high children all plead their cases as to why they shouldn't be the next one eliminated against prejudice, bias, and mob mentalities. It's certainly limited in production value as a through-and-through indie but goes full force into the sliminess, gamesmanship, and cutthroat realities of humankind when death is on the line. It's way more interesting than any movie named after a generic shape has to be, down to its bleaker twists without a second's confliction over showing remorse.

Chris: I have never heard of this, but it kind of sounds like "Cube"? Even the title sounds like someone said, "What's something like a cube? I know, a circle!"

In The Earth

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Ben Wheatley's weird, disorienting pandemic horror pic "In the Earth" traps a bunch of people in the woods and then forces us to watch them suffer and/or go crazy. It's not pleasant! And it's not as good as the film that remains his masterpiece, "Kill List." But there's a true ominous, overwhelming energy radiating off this thing that sucks you in. That said, you should be warned that the last act of this film is filled with non-stop flashing lights, creating a kind of sensory overload. 

Matt: I dig Ben Wheatley, I dig ecological horror — I just wish this flick didn't start with such a soft impact. Once Wheatley gets psychedelic and introduces the film's nastier hooks, I'm sold. It all just takes a hot second to kick into gear.

The Happening

Now Streaming on HBO Max

Chris: I know people consider this to be one of M. Night Shyamalan's worst movies, but I unironically love "The Happening." Here, Shyamalan tried his hand at the type of B-movie that was popular during the Cold War; it's basically an alien invasion flick, but the aliens are, uh ... trees. Yes, it's very silly, but the silliness allows Shyamalan to go crazy with some weird, violent set-pieces as plant life force the film's characters into suicide. Stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel both seem truly lost here, but that only adds to the fun. 

Matt: There's a rather funny RiffTrax commentary track (downloadable) that makes "The Happening" way more enjoyable, which is my recommendation.

Grave Encounters

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: One of the best found footage movies of the last few years, "Grave Encounters" serves as a send-up of ghost hunting shows like "Ghost Adventures" while also being pretty darn creepy in its own right. The team from a ghost hunting TV show checks into an old abandoned hospital for the night and quickly finds that unlike all the other "haunted" places they've investigated, this joint is really haunted, and the ghosts are anything but friendly. 

Matt: I use Grave Encounters often as my combatting example against those who spew the same uneducated "all found footage sux" comments. It's creepy, nails the ghost hunter vibe, and works its scares in blunt but steady bursts.


Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Chris: Before there was "Silence of the Lambs," there was "Manhunter." Before Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for playing Hannibal Lecter, Brian Cox played Hannibal Lecktor. Directed by Michael Mann, "Manhunter" was not a hit when it came out. In fact, it was such a disappointment that the rights to the follow-up, "Silence of the Lambs," were sold off super cheap, as producers thought there was no potential. They were wrong, of course, and "Silence" swept the Oscars while "Manhunter" faded into obscurity for a while. In the years since, though, audiences have rediscovered Mann's neon-drenched thriller and found that it's pretty damn good. 

Matt: I get it, Chris. I sincerely need to take advantage of my Criterion streaming access.


Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead, two of the most interesting filmmakers working right now, burst onto the scene with "Resolution" in 2012. The film follows two friends, one of whom is a drug addict. The addict finds himself handcuffed in a secluded cabin by his BFF, all in an attempt to help the addict kick his habits once and for all. It's the type of weird set-up that would play find in a normal indie film, but "Resolution" has more than a few tricks up its sleeve, and goes to some exceedingly strange, unexpected, and incredible places. Go into this one as cold as possible. 

Matt: It's Benson & Moorhead doing what they do best, which they've done from the start. A stimulating, experimental, out-of-bounds debut that showcases no less technical prowess than anything they've created since—a commentary on immediate strengths and impressive appearances.