The Best Movies Streaming Right Now: Nightmare Alley, Premium Rush, And More

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

Another week ends, bringing on the weekend and a chance to stream some great stuff. As always, I try to pull options from multiple streaming services, all in the name of bringing a tiny sliver of joy (or distraction) to your life, dear reader. In this week's Now Stream This we have the latest from Guillermo del Toro, an underwater haunted house movie, a horror remake, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi sharing the screen together, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt riding a bike. Let's get streaming. 

Nightmare Alley

Now Streaming on HBO Max and Hulu.

"Nightmare Alley" is the latest from Guillermo del Toro, and you'd think that would be enough to put butts in seats. But no, del Toro's film flopped at the box office. Now, it's streaming, and I can only hope those who avoided it finally discover what a great, nasty piece of work it is. Bradley Cooper plays a carnie who leaves behind the low-rent sideshow in order to launch his own big nightclub career as a phony mesmerist. But when he gets involved with an ice-cold psychologist (a scene-stealing, chain-smoking Cate Blanchett), he might be in wayyyy over his head. 

Stylish, creepy, and featuring a killer cast (Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn all pop-up here), "Nightmare Alley" is del Toro in top-form, and while the previous film adaptation from 1947 might be slightly better, del Toro gets to use a much darker, much more memorable ending that wouldn't fly back in the '40s. 

Son of Frankenstein

Now Streaming on Shudder.

Lots of people talk about "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein," but we shouldn't forget "Son of Frankenstein," either! While Boris Karloff would continue to appear in "Frankenstein"-related projects, "Son of Frankenstein" marked the final time the actor would don the iconic flattop head and platform boots on the big screen. This film also brings together Karloff and Bela Lugosi, although obviously not for the first time. Universal had helped make Lugosi a star, but by 1939, when "Son of Frankenstein" arrived, Lugosi's career was struggling. Luckily, director Rowland V. Lee allowed Lugosi free reign to do what he wanted here, and Lugosi helped develop his character of Ygor, a Universal horror character who is arguably just as famous as Lugosi's Dracula.  

In "Son of Frankenstein," Dr. Frankenstein's offspring (Basil Rathbone) picks up where his father left off, working with the insane Ygor to revive the comatose Monster. While not quite as great as "Frankenstein" or "Bride of Frankenstein," "Son of Frankenstein" still has plenty of that old-school horror charm — and Mel Brooks would eventually lift almost the entire film's plot for his hilarious spoof "Young Frankenstein." 

Premium Rush

Now Streaming on Hulu.

Does anyone remember "Premium Rush"? I remember seeing trailers for this movie back in 2012, and thinking: "Who cares? Looks dumb!" But time can change a man. And these days, I find myself longing for more semi-disposable, mid-budget thrillers that don't require homework to understand. These days, the movie landscape is littered with franchise films, and I would love if we got more stuff like "Premium Rush" instead. Because you know what? "Premium Rush" is a heck of a lot of fun.

Directed by David Koepp, "Premium Rush" stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike courier with a death wish. When he ends up picking up a mysterious delivery during the course of his workday in New York City, Gordon-Levitt's character runs afoul of a corrupt cop with debts to pay — and he wants the mysterious envelope Gordon-Levitt has in his backpack. Michael Shannon plays the dirty cop, and boy oh boy is he having a great time, going extremely over the top and turning what could've been a rather dull antagonist into a memorable character. Through it all, Koepp never lets the film slow down, as "Premium Rush" zooms from one location to the next along with Gordon-Levitt and his bike. Clocking in at an extremely tight 92 minutes, "Premium Rush" is a total blast. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Now Streaming on Netflix and Kanopy.

There's a new "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie on the way, but let's go back to 2003. At that time, the self-referential horror boom ushered in by "Scream" was starting to die down. Torture porn was on the horizon. But it was also the beginning of a new trend of remaking classic horror pics — a concept that felt like sacrilege to many horror fans. When Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company announced they'd be remaking Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," many were outraged. And when the film came out, just as many were quick to deride the film. It was too slick, too glossy, especially compared to Hooper's grainy, low-budget original.

But you know what? The 2003 film ain't half bad. Is it as good as the original? No. But it's surprisingly nasty and brutal, and it features more than a few disturbing sequences. The story is basically the same: youngsters on a road trip in Texas run afoul of a sadistic family. Horrific stuff follows. Platinum Dunes would fire off a few more horror remakes, but none of them ever came close to being as well-done as this one. 

The Deep House

Now Streaming on Hulu.

"The Deep House" takes a familiar haunted house story a sinks it, literally. The film follows two divers who swim down to a submerged house – and find it haunted by several water-logged ghosts. And just to make matters worse, all the exits have been mysteriously sealed. Taking place almost entirely underwater, "The Deep House" succeeds by taking familiar haunted house tropes and twisting them to fit in this new, unfamiliar setting. Seeing a ghost on the surface is one thing, but seeing one underwater — where you're unable to swim away fast enough — is a whole new spooky ballgame.