(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: As April showers wash away winter blues, it’s time for another seasonal to do: spring cleaning! Just as one might tidy up messy garages or reorganize bookshelves, you can also knock a few watches off your ever-growing streaming queue. In particular, I tried to theme my picks around outdoor activities and brighter weather now that the snow’s melted. My gift to you, “Now Scream This” readers. Now get out there and embrace the sunshine – from the seat on your couch in front of the television. Crack those blinds (except if there’s a glare on your TV, then stay in your cave)!

Chris: If you’re anything like me (and if you, I’m sorry), your streaming platform queues are loaded with crap you have yet to get around to. Something strikes your fancy, you add it to your queue, and then you keep putting it off. And putting it off. Time passes, and every time you scroll through that queue, you pass that one title, and think, “Hmm, I should watch that.” Well friends, that time is now. In the spirit of spring cleaning, Matt and I are here to help you clean out that damn queue! The time to watch these movies is today. Or, you know, whenever you get a chance. 

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Us Soundtrack

(Us, the new horror film from Jordan Peele, is in theaters now and it’s the kind of movie that demands a conversation. So Jacob Hall and Ben Pearson are here to do that. Let’s unwrap this movie’s mysteries, shall we?)

Jacob: So you’ve just seen Jordan Peele’s Us. And you have questions, right? Trust us – we know the feeling. Peele’s follow-up to Get Out is a shotgun blast of ideas smuggled into a crowd-pleasing horror movie. Its themes are troubling. Its concepts are tricky. Its perspective is deliberately obfuscated just enough to demand conversation and debate, because the text itself isn’t going to offer up easy answers. That’s why we’re here. Not to fully “explain” Us, a film that defies categorization and easy definitions, but to dig in, to grapple with it, and hopefully inspire you to continue this conversation with your friends after you see it again. Because we’re all going to see it again, right?

Ben: I know I will. In this piece, we’ll present a recap of some of the most head-scratching aspects of the film and try to dig into the thematic meanings behind them – or rather, some possibilities about their thematic meanings. We’ve included several quotes from Peele throughout, but he’s (rightfully) been cagey so far about definitively explaining…well, just about anything. To be clear: this film isn’t a puzzle to be solved, but it was specifically designed to spark conversation. So let’s dive in, but be warned: there are major spoilers ahead.

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(Artist Scott C is known all over the world for his charming and distinctive pop culture art, but he has outdone himself with the Back to the Future-inspired “Clock Tower Valley.” We invited the artist himself to share his process, including photos and videos, guiding us through the creation of this ambitious print. There are numerous references, characters, and locations scattered throughout this piece, each of them requiring care and attention to detail…and Scott offers us a step-by-step look at how it came together. For more of Scott C’s work and to pick up a print of “Clock Tower Valley” for yourself, you can visit his shop here.)

There are some films that should be held up to the sky and rejoiced. Back to the Future is one of those films. It is a world that I want to live within and explore, so I wanted to create a piece that celebrated every square inch of this film. I wanted it to feel like a Disneyland map or a medieval tapestry with flattened perspective, where one could get the lay of the entire land and decide where and who to visit.  

I named it “Clock Tower Valley” and I would like to take you on the journey through it’s conception and creation. It is a valley of clock towers, prom dresses, undersea dances, cutting edge inventions, hazmat suits, wooden crate scooters, and VW vans. There is a famous orange vest in this painting and a car that travels through time. Let us embark.

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(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: Welcome to our new post-Oscars reality where Green Book is your (Academy voted) Best Picture of 2018. The bad thing happened, Academy members proved themselves clueless once again, and life moves on. So why lament over an Oscar winner that features a single scene where Viggo Mortensen folds one entire NY-style pizza in half and eats it in bed? Chris and I decided to wash away this year’s Oscar hangover with a selection of our favorite streaming horror titles that deserved Oscar consideration. After all, honoring genre content has never been in the Academy’s wheelhouse. Leave that to the “Now Scream This” boys.

Chris: The Academy does not like horror. Sure, every now and then, some things will slip through. They nominated The Exorcist for Best Picture, and a whole slew of other awards. And Silence of the Lambs performed a clean-sweep, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. But more often than not, horror is an outlier. And we won’t stand for it! So we’re highlighting horror films that have Academy Award-worthy elements, be it the film itself, or performances. Side-note: I really wanted to include Toni Collette’s work in Hereditary on here, but I already wrote about the film for a previous entry. So just pretend it’s here. 

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The Best and Worst Moments of the 2019 Academy Awards

Best and Worst of 2019 Oscars

Another year, another Oscars. Another Oscars, another pile of victories to celebrate…and to moan about for the next 12 months.

Yep, nothing riles up movie fans quite like the Academy Awards, which have a habit of driving cinephiles absolutely crazy and delighting them in equal measure. The 2019 edition was no different, with the ceremony rotating between “Well, that was deserved!” and “What the hell were they thinking?!” on an award-by-award basis. So let’s break it down. Here are the best and worst Oscar moments of 2019.

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Valentine's Day 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: Valentine’s Day was last week, but why not present your sweetheart the greatest gift of all this week? A night of zero complications, pajamas, and streaming horror movies with an emphasis on love, crushes, and content that’d make Cupid cringe. Love as a monster, love as an escape, and most of all, love as the horror genre’s richest thematic destabilization. Don’t give into Hallmark’s greedy corporate brainwashing – stay in and celebrate true love the way you deserve!

Chris: Romance is in the air! What better way to reject Greeting Card and Expensive Chocolate Day than by cuddling up with the one you love, and watching some horror? After all, what can be a better aphrodisiac than fear? As Bela Lugosi says in Ed Wood, “The pure horror, it both repels, and attracts…Take my word for it. If you want to make out with a young lady, take her to see Dracula.” In honor of Valentine’s Day (which is this week, by the way, so I sure hope you got your loved one something), Matt and I are bringing you the following romance-tinged fright flicks.

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The Sundance Film Festival often sets the tone for the entire year in film – it arrives early and plants a flag to announce “these are the first great and most promising movies of the next 12 months.” The /Film team was on the ground in Park City, Utah for the 2019 edition and we saw and reviewed a ton of movies. And we saw so many movies we loved that picking a select few to make a “best of” list turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

But make a “best of” list we did! These are the 15 best movies we saw at the 2019 Film Festival. Silly comedies, intense thrillers, incendiary dramas, horror flicks, feel-good tales…this list has something for everyone and you should put them all on your radar.

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(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: With Chris away having all his fun at Utah’s Sundance Film Festival, I thought it fitting to theme this week’s “Now Scream This” around festival content. Flicks that started their lives at festivals, or garnered “fest hype” notoriety, or maybe just played festivals without you knowing. Long story short, all these films screened from Mexico to Montreal – Los Angeles to New York City – before breaking out. The “fest” life can be exhausting, but also rewarding with discoveries like the ones below. 

Chris: I am back from Sundance and overwhelmed with the dreaded Sundance Flu! But I won’t let that get in the way of recommending some horror flicks for you, dear reader. This year at Sundance I saw two great horror films – The Lodge and The Hole In the Ground, and last year’s Sundance produced Hereditary. Film festivals can often make for fertile ground for horror, as the following picks prove.

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most anticipated Sundance movies

This week, three members of the /Film crew are heading to Park City, Utah for the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. We’ll have reviews and reactions galore from the year’s first major film festival, a place where major movies debut, hidden gems are discovered, and the basic shape of the entire year in film begins to take form. If this Sundance is like every other Sundance, we will see some of the best movies of 2019 and discover some incredible new talent over the next week. It’s our job to put them on your radar.

The festival officially kicks off on Thursday. Before it gets underway, we’re writing about our 12 most anticipated 2019 Sundance movies, the films that we have high hopes for and are going out of our way to make sure we see, no matter what. Here they are, in no particular order. Read More »

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The Biggest 2019 Oscars Snubs and Surprises

Look, we’re the first to admit that the entire concept of an “Oscar snub” is a little bit silly. It’s not like everyone in the Academy gets together and secretly plots to teach a filmmaker or actor a lesson by refusing to nominate them for a golden statuette. That’s simply not how it works on any level. And yet, it can’t help but feel deliberate and personal because we’re dealing with an award that can make or break careers. When someone who was supposed to get nominated gets left out, it feels weirdly personal.

So, as is tradition, let’s run down the biggest “snubs” from this year’s freshly announced Oscar nominations. And to balance it out, we’re also going to talk about the biggest surprises…although to honest, the snubs far outweigh the surprises this year.

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