Best Horror Movies Streaming september 2018

(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: Since my colleague Chris is doing some massive legwork covering Toronto International Film Festival for /Film, this week’s theme is easy: pick some movies and write about ‘em. The same will surely happen next issue while I’m simultaneously serving up Fantastic Fest reviews here on /Film. Once September hits, it’s straight chaos for us film journalists – especially horror-focused cats like ourselves. TIFF’s Midnighters, Fantastic Fest, October horror season, countless other genre festivals…the list goes on. Nonetheless, Chris and I are devoted to steering you right in your streaming horror watches, so we’re back once again to show y’all the light. Or darkness? You get me, homies.

Chris: TIFF kicked my ass, but I made sure I carved out time to recommend some horror movies to you, the readers. Because that’s just the type of nice guy that I am! This is yet another theme-free entry from us fine folks at Now Scream This, but you’re okay with that, right? Don’t judge us too harshly. We’re just trying to help.

WolfCop

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: He’s a wolf. He’s a cop. He’s Dirty Harry, but hairier. Lowell Dean’s Canadian import WolfCop is what midnight movie dreams are made of. Leo Fafard stars as Lou Garou, an alcoholic small-town lawman who – through cult entanglement – becomes a werewolf. But not an animalistic, completely out of control werewolf (Dog Soldiers). Garou still dons his uniform as WolfCop, fighting crime despite furry exteriors. It’s exactly as ridiculous as marketed, from prison love-making scenes to one of the most detailed and squeamish bodily werewolf metamorphoses of this decade. Expect silly puns (“Liquor Donuts”), primal WolfCop kills, and Jonathan Cherry in a supporting role doing what he does best – Canadianing the hell outta’ each scene (ya goddamn hosers). Bring on the full moon, baby. ARROOOOOOO!!!

Chris: WolfCop is one of those movies that’s better in theory than practice. But the practical werewolf effects are pretty damn good!

Terrifier

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Damien Leone’s Terrifier doesn’t exactly earn my fully-recommended endorsement – plotting is sparse and spirits quite nasty – but gorehounds are gobbling this Dread Central Presents release up like all-you-can-eat barbeque. The film’s villain, Art The Clown, smiles and slashes his way through Halloween victims as a malicious mime who could become a new-age slasher mainstay in the right hands (bar is low these days, mind you). David Howard Thornton’s antagonistic performance would make Twisty The Clown blush and Pennywise gasp, as the jovial entertainer treats murder like a court jester unveiling his next act. Practical effects carve jack o’lanterns out of pizza tossers and deliver one of 2018’s most gruesome, keep-you-awake-at-night death sequences, but as previously stated, Terrifier’s intent is extremist indie torture. Take that as either a green light or proper warning.

Chris: I haven’t seen this yet, but it’s sitting in my Netflix queue. Will I ever watch it, or is it doomed to sit there forever, unwatched, like 90% of the other stuff I add? Time will tell!

Doom

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Say it with me now, “Doom is underrated.” Maybe not as a sensible sci-fi actioner meant to subvert subgenre norms, but definitely as a midnight monster movie featuring Karl Ubran’s iconic grimace, Dwayne Johnson’s BFG obsession, and a wild FPS mode that runs through Doom-inspired gauntlets as if it’s the video game. Moods are darkened and effects dismemberment-vicious at times, even if some of the hellbeast creatures tracking Sarge’s team are straight rips from Resident Evil. Who are we to poo-poo a film that so expertly utilizes the slimy, underbelly-creep charms of Richard Brake ceremoniously well? A team of space marine grunts, teleportation, Rosamund Pike – stop sleeping on Doom. It kicks in fast and starts stomping on human and non-human characters like bugs under falling shoes. Give this one a go next time you’ve got a few genre-happy friends and a 30-rack of cold brews (I’ve even got a drinking game created elsewhere on the internet if that’s your thing!).

Chris: I very much enjoy working with Matt on this column, and I respect his opinion. But Doom is garbage. I’m sorry!

Murder Party

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Before Blue Ruin, before Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier began his feature filmmaking career with the colorless title Murder Party. What starts with a random Halloween party invitation ends in bloodshed, artistic egotism, and kidnapping gone awry. Chris Sharp plays a loner who gets suckered into a tied-up trap, his “loser” the perfect target for creative psychopaths with mangled October plans. In order to escape, Chris must turn costumed lunatics against one another. “The invitation said “Murder Party” – if some jackass is dumb enough to come here then he deserves to die.” Chainsaws, creative pretension, cardboard knight’s armor – all this thrown into a boil and intensified by Saulnier’s now-household sense of brutal, unforgiving bleakness. “When our masterpiece is complete, and the coroner’s report is back in, it will read the cause of death: Art.” If these lines are doing it for you, please pop Murder Party on ASAP. Forever in my heart a one of the very first films I ever rented from Netflix…through the mail!

Chris: Jeremy Saulnier would go on to bigger and better things, but right from the start, you can see the signs of the great filmmaker to come. This isn’t nearly as good as Blue Ruin or Green Room, but it does the trick.

Suburban Gothic

Now Streaming on Hulu and Shudder

Matt: Between Excision, Trash Fire, and Suburban Gothic, Richard Bates Jr. is one of the premiere genre filmmakers who should be on everyone’s radar. Admittedly, Suburban Gothic is my least favorite of the three – which is still a solid 3.5/5 star endeavor. Matthew Gray Gubler plays Raymond, an MBA grad who can’t find work and moves back home with his parents. Turns out he can also communicate with paranormal entities, one of whom threatens his small town with a vengeful agenda. Enter bartender Becca (Kat Dennings), hipster Poltergeist vibes, Bates Jr.’s searing black-comedy sensationalism, and elitism on blast with a PBR-soaked Ghostbusters spin. Comedy is always on the mind versus spooky scares – what Bates Jr. does best – as a cast including Ray Wise, John Waters, and Jeffrey Combs aid in Gubler’s neurotic quest for purpose. A film this cynical? How can I not recommend this?

Chris: Horror-comedy can be notoriously tricky to get right, but Suburban Gothic does a pretty good job. That said, this feels more like an extended pilot for a TV series than a movie. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – please, by all means, turn this into a TV series.

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