6. Good Time
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Indie-Drama

Director: Ben and Josh Safdie

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Safdie, Barkhad Abdi, Buddy Duress

From the Safdie Brothers comes this blistering, manic long night’s journey into day. Robert Pattinson gives the best performance of his career as a small time crook who needs to raise 10 grand to get his developmentally disabled brother (Ben Safdie) out of prison. When he later learns that his brother is in the hospital after getting in a fight in prison, Pattinson attempts to bust him out. And then everything goes to hell. This is a frantic, intense film, and it’s definitely not going to be for everyone. But Good Time is alive in ways most other indie films aren’t, and there’s such a raw, intense energy coming off this movie that it’s almost exhausting. If you can stomach the film’s often unpleasant subject matter, you’ll be rewarded.

For fans of: Heaven Knows What, After Hours, Bringing Out the Dead, Sprite. 

7. Mayhem
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Horror

Director: Joe Lynch

Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand, Caroline Chikezie, Kerry Fox, Dallas Roberts

One thing is clear after watching Mayhem: Steven Yeun deserves to be a movie star. Yeun stars as a lawyer at a big, greedy law firm. As Mayhem begins, we learn of the ID-7 virus – a virus that turns people into raging murderers, sort of like the infected in 28 Days Later. Thanks to Yeun’s firm, people who commit murder while infected are able to get off on murder charges once they’re cured. The argument is it’s the virus that makes them killers, so they can’t be blamed. You can probably guess where this is going: Yeun’s character gets fired right as the ID-7 sweeps through his office, and soon it’s kill or be killed as the building goes into lock-down. Mayhem comes from director Joe Lynch, and while this could be classified as a horror-comedy at times, Lynch keeps the balance just right. Filmmakers dabbling in horror-comedy have a tendency to far too often go way too big on the humor, which capsizes the movie. Lynch thankfully avoids that, and the film is the better because of it. What really makes Mayhem work, though, is Yeun, who makes one heck of a compelling lead.

For fans of: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Everly, The Belko Experiment, nail guns. 

8. Monsters
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1988-1991

Genre: Television, Horror

Director: Various

Cast: Lili Taylor, David Spade, Tony Shaloub, Steve Buscemi, Gina Gershon, Matt LeBlanc

From 1988 to 1991, Monsters had a syndicated run, bringing cheesy horror shorts into people’s living rooms. Sort of the light-hearted cousin to Tales from the Darkside, Monsters was the type of horror anthology you could gather around and watch with your family. It’s aged a bit (what early ’90s TV show hasn’t?), but it’s still a whole lot of fun. One episode, “The Moving Finger”, was adapted from a Stephen King short story of the same name. In the story, a giant, sentient finger comes up out of someone’s toilet. Yeah, it’s weird. The best part of Monsters, however, were the opening credits, which featured a family of monsters gathering around their TV to watch the show. During this opening, a little monster girl grabs some bugs from a dish and proclaims, “Oh wow, Candied Critters!” You can’t beat that, folks.

For fans of: Tales from the Dark Side, Tales From the Crypt, Friday the 13th the Series, candied critters.

9. Black Sabbath
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1963

Genre: Horror

Director: Mario Bava

Cast: Boris Karloff, Mark Damon, Michèle Mercier, Susy Andersen, Lydia Alfonsi, Glauco Onorato, Jacqueline Pierreux

Mario Bava helms this glorious horror anthology film featuring, among others, Boris Karloff. There are three stories here: one about a woman receiving strange phone calls; another about a vampire; and a third about someone trying to steal from the dead. All three are wonderful, but the last segment, “The Drop of Water”, is a particularly ghoulish delight. As is the case with all Bava horror films, Black Sabbath has style to spare, awash in crimson reds and deep blues. If you’re in the mood of something to give you the creeps on a chilly night as the winter winds down, look no further than this.

For fans of: Trick-r-Treat, The Vault of Horror, Creepshow, Black Sunday, Boris Karloff’s severed head. 

10. Birthday Girl
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2002

Genre: Comedy Thriller

Director: Jez Butterworth

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ben Chaplin, Vincent Cassell, Mathieu Kassovitz

Nicole Kidman seems to be experiencing something of a renaissance lately, but the truth is she never went away. She just happened to appear in movies people didn’t pay much attention to. Like 2002’s Birthday Girl, from director Jez Butterworth. Ben Chaplin is a lonely bank clerk who orders a Russian mail-order bride. The bride, played by Kidman, arrives in his quiet little small town, and after some awkwardness, the two hit it off via some kinkiness. Just when Chaplin is beginning to enjoy his new life, Kidman’s “cousins” show up at his house, and things go very, very wrong. To be clear: Birthday Girl is problematic as fuck, so be warned. But it’s also a surprisingly well-crafted thriller, and Kidman delivers yet another memorable performance.

For fans of: Secretary, To Die For, Malice, Nicole Kidman using a not-so-believable accent.

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