(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: This week on Now Scream This, we honor fatherhood. Specifically, Horror Daddies. Those nurturing and protective characters whose intentions are hopefully pure, but not always. In any case, this is their holiday, and we’re surely not trying to ignore anyone. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, but especially those dads who let us stay up after midnight to catch horror flicks mom never knew existed. If that was your experience. My father and I will never share a love of horror, but that’s alright because we’ll always have The Replacements.

Chris: Ah, Father’s Day! The holiday where we are encouraged to buy power tools or neckties with golf balls on them for dear old dad, even if he doesn’t give a shit about those things. But here at Now Scream This, we’re taking a different approach. This one goes out to all the dads out there, baby! All the horror dads, that is. The dads who are either very good at fatherhood, or absolute monsters – sometimes literally. As Father’s Day approaches, let us pay tribute to the big daddies of horror. 


Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Martin Freeman plays an incomparably “Good Dad” who must traverse Australian bushlands, with his infant daughter, during the zombie apocalypse. There’s even more emotional depth considering stakes, but that’s better left for a first-time watch. Cargo gets a lot right about humanity, parenthood, and selflessness when it comes to bloodlines, while also nailing the mark on zombie cinema. It’s a mixture of indigenous representation and fatherhood’s unrelenting gauntlet of responsibilities, and maybe one of my favorite Netflix Original horror films. That ending gets me every damn time.

Chris: I’ve somehow never heard of this movie. Or if I have, I completely forgot about it. My mind isn’t what it used to be these days. 

Train To Busan

Now Streaming on Shudder and Netflix

Matt: Enter “Good Dad” #2, Yoo Gong. His role in Train To Busan as a divorced father trades workaholic neglect for the warmth of his daughter’s love. Again, there are zombies. Again, there is immediate danger. Viewers are rewarded by not only breakneck zombie cinema, but as Cargo achieves through Martin Freeman’s performance, Yoo Gong’s mission of protecting his child (played by Su-an Kim) adds more than base-value emotional stakes. One scene involving a comforting song is so tender and such a beautiful moment amidst a crumbling pandemic cityscape. All as we behold one of the most vicious, relentless, and outright exciting modern feats in zombie cinema (which only looks to amplify in sequel Peninsula).

Chris: Train to Busan is the rare zombie movie that will make you well up with emotion. 

The Wailing

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Do-won Kwak’s performance in The Wailing still plants him in “Good Dad” territory, albeit a more muddied and darker internal struggle. I love this South Korean thriller because all three acts are distinctively signature, from a police procedural to dark comedy to full-tilt possession thriller. As the film evolves, so does Do-won Kwak’s policeman father, given how his daughter becomes infected with a mysterious disease that leads to murdered families. Maybe “The Devil” gets involved. Perhaps it’s all mind games. Maybe a lot of things, but what rings truest is the mystical accomplishment of this horrific fact-versus-fiction hybrid. An officer forced to challenge his beliefs, eventually motivated only by the safety of his loved ones. Plus, supernatural influences!

Chris: This is a very impressive horror film that goes on just a little too long, but still packs a punch. 


Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: It’s a rule of thumb in my apartment that when you get a chance to talk about, praise, or reminisce over Patrick Wilson, you ‘effing do so. In this case, as a frantic father in James Wan’s haunted masterpiece (I said it) Insidious. Wilson’s panicking parent is willing to do whatever it takes to save his son, including entrance into a purgatorial realm where spirits remain lost forever. He’s, like, “Good Dad” to the billionth degree, but let’s ignore when he’s “Bad Dad” in an inevitable sequel. Not his fault! “Good Dads” awaken their repressed abilities of astral projection when it comes to rescuing their kin from red-faced demons, no matter the dangers.

Chris: I love this movie, and I love pretty much every single James Wan horror movie (and Aquaman, too!). I’m very excited for Malignant, Wan’s upcoming return to horror. 

Before I Wake

Now Streaming on 

Matt: Unpopular opinion: Before I Wake is my favorite Mike Flanagan film. It’s with this entry that I honor “Good Dad” Thomas Jane, who has his own brush with a different kind of purgatorial realm. This one concocted by Jacob Tremblay, who can bring his dreams to life whenever the little man slumbers. Jane does his best to be a loving foster parent whose new child comes with a tremendous gift, in a way that his wife (Kate Bosworth) might advantageously exploit. In any case, this is a case of “Good Dad” getting lost in the shuffle when “The Canker Man” comes to…feast? Whatever it does. An “In Memoriam” for the Jane Train.

Chris: Not my favorite Flanagan, but I consider him to be one the best in the biz right now, so this is definitely worth a watch. 

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