(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.

Tales From The Hood 2

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Disclaimer: I’m not playing by the rules with this pick because I’ve yet to see Tales From The Hood 2 myself. Why include Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott’s urban horror anthology, then? Aside from fellow attending Fantasia Festival critics whom I trust lauding the commentary’s satire and over-topped ambitions (on a lesser budget, beware), little-to-no marketing promoted the film’s drop onto streaming juggernaut Netflix. Surprised, right? In any case, there’s another Tales From The Hood you can watch right this motherflippin’ second starring Keith David as master of SCARYmonies (nailed it), Mr. Simms. If anything, this recommendation is a reminder to myself as well. Let me know what y’all think in the meantime!

Chris: This movie is terrible. Just…awful. I’m a huge fan of the original Tales From the Hood, but this film should be jettisoned into space. Off to a good start, Matt!

Gerald’s Game
Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Netflix strutted into 2017’s Fantastic Fest with a handful of original titles, none more hyped than Mike Flanagan’s Stephen King adaptation Gerald’s Game – which I didn’t screen at the festival. Why? The kinky nightmare played Fantastic Fest on September 24th and hit Netflix September 29th, literally the day after festivities wrapped up. I might not be able to remember exactly what under-the-radar indie my schedule slot went to instead, but why waste precious Fantastic Fest time on a guaranteed distribution watch when half the fun of genre festivals is walking into screenings blind? In any case, I happily watched Gerald’s Game hungover on my friend’s couch while killing time before my flight home. Well worth all the hype around *that* degloving escape sequence.

Chris: For years I thought Gerald’s Game was unadaptable. Mike Flanagan proved me wrong, because that’s how good he is.

Darling

Now Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime

Matt: Walking into my 2015 Fantastic Fest screening of Darling churned conflicting emotions in my stomach. Filmmaker Mickey Keating is a devoted student of cinema who embodies his idols with each movie he makes, but to that point, not all projects struck my interests equally. Then Lauren Ashley Carter sauntered onto screen in this black-and-white throwback to Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski that hypnotizes, stuns, and transports viewers to a bygone era of entertainment. So much performance emanated from Carter’s almost Audrey Hepburn gaze, screaming in pain with nothing but widened glares. Keating accomplishes tremendous technical interest on minimal New York City means. As an exercise in artistic refurbishment, Darling is anything but another homage film school project.

Chris: Darling is wild, and often infuriating. But Lauren Ashley Carter is a star!

Let Us Prey

Now Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime

Matt: Let Us Prey was an elusive 2014 festival vagabond. I covered multiple programs that included Brian O’Malley’s police station descent into Hell, but the title was never available for remote coverage (something more and more festivals are gravitating towards). My great white horror buffalo of 2014. It’s the only reason Let Us Prey stayed on my radar and thank heavens it did. I finally stumbled upon the Liam Cunningham vessel and got slammed with a blasphemous punch that’s part isolation possession thriller, party psychological freakout, all roguish divine madness. Losta imagery derived from holy symbolism and a desire to desecrate the father, son, and spirit alike. Plus who can be mad at a movie when Pollyanna McIntosh shows up?

Chris: I haven’t seen this, but I always see the cover art on Shudder and think, “Hmm…maybe.”

The Hive
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: The Hive is an odd one. It premiered at Fantastic Fest in September of 2014, hit San Diego Comic Con the summer of 2015, released in the US/UK later that year, then played more festivals internationally later on? David Yarovesky’s acid washed sci-fi connect-the-dots is like Memento but for toxic hive mind possessions. It’s…a lot. Plotting jumps around more than Bohemian Rhapsody’s editing (topical!), but there’s viciously unique creativity at play worth focused watches. Yarovesky plays with time parallels, body sentience, free will – everything conspiracy outbreak thrillers might tease, thrown in a blender and served up fresh. Sporadic and synapse-frying? Sure. What’s art without a little abandon sometimes?

Chris: We almost made it a whole list with me seeing everything Matt picked! But no, he had to throw me for a loop with these final two. Cheeky bastard.

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