(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 MGM’s Child’s Play reboot opening this week, Chris and I jumped at the chance to suggest streaming horror flicks where the antagonist is, in some way, an inanimate object. The film’s villain may be a house, or a piece of furniture, or an auto part for heaven’s sake. All of those films exist, most in multiple iterations. Sometimes evil spirits possess human vessels; other times they bring unspeakable damnation to satin-sheeted beds as comfortable as they are deadly. Can you blame horror cinema for getting a little creative?

Chris: I’m a big fan of possessed/cursed/haunted object movies, so I was excited to dig into this topic. Then I realized a lot of these movies are, well…bad. But I think Matt and I did a fine job of gathering together the best of the bunch. Especially me. Matt’s picks, eh, not so much. 

Street Trash

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Street Trash is the only film James M. Muro has directed for reasons beyond my grasp. New York City’s homeless underbelly has never been captured through such a filthy, grime-caked lens, thick with body melted goo thanks to a poison crate of “Viper” liquor. When I say vagrants who consume the tainted brew “melt,” I mean a rainbow of colored liquids squirt from aerated flesh as globs of human mess sludgily pool tie-dye fluids where a man once stood (or sat on a toilet). As 80s exploitation goes, Street Trash is dated (slurs and insults, mainly). That said, there’s nary a Troma effort that can match the low-budget disgustingness of Muro’s rancid body horror showcase.

Chris: This is another of my blindspots, although I’ve been meaning to watch it for quite some time. I mean, it’s called Street Trash. That’s my kind of title.

Sinister

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: My tolerance for horror is boastfully stern-faced, but I can still vividly recall Scott Derrickson’s Sinister chilling me to my squishy core. Packed theater, opening night, and Bughuul was collecting screams. Everybody remembers the video footage of murdered families, which contends with the creepiest shots in Sinister. Other competition includes whenever Baghuul breaks free of whatever film reel Ethan Hawke is watching, or ghost kiddos slinking into focus. Sinister 2 might have been a bust, but we’ll always have Derrickson’s home video violence to remind us of Baghuul’s mortifying introduction into horror cinema. Still a mainstay at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights in the Blumhouse maze.

Chris: I love this movie, in all its ominous glory. Some of the jump-scares get a bit tedious, but everything else works like gangbusters.

Rubber

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: Quentin Dupieux will never apologize for his cinematic absurdity, nor should he. Rubber is about a “homicidal car tire discovering it has destructive psionic power,” and it is brilliant. Onlookers watch from afar, with binoculars, as characters who act/react/commentate like audiences would. Dupieux is not only able to tell a splattery story of heads exploding and a killer tire, but weighs on aversions to Hollywood structures. Specifically, an audience’s desire to be spooned easily digestible stories packaged for processed consumption. Rubber dares viewers to challenge their perception of moviemaking, jettison expectations, and willingly embrace a film’s existence for what it’s trying to be – not what we demand it to resemble.

Chris: You need to see this movie to believe it. Hell, I’ve seen it and I still don’t quite believe it.

Evil Dead 2

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: Ash Williams’ fight against the netherworld’s worst brings one of my favorite evil tomes: the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Evil Dead 2, Sam Raimi’s crowning Evil Dead achievement, embraces a more darkly comical fight against demonic forces than his original 1981 low-budget cabin calamity. As Deadites corrupt Ash’s accompanying clan, Bruce Campbell is permitted to go batty while reality becomes a fracture plane. Deer heads cackle, headless corpses dance, Campbell fights his own hand – it’s a slapstick comedic masterpiece that still honors rigid horror constructs. The Necronomicon is not to be underestimated and has become an iconic genre prop thanks to Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise. Please tell me you’re not still sleeping on this 1987 classic.

Chris: Come back, Sam Raimi. We miss you.

Waxwork

Now Streaming on Tubi

Matt: Anthony Hickox’s Waxwork is some primo 80s horror in that it stars baby-faced Zach Galligan, favors kitchen-sink creature inclusion, and goes for monster broke. Based on the title, you’re correct to assume teenagers are attacked by waxwork figures who come alive. The catch: Galligan’s crew have to enter exhibits beyond velvet to be pulled into a werewolf’s hunt or vampire’s castle. Once in the character’s world, sculpted figures are free to slay and claim souls as they please. Although, don’t fret. There’s a brawl between multiple waxwork creations and forces who’d rather see the establishment shut down come Act III. Waxwork Royal Rumble, y’all! How else can I sell this movie to you?

Chris: What I remember most from Waxwork is a lengthy sequence where a woman is eating bloody skin or something like that, and she thinks its steak tartare, and the scene refuses to end.

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