6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1992

Genre: Gothic Horror

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Cast: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Billy Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits

Dracula has been adapted to the screen hundreds of times, yet Francis Ford Coppola actually found a way to make the story seem fresh. For one thing, Coppola’s 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula is closer to Bram Stoker’s novel than any other adaptation. For another, Coppola loads the film with hundreds of mind-blowing in-camera effects, creating a visually stunning experience. This is a lush, gothic melodrama, rich with swooning moments and torrents of blood. Gary Oldman is Count Dracula, who ends up in England to prey on Winona Ryder. Meanwhile, a team of vampire hunters, lead by a zany Anthony Hopkins, tries to stop the undead fiend. The film still holds up. More than that, though: it’s the last of a dying breed. I can’t recall a single movie since Bram Stoker’s Dracula that employs 100% in-camera visual effects; everything is digitally assisted now, and it can’t hold a candle to what Coppola created here.

For fans of: Crimson PeakNosferatu the VampyreBlack Sabbath, Keanu Reeves trying really hard to use a British accent.

7. F/X
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1986

Genre: Action-Thriller

Director:  Robert Mandel

Cast: Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, Cliff De Young, Jerry Orbach

We don’t talk about F/X nearly as much as we should. In this slice of ’80s cheese, Bryan Brown plays a Hollywood special effects artist who is hired by the Justice Department to stage a fake murder. The murder “victim” (Jerry Orbach!) is a former mobster about to testify against his boss, and rather than just stash him away in witness protection, the feds want to fake the death of the witness to better cover their tracks. Needless to say, things don’t go according to plan, and soon Brown finds his own life in danger. Explosions, car chases, and special effects follow. Also, Brian Dennehy is on hand to steal the show. Bonus: the sequel F/X 2 is also streaming on Hulu. So after you finish F/X, give that a watch as well.

For fans of: To Live and Die In L.A.NighthawksSudden Impact, international superstar Bryan Brown.

8. The Haunting of Julia
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1977

Genre: Low-Key British Horror

Director: Richard Loncraine

Cast: Mia Farrow, Keir Dullea, Tom Conti, Jill Bennett, Robin Gammell

The Haunting of Julia, aka Full Circle, is one of those classy British ghost stories from the ’70s – full of slow burns, ticking clocks, long silences, and scenes that look as if the camera has been draped with cheesecloth. It’s also creepy as heck. One sunny morning, Mia Farrow‘s daughter chokes to death right before her eyes. Farrow, understandably, suffers a mental breakdown. Two years later, she’s left her husband (Keir Dullea) and moved into a new house. Farrow soon begins seeing things – is she going bonkers, or is the ghost of her daughter? Or is it, perhaps, another, malevolent supernatural force? The Haunting of Julia takes its time working its way up to anything outwardly ghostly, but there’s enough atmosphere to keep you biting your nails through the whole thing.

For fans of: Rosemary’s BabyThe HauntingThe Woman in Black, ghostly children.

9. Kingpin 
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Comedy

Director: The Farrelly Brothers

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, Bill Murray

The Farrelly Brothers had one of their biggest hits with There’s Something About Mary, but for my money, their best pic is the film that came directly before it: Kingpin. This hilarious, sometimes raunchy film features Woody Harrelson giving arguably the best performance of his career as Roy Munson. Roy was a one-time bowling champ, but his career took a nose-dive after he loses his hand. Years later, Roy is a washed-up has-been who thinks he’s found his meal-ticket when he meets an Amish man (Randy Quaid) who just happens to be a great bowler. Soon, the two have set off on a road trip, with hysterical results. Along the way, Bill Murray shows up and steals every scene he’s in. If you’re looking for high-class humor, Kingpin will not deliver. If you’re in the mood for something unapologetically silly, look no further.

For fans of: Dumb and DumberThere’s Something About MaryThe Big Lebowski, Tanqueray and Tab.

10. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2012

Genre: Indie Dramedy

Director: Jay and Mark Duplass

Cast: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon

Marketing made Jeff, Who Lives at Home look like your typical slacker comedy starring funny people like Jason Segel and Ed Helms. But this quirky, somewhat somber indie from the Duplass Brothers doesn’t play out the way you’d expect. Segel is Jeff, an unemployed stoner living with his mom (Susan Sarandon). Jeff has become obsessed with the movie Signs, and as a result, is constantly looking for hidden things connecting everyone to everything. Meanwhile, Jeff’s successful brother (Helms), is dealing with his failing marriage, suspecting his wife (Judy Greer) of having an affair. Then there’s a third storyline, involving Sarandon’s character receiving a surprise at work. All these stories eventually come together in an unexpected way, and the result is surprisingly poignant. Segel is particularly good here, playing someone who, on paper at least, might seem annoying, but in actuality is quite sweet.

For fans of: The Puffy ChairThe Skeleton TwinsBaghead, learning about greatest day in the history of the world.

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