(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: I’m not going to fake positivity. This Thanksgiving will suck on levels that no holiday has any right to, because I’ll assume we’re all doing the responsible thing by staying home amidst growing concern over (once again) increasing COVID-19 cases. The somewhat salvageable news? In October, roughly 40+ new-release horror films hit VOD platforms and streaming services. Far too many titles for the sane and rational moviewatcher to tackle in a single month, now with an extended four-day weekend and lots of at-home lounge time. Here’s to chipping away at our backlogs instead of needlessly extending future lockdown protocols!

Chris: It’s been a month. Hell, it’s been a year. Things are rough, and now it’s Thanksgiving time – but I really hope you’re not traveling. I get it – you’re used to the tradition and want to go home and see your people. But you really, really shouldn’t. Not this year. Sooner or later, we’ll be on the other side of this. And while I’m not going to sit here and lie and say everything will be back to normal, things will be better. Because they have to be. For now, though, you should probably spend the holidays at home. And if you’re looking for something to fill your time, we’re rounding up some horror titles you might have missed in the last few weeks (you’ve probably had other things on your mind, what with…ya know…everything). 

Vampires Vs. The Bronx

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: In Oz Rodriguez’s Bronx bloodsucker, gentrification sucks. Vampires pose as property managers who replace landmark bodegas and nail boutiques with hip artisanal pizza joints, promising New York residents a greater life outside their borough only to out-price locals then drain their souls. It’s up to Miguel (Jaden Michael) and his bike crew to thwart the supernatural takeover in this bitingly satirical and often humorous culturally relevant horror story. Younger audiences should appreciate the gateway vibes that introduce genre elements, while Bronx natives will sense the immense neighborhood respect from casting (Method Man, The Kid Mero) to unshakable sensations of community. Adventurous, empowered, and Bronx-strong.

Chris: This is sitting my in queue, waiting to be watched. Waiting…

The Cleansing Hour

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: When I get the chance to write about sexy faux YouTube exorcist Ryan Guzman, I have to. Thems the rules. Especially in regards to Damien LeVeck’s The Cleansing Hour, about when “Father Max” (Guzman) has his falsified demon expulsion series exposed by an actual demon. Kyle Gallner stars as his producer and problem-solver, as the two fight against an entity that lights effects guys ablaze and tortures the longtime friends who must race against time, viewer counts, and mounting confessions. Also, Alix Angelis plays the poor woman strapped into Father Max’s chair as a supposed actor who becomes possessed and gives off major “Jane Levy as a Deadite” vibes. You know this is a good thing.

Chris: I saw this at Fantastic Fest last year (in fact, I think Matt was sitting right next to me when i saw it; I could be wrong, though, as I had one or two or ten drinks by then), and I remember being not very impressed with what was on the screen. Maybe I’ll give it another shot… 

The Mortuary Collection

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: I’m a sucker for practical effects, horror anthologies, and exploding genitals – all of which exist in Ryan Spindell’s The Mortuary Collection. Enter Clancy Brown as Montgomery Dark, a Lurch-looking mortician who regales his hopeful protege with phantasmagorical tales of deaths based on the bodies that’ve crossed his cold workbenches. A sticky-fingered woman, a college ladies man, a foolish lover. All of which meet grim endings, complete with out-of-bounds effects work from skeletal creatures climbing out of opened books to phallic punishment to plenty more gnarly demises. It’s loads of fun, calling back to 70s and 80s anthologies in a way that makes for quite the Halloween party watch.

Chris: There’s some gorgeous production design in this movie, but like so many horror anthology films, there’s at least one story that just doesn’t work and should’ve been cut out entirely. Still, it’s a fun little treat. 

Nocturne

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: I feel like I was (deservingly) hard on Amazon’s Welcome To The Blumhouse collection, so I’ll play nice and recommend the one title that rose above the pack: Zu Quirke’s Nocturne. I’m a sucker for horror narratives that blend musical accompaniment, so I’ll admit, dead ringer. Sydney Sweeney stars as a pianist who finds the “Devil’s Trill” arrangement in a deceased student’s notebook, and she falls victim to the siren song of fame. Maybe she’s improving her skills. Perhaps the sinister selection is taking hold in ungodly ways. In any case, tension strings like an appropriately-tuned instrument, and while it’s never groundbreaking, it’s hardly a wasted Amazon Prime stream. The ending especially lands in a way that lingers its devastation, which shouldn’t be hard to notice.

Chris: All of the Welcome to the Blumhouse movies so far have been snores and bores, in my humble opinion. 

His House

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Remi WeekesHis House deserves feature-debut praise on the same level as Jordan Peele’s Get Out without question. A haunted homestead stunner about Sudanese immigrants who flee oppression but are chased by the ghosts of survivors guilt and whitewash remorse. Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku star as refugees who make unimaginable choices, as Dirisu comes face-to-face with his demons each night who crawl from the crumbling walls of his new English dream. It is immensely passionate, socially-charged, and so important a horror film that blends cultural importance with outright terrifying ghoulish encounters. Weekes’ talents shine as a filmmaker, which will undoubtedly be the year’s most impressive genre debut.

Chris: His House is fucking great. Please watch it. 

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