Best Of Netflix: Top 20 Movies For Halloween

[BoxTitle]The Last House on the Left[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="60023681"/] [NetflixWatch id="60023681"/]

Considered by many to be one of the sickest movies ever made, Wes Craven‘s The Last House on the Left still packs a punch almost 40 years later as two teenage girls are punished for trying to score the wacky weed by being subjected to unspeakable terror and humiliation in the stinking, filthy woods. The film makes the most of its non-budget, and there’s something rather cathartic about Mom and Dad getting revenge on the psycho killer-rapists, but one can’t help but wonder if this ultimately simplistic and rather pointless tale is really the best that Wes Craven could come up with if he was so bound and determined to leave his mark on the horror genre. Regardless, the film is something of an endurance test, an exercise in almost unbearable tension and discomfort, making it a must-own for hardcore horror fans — and a dare for everyone else.

[BoxTitle]Paranormal Activity[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="70125581"/] [NetflixWatch id="70125581"/]

If you haven’t seen this one yet, believe the hype: it’s pretty much as scary as you’ve heard. It took ten years for another no-budget horror flick to follow in the footsteps of The Blair Witch Project, going way beyond its humble origins and becoming an international sensation — Paranormal Activity is a more than worthy successor to the now-underrated Blair Witch, transporting the terror out of the deep dark woods and straight into the bedroom as a young couple discovers there’s a malicious presence that’s capable of dragging them out of bed and setting their dumb ouija board on fire. A spectacular — and truly terrifying — exercise in cinema verite, neat-o sound design and old-school visual trickery. Watch it, but don’t expect to have a restful night afterwards for at least, oh, a week. Followed by two sequels that ain’t half-bad themselves.

[BoxTitle]Night of the Living Dead[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="17017662"/] [NetflixWatch id="17017662"/]

George Romero‘s first Dead movie might very well be the best in the series (which is still going on to this day)‚ and perhaps the best zombie movie of all time, period. The set-up is simple: Zombies walk the earth, and a few survivors take refuge in a house in the woods. Night of the Living Dead‘s zombies lurk about in the shadows of the trees, patiently waiting for the poor fool who thinks he can make a run for it; rarely has a horror film created such an unrelenting sense of claustrophobia — the sight of these creatures swaying around outside the window is more terrifying than any swarming attack en masse. Though there are plenty of those moments, too, and they’re awesome. Shot in Pittsburgh for about a hundred bucks and a tank of gas, Night of the Living Dead remains one of the most inspiring movies to independent horror filmmakers everywhere.

[BoxTitle]Nosferatu[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="812752"/] [NetflixWatch id="812752"/]

The first cinematic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s iconic horror novel, Dracula (you may have heard of it), was this unauthorized exercise in German expressionism by director F.W. Murnau. Nosferatu remains the scariest movie based on the book to date, chock full of dread and despair and starring the amazing Max Schreck as the rodent-like Graf Orlok. The film is public domain and there are many bootleg versions available, including one that’s set entirely to songs by death metal band Type O Negative (which actually isn’t as bad as it sounds) — whichever version you come across, it’s sure to give you the creeps like no other Dracula adaptation out there. FYI, Shadow of the Vampire (2000) presents a clever and unsettling “what-if?” scenario exploring the making of the film, starring Willem Dafoe as Schreck and John Malkovich as Murnau.

[BoxTitle]Return of the Living Dead[/BoxTitle] [Trailer][/Trailer] [Netflix] [NetflixAdd id="60023682"/] [NetflixWatch id="60023682"/]

“They’re back from the grave and ready to party!” George Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead were just so darn serious, so Return of the Living Dead introduced an aggressive, goofy sense of humor to the whole zombie thing. While Romero’s films can certainly be seen as satires, they definitely take themselves too seriously to be considered dark “comedies” — this one, however, is definitely out to make the audience laugh as much as scream. Two of the main characters are named Burt and Ernie, and there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film that says all the events depicted are true — and the kick-ass soundtrack is as much a must-own for any punk fan as the Repo Man soundtrack released a year earlier. Writer-director Dan O’Bannon, who did a similar stoner spin with John Carpenter on an otherwise straight-faced genre with the spaced-out Dark Star, also messes about with until-then unflappable zombie mythology — the creatures of Return are resurrected by a toxic gas, they move fast and bullets don’t hurt them, not even if you shoot ’em in the head. Hey, why not?

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