What’s up, Laser Timers! It’s a new year, which means new horror movies, and from the looks of it, theatrically speaking, we’re not off to a great start — I’m looking at you The Forest and The Boy. So instead of wasting your money by going out to the theater, stay home and watch one of these horror releases available for streaming right now.
A little inside baseball: one of my favorite situations in horror films is when a group of strangers is forced to band together and barricade themselves into a location, while an outside threat tries to get in. Normally this trope is reserved for the zombie genre, but it is ingeniously added to this werewolf film about a group of strangers on a train ride through London’s countryside. Something goes wrong, of course, and the train is derailed by something that “howls.” Not all lycanthrope movies have to be serious to be enjoyable, and that’s exactly where this film lives. That’s why I’m able to recommend this to anybody looking for a light, semi-Grindhouse experience, complete with hokey special effects and British accents. Plus, it’s from a guy who worked on Dog Soldiers. Sold!
Hell and Back
If Tim Burton and Kevin Smith had an animated love child, it would be this film. Lifelong group of friends are stuck working at a rundown carnival, when they accidentally transport their buddy to the underworld and wind up on a search-and-rescue mission through hell. This is a mile-a-minute joke-fest, so by shear numbers, not all of the punch lines will land, but enough do to make this animated release recommendable. Did I mention it stars Bob Odenkirk?
Blood Sucking Bastards
Bram Stoker’s Office Space, staring that funny stoner guy from Cabin in the Woods. A group of friends stuck in a dead-end corporate job are just trying to survive, when a new team manager comes on board — and he kinda “sucks” (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Staff start to go missing, and the ones who stick around don’t act like themselves. Anyone who has ever worked in an office setting will no doubt enjoy this flick for its character interactions and deadpan performance by Marshal Givens as Frank the Security Guard. Givens steals the show, and is probably the second coming of Bob Newhart… well, maybe not, but he does deliver my favorite performance, and who doesn’t love deadpan comedy? Also it stars that stoner guy from Cabin in the Woods.
A re-imagining of 28 Days Later, set in an elementary school, starring Elijah Woods, Rainn Wilson, and Jack McBrayer as teachers in the midst of a rabies epidemic — need I say more? Also, stay tuned for the after-credits stinger. “And the frog fucked the caterpillar.” Watch the film and all will make sense, I promise.
One of the most disturbing horror films I’ve seen in a long time! To say any more would ruin what this film has to offer, so trust me, bare through its slow burn opening and give it a chance.
PS — This film made me okay with the fact I have chosen to never have kids. Well, at least twins.
I love, love, love this film, and can honestly add it to my list of Ireland’s awesome growing horror genre, which includes the previously reviewed/recommended Citadel and From the Dark. A young family moves into a logging cabin in the middle of nowhere, and soon realizes that something evil lurks in the woods. Sounds generic, but it’s not. Check this one out for its awesome sound design and creature effects, with a side of genuine acting. This one also has a short mid-credit stinger that is unnecessary, but gets a free pass since it reminded me of all the jump scare endings that appeared in just about every late-90s horror film.
Have you ever wondered what Willem Dafoe plus The Bride from Kill Bill would look like? This is the answer. Der Samurai explores a young cop’s sexuality as he chases down a sword-wielding transvestite killer with a connection to a local wolf who is terrorizing the locals. I guarantee you will stay for the rest of this translucent ride after certain scene involving our hero beating the shit out of a pink yard flamingo. If that doesn’t sound like a good time, then you are just boring, my friend, and you won’t enjoy what this 2014 release has to offer. Partially just kidding — this one’s just a little more complex than any of the other films mentioned here. I only recently got a chance to check out this gem, so while it’s a late entry, it’s a legit one.
Moan4Stallone is Laser Time’s horror master.