Written by Eriq Gardner, CNN
For the first time, horror-themed films got the honor of hosting the Academy Awards. In the years that followed, the genre began to disappear from the cinematic landscape. But things are looking up in the horror-land, as horror movies are coming back stronger than ever.
Although many horror movies were once regarded as self-serious exercises, horror movies are now seen as canny parables that are both shocking and playful. And they’re proving easier to buy into than ever.
Here are five of the hottest horror movies currently streaming on Netflix, plus another ten picked for recommendation (only for the brave). Please note: the description below is for the title in the original foreign language.
The language isn’t traditional for a Mexican film, but Alfonso Cuarón’s big-screen version of his 2015 Oscar-winning short film is deeply moving and gorgeously shot. Starring Gael García Bernal, “Roma” is a five-hour celebration of domestic life, where ideas of class are symbolized as a maid, her young child and a neighbor fight to survive the collapsing city around them. This movie is being celebrated in July as one of the best movies of the year, and deserves to be seen in every window.
“The Shape of Water”
I think Guillermo del Toro’s latest is his masterpiece, and I happen to love him. Based on a novel, “The Shape of Water” transports audiences to Cold War-era Cold War-era Baltimore, where a mute cleaning woman works with a small-town sheriff to protect a beautiful “Giant” who communicates with fish-people. Playing the sheriff, a mute fish-person also known as Guillermo’s muse, Sally Hawkins is wonderful. But del Toro, our king of the black-and-white, has crafted another terrifying neo-Romantic tale.
What happens when a serial killer comes back to the investigation? This gripping French thriller follows a reclusive, parallel-universe serial killer (Natalie Press) who believes the man who murdered her younger sister has reappeared and wants to talk about why. The film is an intellectually exhilarating piece of film art that has a troublingly existential message.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
This has all the requisite special effects, action and dinosaurs. But there’s an unexpected quality in the film that is simple and charming, as the screenplay and acting duo are fearless in exploring the trials of human character.
Jordan Peele made a small-budget horror film in 2017 that turned out to be a thrilling surprise. Starring Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya, this story of a Black man who goes to meet his girlfriend’s parents takes place over the weekend of a Black History Month get-together, with the realization that the party is being corrupted and purged by the families at its center. A surprising winner of the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and the Mystery! Top Ten, “Get Out” is bloody good fun.
In a mental asylum, an isolated man looks back at the lives of the people he was raised to hate, and what he finds is the reality is no more terrifying than the people he’s trained to hate. A deeply affecting documentary, “Dystopia” follows the devastating effects of mass incarceration and police brutality in America. Some might be surprised to find that documentary making is a subject worthy of this level of contemplation, but it is.