Hit or Miss: Netflix original horror movies

Ava Mac ’21, Entertainment Editor

As Halloween approaches, it is time to be immersed in the spooky spirit. The best way to do this is to pop on a Netflix horror movie and watch with a group of friends. While rewatching a cult classic thriller can be just as good of an experience, it is always much scarier to try something new.

Besides timeless horror films made by many different directors, Netflix also offers their own original movies to be enjoyed late in the night. The issue is finding the right one, as Netflix’s support of a project may not save it from being a flop. Take a look at some of these Netflix-exclusive hits or misses to note which one you and your friends should watch next.

Hush (2016) – Hit

A thriller by Mike Flanagan, this suspenseful film is an interesting, yet realistic take on the stereotypical stalking story that further intensifies the horror. The main character is a deaf writer who learns that she is being stalked by a masked killer in her home, isolated in the woods. It closely follows her struggle to survive the game of cat and mouse while Flanagan ensures that we wince, jump, and flinch at every well-calculated scare.

It succeeds at both being a thriller but also having a good message. “It shows whatever setbacks you may have, you can overcome them and accomplish any goal,” sophomore Grace Leslie said.

The Babysitter (2017) – Miss

This cheesy, obnoxious slasher comedy by Joseph McGinty Nichol filled with overused jokes, stereotypical characters, awful and unnecessary visuals follows a young boy who discovers his beloved babysitter is running a satanic cult. The film relies on its star-studded cast like well-known actress Bella Thorne or internet star King Bach who fail to deliver even as the flattest of characters giving the blandest of lines.

It ultimately fails at its attempts in trying to ride off the success of new wave 80’s nostalgia from shows like Stranger Things and to be self aware on the subgenre of slasher movies as a whole.

“It was a good effort, but it seems like they were just putting a movie out to put a movie out,” sophomore Emma Plater said. “They took jokes and stole from other movies; Netflix needs to step up their game.”

 

Before I Wake (2016) – Hit

Another horror movie by Mike Flanagan, this film plays out more like a beautiful yet sorrowful dark fantasy. It depicts the tale of a young foster boy who can manifest his dreams into reality. At first, this may seem like a blessing, as his dreams can fulfill any fantasy and temporarily bring back the dead. It quickly is shown as a curse, as it can also bring his nightmares to life, like a monstrous creature called the Canker Man.

The movie manages to successfully deliver on horror and on emotion as well. While it packs several jump scares and unsettling scenes, it also gives many tearjerkers and heartbreaking moments. Journalist Matt Donato explained this gave it “one of the more rewarding horror payoffs [he’s] seen in years.”

I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in The House (2016) – Miss

Although this film by Osgood Perkins excels at creating an eerie, unnerving atmosphere, it does not do much else. The movie tells the story of a live-in nurse who begins to suspect the home of her patient, a famed horror writer, is haunted.

The horror is stalled in long, boring narrations and minute-long pannings over empty doorways and rooms. The scariest details are hidden within these moments and narrations, but only for those who can bear to watch or listen. The viewers are never really sure what is going on and if it is even real. They also never figure out why everything happened to begin with or why it ended the way it did.

This is meant to be poetic, yet it only leads to the frustration of the audience. It is more or less not supposed to be a typical horror movie, but more of poetry on death and beauty. While that may intrigue some, it will not satisfy the typical horror movie lover.

Creep (2014) – Hit

This found-footage thriller by Patrick Kack-Brice is about a man requested to film and document the last days of another man’s life. As the movie goes on, the man’s behavior escalates into pure creepiness, teetering over the edge of psychopathy and crossing every line imaginable. The unnerving conflict between the two main characters is hard to watch but hard to look away.

While some parts may have the audience laughing, there remains a feeling of dread in every scene. The found footage aspect of the film also makes it feel raw, like the viewer is right there in the protagonist’s perspective, making this already incredibly realistic film even more lifelike.

Finding the perfect horror movie to watch can be pretty daunting, especially with Netflix’s wide variety of original spooky flicks. Don’t skip this Halloween tradition out of fear and use this guide of hit or misses to ensure you find a film worth your time and worth your fright.

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