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What You Missed With Netflix Horror

From the gory to the tense, there's something for everyone

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Foreign Horror

Vertical Entertainment

Sure, you might have to read subtitles (because the dub options suck in my opinion), but what you lose in understanding a language, you gain in understanding another culture's definition of fear.

1. "Under the Shadow"

Iranian cinema is on the rise, despite the current travel sanctions leveled against the country. The power of Iranian film might lie in the hands of Ashghar Farhadi, but Babak Anvari's take on the supernatural during the Iranian Revolution is a true stunner. The power in the film comes in the melding of two horrors: that of the supernatural and that of war, which Anvari mixes wonderfully. You feel fear when the heroine is stopped by soldiers for searching, just as you fear when the supernatural presence haunting her apartment makes its grand appearance. They are two distinct types of fear that when felt at the same time, create a truly unique experience.

Pros:

- Wonderful, quiet atmosphere.

- Wonderful political charge (and resulting double forms of fear).

- Stunning performances from Narges Rashidi and Avin Manshadi.

Cons:

- Very slow moving.

- At only 84 minutes, it feels a bit short (even with its slow pace).

2. "When Animals Dream"

This one is sure to be polarizing, but I personally found Danish filmmaker Jonas Alexander Arnby's tale of growing up and body consciousness to be a stunningly realized film. While it's slow starting, the film is a disturbing look at the life of a young girl who begins to notice changes in her body that become more and more unnerving as it goes on, leading to its violent finale.

Pros:

- Starkly beautiful aesthetic.

- Wonderful lead performance from Sonja Suhl.

- Great parallels to the taboo nature of female sexuality, without ever feeling exploitative.

- Chilling finale.

Cons:

- Very slow.

- Not as subtle as other films of its kind.

- Not particularly scary in the traditional sense, but in a much quieter, cerebral sense.

Gory Horror

Epic Pictures Group

Sometimes, we just need to see someone get their throat ripped out.

1. "Tales of Halloween"

Consisting of 10 interlocking short films in one, "Tales of Halloween" is the perfect horror film when you're looking for both a jolt and a laugh. Gleefully aware of itself, this anthology film deals in nothing but excess and cheese, but in the most glorious of ways.

Pros:

- Absolutely hilarious.

- Has the atmosphere of the scary part of a Party City store from when you were a child.

- Very original, creative short stories that feel direct from a "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" book.

- A must for gore hounds.

Cons:

- Could be way too over the top for some.

- The later short stories don't hold as much punch as the first ones.

- Definitely not what you want to watch on a full stomach.

- Not particularly scary.

2. "Would You Rather"

While it's not perfect in execution, this indie horror film comes from the daydreams that we all have about how far we would go to save those we love. This is a brutally effective film that is far more than its flaws.

Pros:

- Incredibly fun concept that's surprisingly well-realized.

- Tense, claustrophobic feel that makes viewers feel trapped.

- Stellar ensemble cast.

- Insane third act twist.

Cons:

- Gets a bit cheesy near the end.

- The main villain wasn't particularly menacing or frightening (though the things he makes others do are).

- The gore often times shows its low budget nature.

Atmospheric Horror

Entertainment One Features

When blood just won't do it for you, some slow, quiet, atmospheric scares are there to have your back.

1. "We Are What We Are"

Not sure why, but rural communities scare me quite a bit for a reason I can't put my finger on. This makes "We Are What We Are" an effective film for me right off the bat, but what works even more is how the film goes about itself. This is a film with a deep lore and very intriguing mystery surrounding two sisters and an unknown dilemma they face throughout the film. Director Jim Mickle obviously put a lot of care into this film.

Pros:

- One of the most unnerving settings of any modern horror film.

- Heartbreakingly great performances from Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner, and one especially scary one from Bill Sage.

- A finale that will leave goosebumps,

Cons:

- Very slow pace.

- Its 105 minute runtime isn't helped by its slow pace.

2. "The Awakening"

Mixing the prestige of a British period piece with that of a classic ghost story, "The Awakening" is how you do a slow horror film correctly. The film builds a mystery from the very beginning and brings the viewer into the world of the characters and the horrors they begin to face. This isn't a slam-bang sort of horror film, but a quieter experience that deserves your undivided attention.

Pros:

- As unnerving as it is beautiful

- One of the best acted horror films of the 21st century so far.

- Feels just as much as a period drama as it does a true horror film.

- A well-thought out, layered story that obviously was taken with care.

Cons:

- More creepy than it is downright scary.

- Finale doesn't pack a major punch.

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