In these strange times with theaters closed and the desire for entertainment running high, what better to do than scour the vast land of films that is Netflix? At the moment streaming services are a pleasant welcome as they are the perfect solution for any film fan in isolation still looking to get their daily fix of visual art.
Browsing on Netflix can be a time-consuming task, maybe even more so when looking for a good horror film to watch. Even though they’ve added a lot of horror films to their library, their offer is not as extended as a horror fan could hope for. When all the popular horrors are already crossed off the watchlist, the remaining offer can be very hit or miss. Therefore, could this list be of help with ten great recent horror movies on Netflix you might have missed.
1. Inhuman Kiss (2019)
Thailand has a plethora of folklore with intriguing creatures and their stories that naturally serve for equally interesting films. Inhuman kiss features two of these timeless legends, with most prominently the Krasue, which is a horrible curse falling over young women. Under this curse, although normal by day, at night the woman’s head detaches from her body and it would float around craving for blood.
What makes Inhuman Kiss so interesting is the different take it shows on the age-old tale. Rather than focusing on the monster as an evil spirit, it shows the human side of its host. The cursed woman doesn’t want to be in this situation, but can’t change her faith, and by showing this struggle the supposed monster turns into someone to root for. This combined with a love triangle doomed to fail and a finale that does embrace the action-packed monster fights with surprisingly impressive CGI, makes it a pleasantly diverse watch.
2. He Never Died (2015)
From Thai mythology to a biblical tale. He Never Died follows the story of the socially distant Jack (Henry Rollins), who follows a daily routine mostly of going to a diner and playing bingo in order to suppress his strange past and his craving for human blood. When his comically routine gets interrupted by the arrival of some up-to-no-good gangsters simultaneously with the introduction to his alleged daughter, the story takes a darker, but still comical turn.
What makes He Never Died stand out is the hilarious performance of Henry Rollins as the man that never died. It makes sense for a man who has outlived generations to stop caring about the people and the world around him and Henry Rollins embraces this fact wholeheartedly. His interactions with other characters through both body-language and blunt dialogue makes for some laugh out loud moments.
Where the beginning part of the movie is just a fun time of getting to know this character, the third act is action-packed and filled with symbolism. Director Jason Krawczyk took great effort to sketch out the history of main character Jack that causes the imagination to go wild about his extensive backstory. It also sparks curiosity about the 2019 follow-up film ‘She Never Died,’ written by Jason Krawczyk, but this time directed by Audrey Cummings.
3. The Bar (2017)
The first of three infection films on this list. In this dark comedic horror, Spanish cult film director Álex de la Iglesia depicts what would happen if the government would actively try to cover up the existence of a deadly virus within their borders.
A group of ordinary people, all introduced in the very first scene, ends up stuck in a bar in the middle of Madrid after a shooting happens right outside of the building. When discovering the reason for the shooting and their entrapment, there follows a sense of paranoia in the group that lasts the entirety of the film.
The Bar is a film filled with commentary about individualism in society. Although the distinctive personalities are humorous at first, it soon becomes apparent that the horror lies in the true human nature that shines through in all of these characters when their life is on the line. The drive for survival brings up a primal instinct within them so horrible that it makes the cruel intent of the government sound a little more justifiable.
4. The Eyes of My Mother (2016)
The directorial debut of Nicolas Pesce, who went on to make two more horror films: Piercing and the recently, not so well received, The Grudge. With The Eyes of my Mother Pesce has already proven himself to be a director with a clear vision that is a great match for the horror genre. In his debut he perfectly sets up a mood by shooting in black and white and through slow pacing, despite the film’s short runtime.
The story follows Francisca throughout her difficult life filled with tragedy. As a young girl Francisca witnesses her mother getting brutally murdered, where after her father locks up the murderer in their barn. Francisca seems intrigued by the clouded thoughts of this man and slowly develops her own cruel tendencies.
The film is filled with disturbing imagery, most notably the slicing of eyes, which reminds of Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou. But interestingly enough, even while a lot of disturbing imagery is shown on screen, more is left to the imagination since scenes tend to cut off before the climax. This as well adds to the disturbing mood which Pesce so perfectly set up. A promising debut, which is seen by far too few!
5. Cargo (2017)
The second infection film on this list is the beautiful-looking Cargo. It is the feature length debut of Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling who based it on their viral 2013 short film of the same name.
The film is set in Australia in a post-apocalyptic future where a deadly virus turns people into zombies (called virals in the movie) within 48 hours of infection. The starring role of Andy, played by Martin Freeman, is a dad who struggles to protect his wife and daughter in this difficult environment. Andy isn’t the conventional hero in a zombie film who knows how to fight for his life, but instead is an ordinary man not well suited for the threads that lure around every corner.
Another key player of the story is the country it’s set in. The rough surroundings of Australia’s wasteland lend itself as a thread itself, but what’s most important about this setting is the Aboriginals living here. The Aboriginal culture is treated with respect and is of much importance for the plot. The zombies could even be seen as symbolism for the west invading the lands of the indigenous people, which makes the film all the more powerful.