In hopes of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, Netflix subscribers around the world are quarantining themselves in their homes and are attempting to stave off serious cases of cabin fever. While some of us might be able to continue working from home, others find themselves with an endless amount of hours they need to occupy in their homes and away from other people. Streaming services and social media are some of the only things that are keeping those isolating themselves sane, but with these services often suggesting you the same films on a regular basis, we've got some lesser-seen recent movies and some classics to recommend that you may have missed.
While things around the world might feel pretty scary, some subscribers might steer clear of anything remotely unsettling, while others of us prefer to dive deep into much more horrifying scenarios than threats we're currently coping with.
Scroll down to see some of our picks for what to watch on Netflix this weekend and hit up Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to share your own recommendations and thoughts about the films!
The Wicker Man (1973)
Last year saw the release of Midsommar and an embrace of folk horror, with the film's strengths owing a lot to what The Wicker Man accomplished back in the '70s.
After receiving a mysterious letter claiming a small child on a remote island has gone missing, a police officer heads to the community to investigate. His investigation raises more questions than answers, with the officer being denied the pertinent information that would lead to discovering the child, while also exposing him to the sex-positive rituals of the community and their worship of nature.
Audiences are delivered a bizarre mystery throughout most of The Wicker Man, with the answers finally becoming clear in the film's shocking final scene, considered by many to be one of the best twist endings the horror genre has seen. Films have often explored devil worship and mysterious cults, but rarely have they been explored with such whimsy as in The Wicker Man, which will make you question the motives behind even the most polite people you encounter.
Girl on the Third Floor (2019)
Girl on the Third Floor offers audiences a pair of debuts, with Phil "C.M. Punk" Brooks making his feature film debut and Travis Stevens making his directorial debut. Brooks brings the charm that audiences have grown to love (or love to hate) from his WWE days to his character while Stevens, having produced contemporary classics like We Are Still Here, Cheap Thrills, and Starry Eyes, puts everything he's learned in his producing career on display for a gruesome and grisly horror story.
To cope with the anxiety he's feeling as he prepares for his first child with his wife, Don (Brooks) begins renovating an old house and begins to discover clues of its bizarre history. Not only does Don uncover dark secrets about the house, but his time in the domicile also brings Don's darkness to the surface.
The film's narrative is engaging enough to keep audiences entertained, but the film's special effects will surely get under your skin.
The Perfection (2018)
In recent years, Netflix has earned the reputation as being a place where horror movies are sent when no major distributor will release it. In the case of The Perfection, that theory would make perfect sense, as the narrative is too twisted to market in any profitable way.
A former cello student attends a concert being hosted by her former teacher, going on to strike up a connection with a current student. As the two grow closer, a hidden agenda emerges, resulting in a storyline you can't look away from.
Thanks to its fractured storytelling and bold narrative decisions, The Perfection will keep you on your toes for its entire run time, descending into a finale you never would have predicted. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more surprising narrative on Netflix, which makes it a great film to sync up with your friends and talk about on social media.
The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015)
A deeply atmospheric and terrifying horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter centers on Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton), two girls who are left alone at their prep school Bramford over winter break when their parents mysteriously fail to pick them up. While the girls experience increasingly strange and creepy occurrences at the isolated school, we cross cut to another story — that of Joan (Emma Roberts), a troubled young woman on the road, who, for unknown reasons, is determined to get to Bramford as fast as she can.
Dripping with mood and tension, the film brings together some of the best young actresses for this terrifying tale of devotion.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)
Directed by Blackcoat's Daughter's Osgood Perkins, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is another example of just how much the filmmaker can accomplish through mood and tone with the bare minimum of characters on screen at any given time.
Lily (Ruth Wilson) is hired as a live-in nurse for a former horror writer in a remote Massachusetts mansion, with the home being built by a couple that mysteriously disappeared on their wedding day years earlier. Despite only two "people" living in the home, it becomes quite clear that there are figures from another realm who have made themselves at home, leaving Lily to question what their motives are.
While the film might not be action-packed and is more appropriate for patient horror fans, the payoffs are surely worth it, as Perkins and Wilson both manage to keep the audience engaged throughout its run time.
Gerald's Game (2017)
Many Stephen King stories lend themselves well to live-action adaptations, but Gerald's Game surely isn't one of them. Despite the inherent difficulties of bringing such a story to life, director Mike Flanagan made the impossible possible with this isolationist tale of terror.
When a couple goes to their vacation house and explores a more adventurous side to their sex life, a tragedy occurs that traps Jessie (Carla Gugino) in the house with no one to help her and with any communication with the outside world beyond her reach. With no hope in sight, her mind begins to wander to some of her darkest thoughts, forcing her to make some drastic decisions if she hopes to find rescue.
With a majority of this film featuring one character trapped in one room, it's easy to see why so many filmmakers have avoided attempting to adapt it for the screen, but Gugino's charisma and Flanagan's vision make for an engaging thriller with one of the most brutal injuries seen in a horror film in recent years.
The Invitation (2015)
Earlier this month, it was announced that director Karyn Kusama would be helming a new incarnation of Dracula, with The Invitation being an exemplary example of her intoxicating filmmaking skills.
After years of relative seclusion, a couple throws a dinner party and invites all of their old friends, alerting them to the fact that they've joined an "organization" that, for all intents and purposes, is a cult. The partygoers aim to discover whether this cult has ulterior motives or if the followers are just misunderstood, leaving audiences guessing until the final scenes what the truth behind the organization truly is.
A masterclass in tension, The Invitation focuses on story and characters over unsettling violence. Despite lacking the gore of its peers, the film manages to disturb and surprise you in ways that'll stick with you longer than seeing practical effects tear a dummy in half.
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