When the world feels like a scary place, some people will choose to consume as much lighthearted content as possible to distract them from their fears, while horror fans know how much of a relief it can be to tune in to a much more horrifying narrative to take comfort in immensely intense storylines to offer catharsis from our real-world stress. Even if relieving stress isn't something you require, with the number of public spaces currently closed, plenty of us are finding ourselves with hours of free time and we'll likely be turning to our favorite streaming services this weekend to keep us entertained.
Luckily, Amazon Prime Video has a number of exciting genre films to check out, including genre classics that are worth a revisit and under-seen indie hits that might have flown under subscribers' radars.
Scroll down to see some of our picks for what to watch on Amazon Prime Video this weekend and hit up Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to share your own recommendations and thoughts about the films!
Harkening back to the pre-slasher days of the genre, Hereditary's success largely comes from a committed cast depicting a harrowing drama that was aided by supernatural events, resulting in a massively successful, and exhausting, ordeal.
After the death of their grandmother, a family struggles to cope with the loss, with her passing being only the first of a number of tragic events to unfold.
The debut feature film from Ari Aster drew from films like The Omen and The Exorcist in the ways that it avoided using any traditional genre tropes to convey its story, denying audiences the relief typically found from "fun" scares. Toni Collette's unhinged performance was a tour de force, ultimately reminding audiences of how few things are as frightening as the things we can do and say to one another.
Night of the Demons (1988)
If you’re going to throw a Halloween party, you better throw it in an abandoned, haunted former funeral home or no one will show up.
Luckily, that’s exactly where the party in Night of the Demons takes place! As far as stereotypical ‘80s characters are concerned, this movie’s got them in spades. Part teen sex comedy and part The Evil Dead, this film encapsulates everything you love (or maybe hate) about goofy horror movies from the ‘80s. As we all find ourselves stuck inside for the foreseeable future, if you pop on Night of the Demons, it will feel like you've brought an actual party into your living room.
The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
In 2008, The Strangers set the standard for home invasion films, with the random nature of the film's attacks resonating strongly with its audiences. While its sequel explores an all-new narrative, the disturbing randomness of attacks is once again embraced in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
When a family stops at a trailer park on a long trip, they begin to suspect that they are all alone in the community, only for horrifying attackers to make their presence known and confirm the fates of everyone else who mistakenly stopped at the camp.
From a narrative perspective, Prey at Night doesn't reinvent the slasher subgenre, but thanks to choice soundtrack selections and impressive set pieces, the film makes for one of the more engaging slashers in recent years.
The Descent (2005)
Thanks to Neil Marshall's The Descent, audiences will never look at spelunking in North Carolina or underground humanoid monsters the same way again.
When a group of friends
Among horror fans, The Descent has earned a devout following, as it not only depicts terrifying subject
Rather than attempt to recapture the magic of the original 1977 film from Dario Argento, this remake remixes its most effective moments, with director Luca Guadagnino turning expectations on their heads and delivering a surreal nightmare that many audiences would expect from a witch-infested ballet school.
From Thom Yorke's score to Swinton's three different roles to the literally mind-blowing finale, Suspiria gave audiences everything we wanted from a remake while also delivering us something entirely unexpected.
Body Bags (1993)
Back in the '70s and '80s, one of the more popular horror movie formulas was the anthology films, as it allowed audiences to witness a variety of terrifying tales, while also enlisting top-tier talent, as the commitment to the project was much shorter than that of a feature film. In addition to Body Bags being one of the more entertaining anthology films out there, it also enlisted a number of genre favorites.
The film features three disconnected stories, the first featuring a woman being terrorized at a gas station, the second featuring a man getting an otherworldly hair transplant, and the third focusing on a man getting an eye replacement following a terrible accident.
Body Bags brought together actors like Mark Hamill, Stacy Keach, and Robert Karradine, in addition to cameos from directors like Wes Craven and Sam Raimi. Directed by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper, Carpenter even serves as the on-camera host between the segments, whose campy hosting skills rival those of The Cryptkeeper himself.
After the death of her family, a woman travels with her boyfriend to a remote Scandinavian community to witness their traditional summer rituals, only to discover that "primitive" would be a better description of the events that begin to unfold.
While Midsommar featured its fair share of traditional frights, what truly took the experience to another level were the depictions of emotional horror, from abuse to neglect to manipulation. Few films were as bizarre and ambitious in 2019 as Ari Aster's folk-horror experience, cementing himself as one of the genre's most compelling contemporary filmmakers.