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 Last Exorcism (2010)
Despite what some audiences might think based on the name, this film has nothing to do with the Exorcist series.
A practicing "exorcist" allows a documentary crew to join him on one of his religious interventions, letting them know that he has merely set up a number of various parlor tricks to imply a supernatural occurrence is unfolding. He makes it quite clear that exorcisms are all about psychology and he is merely providing "possessed" individuals with a service they believe they need, only for truly unexplainable events to begin to occur.
Not to be lumped in with its found-footage predecessors, The Last Exorcism instead offers a mockumentary experience full of strong performances and a truly surprising finale.
Life After Beth (2014)
The sudden death of Beth (Aubrey Plaza) leaves her boyfriend Zach (Dane DeHaan) inconsolable, turning to her parents for comfort. When Zach makes a surprise appearance at their house, he sees that Beth is inside, which is an odd thing to do when you're supposedly dead. Beth's parents reveal that their daughter mysterious showed up after being buried with no recollection of her death, allowing Zach to continue his relationship with her, despite the fact that she's a decaying corpse.
Filled with an all-star cast, Life After Beth serves as a great gateway film for someone who isn't a zombie purist and is drawn into the romantic comedy elements, which the movie fully delivers. Life After Beth might be short on full-blown scares, but serves as a touching allegory for the difficulties of leaving the ones we love behind and how to move on with our lives.
Train to Busan (2016)
Thanks in large part to The Walking Dead, zombies are more popular than ever, though a number of movies offered little more than a formulaic exploration of the undead ghouls. Luckily, Train to Busan was up to the task of elevating the zombie subgenre to impressive levels, both with its action and emotion.
As the name implies, a zombie outbreak begins on a train head towards Busan, forcing the passengers to not only find a way to stay alive, but also attempt to prevent the unearthly disease from spreading.
While some audiences might consider an entire zombie film unfolding on a train limiting of such an adventure's potential, Train to Busan offers one surprise after another, seeing the scenario as a strength more than a hindrance. More than just being an engaging action/horror hybrid, the emotional depths of the story are as powerful as the scares.
Final Destination (2000)
Debuting as the '90s came to a close, Final Destination served as a refreshing slasher in which Death incarnate was the villain. The film's fresh-faced cast resulted in it being lumped in with the slasher subgenre's revival in that decade, but this film was both much more and much less than its competition.
When a high school student on board a plane has a premonition about the plane crashing, he and a handful of classmates exit the aircraft, only for this premonition to come true. With Death being robbed of these souls, the "survivors" begin meeting their maker in a number of gruesome, Rube Goldberg-inspired accidents.
While other teen-oriented slashers attempted to come up with compelling backstories for their killers, Final Destination realized that the mere concept of Death is the most frightening thing imaginable, allowing the narrative to eradicate its protagonists in delightfully brutal ways. More than the heroes themselves, audiences are left rooting for their demises, knowing that their doom is inevitable.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
The body of a mystery woman arrives at a morgue, requiring a father and son team of morticians to investigate the corpse. The pair begins to uncover bizarre clues and unexplained wounds on the woman, only for terrifying events to start unfolding around them as the mystery gets more complex.
Like a compelling episode of CSI combined with a ghost story, The Autopsy of Jane Doe keeps audiences guessing as we try to unravel whether the threats the morticians face are real or all in their minds. Directed by André Øvredal, the film is a much more horrifying version of some of the horror stories we saw unfold in his Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
The Monster (2016)
From the director of The Strangers, Bryan Bertino, we get another stressful and anxiety-riddled experience that goes down a slightly more supernatural route.
When a mother is tasked with taking her estranged daughter to her father's in the middle of a powerful thunderstorm, their animosity towards one another begins to get the better of them, with their journey interrupted by car trouble. As they soon discover, car troubles are the least of their worries, as a mysterious beast lurks outside their car in the darkness.
Much like the discord between the couple in The Strangers amplified the horror, so does the tumultuous relationship between the mother and daughter in The Monster, making a traditional creature feature that much more effective.
It Comes at Night (2017)0comments
An unexplained virus infects most of humanity, forcing one family to take refuge in a cabin in the woods. Life is tough, but they have the resources necessary to
The biggest strength of the film, which some might consider its biggest flaw, is how little we ever learn about the threats the killed off so many people. This allows our minds to wander down all sorts of terrifying avenues, elevating the experience for each viewer based on their own imagination.