By Abb Jones
The Reelness

With Halloween fast approaching, let’s escape our 2020 COVID-19 nightmare for a bit and focus on some fun movie horror. The streaming platforms have been adding lots of content for the holiday – and frankly, a lot of it is garbage – so we thought we would come up with our own list of hidden horror gems – recommendations from us here at The Reelness that you may have missed and are worth checking out.

Below are ten good horror films about aliens, zombies, demons, vampires, ghosts and good old fashion psychological terror. None got a grade below a B, so you can’t go wrong with any of these. At the end of  each mini review is a link to our full review along with where you can find the movie, and the Amazon link to rent it (some movies are free if you are a Prime member – you’ll see once you click the link to your Amazon account).

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

The Lodge

Grade: A

Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road, It Comes at Night) stars in this clever 2020 psychological thriller from the directors of 2015’s Goodnight Mommy about a young fiancée snowed in with her unwelcoming, soon-to-be two stepchildren in a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere. Just as they start to get to know each other, deeply unsettling, strange and terrifying events start to occur. That ending is a jaw dropper! Full review.

On both Hulu and Amazon:


 

30 Days of Night

Grade: A-

Recently added to the Amazon Prime video library, Josh Hartnett and Melissa George star in this 2007 horror/thriller about an Alaskan town invaded by hungry vampires just as it enters a thirty day-long polar night. The action is fast paced and intense and the vampires are TERRIFYING. Full review.

On Amazon (free for Prime members):


 

Sputnik

Grade: A

An independent-minded neuropsychiatrist in 1983 Soviet Kazakhstan finds herself in peril when she is asked to diagnose a cosmonaut who has returned to Earth carrying a hitchhiker – a deadly alien creature. This 2020 film is surprisingly realistic with a cleverly constructed story and a chilling score – all set to the spartan backdrop of a pre-internet, 1980s era Soviet Union. Full review.

On Amazon (turn on those English subtitles):


 

Ready or Not

Grade: B

A newlywed gets a big surprise on her wedding night when her new rich, eccentric in-laws force her to play a deadly, ritualistic game of hide and seek. Yes, the premise is silly, but Samara Weaving is great as the bride turning the tables on the family of kooky Satan worshippers and there are some hilarious one-liners. Full review.

On HBO and Amazon:


 

The Fourth Kind

Grade: B+

Milla Jovovitch stars in this 2009 sci-fi/psychological thriller about a psychologist using hypnosis on patients to uncover repressed memories of recent alien abductions in Nome, Alaska. The unusual, pseudodocumentary format results in some chilling moments as characters under hypnosis freak out and our psychologist discovers that she too may have been abducted.

On Amazon:


 

The Curse of La Llorona

Grade: B+

A widowed social worker investigating a child endangerment case in 1973 Los Angeles discovers it may not be the work of the crazy-eyed mother but rather, the Mexican child-drowning ghost La Llorona… who – uh oh! – is now after her own kids! Linda Cardellini (Green Book) stars in this latest spinoff from The Conjuring franchise, based on the iconic Mexican folktale, and eerily reminiscent of the 1982 horror classic Poltergeist. Full review.

On HBO and Amazon:


 

The Prodigy

Grade: A

This 2019 take on The Bad Seed is about a little boy who starts acting out in terrifying, violent ways – much to the horror of his worried parents. Is he mentally ill or possessed by an evil spirit? Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) is pretty convincing as the doting and somewhat dense mommy that takes a little too long to realize something is amiss with her pint-sized monster, who is so good at being creepy it is downright disturbing. Full review.

On Amazon:


 

Overlord

Grade: B+

This gore-filled, pulse-pounding zombie/WWII mashup from JJ Abrams (Cloverfield) has American paratroopers on a D-Day eve mission in German-occupied France stumbling upon a lab where Nazis are creating a super race of invincible zombie soldiers that can’t be killed.  Think Inglorious Basterds meets Re-AnimatorFull review.

On Amazon:


 

The Mothman Prophecies

Grade: B

Laura Linney (Ozark) and Richard Gere star in this 2002 tale about a sheriff and reporter investigating a series of sightings of an unusual creature and other unexplained phenomena around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The super creepy story is very loosely based on actual events that occurred there between November 1966 and December 1967. Full review.

On Amazon (free for Prime members):


 

Lights Out

Grade: A

Teresa Palmer and Maria Bello star in this tale of a supernatural demon terrorizing a family coping with mental illness. It features a well-written, fast-paced story, exceptionally strong acting and a boatload of scares, that while familiar in method, are effectively showcased. THIS is how horror is done! Full review.

On HBO and Amazon:

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