Tag Archives: Zombeavers

20 Best Netflix Horror Movies

20 Best Netflix Horror Movies

Why spend hours scrolling through Netflix’s endless selection of horror movies? There’s a ton. Some of them are decent. Many of them are crap. A few are true gems.

Save yourself some time and instead check out the films on this list. There’s films for every horror movie fan and you can be guaranteed these films are among the best Netflix horror movies available.

How many have you seen?

20. Oculus (2013)

Best for: Fans of “mainstream” horror movies who missed it’s theatrical release.

oculus movie posterPoor, Tim and Kaylie. The siblings had a rather rough childhood growing up. Trapped in a new house while growing up, their parents chained them to bedroom walls, starved them of food, and attempted to beat and murder them on multiple occasions. Typical horror movie stuff really, that all is to blamed on a possessed mirror their father picked up as an office decoration. Also typical horror movie fare.

Their torture only ends when their psycho mom is killed by dear old crazy dad before their eyes. When dad comes for them next, Tim guns him down in a hail of bullets. As the police arrive to arrest Tim for murder  the siblings agree to reunite one day and destroy the mirror they are convinced possessed their parents and drove them insane.

11 years later Tim is a free man, convinced after years of psychiatric care the demonic mirror is just a fabrication of his psyche to explain the awful events surrounding his youth. Kaylie, however has worked to get a job at a local auction house and has possession of the very mirror she still blames for killing her parents. In order to keep their promise Tim and Kaylie take the mirror back to their parents house rigged with security cameras and a heavy anchor raised above the mirror on a “kill switch” to destroy it when the time arises. But not before the mirror’s supernatural powers can be documented and their family name redeemed.

It all seems like a good plan on the surface, but the evil mirror isn’t willing to go down without a fight and soon enough Tim and Katie begin experiencing hallucinations and possessions just as their parents did 11 years ago. Let’s just say history has a way of repeating and the mirror won’t stop racking up a body count until the every end.

Oculus is chalk full of good old fashioned creepy unnerving scares instead of the blood, guts, and cheap shocks that are the norm for horror films these days. The film is slick and looks good from start to finish, smart, and of course, scary as hell. If you missed it in the theaters then Netflix has given you a second chance at redemption. Just like Tim and Kaylie in the movie.

Stay away from any mirrors.

19. The Awakening (2011)

Best for: A cold rainy date night on the couch, wrapped under a warm blanket with a hot cup of tea.

the-awakening-poster02Fans of ghost stories and mysteries should definitely check out The Awakening as it’s a good cross between both. Set in the English countryside shortly after World War I, the film is as beautiful to watch as it is scary.

The Awakening revolves around a woman named Florence who is a published author and expert on supernatural hoaxes. Florence is asked to investigate a troubled boys boarding school for orphans where the death of a recent student has been blamed a supernatural spirit. As an orphan herself Florence feels compelled to investigate and makes the trip. A thorough investigation reveals the deceased boy was often the victim of hazing by school bullies and was last seen by a teacher who forced him to stand outside in an attempt to toughen him up only. Unfortunately it was at that point the ghost made itself known to the boy who became utterly frightened and died of a fatal asthma attack on the spot. Case closed.

But while trying to leave Florence faints into a pond after seeing a hand rise out from the water. She is rescued and kept at the school by a handsome teacher named Robert who is afraid for her sanity. With the school closed for break only Florence, Robert, the housekeeper Maud, the groundskeeper and little Tom, a lonely Indian boy, are left. However Florence soon finds herself seeing things that cannot be explained. One rape and murder later Florence’s past crosses paths with the ghost and her life will never be the same again.

Thick in atmosphere and visually detailed, The Awakening is a haunting ghost story that will keep you thinking until the twist ending turns the entire movie on it’s side.

Zombeavers

zombeavers-poster-550x330

Zombie beavers. Zombeavers. That’s right folks, such a movie exists. Not only does such a movie exist, but it exists in theaters. What would have otherwise been a bargain bin B movie is playing on screens all across America and I can tell you all, without a shred of doubt in my mind, that it’s one of the worst films I have ever seen. I know what you’re thinking; I should go easy on it. I should let it slide. A movie about zombie beavers can’t possibly be good so why would I be so harsh? Allow me to explain.

Zombeavers starts off really well. I was actually surprised. The very first scene is two dumb, dopey guys in a truck doing what we can assume is a medical waste delivery. The two guys, played by comedian Bill Burr and, if you can believe it, singer/songwriter John Mayer, have some pretty raunchy, witty banter. It’s outrageous, doesn’t make a lick of sense and I loved it. That kind of zany character work always makes me smile so the movie had me hooked. Then we’re introduced to our three lead characters: Mary, Zoe, and Jenn (played by Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm, and Lexi Atkins respectively). They’re on a weekend getaway to Mary’s Cousin’s cabin (of course) with a no boys allowed rule (of course). The girls have a day of fun splish splashing away in the lake and everything seems to being going their way (of course). Later that night things get spooky. Banging noises and other minor, but strange, occurrences happen but it’s all a ruse set up by the boys who came anyway (of course). From here we go on the “roller coaster” ride of a horror film. The zombeavers are introduced slowly at first until our plucky young college kids are completely over run. Zombeavers everywhere! Carnage, death, mayhem and more flies across the screen. Sounds exciting, right? That’s the problem. It’s not.

Zombeavers

Horror comedy has been done with varying degrees of success over the years. When it’s good, it’s really good (Shaun of the Dead) and when it’s bad it’s Zombeavers. It seemed to me the filmmakers wanted to let loose with the comedy, but were continually restraining themselves anytime they’d start to have some fun. I discovered online that the director is a writer whose work is almost entirely in the comedy genre. That makes sense. Anytime the movie wants to be funny it really is. Zombeavers can’t do horror well enough to scare, and it’s too afraid to comedy for fear of, I don’t know, not being taken seriously. It doesn’t even do gore particularly well. It’s hard to really know what the intention of the director was. The scares are non-existent and the creature effects are laughably bad. That wouldn’t be so terrible if it was played with a wink of the eye and even a hint of self-awareness. They try and play the zombie beavers straight and it does not work. The budget of the film is painfully noticeable as well. A character has his foot bitten off and they decided to remove the foot in post production. No biggie, that’s how it’s done these days. Trouble with that is there were multiple instances where they either forgot to remove the foot, or removed it very poorly. The sound design in the film is also glaringly bad. Most probably won’t notice it, but it became so grating that I wanted to flee the theater. If your budget can’t fully support the horror you want to create, then for the love of God be more creative or be funny.

zombeavers

I feel bad being so critical to a film that was clearly trying to be dopey and “so bad it’s good.” A midnight, drunken viewing of the film might prove pretty entertaining. If you can watch it at a noisy get together with some friends where absolutely nothing on screen will affect your buzz I suppose I could recommend it. Otherwise forget it. Trying to be bad, but in a good way, is one of the big cinema sins. It’s as cringe worthy as someone trying to make a viral video. You can’t force it.