Netflix does a great job of delivering a wide variety of genre pics for us lunatics to consume in abundance. But sometimes we tend to skim over the titles that don’t ring a bell — and that’s a serious no-no, as Netflix has been adding sleeper hits for a long time now. The following films you’ll see highlighted here haven’t garnered the true praise they deserve… so that’s where we come in, to try and set you on a damn entertaining path!
WOULD YOU RATHER
Despite the film being available for a few years, fans have generally steered clear of WOULD YOU RATHER. Perhaps it’s the very vanilla title of the film, and or the lack of involvement by A-list names. Whatever the case, WOULD YOU RATHER is a dark game of torture and dedication — sit down to play this game, and heads are going to roll. A grim question drives the story: is Iris prepared to do anything — and risk everything — to save her ailing brother? A tense picture from beginning to end, WOULD YOU RATHER has gone unnoticed by many… and that’s a mistake.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB
Don’t read this title and assume that it’s just another bland zombie story. Well, a zombie story it is… but bland it most certainly is not. The comedy is strong, and Maria Thayer is vibrant and memorable in the lead role. But how will Deb get along in a world of romance and flesh-chomping? That’s a question better left discovered by watching this criminally underrated film, which serves as a perfect counter to LIFE AFTER BETH or BURYING THE EX — two similarly-themed, but noticeably different productions.
THE BLOOD LANDS
THE BLOOD LANDS is basically a home-invasion tale, but handled with serious care, and it features the talent of the gorgeous Pollyanna McIntosh (THE WOMAN, THE WALKING DEAD). The film looks stunning, with the sprawling greens of the UK sucking viewers in immediately. But the villains of the film — those who target McIntosh’s character Sarah and her lover, Ed — are relentless, and seem to be inspired by the villains of YOU’RE NEXT and ILS (a.k.a. THEM). However, these nasties are unaware of the powerhouse that is Sarah — and this game of cat and mouse is not going to remain blood-free. If you slept on this one, assuming it was a simple clone of the countless home-invasion tales to arrive before it, you’ve made a grave mistake. This flick kicks ass!
Finding a truly tense and frightening film about killer dogs seems like an impossibility these days. One film has ruled this particular subgenre since 1983, and that film — it should need not be named — was CUJO. Well, if that one impressed you, look into THE PACK — a savage picture that successfully turns canines into monsters in their own right. The film is loaded with tension, familial problems, palpable dread and bloodthirsty maws more than eager to rip this nearly-helpless family to bloody shreds. THE PACK went largely overlooked — likely because no one in their right mind expected a killer dog flick to impress — but you’re missing an excellent piece of work that comes our way from promising new filmmaker Nick Robertson.
PAY THE GHOST
It’s a damn shame that fans steered clear of this one, but I get it — Nicolas Cage is the lead, and these days that’s a tough sell in itself. But Cage turns in a surprisingly controlled performance (one of his best in years), and he’s working from a script adapted by Dan Kay from an absolutely mesmerizing story from acclaimed author Tim Lebbon. The story blends supernatural elements with the greatest fears a parent can face: losing their child. As a result, the picture is both eerie and heartbreaking. The fact that it’s very well-shot only pushes this one deeper into the echelons of greatness. It’s time to empty your pockets and PAY THE GHOST.
If you’ve seen the old TWILIGHT ZONE episode “Mirror Image,” you’re already somewhat familiar with Isaac Ezban’s contemporary black and white pic. Like that classic episode, a group of strangers find themselves experiencing mind-blowing phenomena while waiting in a bus station… but Ezban makes it his own by ratcheting up the visuals for this atmospheric little masterpiece. THE SIMILARS is often ruthless and quite thought-provoking, and it’s got a nice surprise awaiting viewers.
You want to talk about a certified bat-shit crazy picture? Then you most certainly want to discuss AVA’S POSSESSIONS — the story of a woman dealing with the after-effects of being demonically possessed. To say that this leads to some outrageous incidents is a colossal understatement; the entire movie is lunacy stacked on top of insanity, and it looks absolutely amazing. Crisp, sharp color schemes, chaotic sequences and a whole lot of what-the-motherfuck moments make this one an absolute must-see!
DEEP IN THE DARKNESS
DEEP IN THE DARKNESS isn’t a perfect film by any stretch, and there are a few scenarios that will have you rolling your eyes… but beyond those sketchy sequences, you’ll find some wonderful atmosphere. Colin Theys creates an organic small-town vibe that most will appreciate — however, the beastly critters dwelling beneath the surface, claiming humans as meals, are anything but organic. The monsters themselves look great, and there’s some strong physical acting to respect here. This one is an indie in every sense of the word, but it’s also strangely enjoyable with some frightening creatures to set you on edge.
STUNG burst out of the gates to a warm reception… but somehow, the horror world seemed to forget about it almost immediately. It’s an absolute blast of a flick, gifting us giant-sized wasps determined to completely destroy a seemingly ideal garden party. The special effects are excellent, with plenty of practical work to admire, and the comedic elements are superb. Matt O’Leary completely steals the show as the caterer-turned-unlikely-hero, but he’s got to wade through some treacherous scenarios if he’s going to walk away from this party sting-free. Don’t let STUNG slip from your memory — it’s an awesome film that we should still be discussing on a regular basis.