If there’s ever a Friday night worth actually staying in — preferably with others, though your sad lonesome will do — it’s when a Friday lands on the 13th of a month. It’s an excuse to dial up a horror movie, and if you’ve thrown out all your old DVDs, Blu-rays or (gasp) even VHS tapes, then streaming services … sort of have your back. Tragically, there’s too few of the genre’s classics on there: not “The Exorcist,” not John Carpenter’s “Halloween” or “The Thing,” not “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” and certainly almost nothing old, with nary a 1930s Universal monster movies to be found.
We’re being gloomy. There’s still “The Shining” on Netflix, “Rosemary’s Baby” on Hulu. “Jaws” just creeped onto Netflix as well, as did its three Spielberg-less sequels (even the one that inexplicably features Michael Caine). This list isn’t about the titans. Here are 10 slightly off-the-beaten-path horrors to get you through this not-quite-holiday:
Mainstream horror is in a rough patch right now, but best recent scarefests have come from an unlikely place: the independent film world. This Australian number was an instant classic, and it’s actually terrifying even before its freaky poltergeist shows up. The first half-hour is a nerve-scratching look at motherhood, with Essie Davis as a widow whose young son (Noah Wiseman) has taken to leftfield, uncontrollable screaming fits. When their creaky house suddenly turns haunted, it’s almost a relief. (Speaking of recent indie horror, everyone raves about Karyn Kusama’s “The Invitation” — which, criminally, we’ve yet to see. But go for it!)