Updated for November 2022
Identity (2003) is a fantastic thriller that looks like a murder mystery on its surface, but it unravels into something else as the movie goes on. John Cusack stars along with Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Clea DuVall, Rebecca De Mornay, and others as people who becomes stranded at a roadside motel during a rainstorm. As members of the group turn up dead, everyone begins to suspect that there is a murderer in their midst. Unlike a lot of mysteries where the fun is gone once you watch it and find out the truth, Identity is rewarding upon repeated viewings as you discover different meanings behind each character’s actions.
Creep (2014) is a strange and darkly humorous found-footage movie about a man, Aaron (Patrick Brice), who answers an ad offering $1000 for a day of “filming services.” The ad was put out by Josef (Mark Duplass), a man who requests that Aaron spend the day recording him as a video diary for his unborn child. Josef claims he has a brain tumor that will kill him soon, but his strange and erratic behavior makes Aaron believe there is something else going on. Creep is a quirky horror film perfect for when you’re in the mood for something very, very different.
Crimson Peak (2015) is a dark and gorgeous story of a tragic romance. Mia Wasikowska stars as Edith Cushing, an author who marries an inventor named Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Edith moves into the Sharpe family mansion which is also home to Thomas’s conniving sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain). What follows is a classically-told ghost story involving secrets, betrayal, and, of course, the supernatural brought to life by one of the masters of visual storytelling, Guillermo del Toro.
It Follows (2014) is a wonderfully atmospheric horror film that at times feels like a monster movie, but at other times really emphasizes psychological terror. Maika Monroe stars as Jay, a young woman who inherits a curse after having sex with her boyfriend for the first time. Jay is stalked by a slow-moving yet completely relentless entity that can take the form of any person, though only Jay can see it.
Raw (2016) is a coming-of-age film… with cannibalism. Garance Marillier stars as Justine, a student at a veterinary school. A hazing ritual at the school includes forcing students to eat a raw rabbit kidney. Justine, as a vegetarian, is initially disgusted, but over time she begins to have an increasing craving for meat. As Justine attempts to hide her cravings while also figuring out just what is going on with her own body, she has a hard time controlling her impulses when people get too close.
Verónica is a Spanish film about a teenage girl who becomes possessed after using a Ouija board with two of her classmates. In the days after trying to contact her deceased father, Verónica (Sandra Escacena) is seemingly the focal point of an increasing amount of supernatural activity. Part haunted house movie and part demonic possession story, Verónica feels familiar in many ways, but it is still a highly effective horror movie.
Fear Street is trilogy of super-fun horror films that combine to tell one large story. The first movie is set in 1994 and feels like a teen slasher movie reminiscent of Scream (1996). The second film is largely told in flashbacks to 1978 and is made as an homage to campground slasher movies like Friday the 13th (1980). And finally, the final part of the trilogy flashes back to 1666 to tell a story of a witch hunt with a strong resemblance to The Crucible (1996).
Morbius didn’t do spectacularly at the box office (even with two attempts), but this much-memed superhero horror movie may finally find its audience after sneaking its way onto Netflix. The movie is fun in a campy way, so if you missed it in theaters, now’s your chance to see what everyone was talking about.