The adrenaline rush delivered from horror movies fuels me but the nightmares that follow drain me. There is a school of thought that what you expose yourself to becomes part of your experience. In other words, watching a scary film manifests fear. The films and series listed below deliver horror movie imagery without the scare, and more often with a laugh. It’s kind of like eating vegan cheese or gluten-free bread.
A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (2012) ~ Any anglophile worth a Keep Calm parody poster, loves Simon Pegg. He brought us Shaun of the Dead, Paul and starred in the series Spaced. But my favorite of his films will always be A Fantastic Fear… The mise en scene is phenomenal and leaves nothing untouched. Pegg is a true auteur of our time.
THE HAUNTING OF WHALEY HOUSE (2012) ~ Whaley House is a lucid film and highly misunderstood. It has received poor ratings online by people who need a friend to explain satire to them.
DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (2014) ~ The Norwegian film Dead Snow was such a phenomenal film and made it on my list of October Movie Musts. A Sam Rami-esque movie which combined the cabin-in-the-woods genre with the zombie genre and just for fun tossed in Nazis…’cause everyone wants to see Nazis being ripped apart. Dead Snow 2 adds in the modern phenomenon of the paranormal investigative team and like the vast majority of these groups, they have no real experience. Move over Bruce Campbell, Martin Starr is the Horror-Com God now.
BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD (2013) ~ George Romero’s groundbreaking masterpiece dissected with stories you’ll be ashamed that you’ve never heard.
ROOM 237 (2012) ~ You know that friend obsessed with conspiracies? You sat next to him in film class when you were an undergrad. This doc explores the numerous theories and subtext of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film.
BATES MOTEL (2013-now) ~ Season one was reminiscent of an early WB series from the 90’s. Season two gets online with it’s mission statement of being the prequel to the 1960 Hitchcock classic. The one negative is the severe boredom of the gratuitous and sloppy pot grower/trafficking subplot. It grows too large and cumbersome, and at times strangles the main plot.
SCOOBY-DOO!: MYSTERY INCORPORATED (2010-now) ~ Mystery Incorporated stays true to Scooby roots while addressing some of the subtle subplots of Scooby-Doo Where Are You? and Scooby Movies. There is real character development, story arcs and plenty of nods to modernity.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997-2003) ~ Joss Whedan’s epic masterpiece series.
30 ODD MINUTES (2009-now) ~ This paranormal bi-monthly talk show is cleverly witty with a nod to Mystery Science Theater and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Each episode includes an interview by the hosts in their “space ship” on a different paranormal topic. Episodes include Chris Jericho (pro-wrestler) talking about aquatic monsters, Sean Stone (Natural Born Killers, Greystone Park) talking about shadow people and visits to haunted locations such as the Haunted Victorian/S.K. Pearce House in Massachusetts. Watch from their website or their youtube channel.
***With the exception of 30 Odd Minutes, all of the films/series listed above are available on Netflix.***