In the mood for a good spook? Check out these films

3 new streaming horror movies actually worth your time

In+the+mood+for+a+good+spook%3F+Check+out+these+films

Collegian | Dylan Tusinski

Alex Hasenkamp, Arts and Entertainment Director

October is approaching, meaning the plentiful release of scary movies is upon us. 

If you find pleasure in sitting on your couch in a panicked state as you watch the main character reach slowly toward the door handle, or if you enjoy that unsettling feeling of spotting the monster standing in a shadowed corner of the room and find yourself on the edge of your seat as the music intensifies, these are for you.

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“Men” (2022)

“Men,” directed by Alex Garland, will probably be the most unique movie you watch this year.

When a young woman (played by Jessie Buckley) decides to escape her recent trauma by renting a vacation house in the countryside, she is greeted by nothing but disturbing encounters with the town’s men. All alone with little cell reception, she tries her best to escape the horrors of the town.

This proves difficult, as every single man seems to be rooting for her downfall. This film is littered with gory and horrific symbolism regarding Christianity, paganism and misogyny. It is somehow terrorizing, disgusting and aesthetically pleasing all at the same time. The scenery and the music are not of a typical horror movie but unsettling in their own way.

Although you might need to perform multiple Google searches once you’re done in order to comprehend the final scene, it’s worth a watch. 

Available to rent: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube, Vudu

“Watcher” (2022)

“Watcher,” directed by Chloe Okuno, takes place in Bucharest, Romania, where a young actress and her husband have recently moved.

Maika Monroe plays the actress, Julia, who does not speak Romanian. However, much of the movie is spoken in Romanian. With no subtitles, the viewer is left as clueless as Julia — unless they are fluent in Romanian, of course. 

“Watcher” takes a while to pick up speed, with just a few eerie scenes that will have you continuously checking to see if anyone is behind you. It subtly increases in tension as the couple begins to have marital disagreements surrounding Julia’s self-proclaimed stalker.

The fact that Julia can mostly only speak English is a wonderful addition to the anxiety portrayed in the film. You really feel her frustration while she desperately tries to explain the danger she’s in to the cops, neighbors and her friends. This movie is centered around suspense rather than gore or violence. 

Overall, “Watcher” is an excellent psychological thriller that will most likely fill you with paranoia.  

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Available to rent: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Sling TV

“The Black Phone” (2021)

“The Black Phone,” directed by Scott Derrickson, sets the scene with classic 1980s-era garb, an increasing number of missing latchkey kids and a creepy abusive father who is a villain in his own right. The story follows a middle school-aged boy, Finney Shaw (played by Mason Thames), who is constantly on the run from the town’s bloodthirsty bullies.

In the beginning, it’s hard to tell in which direction the film is headed. At certain points, it seems to brand itself as more of a thriller, with well-choreographed fight scenes and methodical plots of revenge. At other points, it is textbook horror: jumpscares, suspenseful music and a masked killer. What’s not to love?

Sprinkled into all the action, there are slight suggestions of Christianity and spiritualism. Finney’s younger sister, Gwen Shaw (played by Madeleine McGraw), has a “special connection” to God, often receiving telling visions of the town’s missing kids. There are a few other hints of the afterlife and the devil as the movie progresses but nothing too on the nose.

If you like horror movies along the lines of “creepy small town is suddenly cursed with horrifying secret,” you will most likely enjoy watching “The Black Phone.”  

Available for free: Peacock

Reach Alex Hasenkamp at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @csucollegian.