“I Streamed a Stream” is a monthly column exploring the world of Netflix from our good friend Mick McGovern (@amawaster, amawaster.com). Read his previous entries here and check out his top ten from 2013 in our post here.
Happy New Year folks, this month’s recommendations are horror related because let’s face it January is always the most horrific month of the year to get through, although you will notice I’ve gone for ones with a few laughs in them.
An American Werewolf in London (★★★★½) – David Naughton and Griffin Dunne star as American backpackers making their way across the Moors in England where they arrive at the kind of stereotypical local village pub you encounter in these types of movies, where they’re treated with the usual mistrust and hostility but are however at least warned to stick to the roads at night but not told why.
With the title you can guess what happens next, but the film is brilliantly original and meandering fun from then on. John Landis, just off the back of Animal House and Blues Brothers brings the laughs as you’d expect but the film is also brilliantly violent and uncompromising, particularly in the final third.
Rick Baker and his makeup team are the real stars of the film, while some effects look dated now they’re still really effective. Only slight letdown is Netflix only have a 4:3 version.
Drag Me To Hell (★★★★½) – Sam Raimi delivers his trademark downright terrifying but goofy goods in what was his first post-Spiderman trilogy effort. Alison Lohman stars as a well-meaning bank clerk who in order to gain promotion must prove to her boss that she can make the tough decisions and so refuses to extend a gypsy’s loan leading to her being put under a hellish curse.
The film got a PG-13 rating in America but don’t let that fool you, this has plenty to make you jump in your seat and with Raimi’s usual visual verve and ability to pull off a breath-taking set piece (particularly a scene in a car park, I’ll say no more) marks this out as a cut above most films in the genre, particularly those that have come out in the last decade or so.
Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (★★★½) – A fun and reasonably clever twist on slasher/splatter movie clichés and conventions, Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play two guys holidaying in their run down mountain cabin who are mistaken for psychopathic killers by a group of college kids, themselves out in the woods for the weekend and a very bloody comedy of errors ensues.
Packed full of charm, particularly from its leads the film just about manages to keep you entertained right till the end.
Best Worst Movie (★★★★) – Not a horror but an enjoyable documentary about one – the infamous Troll 2, once voted the worst movie of all time on IMDB but one that managed to gain a massive cult albeit ironic following.
Directed by the actual original child star of the movie years later, Michael Stephenson, the film is therefore told from a very unique perspective of the people directly involved. It goes into depth on what went wrong, including a foreign writer and director with very little English writing all the dialogue, no budget, poor special effects, first time actors and a script that simply doesn’t have any trolls in it. The most heartwarming character involved is George Hardy, a dentist who always wanted to become an actor and was cast as the father in the film who loves to quote his lines from the movie at any given opportunity.