The selection of horror movies on Instant Watch is pretty dismal.

I spent the majority of last week buried under a pile of phlegmy tissues. Which means lots of Netflix.

With the exception of two brief interludes (for Fifth Element and… Morning Glory….), for some reason those sickbed hours were spent wholly within the Instant Watch trove of horror films.

Netflix instant watch comic

In case you a) cancelled your Netflix when they DOUBLED THEIR RATES (I’m still not over it) or b) have better things to do than watch internet movies, I should inform you that it has really gone down tubes as of late. If you’re in the mood for a feature-length rather than a TV show, you’re pretty much limited to the straight-to-internet crowd. And for some reason I seem drawn to the horror films at the moment. Maybe it’s the explosive-congested-head feeling?


Rachel Lefevre The Caller
I started out with The Caller, which I’m surprised to say was really not bad. Rachel Lefevre carries the film as a spunky and cynical young woman on the run from an abusive ex, who starts chatting with an old lady who seems to have the wrong number. They soon realize that the woman is calling from the past (and from the same house; why she would be calling her OWN number, at any point in time, I couldn’t tell you), and the old woman’s conversation devolves into sinister psychopath territory early on. They have great chemistry and their scenes are full of tension. I was sufficiently creeped out.
Stephen Moyer Rachel Lefevre The Caller
Of course, I fast-forwarded through literally every other scene (stopping briefly to hear Stephen Moyer wax philosophical about how “time is like a river.” ugh), so I don’t know that I can whole-heartedly recommend it, but overall I quite enjoyed it.
Nine Dead
With that fun throwaway flick in mind, I zeroed in on Nine Dead. The synopsis intrigued me: nine individuals locked in a room, told that they will be killed one at a time, every 10 minutes, until they discover the mutual link that brought them here. Oooh, mystery time!
Melissa Joan Hart Nine Dead
Sadly, Nine Dead looked like it was made by and for a high school film class. The cinematography was a joke, acting was terrible (that mob guy was really just a poor man’s Santino), and every reveal was just…. boring. And lame. And poorly acted (Melissa Joan Hart, I’m looking at you with that baseball bat).  And some of them just didn’t make any sense – one guy literally HAD NO IDEA what he had done, because he was tricked into it!  They were clearly trying to rip-off Saw, which is about the lowest height one could possibly aspire to. Shame on you, Sabrina!
The Shrine mask
The Shrine was an incremental step up from Nine Dead, by which I mean that it was just awful, and not QUITE the worst thing I’d ever seen. Just full of awkward, stilted dialogue – when there is any. I honestly think the movie is silent (and/or untranslated) so often not to promote a sense of silent terror, but because the writers literally couldn’t think of anything for the characters to say.

I did enjoy the slight twist at the end concerning the bad guys’ motivation, but that was probably the only redeemable part of the movie. Even the gore was too ridiculous and over-the-top, and I say that as an avowed Jason/Freddie lover. It looked like a cheap Halloween fun house with peeled grapes for eyeballs.
Shawn and Aaron Ashmore twins
So bored was I that, when fast-forwarding proved tedious, I switched over to wikipedia to learn more about the Ashmore twins. Cliff’s notes version: Shawn is Bobby (X-Men) and Tyler (In a Heartbeat – anyone else remember that show?!), and he played in that Earthsea adaptation on SciFi. He was also in The Ruins, which was another terrible horror movie, but redeemed somewhat by the amazing gruesomeness. I want to say there was an amputation scene in there that got me a little queasy.

Aaron was that cute jerk on Veronica Mars and Jimmy Olsen on Smallville. And of course, he won the coveted role in The Shrine.

Don’t you feel like they should pull some Tia and Tamera business? Like if Shawn is the more talented twin, couldn’t he do an audition as Aaron and get his bro some love?

I digress.

Looking back on that list, I’m going to amend my earlier assessment and declare that The Caller is FANTASTIC. Relatively speaking. So if you’re looking for an Instant Watch horror flick (and you have the remote handy, for regular fast-forwarding), that might be your best bet.

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10 thoughts on “The selection of horror movies on Instant Watch is pretty dismal.

  1. I actually don’t use Netflix (since the selection up here in Canada is even worse, and our internet providers do some stupid things with usage fees)…but the funny thing about Netflix is how with so. many. titles. it can be daunting to even begin to choose something! You end up watching what they drop in front of you instead of what you want to see.

    Do you listen to podcasts at all? if so, you might want to start tuning in to Filmspotting SVU (which stands for “Streaming Video Unit”). They’re really great at recommending stuff that’s available for instant watch that you might not have thought of.

    • I know, it’s terrible trying to sift through the selection. For some reason they seem to suggest the same 10-20 titles on rotation for EVERY genre, and I’ve never heard of a single one.

      I don’t listen to many podcasts but I’ll definitely checkout Filmspotting; I’ll take all the help I can get muddling through Instant Watch! Thanks for the recommendation.

      • That’s actually a great idea; I didn’t even consider it, since I don’t know much about directors beyond the hugely famous ones.

        The only horror directors that immediately come to mind are Guillermo del Toro (<3 love<3) and Wes Craven, but if you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them!

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  3. I couldn’t agree more with you on the dearth of quality horror films on Netflix Instant Watch. I resorted to watching Shark Night and Hostel 3 a few weeks back when Sarah was visiting family. Taking a quick glance on there now there’s actually some quality stuff like Insidious, Misery and Let The Right One In, but overall it’s still not very good. 😛

    -Andrew, http://www.twoticketsfor.com

    • I did watch Misery last week! Every now and then they rotate in a few good movies, but to find them you have to sift through a whole lotta garbage.

      Sidenote: Would we call Insidious “quality”? 😉

      Thanks for reading!

  4. I have watched my share of bad Netflix horror the past month or so. YellowBrickRoad, The Final, and The Tall Man were all very very bad. But I did love The House of the Devil and lesser so but still enjoyable, The Innkeepers. They’re both Ti West films and they’re both slow burn films so if you’re okay with that you might enjoy them too.

    Good luck Netflix hunting!

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