What better way to indulge your taste for the pants-fillingly frightening than to dim the lights, curl up on the couch and watch a horror film?
Thankfully, the days of having to venture out to the video shop or cross your fingers that something suitable is on are over - there's a horrifying wealth of scary movies available at your fingertips on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.
Here, you'll find the Stuff team's pick of Now TV's horror movie selection. There's sure to be something in here that'll put the willies up you.
Searching for scares on a different streaming service? We've got you covered:
The Wicker Man (1973)
Don’t worry, we’re not recommending the dreadful Nicolas Cage remake (although it’s worth watching for unintentional comic value alone), but going all the way back to the 1973 Wicker Man, a glorious celebration of folky weirdness, pagan rituals and the clash between the new world (represented by prim Christian copper Edward Woodward and his buttoned-down rules) and the old ways (represented by crazy-haired spirit-worshipper Christopher Lee).
When a young girl goes missing on the remote, isolated island of Summerisle, a policeman arrives from the mainland to investigate – only to find himself drawn into a bizarre web of free-spirited paganism. A classic for its score, its atmosphere and its unforgettable final scenes.
Darren Aronofsky has never been afraid to make challenging movies (well, have you seen Noah?), but Mother! might be the auteur extraordinaire’s most out-there movie yet, particularly given the fact it stars quite possibly the most bankable leading lady on the planet.
Billed as a psychological horror, it’s a taut, disturbing and increasingly intense film that lays on its allegory with hard-to-miss heavy-handedness – and yet many viewers, apparently expecting a straight-up “Jennifer Lawrence in a creepy haunted house” yarn, have declared it impenetrable, dull or just plain old hilariously bad. We’re a little more open-minded here at Stuff and, despite feeling that the director is a little too pleased with his own cleverness at times, it’s hard to fault his execution. A masterclass in controlled chaos, even if it's not a film that won't be for everyone.
Stephen King, in his infinite wisdom, spotted the insane creepiness potential of clowns, and propagated the concept via his beloved novel It, adapted for the screen for a second time in Andy Muschietti’s 2017 chiller.
Rich in Kingian tropes (childhood trauma, loss of innocence, friendship, historical evil, the darkness lurking behind small town America’s doorways) and a fond homage to the 1980s, It is a fine piece of crowd-pleasing supernatural horror in which seven misfit kids are stalked by a entity that takes the form of their worst fears – and yes, in some cases that’s a clown. While it doesn’t attempt to redefine the genre, it works within horror’s confines to produce a film that’s packed with heart and soul as well as scares.
It Comes At Night
A creeping, minimalist horror-thriller with very little gore, a mere handful of characters and next to nothing in the way of clear explanation as to what’s going on or who’s to be feared, It Comes At Night probably won’t satisfy casual viewers looking for an easy hour and a half’s entertainment.
Not only is this tale of a family trying to survive in the wake of an unspecified pandemic unrelentingly bleak, it will almost certainly leave you with a sense of frustration and hopelessness – and that’s probably the point. As a lean, powerful exploration of family and paranoia, there are few modern movies that can match it.
Deep and crisp and even it may be, but the Antarctic snow of John Carpenter’s cult horror classic is far from pure. The movie’s eponymous parasitic extraterrestrial, unwittingly woken from an icy slumber beneath the permafrost, is able to assume human form, leading to near-unbearable suspense – who is human, and who is the alien? - as the inhabitants of a cut-off research station are preyed upon in gruesome fashion.
The Monster Squad
Something of a 1980s cult classic, The Monster Squad is The Goonies meets Ghostbusters – a rollicking b-movie horror-comedy in which a bunch of misfit kids take on Dracula and other assorted beasties in their small town. Co-written by Shane Black (creator of the Lethal Weapon series, and director of the upcoming Predator reboot) and featuring effects from the legendary Stan Winston, this is enjoyable for far more than simple nostalgia value.
It’s not often that horror movies get nominated for Best Picture Oscars (in fact, the last two were Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006 and Black Swan in 2010, both of which could arguably described as non-horror), but Get Out isn’t your average slasher flick or ghost story, even if it features gallons of gore and lashings of otherworldly creepiness.
What we have here is a satirical, genre-bending piece that functions both as a straight-up scary movie and as a wry, insightful take on race – in particular, on modern interracial dating between black men and white women. And, as you’d expect from a film written and directed by Jordan Peele, it’s not short of laughs either. Add in Daniel Kaluuya’s fantastic (also Oscar-nominated) lead performance and its box office smash status, and you can see why it’s attracted the Academy’s attention. But who needs Oscar’s seal of approval when you have Stuff’s? We say make this your next movie night priority, whether you’re a horror fan or not.
Don't Look Now
Nicolas Roeg’s 1970s horror – a cult classic for all the right reasons – tells the story of mourning parents Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, who take an extended stay in Venice in the hopes of coming to terms with their young daughter’s tragic death.
After meeting two sisters, one of whom claims to be able to contact the dead, their despair begins to lift – but there may be something worse than grief stalking them among the canals…
Is Alien: Covenant really a horror movie? Strictly speaking, perhaps not, but Ridley Scott’s film is such a jumble of genres that horror certainly gets a look-in, even if it never manages to conjure up the sheer claustrophobic terror of Scott’s first xenomorph outing.
This is the sixth film in the Alien series, and fans looking for answers as to the creatures’ origins will find plenty, even if they may not find these answers particularly satisfying. As with Prometheus, you’ll find yourself shouting at the characters for their sheer stupidity at times (what is it with these space adventurers and their aversion to basic caution when they know there’s a murderous giant space insect stalking them?), but Covenant ends up a diverting, visually impressive sci-fi romp with a fine cast – as well as leaving the loading bay doors open for further sequels.