Five Horror Movies to Stream Now

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Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje) and his older sister, Brittney (DeShawn White), arrive with Brittney’s fiancé, Tony (Lenny Thomas), at their parents’ waterside cabin, only to discover that their mother, father and the neighbors have been killed. That’s when they — all three are Black — are accosted by an angry white guy (Nick Damici) with a gun.

“Are you humans or are you demons?” he barks.

“We’re on vacation,” replies Tony, his hands raised in terror.

They manage to disarm the gun-toting stranger and lock him in the cabin cellar, but he claims he’s not there alone. Margie (Lori Hammel), a white neighbor, shows up later that night as confused about what’s happening as they are.

Or is she? When Kevin questions Margie about her identity, she erupts in accusations about “you people,” and that’s when the film takes its most sinister turn.

The writer-director Timothy Covell has said he wanted to make a movie that takes place the day after a slasher film, and he’s turned that idea into a nail-biter of a thriller. He’s also added a fresh social spin and dark humor, a combination that will appeal to horror fans like me who enjoy a movie about evil with no easy explanations — or ways out.

Stream it on the Terror Films Channel.

The writer-director Ali Akbar Akbar Kamal said in his press notes that a fear of “unknown beings that hold unlimited power over us” inspired him to make this unnerving found-footage possession film. He’s channeled that terror — an aversion he said he learned growing up in a religious community in the Middle East — into a cautionary tale about blind faith, with zombies and occultism tossed in for kicks.

The film had me in its opening minutes, when a funeral erupts in hysteria after a dead woman named Lisa (Mélie B. Rondeau) crawls out of her coffin and walks out of a small-town church. Chad (Chad Tailor), an indie filmmaker who returned home for the ceremony, captures the chaos on camera.

Chad returns days later to make a documentary about the unexplained events that have since taken a bizarre turn: Lisa, now living in her parents’ basement, is using supernatural powers to heal people. But, of course, what Lisa has up her bloodied sleeve is wicked, not curative.

I don’t know what’s in the water in Harriston, Ontario, where the film was shot and is set. But I’ll have what the locals are having; their enthusiasm as extras makes the film as playful as it is macabre.

Stream it on Shudder.

In just 78 minutes, Frida Kempff’s film tells a chilling and surprisingly moving story — a queer one, too — about life after the shock of death.

Molly (Cecilia Milocco) is starting a new life after spending time at a psychiatric ward, where she recovered following a traumatic event that happened one day at the beach. She has a new apartment, somewhere in Sweden, and her neighbors are friendly enough.

But what are those muffled screams and irksome knocks? Are they pleas for help? And why won’t anyone in her building fess up to making all that racket? Molly’s paranoia skyrockets as she tries to get a grip on the din, and she starts to wonder if she’s being gaslighted — or ghostlighted.

This is a horror movie that’s refreshingly sentimental, and Milocco gives a heartfelt performance to match. It’s one for horror fans who prefer a scary story that values sensitivity over slaughter.

Rent or buy on most major platforms.

What if a pandemic wiped out not some of us, but most of us? That’s the terrifying premise behind Richard Lowry’s thrifty thriller that channels the spirit of “Contagion” on a dime.

It’s been five years since something in the air killed 90 percent of Earth’s population. Ellie (Eve James), a teen with dreams of being a dancer, has survived alone in a suburban home. Outside, corpses the color of candy apples rot in the streets.

One afternoon, Ellie encounters Quinn (Kannon Smith), an emotionally distant young woman who helps Ellie brush up on her survival skills. The two strike up a friendship that edges into romance, and they agree to stick together to combat the hazmat-suited government agents on their tail.

I’d put money down that George A. Romero would have enjoyed this low-fi riff on Covid-era America; it owes a debt to the maverick director’s own infection-film “The Crazies.” Too bad Lowry tosses Ellie and Quinn’s romance in the back seat to let a cat-and-mouse survival story cross the finish line.

Rent or buy on most major platforms.

Never, ever let go of the rope. That’s a rule that Solomon (Jared Laufree), a young blind man, listens to on a cassette tape that his mother (Alexandra Paul) made for him before she left their remote cabin for good. She trained him as a child to tether himself to the long rope before he leaves the house, so he doesn’t venture too far into the nearby woods.

One day, Solomon unexpectedly meets Hank (Kareem Ferguson), a hunter whom Solomon lets crash at his cabin. That night, an ungodly noise comes from the woods, and Hank starts to realize that Solomon’s isolation is a matter of self-preservation. As Hank’s curiosity about the woods grows, another of mom’s rules — “When you hunt or scavenge, do it for two: one for the forest and one for you” — is put to the test.

Daniel Robinette’s dark don’t-go-in-the-woods story will appeal to patient horror fans who love a slow burn and can look past the thin script and an oversized score that fights the intimate setting. The cinematographer Aaron Sorgius deserves a shout out, especially for a scene that casts Solomon’s home in ghostly shades of blue and gray.

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