Netflix: July 2015 Horror Roundup

The first week of July looked promising. It seemed Netflix’s horror lineup for the month had the potential to really shine. Midway through July that potential has been fully realized thanks to an assortment of brand new additions and the return of a few insanely enjoyable classics. The trend leans in the indie direction this summer, but that’s a fine direction to lean, as you’ll see by the eclectic lineup of new feature length films on Netflix Instant.

Don’t go on a blind mission to seek out the good stuff… let us help you out. Dig on our guide below!

netflix 1024x576 - Netflix: July 2015 Horror Roundup

From the Dark: When a traveling couple find themselves broken down in the middle of No Man’s Land, it doesn’t seem like a hopeless situation. When they stumble upon a man who seems to be undergoing some strange physical transformation, rapidly becoming a violent monstrosity of sorts, things take a radical turn for the worse… and they’re not necessarily going to get an better. From the Dark is a moody Irish affair with overwhelmingly grim visuals and a fine escalation of terror. If you look to Netflix’s user rating system to aid you in determining what you’ll watch, you’ll miss treats like this. The flick is fun, and the sub two-star rating on Netflix doesn’t begin to do it justice. This is an entertaining trip into terror that doesn’t last long enough. Watch it!

Conan the Barbarian: Who doesn’t love a classic that features Arnold Schwarzenegger going to war with an evil and damn cruel sorcerer? Who doesn’t love the idea of James Earl Jones portraying an evil and damn cruel sorcerer? We all know the Conan flicks make for awesome, brainless fun. Sometimes some ass-kicking action is exactly what we need, and while Conan the Barbarian isn’t an outright horror film, the genre vibe is undeniable. It shouldn’t need be said, but this is always worth a watch.

Deep in the Darkness: Deep in the Darkness wasn’t afforded a powerful promotional campaign; in fact, it was a fairly quiet production which subsequently led to a quiet release. But it’s not a bad film by any means, and there’s a quality cast on hand to turn in well-rounded performances. The idea of being a stranger in a new town is always a little unsettling, but for Dr. Michael Cayle his move to a new town is about to become something that ranks far closer to sinister than unsettling. Sean Patrick Thomas does a fine job leading the ensemble, and he gets help from a few key supporters (it’s nice to see Dean Stockwell in a new horror flick) in addition to some creepy antagonists.

Dark Summer: Dark Summer is a perfect example of what can be done without a lot of money but with a tremendous amount of passion. This is a bare bones production, and that much is evident inside the first 10 minutes, but Paul Solet’s direction (for the record, he’s the same stud who helmed Grace, and he’s got a segment in waiting featured in the upcoming anthology Tales of Halloween) and Mike Le’s script are legitimately engrossing, and they save this one from being “just another b-movie.” The film is all about a youngster on house arrest – after being convicted of some cyber harassment – who finds himself haunted by his victim. Trapped within his home, he’s got nowhere to go; and a showdown between the natural and the supernatural quickly becomes an inevitability.

The Pact 2: Make no mistake: The Pact 2 isn’t the surprise indie hit that The Pact was. Sequels are, as we all know, rarely superior, or even equally as impressive as their predecessors. But Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath’s follow-up is far from a huge disappointment. This creeper is generally well shot and blends the crime and horror sub-genres together rather well. The acting is a tad rough around the edges (in a select few spots), and the film does admittedly lack a few of the WTF moments offered up by The Pact, but again, this is no blatant waste of time.

Beneath: It’s still quite mystifying to see negative reviews for Beneath. It isn’t a groundbreaking production by any means, but it is a seriously creepy affair that invokes a very claustrophobic sensation that only seems to intensify as the tale barrels forward. A few gnarly visuals await viewers and Jeff Fahey brings magic to the production. If you’re a fan of subterranean shockers, Beneath is a thoroughly entertaining piece of work. Don’t draw early judgement here; give it a chance for yourself, and you may be surprised to find an endearing flick that’s garnered some unwarranted negativity.

Teeth: Boys are bad news. Vaginas laced with rows of razor-sharp teeth, however, are even worse. They’re also the perfect combative tool for bad boys. Teeth has often been panned by critics, but it’s a surprisingly fun little flick with heart and humor (Jess Weixler’s facial expressions are dumbfoundingly hilarious) in abundance. The penises fly in this one, and it may leave men grabbing their junk… just to make sure it is indeed still attached.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: One of the greatest Canadian horror films ever released, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil pops up on Netflix’s streaming service more often than pimples on a hormone raging 16-year-old. It’s available for a month or so, disappears for a few weeks, and then it’s back again. That cycle has been playing itself out for a few years now, and there’s no reason to complain. If you haven’t seen this wickedly clever horror comedy, you need to. It has plenty of blood, guts, male bonding, and tremendous laughs to offer. For the record, it also deserves points for originality, as (co)writer/director Eli Craig puts an unorthodox spin on backwoods shocks.

Creep: Arguably the best found footage film to be released in 2015 (there’s no arguing from me, personally), Creep is a total and complete blast, and it manages this without incorporating an insane amount of action and just about nada in the special effects department. It’s all about character here; and Mark Duplass’ character, Josef, is a magnetic, quirky, and damn memorable onscreen personality. This is found footage done right, and if you’re a Netflix subscriber, you want to take it in immediately!

The Barber: The one major problem most are likely to find with The Barber is that they may have very well seen it once before, released with a handful of different performers under the title Mr. Brooks. The two stories share a tremendous amount of similarities. I’d consider Mr. Brooks to be the superior film, but I won’t deny Scott Glenn the credit he deserves because the man delivers an awesome performance as a pseudo-retired serial killer who takes to teaching a young brash fellow the ways of the prolific murderer. Glenn’s awesome in the role, and he more than makes it worth the audience’s time. Give it a chance!

Written by Matt Molgaard

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