(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)
Matt: With the upcoming release of supervillain horror origin Brightburn, Chris and I offer some alternative streaming tales of terror that we deem as displaying superhero qualities. Maybe not all come with spandex and capes, or a Marvel company stinger, but superpowers appear in all forms. Freddy’s superpower is a command of dreamscapes, Jason defies mortality, heroes can turn evil damn quick – you’re with us, right? It’s about time we ditched the squeaky-clean Cap’n America schtick for a bit. Rest well, Avengers. Let the “bad guys” take over.
Chris: I really liked Brightburn and I think the general concept – evil superhero! – is neat. The movie purports to be kicking-off a new subgenre, superhero horror. But there have been super-powered horror movies before Brightburn, and that’s what Matt and I are highlighting this week. So if you go see Brightburn, and then find yourself wanting more, why not give these titles a try? They’re super good! Except Matt’s picks, probably.
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime
Matt: Stephen Norrington’s goth-vamp Marvel origin Blade is a bloody good comic book adaptation born from industrial warehouse raves and martial arts influence. Wesley Snipes *is* “Blade,” assassinator of bloodsuckers. The film’s 1998 release is well before our now recognized Marvel Studios canon, hence juicy sanguine dance parties and more emphasis on gore than franchise cross-promotion. I mean, Udo Kier and Traci Lords are in a Marvel movie. How is that not enough initial radness? Blade kicks massive amounts of ass, is so very 90s “cool” especially where Stephen Dorff’s villain is concerned, and represents the premiere intersection of “superhero” and “horror.”
Chris: Featuring one of the greatest lines in film history: “Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill.”
Now Streaming on Netflix
Matt: Simon Verhoeven’s (no relation) Friend Request is a more slasher-structured Unfriended that adopts techno-horror via social media. Yes, the tagline is a lame-as-hell “Evil Is Trending” laugher. No, the movie isn’t as terrible as the pun suggests. Where I’ll pull “superpowers” in is by telling you the film’s loner evil spirit requests you on Facebook or whatever equivalent, and can digitally stalk/kill your friends via WiFi waves. Computers are her weapon, binary horror her language. Maybe that’ll teach you to always be connected online? In any case, expect ghastly glitches and some solid scares in this very streamable “pizza and Netflix” kind of Friday night frightfest.
Chris: I haven’t seen this, but I have seen Unfriended. Unfriended is pretty good! Pick that next time, Matt.
Now Streaming on Shudder
Matt: In Revenge, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz plays a legit superhero. Coralie Fargeat’s lead is a bubblegum-pop female who’s raped, left for dead by her assailants, and forced to seek bloody vengeance when her wounds prove non-fatal. Here’s the superhero part: not dying after being pushed from a high cliff and impaled by a spiked bush. Blood leaking everywhere, forced to ingest drugs to withstand the pain of searing her damage. From there, she goes on a gruesome rampage that ends with the death of guilty parties, but my, what a spectacle. Many lesser heroes would’ve been done in under such circumstances.
Chris: This is a bloody work of art; like a Roy Lichtenstein piece painted in gore. See it (if you can stomach it).
Now Streaming on HBO GO
Matt: File Vincenzo Natali’s Splice under “movies y’all don’t talk about enough.” Adrien Brody! Sarah Polley! Intercourse with a human/animal hybrid genetic experiment! Delphine Chanéac loses herself inside the role of “Dren,” transforming into a superhuman concoction of random blended DNAs. As Dren evolves at an alarming rate, so do her hormones and abilities. Play God, suffer the consequences. Lest we forget how Natali ensures his sci-fi warning to humanity is far more than just another “species on the loose” take. Undoubtedly one of the top subgenre examples in the last 10-or-so years in its field.
Chris: This is a weird, kind of kinky movie that no one talks about anymore for some reason. I don’t even know if I like it, but I appreciate it for how wacky it gets.
Now Streaming on Tubi
Matt: Is a slasher villain a superhero? That’s the point I’ll argue by selecting Adam Green’s Hatchet. One of the only slasher icons to emerge over the last decade or so. Victor Crowley’s bayou origin is one hack-em-up good time. A Louisiana urban legend based on voodoo magic and a hungry desire to kill unlucky swamp boat tourists. Crowley’s superpowers seem to be resurrection (sequels), strength (ripping people apart with ease), and hatchet skills. Never understood why this slasher franchise didn’t expand past Green’s “Hatchet Army” faithful, as I sit here waiting for my full slasher renaissance to swing back into horror’s forefront. For now, I’ll keep rewatching ridiculous Hatchet kills on repeat.
Chris: You like gore? Then you’ll like this.
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