Screen Crusades: Weekly Streaming Guide

Posted by Chris Hudson in Culture on October 16, 2020

Featuring a fun as hell anthology from Shudder, the full course of ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’ on Amazon Prime, Netflix’s highly anticipated ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ and Hulu drops a supernatural horror driven Marvel series.

October continues to bring the frights with more treats than tricks in this full candy bag of streaming for October 16th. Featuring a fun as hell anthology from Shudder, the full course of ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’ on Amazon Prime, Netflix’s highly anticipated ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ and Hulu drops a supernatural horror driven Marvel series.

OUT NOW:

‘The Mortuary Collection’ (Shudder)

The perfect way to spend two hours leading into Halloween, this Shudder Original packs five different stories with all your favorite fun October vibes.

Legend, Clancy Brown flashes icon status as the dark creepy voice narrator, twisting the tails as our leader down writer/director Ryan Spindell’s terrorizingly fun adventure which is reminiscent of the classic excitement of “Tales of the Crypt” blended into the fun of ‘Cabin of the Woods’.

Seriously, the film is the culmination of your favorite horror wrapped in one all-encompassing popcorn anthology flick. Packing striking stylistic visuals that really play off a dangerously symmetrical look.

Within the stories you’ll get a devilishly cringy and shockingly horrific lover’s tale thriller, an 80’s slasher that flashes over-the-top Scream fireworks, an unexpected monster attack that terrifies future bathroom interactions

If there is a stand-out, it’s the dangerously witty, hip and sexy story spiced up by an immaculate Ema Horvath. This creative spin on a hot button issue is blistered by a soundtrack precisely on target, burrowing into your psyche.

The film erupts to conclusion with furious twists leaving their mark in a devastating and unforeseen ending.

Check back later this week with a Screen Crusades interview with star, Caitlin Custer.

“A young drifter applies for a job at the local mortuary and meets an eccentric mortician who chronicles the strange history of the town through a series of twisted tales, each more terrifying than the last. Starring Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Barak Hardley, Christine Kilmer and Jacob Elordi. Directed by Ryan Spindell. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.”

Welcome to the Blumhouse Presents (Amazon Prime Video)

The horror production house responsible for genre films like Insidious, Get Out, Paranormal Activity, and The Invisible Man finally drops the first four films of the highly anticipated eight film horror anthology for Amazon Prime Video in ‘Nocturne’, ‘Black Box’, ‘The Lie’ & ‘Evil Eye’ (the other four will release next year).

‘Nocturne’

Nocturne is the stand-out of the film series, and maybe even of the entire year. The film is a stunning masterpiece, excelling in every facet. Visually stunning with intense performances and harrowing unravellings, ‘Nocturne’ sets out to save you from the lost Covid horror films of 2020.

‘Nocturne’ showcases serious family drama in a musical competition that gets an unexpected dark spiritual assistance when the black swan sister uncovers the notebook of a talented student who seemingly lost her mind and recently committed suicide.

Expertly shot, seemingly more destined for the big screen than streaming, featuring a dark grit look that consistently carries an unsettling feeling that can’t be shook. The visuals are fucking hauntingly precise.

Doubling down, the stressing and thrilling score keeps the pulse racing in this while slashed in sound effects intensify every scene. Sydney Sweeney delivers a unique and nuanced leading performance projecting menacingly stoic with turn on a dime veracity.

Everything in this film is running on all cylinders, the effort and creative details in every aspect bolster this to one of the top horror films seen this year.

Broken down, think of it as a demonic ‘Half Blood Prince’ bristled with ‘Whiplash’ bashed with ‘Black Swan’

Writer/director Zu Quirke is a visionary, destined to pave a legacy over the next years. Pay attention.

“Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing twin sister when she discovers a mysterious notebook belonging to a recently deceased classmate. Nocturne is written and directed by Zu Quirke in her breakout feature debut. Starring Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, The Handmaid’s Tale, Player’s Table), Madison Iseman (Jumanji: The Next Level, Annabelle Comes Home), Jacques Colimon (The Society) and Ivan Shaw (Insecure, Casual).”

‘Black Box’

‘Black Box’ falls more in line with the theme of the other three remaining films – “How far will we go for family?”

In this modern experiment that continues to push the limitations of what’s real in the advancement of our society, a new tech based memory treatment is a single father’s Hail Mary to keep his daughter but his mind horrifically and brutally fights back leading to a devastating showdown for control that might unlock fearful truths that will destroy him.

Writer/director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. unleashes a VR dive into hidden memories, stirring up reminders that may want to stay in the dark. As with all VR, it explores the question on what does real mean and what impact does reality have?

The film reminds us why Blumhouse is one of the most premiere horror production houses in the genre. Elevating stories that dig into the emotional horror, things that are very real to us. The lies we tell yourselves to justify our, at times, poor behavior. The way we gaslight our own selves for ego protection. How far do our brains go for self survival? And how do we overcome that if we’re more or less, unaware of its occurrence? Furthermore how far can we let someone manipulate us.

Ultimately it boils down to responsibility, and in this case – gripping twists.

The suspense excels thanks to a spine tingling score filled with screeks and dangling strings set into motion by an intriguing story.  Surprisingly touching, the film excels as it’s framed by a fully formed character driven story.

Terrorized by domestic violence, parental expectations and moral responsibility – ‘Black Box’ carries enough of a punch.

“Starring Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World 3, The Circle), Phylicia Rashad (Creed), Amanda Christine (Colony), Tosin Morohunfola (The Chi, The 24th), Charmaine Bingwa (Trees of Peace, Little Sista), and Troy James (The Flash, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.”

‘The Lie’

In ‘The Lie’: two girls walk into a forest, one walks out kicking off a series of dramatic unravellings that push two families to the brink of how far each will go for their daughters.

Driven by powerful dramatic performances from leads Mireille Enos and Peter Sarsgaard, ‘The Lie’ allows the anxiety to build, capitalizing on what is most stressful – silence. In doing so, doors bells and cell phone rings act as knives ripping into you.

“Starring Mireille Enos (The Killing), Peter Sarsgaard (An Education) and Joey King (The Kissing Booth 2, The Act). When their teenaged daughter confesses to impulsively killing her best friend, two desperate parents attempt to cover up the horrific crime, leading them into a complicated web of lies and deception.”

‘Evil Eye’

A truly unique take on parental protection. A mother has dangerous suspicions of her daughter’s new boyfriend, fearing he may be the source of relationship trauma from earlier in her life.

“Based off the award-winning, best-selling Audible Original production from writer Madhuri Shekar. A seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a mother becomes convinced her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past. Directed by Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, and starring Sarita Choudhury (Mississippi Masala, Lady in the Water), Sunita Mani (GLOW), Omar Maskati (Unbelievable), and Bernard White (Silicon Valley).”

‘The Cleansing Hour’ (Shudder)

This Shudder Original made its premiere at the acclaimed Fantastic Fest last year and has had fans anxiously awaiting its premiere on streaming. Currently sitting at an unblemished 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film follows a pseudo exorcism stream that turns painfully real. Playing on today’s modern disease of internet fact or fiction, it flashes some serious monster action among demonic interaction. It’s a fresh creative thriller that doubles down of its message in a very shocking way that will leave you rattled through the credits.

Writer/director Damien LeVeck chatted with Ryan J. Downey on the newest episode of Screen Crusades digging into the familiar tropes of demonic possession in cinema and how ‘The Cleansing Hour’ differentiates itself with realism.

“A live-stream exorcism goes viral in this bold, modern take on demonic possession. Millennial entrepreneurs, Max (Ryan Guzman) and Drew (Kyle Gallner) run a popular webcast that streams “live exorcisms” that are, in fact, elaborately staged hoaxes watched by millions. However, their fortunes take a turn when during one of their webcasts, Drew’s fiancée (Alix Angelis) becomes mysteriously possessed by a real demon that takes the crew hostage. In front of a rapidly growing global audience, the demon subjects the crew to a series of violent and humiliating challenges that expose dark secrets they have been hiding from each other.”

‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ (Netflix)

Following the success of Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House, the next in the Haunting anthology is an adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.

Recruiting many of the same cast members from the Hill House installment, Bly Manor begins with Henry Wingrave (played by Henry Thomas) hiring a new caretaker in Dani Clayton (played by Victoria Pedretti), for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) after the sudden death of their au pair. Dani soon experiences the supernatural horrors of Bly Manor and the insurmountable evil that exists within the walls.

Unlike Hill House, Flanagan shares the directorial responsibilities with the likes of Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2), Liam Gavin (A Dark Song), Yolande Ramke & Ben Howling (Cargo), and Axelle Carolyn (Tales of Halloween).

“Dead doesn’t mean gone. An au pair plunges into an abyss of chilling secrets in this gothic romance from the creator of ‘The Haunting of Hill House.'”

‘Helstrom’ (Hulu)

All episodes of Hulu’s original series ‘Helstrom’ from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (though put it a lonely corner as its been deemed too dark to run with Captain America) are finally available.

A disjointed superhuman family assembled to take down an un-stoppable demonic force, first has to tackle its own internal demons in a series that looks laced with supernatural action, psychological horror, and some on-point acting from Elizabeth Marvel.

“Every Family Has Its Demons. As the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, Helstrom follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), and their complicated dynamic, as they track down the worst of humanity — each with their own attitude and skills.”

‘The Cabin with Bert Kreischer’ (Netflix)

Essentially a fly on the wall of a cabin with some of the funniest comedians working as they try alternative relaxation methods and dive into personal emotions.

“Bert Kreischer heads to a cabin in the woods to throw axes, milk goats, drink whiskey, and experience the ultimate cleanse. What could go wrong? Featuring Anthony Anderson, Big Jay Oakerson, Bobby Lee, Caitlyn Jenner, Deon Cole, Donnell Rawlings, Fortune Feimster, Gabriel Iglesias, Joel McHale, Joey Diaz, Kaley Cuoco, Nikki Glaser, and Tom Segura.”

‘Unfriended’ (Netflix)

The modern technological horror hits Netflix and there probably isn’t a more timely setting for this video chat/internet thriller than 2020 as we experience friends, work, family and Halloween through Zoom video chats.

“Ushering in a new era of horror, Universal Pictures’ Unfriended unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier. A Blumhouse Productions film, directed by Levan Gabriadze, and starring Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm and more.”

‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ (Hulu)

The original gang (Cameron, Arnold and Hamilton – for the first time since T2) is back for another ass-whopping adventure in saving the world from machine annihilation, this time directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller. Essentially eliminating previous franchise films T3, Salvation & Genisys; the film drops right back in post T2 action for non-stop destruction, explosions and Arnold one-liners.

Though the film released to solid reviews, the match never lit with audiences scrapping the plan for two more films in an expected trilogy.

“More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother (Diego Boneta) and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator – a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) – travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani’s survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah’s past that may be their last best hope.”

COMING THIS WEEK:

‘Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 2’ (Netflix 10.19)

Following up on the smashing success of Vol. 1 of the rebooted franchise, Netflix offers up six more in-depth dives into previously unsolved mysteries in time for the darkest holiday for those looking for more of a real-life scare…as if 2020 needed any more.

‘ParaNorman’ (Netflix 10.18)

The Academy Award nominated stop-motion animated family flick follows an outcast kid who feels more at home with the dead ghosts he can see around town than the breathing humans around him. When tasked with saving the town from the dreaded curse, Norman has to step outside his comfort zone while bringing family fun horror hijinks.

“A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Elaine Stritch, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jeff Garlin.”

32 MALASANA STREET‘ (Shudder 10.22)

This Spanish-speaking supernatural creep-out (scaringly based on true-events) drops as a Shudder Exclusive about a precious family moving into a charming home that unravels into a dangerous game of survival.

“It’s 1976. The Olmedo family has left the countryside for a new life in Madrid. But their new home becomes a house of horrors in this hit supernatural thriller based on actual paranormal events. Starring Begoña Vargas, Iván Marcos, Bea Segura, Sergio Castellanos, José Luis de Madariaga, Iván Renedo, Javier Botet. Directed by Alberto Pintó. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE”


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