The Netflix Files: October 27, 2011, Halloweek Edition

Happy Halloween, Netflix. Stock is plummeting like never before, down 75% from July, before its infamous price-hike announcement. “Fundamentals are eroding, management credibility is shot, international growth is deteriorating, and margins are imploding,” says market analyst Toby Wible. Deadline has deemed it Netflix’s Nuclear Winter.

While Reed Hastings lives out the ultimate corporate horror scenario, let’s check out Watch Instantly’s selection of scary movies!

Upon first glance at the “Horror” genre page, one might mistake the streaming service’s collection as lacking. The featured films are mostly low-rated straight-to-DVD fare with titles like Mask Maker, Bloodlust Zombies and Vampires in Havana. However, further inspection into the depths of the Netflix archives reveals a relatively impressive library.

Our Top Ten picks for your holiday viewing, in alphabetical order:

Bride of the Monster – Witness the masterpiece of Edward D. Wood, Jr., deemed “the world’s worst director” by TIME Magazine (and the eponymous subject of an excellent Tim Burton film). Features a washed-up Bela Lugosi and some truly awful special effects. The best in schlock.

The Exorcist – Often cited as the scariest movie of all time. A little girl is possessed by a demon and spews obscenities at her helpless mother. Traumatic, controversial and likely to keep you awake for a long, long time–even if it might be a tad cheesy by today’s standards. More after the jump.

The Human Centipede: First Sequence – You know what this is. If not now, when? It’s not like you’re gonna watch it on Arbor Day.

Let the Right One In – The 2008 Swedish import that at least one friend has already recommended to you. The logline: “A twelve year-old boy befriends a vampire child.” Unlike that movie with the funny-looking kid from Jerry Maguire, this is legitimately terrifying. Last year’s American remake, Let Me In (also available on Watch Instantly), is actually just as good.

Misery – Our Stephen King pick of the litter. Kathy Bates (who won an Oscar for this) holds her favorite romance novelist against his will in her middle-of-nowhere cabin.

Night of the Living Dead – George Romero’s low-budget 1968 zombie movie is a must-see for all fans of the genre. Also an insightful commentary on race politics, although perhaps accidentally.

Nosferatu – A German silent-film classic. Even though the character had to be renamed because producers couldn’t secure rights from the Stoker estate, this is one of the first known adaptations of Dracula. 

Red State – This new B-horror movie from Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) was released on-demand before ever hitting theaters. We haven’t seen it yet, but apparently it makes monsters out of Midwestern conservatives. Kevin Smith is so outspoken these days.

Saw: The Final Chapter – Upon its theatrical release, this was titled Saw 3D. Too bad Netflix hasn’t figured out how to do that yet. About as good as the five Saw sequels that came before it, but this one has the long-awaited return of Dr. Lawrence Gordon! (You don’t know who that is.)

“The Twilight Zone” – The best horror television show ever, at least according to my mom. If you need help sifting through the 156 episodes, here are the ten best, per Listverse.

Some other options: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (entire series available), “Hey Arnold!” (2×20, “Arnold’s Halloween”), The Lost Boys, Paranormal Activity 2, The Thing, The Wolfman

Or, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can also just watch Halloweentown in installments on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY6RUPNnXCs

Also, Under Wraps:

Happy Halloween!

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