I love a good mind-bender. Something that sticks with you and makes you go scrambling to Reddit for an in-depth discussion of time paradoxes, mental illness, paranormal phenomenon or chaos theory. You know, all those movies that make you feel both smarter and more stupid all at the same time. Shudder has a huge list of these smart horror films you can’t get anywhere else. Right now they have a glut of outstanding psycho-thrillers heavy on the psycho. Each week I’ll give you a list of the absolute best they have to offer. Check back each Friday for your latest list.
The Taking Of Deborah Logan
After months of searching, Mia Medina has found the perfect subject for her PhD thesis film on Alzheimer’s Disease. For the next several months, cameras will record the everyday life of mother Deborah Logan and her daughter Sarah. But as the days progress, they observe behaviors and occurrences that show the progression to be far more advanced than anyone was prepared for. What becomes apparent is that there’s something besides Alzheimer’s that has taken control of Deborah’s life. It’s an evil that is far worse than the debilitating disease with which she was first diagnosed.
Cast: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Brett Gentile
This movie is creepy with a capital C and ambiguous enough to keep you guessing clear to the end. While we are on the subject of the end, it is full-on bonkers so buckle up. Watch it Friday night as part of a double feature with popcorn and Old Fashioneds.
A former addict begins to have strange episodes after moving into her childhood home in this relentlessly disturbing ghost story from BLAIR WITCH PROJECT director Eduardo Sanchez. But where that film relied on off-screen atmosphere to create dread, here Sanchez serves plenty of on-screen scares, resulting in a film that follows in the footsteps of graphic shockers like THE ENTITY. Richly exploring the parallels between psychosis, addiction and demonic possession, LOVELY MOLLY is a gripping look at how the traumas of the past come back to haunt us. Contains strong language, sexual scenes, violence and gore.
Cast: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden
It’s a personal favorite of mine and full of truly icky moments you can’t unsee. There is plenty of gore and more than a few scenes that will make you question just what the fuck is happening. The acting is great and I guarantee you will walk away thinking your Dad isn’t that bad after all. If you have some hunters in your life ask for some venison jerky to nibble on while watching. You will find out why later.
In an effort to protect their three children from the corrupting influence of the outside world, a couple transforms their home into a gated compound of cultural deprivation and strict rules of behavior. But children cannot remain innocent forever. When the father brings home a young woman to satisfy his son’s sexual urges, the family’s engineered “reality” begins to crumble, with devastating consequences. Like the haunting, dystopic visions of Michael Haneke and Gaspar Noé, DOGTOOTH punctuates its compelling drama with moments of shocking violence, creating a biting social satire that is as profound as it is provocative.
Cast: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia, Hristos Passalis, Mary Tsoni
Wow is all I can say. This haunting family drama is so divisive you will either go all in and love the absurdity or hate it. This is what bad parenting looks like. It’s an unsettling slow-burn that packs a powerful but subtle punch. Watch with while drinking beers with your folks.
We Are Not Cats
After losing his job, girlfriend, and home in a single day, a desperate thirty-something accepts a delivery job upstate. There he stumbles upon Anya, a beguiling and mysterious young artist who shares his proclivity for eating human hair. While their shared obsession bonds these two loners together, it also takes them on a perverse and disturbing journey in one of the most exciting and singular American indies this year.
Cast: Michael Nicholson, Chelsea Lopez, Michael Godere
There are no words to describe the weirdness of this movie. Just grab your favorite kitty, start petting and load up We Are Not Cats. It is an experience that should not be missed. Best while enjoying a Cat Roller which is two shots rum, 1/2 cup coconut water or pineapple juice and 1TBS simple syrup in a glass with a coconut shaving lined rim. Enjoy!
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci, Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) is a young American fleeing to Europe to escape his past. While backpacking along the Italian coast, everything changes during a stop at an idyllic Italian village, where he meets and instantly connects with the enchanting and mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker). A flirtatious romance begins to bloom between the two; however, Evan soon realizes that Louise has been harboring a monstrous, primordial secret that puts both their relationship and their lives in jeopardy. A beautiful, fluid genre-bender from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution), SPRING is an unforgettable romance of mythical proportions.
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti
I’m a huge fan of Benson and Moorehead and Spring is an excellent example of everything they bring to the table. It’s bizarre and surreal but deeply disquieting. Grab some soup, salad, and breadsticks from Olive Garden and pour yourself a glass of Chianti before watching.
Tigers Are Not Afraid
A haunting horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico’s devastating drug wars, TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID follows a group of orphaned children armed with three magical wishes, running from the ghosts that haunt them and the cartel that murdered their parents. Filmmaker Issa López creates a world that recalls the early films of Guillermo del Toro, imbued with her own gritty urban spin on magical realism to conjure a wholly unique experience that audiences will not soon forget. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.
Cast: Paola Lara, Hanssel Casillas, Rodrigo Cortes, Ianis Guerrero, Tenoch Huerta
It’ so lovely you almost forget how scary this film really is. A gorgeous fairy tale that is as gorgeous as it is terrifying it will rip your heart out and stomp on it for fun. Watch this while drinking some Tiger’s Blood. Chase it with a beer.
When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called “unfit” dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time house-pet who has learned all too well from his “Masters” in his journey through the streets and animal control centers that man is not always dog’s best friend.
Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth
A more thought-provoking movie you will not find. If this doesn’t make you think differently about the world at large or at least animals you are sick in the head. Go adopt a pet from the shelter. Hell, maybe two.
Do not forget to tune into the Horror Pod Class and their weekly podcast on all things horror and science fiction, you might just learn something. Look for our newest podcast called Drafting Horror. Every two weeks the hosts draft two top five lists in a specific subgenre and then debate to the death. JK, mostly they crack jokes and give fun and obscure facts about the films. The movies must be free streaming so it’s a great place to learn more about all your favorites on Shudder. It’s something new every other week. Just for Signal Horizon readers, we have a free trial that lasts twice as long as their normal offer. Signal Horizon readers can sign up for a 30-day free trial using the link below. Tell us what you think and let us know if you find something in the streaming service that warrants further discussion.
I hope we have given you some new movies to consider. Let us know what you enjoyed this weekend. Don’t forget to use the promo code SIGNAL for a whole month free! Catch us back next Weekend for all new selections.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.