If you're in the mood for a scare, Netflix has plenty of options when it comes to horror films.
Now... if you're looking to watch a good horror film, that's an entirely different story. On Netflix, and with horror in general, it takes a fair bit of browsing to come up with a movie that simply looks like it might not suck.
You might come across movies titled "Avalanche Sharks" or (if you really must torture yourself) "Little Dead Rotting Hood." They seem to shriek "I'm garbage, don't watch me." But even when you eventually do find something with a respectable title and interesting description – more often than not – it's still garbage.
Hopefully I can save you some time browsing by offering up my favorite horror movie that I've seen on Netflix: "Creep." If you haven't seen it yet, I can definitely understand why. It's an extremely low-budget movie, and neither the title nor the description sounds particularly evocative or exciting. But believe me, it's one of the most well-crafted horror movies out there.
"Creep" is a found-film horror movie which, to those unfamiliar with the genre, means it's shot in the first person perspective of a character who is holding a camera. In "Creep," that character is Aaron, who answers a Craigslist ad for a videographer set up by an eccentric man named Josef.
Josef is terminally ill and wants Aaron to film a video of himself for his unborn child, whom he may never get a chance to meet. It's a cute and heart-warming premise.
Of course, we're not fooled. Through genre alone, the film invites you to keep your guard up and to never trust Josef entirely. We look for hints in his behavior that will foreshadow a more malicious or sinister intent. But throughout these first few encounters with Josef, it's hard to see him as anything other than a nice guy. A few nuances in his character may jump out as red flags, but nothing is concrete enough to make us fear him -- at least for now.
Then, as the title might suggest, things start to get creepy.
In the first part of Josef's video, he strips naked and gets into a bathtub, demonstrating for his unborn son what it would have looked like for him to give him a bath. It's definitely weird to watch a grown man pretend to hold up a child and wash him. Yes, a few taboo lines are stepped on in this scene, but they're never fully crossed. This isn't child molestation – this is a terminally ill father who loves his boy. Whether or not his actions are in fact "creepy," is largely questionable throughout much of the film.
That's what I love most about "Creep." We are constantly made aware that something is not quite right with Josef, but we struggle to put our finger on it. It isn't until much later in the movie that we know what he is truly capable of.
The antagonist isn't some horrific monster – rather, he's a nice guy. He even looks rather ordinary. The movie is so grounded in reality and familiarity that every eccentricity expressed by Josef is magnified ten-fold.
If you're looking for a good fright, put this one on the top of your list!