Welcome to Horrorscope, a monthly column keeping horror nerds and initiates up to date on all the genre content coming to and leaving from your favorite streaming services. Here’s your guide to horror streaming in July 2020.
As you may have noticed, it’s going to be a weird summer. To put it mildly. The sun is out, the patios are open, and the global pandemic rages on. Being outside is—to varying degrees depending on where and how you live—a dangerous thing to do. But it looks so damn nice out there. It’s a juxtaposition that characterizes summer horror: temperatures go up, guards go down. And there is something especially sinister about the monsters who shun the shadows and stalk their prey brazenly in the light of day.
In that spirit, this July, I’m highlighting films that capture an oppressive sense of summer and an oppressive sense of dread (sometimes at the same time!). We’ve got two controversial masterpieces from the current reigning Enfant Terrible: a gore-heavy arthouse take on cabin fever and a horror-comedy that drags the male ego to hell and back. We’ve also got the sophomore feature from one of the best horror directors of the 21st century and a marathon of campy slashers.
Be sure to peruse the complete list below, calendar in hand, for a full picture of what horror flicks are coming and going from your favorite streaming services this month.
Pick of the Month: The House That Jack Built (2018)
Synopsis: Self-centered sociopath and failed architect, Jack, is making his way through Hell. Literal Hell. Guided by Virgil, his chaperone through the underworld, Jack recalls the five violent incidents he’s most proud of.
Look. There’s a reason Cannes invited Lars von Trier back. Is this movie for everyone? Absolutely not. The House That Jack Built is upfront about how upsetting it is to watch someone take another person’s life. And as a result, this film has some very “un-fun” deaths. And not everyone wants/is able to watch that sort of thing. But I would encourage you not to hold this film’s violence being “too hard to watch” against it. Men systematically killing women shouldn’t be easy to watch.
The House That Jack Built takes no joy in its violence. But it does take joy in making an absolute fool out of its narcissistic, conceded, misogynistic, and wildly incompetent protagonist. As Jack, Matt Dillon gives a transcendent performance as an ego-inflated buffoon eagerly searching for confirmation that he’s the smartest person in the room. Is this film punching up, or is von Trier punching himself in the face? Whatever the answer, this is the hardest I laughed at a movie in 2018. If you have a strong stomach and an open mind, I implore you: give it a chance.
Premieres on Hulu July 1st.
Good morning campers, it’s time for a Sleepaway Camp marathon!
Synopsis: The kids, and frankly the counselors, aren’t alright. Anyone with less than honorable intentions, a penchant for illicit substances, or an ounce of snark seems to turn up dead! Surely (surely!) the murders have nothing to do with that horrible boating accident that happened all those years ago.
Featuring the first three entries in this delightfully slash-happy franchise—Sleepaway Camp, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland—this marathon has everything you could possibly want from summer horror: ridiculous kills, plenty of puns, and a laissez-faire attitude towards exhibitionism.
Putting the camp in Camp, this franchise doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. But it [SPOILERS] has a kill count rivaling the big boys: 47 kills across the three movies! It took Jason and Michael three times as many films each to get that far! And the hard left turn to comedy certainly doesn’t slow the killer down. The original film is a stone-cold classic and is followed up by two exceedingly goofier sequels shot back-to-back in a matter of weeks. The result is the perfect line-up for a hot summer night: laser-focus your attention on the banger debut, then let your inhibitions slip as things go off the rails.
Available on Shudder July 1st.
A devilish second feature from one of the most intriguing horror directors of the 21st century: The Devil’s Candy
Synopsis: A struggling painter begins to channel a disturbing creative energy after he and his family move into their dream home in rural Texas. The situation does not improve when the previous tenant, a hulking child murderer who suffers from similar visions, comes knocking at their door.
One of the byproducts of the Satanic Panic was a handful of horror films that took advantage of the media’s fearmongering connection between heavy metal and satanic rituals. Modern spins on the subgenre have largely been comedic (e.g. Deathgasm, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny). And in truth, the heavy metal horror bump of the ’80s had a self-aware spring in its step. But, rest assured, The Devil’s Candyis no joke.
Director Sean Byrne follows up his depraved debut with a lean, atmospheric, terror trip with enough tension to shatter steel. There isn’t a single weak performance in The Devil’s Candy, but Ethan Embry and Pruitt Taylor Vince give some of the most memorable genre performances in recent memory. The family at the center of all this demonic madness is genuinely warm and captivating: a loving nuclear unit who happens to enjoy the more metal things in life. You don’t want anything bad to happen to them. But the devil has other plans. As for Byrne’s plans, he’s got three projects in the works currently thwarted by COVID-19.
Available on Hulu July 1st.
Chaos reigns with guilt, cabin fever, and sexual spectacle in Antichrist
Synopsis: While a married couple bump uglies in the next room, their infant son launches himself out an open window and dies. Buckle up because it only gets worse. She is distraught and he, a psychiatrist, decides to treat his wife’s fractured psyche himself. In an effort to heal their broken hearts and disintegrating marriage, the grieving couple retreats to their cabin, “Eden,” deep in the woods and nature takes its course.
Sometimes, I remember that Antichrist came out the same year as Fantastic Mr. Fox and my faith in a higher power is restored. I have decided to highlight two Lars von Trier films this month because what better directorial voice to capture the anger, absurdity, and absolute nightmare of 2020? It’s the summer of Lars, baby! Antichrist is as depressing as it is cover-your-eyes horrifying. Divisive, provocative, and not for the faint of heart, this is a fantastic film and I will never watch it again. Except there it is in my Criterion queue…
Available on the Criterion Channel July 12th.
Streamable Horror Incoming This Month
|Amazon Prime||Anaconda (1997)||July 1|
|Amazon Prime||Bug (1975)||July 1|
|Amazon Prime||The Devil’s Rejects (2005)||July 1|
|Amazon Prime||The Eye 2 (2004)||July 1|
|Amazon Prime||Hollowman (2000)||July 1|
|Amazon Prime||Phase IV (1974)||July 1|
|The Criterion Channel||Shadow Animals (2017)||July 7|
|The Criterion Channel||Antichrist (2009)||July 12|
|The Criterion Channel||The Last House on the Left (1972)||July 31|
|Hulu||2001 Maniacs (2005)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Axe Murders of Villisca (2017)||July 1|
|Hulu||Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (1992)||July 1|
|Hulu||Bug (1975)||July 1|
|Hulu||Cadaver (2009)||July 1|
|Hulu||Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Cured (2018)||July 1|
|Hulu||Dark Touch (2013)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Devil’s Candy (2017)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Devil’s Rejects (2005)||July 1|
|Hulu||Exorcismus (2011)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Eye (2008)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Eye 2 (2004)||July 1|
|Hulu||Freddy Vs Jason (2003)||July 1|
|Hulu||Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)||July 1|
|Hulu||House of 1000 Corpses (2003)||July 1|
|Hulu||The House That Jack Built (2018)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)||July 1|
|Hulu||Phase IV (1974)||July 1|
|Hulu||Room of Death (2008)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Shrine (2011)||July 1|
|Hulu||Spiderhole (2011)||July 1|
|Hulu||The Tenant (1976)||July 1|
|Hulu||Tetsuo III: The Bullet Man (2011)||July 1|
|Hulu||We Are What We Are (2011)||July 1|
|Netflix||Paranormal Activity (2007)||July 1|
|Netflix||Poltergeist – Unclear what version||July 1|
|Netflix||Red Riding Hood (2011)||July 1|
|Netflix||Sleepy Hollow (1999)||July 1|
|Netflix||Splice (2009)||July 1|
|Netflix||The Witches (1990)||July 1|
|Netflix||Winchester (2018)||July 1|
|Netflix||ONLY (2019)||July 5|
|Shudder||The Burning (1981)||July 1|
|Shudder||Return of the Living Dead (1985)||July 1|
|Shudder||Sleepaway Camp (1983)||July 1|
|Shudder||Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers||July 1|
|Shudder||Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland||July 1|
|Shudder||Jeruzalem (2015)||July 6|
|Shudder||The Beach House (2019)||July 9|
|Shudder||Maniac Cop (1988)||July 13|
|Shudder||Maniac Cop 2 (1990)||July 13|
|Shudder||Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence (1993)||July 13|
|Shudder||Lake of Death (2019)||July 16|
|Shudder||Nina Forever (2015)||July 20|
|Shudder||The Pool (2019)||July 20|
|Shudder||Impetigore (2019)||July 23|
|Shudder||Patrick (1978)||July 27|
|Shudder||Turkey Shoot (1982)||July 27|
|Shudder||In Search of Darkness (2019)||July 30|
Copy of Horror Titles Expiring from Streaming Soon
On Their Way Out: These films have one foot in the grave—bump ‘em to the top of your July 2020 queue while you can!
|Criterion Channel||Seconds (1966)||July 31|
|Hulu||Constantine (2005)||July 31|
|Hulu||Freddy Vs Jason (2003)||July 31|
|Hulu||Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)||July 31|
|Hulu||I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)||July 31|
|Hulu||Mutant Species (1995)||July 31|
|Hulu||The Skull (1965)||July 31|
|Netflix||47 Meters Down (2017)||July 9|
|Netflix||Tusk (2014)||July 18|
|Netflix||Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)||July 31|
|Netflix||Scary Movie 2 (2001)||July 31|