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.
This column has addressed film-burnout in the past in the context of COVID-19. And as we enter Pride Month (keeping in mind the first Pride was a riot), protests condemning racial violence have swept the nation and underpinned the necessarily unavoidable horror of the real world. At times like these, passive entertainment can feel frivolous. But in the event that you do have the capacity for film-watching right now, or are looking to film as a way to actively listen and learn about what is happening in the world, there is plenty to sit with this June.
Horror has always been political, and there are plenty of ways to engage politically through horror media. This month’s recommendations tease out the Black and Queer-focused entries from this month’s incoming and outgoing titles. Post-script: If I were tasked with teaching a course on Horror 101, you can bet that Horror Noire would be on the syllabus. The documentary is an essential distillation of how the history of Black Americans in Hollywood played out in the horror genre. Horror Noire has been streaming on Shudder since last year, and if you haven’t seen it yet, now might be the time.
Be sure to peruse the complete list below, calendar in hand, for a full picture of what horror flicks are coming and going form your favorite streaming services this month.
Pick of the Month: Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street
Synopsis: Mark Patton shares his story of being closeted while starring in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, a film some have dubbed the “gayest horror movie ever made.”
The controversy surrounding Freddy’s Revenge has evolved over the years. Its initially infamous homoerotic subtext has become a large part of the film’s new life as a queer classic. But it’s a reappraisal complicated by the uneasy “outing” of the film’s star who, at the time, was not ready to “come out.” Thirty years after the film’s initial release, Patton attempts to make peace with the film that halted his career before it even began and embrace his new legacy as cinema’s first male scream queen.
Scream, Queen! has been streaming on Amazon Prime since March, and it’s wonderful that more folks will have access to this insightful doc. Scream, Queen! also headlines Shudder’s expanded Queer Horror collection, which includes Alena, All Cheerleaders Die, Better Watch Out, Hellraiser, Knife + Heart, Lizzie, Lyle (premiering June 8th), The Old Dark House, The Quiet Room, Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (June 4th), Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Stranger by the Lake, Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl, and The Wild Boys.
Premieres on Shudder June 4th.
A Blaxploitation horror classic
Synopsis: An 18th-century African prince is turned into a vampire while visiting Transylvania. Two centuries later, he rises from his coffin in Los Angeles and meets Tina, a woman whom he believes is the reincarnation of his dead wife.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a vampire chasing a woman to the Shaft theme, have we got a picture for you. Blacula is a brilliant entry of ’70s sleaze: silly, unsubtle, and joyously subversive. Directed by William Crain and starring William Marshall, Blacula is a revelation of Black horror representation and a trailblazing entry in a new genre of horror. It’s meaty, it’s meaningful, it’s one of the most impactful films in Black horror history. BONUS: Shudder is also streaming Blacula‘s sequel, Scream Blacula Scream. Which features an awesome performance from Pam Grier. Hell yeah.
Available on Shudder June 1st.
A coming of age horrorshow about the perils of appropriation
Synopsis: Haiti, 1962: A man is brought back from the dead only to be sent to the living hell of the sugarcane fields. 55 years later in Paris, at a prestigious boarding school, a Haitian girl confesses an old family secret to a group of new friends.
Horror is littered with films that come at voodoo with a colonial lens, I Walked With a Zombie being a chief offender. Bertrand Bonello’s eighth feature, Zombi Child, is a rug pull; it’s a tone poem to the enigma of french youth and an honest attempt to grapple with the lingering imprint of France’s colonial spirit. Bonello wades willingly into thorny issues, confronting them in turn with a characteristically cool hand and a conviction that in the present the past can never truly die. With marvelous performances by its young cast and a dreamlike gait, Zombi Child is well worth seeking out.
Available on Criterion Channel June 1st.
A polarizing mid-2000s pandemic picture
Synopsis: The third cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novella I Am Legend sees a world decimated by an incurable man-made virus. Immune scientist Robert Neville is almost positive he is the last human survivor in what is left of New York City…and perhaps the world. At least he has his dog!
While Will Smith‘s one-man horrorshow is inarguably top-heavy, I Am Legend remains a solid piece of post-apocalyptic filmmaking. Wonky CGI and inexplicable Shrek comic relief be damned. If you’re looking for a big dumb pandemic-resonant blockbuster, there’s a lot to enjoy here if you take it for what it is, including an underappreciated performance from Will Smith whose back must be hurting from carrying the whole film on his shoulders.
Leaving Hulu June 30th.
Streamable Horror Incoming This Month
|Amazon Prime||Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974)||June 1|
|Amazon Prime||Child’s Play (2019)||June 12|
|Amazon Prime||Crawl (2019)||June 18|
|Amazon Prime||The Gallows Act II (2019)||June 30|
|Criterion Channel||Zombi Child (2020)||June 1|
|Hulu||Constantine (2005)||June 1|
|Hulu||I Am Legend (2007)||June 1|
|Hulu||I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)||June 1|
|Hulu||The Appearance (2018)||June 6|
|Hulu||Child’s Play (2019)||June 12|
|Hulu||Dustwalker (2020)||June 15|
|Hulu||Crawl (2019)||June 18|
|Hulu||Carrion (2020)||June 29|
|Hulu||The Gallows Act II (2019)||June 30|
|Netflix||122 (2019)||June 1|
|Netflix||Casper (1995)||June 1|
|Netflix||Our House (2018)||June 1|
|Netflix||Priest (2011)||June 1|
|Netflix||The Boy (2016)||June 1|
|Netflix||The Car (1977)||June 1|
|Netflix||The Silence of the Lambs (1991)||June 1|
|Netflix||Hannibal (Seasons 1-3)||June 5|
|Netflix||Supernatural (Season 15)||June 5|
|Netflix||Curon (Season 1)||June 10|
|Netflix||Reality Z (Season 1)||June 10|
|Netflix||The Darkness (2016)||June 16|
|Netflix||The Order (Season 2)||June 18|
|Netflix||Dark Skies (2013)||June 22|
|Shudder||Blacula (1972)||June 1|
|Shudder||Scream Blacula Scream (1973)||June 1|
|Shudder||Sugar Hill (1974)||June 1|
|Shudder||House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)||June 1|
|Shudder||Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2020)||June 4|
|Shudder||The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs||June 5|
|Shudder||Lyle (2014)||June 8|
|Shudder||Warning: Do Not Play (2019)||June 11|
|Shudder||The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs||June 12|
|Shudder||The Bone Box (2020)||June 15|
|Shudder||Mausoleum (1983)||June 15|
|Shudder||Scare Package (2019)||June 18|
|Shudder||Etheria 2020 Shorts Program||June 19|
|Shudder||The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs (Finale)||June 19|
|Shudder||Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary (2018)||June 22|
|Shudder||Psychotic! (2016)||June 22|
|Shudder||Yummy (2020)||June 25|
|Shudder||Dig Two Graves (2014)||June 29|
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 June 2020 queue while you can!
|Criterion Channel||God Told Me Too (1976)||June 30|
|Criterion Channel||Phase IV (1974)||June 30|
|Criterion Channel||Death Race 2000 (1975)||June 30|
|Hulu||I Am Legend (2007)||June 30|
|Hulu||Let Me In (2010)||June 30|
|Hulu||Monster House (2006)||June 30|
|Hulu||Repentance (2014)||June 30|
|Hulu||The Conjuring (2013)||June 30|
|Hulu||The Eternal (1998)||June 30|
|Netflix||The Amityville Horror (2005)||June 30|
|Netflix||Cloverfield (2008)||June 30|
|Netflix||Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)||June 30|
|Netflix||Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)||June 30|
|Netflix||Tremors 5: Bloodline (2015)||June 30|
|Netflix||what Lies Beneath (2000)||June 30|