You may have noticed that today is Friday the Thirteenth, and tomorrow is VALENTINE’S DAY. It is a rare occasion that these two days of note intersect, but when they do, a magical holiday is born: FRIDAY THE FLIRTEENTH. (You know, a day when serial killers show you how much they
scare care!) So we’ve come together as a staff (meaning Jenn Tisdale, Alan Zilberman, Megan Burns and Svetlana Legetic) to select a handful of ultra-suitable movies for you to watch in celebration, from supernatural love stories to straight up stalker madness // without FURTHER ADIEU, here are our picks:
GRIMM LOVE (Amazon)
In 2010 (also known as “The Year Before AMERICANS Happened” Kerri Russell starred in this super dark cannibalism love story. She plays a graduate student in clinical psychology (smudged eyeliner and deep secrets included) investigating a thesis paper about two gay men: one of them wanted to eat someone, and the other one wanted to be eaten. Based on a true story it is gory, depressing, and set in Germany, it is also oddly (and disturbingly) touching at times. And yes, the penis gets consumed first.
AUDITION (Shudder / Amazon / Apple)
All I remember when it comes to Audition is that I spent a better part of it hiding in my hallways so I am MAYBE not the right person to write about it but then, maybe that is EXACTLY what makes me the right person to write about it. You decide. The story is seemingly simple on the surface: A widower, in desperate search of a new wife, “auditions” a slew of gorgeous, shy seeming girls for the “role” of his new wife, screen tests and all. And yet, somehow, he is NOT the creepiest character in the movie. The one that is chosen is …. well, you have to see it. Or, you know, don’t. Just hide all the piano wires out of sight first.
LOVE OBJECT (not streaming anywhere, but it was on Shudder at one point?)
Sort of a super-creepy version of the Ryan Gosling/blow-up doll classic, the movie features a socially inept, porn obsessed Kenneth (played by the almost too good looking Desmond Harrington, which adds to the overall unsettlement) who is under a lot of pressure at work, and spends ALL HIS MONEY on Nikki, an anatomically correct sex doll. Rip Torn and Melissa Sagemiller co-star and well, mannequins will never be quite the same to you after this is over.
WARM BODIES (Amazon / YouTube / Apple / Google Play)
When it comes to zombie movies, I am kind of the least capable of enjoyment…the old black and white zombie movies just kind of make me a combination of sad-scared, whereas the newer ones (where the zombies can run much faster, for some reason…) just make me want to throw up. Warm Bodies is just about the only zombie movie I have ever been able (OR WILLING, for that matter) to watch from start to finish, by myself, IN THE DARK! A lot of this has to do with the fact that Tony from Skins (Nicolas Hoult) plays the lead, who’s a zombie who falls in love with a regular human, and in doing so eventually is brought back to regular human status himself. It’s depressing and suspenseful and cute (I never say “cute”, you guys // THIS IS A BIG DEAL), plus the soundtrack is really good as an added bonus (WHAT UP FEIST), so basically I would super recommend watching it this Friday the Flirteenth.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN / LET ME IN (Kanopy / Amazon / YouTube / Google Play / Apple)
I feel like this one may be polarizing for some people, because there are (as far as I know) two cinematic versions in existence, the first being the original (from Sweden, called Let the Right One In) and the second being the English adaptation (called Let Me In), which came a bit later; mega-fans are likely to prefer the original, but to be perfectly honest, I think they were both FANTASTIC, so whichever version you’re able to get your hands on, you should be in for a GRAND OLD TIME. The gist of the story is that a twelve-year-old boy (who’s bullied by his classmates) befriends a vampire who looks about his age (but who’s obviously much older because #IMMORTALITY) and the two of them develop a slightly terrifying yet mostly weirdly charming romance. And before you jump to conclusions, NO it is not like Twilight, and YES you should most definitely watch it for all of the Friday the Flirteenth feels. (This has also been adapted for the theater, so if you’re in New York City now through March 8th and want to swing by St. Ann’s Warehouse for a performance, DO IT.)
MANIAC (YouTube / Google Play / Apple)
Whereas my last two suggestions were mostly on the heartwarming side of the Friday the Flirteenth scale, Maniac is a whole different beast. It is essentially an hour and a half of Elijah Wood going on dates with women he’s met on the internet (although there are a few who stumble upon him IRL by pure unluck) and then proceeding to murder and scalp the shit out of them, all because he’s got mommy issues. While the film is entirely terrifying and will absolutely make you nauseous (both physically and mentally), it’s pretty great if you are a single lady; while not all Tinder matches will end with you being chopped up into bits, sometimes it’s just better to play it safe than sorry, y’know what I mean? In other words, Maniac is (in a way) a morale booster for all us FOREVER ALONES, and for that reason I highly recommend it to round out your creepy Valentine’s Day weekend.
CONTRACTED (Amazon / YouTube / Google Play / Apple)
Like the last one, Contracted is going to end up being a cautionary tale, although it’s less of a slasher situation than it is just straight up DISGUSTING. (Also I kind of feel like I need to say “trigger warning” because there is some graphically unpleasant sexual stuff, so this is me letting you know now.) The movie begins with some dude fucking a corpse in a morgue. Yes, you read that correctly: FUCKING A CORPSE. IN A MORGUE. So already we know shit’s not going to end well for anyone involved. Cut to a house party, where the dude who was fucking the corpse in the morgue is ready to fuck the living again, and he decides to roofie one of the partygoers and rape her. So not only is this terrible enough in the first place, but because the guy’s penis was in a rotting corpse, he somehow gives this poor girl an STD, which is essentially that her body begins to rot (maggots fall out of her vagina at one point, you guys…it’s not good) and she eventually turns into a murderous zombie. 1. Please don’t ask me why I watched this in the first place, but also 2. this will make you think super twice before hooking up with strangers, having unprotected sex, leaving your drink unattended…basically all the things you should already be worried about // y’know, GIRL STUFF LOL. (See also: THIS HAS BEEN A FRIDAY THE FLIRTEENTH PSA.)
May is also one of the most sensitive, heartbreaking movies I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the most disturbing. Angela Bettis plays the titular character, a shy outcast who gets the attention of bored people because she’s pretty. Anna Faris and Jeremy Sisto play the people who befriend her, to varying degrees of success, and in the fallout May decides to “make her own friend” in the literal sense of the word. Director Lucky McKee takes his time with his scares, punctuating moments of shock with silence and quiet character observation. There are things in May that are fucking insane: we see blind kids crawling on broken glass, for one thing, and there’s a self-blinding scene that’d make Oedipus wince. But every action has a purpose, and by the end, we finally understand May better than she understands herself. Poor girl.
The Frankenstein origin story is not for the timid – its implications are more important than its monster – and Splice takes that sort of body horror and flips it on its head. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley play hip scientists who decide to push their territory into unethical territory: they create a deadly human hybrid, one that’s otherworldly and kind of sexy, too. Most horror films have a line they will not cross. Director Vincenzo Natali not only crosses that line, he dances on it with a mix of eroticism and horror that’s weirdly admirable. His characters march to an inexorable, queasy conclusion, and the final moments are so strange that they make other horror films seem tame by comparison.
WAXWORK – 1988 (Amazon Prime / YouTube / Google Play / Apple)
If you’re a smug single person this Valentine’s Day you’re going to want to watch some horror movies celebrating said triumphant aloneness! Remind yourself of the things you truly like to do alone, such as VISIT A MUSEUM. What better museum to visit than a wax museum? Waxwork is your typical 80’s style horror film in that you get to teach a bunch of unruly teens a lesson about, I don’t know not following the rules. This movie actually wraps several small movies into on. As each character steps INTO a different wax exhibit you get a new film every time (The wolfman! Vampires! More!). So grab a friend or just a GIANT bowl of popcorn and prepare to inject some freaky culture into your world.
NIGHTBREED – Director’s Cut (Amazon Prime)
How can you possibly get to know someone else if you don’t know anything about yourself. Is there some deep part of you that still needs exploring? Enter, Nightbreed, a film about the monster in all of us. Don’t shrug it off as just a monster flick, it’s more about finding the space in this world where you belong and embracing it! Written and Directed by Clive Barker (of Hellraiser fame) it’s the story of a man who discovers he is quite literally a monster, and within that discovery he finds the family he’s meant to have (so many weird and lovely monsters). So if you’re feeling a bit out of step with the world then you’re going to want to stream this little beauty. Bonus: It also stars David Cronenberg, as in acting.
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER – (Amazon / YouTube / Google Play / Apple)
This is easily the best film Mike Myers (HA MICHAEL MYERS GET IT?) has ever made. It follows Charlie (Myers) a man with commitment issues so deep he can barely wear the same pair of socks twice, until he meets the perfect woman. However, doubts begin to creep in as she reveals things about her past that sound suspiciously like a serial killer, Black Widow type he read about in “the paper” (a National Enquirer style rag). Hilarity and danger ensues but PLEASE watch this movie for the Phil Hartman cameo and Mike Myers playing his own Scottish father. I cannot stress this enough.