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Another Halloween, another movie binge. Only, after a certain number of Halloweens, and a certain number of horror flicks, you may feel like you've seen — and screamed at — them all.
We're guessing not. We're guessing that even the most seasoned horror buff might have missed out on some choice shudders, as the Octobers pile up.
And that goes for all of you — whether you prefer the latest, most depraved gore-fest, or the classics like "Halloween" and "The Exorcist." Or the classic classics like "Frankenstein" and "Dracula."
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We're not saying that the following 10 movies will all be new to everyone. There are a lot of horror connoisseurs out there who pride themselves on having seen everything.
But we're guessing that a lot of these will be unfamiliar to a lot of you. And we can pretty much guarantee at least one hearty scream in each one. Look for them on Netflix (the newer ones) and Hulu (the older ones).
'A Cure for Wellness' (2016)
Feeling run-down? Need a spa treatment? We suggest that you don't go to a certain sanitarium in the Swiss alps, where there is most definitely something in the water. Jason Isaacs is the diabolical doctor in charge; Gore Verbinski ("The Ring") is the director. Don't go in that immersion tank!(Matisyahu) and Em (Natasha Calis) in THE POSSESSION. Photo credit: Diyah Pera
"Dybbuk" is a Yiddish word, from the Hebrew for "cling." As in, a clinging spirit. This particular dybbuk is clinging to an old box, bought at a yard sale, which a young girl (Natasha Calis) makes the mistake of opening. Eventually a Hasidic exorcist (Jewish reggae star Matisyahu) has to be called in. Fun fact: "The Possession" is based, not on a book or an older movie, but on an urban legend — a haunted wine box bought at an estate sale in 2001, and advertised on eBay with a story about a dybbuk's curse.
'The Ruins' (2008)
Forced to cancel your vacation because of COVID? This film may make you feel better about it. Two American tourist couples in Mexico visit some remote Mayan ruins, despite the warnings of the locals. The local plant life is not edible. But it is hungry.(photo by Claire Foler)
A hazmat crew (David Caruso, Josh Lucas, Brendan Sexton III) have one week to remove the asbestos from the most decrepit, creepy-looking abandoned mental institution in the history of abandoned mental institutions. Things do not go well. Point of scenic interest: The abandoned asylum is real. Danvers State Mental Hospital is in the same Massachusetts town where the Salem Witch trials took place.
'The Vanishing' (1988)
Are some mysteries better left unsolved? Gene Bervoets loses his girlfriend at a highway rest area. In his obsessive quest to to learn what happened to her, he pays a ghastly price to uncover the truth. The final scene of this French/Dutch thriller is unforgettably creepy. Avoid the 1993 American remake, which has a cop-out ending.
'From Beyond' (1986)
Other-dimensional monsters are all around us. It turns out you just need a machine called a "resonator," and an enlarged pineal gland, to bring them swarming into the room with you. Long before "Lovecraft Country" gave America's horror master a cultural twist, director Stuart Alan Gordon was exploring H.P. Lovecraft's forbidden worlds in films like "Re-Animator" (1985) and this lesser-known but even weirder follow-up.
'The Fourth Man' (1983)
A gay writer (Jeroen Krabbé) pursues an attractive salon owner (Renée Soutendijk) in order to get at her equally attractive boyfriend (Thom Hoffman). But what if the boyfriend is just bait? And what if the salon owner is a "black widow" with her own sinister agenda? Paul Verhoeven directed this witty, spooky thriller four years before he emigrated to Hollywood and made "RoboCop" (1987).
'The Tenant' (1976)
You've probably seen "Rosemary's Baby" (1968). You may have seen "Repulsion." (1965). But this lesser-known Roman Polanski film is every bit as creepy. Polanski himself plays the mild-mannered renter of a Paris apartment whose previous owner attempted suicide. Soon he begins having disturbing encounters with neighbors, and seeing weird things out his window.
A middle-aged burnout gets a chance to be rejuvenated and reborn as Rock Hudson, thanks to a sinister company called The Company. The dream of eternal youth turns out to be a nightmare in this too-little-known sci-fi chiller, directed by John Frankenheimer.
'Dead of Night' (1945)
This film about déjà vu may give viewers their own sense of recall: several of the stories in this five-part ghost-tale anthology were recycled by "Twilight Zone," including the ones about ventriloquist (Michael Redgrave), the haunted mirror, and the hearse driver who says "Just Room for One Inside." In fact, "Twilight Zone" owes a lot to this movie generally, though the final, brilliant twist is an extra turn of the screw that even Rod Serling couldn't have pulled off. Old as this is, it can still make an audience scream.
Jim Beckerman is an entertainment and culture reporter for NorthJersey.Com. For unlimited access to his insightful reports about how you spend your leisure time, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.