Are you in the mood for a movie with Lovecraftian themes? Great news: there are several of them streaming on Netflix right now. What follows is a list of Lovecraftian films on Netflix as of today, February 25, 2015. (EDIT: Per reader suggestions, I’ve added Mr. Jones, Oculus, Honeymoon, and Jug Face.
(For a complete list of Lovecraftian movies that I recommend, click here, and for a list of Lovecraftian films currently free to watch on Youtube, click here.)
To watch the films, simply search for them on Netflix. Here’s the list (my personal comments are in blue):
ABSENTIA: Highly recommended. Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.
BANSHEE CHAPTER: Definitely worth watching; reminds me of From Beyond (the story, not the movie). On the trail of a missing friend who had been experimenting with mind-altering drugs, a young journalist – aided by a rogue counter-culture writer — finds herself drawn into the dangerous world of top-secret government chemical research and the mystery of a disturbing radio signal of unknown origin. A fast-paced thriller blending fact and fiction, Banshee Chapteris based on real documents, actual test subject testimony, and uncovered secrets about covert programs run by the CIA.
THE DUNWICH HORROR: Not my cup of tea, but I know many like this campy older film. A disturbed young man who hopes to open a demonic portal steals a book about black magic and attempts to sacrifice a trusting college student.
EUROPA REPORT: Highly recommended. A unique blend of documentary, alternative history and science fiction thriller, EUROPA REPORT follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discoveries that may lie in the Europan ocean.
EVENT HORIZON: Love this one. After a signal is received from a long-missing spaceship, a rescue ship investigates, but the crew soon realizes something unimaginable has happened.
GRABBERS: Funny and very enjoyable. Residents of an Irish island must get very drunk to survive attacks by alien monsters who can’t tolerate a high blood alcohol level in their victims.
HELLBOY: One of my favorite movies. This fast-paced action flick tells the dark story of Hellboy, a charismatic demon who’s put on Earth by the Nazis to terrorize the rest of the world.
HONEYMOON: Suggested by Lovecraft eZine readers. Newlywed bliss turns to paranoia after bride Bea sleepwalks outside a remote honeymoon cabin and scares groom Paul with her increasingly odd behavior.
JOHN DIES AT THE END: Definitely some Lovecraftian themes in this movie. Promising a trip that transcends time and space, a drug called Soy Sauce is sweeping the landscape — and quietly robbing users of their humanity.
JUG FACE: Suggested by Lovecraft eZine readers. A pregnant teen tries to flee her backwoods community when she learns she’s to be sacrificed to a monstrous beast that lives in a pit near her town.
MR. JONES: Suggested by Lovecraft eZine readers. A filmmaker and his girlfriend find creative inspiration in a mysterious neighbor’s disturbing sculptures, but they may hide a terrifying secret.
OCULUS: Suggested by Lovecraft eZine readers. Young adults, sibs Tim and Kaylie are still trying to recover from — and get to the bottom of — their parents’ deaths more than a decade ago.
PONTYPOOL: Highly recommended. Some might see this as a zombie movie, but I see it as an example of an entity from another dimension manifesting in ours. How would we perceive it? In the small town of Pontypool, Ontario, former shock jock turned radio announcer Grant Mazzy drives through a blizzard on his way to work. When poor visibility forces him to stop his car, an underdressed woman appears on the road, startling him. Grant calls out to her, but she disappears into the storm, ominously repeating his words and visibly disturbing him. Grant eventually arrives at the radio station, where he works with technical assistant Laurel-Ann Drummond and station manager Sydney Briar. As the morning proceeds, they get a report from their weather and traffic helicopter reporter Ken Loney about a possible riot at the office of Doctor Mendez in Pontypool. He describes a scene of chaos and carnage that results in numerous deaths, immediately grabbing Grant’s attention. After Ken is unexpectedly cut off, the group tries to confirm his report, but their witnesses are disconnected before they can get them on the airwaves. Ken calls back and reports that he has found the “infected” son of a well-known Pontypool citizen nearby, mumbling to himself…
RE-ANIMATOR: Again, not my cup of tea, but I know many Lovecraft fans love this movie. Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, this campy send-up follows an egotistical medical student who develops a serum that miraculously revives the dead.
THE SHRINE: Highly recommended. A blood-curdling tale of sacrificial cults, demonic possession and ancient evil. After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic human sacrifice.
So, grab your popcorn — and if I missed any films on Netflix, comment below and let me know. 🙂
Very informative article thanks I look forward to watching these. And yes Event Horizon is awesome.
You are missing the movie Devil’s Pass. The object the Russians found was very lovecraftian
Check out ‘Morning Star’ as well.
Kill List. A more action packed version of Wicker Man
Smith’s correct to be proud of the movie. You get attached to a picture for different reasons. I thought 8-Legged Freaks was a masterpiece, for instance. The old Dunwich film had a great atmosphere, though a certain amount of impersonal characterisation, reminiscent to me, in that sense, of the characters in The Thing on the Doorstep by HPL, characters not that easy to relate to (which is important), but it was a great story nonetheless. I ask one question, though, does the Dunwich remake give us the actual Dunwich horror? That terrible, looming monstrosity that stomps across the countryside? If not, give us, at least, the goat-horror Wilbur, stealing the Necronomicon from the Miskatonic campus. What a scene that would be! I doubt not, but I would surely watch it if it promised as much. If not, I am sure Guillermo Del Toro would be up to the task of creating such a picture. I hope his Mountains of Madness makes it to film some day…
A recommendation: The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu was a fairly well-executed comedy, a playful mix of the homage and the ribald.
The Dunwich Horror was ok, except the last act of the film is possibly the most annoying 15 minutes I’ve ever witnessed
Oh, and THE DUNWICH HORROR. It carries a lot of nostolgia for me, I saw it at a midnite show back in the 1960’s, on a triple bill with THE ABOMINABLE DOCTOR PHIBES 1 and 2, so I’m probably biased. Sure, it deviates from Lovecraft’s story a bit, and it’s campy, but it fits right in with Vincent Price’s movies. I recommend watching those 3 back to back. We have to view things in the context of their times, right? There’s also a decades later remake starring Dean Stockwell, not bad, but it deviates from Lovecraft’s story even more than the first movie. I like the original much, much better. Campy, weird music, overblown acting? More, please 🙂
I really enjoyed JOHN DIES AT THE END, great bizarre fun with some gonzo humor. “Soy Sauce”, indeed. In reality I would hate to think a couple of stoners are our only defence against apocalypse 🙂 SPOILER ALERT: I was a little annoyed that towards the end it takes a silly sci-fi twist. I hope that the sequel, THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS gets made into a movie also. BTW, if you like John Dies ATE then you’ll like LUNOPOLIS, also on NETFLIX. No references to the Mythos, but it’s also a reality-bender.
Absentia is a great watch!!
Honeymoon was a complete surprise for me… I didn’t know anything about it and started as a regular romantic movie … but then …
Thanks for the list, gentlemen. Agree with Mike about the Dunwich Horror, as many do. Going to watch the Grabbers tonight, as that one sounds like a lot of fun.
Exactly how Lovecraftian it is is debatable, but I confess I had never heard of Lovecraft until I watched the Evil Dead and researched the Necronomicon on dial-up back in the 90s. Evil Dead II is my personal favourite movie of all time. After learning more about Lovecraft, I watched Dagon, which I liked exceedingly. Many years later I picked up my first collection of HPL’s stories. Now I have a full shelf of his stuff, all 5 volumes of Arkham House’s letters, S.T. Joshi’s epic biography, Lovecraft Remembered, and many other cherished titles. A lifelong fan I have since become, thanks to The Evil Dead.
I do love From Beyond and Re-Animator, largely because of Jeffrey Combs. As a horror movie actor and obvious fan of the genre, I rank him above Vincent Price and beside Peter Cushing.
I look forward to watching these recommendations and seeing more additions to it in the future. Thanks guys!
Thank you, Jason!
Crawlspace! You’ve got to check out Crawlspace.
Mercy on Netflix is about Hastur
Mercy was based on Stephen King’s short story gramma.
Jug Face is one on Netflix with Lovecraftian overtones – well-made littlemovieabout backwoods horror
Thanks, Larry, I added it. 🙂
I liked them all but THE SHRINE, which I felt devolved too much into a slasher film. PONTYPOOL is a real thinking man’s (or woman’s) film, sure to lose some viewers.
The Netflix series FLESH FOR THE BEAST: TSUKIKO’S CURSE also includes a few HPL references and characters!
Thanks for the suggestion!