NETFLIX AND CHILLS: ghosts, vampires, witches, and alien life forms

There was a lot going on in the four flicks I chose to watch in my latest weekend horrorthon, and I stuck to my Netflix watchlist for this batch.

BLOOD RED SKY (2021)

As a huge fan of the movie Flight of the Living Dead, I have to say that Blood Red Sky actually tops that film in terms of horror fun. But this time it’s vampires on a plane.

A young boy getting ready to board a plane befriends a doctor also on the flight. Meanwhile, the boy’s mother is in the restroom trying to control her “affliction” before she gets on the plane…

It’s not long after everyone settles in for the flight that the trouble starts…psycho terrorists! Among them is hottie Dominic Purcell. And these terrorists—at least one of them—gets brutally violent right away.

That makes mommy very angry…

Would you believe it’s a movie in which a woman trying to suppress her monstrous vampire side is forced to unleash it to save a plane full of people from terrorists?

Along with the modern hideous style of vampire monster, we get a lead terrorist who is a relentless monster as well, plenty of vicious battles, flashbacks to how the mom became a vampire, and eventually a whole vamp outbreak on the plane. Awesome. Definitely a film that will be making its way onto my shelves if it gets a physical release.

DON’T LISTEN (2020)

This Spanish film has been in my watchlist for ages because it looks like just another supernatural ghost movie in the style of The Conjuring, Insidious, and the conveyor belt of tween jump scare copycats that have come out since.

It’s kind of like the original Poltergeist, but instead of contacting the parents through the television, the kid just calls them on the phone. Yet despite a pretty cliché plot, it has some really impressive atmosphere and suspenseful sequences.

This couple’s kid hears voices and draws disturbing pictures the voices tell him to draw. After he’s taken by the other side, the dad enlists the help of an author on the subject of hauntings. The man moves into the house with his adult daughter to investigate.

Between the mostly predictable events that unfold, the handful of truly eerie situations really satisfy. For instance, there’s disturbing imagery involving cats, and there is an under the bed scene that had me on the edge of my seat.

And when the investigators figure out what really went on in the house, some good old creepy witches come into play for the final act. It’s not a film I’d add to my collection, but it definitely made my horror taste buds tingle.

THINGS HEARD & SEEN (2021)

It’s not often that a 2-hour film can hold my attention, especially one about a family moving into a haunted house, but Things Heard & Seen had a whole lot of other shit going on that compelled me to continue watching.

I was so damn let down in the end.

When Amanda Seyfried and her family move into a new home, she immediately starts to act spooked by little things that are a lot scarier to her than they are to us. At least her daughter keeps mentioning being afraid of some lady.

What comes as a surprise here is that Amanda’s relationship with her husband absolutely sucks and he’s a fucking douche bag. He’s such a horrible character it was hard to continue watching, but I did in hopes that whatever was in the house would make him pay in the end.

This isn’t about the ghostly presence. This is about Amanda being miserable, her husband being a dick, Amanda’s research into what happened in her house in the past, and her husband’s efforts to keep the truth from her…

The scariest part of the whole film is a gory dream.

The sexiest part of the film is the douche beating his meat.

Even so, as a thriller it really ramps up, because the husband starts to lose his shit. That kept me engrossed during the second part of the film. There are some really unexpected twists, but this ghost seriously let both me and Amanda down. And honestly, the conclusion was bizarre and abstract.

I will note that sexual orientation comes up a couple of times. Someone gets accused of being a lesbian, and also someone makes nasty remarks about a dead gay man, so Amanda angrily calls him out on it.

THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND (2020)

This is a spooky little film that I’m going to guess is strongly inspired by Lovecraft. There is a sense of dread and isolation as an inexplicable threat from the sea slowly creeps up on a family.

Their small fishing village is being plagued by mysterious occurrences, like tons of fish washing up on shore and the main fisherman character’s father sleepwalking, getting strange marks on his face, and acting odd.

When tragedy befalls the father on the water, the fisherman is determined to find out what happened exactly. So he hops in his boat and goes to investigate. When he returns, he just isn’t the same anymore…

This really is an unnerving little film with some otherworldly and underwater themes, but it’s not a big budget film, so don’t expect any special effects or some sort of monstrous payoff at the end, because there’s none of that.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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