It's okay, you can call me a wimp. That's because the new number one movie atop Netflix's chart this week is a bona fide horror flick that, well, I never want to see. Because, y'know, I like to get sleep at night. But I can see why it's a horror movie lover's dream ticket on the best streaming service (and just ahead of Valentine's Day, how apt/unfortunate?)
The movie in question is Haunt, a 2019 movie from the writers of A Quiet Place and, among others, Eli Roth listed on the extensive list of producers. Netflix labels it with three phrases: "Gruesome. Violent. Teen Scream". Yup, that's it sealed for me, definitely never going to watch. But fans are absolutely loving it – as the ultra-rate 100% Rotten Tomatoes audience score goes to prove.
The critics are less thrilled, though, with a less-than-stellar 70% rating on the same Rotten Tomatoes page. But since when did gruesome-for-the-hell-of-it movies land places as ultimate classics? Not exactly often. But when it's for the sake of a hellish thrill ride, I have horror-movie-loving friends who will be frothing at the mouth in anticipation of watching this one. No need to wait until Halloween, folks!
I know only too well how Eli Roth's movies can descend into what was first coined by the Saw movies as "torture porn": with Cabin Fever, Hostel, Grindhouse, Hostel 2, and more under the writer/producer/director's belt, if you've ever seen any one of those then you'll know the master of gore, suspense and psychological horror only too well. He is going a little more mainstream these days, though, with the forthcoming Borderlands gaming adaptation due out later this year.
As you can see from the trailer up page and the selection of delightful images I've selected in the gallery above, Haunt certainly isn't messing about on the fright-o-meter scale. "Do you want to see my face?" says a scarily devil-masked dude at the end of the trailer. Um, no thanks, I'm good – but I know a whole bunch of you dear readers will absolutely go in for it. Good luck.
As ever, however, I'm always pleased that Netflix is embracing variety. While Haunt isn't at the top of my personal list (read that as 'bottom'), it's clearly a hit among horror fans. If you're looking for something altogether less gore-fest and more sci-fi, however, then do check out a previous Netflix no.1 series, Bodies, which I think is well worth a watch. Or if Haunt has put you off Netflix entirely for a bit, then go have a glance at Amazon Prime Video's best streaming shows and movies for this month – there's a couple of feel-good ones in there, which is exactly what I now need...