Haunted houses are a standard in horror for a reason. It’s not just the spectral invasion of our home that unnerves, but the unpredictability that comes with ghostly presences. A masked maniac can be stopped or temporarily subdued, but all bets are off in haunted houses.
This week’s “Stay Home, Watch Horror” streaming picks highlight the horror staple but not always in the way you’d expect. As always, here’s where you can watch them this week.
For more Stay Home, Watch Horror picks, click here.
Ghostwatch – Tubi
Upon initial airing, this made-for-TV movie stirred up controversy for the BBC, as its mockumentary style left viewers convinced what they’d just watched had been real. It plays like a live TV special with a camera crew on-site attempting to investigate the truth behind the most haunted house in the country. Neither they nor the viewer were prepared for the scares that would ensue—even the subtle ones. Pay close attention to every frame; Pipes hides in plain sight.
Hausu – Criterion Channel, HBO Max
Or simply House, this Japanese cult classic takes the haunted house concept to wacky extremes. The premise has a group of seven high school girls traveling to a remote home belonging to one of their aunts, and it happens to be haunted. That doesn’t adequately prepare the viewer for the madness. Take the haunted house tropes, like spooky cats, bleeding walls, and vengeful ghosts, and combine them with hallucinogenic visuals and funhouse sensibilities. You have the most bizarre haunted house horror movie you’ll ever see. I mean that as a compliment.
House – AMC+, Arrow, Pluto TV, Prime Video, Shudder, Tubi
Writer Roger Cobb (William Katt) moves into the strange house he inherited from his late aunt, hoping to make progress on his latest novel and searching for answers on his missing son. The place has paranormal quirks and an ability to exploit Roger’s Vietnam PTSD to a monstrous degree. Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2, Warlock) and written by Ethan Wiley from a story by Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps), this horror comedy deftly balances the humor and scares. Most of all, it goes big on the monster mayhem, atypical of haunted houses.
Housebound – AMC+, Fandor SCREAMBOX, Shudder
M3GAN isn’t the first horror-comedy dabbling in tech by director Gerard Johnstone. After her latest crime, Kylie (Morgana O’Reilly) gets placed on house arrest. She doesn’t get along with her mother, Miriam (Rima Te Wiata), or her stepdad, and her frustrations become compounded when Miriam insists their house is haunted. A series of unexplained phenomena soon convince Kylie that her mother might be telling the truth. Creepy, twisty, and hilarious, this New Zealand comedy is a must.
Terrified – Shudder
The cinematic equivalent of enjoying a haunted attraction, Demián Rugna’s feature is an onslaught of terror from beginning to end. Plot-wise, there’s not much to it, nor is there much explanation for those who prefer answers. However, that doesn’t stop a cop on the cusp of retirement and a slew of paranormal experts from getting to the bottom of a series of bizarre activities plaguing a Buenos Aires neighborhood. With creative and innovative scares aplenty, Terrified is the type of horror film that lives up to its name; it’s freaking petrifying.
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