Friday the 13th—an ominous date that has long be associated with bad luck and cheesy horror films. It may be a superstitious holdover from the old days…or perhaps there really is something to it.
Either way, a good number of us tend to gather around the TV on Friday the 13th. Maybe it’s comforting to know the people being mutilated by Jason or tormented by Pennywise aren’t us. Maybe the suspension of belief helps us escape the real terrors that are everyday life. More than likely we’re just overthinking this whole thing.
Rather than ponder the peculiarities of society, why not sit down for a good scream this Friday the 13th? If that’s your thing, here are a few good choices this year (and in some cases any year) that you can stream:
- People with friends
- People afraid of home invasions
We’ll begin the list with Hush not only because it’s a relatively recent film (2016), but because it’s also legitimately terrifying. What truly separates this film from its competition is the premise of the plot. Our protagonist is deaf, which means she can’t hear creepy noises, heavy breathing or the usual tactics that frighten our “heroes.”
It’s refreshing to see a horror film that continues to capture the moments that scare the audience without relying exclusively on the poor decisions of the characters to direct the plot. If you’re tired of the usual suspects, this one’s definitely worth a watch.
- Insidious: Chapter 3
- Anyone who’s seen Insidious 1 and 2
- Residents of the further
For those of you who haven’t yet seen Insidious 1 or 2, it may be better to start there. But it isn’t entirely necessary, as this movie is a prequel rather than a sequel, so knowledge of the previous installments isn’t a requirement.
The whole premise of the Insidious series is predicated on psychics whom are able to contact the dead to help deal with hauntings. But, being horror movies, things get wildly out of hand and quickly go from strange to “I’ll sleep with the lights on tonight.” It’s a good watch, and I’m always a fan of movies with extra films to follow up with.
- The Witch
- Fans of ambiance
- People who hate jump scares
Most horror movies focus on scaring you out of your seat, but The Witch manages to be creepy predominantly through the use of music, lighting and, astonishingly enough, acting. It’s set in 1630 in the New England area, so it harkens to a very different period. Most horror movies take place in modern or very nearly modern settings.
This one was good for being targeted at a very different audience. If crazy camera movements and jump scares aren’t your cup of tea, this should hit the spot.
- Stephen King’s It
- People scared of clowns
- Stephen King fans
Based on Stephen King’s 1986 best-selling novel, “It’s” difficult to describe exactly what “It” is. No matter how many times I watch this movie, no matter how old I get, it’s always somewhere between bizarre and terrifying.
The basic premise of the movie occurs in two parts: the first half of the film focuses on the childhood experiences of a group known affectionately as the “Loser’s Club” and their dealings with the pseudo-supernatural entity, Pennywise.
The second half of the film depicts them as adults that must finally face the fears of childhood that they repressed for so many years. Beyond that, you’ll need to see for yourself. Just be sure to strap in because, as with any Stephen King movie, it’s a long one. It originally aired as two separate films.
- Friday the 13th
- Fans of classic horror movies
- Hockey Fans
If you thought you’d escape a Friday the 13th movie listing without seeing…well…Friday the 13th…sorry to disappoint. Jason Voorhees debuts as a psychopathic undead murderer with a machete and a mission to kill everyone at Camp Crystal Lake in this 1980 classic.
As one of the first true slasher movies, Friday the 13th set the stage for countless predecessors to follow with its relatively bad humor and overly violent deaths. In true horror film style, nothing ever goes right for our protagonists, and you can expect lots of predictable but satisfying deaths.
Perhaps the best part about Friday the 13th is the continuance of the saga of Jason Voorhees. After watching this movie, there are countless sequels to delve into that could easily eat up your whole week, never mind just your Friday.
As a final point, bring friends to your Friday the 13th movie binge and start early. There’s nothing worse than watching one of these films immediately before bed—unless of course, that’s your thing.