The layered, twisty horror flick The Perfection landed on Netflix last weekend and it delivers on the promise of that bonkers first trailer. The film–which stars Alison Williams and Logan Browning as two cellists embroiled in a sexy love affair and tangled web of deceit–is truly out there, and really whet our palette for more erotic, strange, twisted films of the same ilk. So we decided to round up a collection of equally bizarre and original horror films currently streaming on Netflix, all of which will get you talking and keep you up at night.
1. The Perfection
We can’t make this list without paying extra attention to the source of its inspiration. Richard Shepard’s strange, sensual, disturbing fable about the extremes people go to in the name of glory is truly haunting. It’s also full of shocking imagery you won’t soon forget, and an ending with plenty to chew on. Though social media has been labeling it “trashy,” it’s more than that. It has fun with its B-movie elements, but it’s also deeply indebted to South Korean horror and ’90s erotic thrillers in a way that’s both intelligent and empowering. You don’t want to miss it.
2. Gerald’s Game
This adaptation of one of Stephen King’s most famously unadaptable novels is a minor miracle. Director Mike Flanagan, who recently gave us the spectacular series The Haunting of Hill House, found a way to make this story about a woman handcuffed to a bed dark, terrifying, and—unless you’ve read the book—deeply surprising. The imagery is bizarre and beautiful, and Carla Gugino gives an incredible performance as a woman facing her abusers with gusto and grit. But we’ll be honest: The main reason this entry makes the list is for its gruesome hand scene, which we won’t spoil, but which is so radically gory, we’ll forgive you if it makes you throw up.
3. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
For the majority of its runtime, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a slow burn movie with several storylines that seem only tangentially related. We split our time between three young women—Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, and Kiernan Shipka—the latter of whom are Catholic schoolgirls who stayed behind at their academy over a snowy winter break. Roberts plays an asylum escapee whose identity is slowly, and shockingly, made clear. There isn’t much in the way of shock and awe until the final moments, when the story you thought you were watching is revealed to be something very different. This is the most cerebral film on the list, in typical A24 fashion, but it’s a great mood study with a whole lot of WTF by the time the credits roll.
4. Under the SkinThis is the film that stars Scarlett Johansson as a man-eating alien, but even that description doesn’t do justice to the true weirdness that is Under the Skin. It’s a transfixing movie filled with strange visuals, a moody score, and a solid, stoic performance from its lead. The plot might not surprise you, but it’s not the sort of movie you watch and forget. Under the Skin stays with you forever.
5. The Invitation
To reveal why The Invitation makes our WTF list would be a total betrayal to everything this film is trying to sell. No, this is a movie you should read absolutely nothing about before you see it. We’ll say only that it features a dinner party from hell, and that—much like The Blackcoat’s Daughter—it’s a super slow-starter with an all-timer finale.
6. The Wailing
This fantastic South Korean horror movie is mandatory for all fans of the genre. Not only is the cinematography sumptuously lush, but it’s also a harrowing, terrifying film about a series of strange murders and illnesses. Director Na Hong-jin is a stellar talent, and his cast is brilliant. This one will leave you scrubbing your skin and wanting to crawl out of your body, but it’s worth it for such delicious, bizarre content.
Director Gareth Evans is perhaps best known for The Raid films, but now we know he’s also a great horror director. This Netflix original didn’t get nearly enough love for being so gloriously out there. Dan Stevens stars as a man who goes undercover in a Welsh cult to save his sister, who’s been kidnapped and held for ransom. What follows is quite strange, quite beautiful, and quite—you guessed it—WTF.
Images: Netflix, A24, 20th Century Fox Korea