When I’m feeling nostalgic and I look back on my childhood, I have the fondest of memories. Every Saturday my Mum and I used to visit the local video shop, spend an hour scanning new releases and reading the back copy, choosing sweets and grabbing a bag of popcorn. It was something I would have loved to go on and do with my son, but in this now ‘in demand’ world, I’m more likely to be spending an hour flicking through Amazon Prime and Netflix looking for a movie that I’ve not seen, or one that looks half decent.
I actually find the experience of finding a film something of a chore rather than the pleasure it once was. The saddest thing is that I drove past the little video shop that bought me so much joy growing up, and much like the others, it has now closed down. Don’t get me wrong, I love how technology is advancing so rapidly but there are some things that will be missed.
Anyway, rant over.
Like most of you, I have subscriptions for both Netflix and Amazon Prime, meaning I pay a monthly fee to watch their movies. Unlike Netflix, most of the movies on Amazon are not free, they’re for rent. So when it comes to hunting down a film I can watch for free as part of my Prime subscription, it normally takes a while to figure out which movies are good! You will certainly find a lot that’s bad, and some that are barely even watchable.
To help you navigate through the chaff, here are 3 of my favourite Amazon Prime films for August. If you have delved deeper into the service’s horror library and found some hidden gems, then please let us know! We’ll happily spread the love.
Wolf Creek (2005)
Wolf Creek has got to be among my top twenty favourite horror movies. It has a bit of everything. It’s exciting, decent acting, good plot and is even based on a true story.
I’m a huge fan of films such as The House of Wax (2005), Wrong Turn (2003), The Hills Have Eyes (2006), so Wolf Creek is right up my street.
Three backpackers set up camp in the wrong patch of the Australian Outback and end up making friends with a psychopath. And who doesn’t love a psycho? Definitely one to add to your watch list if you’re yet to see it. 4/5
The Conjuring (2013)
Who hasn’t seen The Conjuring? If you haven’t, then where have you been hiding the past three years!? Being a massive fan of James Wan, the release of The Conjuring (which is in fact the first in a line-up of haunted-house-style movies) gave me sleepless nights I was so excited.
A couple ask Ed and Lorraine Warren for help after suspecting that their new house is haunted. And my word, is it haunted. A great movie for a cold Sunday afternoon which I’m sure we’ll have plenty of this summer! 3/5
I Saw the Devil (2010)
OK, so this movie had been on my watch list for some time. I’d read a few reviews on it a while ago but because it’s subtitled, it’s not one I can sneak on without my husband noticing. He really isn’t a fan, and kicks up a stink at the first sign of them.
So, one Saturday afternoon when I had the house to myself, I put aside 2hrs 21mins and got my popcorn at the ready…
Was I pleased I did? Most certainly. It’s a revenge story and then some. If you’re a fan of gore, then this one’s for you. There’s a scene in about half way through in a taxi that will make your eyes water. A top notch horror you need to add to your belt. 4/5
As I mentioned earlier, Amazon also have a variety of films available to rent individually, without the need for an Amazon Prime subscription. Here are my three favourites that I think are worth a couple of pounds.
The Other Side of the Door (2016)
I like Sarah Wayne Callies from the days of Prison Break (2005) and of course, more recently, The Walking Dead (2010). So, when I saw a trailer for The Other Side of the Door, I was immediately excited for its release. I knew I’d also be a fan because I like a storyline that has some emotional attachment — something that has me asking myself ‘what would you do?’
This movie certainly does that. Its main theme is resurrection, and actually reminded me in parts of Stephen King’s Pet Cemetary. However I found The Other Side of the Door to be a little bit more haunting, with some extra paranormal elements thrown in. It’s creepy, dark, and the acting is pretty good too. Sofia Rosinsky does an amazing job at playing the little sister. Excellent. Big thumbs up from me. 4/5
The Purge : Anarchy (2014)
The main reason you need to add this to your watch list is because the sequel, The Purge: Election Year, is coming out later this month. I’m a big fan of The Purge (2012), because it was different to your usual slasher movie or haunted house-type horror. I liked that it left me asking the ultimate ‘what if’ question… ‘what if I was allowed to kill someone?’
I actually preferred The Purge : Anarchy to its predecessor which was mostly filmed inside one house. The sequel follows the story of five individuals who get trapped outside on the night of the purge and try to escape several crazed lunatics wanting to kill them. The movie raises some serious points about overpopulation and fighting crime, but it’s also a lot of fun and has you on the edge of your seat throughout. 4/5
Any film with creepy little kids in freaks me out. The lead role is played by Ethan Hawke, who does a fine job. Here’s a quick background to the story…
A family move into a huge old house and the father and failed author (Hawke) discovers some old movie reels in the attic. Little does he realise that what he is watching on these reels is in fact the violent murders of actual families.
There’s a great twist at the end and if you’re going to pay for any horror movie this weekend, it may as well be this one! Also, the sequel is free on Amazon Prime and isn’t bad either. 4/5
All-in-all, there’s some cracking horrors for you to get your teeth into this month. And be sure to make the most of the Amazon Prime picks whilst they’re available – they don’t hang around forever!
By Steph Boddy (@steph_boddy)
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