If you follow me then you've likely heard me mention before that I'm an avid Roku and laptop user. I've noticed over the last few years more and more sites similar to Crackle are popping up all over the internet. These sites provide free viewing of unedited films as long as you're willing to sit through a few ad breaks. Now, we've already established that nobody really likes to sit through commercials but, hey, the movies are excellent quality and they're totally FREE. So, if you can't really afford to do Netflix or Hulu, but you still love horror as much as I do, here are 5 awesome genre staples that your old Horror Hound buddy Jay can recommend.
1. 'Friday The 13th' (1980) - available free on tubi.tv.com
Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher horror film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Kevin Bacon, Jeannine Taylor, Mark Nelson, and Robbi Morgan. It is considered one of the first "true" slasher movies.
Sean Cunningham admits he was drawn to the slasher genre by the success of John Carpenter's horror hit Halloween. Cunningham made the film on an estimated budget of $550,000 which was interestingly enough released by both Paramount Pictures in the United States, and by Warner Bros. in Europe. The film received mostly negative reviews from film critics upon its initial release. However, the 80s horror classic eventually grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States and was considered a financial mega hit at the time. In the years that followed, the film has received much more positive retrospective reviews from genre specific fans and critics, and it has become an undeniable cult classic.
Friday the 13th was the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. The film's box office success led to a long series of sequels, a television show, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a 2009 series reboot. The original Friday Is an iconic step in modern horror history with a "whodunnit" element that puts it ahead of its cheesy and mindlessly fun sequels.
2. 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' (1986) - available free on tubi.tv.com
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (also known as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: The Buzz is Back) is a 1986 American horror dark comedy slasher film, directed by Tobe Hooper. It is a sequel to the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, also directed and co-written by Hooper. It was written by L. M. Kit Carson and produced by Carson, Yoram Globus, Menahem Golan, and Hooper. The film stars Dennis Hopper as "Lefty," Caroline Williams as "Stretch," Bill Johnson as "Leatherface," Bill Moseley as "Chop Top," and Jim Siedow, who reprises the role of "The Cook."
This 1986 sequel has been highly scrutinized by many for its stylistic departure from the first film, including its bigger budget and emphasis on gore and comedy. This was almost in direct contrast to the original film, which actually used very little gore, a low-budget style, and maintained haunting tension and fear throughout the story. Despite being successful in its initial 1986 theatrical run, the film failed to make a substantial profit for the studio. However, it eventually garnered a cult following and became popular on home video, which led to a special edition release of the film on DVD in 2006 as well as various Blu-ray releases.
A lot has been said about this extreme horror follow-up. Hooper himself cut many lengthy special effect-filled scenes that were either too cheesy or led the story in an entirely different direction. This odd and often brutal '80s horror film, although not as legendary as its predecessor, has inspired many modern day horror maestros including Eli Roth, Alexander Aja, and most notably Rob Zombie. It's been a favorite of mine since childhood and I highly recommend a viewing; most horror fans won't be disappointed.
3. 'An American Werewolf In London' (1981) - available free on Frightpix.com
An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 British-American horror comedy film written and directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne.
The story follows two young American men — David Kessler (played by Naughton) and Jack Goodman (played by Dunne) on a European backpacking trip. While wandering the English countryside at night the two men are viciously attacked by a large bloodthirtsy animal. Jack dies from his injuries while David is taken to a London hospital. David begins seeing disturbing apparitions of his deceased friend. Jack informs him through these visions that David is a now a werewolf and will transform at the next full moon.
An American Werewolf in London was released in the United States on August 21, 1981, and grossed $30.56 million at the box office. The film received positive reviews from critics. who praised Rick Baker's make-up and overall special effects. The film won the 1981 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and was the first ever horror film to be awarded the Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. It's undoubtedly a horror classic that still holds up well, even 35 years later. John Landis is right on target and tone with this exceptional film that became the standard for on-screen transformations and werewolf films in general.
4. 'Suspiria' (1977) - available free on Frightpix.com
Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, and Joan Bennett in her final film role. It is the first of Dario Argento's horror films to have THX-certified audio and video.
The film is the first of the trilogy Argento refers to as "The Three Mothers," followed in 1980 by Inferno and in 2007 by The Mother Of Tears. It was nominated for two Saturn Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Joan Bennett in 1978 and Best DVD Classic Film Release in 2002. Suspiria has become a true cult classic over the years. It was recently announced that a remake of the film, helmed by director Luca Guadagnino and starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson is set to be released in 2017.
Suspiria is widely known one of Argento's most loved and heralded feature films to date. This iconic Italian horror movie has received critical acclaim for its visual and stylistic flair, use of vibrant colors, as well as its haunting and unforgettable score. Argento is a masterful director and some of his most innovative and imaginative work is on display in this twisted and dark new age Grimm fairy tale. Even though I argue its classification as a Giallo, Suspiria is an excellent film experience and will be an all-time favorite of many horror fans for generations to come.
5. 'Candyman' (1992) - available free on Crackle.com
Candyman is a 1992 American horror film written and directed by Bernard Rose, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, though the film's scenario is switched from England to the Cabrini–Green public housing development on Chicago's Near North Side. The film stars Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Xander Berkeley.
Most fans have no idea that Eddie Murphy was the original choice for the role of the film's vengeful killer, but negotiations fell through when producers realized Murphy's salary would ultimately bankrupt the film's special effects budget. Tony Todd was the second, more affordable choice. Todd was ecstatic — he worked tirelessly to perfect the character and completely owned the role — the rest is horror film history. The movie received generally favorable reviews upon its initial release in 1992 and currently still retains a 71% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Candyman's rich gothic texture is highlighted by deeply dramatic and romantic shades of blood. Tony Todd excels in this iconic high concept slasher. He envelopes the most compelling performance of his career by using his haunting Shakespearean delivery to successfully draw fear and sorrow from the same well. Barker's hellish and creative brand of horror get Americanized perfectly in Candyman. You can't question this movie's impact; in fact, if you look you'll notice I was only willing to type his name four times in this entire segment. Better safe than bloody — right, horror fans?
That's all for now, Horror Hounds. Don't worry though, there's still plenty of great free horror films to be discovered and I'll be back soon to help all you terror fans out there find the best scary movies on the internet. Until then, leave a comment below and let us know how you feel about these five classics. Be sure to follow me here to stay updated on all our great horror articles and reviews.