Monday, June 10

Streamathon - June 2019 – Life’s A Beach & Now You’re Dead

By Emery Snyder @leeroy711

Preface: This is part of an ongoing blog series of curated movie marathons that are thematically or otherwise tied together. The other common factor tying these films together will be their availability to watch them all from the comfort of your own home on various streaming platforms. The goal is that writing this blog will somehow justify the excessive number of streaming platforms I subscribe to. The films will be found on some combination of NetflixHuluAmazon Prime VideoMubiShudder, The Criterion Channel and/or Fandor. These titles will be available for the month that the blog is published. All of these subscriptions offer free trials so feel free to dive in and follow along… Have fun. Just don’t message me for my login information.
June 2019
Spring is over and it’s hot outside again. And while everyone else is flocking to the beach, I’m turning my A/C to “kill” and getting settled in for some of my favorite Summer flicks. I specifically like to watch horror films in the Summer, especially if they scare and discourage me from leaving the couch. I watch JAWS every Summer religiously. I usually fit in one of the versions of PIRANHA (Dante or Aja). And I don’t even want to admit to how many heads I’ve seen on a single shark on the Sci-Fi channel on Saturday afternoons. And as if this wasn’t enough, Jordan Peele’s beach-themed doppelganger horror, US is due for Blu-Ray release later this month. I’m very excited to rewatch this one with the hopes that it will be added to my Summer routine.

So, with that in mind, here are some horror films available to stream right now that take place on or around a beach. 

The Stream

COLD SKIN (2017) 
Directed by Xavier Gens – Streaming on Shudder

So, this ‘beach’ is more of an Arctic coastline, but I play fast and loose with my own rules so I’m including it. It’s a Shudder Exclusive right now and I really think it’s worth the watch. The Lovecraftian creature design is fantastic, and the under-siege lighthouse scenes are exciting and well put together. The whole thing is shot beautifully.

Directed by Makinov – Streaming on Shudder

To be clear, this is a remake Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (’76) a far superior film. But I still kind of appreciate what this film went for and what it accomplishes. This version trades in the slow burn and social commentary for adrenaline and gore. Which makes it easier fare for an 87-minute distraction.

Directed by Jon Wright – Streaming on Hulu

This is just a very well-made horror/comedy from across the pond. A sleepy Irish island is overtaken by sea monsters and their only line of defense is an alcoholic police officer and his newly assigned partner. It is one of the most fun times you can have with movie monsters. The two main characters played by Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley have a great chemistry together and the comedic dialog is exactly what I've come to expect from British writers.              

Directed by Ingmar Bergman – Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Psychological torment is a common theme in Bergman’s work. But this is probably the only film that dives off into the deep end of horror. Artist, Johan (Max Von Sydow) and his wife, Alma (Liv Ullmann) are staying on a remote island in this surreal work. I’ve probably watched this one about a half-dozen times and I seem to come away with a slightly different interpretation every viewing. The Gothic imagery that occupies the screen will keep you guessing exactly how literally you’re supposed to be interpreting it.

I also find it interesting within the context of Bergman’s entire filmography. He has plenty of films depicting the fragility of the human psyche, the majority are about women’s mental state. Films like THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (’61), CRIES AND WHISPERS (’72), THE SILENCE (’63) and of course PERSONA (’66) lead some (myself included) to question how Bergman felt about the opposite sex. And I think it’s fascinating that his lone exploration of a weak-minded man also turns out to be his only true horror.

Directed by Colin Eggleston – Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

If you only watch one movie from this list, make it this one. It recently showed up on Prime and you can never be too sure how long it’s going to stay. Traditionally, this one has been a bit more obscure and hard to get a hold of. Recently, Synapse released a beautiful Blu-ray and I believe that the Prime version is the same transfer.

‘Man vs. wild’ has always been a favorite sub-genre of mine. Stories about people getting lost in the wilderness and braving the elements are a good way for me to experience the worst of nature without having to leave my couch. This one is not your typical fare though. It’s far more unnerving, without ever introducing a supernatural element. It plays out like an environmentalist’s moral tale. A couple of suburbanite weekend warriors pick a fight with nature without even knowing it. Soon their lack of respect and dignity reap the wrath of their surroundings. But the story is far less straightforward than I’m alluding to. The horrors play out over a slow burn in night sounds and disturbing imagery. 

THE LURE (2015)
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska – Streaming on The Criterion Channel

And you didn’t even know that you needed a Polish musical comedy horror about a couple of cabaret mermaids. Spoiler Alert: You do. It’s a spectacular modern times Eurotrash retooling of the Hans Christian Anderson story. Watch this for the color palette alone. In fact, invite your Mom and sister over for a MAMMA MIA! Marathon and then put this on instead. They’ll thank you. I promise.

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