August 19, 2022


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The Best Horror Movies on Streaming in July 2021

10 min read

Welcome to Horrorscope, a monthly column keeping horror nerds and initiates up to date on all the genre content coming to and leaving from your favorite streaming services. Here’s what to watch in July 2021:

If you are reading this from a certain hemisphere, congratulations, you are in the full-blown thrall of summer! This is great news for seasonal depression sufferers and those with a healthy interest in patio season. But as we inch closer and closer into a firey climate crisis, it is more important than ever to remember the core principles of sun safety. The best way you can prevent your body from overheating and blistering into a cancerous Cronenbergian mess is to take breaks indoors. Especially during peak UV hours (between 10 am and 4 pm). And this July, what better way to catch a little siesta than to stream some top-tier horror offerings?

While there is certainly a good crop of summer-themed horror films out there to choose from, the truth of the matter is that brand-spankin’ new genre gems (and waiting-to-be-discovered classics) are plentiful in the realm of streaming. Truly, when it comes to streamable horror in July 2021, it’s a viewers’ market. This month I’ve highlighted four flicks with a foot in both worlds: the new and the old. Our pick of the month is a genuinely bizarre studio offering bound for cult status. Also in camp “new,” we’ve got a trilogy of terror trips sure to please those in the market for a bloody blast. And to round things out, I’ve also spotlighted two older and criminally under-seen spooky flicks that will unsettle even the most hardened horror hound.

Be sure to peruse the complete list below, calendar in hand, for a full picture of what horror flicks are coming and going from your favorite streaming services in July 2021. Keep in mind that all dates listed below may not apply to viewers outside the United States.

Pick of the Month: The Empty Man (2020)

The Empty Man Th Century Fox

SynopsisA local girl is missing. James, a retired cop, is looking into it. But he doesn’t like what he finds: a group of slaughtered teens, a local legend, and whisperings of a cult attempting to summon a sinister entity.

The Empty Man (2020) didn’t have an easy start when it premiered. But then few cult films do. As our own Matthew Monagle puts it, The Empty Man is 2020’s most ambitious — and most abandoned — horror film. It was dropped in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, beset with production foibles, and forced to contend with being lost in the shuffle of Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox. But discerning horror fans have a talent for sniffing out true gems. And as we speak, The Empty Man is on the fast-track to cult status. If you missed the film’s original theatrical run (for understandable reasons), you owe it to yourself to catch up on this genre blend of ’70s paranoia, J-horror, and H.P. Lovecraft.

The Empty Man marks the feature film debut of David Prior, who’s been hard at work for years as a production documentarian for the likes of David Fincher and Peter Weir. Don’t let past experiences with junky creepypasta procedurals dissuade you. The Empty Man is cut from a different cloth. It’s very rare for a first-time director to receive a solid chunk of change to make a bizarre two-hour studio film. The Empty Man is brimming with ambition and is the kind of film you can tell its creator was dying to make.  So even if 23-minute cold opens (!) aren’t your thing, you really ought to see what all the fuss is about.

Available HBO Max July 17

A French/Canadian exploitation offering starring baby Jodie Foster

The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane

Synopsis: It’s Halloween and Rynn Jacobs is celebrating her 13th birthday alone. She recently moved to this small seaside town and is having a good crack at living independently. But the nosey neighbors have questions that threaten her bohemian lifestyle. Namely: where is her absent poet father?

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) is an odd duck. Originally premiering to mixed reviews (and a court order challenging its distribution), the film has achieved a level of cult status thanks in large part to the strength of Jodie Foster‘s performance and the film’s advocacy for children’s rights and independence.

While Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver was released in the same year, the ingenue Iris (who earned Foster an Oscar nomination) couldn’t be further from the cold, resourceful Rynn. And Martin Sheen, at the time most recognizable for his work in Badlands, is so despicable here you may never look at him the same way again. Equal parts moody and disturbing, The Little Girl Who Lives Down is the kind of film you could only make in the 1970s. And we mean that as a compliment. Hamster lovers beware.

Arriving on Shudder July 6th

A trilogy of terror based on R. L. Stine’s more mature offerings

Fear Street

Synopsis: This three-part series adapts the Y.A. fiction series penned by ‘Goosebumps’ author R.L. Stine. Taking place in the fictionalized city of Shadyside, each entry sees a gaggle of fresh teens up against all manner of ghoulish adversaries. Oh, and unlike Stine’s more kid-friendly fare, this time, there will be blood. And lots of it.

Look, we’re not going to beat around the fetid corpse here, around these parts, we’re big fans of Fear Street. And it’s a true treat that R.L. Stine‘s intelligent and genuinely grisly novels have finally made their way to the small screen.

As its name suggests, Fear Street: Part 1 – 1994, is in conversation with meta 90s slashers like Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). As our own Rob Hunter enthusiastically praised in his review: Fear Street: Part 1 is energetic, gore-filled, and arguably one of the best 90s slashers made in the 21st Century. This inaugural entry in the trilogy sees a plethora of deranged (sometimes masked) killers running wild in Shadyside. And the word on the (Fear) street is a long-dead witch may be behind the rampant rise in homicides.

By all accounts, this first entry in the trilogy is a horror-filled hoot. So color us excited for what parts two and three have to offer: 1978— an hommage to more giallo-indebted and summer camp-set slashers — and 1666 — which pays dues to period-piece offerings like The VVitch. There’s a little something for everybody. What a time to be a horror fan!

Arriving on Netflix on the following dates: July 2 (part 1), July 9 (part 2), and July 16 (part 3)

“What if Lars von Trier made an animated movie about animal testing?”

The Plague Dogs

Synopsis: Unthinkable horrors unfold at the animal research facility in the Lake District. Two dogs, Rolf and Snitter, have been drowned, prodded, and cut open all in the name of science. Unexpectedly, the pair manage to escape only to be hunted by their former captors, the media, and the military, driven by rumors that the dogs are carrying the bubonic plague.

In the Before Times, I was very lucky to catch a screening of director Martin Rosen‘s personal print of Watership Down. The sold-out theater was packed wall-to-wall with Millenials whose groovy parents had inadvertently (or sneakily) exposed us to one of the most traumatizing “kids’ movies” ever made. Sure, rabbits are cute. But there’s also cannibalism, gruesome strangulation, and the volatile cowardice of tyrants. You know…for kids!

The pre-show of this particular screening included snippets of The Plague Dogs (1982), which even to the uninitiated immediately registered as another collaboration between Rosen and Watership Down author Richard Adams. Suffice to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an audience fall so silent so quickly. We were all dumb-struck. There’s no other word for it. The Plague Dogs is often touted as an adventure film but holy hell what a misnomer. The Plague Dogs is both an unflinching critique of animal cruelty and a punishing depiction of the darkest depths of nihilism. If Lars von Trier made an animated film, he would have made The Plague Dogs. There’s a Dog-me 95 joke in there somewhere. Bring tissues and a strong stomach.

Arriving on The Criterion Channel July 1st as a part of the “Art-House Animation” collection

Streamable Horror Incoming This Month

Fresh blood: A list of all the horror content coming to streaming services in July 2021.

Streaming Service Movie Date
Amazon Prime Video 30 Days of Night (2007) July 1
Amazon Prime Video Alien (1979) July 1
Amazon Prime Video Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid (2004) July 1
Amazon Prime Video Hellboy (2004) July 1
Amazon Prime Video Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) July 1
Amazon Prime Video The Messengers (2007) July 1
Amazon Prime Video The Stepfather (2009) July 1
Amazon Prime Video Underworld: Evolution (2006) July 1
Amazon Prime Video When A Stranger Calls (2006) July 1
ARROW Honeymoon (2014) – UK July 1
ARROW Satanic Panic (2019) July 1
ARROW Slumber Party Massacre II (1987) July 1
ARROW Manhattan Baby (1982) July 1
ARROW Maniac (unclear which version) July 1
ARROW Book of Monsters (2018) – UK July 9
ARROW Shock Waves (1977) July 9
ARROW Holiday Fear (2017) – short film July 10
ARROW And God Said To Cain (1970) July 12
ARROW The Prowler (1981) July 16
ARROW Satanic Panic ‘87 (2019) July 23
The Criterion Channel Alice (1988) July 1
The Criterion Channel Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) July 1
The Criterion Channel Faust (1994) July 1
The Criterion Channel The Plague Dogs (1982) July 1
The Criterion Channel The Wolf House (2018) July 1
The Criterion Channel American Movie (1999) July 19
HBO Max Dark Water (2005) July 1
HBO Max Darkness Falls (2003) July 1
HBO Max Eve’s Bayou (1997) July 1
HBO Max Firestarter (1984) July 1
HBO Max Ghost in the Machine (1993) July 1
HBO Max House on Haunted Hill (1999) July 1
HBO Max The Return of the Living Dead (1985) July 1
HBO Max Return of the Living Dead III (1993) July 1
HBO Max Scream (1996) July 1
HBO Max Scream 2 (1997) July 1
HBO Max Scream 3 (2000) July 1
HBO Max The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) July 1
HBO Max Trick ‘R Treat (2009) July 1
HBO Max The Watcher (2016) July 1
HBO Max The Hunt (2020) July 8
HBO Max The Empty Man (2020) July 17
HBO Max Freaky (2020) July 24
Hulu 28 Days Later (2003) July 1
Hulu 28 Weeks Later (2007) July 1
Hulu 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017) July 1
Hulu Beetlejuice (1988) July 1
Hulu Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999) July 1
Hulu Carnage Park (2016) July 1
Hulu The Cured (2017) July 1
Hulu Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) July 1
Hulu The Gift (2000) July 1
Hulu Hellions (2015) July 1
Hulu Hideaway (1995) July 1
Hulu House of the Dead (2003) July 1
Hulu House of the Dead 2 (2006) July 1
Hulu The House That Jack Built (2018) July 1
Hulu Let’s be Evil (2016) July 1
Hulu Open Water (2004) July 1
Hulu Open Water 2: Adrift (2006) July 1
Hulu Personal Shopper (2016) July 1
Hulu Shelley (2016) July 1
Hulu Sleepwalkers (1992) July 1
Hulu Sorority Row (2009) July 1
Hulu Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift (1990) July 1
Hulu The Stepfather (2009) July 1
Hulu Underworld (2003) July 1
Hulu Underworld Awakening (2012) July 1
Hulu Underworld Evolution (2006) July 1
Hulu Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) July 1
Hulu Dreamcatcher (2021) July 3
Hulu The Resort (2021) July 29
IMDb TV Casper’s Haunted Christmas (2000) July 1
IMDb TV The Roommate (2011) July 1
IMDb TV Wolves (2014) July 1
Netflix The Strangers (2008) July 1
Netflix Underworld (2003) July 1
Netflix Underworld: Awakening (2012) July 1
Netflix Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) July 1
Netflix The 8th Night (2021) July 2
Netflix Fear Street Part 1: 1994 (2021) July 2
Netflix Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (2021) July 9
Netflix A Classic Horror Story (2021) July 14
Netflix Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021) July 16
Netflix Twilight (2008) July 16
Netflix The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) July 16
Netflix The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) July 16
Netflix The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (2011) July 16
Netflix The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 (2012) July 16
Netflix Blood Red Sky (2021) July 23
Shudder Near Dark (1987) July 1
Shudder Burnt Offerings (1976) July 1
Shudder Creepshow (1982) July 1
Shudder Thirteen Ghosts (2001) July 1
Shudder The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) July 6
Shudder Terror Train (1980) July 6
Shudder Death Ship (1980) July 6
Shudder Pledge Night (1990) July 7
Shudder Sorority House Massacre (1986) July 7
Shudder Day of the Dead (1985) July 7
Shudder Horsehead (2014) July 7
Shudder Son (2021) July 8
Shudder Messiah of Evil (1974) July 12
Shudder Carnival of Souls (1962) July 12
Shudder Piranha (1978) July 12
Shudder Straight Edge Keggar (2019) July 12
Shudder Separation (2021) July 13
Shudder The Call (2021) July 15
Shudder She’s Allergic to Cats (2016) July 19
Shudder Here Comes Hell (2019) July 19
Shudder Mass Hysteria (2019) July 20
Shudder ROT (2019) July 20
Shudder Kandisha (2020) July 22
Shudder They Remain (2018) July 26
Shudder Adoration (2021) July 27
Shudder The Boy Behind the Door (2020) July 29
Tubi Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) July 1
Tubi Slither (2006) July 1
Tubi Monster High: Welcome to Monster High (2016) July 1
Tubi Mini Munsters (1973) July 1
Tubi Hannibal (2001) July 1
Tubi Hannibal Rising (2007) July 1
Tubi The Voices (2014) July 18

Horror Titles Expiring from Streaming Soon

Streaming Service Movie Date
HBO Max Annabelle (2014) July 4
HBO Max Annabelle Comes Home (2019) July 4
HBO Max The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) July 4
HBO Max The Curse of La Llorona (2019) July 4
HBO Max The Nun (2018) July 4
HBO Max It: Chapter 2 (2019) July 10
HBO Max A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) July 31
HBO Max A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) July 31
HBO Max A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) July 31
HBO Max A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) July 31
HBO Max A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) July 31
HBO Max Anaconda (1997) July 31
HBO Max The Apparition (2012) July 31
HBO Max AVP: Alien vs. Predator, (2004) – Alternate Version July 31
HBO Max Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) July 31
HBO Max The City of Lost Children (1995) July 31
HBO Max The Conjuring 2 (2016) July 31
HBO Max I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) July 31
HBO Max Jacob’s Ladder (1990) July 31
HBO Max Shocker (1989) July 31
HBO Max Troll 2 (1990) July 31
HBO Max Troll (1986) July 31
Hulu In Extremis (2017) July 24
Hulu 28 Days Later (2003) July 31
Hulu 28 Weeks Later (2007) July 31
Hulu The Crazies (2010) July 31
Hulu Goodnight Mommy (2015) July 31
Hulu Hannibal Rising (2007) July 31
Hulu The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) July 31
Hulu Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013) July 31
Hulu I Saw the Devil (2010) July 31
Hulu The Relic (1997) July 31
Hulu The Skeleton Key (2005) July 31
Hulu Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) July 31
Hulu Triangle (2009) July 31
Netflix The Invitation (2015) July 7
Netflix Bride of Chucky (1998) July 31
Netflix Child’s Play 2 (1990) July 31
Netflix Child’s Play 3 (1991) July 31
Netflix Seed of Chucky (2004) July 31
Netflix Zombieland (2009) July 31

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