All the Horror You Need to Stream in April 2021 – Film School Rejects

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. Heres a guide to all the essential horror streaming in April 2021.

Spring has sprung!

Dead foliage has given way to eager flowers, budding shrubbery, and all manner of hideous pastoral displays. Some of you may have noticed that your sense of smell has returned to greet you with olfactory delights such as: grass. Oh look, whats that? Forgotten trash, emerging like some frozen leviathan out of a melting snowbank. How nice.

But look: April is only the cruelest month if you want it to be. Screw your head on straight and all those breeding lilacs and stirring dull roots take on a more tantalizing aspect. Were out of winter, friends. Time to greet a new season with open arms.

In that spirit, this months horror highlights are all-new, from either this year or the last. This is something of a departure for this column, which usually tries (an operative word!) to strike a balance between new fare and ye old spooks. But its spring, damn it! So brace yourselves for round two of a record-breaking anthology series, a marital nightmare, an explosive coming-of-age horrorshow, and an insightful documentary about how indie horror gets made.

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 this April.

Synopsis: A revamp of the classic George A. Romero and Stephen King horror anthology films of the same name, Creepshow delivers bite-sized spooks of murder, monsters, and cosmic comeuppance. WIth a pulpy, comic-book gait and an episodic zing, the popular series is back for a second season.

Weve said it once, and well say it again: there can never be enough horror anthologies.

When Shudders reboot ofCreepshowdebuted in 2019, it broke viewership records and quickly carved out a name for itself as one of the streaming services big draws. After the first installments runaway success, Shudder enthusiastically greenlit two more seasons. I had the pleasure of reviewingCreepshows first go-round with Rob Hunter. Were both excited to see what Shudder cooks up for Season 2.

Executive produced by The Walking DeadsGreg Nicotero, the series features two ooky-spooky stories in each episode. This is the great boon of horror anthologies: if something doesnt turn your crank before you know it, youre on to the next nightmare.

This new seasons guest stars include Kevin Dillon, Iman Benson, Josh McDermitt, Keith David, Molly Ringwald, Barbara Crampton (!), Justin Long, and DArcy Carden, among others.

Synopsis: After moving from Manhattan to a peaceful hamlet in the Hudson Valley, a married couple begins to suspect that their idyllic new home is haunted by its dark past. Soon enough both their house and relationship begin to rot and crack, with one dark secret after another peeling away to reveal generational scars and sinister longings.

Now, look. When it comes to sussing out what is and isnt horror, Im not above a little semantics here and there. How else am I going to claim historical dramas like The Devils? Or more noir-heavy fare like The Leopard Man? Semantics should be used to enrich a genre, not to gatekeep it. So forgive me for raising a suspicious eyebrow at Things Heard & Seens directors claiming that the film isnt a horror film; its a supernatural thriller.

Is horror really such a dirty word? In any case, even if this is more of a thrilling spooky experience than an outright gorefest, Im including this literary ghost story on a horror round-up. Fight me in the comments (we dont have comments, haha!).

Things Heard & Seenis based on Elizabeth Brundages novel All Things Cease to Appear.You might remember writer-directors-spouses Robert Pulciniand Shari Springer Bermanfrom their fantastic Harvey Pekar biopic American Splendor. Headlining with Amanda Seyfried and James Norton, Things Heard & Seens cast also includes Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul),Indiana Joneslegend Karen Allen, and F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus).

All told: Things Heard & Seen sounds like a compelling portrait of trouble in paradise that promises to be haunting in more ways than one. In any case, well have to wait until the end of the month until we get tohear and see itfor ourselves.

Synopsis:A teenage dream with an explosive twist, Maras senior year was supposed to be full of romance and plans for the future. Then, on an otherwise boring day, one of her classmates explodes, coating the walls with gore and viscera, dashing Maras dreams of a totally chill final year. Then, before the authorities can get a grip on whats happeninganother kid goes kaboom. Suddenly small-time annoyances (like that weird kid having a crush on her) are the least of Maras troubles.

Genuinely horrific horror comedies are hard to come by. And genuinely horrific romanticcomedies are harder still. Which makes Brian Duffields debut feature, Spontaneous (2020), all the more of a hat-trick. A darkly sly examination of explosive grief, Spontaneous agrees that all coming-of-age stories should be a little messy. For all the pep in its step, Spontaneousnever lets the other (more horrific) shoe drop.

And yet, faced with the reality of gruesome, sudden death, Mara (Katherine Langford) chooses to cherish life and fall in love (with the aforementioned weird kid, played by Charlie Plummer). Ive been waiting with rocks in my stomach to see how genre film will react to the (ongoing) global pandemic. And while Spontaneous allegorical intentions are more geared pointedly towards school shootings, the film still manages to inadvertently answer the question: how do you make a comedy about COVID?

Weve all had to make our peace with taking things as they come during these weird times. And as Spontaneousastutely notes, even in the face of amorphous trauma, holding on to the people you love is sometimes the only thing that helps.

Synopsis: Following five years in the life and career of indie filmmaker Justin McConnell (Lifechanger), this documentary features interviews with genre luminaries and industry mainstays to answer the question: how do you make and release a movie?

Are you a freak for behind-the-scenes content? Love the nitty-gritty of movie-making? Well, have I got the documentary for you.

These days, anyone can make a film. The hard part is making a living while doing it.Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business (2020) surveys the crags and crannies of the low-budget movie business. The doc includes interviews with the likes of Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak), Tom Holland (Fright Night), George A. Romero (The Crazies), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), and a veritable rogues gallery of horror royalty.

Theres something compelling about the contrast between such accomplished talking heads versus McConnell, the films largely unfamiliar subject-director. Theres an endearing implication: that even the biggest names in the low-budget biz were, at some point, aspiring unknowns.

Clapboard Junglealso comes with a tsunami of ephemera. ARROW subscribers will be treated to commentaries, nearly thirty extended interviews, and a collection of eight short stories by McConnell. So whether youre an aspiring director or an arms-length fan of the industry, this iswell-worth checking out!

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All the Horror You Need to Stream in April 2021 - Film School Rejects

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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