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Top 10 Screen Life Horror Movies You Can Watch Now

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We have become a social media-obsessed culture. Everything we do, we post online and we never think of the dangers that wait for us afterward. Social media and technology have influenced the horror genre creating an entirely new subgenre- Screen Life Horror– where all the horror is set entirely on a computer screen.

Becoming the latest trend in horror, the screen life format doesn’t seem to be slowing down anything soon. With Shook, releasing on Shudder, February 18, I thought it’d be the perfect time to take a look back at 10 of the top screen life horror movies available now.

Unfriended (2014)

If there is one horror movie that really captures the screen life formula it would be 2014’s Unfriended.

Captured all on a webcam, Unfriended unfolds over a teenage girl’s computer screen as she and her friends are the targets of a vengeful spirit who is out for revenge after a viral video that depicted a shaming bullying incident that resulted in their friend’s suicide. On the anniversary of their friend’s suicide, they receive a mysterious message from someone claiming to be their dead friend that threatens to expose their darkest secrets.

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A take on cyberbullying and the damages that come along with it, Unfriended is surprisingly scary and well crafted. Even though it’s not the first film to use the screen life format, it manages to use it effectively by generating some innovative and chilling sequences.

Unfriended is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video. 

Searching (2018)

Being told entirely through a computer screen, the thriller Searching has David Kim’s (John Cho) 16-year-old daughter suddenly vanishing without a trace. With little to no help from the police, David has to search for his daughter in the one place that no one has looked; her laptop, where her innermost secrets are kept, and hoping to find out what he can. He searches her computer’s history and traces her digital footprints and has to link up the clues before his daughter disappears forever.

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Searching is a top-notch thriller with suburb storytelling that immediately hooks you in and has you questioning everything. Filled with twists and turns, Searching is an original and unique psychological thriller that will entice any horror fan.

Searching is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Ratter (2015)

The crime of cyberstalking is brought to the surface with director Branden Kramer’s film Ratter.

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Ratter has Emma (Ashley Benson), a single girl living alone in New York City, that finds herself being watched by a stalker who has hacked all of her devices so that he can watch her anywhere, at any time. But watching isn’t enough and his stalking goes from virtual to physical.

Ratter is one of those films that just gets under your skin by showing just how fragile our sense of privacy really is. Ratter keeps a plot simple by focusing more on suspense and building up Emma’s sense of paranoia that leads up to an ending that will leave you rattled.

Ratter is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

The Den (2013)

Okay! Admit it, at one time or another you’ve been on a Chatroulette-esque site, usually stumbling on someone flossing their teeth or dancing around naked. But what if you stumbled upon a murder, what would you do? That’s exactly what happens in The Den, a webcam-based horror film that makes you think twice before going online.

"The Den"

“The Den”

Elizabeth (Melanie Papalia), a graduate student conducting a sociological experiment seeing how many strangers she can connect with and how many of those turn out to be a meaningful connection. One night, Elizabeth logs into a webcam site known as The Den, during her cam session she witnesses a brutal murder and becomes the killer’s next intended target.

The Den is a rough and tough slasher film that borderlines on being a snuff film as the film doesn’t shy away from being vicious and down-right brutal at times.

Ratter is now available to watch for Amazon Prime Video members.

Megan is Missing (2011)

We’re told at a young age not to talk to strangers, but what about strangers online? They can’t hurt us — right? In Megan is Missing we find out how dangerous the internet can truly be.

In the film, we meet Megan (Rachel Quinn) and her friend Amy (Amber Perkins), they’re best friends. They are 14-years-old and do everything together. Go to parties, talk on their phone, share secrets, post videos online and chat with guys online. But on January 14, 2007 Megan disappeared…forever.

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First to capitalize the dangers of the internet, Director Michael Goi based the film on actual child abductions cases and features teenagers being kidnapped and tortured. The amount of torture and violence is extremely disturbing but at the same time all too real. The film will leave you wondering- What happened to Megan and could it happen to me?

Megan is Missing is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Breaking away from the traditional found footage formula that the franchise is known for, Paranormal Activity 4 shifted to from a hand-held camera to a screen life format.

Taking place five years after Paranormal Activity 2, Katie Featherston and her nephew Hunter are still missing after the events of part 2 and a new family begins experiencing the same type of paranormal activity.

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Not as scary as the previous entries but still features some frightening scenes involving a demon materializing through the screen of an Xbox Kinect, a creepy neighbor kid and pulse-pounding ending that will take your breath away. But the screen life format couldn’t save the franchise as the franchise was starting to lose steam by this point.

Paranormal Activity 4 is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

Down the dark rabbit hole, we go with Blumhouse’s Unfriended: Dark Web which digs deep into the sinister corners of the internet.

A solid follow-up to Unfriended, Dark Web follows Matias (Colin Woodell) a young man who finds a laptop at a coffee shop. After bringing it home, he goes online for a game night with his friends. The night of fun turns deadly when Matias discovers that his new laptop has access to the dark web, and shows his friends a mysterious folder that unlocks disturbing videos of people being tortured. The group of friends receive a message that they will die if they disconnect or call the police and that they are being watched by cybercriminals that will stop at nothing to cover their tracks.

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Shifting from ghosts to hackers, Dark Web is grittier and nastier than its predecessor with graphic videos depicting women being tortured, kidnapped and held captive. Dark Web is a movie that makes you scared of browsing the internet because one wrong click and you can enter a world that you won’t get out of.

Unfriended: Dark Web is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video.

V/H/S- (2012)

Segment “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger”

When you’re thinking of screen life horror films, your mind doesn’t instantly go to V/H/S as its more of a traditional found footage film. But there is a segment called The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, that fits perfectly into the sub-genre.

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The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, is told entirely through a series of video chats as we follow Emily (Helen Rogers) as she notices an odd bump in her arm which reminds her of something strange that happened to her as a child. While at the same time, Emily also begins noticing strange occurrences happening in her home. Frequently Skyping with her boyfriend, we watch her get relentlessly terrorized by supernatural forces and watch as she slowly begins losing her mind.

Out of all the V/H/S segments, you never know exactly what is going on. Is it paranormal? Is it aliens? Or is it all in her imagination? But that’s exactly what the screen life format does, never reveals too much and when it does its all too terrifying. Still solidly creepy as this segment delivers on the shocks and the jump scares that will make you skin crawl.

V/H/S is available to watch for Amazon Prime Video members.

Open Windows (2014)

In 2014, we dived into the world of voyeurism, obsession, webcamming, and computer hacking with Nacho Vigalondo’s film Open Windows.

Told entirely through a laptop, Open Windows Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) wins a contest to meet his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey) -he’s her biggest fan. Jill refuses to have dinner with Nick, but he gets a second chance as he is given the opportunity to spy on Jill through her webcam… Nick is then pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

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This is the kind of film Hitchcock would make if he were still around today. Considered a modern-day Rear Window with plot twists, suspense and ending you won’t see coming. This high-tech thriller is not to be missed.

Open Windows is now available to watch for Amazon Prime Video members.

Host (2020)

One of the best and maybe one of the only good things to come out of 2020 was Rob Savage’s Host.  Filmed entirely during lockdown and clocking in under 60 minutes, Host is a fast-paced horror film that takes having a Zoom party to another level.

Taking place entirely during a Zoom call, six friends gather together to conduct a séance. During the séance, things go wrong and the girls contact a sinister presence. Strange occurrences begin to happen and the girls face the fact that they may not survive the night.

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Anxiety producing, terrifying, unbelievably scary, what hasn’t been said about this movie? Rob Savage delivers an original and modern take on the screen-life format by incorporating them at a time when all we do have is Zoom calls.

Host is now available to watch on Shudder for subscribers.

Honorable Mentions:

Other genre favorites include Collingswood Story, Usernamer:666, Followed, and Cam.

Don’t forget to check out Shook premiering on Shudder on February 18.

Daisye Tutor in "Shook"

Daisye Tutor in “Shook” coming to Shudder on Feb. 18, 2021

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Another Creepy Spider Movie Hits Shudder This Month

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Good spider films are a theme this year. First, we had Sting and then there was Infested. The former is still in theaters and the latter is coming to Shudder starting April 26.

Infested has been getting some good reviews. People are saying that it’s not only a great creature feature but also a social commentary on racism in France.

According to IMDb: Writer/director Sébastien Vanicek was looking for ideas around the discrimination faced by black and Arab-looking people in France, and that led him to spiders, which are rarely welcome in homes; whenever they’re spotted, they’re swatted. As everyone in the story (people and spiders) is treated like vermin by society, the title came to him naturally.

Shudder has become the gold standard for streaming horror content. Since 2016, the service has been offering fans an expansive library of genre movies. in 2017, they began to stream exclusive content.

Since then Shudder has become a powerhouse in the film festival circuit, buying distribution rights to movies, or just producing some of their own. Just like Netflix, they give a film a short theatrical run before adding it to their library exclusively for subscribers.

Late Night With the Devil is a great example. It was released theatrically on March 22 and will begin streaming on the platform starting April 19.

While not getting the same buzz as Late Night, Infested is a festival favorite and many have said if you suffer from arachnophobia, you might want to take heed before watching it.

Infested

According to the synopsis, our main character, Kalib is turning 30 and dealing with some family issues. “He’s fighting with his sister over an inheritance and has cut ties with his best friend. Fascinated by exotic animals, he finds a venomous spider in a shop and brings it back to his apartment. It only takes a moment for the spider to escape and reproduce, turning the whole building into a dreadful web trap. The only option for Kaleb and his friends is to find a way out and survive.”

The film will be available to watch on Shudder starting April 26.

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Part Concert, Part Horror Movie M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Trap’ Trailer Released

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In true Shyamalan form, he sets his film Trap inside a social situation where we aren’t sure what is going on. Hopefully, there is a twist at the end. Furthermore, we hope it’s better than the one in his divisive 2021 movie Old.

The trailer seemingly gives away a lot, but, as in the past, you can’t rely on his trailers because they are often red herrings and you are being gaslit to think a certain way. For instance, his movie Knock at the Cabin was completely different than what the trailer implied and if you hadn’t read the book on which the film is based it was still like going in blind.

The plot for Trap is being dubbed an “experience” and we aren’t quite sure what that means. If we were to guess based on the trailer, it’s a concert movie wrapped around a horror mystery. There are original songs performed by Saleka, who plays Lady Raven, a kind of Taylor Swift/Lady Gaga hybrid. They have even set up a Lady Raven website to further the illusion.

Here is the fresh trailer:

According to the synopsis, a father takes his daughter to one of Lady Raven’s jam-packed concerts, “where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.”

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Trap stars Josh Hartnett, Ariel Donoghue, Saleka Shyamalan, Hayley Mills and Allison Pill. The film is produced by Ashwin Rajan, Marc Bienstock and M. Night Shyamalan. The executive producer is Steven Schneider.

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Woman Brings Corpse Into Bank To Sign Loan Papers

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Warning: This is a disturbing story.

You have to be pretty desperate for money to do what this Brazilian woman did at the bank to get a loan. She wheeled in a fresh corpse to endorse the contract and she seemingly thought the bank employees wouldn’t notice. They did.

This weird and disturbing story comes via ScreenGeek an entertainment digital publication. They write that a woman identified as Erika de Souza Vieira Nunes pushed a man she identified as her uncle into the bank pleading with him to sign loan papers for $3,400. 

If you’re squeamish or easily triggered, be aware that the video captured of the situation is disturbing. 

Latin America’s largest commercial network, TV Globo, reported on the crime, and according to ScreenGeek this is what Nunes says in Portuguese during the attempted transaction. 

“Uncle, are you paying attention? You must sign [the loan contract]. If you don’t sign, there’s no way, as I cannot sign on your behalf!”

She then adds: “Sign so you can spare me further headaches; I can’t bear it any longer.” 

At first we thought this might be a hoax, but according to Brazilian police, the uncle, 68-year-old Paulo Roberto Braga had passed away earlier that day.

 “She attempted to feign his signature for the loan. He entered the bank already deceased,” Police Chief Fábio Luiz said in an interview with TV Globo. “Our priority is to continue investigating to identify other family members and gather more information regarding this loan.”

If convicted Nunes could be facing jail time on charges of fraud, embezzlement, and desecration of a corpse.

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