For Halloween, 4 cult horror films to discover on Insomnia

Mediawan’s streaming service, dedicated to horror and accessible via Prime Video, offers horror classics in its catalog, perfect to accompany your Halloween night. Our selection of 4 cult films.

Insomnia is the SVOD platform entirely dedicated to horror cinema. Available on Prime Video Chanel for 3.99 euros per month (with a free 7-day trial), it provides a lush panorama of horror cinema from yesterday and today, between classics of the genre, foreign nuggets and curiosities unpublished in France. With more than 80 films per month, Insomnia will delight the most insatiable horror fans. Enough to keep you awake all night, and give substance to your nightmares…

On the occasion of Halloween, we ventured into the bowels of Insomnia to offer you a selection of 4 cult horror films. Chills guaranteed.

© Miramax Films

Scream (1996) by Wes Craven

The output of Scream in 1996 not only marked a milestone in the long tradition of horror cinema, it questioned its deep nature. Wes Craven invented a new form of film there, a mutagenic variant of horror cinema, which diverted its codes to better autopsy them.

Delightfully meta post-slasher, Scream is less a parody of horror movies than a shrewd commentary on their quirks and effects. By creating Ghostface, a psychopathic killer with an emblematic mask, the director of Claws of the Night gave life to a celluloid monster, a cinephagous boogeyman inspired by 1970s horror films to commit his crimes; these same films which, from The last house on the left at Freddie, made Craven famous. Meta we tell you.

From its mythical introduction – “do you like scary movies?” – to his pernicious treasure hunt in the form of a murder mystery, Scream advances with a tightrope-walking sense of balance between horror film and black comedy, satire and terror. And if informed spectators, experienced in horror cinema, saw in it in 1996 a self-reflective film, annotating with the hint of irony that befits decades of horror cinema, many were children and teenagers of the 1990s to discover horror films with Scream, and who still today shudder at the sight of Ghostface’s mask; pure expression of terror frozen in a deformed cry, reminiscent of that of Edvard Munch. 26 years and 5 sequels later, Scream still carries with it this double trigger: not really a horror film, not really a parody, but a bit of both at the same time, and yet something else.

scream 2, Scream 3 and Scream 4 are also available on Insomnia.


The Ring (2002) by Gore Verbinski

It’s the story of an urban legend that turns into a social phenomenon: that of a killer tape that would take the life of anyone who watched it. In 1998, Kōji Suzuki, who is often presented as “Japanese Stephen King” draws from this cursed VHS story a poisonous novel, which spreads like wildfire across the country. The same year, Hideo Nakata signed a terrifying adaptation, a founding work of J-Horror, and an instant classic of world horror cinema. Four years later, it’s Gore Verbinski’s turn to tackle this haunting story, which, like this triple gestation, reinvents itself with each adaptation or remake: like an urban legend that deforms and changes. enriches as it spreads. Skilfully appropriating the codes of Japanese horror to reshape them in his own way, the Ring by Verbinski can also count on the performance of Naomi Watts, who a year after her unforgettable score in Mulholland Driveconfirms his talent for depicting dread.

As in the original film, it will be a question of tracing the thread of a founding trauma to try to stop, with varying success, the spread of evil, which, like the metastasis of a tumor kept secret, manifests itself by first diffuse signs before radiating an evil aura in scenes of paroxysmal horror, invariably terrifying. We obviously think of the terrifying Samara and her long black hair concealing her face, whose paralyzing scene of the escape from the well into which she was once thrown, then her bursting from a television screen, remains forever imprinted on the horrified retinas of quite a few teenagers of the 2000s, who passed on the DVD like a cursed cassette.

One Night in Hell (1996) by Robert Rodriguez

one night in hell (1996) by Robert Rodríguez

First collaboration between Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, more than 10 years before the diptych Grindhouse gathering Death Boulevard and Planet Terror, one night in hell is in the image of the spirit of its two parents (Rodriguez in the realization and Tarantino in the screenplay): a twisted bit. It all starts with the bloody run of the Gecko brothers: Richie (Tarantino himself), like weirdo a little nervous, and Seth (George Clooney), a charming thug who has just escaped from prison. Seeking to reach Mexico, the two gangsters take hostage a pastor in the midst of a crisis of faith (Harvey Keitel) and his two children (Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu). We then embark on this arid and tense thriller, of which we sense that the charges carefully placed upstream will end up exploding in a deluge of powder. We were way off. At its midpoint, the film branches off into something completely different. We could have been alerted, it’s true, by the name of the bar in which our five protagonists find refuge as soon as they cross the Mexican border, and which gives an indication of the joyfully stupid (and fully assumed) direction that the film is taking. Because the Titty Twister (the tornado of nipples in the language of Molière), is not a strip club like the others. His particuliarity ? When night falls, its dancers (starting with Salma Hayek) and all its staff transform into bloodthirsty vampires.

Going from the B series to the Z series with an infinite tenderness for the genres he invests – and with which he juggles without worrying about consistency (that’s his strength) – one night in hell is delectable gore candy, and the B-side of the 1990s vampire film, which, along with the Dracula of Coppola or Interview with a Vampire, then cultivated a sovereign first degree, even a papal seriousness. Rodriguez’s film is the mocking and irreverent version of this, regenerating the rebellious and deeply alternative spirit that has always irrigated genre cinema.

Simetierre (1989) by Mary Lambert

Simetierre (1989) by Mary Lambert

In Simetierre, a cult novel by Stephen King published in 1983, a young doctor, Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children, Ellie and Cage, leave Chicago to settle in a small town in Maine. A few steps from their new home, buried in a centuries-old forest, is a strange cemetery where the pets of the region have been buried for several generations. When Church, the family cat, is run over by a truck, Judson, the Creed’s somewhat boorish neighbor, buries the animal’s remains beyond the “pet sematary”, on a gloomy rock mound that we will discover to be an old Indian cemetery. The next day, Church suddenly bursts into the Creed house, but is little more than the shadow of the playful cat he was before his death, bearing the scars of his mysterious return to life. The adaptation that Mary Lambert draws aptly manages to capture the poisonous darkness that infests the novel in successive layers. Exploration of mourning to the limits of heartbreak (and madness), Simetierre is less a horror film (there is one though) than a heartbreaking family drama, perfectly captured by the sharp gaze of Lambert, who is less interested in fear than in the existential vertigo that his story inoculates. When the story turns to tragedy, and the accidental death of young Ellie pushes her father, devastated, to bury her in the Indian cemetery to bring her back to a semblance of life, the filmmaker gives full measure to her talent for depict dread, and sucks us into a devastatingly ending ghost story.


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For Halloween, 4 cult horror films to discover on Insomnia – Les Inrocks