Since I’ve started paying closer attention to the movies offered by streaming services other than Netflix, I’ve started to notice a lot of really interesting, mostly under-the-radar stuff that is, in all honesty, reason enough to subscribe to these services in of themselves (at least for a few months). There’s the usual, incredibly mainstream, highly predictable offerings, sure, and those are certainly great. But every streaming service has its secrets, and their secret reasons why you should subscribe to them as soon as you possibly can.
Shudder, for instance, has Tigers Are Not Afraid (2018), an exciting new Mexican horror movie explicitly endorsed by fantasy-horror icon Guillermo del Toro and a movie that many people thought would languish in obscurity South of the border for years (if not decades) to come. Amazon has Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the cult-classic Suspiria (2018), which may not execute perfectly on everything that it sets out to do, but imperfectly pulls off far more than most other movies dare to even attempt. Criterion Channel is practically defined by all of the obscure, foreign and otherwise classic movies at its users’ disposal, but it’s 9-film retrospective on Val Lewton’s RKO horror movies from the 1940s (which are, to be clear, pretty much the only good horror movies from that otherwise barren decade. Hell, even Netflix has exclusive gems like Hush (2016) and The Ritual (2018).
Hulu, as it turns out, has something up it’s sleeve too. And what’s great about this is that their must-see horror movie for October is more obscure than almost all of its competition: a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by horror fans everywhere. I’d even argue at this point that it’s lesser known than even the relatively low-profile Netflix originals, Amazon-fund features and Shudder exclusives. Hulu, it turns out, has Little Monsters (2019).
What’s that? Never heard of Little Monsters? I can’t blame you for that (or for confusing it with the more kid-friendly 1989 movie of the same name that starred Fred Savage). I only barely caught the movie’s trailer when it debuted online and I don’t think it ever actually ran in theaters properly (although it could just be that I never got it in the cornfield I happen to live in). It’s the kind of delightful horror-comedy that most people seem to love (not unlike Zombieland, whose long-awaited sequel is about to be released) and is so delightfully perverse in the targets of its horror that it seems almost destined to grow into a cult favorite.
Little Monsters, more directly, is about a kindergarten teacher — along with her entire kindergarten class — attempting to survive during a pretty typical zombie apocalypse. But because youth and innocence is precious, she is determined to keep the truth from her students at all costs, meaning that the familiar zombie scenes and scenarios are interspersed with playing things off as a game for the benefit of the kids and chiding other adults for near-verbal slips in front of the kids. The entire proceeding is utterly delightful in its simplicity, and never stops being fun through its fairly scant runtime. It’s nothing wholesale new for the veteran horror fan, but provides enough twists on the familiar formula to keep everything fresh and fun.
So if you find yourself with a Hulu subscription and an evening free in October, give this movie a chance. It might just surprise you.
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