Want to watch horror movies tonight and your neighborhood Blockbuster is out of business? : *( Where do you find these scary flicks and how do you get them in front of your face right NOW? There’s good news because you’re in the right place! That’s exactly what this page is about. (I’ll update it periodically as I find additional options.)
Ready for what I’ve go so far? Okay, let’s go!
Option Number One: Netflix
At this point, Netflix is a household word. But if you’re one of the two people in the world who haven’t heard of it, one could say that Netflix is a cancel-anytime, subscription-based, movie rental service that lets you stream high-quality videos right to your computer. No need to wait or go anywhere. You just click-click-click and start watching. In addition to streaming video, you can also rent DVDs through the mail, with the ability to have several videos out on loan at the same time. You can use the streaming option alone, or you can choose the DVD-by-mail option as well.
Netflix’s inventory is anything but limitless. Some movies seem to be permanently affixed to those cyber-shevles, while others are only available for a limited time. In any case, Netflix tends to recycle some movies occasionally, and major holidays seem to trigger an influx of new inventory.
Option Number 2: Amazon Instant Video
Amazon is a relatively trustworthy source for commitment-free, on-demand video steaming.
They also have a subscription program called Amazon Prime, but I really don’t recommend it. You pay a flat annual rate for the supposed enjoyment of the following:
- Free 2-day shipping on Prime-qualified items – Problem is, Prime items typically cost more, so you’re paying twice for the shipping by buying marked up items.
- Free, unlimited streaming Prime movies – This selection is limited with most of what you get being available on Netflix. Additions to the Prime collection are rare. Selection is badly riddled with amateur movies that are so awful, you’ll want to scream!!!! … and it won’t be because you’re scared, believe me.
- Free Prime Kindle books – watch out for this. Amazon Prime lists very few mainstream books, so don’t be fooled into thinking this is a library full of King or Koontz novels. Instead, it’s a library full of people trying to break into the business. That is totally fine with me. I love reading and helping budding authors get going. Unfortunately, Amazon’s rating system is corrupt, which means people can enlist their friends as shills to post fake reviews and falsely inflate the rating system. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the work is good. I’ve enjoyed it, but the vast amount of bad is compounded by dishonest reviews that clog up the system. This really degrades the experience. My biggest beef with Kindle Prime is, you can only read the material on a Kindle, so you can’t use your iPad or other device. This is very limiting and combined with the bad selections and dishonest ratings puts Kindle Prime in the realm of “near-garbage” for me. And I’ve told them so.
- Free music – I haven’t use this feature, so can’t comment on it.
To Sum Up Amazon Prime
After being a Prime customer for many years, I realized that Prime is all about Amazon. Very little of what they do is a value-add for the customer, even though they try to spin it that way. For $99 per year, this service needs to deliver more quality.
However, if you want to rent a one-off movie here and there, their instant movie rentals are just fine. When you rent one, you have a clearly-stated, limited amount of time to watch it, after which the movie expires. Fair enough. At least you don’t have to worry about taking anything back.
Option Number 3: YouTube
Many older movies are available on Youtube for free, with image quality varying from pretty good to terrible. But you get what you pay for, so when it’s free, you really can’t complain. Well, you could, but it won’t do you much good. 🙂
A word of caution about using YouTube – If you try searching for a new release video on Youtube, you may discover a slew of entries that appear to be legit, but once you land on their “video” they’ll try to get you to “click the link in the text below” to download it. This is a come-on where they’re trying to get you to buy or engage in an illegitimate service. Buyer beware! Feel free to flag them, so YouTube can clean them up.
Option 4: Roku Player
The Roku is a device that costs about $25-$50, depending. It’s a great value and money well spent, actually because this little device allows you to connect your TV up to the Internet. You’ll be sitting in your living room watching streaming movies rather than curled up on your bed watching on your laptop. It’s great for people who have older TVs and don’t want to go in debt for every shiny new object the comes on the market. (Note: be very aware of any connection requirements. You may need to purchase an adapter to make it work for you, depending upon your TV.)
I don’t know how long Roku will be a viable option as things are constantly changing. But right now, Roku is cheap and a great way to get Internet movies onto your television set.
In fact, all of the providers above can be streamed to your TV using a Roku device. Plus, there are hundreds of channels available, many of which are free if you don’t mind ads. I don’t mind them because I know people have to make money. If the ads become too obnoxious, though, I avoid that channel. It can happen at times.
If you’re interested in buying a Roku player, I got mine at my local Walmart, but you can probably buy them online, too. They’re not expensive and are easy to set up. If you have more than one TV, you can get several units and link them all to the same account.
I hope this information helps you to find a way to watch your favorite scary movies. The Roku is great though.
With it, I enjoy . . .
#1 Not having to be glued to my laptop or iPad to watch things.
#2 Being able to get more life out my older TVs. They work just fine and I don’t feel pressured to have to upgrade. That is my decision for when I’m ready. There’s more to life than brand-new TVs and in this economy, many people need to make what they have last just a little bit longer . . .