4 Fright-tastic Flicks Led by Chicks

In this feature's original iteration, it was a spotlight of the four best thrillers streaming on Netflix. When each film eventually left the streaming service's instant access, it became apparent it was time to retool the feature with a different spin, or rather focus.

That was when the realization each film starred a female protagonist hit. It was an observation of coincidence that caused "4 fright-tastic flicks streaming on Netflix" to be reborn as "4 fright-tastic flicks led by chicks."

What is interesting about each of the featured films is how different each female lead is from one another. Each woman faces varying obstacles that test and ultimately reveal their true character, leading to exceptional thrillers that left this viewer on the edge of their seat. Without further ado, here are four (4) fright-tastic flicks led by chicks...

Movie Poster for 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane' starring Amber Heard

1. "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" (2006)

When perennial good girl, Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is invited to spend the weekend at a desolate ranch with six of her high school classmates, the three guys attending believe this will be their chance to successfully seduce her. As the night wears on, the teens begin to party hard, reveling in all sorts of debauchery.

What they do not realize is that an unknown assailant is watching them and before long, they start getting picked off -- one by one. The revelation of this horror indie is actress Amber Heard, who stuns in a marvelously understated performance as the self-effacing Mandy.

The movie hinges on her turn and she delivers. A strong mystery and central performance propel this twisty indie to memorable heights.

[Image by Relativity Media]

2. "House at the End of the Street" (2012)

This entertaining thriller begins in the usual way. A mother (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) move into a new house in an idyllic small town where some inevitably disturbing things come to light. Down the street, there was a horrific incident at the neighbors' house and the surviving son (Max Thieriot) has recently returned to town.

As he faces the scorn of the community, new girl Elissa (Lawrence) finds herself drawn to him and intrigue ensues. What sets “House” apart from your average teen horror thriller is that its focus is on discerning whether the sympathetic male lead is a good guy or a bad guy. The execution of its guessing game is the movie’s best asset and it plays to surprising effect.

[Image by Image Entertainment]

3. "The Tall Man" (2012)

Jessica Biel gives the best performance of her career in this tension-filled crime drama from writer/director Pascal Laugier. Biel plays a widowed nurse, who works hard taking care of the people in her economically struggling community.

When her son is kidnapped, it launches her into the midst of an urban legend known as The Tall Man, an entity who the townspeople blame for a rash of abductions in the area. Laugier’s script is highly original, sharp, and subversive.

"The Tall Man" is a thought-provoking thriller that allows its audience to struggle with major dilemmas. Tightly directed and brilliantly executed, it is a movie worth watching twice, as to fully grasp all of its nuances.

[Image by Lionsgate]

4. "You’re Next" (2013)

The Davison family’s celebratory gathering is eventually brought to ruin when a gang of masked intruders begin a lethal reign of terror. With the exception of Erin (Sharni Vinson), the ax-brandishing new girlfriend of the eldest son, the decisions the victims make are not always smart.

This leads to the frustration, characters in the genre typically incur and there are moments where its satire overwhelms its scare factor. Cohesive pacing coupled with a cleverly-written lead character gives the movie a sharp edge that makes it stand out. While a noteworthy performance from Joe Swanberg as the stuffy and acerbic Drake gives the movie an air of humor that alone makes it worth watching.

[Featured Image by Image Entertainment/Relativity Media]

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