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Netflix Subscribers Are Going Wild For A Terrifying New Horror Movie

A fun thing about Netflix is that it gives viewers the chance to see what horror is like in different parts of the world. The streaming service has horror movies and shows from all across the globe, from Indonesia (such as "May the Devil Take You") to Egypt (like "122"), and some of these international chillers hit in ways that English-language horror simply doesn't. If you're a seasoned horror fan already attenuated to the creepy takes and jump scares dealt by Blumhouse and other American purveyors of fright, international horror will quickly become your next big obsession.

The latest international horror sensation just added to Netflix comes from Italy and is called "A Classic Horror Story." It's currently sitting at No. 8 on the streaming service's daily top 10 movies chart, and with good reason. 

The meta, openly referential film follows a group of five strangers traveling in a ride-share RV together through a mafia-plagued part of southern Italy. Elisa (Matilda Lutz) is traveling to undergo a medical procedure she's not sure she wants to go through with. Sweet Ukranian Sofia (Yuliia Sobol) and her fiancé, obnoxious Brit Mark (Will Merrick), are on their way to elope. Riccardo (Peppino Mazzotta) is a doctor who's much older than his fellow passengers and doesn't want to have anything to do with them. And the dorky driver, Fabrizio (Francesco Russo), is filming the whole trip on his phone to post on social media.

During the trip, Mark, who's been drinking, takes over the driver's seat and crashes the RV into a tree, which knocks them all out. When they come to, they find they're inexplicably miles away from where they were. They walk through the woods until they come to a creepy cabin, and discover that they're in territory that belongs to a satanic cult. And when the cult shows up, things get really gruesome.

A Classic Horror Story is Italian Midsommar

As its title indicates, "A Classic Horror Story" isn't subtle about drawing inspiration from horror movies that came before it. "Midsommar," "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," and "Saw" are just a few of the movies viewers picked up similarities to in "A Classic Horror Story."

"If you take 80s slashers, THE WICKER MAN, THE VILLAGE, EVIL DEAD, SILENT HILL, and MIDSOMMAR and put them in a blender, you get the oh so meta Italian horror movie within a horror movie, A CLASSIC HORROR STORY, now streaming on Netflix," Dread Central writer Michelle Swope posted on Twitter.

"I just finished watching 'A Classic Horror Story' and I really enjoyed it: it has Midsommar & The Village vibes all mixed with that 80s slasher movies feel," Twitter user @frankiefermi wrote. "Also, the photography is great."

In recent memory, "A Classic Horror Story" is most reminiscent of "Midsommar," the unforgettable 2019 horror film that's rapidly ascending to classic status. It's so much like "Midsommar," in fact, that filmmakers Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli should probably pay "Midsommar" writer-director Ari Aster royalties the way musicians do when they sample a song. There's stuff in the movie that's so obviously lifted from "Midsommar" that some viewers were turned off by the level of plagiarism-adjacent homage. On Twitter, user @ScottFloronic wrote, "A Classic Horror Story is just the Wish version of Midsommar," referencing the online marketplace for cheap goods.

"Just finished watching a classic horror story,"  Twitterer @HIBARIN wrote. "Rather than being scary in any way it just kinda took popular plotlines from a number of movies and put it together like 'haha see? we did it on purpose! it's supposed to be cliched bc-' but i'm not sure if it was done well."

People also had thoughts about the twist ending, which we won't spoil here beyond saying there is one and it's weird.

If you're comfortable with a healthy dose of homage, A Classic Horror Story might be for you

Despite all the complaints that elements from "A Classic Horror Story" might feel a little too familiar, there's a lot to appreciate in the confrontational film. Horror has always been a genre rife with homage, after all. It's a place where filmmakers gleefully borrow and contort popular elements to craft experiences that satisfy viewer expectations, while also subverting them with uncanny alterations. Individual "A Classic Horror Story" viewers will have to decide for themselves whether the film brings enough novelty to the equation to justify its appropriation of well-worn tropes, but for those who can get past all the creative borrowing, they'll find a chilling story with a fresh, Italian aesthetic.

The film currently holds a middling 43% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, though several reviewers still found much to admire about it. Brian Costello of Common Sense Media wrote, "In a genre known more for heart skips and adrenaline, this is surprisingly thought-provoking," while Roger Moore of Movie Nation thought that aforementioned twist really stuck the landing: "'Classic' comes a tad closer to that label thanks to a boffo finish."

"A Classic Horror Story" is streaming now on Netflix. Genre devotees would be remiss if they didn't at least give it a shot.