'Veronica' Vs. 'Ravenous': Which New Netflix Horror Movie Is Right for Your Nightmares?

Veronica should never have messed with that Ouija board. Netflix / Expediente La Película A.I.E.

Two new Netflix horror movies offer very different scares. So which should you check out: possession horror Veronica or the zombie indie drama Ravenous?

Netflix might roll out the red carpet for some Netflix Originals, like the Super Bowl surprise debut of The Cloverfield Paradox, but films available only on the streaming service just as often premiere with little or no fanfare—especially horror movies. But good horror tends to find its audience. Strong word of mouth can go a long way, floating otherwise invisible movies, like two recent Netflix horror releases: Veronica and Ravenous. The two are radically different in plot and presentation, which means one will probably perk your goose bumps more than the other. If you're after a new horror flick for your next movie night, which is the better pick?

Veronica, a Spanish-language horror movie from the director of [REC], is about a young woman who tries to contact her dead father during a solar eclipse. But instead of her dad, the Ouija board unleashes a shadowy, lizard-like figure, a demon that begins stalking Veronica's younger siblings.

Ravenous is a French-Canadian zombie movie set weeks or months into the zombie apocalypse. People have begun to develop new routines and patterns of living, at least until a wave of zombies sweeps through the countryside and forces a small band of survivors to flee the ravenous horde.

Beyond the obvious—one's a demon movie, the other a zombie flick—the biggest difference between Veronica and Ravenous is the approach each takes to its respective genre.

Veronica is very traditional, even formulaic. You've seen all this before. There's the seance around the Ouija board; the shrieking mouth, stretched too big; creeping shadows and kids mumbling scary things. It's mostly effective but traditional. Director Paco Plaza knows horror, so while Veronica isn't as adrenaline-pumping as his [REC] series, it does cram in all the hits.

Ravenous is something stranger.

Bonin (Marc-André Grondin), one of the survivors fleeing a horde of zombies in 'Ravenous.' Netflix

Where Veronica sticks to formula and outputs the expected number of jump scares, Ravenous is on a mission to subvert traditional zombie movie tropes. Set well after the zombie outbreak, Ravenous follows a handful of characters who have already experienced the traumas that define most zombie movie characters. This leads to an intriguing, almost ironic emotional distance, as characters shield themselves in gallows humor. "He puts down his entire family and still manages to laugh," one character says of another. Everybody acts jaded, as if they've been at this for months and have become embarrassed by their own grief. It becomes a badge of pride for them to shrug it off instead.

As zombie indies go, Ravenous is better than Maggie and doesn't need gimmicks or genre twists like Warm Bodies, but it doesn't quite clear the ratio that can enliven a zombie drama: enough poignancy, immediacy or realism to overcome what it lacks in excitement, guts-eating and shotgun blasts. If you're looking for nail-biting excitement, Ravenous probably isn't for you. But it does feature good writing, unexpected takes on zombie traditions and some gruesome exploding heads.

Picking between Veronica and Ravenous really comes down to what you look for in a horror movie. Veronica is the scarier of the two, but there's nothing in it that will surprise horror movie aficionados. Ravenous is an interesting take on the zombie genre, but its laid-back indie narrative, which never really bothers with a plot, can make enjoying its occasional splatters of blood a bit of a slog.

Veronica and Ravenous are both available for streaming on Netflix right now! And if neither sounds right for you, give The Ritual a look.