Cable On Demand
Cable offers VOD programming (same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pre-theatrical exclusives) for rent, usually for 24- or 48-hour periods at prices from about $2.99 for older titles to $9.99 for new or exclusive releases. Since cable offers a direct connection from your cable provider, its VOD offerings are usually less prone to outside interference and can be streamed with surround sound and 3D when available.
It's ironic that a movie titled Final Destination would have four sequels, but horror fans keep flocking back to the franchise about people who cheat death only to have the Reaper come back to tie up the loose ends. All five Final Destination movies are now available on On Demand, including the recent Final Destination 5 that opens with a disaster sequence on a bridge and ends with an unexpected twist that makes the shocker series come full circle. Final Destination 5 is also available to stream in 3D as it is on Blu-ray 3D.
A band retreats to the woods to focus on writing only to find itself in a nightmare in Don't Go in the Woods. The musical horror film directed by Vincent D'Onofrio has not even opened yet in theaters, but you can stream it early on cable On Demand. Also available for streaming before they open in theaters is the Edward Burns comedy Newlyweds and the romantic drama Northeast starring David Call.
Taylor Lautner takes a break from the werewolf thing to play a young man thrust into the world of covert espionage in Abduction, which co-stars Sigourney Weaver. Abduction won't be available on DVD and Blu-ray until January 17, but you can stream it right now on cable.
The found-footage premise goes out of this world in Apollo 18, which details a secret moon mission and the unreported horrors the astronauts encountered while there. This quasi-Paranormal Activity in space is available to stream the same date as DVD and Blu-ray.
Director Uwe Boll should be stopped, not streamed. Still, the dubious director's In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds sword-and-sorcery opus starring Dolph Lundgren is now available on On Demand for those who think Boll might have a good movie in him after stunners such as Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and Blubberella.
These four services stream movies to your TV via computer, Blu-ray player, game console or other compatible connected device. Like cable VOD, they offer new titles for rent from about $3.99 to $6.99, but, unlike cable, they also offer the option of downloading the movie to own from about $14.99 to $19.99. Usually movies presented in HD cost a bit more than streaming a SD version.
Of all the movies listed above that are available on cable On Demand, Final Destination 5 (2D version only), Abduction and In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds are available to download or rent on all four services. Apollo 18 can be viewed on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes, while Vudu is the only service that carries the pre-theatrical releases Don't Go in the Woods, Newlyweds and Northeast.
The so-called "torture-porn" horror genre has mostly come to pass, but gore hounds hungry for more might want to check out Hostel Part III in which a bachelor party goes horribly wrong after four friends are enticed by sexy escorts to venture way off the Strip. The third chapter in the grisly franchise is available on all services except Amazon.
In A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, Jason Sudekis stars as a party animal who decides to throw one last party at his father's beach house in the Hamptons. The R-rated comedy is available on Vudu and iTunes, but only iTunes also has the unrated version for rent or download.
Netflix's all-you-can-stream buffet costs $7.99 per month and gives instant access to thousands of movies and television shows via a computer, Blu-ray player, game console or other compatible device. Don't depend on Netflix streaming for same-day-as-disc releases, however. Instead, Netflix offers catalog titles, vintage movies, indie flicks and TV episodes with unlimited access for one monthly price.
Documentary fans will have all of their stream dreams come true this week on Netflix with the arrival of several new documentaries, including Dive! about the waste of America's food industry, Reel Injun about Hollywood's effect on Native Americans, Page One about how The New York Times is preparing for the future of newsprint, Plastic Planet about the pervasiveness of all things plastic, Hey Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird about the author and the Oscar-winning film adaptation, and the acclaimed Circo about a ringmaster struggling to operate his family's traveling circus.
Netflix also imports a très grande selection of foreign films to its Watch Instantly service this week, including The Time That Remains about a Palestinian family's triumphs and tragedies over several generations, The Wave about a high school teacher's social experiment about dictatorship, the Romanian love-triangle drama Tuesday, After Christmas, the chilling French tale Love Crime starring Kristin Scott Thomas, the Juliette Binoche romance Copie Conforme, the Korean remake of John Woo's gangster classic A Better Tomorrow, and the outlandish Japanese zombie thriller Helldriver about a teenage girl's quest to dispatch her cannibalistic mother and uncle.