The Best Horror Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen
As a lifelong film geek and film school drop-out who worked in the industry for ten-plus years, it is fair to say that I watch a lot of movies. Instead of video cassette or DVD, now I mostly watch on streaming services or find gems buried somewhere on pay cable. I am particularly drawn to independent and foreign horror and thrillers. It’s amazing how much some filmmakers can do with small budgets — the film has to rely more on creativity – the story, atmosphere, and the element of suggestion. Movies don’t have to be gory or filled with CGI effects to be frightening. In fact, torture porn and violence for violence’s sake, (Saw. The Human Centipede) I don’t find that genre frightening at all. There has been a resurgence of the theatrical, mainstream horror movies in the past ten years or so. You won’t find many of those on this list.
If you are looking for something unique, eclectic, and surprising for your Halloween scares this year, listed below are a sampling of my favorites. You’ll find the descriptions to be minimal – no lengthy critiques or synopsis. The best viewing experience is “going in blind “- no hype or preconceived notions. The less you know, the better. I have provided links for each film to their iMDB profiles, just in case you’d like to learn more or watch the trailer.
If you have seen at least some of the films listed, you should consider yourself a geek as well. Congratulations!
10 Movies to curl up to this Halloween
THE BABADOOK (2014)
The Babadook was an art-house hit in 2014. My pick for Best Horror Film of the Decade. It is also on my short list of Horror Films That Made Me Cry, which includes The Orphanage, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Others. At first glance, it might look like a children’s spooky bedtime story. Don’t worry, the scares are plentiful, and the ending–oh, man.
Be careful answering those Craigslist ads.
Washed-up and broke, Ansel helps a couple in deprogramming their daughter from cult control.
WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (2013)
One of the most shocking endings I have ever seen. I audibly gasped when the twist was revealed.
THE CALLER (2011)
Simply put, this movie will mess with your mind. Lots of fun.
THE INNKEEPERS (2011)
The Inn is closing. The two remaining employees decide, once and for all, to settle the rumor of whether or not the inn is haunted.
A man isolates his junkie friend in an attempt to detox him. Mysterious happenings ensue.
1940: the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire walked up a winding mountain trail, leaving everything behind, never to be seen again. Now it’s 2008: the first official expedition into the wilderness attempts to solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar.
MR. JONES (2013)
A young couple moves into the woods to uncover the urban legend of Mr. Jones.
Something very strange is happening in the town outside this radio station.
But Wait! There’s More!
If none of the films mentioned above appeal to you, there are more!
Foreign/Subtitled: The White Ribbon (reminiscent of the classic Peter Weir film Picnic At Hanging Rock,, Blood and Ties, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, TimeCrimes, Audition – you will never forget “the scene,” Santa Sangre, Dogtooth, and Penumbra.
Binge-worth horror series: Black Mirror – a seven episode British anthology series, and The Returned (THIS one, the French one. Not the A & E version, NOT the ABC rip-off). If you like The Returned, you might want to check out the 2004 film on which the series was based, They Came Back.
Mainstream Modern Classics: Mama – terrifying because the ghost bears an eerie resemblance to Ann Coulter, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Frailty, The Cabin In The Woods, and my personal favorite Session 9.
If these suggestions aren’t enough to scare the bejeezus outta you, there’s always one more option. Turn on Fox News.