Spooky season is onto us, and aside from playing dress up for Halloween parties, there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than poring over the most thrilling and horrific flicks ever produced in order to scare the pants out of you. We’ve been graced with several blockbusters and horror hits in recent times, what with last year’s academy award nominee Get Out and this year’s newest terror successes A Quiet Place and Hereditary, it seems the genre has been getting quite a lot of attention as of late, thus delivering high quality flicks that not only fill the quota of scares, but are actually built around a well-thought narrative that might leave you thinking until you finally get the bigger picture. On the other hand, ever since motion pictures were created, the horror genre has prevailed among other sorts of movies mainly for the impact they provide, and the evidence can be seen through Hitchcock’s or Polanski’s masterpieces that still haunt many people’s dreams even after so many years, for classics will never get old, so that means you can’t leave those out.
Now, we’re always looking for the unconventional, and even if popular horror movies are just as good for a Halloween binge watch, there’s some movies that end up pretty much being hidden gems that may not have received the attention they deserved back in its day, but are worth the watch just the same. With that said, we made it to ourselves the task to create a compilation of the best movies you may have not heard or seen yet but should totally watch these following days, including a list of ten flicks we’ve chronologically arranged where we include the best of both new and old underappreciated horror movies, and quick details about each of them, so you can choose for yourself which one makes it into your list. Happy viewing, and let the scares begin!
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Labelled as the “First Iranian vampire Western”, this comedy horror flick belongs to first time feature director Ana Lily Amirpour in her pursuit to picture a cartoonish and somewhat hipster visage of humanity’s never-ending interest of blood sucking creatures, teenage romantic isolation and emotional exile into what can only be described as a monochrome retro-cool feature that vaguely resembles the world of David Lynch’s Eraserhead. The girl in question is a vampire located in what seems to be the middle ground of American locations embedded in Iranian culture (a fictional town called Bad City) , and also between centuries, for it possesses elements of both late 19th and early 21st centuries. Creeping the streets every night, the girl acts as some form of vigilante dressed in her all-black chador, which implicitly acts as a social and political connection with the storyline and makes the film all the more powerful, and through glamorous visuals, it also portrays much of the romanticism within this chilling but very enchanting tale.
- Green Room (2015)
Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room is as gutsy and terrifying as it can get once you get to involve punk scene band members with Neo-nazis within the restrains of a remote and rural roadhouse somewhere outside of Portland. Bloody, grimy, and at times amusing, this thriller sets itself inside a literal green room where the abovementioned punk members from the Ain’t Rights band end up being trapped in, just after witnessing a gruesome crime scene done by a group of Neo Nazi skinheads who they happened to just deliver a replacement gig in the most taunting form, which is by singing “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by The Dead Kennedys. The rest of the story is just an endless night of pure horror fueled by visceral and random acts of violence that break the escalating tension built up throughout the feature, and the film’s excellent rhetoric, which is of a political criticism to the American right, certainly wraps up what might be one of the most nightmare-inducing butchering of recent years.
- The Wailing (May, 2016)
This Korean hit graces our list, and it comes from the hands of director Na-Hong Jin, whose occult thriller The Wailing takes us to the edge of fear and superstition without not only resorting in gory games, but actually excavating into the essential nature of evil, and making us doubt all of our beliefs in the process. The plot follows a besieged police sergeant who has been assigned to investigate the inception of a series of ferocious and inexplicable murders that come from the hands of seemingly normal people suddenly experimenting zombie-like symptoms such as eating flesh and acting crazed. What is firstly presumed to be the doing of a bad crop of psychoactive fungi swiftly turns out to be something of diabolical proportions after the cop is directly affected through his daughter, who starts experimenting the same symptoms. Although deliberately funny at times, the layers of tension shown in the movie are so expertly crafted that the feature never loses the large sense of dread looming over it, thus providing two hours of pure horror and urgency to the viewer.
- Train to Busan (July, 2016)
The zombie horror genre is one tricky kind of sort, as it is more prone to produce subpar features than other kinds of horror flicks, which most of the time makes them attract the wrong type of attention. Nonetheless, once in a while a movie gets released and somehow manages to breathe new life into the genre, therefore saving it from its extinction. This time the rescuing came from Korean blockbuster Train to Busan, whose director Yeon Sang-ho managed to create the perfect combination of bodily action, social commentary and sentimental tragedy into a two-hour long feature. The title pretty much gives away the premise of the movie, for it centers on one of the first outbreaks within the Busan city inside the KTX 101 train, just after a biochemical leakage spread outside of the its quarantine zone. The mayhem that follows is one of pure adrenaline that will surely leave you at the edge of your seat until the very end.
- Raw (2017)
Horror movies about cannibalism are features not many can stomach, but Julia Docournau’s female perspective on such atrocious taboo is something more than worth watching or as some might want to call it, chew it over. The Belgian/French film takes us inside the life of a lifelong vegetarian first year student at veterinary school Justine who after a strange and hazing ritual performed by veterans to welcome new students, develops a craving for meat that quickly escalates to disturbing and grisly. Excellently filmed and brimming of self-confidence, the film also dives deep into fraternal bonds as Justine’s sister, Alexia, who has already undergone through her own cannibalistic transformation, shows her sister the means of satisfying her rampant hunger until this takes a turn for the worse for the seemingly magical sisterly attachment. What the movie ultimately displays is the tenderness yet very raw love for family, and the headstrongness of such bonds.