Oct 22, 2013


As dedicated horror movie fans, we all love the Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Omen or Scream series but you can only watch those films every October the 31st so many times until you're looking for something new.

After being asked on several occasions for a recommendation (because I watch too many movies), I thought I might share a list of horror films that don't always get mentioned come this time of year but I feel still deserve recognition.  With any luck you might find a few of them here you've never seen and will soon fall in love with.

Click on the movie title for a mini-review courtesy of Doc Faustus, Budarc, Marceline and myself over at In A Nutshell.

First up, let's take a look at the ones that are just plain sick & twisted fun perfect for a group screening.

1)  TRICK 'R TREAT [2007]
An anthology of pure wicked entertainment that screams pre-drinks before heading out to the Halloween party.  It's been an annual tradition for me since it first came out.
2)  BITTER FEAST [2010]
A grisly low budget film about a chef extracting revenge on a snotty food critic.  It's gruesome but deliciously entertaining in stomach churning ways.
Another silly found footage film that actually supplies some decent thrills & chills that will have you laughing in terror.  Filmed in an abandoned Vancouver mental institute the film is heavy on atmosphere and light on most of everything else but doesn't matter when it gets the job done.
An hour long circus rock opera from Hell by the guys who brought you Saw and Repo! The Genetic Opera.  It's certainly not for everybody but if you love yourself some Rocky Horror Picture Show or Forbidden Zone then this colorful and scary musical ride should be right down your twisted little alley.  
5)  THE CHILDREN [2008]
This dark, dark tale about homicidal tots might be a bit much for some of the weaker at heart.  However if you're in for some "OMG! Should I laugh or be offended?" scenes with some very effective scares then this one is for you.


Secondly, how about a gander at the loony ladies of the horror genre?  I assure you, there's something seriously wrong with all 5 of these girls, making Dexter Morgan look like a teddy bear.

1)  MAY [2002]
Angela Bettis' fantastic performance makes this creepy little tale about a girl who has a bit more than just a rough case of Asperger's.  Lucky McKee's gone on to make many more films after this but none have stood up to this fine little tale of weirdness.
2)  AMERICAN MARY [2012]
The Soska Sisters direct this twisted Cronenberg-esque film about a deranged & disturbing style of body modifications.  Kat Isabelle carries the film mostly on her own, with the help from a scene-stealing performance from a immensely unsettling Tristan Risk.
3)  EXCISION [2012]
Filled with some WTF moments then just a few more for good measure, this film is one of those ones that sneaks up on you and lingers for many a day afterwards.  I loved it.  I'd be surprised if it wasn't a cult classic 10 years down the road.
4)  STOKER [2013]
Get that fancy schmancy sound system out for this one because the sound design is to die for as it crawls inside your ears and threatens to lays eggs inside.  Park Chan-wook directs Nicole Kidman & Mia Wasikowska in some painfully underrated creepsome performances.
5)  THE LOVED ONES [2009]
As Marceline says in her Nutshell review it's "fun to watch people get maimed when they're wearing formalwear."
A colorful Australian horror film that goes all Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the viewer by the end.


How about some artsy-fartsy slow-burning creepy movies that are perfect to watch alone to allow them to haunt you for days afterwards with their stark weirdness and chilling atmospheres?  

1)  KILL LIST [2011]
Ben Wheatley's pagan ritual/crime thriller is an odd bird indeed.  It's as frightening as it is intense with some shocking shots of violence scattered here and there.  One of them "pick my jaw up off the floor" films after it's final act.  
2)  FEAR X [2003]
Nicolas Winding Refn's bizarre thriller is an ode to David Lynch as it makes me afraid of the things around the corner or on the other side of the door that I can't see onscreen.  Written by Requiem For A Dream author Hubert Selby Jr. means you're guaranteed for some lingering creepies.  
3)  CALVAIRE [2004]
This Belgian film is all about it's chilling atmosphere that leaves you grasping for a breath of fresh air and a warm jacket.  If you're tired of the "weary traveller finds a scary backwoods village" story, then this unpredictable dose of extreme weirdness is just for you and your dancing friends. 
A immensely unsettling supernatural home invasion film from Spain that relies mostly on it's chilling mood and eerie setting to give you the uber-wiggins.  I ain't ever living in a big house.  
...ever.  I like to keep my wiggins in check.
A movie about a sound engineer that begins letting his cheese slide of his crackers while working on a disturbing Italian horror film.  Weird.  Weird.  Weird.  Check out the dizzying soundtrack for maximum creep factor.


There's also instensely grotesque and disturbing that's borderline JUST TOO DAMNED MUCH.  Bring a barf bag, kiddies.  ...and maybe a few years of therapy afterwards.

1)  MARTYRS [2008]
Feckin' feck.  I nearly turned this one off due to it's horrifying intensity but was glad I subjected myself to the whole thing in a single setting, because this French-Canadian HORROR film is incredibly well written and performed.  Let this be a warning to all who dare to venture down into this traumatizing cinematic experience.
At first this one looks deceivingly innocent and kind of cheesy but as it developed I found myself immersed into something I'd rather not think about.  It's inspired by a true murder & torture case which makes it all the more scarier and unsettling to think about.  People are feckin' sick sometimes.
3)  KOTOKO [2012]
Shinya Tsukamoto studies mental illness in the most disturbing and haunting of ways.  A schizophrenic style of photography and emotions the film will make you queasy and afraid to think about the subject too much.  
4)  BEDEVILLED [2010]
Some seriously sadistic stuff are on full display here that makes it hard to call it entertainment but more like a frightening study of characteristics.  It's mercilessly vicious and guaranteed to make you reach for the happy pills afterwards.  
5)  TAXIDERMIA [2006]
The four films above are all grotesque, depressing, shocking & savage, and so is this one but it's actually quite fun in a "I think there's something seriously wrong me" kind of way.  A bizarre film broken up into three connected stories that are all so feckin' weird you won't soon forget it.  


Some miscellaneous debris of creepy goodness....

1)  THE EYE [2002]
The Pang Brothers' Asian horror film that doesn't receive as much recognition as Ringu or Ju-On but certainly deserves the same amount of respect.  There's some serious wiggins to be had here.
...and avoid the Jessica Alba remake at all costs.  
2)  PONTYPOOL [2008]
A Canadian zombie movie with some serious brains about it.  If you're in love with the concept of language than this one is definitely for you.  If you're sick of zombie films then check this one out before you completely write them off.  Really good stuff here.
An animated short from The Brothers Quay that I can guarantee you, will remain embedded in your mind for the rest of your life due to it's terrifying visuals.  If I wasn't so damned frightened of it I could live in this world.
4)  ALICE [1988]
Jan ┼ávankmajer's adaptation of Lewis Carrol's Alice In Wonderland isn't something one will easily forget.  It's blend of live action and stop-action bug-eyed puppets are creatively memorable and so weird you almost want to look away.  
..."said the rabbit".
5)  DETENTION [2011]
This horror/comedy really isn't a good film at all.  
...but it's enthusiasm, visual flair and non-stop pop culture jokes make for one of the most enjoyable crappy films I've seen in a long time.  All 5 times.
If you grew up in the '90's as a teenager than you'll know just what I mean.  Stupid, stupid fun.


There you have it, folks.  25 scary films you probably haven't seen.

I'm fully aware many readers will have seen at least half of them but I need to meet the pervert who's seen all 25 and then we'll talk.     


budarc said...

Well, it took me nearly three Halloweens, but I finally managed to make it through all the odds and ends on this list. I had some trouble tracking down the last couple of imports, but I've remedied all that and can now safely say I've seen all 25 movies on this list.

...the only problem being that you posted this in 2013, and there's probably 25 more horror flicks I haven't seen by now. Oh well. Thanks for all the recommends!

Lyedecker said...

I'll try to add some of these to my yearly Halloween playlist.

cuckoo said...

I'm surprised this list was dug up in the first place.

3 years later and I'm not so sure I could come up with another 25 I'd recommend.
10 or 15 maybe.

I was going to do a list of 25 movies of all genres but it never materialized. This was 2 years ago too so I'd probably have to refresh that list.

I've been meaning to jumpstart this blog again but I simply just don't have the time to give it that I'd like to.

budarc said...

It's been on my list for awhile. In fact, I have many lists to get to, but I keep getting distracted by all the new flavors of the day and I never get anywhere. They need to stop making things for a good minute while I catch my breath.

I probably have a good 25 I could recommend, but unfortunately I haven't been keeping track of them and I can't even remember what I did in the last 5 minutes. Dammit.