It’s hard finding horror films these days that are genuinely effective. Over-saturation of found footage and torture porn have us longing for a time when the genre was edgy, experimental, and not afraid to take chances. (Like with these Creepy Horror Movie Scenes, for instance.) Well, good news. There are still a few flicks out there we’re willing to bet that you’ve never seen, and each of them should deliver the goods for those dark and stormy nights when you need something terrifying to watch. Let’s get started.
8. Below (2002)
Starring a cast of lesser-knowns — save for Star Trek’s Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike) — the performances are nevertheless strong in this ghostly tale aboard a World War II submarine. It isn’t heavy on violence, so sorry there, gorehounds, but it has tons of suspense and an unnerving tension from beginning to end. (Think Session 9 in the deep blue sea.)
7. Little Erin Merryweather (2003)
Shot in 2003 and released in 2006, Little Erin Merryweather isn’t as strong in the acting department as Below, but it does have the eerie imagery down pat. It’s also got a little more red stuff for the easily distracted, and the Little Red Riding Hood gimmick of the killer is reminiscent of Don’t Look Now and Alice, Sweet Alice, in one creepy combination, though it isn’t quite as chilling as either of those films.
6. Unhinged (1982)
This underrated video nasty was released in 1982 and infamously banned in the UK along with dozens of other now-classic horror films (Night Warning and Cannibal Holocaust to name a couple). The plot centers on three college girls, who wreck their car in the woods on the way to a jazz festival. They’re rescued by a creepy family with a dark and murderous secret. Great, memorable finish.
5. The Sentinel (1977)
Based on the horror novel by Jeffrey Konvitz, The Sentinel has one of the best casts ever assembled for a horror movie. The stunning Cristina Raines plays lead but is often overshadowed by Eli Wallach, Chris Sarandon, and Burgess Meredith. You’ll also notice John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Ava Gardner, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Walken, Beverly D’Angelo, William Hickey, and Tom Berenger, just to name a few. Lots of grotesque stuff here. It was particularly controversial for its usage of individuals with real-life deformities in symbolizing Hell near the end of the third act. Great 1970s horror that’s as disturbing today as it was then.
Before we move on, let’s just say upfront that No. 4’s trailer is NOT SAFE FOR WORK (NSFW):
4. Men Behind The Sun (1988)
Man the barf bags. This 1988 Hong Kong production features the real-life autopsy of a child on film, according to director T.F. Mous. It’s a twisted marriage of war and horror, but a word of warning: you can’t un-see this one, so think hard before popping it in your DVD player.
3. Irreversible (2002)
Okay, if there was one on this list that you’ve seen, this is probably it. If not, then by all means, go to Netflix Instant and punish yourself with it. Irreversible is told backwards and begins with Alex (Monica Bellucci) getting brutalized and raped by a stranger in an underpass. While not technically a horror film, it’s a lot rougher than most in the genre, so it deserves inclusion.
Next trailer is also NSFW:
2. Nothing Underneath (1985)
A Cinemax classic! That’s at least where I first discovered it much to the chagrin of my parents many years ago. In its Italian form it’s known as Sotto il vestito niente. The plot centers on the brutal killings of a group of fashion models, perpetrated by a scissors-wielding madman (or woman).
1. Tell Me Something (1999)
This 1999 South Korean thriller is more giallo than any film Italian cinema has been able to conjure up in recent years. Someone in Seoul is butchering bodies and leaving the parts inside plastic bags in very public places. It’s up to Detective Cho to get to the bottom of it.
And after you’re done catching up on this list, try checking out our Halloween Horror Movie Pics.