October is here! Every year during “Spooky Season” people look for the perfect horror films to watch to get themselves along with their friends and family into the Halloween spirit. There is nothing better than finding the perfect horror film that has the entire room on the edge of their seats. Sometimes the movie doesn’t even have to be “terrifying” just cheesy and strange enough to share some awkward laughs. After many years, you may have exhausted all the classics: The Exorcist, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining...you get the picture. Instead, you may be looking for something to watch that’s a little bit more obscure or you just haven’t seen. Here’s a list of some of the best hidden gems in horror.
1)Sleepaway Camp (1983) The best camp slasher movie of all time in my opinion. The ending is legendary. That is all I have to say, now go watch it with all your friends dammit.
Where to watch: Vudu (free) , Tubi (free) , Youtube (free), Blu-Ray Release
2)Society (1989) A teen living in Beverly Hills discovers his wealthy family and friends aren’t what they seem. In fact, they are a part of a social elite cult set out to eat the poor..or something like that.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (free), Youtube (free), Blu-Ray Release
3) The Burning (1981) If you’ve seen all the Friday the 13th films and are looking for something similar but refreshing check out The Burning. It was released just about a year after the first in the “13th” franchise. However, it does just about everything a little better. You can also expect to see a young Jason Alexander from Seinfeld and Brian Backer from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Where to watch: Youtube (free), Blu-ray Release
4)Night of The Comet (1984) God is this movie entertaining. It’s one of those films where after you watch it you can’t help but be disappointed nobody else has seen it. The storyline follows two Valley Girls who are some of the last survivors after a comet takes out most of earth. Now there’s nothing left to do but fight cannibal zombies and go shopping. Also, take a second and admire how desolate the city looks in a movie that didn’t have CGI or the budget to actually remove people for filming.
Where to watch: Tubi (free), Youtube(free), Amazon Prime (3.99), Blu-Ray Release
5)Pet (2016) Dominic Monaghan from The Lord of the Rings and the TV series Lost, stars in a film about a lonely yet lovable (sorta I guess) animal shelter assistant. He becomes obsessed after running into an old classmate from high school, Holly. Someone ends up in a cage, that’s all I’ll guarantee.
Where to watch: Tubi (free), Vudu (free), Youtube (free)
6)Dead Alive (1993) Before going on to direct the Lord of the Rings trilogy Peter Jackson worked on a handful of B-rate horror films. In the spirit of Evil Dead, Dead Alive has been hailed as one of the goriest horror films of all time. Of course it’s also incredibly cheesy and over-the-top, but in that great way where you can’t help but keep watching. To quickly sum up the plot, all hell breaks loose when a mama’s boy has to tend to his mother after she was bitten by a rabid monkey-rat.
Where to watch: Youtube (free), DVDs and Blu-Rays are rare
7) Salo (120 Days of Sodom) (1975) Are you the type to never get grossed out by movies? Feel like nothing could possibly shock you? Well, here’s a movie for you. I saw this film one time about ten years ago and I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen again. The movie takes place during WWII; a group of fascists round up young men and women and subject them to 120 days of pure torture. Easily one of the most controversial films of all time. I certainly wouldn’t suggest watching this one while trying to eat.
Where to watch: DVD/Blu-Ray
8)Ginger Snaps (2000) Imagine if instead of becoming a woman, puberty made you into a blood thirty werewolf. That’s essentially what’s happening here for Ginger. This film, along with it’s two sequels have developed quite a cult following. Werewolf sisters are badass, it’s that simple.
Where to watch: Youtube (free), Tubi (free) , Vudu (free)
9)May (2002) May is the story of an outcast who constantly yearns for the affection and acceptance of others. The more that she tries she finds there are “so many pretty parts but no pretty wholes”. Shit definitely gets weird in this one, however it does have a cast of familiar faces including: Anna Faris, Angela Bettis, and Jeremy Sisto.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (3.99), Vudu (3.99)
10)The Devil’s Backbone (2001) Before The Shape of Water, Pan's Labyrinth, and Hellboy. Guillermo Del Toro wrote this horror masterpiece. Both politically charged and terrifying, The Devil’s Backbone tells the story of a 10 year old boy who enters a haunted orphanage after losing his father in the Spanish Civil War. It’s the first of about five movies on this list that are in a different language. I wouldn’t make you read if it wasn’t worth it, trust me.
Where to watch: Youtube (3.99), Amazon Prime (3.99)
11)Let The Right One In (2008) A young boy from Stockholm is bullied until he makes the best friend he could have asked for. Eli, a twelve year old vampire girl. While the relationship between the two grows so does the body count in their small town. In 2010 an American remake of this movie was released starring Chloë Grace Moretz, which is pretty good. Definitely doesn’t come close to this original Swedish version, so please, get ready to read some subtitles.
Where to watch: Hulu
12)Jacob’s Ladder (1990) Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a Vietnam Vet suffering from a severe case of dissociation attempting to uncover his past. After the death of his son, he can’t tell the difference between his dreams and reality. All around one of the most well made films on the list with an extremely gripping ending. There is also now a 2019 remake to this film.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (2.99), Showtime
13)Night of The Demons (1988) Ten teens decide to spend their Halloween night in an abandoned funeral parlor. Needless to say it doesn’t work out very well for them. I would recommend watching this movie with a group of friends. It’s super fun and cheesy. Everyone will get a good laugh or cry..not sure which.
Where to watch: Vudu (2.99), Tubi (2.99), Youtube (free), Blu-Ray
14)Eraserhead (1977) One of the ultimate cult classics! The first full length film by David Lynch, best known for Twin Peaks. What’s it about? Good question! Parenthood maybe? The visuals along with the creepy ass score make this movie feel like something you shouldn’t be watching. Go ahead, at least check out the trailer.
Where to watch: Youtube (2.99), Amazon Prime (3.99)
15)Nightbreed (1990) Boone dreams of a world underground where monsters are real, however, they aren’t the bad guys. In fact the humans seem to be a much bigger problem. From the mind of Clive Barker, the make-up and effects used to bring the city of Midan to life will surely satisfy any horror fan.
Where to watch: Tubi (free), Amazon (3.99), Youtube (free)
16) Cemetery Man (1994) Francesco Dellamorte is a cemetery worker in a small town in Italy. His job would be quite peaceful if all the dead didn’t keep coming back to life. You’ll be hooked in after the trailer for this one! *NUDITY WARNING* because apparently trailers without boobs for this don’t exist.
Where to watch: Youtube (great quality), DVD/Blu-ray
17)Tales From The Hood (1995) Horror Anthologies are the bomb! Tales From The Hood is certainly one of the best. In the film, a drug dealer and his friends enter a funeral home where they meet Mr. Simms. Their goal is to buy drugs, but first Mr. Simms plans on telling them about some of his recent “customers”.
Where to watch: Starz, Youtube (3.99), Amazon (3.99)
18)Behind the Mask (2006) Everyone wants to be like their heroes, while others may aspire to be like Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, Leslie Vernon would much rather be like Michael Myers. In this Mockumentary, a film crew follows Leslie as he plans his first killing spree. While Jason and Freddy might make it look easy, Leslie shows us all the practice and training it truly takes to be a masked killer. Where to watch: Youtube (3.99), Amazon Prime (3.99),
19)Horns (2014) Daniel Radcliffe wakes up hungover as hell to find that his girlfriend has been murdered and he is to blame. From the time of her death he begins growing horns that give him supernatural powers. People begin confessing their darkest sins and giving in to their most devilish impulses whenever they come in contact with him. Super fun movie! Would probably suggest this as a top pick on the list if you aren’t a horror fanatic and are just looking for something fun to get into the Halloween spirit!
Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime (3.99), Youtube (3.99)
20)Into the Mouth of Madness (1995) You can’t make any horror movie list without a John Carpenter film! By 1995 he was already a legend but, I feel like this one gets overlooked. Conceptually it’s about what if a fictional Stephen King had all his stories come to life..total shit show right? Into the Mouth of Madness is also considered to be part three in Carpenter’s apocalypse trilogy with parts one and two being The Thing and The Prince of Darkness.
Where to watch: Vudu (free), Youtube (2.99), Amazon Prime (2.99)
21)Stir of Echoes (1999) Smells like Kevin Bacon! This is a great supernatural thriller that I actually found pretty freakin scary the first time I saw it. Kev or Tom Witzkiy gets hypnotized by his sister-in-law at a family party and begins seeing the spirit of a young girl who went missing in their town a few months in the past. The trailer doesn’t do it much justice but, I promise it’s a good one!
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (3.99), Youtube (3.99), DVD (probably also 3.99)
22)Goodnight Mommy (2015) German horror movie for you here. The story of two twin boys who do everything together. When their mother comes home after reconstruction surgery on her face, the boys notice a change in their mother’s character while her head is wrapped in bandages. They’ve come to the conclusion that something’s wrong with mommy.
Where to watch: Vudu (free), Youtube (3.99), Amazon Prime (3.99)
23)It Follows (2015) Probably the most popular movie on this list. But, come on!! This is an instant classic. The score to this film is incredible and it has one of the freshest concepts in years! After having sex with someone, you are followed (slowly), by an entity that could look like anyone. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it off; AKA having sex with someone else. Guaranteed to bring good conversation while you watch.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (3.99), Vudu (7.50), iTunes (5.99), Can’t believe it’s off Netflix
24)Cube (1997) Before there was Saw, there was Cube. In the film, several strangers wake up in a cube shaped room that is constantly shifting. In order to escape they must explore the rooms around them and search for a way out. During the process they realize that some of the rooms are boobie trapped. Just as you think you’ve found a safe room; acid sprays in your face. Certainly an unnerving film that has some pretty gruesome death scenes.
Where to watch: Vudu (free), Tubi (free), Amazon Prime (3.99)
25)Martyrs (2008) A young woman goes out looking for revenge on the people who abused her as a child. When she finds herself in a strange house in the middle of the woods she calls upon her friend who was also a victim of child abuse for help. This French film is extremely graphic and violent. However, the gripping plot will have even squirmish viewers waiting to see the final scene. Martyrs has one of those endings you’ll be thinking about for awhile after it’s overs.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (9.99), iTunes (3.99)
26)Thir13en Ghosts (2001) “The only thing worse than being trapped in a house with a ghost is being trapped in a house with..thirteen ghosts.” When a rich uncle dies he leaves behind his house, fortune, and collection of ghosts for his family members. In my opinion this has always been a classic. It also has a cast of some of the hottest actors from the early 00’s including Matthew Lillard from Scooby Doo and Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie. Where to watch: Youtube (3.99), Amazon Prime (3.99), Vudu (3.99)
27) Freaks (1932) Think American Horror Story: Freakshow but, in the 1930’s. There are certain things you just can’t do anymore in film and this hour long pre-code masterpiece seems to be a prime example. All of the circus performers are the real thing and it is directed by Todd Browning, best known for his work on the original Dracula. For being 87 years old I believe this film has truly held the test of time. Check out how creepy this trailer is!
Where to watch: Youtube (2.99), Amazon Prime (2.99), Vudu (2.99)
28)Shadow People (2013) Whenever a movie says based on a true story you have to take it with a grain of salt. When it comes to Shadow People, there’s something about it that feels very real. The movie tells the story of a radio host who uncovers the story of hundreds of unexplained deaths in the 80’s.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime (3.99), iTunes (3.99), Vudu (3.99)
29)The Perfection (2018) This movie will straight-up play with your emotions! The Perfection is only one of two Netflix original films on this list. It follows a music prodigy who spent most of her prime years for performing tending to her sick mother. Now that her mother has passed, she goes back to meet the new star pupil at her old music school. Sounds tame? Sure...
Where to watch: Netflix
30)Audition (1999) Audition usually makes the list of “Best Horror Films of All Time”. Still, in 2019 I feel like many horror fans or movie fans in general are unaware of its greatness. In the film, a widower holds auditions for a new wife. He certainly picks a keeper. Where to watch: Amazon Prime (2.99), Vudu (2.99)
31)Gerald’s Game (2017) Netflix and Stephen King have actually been a pretty great combo so far. I will also suggest the newest one as well. In the Tall Grass (2019) is actually one of the strongest horror films to come out this year. As far as Gerald’s Game goes, there’s a lot of great stuff going on here. If the stomach turning idea of being handcuffed to a bed while your husband lies dead on the floor next to you isn’t enough; there are actually supernatural subplots to this film as well.