Film

10 Horror Films You Need to Catch Up With

Even the most dedicated follower of fear hasn't seen every horror movie made. Here are ten you need to catch up with, if you haven't already.

So, you're a horror fan. A dedicated follower of dread. You've seen all the classics and suffered through hundreds of hackneyed wannabes. Whenever October roles around and the studios start thinking about scares, you head over to your favorite fright-oriented website and read up on all the potential paranormal activity to take place. You eagerly anticipate a date at the local Cineplex, or more times than not, an epic streaming across several VOD platforms.

Usually you're disappointed. Sometimes, you're rewarded. And even after all that, after numerous revisits to a certain cabin in the woods or a haunted '70s-era farmhouse, you're still not satisfied. You want more, and not just the junk that Tinseltown thinks is frightening (like sudden shocks in front of a surveillance camera).

Well, we're here to help. Of course, being a connoisseur of all things creepy, this alphabetical list of ten horror movies you need to catch up with may already be old news to you. After all, macabre mavens will search long and hard for something, anything original and exciting within their favorite cinematic style. It's their purpose in life.

Of course, just like taste in music and/or favorite foods, not everyone will agree on the choices here. In fact, there are at least two titles among the others that will probably see significant hatred based on the credited director's name alone. Still, for those who need their fill of fear, or who've gone through every possible permutation of the entire Friday the 13th / Halloween / Nightmare on Elm Street series, these movies might just surprise and scare you.

 
The House of the Devil
Ti West is one of the most interesting new horror directors around. While James Wan lays claim to reviving the old school '70s horror film, this fledgling fright maestro has made several equally effective outings. This is one of his best, a suspense filled journey into Satanic slasher strangeness. When a young woman agrees to be a "babysitter" for a family, she doesn't realize that the job comes with a price: her soul. By working within the expectations of the genre while avoiding the gore and splatter of the contemporary creepshow, West delivers some incredible scares.

 
Livid
After the blood soaked excess of their brilliant Inside (about a brutal battle over a fetus between two women -- seriously), you'd expect the French fright filmmaking team of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury to deliver something equally bloody. Instead, they pull back on the arterial spray a bit to instead delve into more fantasy-oriented fear. With a bow to Dario Argento's Suspiria (everything centers around a suspicious ballet teacher and her ex-students), the duo do their damnedest to create what they refer to as a Grimm's Fairy Tale with the arterial spray left in. They succeed in sadistic spades.

 
Lords of Salem
Speaking of Argento, no one has made a more brilliant and baffling homage to the man's films (and Italian horror in general) than the famed rocker turned auteur. There are even snippets of Ken Russell and Stanley Kubrick in this excellent slow burn descent into devil-worshipping madness. A young female DJ is sent an odd album by the title group, and once she plays it, becomes overwhelmed by a sense of doom. Turns out, the apartment she rents may contain a doorway to Hell. After building layer upon layer of tension, Zombie finally goes into overdrive, turning the ending in masterwork of mindbending macabre.

 
The Loved Ones
For those who will step out on their date for the prom, they'd better consider this rousing Australian torture fest. Based a bit in the by now DOA dynamic established by Hostel and the latter Saw films, the story here centers on a troubled young man who is kidnapped by a girl he stood up for the school dance. With her incestuous father's help, our heroine struggles to find a "prince" among many "frogs", drilling holes in the head of those who don't meet her 'royal' requirements. While there is a lot of violence here, there's also a lot of pitch black humor.

 
Maniac (2012)
The original William Lustig nasty from 1980 gets a shaky-cam make-over, and the results are sensational. Elijah Wood takes over for the late, great Joe Spinell and uses his disarming cuteness to really sell the shivers. As a young man obsessed with bringing his whore mother "back" from the dead, the Lord of the Rings star slashes his way through one victim after another. The gimmick here is that director Franck Khalfoun films everything, everything, from the killer's POV, resulting in a scary movie experience that's both unique and still highly visceral. One of the best remakes ever.

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