It is that time of the year again! Halloween is upon us, the pumpkin carving has begun, and we are lining up movies ready for a horror film marathon – perfect for the spooky season.
Although classics such as The Exorcist, Nightmare On Elm Street and The Shining never get old, you may be looking for a new horror film to watch, something fresh which previously wasn’t on your radar.
With so much choice out there though it can be heard to make a decision on which films to feature in your horror marathon, but fear no more – we are here to help.
Here are our top picks of great horror flicks that you probably have missed, but should definitely check out.
Released in 2018, this rather excellent low budget science-fiction horror film fell under the radar for most, which is a shame as it is definitely worth seeing, especially if you are a fan of the more bizarre end of the genre.
Following two brothers as they venture back to the U.F.O. death cult they used to call home, The Endless is an increasingly strange movie that is all the more bewitching because of the unexpected turns it takes.
It may lack frills, but the grounded approach filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (who also star as the brothers) take is very effective, and whilst it has a meagre budget, it certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to inventiveness.
South Korean director Park Chan-wook is famous for his brilliant thrillers Oldboy, Thirst and The Handmaiden amongst others.
However, his 2013 English language debut Stoker remains sadly underseen, despite the fact it is an incredibly compelling and intriguingly mysterious movie, that has a unique disturbingly sumptuous beauty to it visually.
One of the reasons it is continually engaging leaving you gripped is the fantastic performances from lead trio Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman as the Stoker family, who of course hold many dark secrets.
Daniel Isn’t Real
A gem you may have missed last year is Daniel Isn’t Real, an impressive indie psychological horror that is much more than initially meets the eye.
Following a troubled young man as he resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope following a traumatic event, it is a slick thriller that is a rather heady and hallucinatory experience.
The film also delves into themes including toxic masculinity and mental health, meaning you will be left with plenty to think about and reflect on long after the end credits have rolled.
We couldn’t not include a Japanese film on this list with J-horror being one of the best, but also most underseen, subgenres within horror.
But what to choose? Well, we have gone with Hausu, known over here as House, which without a doubt is the wildest, wackiest and weirdest movie included on this list of horrors you may have missed.
For the best experience, go in knowing as little as possible, so we keeping our cards close to our chest, but we can promise you one thing – there really is never a dull moment on this gleefully deranged ride.
Over the past few years writer/director Mike Flanagan has established himself as a modern master of horror with the well received film Doctor Sleep and television series The Haunting Of Hill House helping establish his name.
It is well worth taking a dive into his earlier works though, including 2013 movie Oculus, which stars Karren Gillan as a young woman who believes that an antique mirror is responsible for the death her family has suffered.
An early indication of Flanagan’s talent, this supernatural horror will certainly send shivers down the spine with an emphasis on creating dread and tension rather than all-out gore.
I Saw The Devil
Some of the best horror films of recent years have come from South Korea, including Train To Busan, The Wailing and The Host (the latter of which is of course directed by Bong Joon-ho whose film Parasite won Best Picture at this year’s Oscars).
I Saw The Devil should also be included alongside those films, a grisly, ugly and extremely violent horror-thriller which was missed by many thanks to its limited theatrical release here in the UK.
Definitely not for the faint of heart, if you are looking for a brutal and bloody film for your horror marathon, you need look no further than this brilliant revenge story.
Under The Skin
Although it has garnered a cult following since its release, Jonathan Glazer’s haunting science-fiction horror Under The Skin still remains underseen, despite the fact it features a chilling and masterful performance from Scarlett Johansson at the heart of the movie.
Starring as an otherworldly woman who preys on men in Scotland, Johansson really did trawl the streets of Glasgow in a white van, chatting to whoever she came across on the journey with much of the film shot with hidden cameras.
It all makes for a rather trippy experience, and whilst admittedly its ambiguity isn’t for everyone, it definitely will disturb all.
The most recent addition to this list is one of the biggest indie film success stories of the year – British horror Host, a movie made entirely during lockdown that follows a group of friends as they embark on a Zoom seance.
Quickly becoming a viral hit and described by many as one of the best horror films of recent years, it is a remarkable achievement especially considering the low budget and unique production.
It isn’t just about the gimmick though, as Host delivers that all important fear factor and jump scares during its tight 57 minute runtime.
Available to watch on horror streaming service Shudder you may have missed this one, but it is definitely worth a watch, even if it will put you off video calls forever.
Also check out our interview with director Rob Savage.
This 1981 psychological horror film which tells the story of a woman who starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce was a flop at the box office, also being a critical failure receiving lukewarm reviews.
In the years following though it has acquired cult status, being reevaluated by both critics and audiences especially recently, and after watching it you will understand why.
Uncompromising in the way it grapples with complex themes, it is a strange and enigmatic beast but that is what makes it both a must watch, and a haunting experience.
Under The Shadow
In 2016 writer/director Babak Anvari stormed onto the scene with Under The Shadow, a Persian-language psychological horror film which provides much food for thought, as well as nightmares to haunt you when you sleep.
Following a mother and daughter as they are haunted by a mysterious evil in war-torn Tehran, it is an effectively terrifying horror whilst also being a thought-provoking drama thanks to its historical setting.
Set during the height of the Iran-Iraq War, the film masterfully blends together chilling supernatural events with real-world horrors, making for a unique and unsettling experience.