“Horror is a universal language; we’re all afraid. We’re born afraid, we’re all afraid of things: death, disfigurement, loss of a loved one. Everything that I’m afraid of, you’re afraid of and vice versa.”
Whether you’re new to horror or a veteran, here are ten movies you absolutely should check out before the cold hand of death wraps its fingers around your throat.
10. Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood (1973)
A very low-budget horror featuring a pre-bond Herve Villechaize. When this film first started, I really didn’t think I was going to get on with it but there is something really charming about it as it progresses. Watch it, let it do its thing, and it might just win you over.
9. Carnival of Souls (1962)
A brilliant horror film that stays with you after watching. With a nightmare feeling throughout, this film deserves at least one rewatch after the initial viewing.
8. The Uninvited (1944)
Based on Dorothy Macardle’s novel, The Uninvited feels way ahead of its time as far as horror from the 40s goes. The brother and sister characters have a really nice dynamic and are likable stars. After buying a mansion, the sibling duo soon find their new house is haunted. The Uninvited is actually generously filled with some real creepy sequences.
7. Midnight Mass (2021)
Technically, this is a series so a bit of a cheat to this list. After his two ‘Haunting of’ series, Mike Flanagan knocks it out of the park with Midnight Mass. Without a doubt his best work to date. It seems to not gather the attention it quite deserved when it landed on streaming but this is what horror is all about. So much going on beneath the surface that is equally as terrifying as the initial scares. The jump scares actually work
and are not overused; the characters you’re supposed to like, you love and the characters you’re supposed to dislike, you really detest.
6. Apostle (2018)
From the director of The Raid movies comes Apostle. Starring Dan Stevens who travels to search for his missing sister only to discover Michael Sheen acting like an absolutely terrifying mad man.
5. The Lighthouse (2019)
Famous for its three script pages of both the leads repeatedly saying ‘what’ to each other, director Robert Eggers himself described this as Willem Dafoe going ‘ar, ar, ar, ar, ar’ and Robert Pattinson going ‘onk, onk, onk, onk,’ which is enough of a reason to give it a watch.
Also, Eggers seems to like to include scenes of people being eaten by birds, so if that’s your thing…
4. Spring (2014)
Get on the Benson and Moorhouse train as soon as possible; this director-duo are the new kings of ultra-low-budget horror. Before their new Marvel series, the two directed Spring. Described as a romantic horror, Spring starts off feeling a bit generic but as it continues, you’re really won over by the intrigue. The low budget aesthetic of the movie really helps elevate its strangeness. If you like it, also check out Resolution, The Endless, and Synchronic (and here’s four recommendations for the price of one).
3. Don’t Look Now (1973)
The opening is so tragic, you wonder what the hell you’ve signed up for. As beautiful as Venice is in reality, here, it acts as a creepy backdrop for Don’t Look Now. Never really answering your questions, you’re constantly wondering what the hell is going on. I’ve heard from some that this can make the middle section drag and feel quite slow. However, I think there is something hauntingly romantic, as well as scary, about so much of this film.
2. Possum (2018)
I was really surprised to see poor reviews and low ratings of this film. Again, a movie with a very dark subtext, the whole vibe of the film is very unsettling. Combine all of that with the always-terrifying Sean Harris.
1. Mandy (2018)
A film filled with chainsaw battles, burning people alive, and murderous cults, I found Mandy strangely endearing and tragic. There is something romantic and equally unsettling about the whole film. The first time I saw it, I sat leaning forward, unable to believe what I was seeing.
What did you think of our list? Have you seen these or have they just been added to your weekend watchlist? Let us know if there’s anything we missed.