by Guest Blogger Daniel Hess
Every year the big question around Halloween is what to watch to get into the spirit of the pumpkin carving season. Well, in order to make the process a big easier, I’ve put together a list of 10 obscure horror films to watch this Halloween season. Maybe you’ll discover some new gems to add to your yearly viewing rotation. Either way, enjoy and may you have more tricks than treats with that perfectly brewed cup of pumpkin spice coffee!!
- Fears of the Dark (2007): A collection of short animated films that all play on the natural fear that we all have of the dark. This 2007 gem features gorgeous animation and stories that while not full of huge jump scares will certainly leave you with plenty to think about as you try to fall asleep at night.
- We Are What We Are (2013): Fans of the series Ozark will instantly recognize Julia Garner, who made one of her earliest film appearances here. A creepy slow burn movie that follows a reclusive family. This is another one that will keep your mind racing in all the worst ways after watching.
- Curtains (1983): For the slasher fans out there, may we present Curtains, a story of six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion who are hunted down by a mysterious masked murderer.
- Deathdream or Dead of Night (1974): A story of a young soldier killed in Vietnam who shows up at his family home. Charged with political and social commentary for the time. This is a film that combines vampiric style horror with a truly tragic tale.
- I Saw the Devil (2010): A gut-wrenching horror revenge film that is not for the faint of heart. Boasting some truly gory deaths and visceral scenes of carnage, you don’t walk away from this viewing with any sense left than feeling happy you made it through to the end.
- Creep (2014): A found footage (wait hear me out on this one) film about a videographer who answers an online ad to record the last messages of a dying man. This one only has two actors featured but provides some strangely dark comedy but also keeps the tension at the edge throughout the total viewing experience.
- The Uninvited (1944): For those who prefer their horror vintage, we have the 1944 The Uninvited (an in name only film came out in 2009 but not nearly as good). A story of a brother and sister who move into an old abandoned seaside house slowly discover that it is indeed haunted. The story follows the two as they try to discover the origins of the haunting and the secrets to breaking the curse of the supernatural presence. A staple of TCM midnight movie presentations for a reason.
- Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979): A remake/adaptation/spiritual successor to the silent film classic Nosferatu. This late 70s film is directed by the one and only Werner Herzog who brings his unique vision here in full force. If you ever wanted your vampire film filled with a little more of an indie art house style, then this is the one for you this Halloween season.
- May (2002): If nothing else, the ending of this film will surely leave you up at night. A creepy and atmospheric horror/drama/dark comedy film that hits on all the right notes. Angela Bettis delivers an especially harrowing performance as the titular May Canady.
- Trick or Treat (1986): Not to be confused with the 2009 of the almost same name (albeit missing the o in or). This movie begs to have a huge cult following in combining heavy metal, occult, comedy, and horror into one perfectly Halloween themed romp. A story of a young teenage boy who is devastated at the loss of his heavy metal idol, Sammi Curr, discovers a dark secret behind the music. He must prevent Sammi from coming back from the grave in a true heavy metal Satanic fashion.
Have you seen any of these obscure Halloween films? Are you looking forward to checking out a few from this list this coming spook season? Share your thoughts and happy viewing!
Daniel Hess is a writer/filmmaker/film critic from Baltimore, Maryland. He is the owner of To Tony Productions, a creative film production studio in Baltimore committed to telling interesting and thought provoking stories.