10 Horror Movies You Need to Watch This Halloween

It’s that time of year again, when AMC runs edited for TV horror movies that have had the gore and swearing edited out, and you have to pay money for candy you’re going to give to strange children which would make you a suspected molester every other day of the year.  Each year at this time you can expect a big, fat rollout of lists that contain the best horror movies of all time and pretty much every list will be exactly the same.  They always include Carpenter’s Halloween, Psycho, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby and so on.  Some even have the nerve to include Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, as though the fact they spawned numerous sequels means either of them were actually good movies.  Don’t argue with me on this, but they weren’t.  Not “best” good anyway.  Tolerable.

So this year, why bother reading about how you should see the same 10 movies they told you to watch last year, which are 10 movies you probably saw at least 10 years ago anyway, only now they include Cabin in the Woods to seem sort of up to date?  Screw that noise.  Here’s 10 movies you want to see that, statistically speaking, you probably haven’t seen yet.  Also, if you have seen them, feel free to recommend better ones.  Or just tell me how great my taste in film is.  Whatevs.

Horns

The only reason you haven’t seen this yet is that it hasn’t come out yet.  Daniel Radcliffe pulls off an American accent and gets to be the victim of the titular horns after he’s accused of killing his girlfriend.  It’s not full on horror in the slasher style or anything, but it is a movie about a dude with devil horns and there is a murderer on the loose somewhere.  Definitely worth watching if for no other reason than to see the dark side of Harry Potter.

Absentia

A woman’s husband goes missing as people in horror movies tend to do and after a few years of trying to move on, some shady business starts going down, particularly in the tunnel down the street from her house.  No spoilers but it’s heavily implied that there’s some serious and potentially gross monster abuse in this movie.

Cockneys vs Zombies

You have no end of zombie movies to choose from these days but a solid 90% of them are terrible just because people keep making more and more while putting in pretty much no effort.  For every Dawn of the Dead there are 30 Zombie Strippers From Hells.  Lucky for you that Cockneys vs Zombies exists, because it’s awesome in pretty much every way and features the ultimate chase scene in which an old person with a walker has to agonizingly slowly outrun equally slow undead stalkers.  Also, it features the foul-mouthed Brick Top from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  If you like Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, you’ll dig this.  UPDATE!  My bad, Alan Ford played Brick Top in Snatch.  But he was also in Lock, Stock because he is awesome.

Stakeland

The name sucks and I avoided watching this movie for a solid three months convinced it was a vampire knock off of Zombieland, but it’s worth checking out.  Even though it kind of is a vampire knockoff of Zombieland, it’s not light in tone like the Z flick, and really takes the idea of surviving in a world where humans aren’t in control anymore as a rough, gritty and harsh experience, almost as though we’d regressed to frontier times.  But with vampires.

Grave Encounters

It’s a found footage movie!  Man, these are rarely ever good anymore, but this low budget one has some real charm to it, even if some of the scares are a bit too typical of the genre.  The setting, a real life mental hospital in Western Canada, is perfect and really makes the film what it is.  If you like your scares in the jumpy variety, or you want to put on a flick to make the other people in the room jump while you comfort them in a manly way, give it a spin.

Kill List

This movie is pretty bad ass.  Calling it a horror movie is a bit generous as it starts off more as a dark drama about hitmen and then takes a downward spiral into some freaky, weird stuff in the 3rd act.  But just look at what you have already – a dark tale about hitmen that only gets darker.  The ending might leave you scratching your head a bit but that’s OK, you’ll still have enjoyed the trip there.

May

This movie is straight up freaky weird and that’s 80% thanks to the lead actress who could be reading stereo instructions and still somehow be creepy.  That said, she’s not reading stereo instructions and over the course of the film you get to enjoy her lonely mental breakdown and the consequences of that breakdown on the people around here.  Also, thumbs up to the very final image of the movie which is absolutely creepy as hell.

Contracted

It’s another zombie movie and one of the most unique ones you’ll ever see.  Some criticize the pacing as slow and to that I say “this is a movie in which zombism is an STD.”  You can pace that however you like, but watching a girl go through the slow decay and suffering of picking up something from a strange dude at a party is pretty visceral, and then the end really caps the movie off beautifully.  It’s a good spin on the zombie genre.

American Mary

If you haven’t heard of the Soska Sisters, Canadian twin director and writers, this is where you want to start with them.  American Mary is amped up atmosphere with sexiness and creepiness holding hands throughout the entire film.  They call films like Saw and Hostel “torture porn” but this might be better described as torture erotica, if for no other reason than it’s not nearly so blunt and dirty as those other movies. This is paced and elegant in its debauchery.  But for real, lots of people get cut up.

Braindead/Dead Alive

I include this movie because if for some reason you haven’t seen it, you now know you need to see it.  Before Peter Jackson became God’s gift to fantasy nerds with his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit adaptations, he was a half assed Aussie filmmaker, cranking out insane horror movies like this one, which has long been regarded as one of the goriest zombie movies ever made.  It’s so ridiculously over the top you just have to watch it.  For what it’s worth, this is the only movie I’ve ever seen that features a reverse birth wherein a full grown man gets sucked back into his own mother’s monstrous uterus.  Plus it features a lawnmower massacre.  And a Sumatran rat monkey.  How are you not watching this yet?