Netflix has some great, staple Halloween movies. My personal favorite is The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I stream October through December. Others like Practical Magic and Jaws are getting a lot of streams, too. If you watched these to death, and are mourning the loss of The Shining from Netflix, here are some lesser known horror movies sure to keep you up at night:
The Awakening, 2011
A good old fashioned ghost movie, with plenty of jump scares and a questionable plot. Come for the scares in post-World War I England, stay for the Mansion of Lyme Park in Cheshire, which Austenites will recognize as Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Also, Game of Thrones fans will recognize a baby Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) co starring. This period piece also does a surprisingly honest take on PTSD and survivor’s remorse.
A Canadian film that premiered out of South by Southwest, Haunter is a new take on the classic ghost story, as told by the ghost herself. The main character is teenage Abigail Breslin, who is put into a position to help both the living and the dead. Part time travel, part Groundhog Day, watch Haunter for a take on a ghost’s day-to-day life.
Creep was physically painful to watch. Maybe it was the crazy first person POV of the camera, or the insanely talented Mark Duplass, but this is one movie I can’t bring myself to rewatch for the sake of this article. Once was enough. If you cringe easily, be prepared. Creep excels at taking a cringe-worthy situation and making it absolutely terrifying. Oh, and they just released the trailer for Creep 2.
The Babadook, 2014
If you watch horror all year round, you’ve probably seen or at least heard of The Babadook. That would mean it’s not exactly a “hidden” horror, like the title of this article might suggest. But it’s so well written that it needed to make an appearance on the list, just in case. The Babadook shows the dangers of repression, of ignoring mental illnesses, and just how hard it is to be a mother. The ending isn’t what you’d expect, either, but with the context of the movie’s themes, works beautifully. This is horror at its best – on the surface, it is frightening. Underneath the scares, is a universal truth to which people can relate.
I wouldn’t normally watch slasher films, because sometimes blood cheapens horror for the sake of shock, but Hush is one that actually terrifies through all the mess. It asks “If you were deaf, would you survive a knife-wielding maniac?” The answers is stress-inducing, watching a young deaf writer attempt to kill Writer’s Block (which is scary enough as it is, am I right?) in a remote cabin in the woods type situation. I’ve always thought locking myself away in a cabin to write would be romantic, but after Hush, not so much anymore.
Paranormal Activity, 2007
Perhaps PA would be guilty of not being “hidden”, either, but with its many sequels and their hype, the horror community may have forgotten about the one that started it all. This movie still gives me nightmares to this day, because I am the type of horror fan who is genuinely terrified of demonic entities. Watching Paranormal Activity through the first person POV and security cameras was, literally, my worse nightmare. And something should be said for one man writing, co-producing, photographing, editing, and directing a movie that I still refuse to watch by myself.
Which of these movies have you seen already? Which did I miss? Check back to TGON for more spooky goodness this October.