BY MACK VELTMAN
The month of October–and of course the day of Halloween itself–is a great time to cuddle on the couch beneath your blanket and binge horror movies, and as many people adjust to a Halloween holiday spent indoors, movies are the best bet to sate your horror appetite. You may be more of a classics fan and choose to watch The Omen or Friday the 13th, or you may choose a recent release like the Invisible Man remake or the truly terrifying Us. Or maybe you’re looking for a horror movie haven’t seen before, and who’s title may have slipped under your radar. If you’re in the mood for some spooktastic titles to binge this Halloween season, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six horror movies you (probably) never heard of:
Every college student knows the horrors of finals week, but toss in a creepy serial killer intent on murdering you and all your friends, and you’re in for a truly horrifying conclusion to the term. Final Exam is 1981 slasher film which follows an almost entirely arbitrary killer as he stalks and murders a group of students left at a college campus just days before the university’s summer vacation. While the movie’s often unfavorably compared to the classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th, it sets itself apart from the slue of 1980s slasher films with a slow build-up and establishment of the lead characters which leaves you feeling almost sorry when they bite the dust. Toss in a surprising opening sequence and minimal gore, this is great film to newbies to the horror movie craze or someone looking for a movie that’s largely fallen into obscurity.
What do you get when you combine horny delinquents and maniacal killer robots? Chopping Mall is 1986 horror comedy film which focuses on three security robots–or Killbots–that go on a killing spree after a lightning storm damages the computer controlling with their programming. A group of the employees hoping to spend the night in the massive mall and party and sleep together, are relentlessly hunted and killed by the robots in this technology-gone-wrong tale. While the film is somewhat cheap, the kills are memorable and the robots make for some pretty intense villains, once you get past their…interesting design. Chopping Mall is starting to gain notice in popular culture, so check this one out if you haven’t seen it.
If you’re into grindhouse horror and want to see Eugene Levy pre-Schitt’s Creek, look no further than Cannibal Girls, a 1973 Canadian independent comedy horror film. The movie follows a young couple who spend the night in an old farmhouse (surprise, surprise) owned by a creepy reverend only to discover that beautiful, flesh hungry women who live there are determined to eat any man who stumbles across them. It’s a pretty low budget film, but it did cameo in Ghostbusters II, and as mentioned above, features a young Eugene Levy, so this one is definitely worth a watch. Be warned: lots of nudity in this one.
Stage Fright is a 1987 Italian slasher film which follows a group of stage actors and crew who lock themselves in a theater for a rehearsal of a musical production, only to find themselves at the mercy of an escaped serial killer locked in the theater with them. Famed horror director Michele Soavi crafted a deeply unsettling but visually stunning and artistic film which manages to make an owl mask-wearing killer pretty intimidating. The actors bring a level of humanity and relatability to the characters as they fight to survive the night, and the disturbing and beautiful set design makes for a truly unique viewing experience.
At 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, Hush is the highest rated horror movie on the list so far. The bloody and suspenseful home invasion movie-currently available on Netflix– follows a deaf and mute horror writer, Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) who must fight for her life when a masked killer appears at her window. Without the reliance on jump scares, director Mike Flannigan expertly builds tension and suspense and presents some of the most shocking scenes in near silence. Siegel gives a truly magnetic performance as she strategically fights for survival, and delivers one of the most satisfying “F*ck yeah!” moments in the film’s conclusion, leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat from start to finish.
Curtains 1983 Canadian slasher film following a group of actresses auditioning for a role in a movie at a prestigious director’s mansion where they are targeted by a killer in hag mask straight out of a nightmare. A shameless whodunit with several professional actors and some glossy production values, Curtains offers a unique and melancholic viewing experience and one of the most chilling and terrifying scenes on ice I have ever seen. This movie definitely deserves a top spot in your horror movie binge.
And there you have it! Six horror movies you’ve (probably) never heard of. Let me know in the comments if you’ve watched any of these flicks, and as always, stay nerdy!