Just because a movie isn’t widely known doesn’t mean it can’t scare you senseless. Some of the greatest horror movies out there are those that have flown a little under the radar, never quite getting the attention they deserve. The following 13 severely underrated horror movies deserve a chance to terrify you, so get ready to say that you discovered them before they were cool.
If you’re a fan of body horror, than this cult favorite from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn should satisfy all your sick interests. This freaky tale of body-snatching and mutation follows an alien invasion in Wheelsy, South Carolina. A sinister alien parasite begins infecting people, morphing their human hosts into bulbous, tentacled slug-monsters. Gross, darkly funny, and full of great characters, Slither deserves acclaim.
The Possession doesn’t have a ton to offer that hard-core horror fans haven’t seen before. That being said, if you’re craving a simple but effective movie about demonic possession, this movie delivers. Divorced parents Clyde and Stephanie suddenly have a lot more to worry about when their young daughter exhibits demonic behavior after opening a box housing a dybbuk, a demon from Jewish mythology.
Cold Prey 1 & 2
A classic and effective slasher flick from Norway, the Cold Prey franchise begins with a group of young, attractive friends on a snowboarding retreat. When one of them breaks a leg carving some sweet powder, they spot an old hotel they can use for shelter. The hotel has been abandoned since 1975 and is filled with ominous clues that the friends should not be there, down to a creepy message in the guest book from the hotel’s last visitors. But of course, this being a slasher movie, our young heroes remain unaware that they’re being watched… and that the snow will soon be stained red with their blood.
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Leaving your children at home with an untested babysitter would be a source of anxiety for any parent. But when your actual babysitter has been attacked by a young woman desperate for children of her own (to torture and manipulate), you may want to worry a bit more. This utterly creepy thriller will leave you profundly uneasy–maybe don't watch it while the kids are home alone.
One of the creepier Christmas movies out there, The Children follows a family holiday that descends into carnage. After a long day of traveling, a family’s children begin showing signs of the flu. But this is no ordinary bug—as their illness progresses and spreads to the other children in the extended family, they become increasingly violent and dangerous as well.
An absolutely terrifying twist on the home invasion genre, Inside might be a little too brutal for viewers who have just had a baby, or plan on having one anytime soon. Pregnant and recently widowed Sarah is alone on Christmas Eve when a mysterious woman arrives at the front door. She demands to be let in, and reveals private information about how Sarah’s husband died. After looking through some photos, Sarah realizes the woman has been stalking her for some time—but her realization may have come too late. The woman knows how to get into Sarah’s home. And the one thing she wants is inside Sarah.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
This pop culture-savvy mockumentary is legitimately funny, and will delight horror fans with its meta sendup of slasher film tropes. Set in a world where the iconic killers from slasher films are all real, the mockumentary follows a serial-killer-in-training learning to emulate his heroes.
Grave Encounters 1 & 2
This found footage series will likely please fans of paranormal investigation shows like Ghost Adventures. The movie is framed as footage found after the hosts of Grave Encounters, a fictional paranormal investigation show, all disappear during a shoot at an abandoned psychiatric hospital.
This unremittingly brutal French-Canadian movie tracks two friends as they enact violent revenge on the people who held one of them captive for much of her childhood. Good luck working up the courage to stomach a second viewing of this one.
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This spooky but goofy supernatural film was directed by horror great James Wan. It’s not as genuinely scary as some of his other movies (The Conjuring, Annabelle: Creation) but as far as stories about haunted puppets and vengeful ventriloquist ghosts go, it’s pretty great.
With themes of true crime obsession and social media absorption permeating the film, Tragedy Girls is all too relevant to today's culture. Teens McKayla and Sadie run a true crime blog that can never, in their eyes, get enough followers. Soon, they hatch a plan certain to gain them more attention. They capture a serial killer and ask him to commit more murders that they can cover. This scheme goes... about as well as you could expect.
The House of the Devil
An unforgettable ode to 80s horror movies, Ti West’s The House of the Devil is unbearably tense, from its opening moments to the final, disturbing climax. A college student takes a babysitting job at an isolated home, and quickly begins to worry that her new employers may not be entirely what they seem. She’s fallen into a trap laid by a sinister band of Satanists–a classic beginner babysitter mistake!
Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time can be nerve-wracking, especially when a band of mask-wearing murderers start creatively killing your future in-laws off. Directed by Blair Witch’s Adam Wingard, the movie follows a young woman named Erin as she kicks butt left and right to survive a home invasion that occurs at a remote house owned by her boyfriend’s family.
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Featured still from "Tragedy Girls" via It's The Comeback Kids