You may call yourself a horror fan, but there are times when a flick so inventive and enjoyable slithers across the screen it leaves you thinking, How have I not seen this before? These are nine of those underrated horror movies, to be watched as soon as possible.
1. Lovely Molly
Female lead starts to lose her mind while spending the duration of the reel in little to no clothing. Sound familiar? Well, think again. Yes, Gretchen Lodge, who stars as Molly, a newlywed who sees a demon creature more than she does her new hubbie, spends much of the film completely nude. However, Eduardo Sanchez’s supernatural creep show is more than skin deep; it’s an attempt at reinvigorating the found-footage subgenre. And for better or worse, it’s bone rattling.
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Highly acclaimed by critics yet pretty much universally unseen by the general pubic, Coherence is a crazy-compelling psychological thriller whose weird-out factor is through the roof. Similar to Karyn Kusama’s recent breakout hit, The Invitation, this puzzle of a picture is also centered around a dinner party that goes awry. Only this time, it’s the universe that’s responsible for the evening’s troubling chain of events. Sci-fi fiends, this one’s for you.
It’s movies like this one that will forever keep us from the mythical devil’s playground that occupies a portion of the North Atlantic Ocean. Triangle features a group of friends, whose vacation takes them from sailing on a yacht through the Bermuda Triangle one second, to offing their doppelgangers on an abandoned ocean liner the next. Christopher Smith’s mindbender stars genre alum Melissa George in a twisted indie that will keep you guessing until its final moments.
Fans of films like The Mist, Cujo, Devil, or any other horror flick that boxes its principal cast into a confined space, then picks them off, one by one, will feel right at home with Splinter. A hostage horror/creature feature hybrid, it takes place for the most part inside an isolated gasoline station. There, a couple and a convict have to work together to outlive a prickly parasite that’s turning its hosts into splintering monsters.
5. Lake Mungo
Genre fans have had their fill of possession fare over the past few years: The Paranormals, Grave Encounters, The Taking of Deborah Logan. Here’s one they may have missed. An Australian fright film that’s also a comment on grief, Lake Mungo is a mockumentary that plays out through interviews of the Palmer family who are both grieving the drowning death of their 16-year-old daughter Alice, and haunted by the ghost residing in Alice’s now-empty room. Watch with the lights on.
Director Adam Green is probably best known for his Hatchet franchise, but it’s this emotionally charged mumblegore survival tale that we think is his best. It’s about three skiers who get stranded on a ski lift for the entire weekend, and have to fight off Mother Nature and her wolves in order to survive. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll never look at the slopes the same again.
7. Eden Lake
If you’re not ready to leave the lake just yet, we highly recommend you add this smart British horror that stars Kelly Reilly opposite Michael Fassbender to your visceral arsenal. As Jenny and Steve, the pair make nice out in the woods until a gang of knife-carrying hoodlums spoil their idyll. And by spoil, we mean terrorize, hunt, and torture.
8. The Loved Ones
Hell hath no fury like a teenage girl who gets rejected by her dream boy. Case in point: Lola, the shy wallflower who exacts revenge–with her daddy’s toolbox, no less–on the kid who respectfully declines her invitation to the prom. They say it’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Sixteen Candles, and, honestly, isn’t that enough?
9. Sleep Tight
This Spanish scarer is worth the subtitles. If you've ever lived in an apartment building, you'll understand the desire to mess with your annoying neighbors—although hopefully not to the extent shown here. When the building's doorman decides that one of its residents is just a bit too... perky, he decides to take matters into his own hands. His terrifying psychological and physical torture of Clara will leave you utterly unable to "sleep tight".
Featured still from "Lovely Molly" via Haxan Films & Amber Entertainment