Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means…everyone is in the mood for horror (you know something to watch while sipping your pumpkin spice coffee).
Here are some films that need to become staples of Halloween horror along with the classics (the ones that are public domain will have a link to watch instead of a trailer).
10. Avenged (2013)
The most recent film on this list is about a deaf mute woman who is killed by a gang of rednecks. Her boyfriend goes looking for her only to be kidnapped by the same group. Little do these onion-towners know that she has been brought back to life by Native American magic and is out for revenge.
The film feels like a throwback to movies such as “I Spit on Your Grave” and “Thriller: a Cruel Picture” but is nowhere near as explicit. “Avenged” is more like “Kill Bill” fused with supernatural horror and one of the more original recent horror films.
9. Anguish (1987)
The most bizarre film on this list is a Spanish film done in the style of Italian films. “Anguish” is about a man who is brainwashed to kill by his telepathic mother and is also actually a movie that two teenage girls are seeing in a theater. Events in the real world start mirroring whats going on in the movie. The film is full of symbolism and is very unpredictable in the best way.
8. I, Madman(1989)
Film critic Roger Ebert barely ever likes horror films but he loved this one. The movie is about a bookstore clerk who discovers a really good book called “I, Madman.” While she reads the book the murderer somehow comes into the real world. The film fuses slasher with weird Twilight Zone-ish horror and does it very well.
7. Mystics in Bali (1981)
Kathy travels to Indonesia in order to learn more about dark magic. She ends up meeting a witch who transforms her into a floating head that goes around drinking blood and eating unborn babies (not making this up).
This is just the tip of the iceberg as this film is one of a kind, managing to be weird and over the top yet pretty well made at the same time.
6. Vampyr (1932)
“Vampyr” is a French/German horror film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. A traveler who is obsessed with the occult goes to a town to later find out it is under the curse of a vampire. Being a mixture of silent films and early sound silents,the film has very little dialogue and uses cue cards to help tell the story. Atmosphere is where this gem shines and it’s one any fan of classic horror films should give a watch.
5. Messiah of Evil (1973)
A horror film found in many cheap horror packs, “Messiah of Evil” is one that’s worth the bargain.
A young woman goes searching for her father – a former artist. She ends up in a seaside town that is governed by a mysterious cult. Like “Vampyr,” this film is heavy on atmosphere. The visuals are really well done. After making this film, husband and wife team Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck would go on to write screen plays for classic films such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
4. Martin (1977)
George A. Romero is mostly know for his zombie films, but has several others well worth checking out – including the vampire classic “Martin.”
The film is about a young man who thinks he’s a vampire who goes to live with his insane elderly cousin who believes he’s a result of a family curse.
The film plays on the old-world hysteria that created vampires, but sets them in modern day as well as showcases Romero’s love for social commentary.
3. In The Mouth Of Madness (1995)
You might have heard of this film as one of John Carpenter’s worst -you’ve heard wrong.
The film is about a horror writer who’s writing comes to life and is causing the apocalypse. With a good story, creepy special effects and tons of homage to H.P. Lovecraft this is actually one of Carpenter’s best.
2. LO (2009)
One of the many films Netflix seems to love recommending people, this is one that is well worth watching.
A man speaks to a demon named Lo in order to find the whereabouts of his girlfriend who was captured by demons. Unfortunately Lo has other plans.
The film is a low budget horror comedy – something that comes out a lot nowadays. Unlike the others it doesn’t fall into Troma worship territory and gets pretty emotional at times.
1. Spider Baby (1968)
We end this list with a film that’s not only underrated but also influential.
“Spider Baby” stars Lon Chaney Jr. as Bruno, the caretaker of three teenagers Virgin(Jill Banner), Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn) and Ralph (Sid Haig). These kids suffer from a disorder that makes them regress backwards, eventually devolving into cannibals.
“Spider Baby’s” style is a horror/black comedy fusion (a very rare thing at the time). It is also the first of its kind, inspiring many other crazy family horror films such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Hills Have Eyes.”
Haig would go on to become a horror icon and Hill would later direct other classics such as “Coffy.” This is not only one of the most underrated horror films of all time but one of the best.