When you talk about horror, a mixed reaction is expected. The genre has been accused of plaguing an unsuspecting audience and feeding off of negative emotions like fear, anxiety and paranoia. But a genre that has thrilled people for more than a century and has millions of dollars riding on it, it’s hard to just dismiss it with a shrug and a frown.
1. IN MY SKIN (2002)
A seemingly sane person at first glance, the protagonist meets with an accident one day and ends up developing a strange, obsessive relationship with her skin. It starts with her picking gently at her scabs and this small episode eventually snowballs in to what becomes a twisted climax.
2. WOLF CREEK (2005)
The Australian wilderness and a group of backpacking friends – what could go wrong? Except it does. Enter looney old man in a rickety pickup truck who has other plans for this group besides helping them with a flat tyre. Highly immersive and gripping, this one will have you biting your nails down to the finger.
3. MARTYRS (2008)
The list would be lacking without mentioning this French-Canadian masterpiece. There’s plenty of shock value here, and the less you know, the better it gets. The opening scene manages to make that happen – two girls enter a house with one seeking revenge from the people who held her captive as a child. The slow pickup gives way to an epic ending. This one’s not for the squeamish.
4. SPLINTER (2008)
There’s no limit to what a talented team can do, like with this movie, creating a monster out of something as banal as a splinter. This alien splinter reanimates whatever formerly living body it infiltrates, sticks out in all directions and makes a weird clicking with each move. Plenty of ‘ick’ and ‘eww’ guaranteed.
5. LAKE MUNGO (2008)
A much loved child of the family drowns in a lake one day. The bereaving family not only has to cope with the loss of a beloved daugher but is finding it hard to explain the strange happenings that seem to be taking place in the house each night. Watch with lights off.
6. GROTESQUE (2009)
A couple on their first date is kidnapped by a middle-aged man and the rest is about what the title suggests. This isn’t like an run-of-the-mill kidnapping either. The kidnapper isn’t looking for rewards, at least not the green paper kinds. To say he’s twisted is putting it mildly. And the man has an entire kill room set up in a basement at his disposal. Not at all for the faint-hearted.
7. THE SILENT HOUSE (2010)
This movie with Argentinian roots follows a girl and her father who move into a dilapidated house. Come night, the girl follows weird noises in the house that have her on edge. A gripping movie that may have over-promised a great ending but one worth watching, nonetheless.
8. A SERBIAN FILM (2010)
The movie doesn’t waste time easing the viewer in. There’s plenty of gore and mindfuck to last a century. An out-of-work pornstar’s earn money for his family and what becomes his final gig leads him in to a warped world where more is less. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
9. THE WOMAN (2011)
A woman literally brought up by wolves and the last of her tribe, is strapped and brought home by a lawyer who was out hunting one day. Locked in the basement like an animal, the woman works her way past the poor family dynamics, manipulates events in her favour and finally escapes. Not for the light-hearted. The movie’s OST is amazing, too.
10. THE TUNNEL (2011)
A TV news crew out to cover a story finds itself deep inside one of the longest and most elaborate tunnels that lies beneath the city. They’re quickly eliminated one by one by an unseen force. Keep the lights dim and the speakers up. Plenty of sound cues in the movie create jump scares and that’s only half the fun.
11. THE ABCS OF DEATH (2012)
The movie is an anthology of shorts by different directors, where each short corresponds to a letter of the English alphabet, and each one is better than the other. What you’ll love about this movie is how quick and seamless the transition from each short is. In case you’re an aspiring author looking for inspiration, there’s plenty here that’ll trigger some great ideas. A must-watch.
12. VHS (2012)
A group of men with the intent to steal enter a house to pick up a rare VHS tape. They discover that the tapes have some really dirty secrets. It’s shot documentary style and the camera rests at first person view at times but if you look past all that you’ll find a collection of stories that move fast and leave you short of breath.
13. THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ (2015)
Three friends find themselves wanting to take selfies and more with the corpse of Anna Fritz, a famous actress. Not believing their luck, the friends linger on longer than initially planned. What follows is an intense few hours of Anna not really being dead, and waking up to find things aren’t right. The rest is an endless chase within long corridors where with each move Anna comes closer to her freedom.
14. SOUTHBOUND (2015)
This is another awesome compilation of the likes of films you haven’t seen before. With alien bodies suspended mid air in the middle of an open desert, to brutal deaths, this movie doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
15. DON’T BREATHE (2016)
Three young people with their own personal agenda agree to rob the house of a retired Army vet who, as they find out later, is also blind. Without saying much, I’d like to only add that this ‘mission’ turns out to be more than they had bargained for. There’s also a Cujo-ish portion in the film that only adds to the movie’s charm.
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