Consider celebrating Halloween this year by watching overlooked horror movies featuring teenage cannibals, ghosts, killer cults, evil puppets, tentacled sea creatures and Nazi zombies. We sure hope you like nightmares.
Apostle stars Dan Stevens as a troubled man in the early 1900s who travels to a remote island incognito to rescue his sister, who was kidnapped by a sadistic religious cult. The first part of the movie is a slow-burn mystery, but by the second half the story turns into a crazy bloodbath full of mythology and murder.
In the movie Malevolent, brother and sister team Angela (Florence Pugh) and Jackson (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) seem like con artists who prey on grief-stricken people wanting to contact dead loved ones. Things are going well until Mrs. Green (Celia Imrie) hires the siblings and their team. They soon learn her home was once an orphanage where gruesome murders of young girls took place. But Angela starts to really see ghosts when she's confronted by the terrifying truth behind the orphanage murders.
The Haunting of Hill House TV series on Netflix is a reimagining of the beloved Shirley Jackson novel of the same name about five siblings who grew up in the famous haunted house with their parents.
Director Mike Flanagan's beautifully shot series takes place over two timelines, when the siblings are children and then adults. Though the series centers around a haunted house, the story delves more into how a family deals with suicide, drug abuse, betrayal, grief and trauma.
Witches, murderers, ghosts, plagues and other scary things descend in the second season of Amazon's horror anthology series Lore.
From an executive producer of The Walking Dead and an executive producer of The Exorcist, this new season of the critically acclaimed anthology series explores real-life disturbing tales behind well-known myths and legends.
The Light as a Feather TV series on Hulu tells the story of four best friends who invite the shy new girl out on Halloween but regret their decision when she suggests they play a twisted version of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. When the friends start dying, the remaining survivors must solve the mystery before all of them are killed off. This series has plenty of twists and turns to keep horror fans entertained, but it's also an interesting commentary on friendship, betrayal and bullying.
Delirium is a chilling psychological horror film starring Topher Grace as Tom, who's recently been released from a mental institution and is living under house arrest. As he spends his days catching up on his lost teenage years, he starts to suspect his family home is haunted by his father, who committed suicide.
Twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) have an unusual attachment to their creepy family home. Each night, the property becomes the domain of a sinister presence called The Lodgers that enforces three rules upon the siblings. They must be in bed by midnight; they can't allow outsiders to come inside; and if one of them attempts escape, the life of the other is in danger.
When a troubled war veteran who lives in the nearby village is attracted to Rachel, she returns his affections by breaking rules, and that puts her brother's life in jeopardy.
A retired wolf expert (Jeffrey Wright) is summoned to the dangerous Alaskan wilderness to investigate a child's disappearance in Hold the Dark. As the mystery unfolds, wolves may not be the real predators.
In Blumhouse's anthology series Into the Dark on Hulu, a new installment centers around a different holiday, with the first being for Halloween. In Into the Dark: The Body, a hit man ends up at a costume party, with his latest dead victim wrapped up in cellophane like a costume prop.
When a man (played by Logan Marshall-Green) accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) and her new husband (Michiel Huisman), the event evolves from awkward to dangerous. He soon suspects sinister plans are in store for all the dinner guests, including him.
Anna (Beth Riesgraf) suffers from severe agoraphobia and hasn't left her childhood home in the 10 years since her father died. She takes care of her dying brother Conrad (Timothy T. McKinney) and also receives daily food deliveries from Dan (Rory Culkin), whom she befriends. But when her brother dies and she's left all alone in the house, three men decide to break in to steal money. While this may feel like a typical home invasion horror film, things aren't what they seem.
Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent events inside the building that appear to be linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures standing outside. Is it a cult, an alien invasion or something even worse?
Teenager Justine is a brilliant student just starting veterinary school. Eager to fit in, she ignores the family tradition of vegetarianism and eats raw meat for the first time. Little does Justine know what she's unleashed by eating meat. Raw is an unusual film that takes a new, horrifying look at cannibalism.
In The Witch, an English farmer relocates his wife and five children to a remote plot of New England land after being banished by his church. Their new home sits next to a mysterious forest where an unknown evil lurks. Soon, strange things begin to happen -- animals turn vicious, crops fail, a child goes missing, and another child is possessed by an evil spirit. Family members accuse teenage daughter Thomasin of witchcraft, but is she really to blame?
Being a teenager is hard enough, but add witchcraft to the mix and things get even more complicated. In the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, half-human half-witch Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) must balance her life as a teenager with her legacy in the Church of Night.
In The Open House, a mother and her teenage son move to a relative's vacant vacation home after a tragedy occurs. But as soon as they get settled in, unexplained forces seem to conspire against them. Is this the work of the supernatural or merely evil neighbors?
During a solar eclipse, a teen girl named Veronica (Sandra Escacena) uses a Ouija board with her friends to try to summon the spirit of her dead father. But something goes wrong during their session and she soon finds herself stalked by a sinister supernatural force. Veronica seeks help from a blind nun at her school who has the comforting nickname Sister Death, and it just gets weirder from there.
Nothing is creepier than vintage puppets that seem to move and talk all on their own. Then again, the people who own and care for those puppets are just as icky. In Dead Silence, young widower Jamie Ashen (played by Ryan Kwanten) returns to his hometown of Ravens Fair to search for answers to the murder of his wife Lisa, played by Laura Regan.
The death may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist Mary Shaw (Judith Roberts). All clues lead back to an evil puppet named Billy that was sent to Lisa shortly before she was killed. But how can a puppet kill? And is the ghost of Mary Shaw truly behind it all? A bit of advice: if you own any creepy puppets or dolls, be sure to take them out of the room before you start watching this movie.
Dead Snow (2009) & Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014)
The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi. But what happens when Adolf Hitler and his ruthless SS troops come back from the dead? In Dead Snow, a ski vacation turns deadly when a group of medical students run into the stuff of nightmares -- Nazi zombies. I
n its sequel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead Russian zombie World War II soldiers fight Nazi zombies in the ultimate battle. While these plots sound like South Park episodes, the movies are a mix of comedy and complete terror. After all, who wants to be stuck in a snowstorm with a bunch of evil Nazis that eat human flesh?
Florence Cathcart (played by Rebecca Hall), a skeptic of all paranormal activity, has made it her personal mission to unmask charlatans who pretend to speak to the dead to make money off the bereaved. But what happens when she actually comes face-to-face with a ghost? Florence is hired by a boys school headmaster (Dominic West) who thinks his students are being harassed by a spirit of a little boy. The Awakening, set in 1921, is dark, sad and hauntingly beautiful.
A clairvoyant diner cook (played by late Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin) joins forces with his girlfriend (Addison Timlin) and the town sheriff (Willem Dafoe) to prevent an unknown catastrophe from happening. Odd Thomas is both funny and horrifying, but considering how Yelchin died from a freak accident in real life, the movie seems extra eerie. That said, this movie really shows how talented Yelchin was and how dearly he will be missed.
A crazed serial killer stalking a woman staying in a remote cabin in the woods is nothing new in the horror film genre. But in Hush the woman is anything but defenseless even though she happens to be completely deaf. I watched the film on mute and then re-watched it again with sound to see if it was just as terrifying to experience if I couldn't hear like the lead character. The verdict is that the movie is scary either way, but it offers an unusual twist that makes it extra fun to watch twice.
Everyone knows how social media trolls can turn your life into hell. But in this horror film, the hashtag you use could mean the difference between life and death. #Horror follows a group of wealthy junior high school girls who go from being obsessed with their smartphones to fearing for their lives. Someone is killing the girls one by one and streaming their murders online. The film feels a lot like an episode of Black Mirror, but scarily enough the cyberbullying transforming into murder seems all too real.
What happens to an immortal from the Bible who's stuck living with the worst of humanity in modern times? In He Never Died, Jack (played by punk icon/actor Henry Rollins) is an immortal who must stick to a boring, predictable daily routine (sleep, eat at the same diner, go to bingo, buy blood from a hospital worker and go back to sleep) to avoid his cannibalistic ways.
But when his ex tells him their daughter Andrea (Jordan Todosey) is on the way to his apartment for a visit, his life is turned upside down. Rollins expertly plays an exasperated immortal who just wants to be left alone but can't help killing everyone who annoys him. Even when he's covered in blood and eating human flesh, it's hard not to root for him.
Attending a new school can be frightening, but even more so when your fellow students start to disappear without a trace. Based in 1938 in Korea, The Silenced follows young but sickly girl Joo-ran (Bo-yeong Park), who is transferred to the Gyeongseong Boarding School. The mysterious school is run by a strict headmistress (Uhm Ji-won) who demands excellence at every turn, and refuses to offer any explanation when students start to disappear. Joo-ran teams up with her new friend Yeon-deok (Park So-dam) to figure out the secrets of the school. The ending is worth waiting for.
Even if Halloween is your favorite spooky holiday, that doesn't mean it's the scariest. In this anthology of short horror films, Holidays gives other holidays their own terrifying tales. The Easter bunny is anything but cuddly. Unrequited crushes get a bloody tribute on Valentine's Day. And shopping for the ultimate Christmas gift takes on a truly dark turn. Even Mother's Day gets a witchy makeover.
A black and white German silent film may not seem like the ultimate scare-fest, but The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was the kind of movie that gave everyone who saw it in 1920 plenty of nightmares. In the film, insane hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist (someone under hypnosis) to commit horrific murders, and even a kidnapping that leads to an insane asylum.
The plot could easily apply today considering how many people use hypnosis to lose weight or stop smoking. But what really makes this film unique is its artistic visual style featuring unusual landscapes that twist in unusual angles. The film is an essential work of German Expressionist cinema that some historians say was a premonition of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
The British-American horror drama television series Penny Dreadful features the intertwined tales of Mina Harker, Count Dracula, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Gray, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Renfield, as well as various witches, vampires and werewolves. The series has an all-star cast including Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Billie Piper, Patti LuPone and Josh Hartnett, to name a few. While the series only lasted three seasons, Penny Dreadful takes a fresh look at these famous horror story characters that will leave you even more frightened of the things that go bump in the night.
Aliens who want to wipe out the human race are nothing new. But what if the aliens looked like circus clowns? Not that we need a reason to be scared of clowns, but Killer Klowns from Outer Space doesn't make our phobias any less real. These alien clowns are here for one thing only, to use humans as a food source. Plus, the clowns put on one horrific puppet show.
When your house is under attack by psychotic killers wearing animal masks, it's hard not to be scared. In You're Next, a tense family reunion turns into all-out war when outsiders invade the house and start slaying everyone with crossbows, knives and other weapons. Good thing one of the visitors knows a thing or two about defense. The movie is filled with the kind of murderous scenes that may have you checking the locks on your windows before the credits roll.
In Grabbers, giant tentacled creatures attack a small Irish island. But when the residents discover the monsters hate a high blood alcohol level in their victims, there's only one thing the residents can do: fight the creatures while staying very, very drunk. This movie is more quirky than truly frightening. Plus, it's a great movie to watch while drinking a few whisky cocktails, or on the rocks just like the brave but sloshed humans in the movie.
House is the kind of film you have to watch multiple times to make sense of. And there's no guarantee you'll ever be able to process the bizarre nature of this film. Think of it as a cross between Twin Peaks, Poltergeist and Alice in Wonderland with a lot of blood and beheading. This Japanese horror film is about a teenage girl who travels with her friends to visit her aunt, and they are devoured by the home itself. Plus there are weird musical numbers and a killer piano. There are supernatural traps all over the house, not to mention a creepy cat.
What happens when a couple of well-meaning hicks get mistaken for deranged maniacs? In Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, we see two hillbillies played by Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk, get accused of murder by unlucky and paranoid college kids who keep dropping like flies. The movie turns every horror film cliche -- promiscuous teens, idiot jocks, wood chipper deaths and evil in the woods -- into a twisted joke. You'll laugh, scream, wince and hope Tucker and Dale get out alive.
This indie horror movie gives new meaning to the phrase "Eat your heart out." Those who can't stand blood and gore should probably skip it. For the brave horror fans who do watch it, Eat is the kind of movie that will make them wonder, "What did I just watch?" It doesn't have the highest ratings, but it's worthy of a viewing just to see how exactly the main character -- a desperate actress named Novella McClure -- manages to gnaw on her own appendages. You might want to avoid dining while watching the movie, just to be on the safe side.
Which is worse, being trapped at home with strange family members or evil spirits? In the New Zealand horror film Housebound, a young woman under house arrest finds herself wondering if she would have been safer in jail.
When you suspect a classmate of being an energy vampire, how do you prove it? That's exactly what schoolgirl Rebecca must do at her prestigious boarding school in The Moth Diaries. The movie also touches on toxic friendships, adult apathy and the dire need to belong.
Not all cannibals are sadistic freaks who need to eat human flesh to survive. Or at least that's what We Are What We Are tries to convince us. For the cannibals in this horror film, it's not only a way of life, it's a religion. And it doesn't help matters when you're a young girl in love, and your dad insists on eating your crushes.
Sometimes you just need to relax while mocking a retro horror film. Rifftrax to the rescue! Hilarious hosts make fun of Tourist Trap so you can laugh and scream about this movie showing unsuspecting victims tormented by a serial killer who likes to make giant puppets from mannequins.