Five horror flicks you should see

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As the skies gray and the leaves turn orange this season, our desire to watch horror movies -- to drench ourselves in silver-screen guts and gore -- becomes more pressing. We dream of zombie apocalypses. We long for a vampire's embrace. We flee in our nightmares from an infinite number of machete-wielding Jasons.

With that blood-curdling desire for terror in mind, we've compiled a list of five under-seen horror movies for your October pleasure. (Bonus: They're all on Netflix, many are available for streaming.) We hope you emerge from this playlist unscathed, with only a little psychotic lilt to your cackle.

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Gnarliest Found Footage
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"I like you."
Title: V/H/S
Tagline: "This collection is killer."

Plot Summary: On a mission, a marauding posse of Clockwork Orange-style psychopaths stumbles into a house filled with mysterious videotapes. Each tape contains a short film that documents horrific deaths. We see a flying succubus, a forest demon, a furtive stalker, a club of devil worshipers, and so on. There are six tapes in all, and one by one, as the psychopaths watch the tapes, they disappear, eaten by an antiquated video format.

Memorable Line: "I like you."

Reason to Watch: By the time V/H/S came out in 2012, it seemed the found-footage genre had been exhausted. But this anthology, with contributions from dudes like Ti West and Adam Wingard, revives the found-footage concept and makes it scary again. V/H/S is pretty brutal. Its sequel, V/H/S 2, is even scarier.

Creepiest Former Asylum
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Title: Session 9
Tagline: "Fear is a place."

Plot Summary:
A crew of asbestos-removal workers plods through Danvers State Hospital, a former "lunatic asylum" that's since crumbled. Also, it's haunted. Gradually, the blue-collar Joes succumb to Danvers' dangers, including a trove of gold coins and a mesmerizing set of recordings from therapy sessions with Danvers' former patients. The recordings reveal an evil entity named Simon, who's still lurking (it seems) in the halls, rooms, and lobotomy cauldrons of the one-time hospital.

Memorable Line: "Satanic Ritual Abuse Syndrome. It was big in the '80s."

Reason to Watch: This is a truly frightening film, made creepier by how real it feels. The main characters are just normal guys, not Hollywood babes, who are trying to clean out Danvers' asbestos ASAP. Fun fact: The hospital where the movie is set was once an actual asylum that housed the insane, and it's supposedly haunted for real. You can't beat that verisimilitude.

Spookiest Motel
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Title: The Innkeepers
Tagline: "A ghost story for the minimum wage."

Plot Summary: Claire and Luke are staffing the Yankee Pedlar Inn during its final days of business. Before the inn closes, they're determined to investigate and reveal the ghost of Madeline O'Malley, a bride-to-be from the 1800s who committed suicide in the hotel when her groom didn't arrive, and whose body, the story goes, was buried in the basement. Claire and Luke bumble around and eventually realize that Madeline O'Malley isn't just a legend.

Memorable Line: "Let's go to the basement and find out what that fucking ghost's problem is!"

Reason to Watch: Above, we mentioned director Ti West. Well, he's also behind this one, and it's similarly five-star. West excels at slow-burn horror that relies on a relaxed pace and strong character development before it explodes into an orgy of horrific splendour. The Innkeepers fits the bill. You'll enjoy hanging out with Claire and Luke before the ectoplasm hits the fan.

Freakiest Cave Dwellers
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Title: The Descent
Tagline: "The scariest movie in Earth."

Plot Summary: To recover from a car accident that killed her husband and daughter, Sarah goes on a caving expedition with her outdoorsy girlfriends. Unfortunately, the cave system they've chosen is more difficult to spelunk than anticipated, and as they struggle to escape the caves, they discover they aren't alone in the dark. There's a gang of blind, hairless mutant cave crawlers dwelling down there, and they feast on human flesh. Have fun, Sarah!

Memorable Line: "Mummy?"

Reason to Watch: This movie is terrifying. Never has a movie so brutally poked at those with a fear of the dark, a fear of enclosed spaces, and a fear of gooey cave people who badly want to gnaw on your bones and your liver far beneath the earth. The movie's conclusion will have you cheering like a deranged animal.

Most Nerve-Wracking Experiment
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Title: Silent House
Tagline: Experience 88 minutes of real fear captured in real time.

Plot Summary: Sarah (is this a common name for horror heroines?) is really excited to help her dad move into their new lakeside home. As Sarah unpacks, she begins to hear noises. Her dad investigates but turns up nothing, and then he turns up dead. Sarah's alone... or is she? The house won't let her out, and there's something evil hunting her.

Memorable Line: "AHHHH!!!!"

Reason to Watch: As the tagline reveals, this movie was filmed in an unbroken take, in real time. It's like 24 as horror, and we are literally seeing the worst 88 minutes of Sarah's life. She runs around and around the silent house, and we're refused a moment's rest from her struggling. The movie never cuts away. There's a goofy twist at the end, but the technical brilliance that precedes it makes up for that.

We hope you enjoy the playlist we've assembled. Now it's our turn to ask you: What's your favorite scary movie?

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19 comments
AliEriane
AliEriane

Mines is Silent Hill anh Silent Hill 2 and i also like the ghost movie The Haunting

AliEriane
AliEriane

Mines is Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 and i also like the ghost movie The Haunting

thomas.m.crouse
thomas.m.crouse

"Audition" and the original Japanese version of The Grudge called "Ju-On" are two of the movies, other than some of the ones on this list, that have successfully scared me as an adult. Glad to see "The Descent" on here!

Alirox
Alirox

The late 70s film The Sentinel is a very underrated horror movie. It features real-life 'mutants'. A few of my friends won't watch it as they don't like "devil stuff".

calenti
calenti

It's an older movie, but "Dead and Buried" scared the bejibbers out of me as a lad. Slow, creepy. Also, "Alien" though it might seem dated now, because it's been being imitated for 35 years.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Insidious. First half is really good. 

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

Megan Mostly The Innkeepers. I really liked that one. I enjoyed VHS too, but I can understand people not liking it.

Megan Vaughan
Megan Vaughan

No it is you that's wrong! Really though? Which one are you defending?

Oscar Quella
Oscar Quella

Dammit, Megan, you're wrong! And I'm right!

williamcarllindsey
williamcarllindsey

The original Evil Dead is a must-see horror flick and is currently available on Netflix! 

Kelly Jo
Kelly Jo

I think out of all the horror movies out there, you could have created a much better list.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

Wow, a horror movie list that doesn't suck.

Usually these have Cabin in the woods or some other garbage forcibly added to them, but this is solid stuff.

Note: These are almost all Horror movies for Horror movie fans, Innkeepers and VHS aren't terribly friendly to casual horror fans, but they're a real joy for those who like the genre.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

@Alirox 

That movie is an underrated classic! Great 70s slow burn vibe with a nice haunted feel to it.

Though it's not really a Giallo movie, it reminds me of them.

BatmanJesus
BatmanJesus

@Kelly Engle Well, pony up! What are your five?!

Patrick_Stephenson
Patrick_Stephenson

@barbertj23 Thanks for this comment! I appreciate it. My (unspoken) presumption with this story is that you've seen the fundamentals and need a few deeper (machete) cuts. I loved all five of these movies.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

@Patrick_Stephenson @barbertj23 

Yeah absolutely. though I also intended a bit of a warning as well, a couple of these get quite a bit of bad press because they aren't meant for the larger crowd. Innkeepers especially, which is my personal favorite on the list, gets bad press because of it's slow burn pace.

I'm also reminded of Grave Encounters and Beyond the Black Rainbow in that respect (Both also on Netflix). Grave Encounters shouldn't work on paper (it sounds terrible) but it has enough fresh ideas in it to really keep it alive, and like The Descent, has a pretty big shift in tone half way through. Black Rainbow just isn't for everyone, it's a drugged out Kubrick stylized, paranoid 80s eye fest, it's wonderful, but the wrong crowd will hate it.

Netflix needs to ad Excision to it's roster as well.

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