Are Halloween parties not your thing? Fear not! Here are some excellent independent horror films you may not have heard of before to get your scare fix this Halloween.
It Follows (2015)
It Follows — about a teenage girl who is stalked by a sexually-transmitted (you read that right) malevolent force — is perfectly unsettling. The audience never gets the full picture of what is going on and never really finds out. It disorients and constantly keeps viewers on edge, thanks in part to its buzzy synthesizer score by Disasterpeace that turns from serene to menacing in an instant. Plus it has up and coming horror star Maika Monroe, who gives an excellent performance as the stalked protagonist.
The Babadook (2014)
This Australian import received high praise from critics and audiences last year as one of the scariest movies in a long time. It tells the story of a single mother and her son dealing with the death of her husband. Her son finds a terrifying storybook about an entity known as The Babadook, and suddenly he fears that there may be monsters in the house. His mother brushes it off until she too begins to notice a strange, evil presence. Warning: This movie is straight up terrifying. If you want to watch a truly scary movie, this is it. But maybe watch it with some friends, during the day, with the lights on.
The Guest (2014)
Dan Stevens may have died on Downton Abbey, but he shows up in The Guest as a veteran who swears to protect the family of one of his fallen platoon members. He seems great to the family at first, but soon they notice something a little off about him. What ensues is a funny, frightening and bizarrely endearing slasher film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s also from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett — veterans of the mumblegore genre — so you know it’s going to be good.
The Descent (2006)
Are you afraid of the dark? Are you claustrophobic? The Descent faces those two fears head on as it tells the story of Sarah, who recently lost her husband and daughter, going on a spelunking trip in the Appalachian Mountains with five of her girlfriends. All is well until part of the cave collapses and they have to find their way out, only then to find out they are also being stalked by bloodthirsty cave creatures who want to rip them limb from limb, making escape even more imperative. Although it is a bit slow to start off, The Descent is a hell of a ride and pretty terrifying to boot.
This Japanese horror film is absolutely off the wall. Seven girls go on summer holiday to the home of someone’s aunt, who turns out to be possessed by an evil spirit. Not to sound like Stefon, but this house really has everything: crazy demon cats that spit out blood, a piano that eats people and watermelons that turn into disembodied heads. That is barely scratching the surface of the lunacy this movie offers, so watch it! It is crazy and scary in the best ways.