20 Great Horror Films You Haven’t Seen Part 2

By @johng5150
20 Great Horror Films You Haven’t Seen Part 2

Yesterday we presented part one of this two part feature on horror films that have been neglected by the average viewer. Today we bring to you our second and final installment that will include 10 films that we feel are horror films that have been overlooked, skipped over or just plain forgotten about Even though these would be our “10 through 1” we list alphabetically below Way Too Indie’s 10 Great Horror Films You Haven’t Seen (Part 2).

Angel Heart

Angel Heart MovieAlan Parker’s horror film about a sleazy 1950’s New York private detective caught up in a missing persons case is gloriously depraved at times, but never boring. Mickey Rourke plays the said private detective, a man who the more and more he searches for this missing person, the more he slowly begins to lose his mind. And his soul. Robert DeNiro plays a supporting role as a mysterious man who initially hires Rourke for the case. The final 20 minutes of the film are spellbinding. [Blake]

Ghostwatch

Ghostwatch MovieWhile people in North America may not be familiar with Ghostwatch, the film has quite the reputation in the UK. Broadcast on Halloween in 1992, Ghostwatch was presented as a TV special that would investigate a haunted house in greater London. The goal was to record physical evidence of a poltergeist on live television, except viewers didn’t know that the entire program was fake and taped weeks in advance. The program was so believable in its presentation (mostly due to using real-life reporters from the network) that when ghostly apparitions did start appearing some people were legitimately fooled. There was an uproar afterwards, with thousands of phone calls from terrified viewers flooding the network and accusations of the show leading a man to commit suicide. Even if you know it’s all fake, Ghostwatch is still a fun ride with plenty of eerie moments supported by the show’s realistic presentation. Watch this and it’s easy to understand why people were tricked twenty years ago. [C.J.]

Hotel

Hotel MovieJessica Hausner’s criminally underseen Hotel is probably unlike any horror film in existence. Despite its brief 80 minute runtime, Hotel will feel much longer with its snail-like pace. Hotel follows Irene, a new worker at a resort in the Austrian Alps. Even though the girl she’s replacing vanished without a trace, none of the other workers seem to care and treat Irene with hostility. At the same time weird things begin to happen around the area, and the local legend of a witch seems to constantly linger in the background. What makes Hotel so unique and terrifying is that Hausner examines what causes fear along with the irrational nature behind what gives people the creeps. Everything that happens in Hotel can be rationally explained or brushed off, but Hausner infuses each moment with so much dread and atmosphere that a closed door or a broken speaker can create chills. The slow pacing and refusal to conform to any of the horror genre’s standards made Hotel get thrown into obscurity (it hasn’t been released in North America, and a DVD recently put out in the UK was done to capitalize on the success of Hausner’s most recent film) but in a just world Hotel would be recognized as one of the strongest horror films to come out of this century. [C.J.]

The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil MovieTi West’s nostalgic trip to the 1980s is so accurate in its visuals that it wouldn’t be surprising if some people were fooled into thinking it really came out 3 decades ago. Following a poor college student who desperately needs to afford rent for her new apartment, her prayers are answered when she’s offered hundreds of dollars to babysit overnight at a house in the countryside outside of town. While every single thing about the homeowners (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov, both brilliantly cast) would send anyone running in the opposite direction, the money is too tempting to pass up the offer. West quietly takes his time, slowly building up an uneasy atmosphere while throwing in a few jolts along the way to make sure people know that he knows what he’s doing. Once West pulls back the curtain he pulls no punches with an insane, bloody finale that shows why he’s one of the best horror filmmakers working today. [C.J.]

Inland Empire

Inland Empire MovieDavid Lynch has made a career out of making surreal imagery aimed at shocking you. Inland Empire, his final film, is his best. A 3 hour mammoth nightmare about a woman trying to navigate a despairing Los Angeles is one shocking image after another. This film also has a slow beginning, but is very rewarding if you stick with it. Shot on low grade DV cameras giving it a very grungy look, but this choice makes Inland Empire frightening in some parts. If you’ve ever seen a David Lynch film you’ll somewhat know what to expect, if you haven’t, please don’t expect a logical film, Lynch doesn’t work that way. He simply means to unsettle you and he succeeds with flying colors. [Blake]

Kairo (Pulse)

Kairo MovieMany films have been made that comment on our growing attachment to technology, but the most effective and relevant movie to tackle the subject came out back when dial-up was still the most common way to get online. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Kairo is the first horror masterpiece of the 21st century, a downright terrifying ghost story whose message about the death of real social interaction has become more relevant today than it was 11 years ago. The universe where souls go in the afterlife has reached its capacity, and with nowhere else to go the spirits start spilling out through the seemingly infinite world of the internet. The problem is that these ghosts are filled with so much despair and pain that anyone who comes into contact with one is driven to suicide or simply ceases to exist. Kurosawa’s plot is as murky as the film’s visuals, but the themes of loneliness and loss of real-life connections resonate throughout. And there’s no way anyone can mention Kairo without bringing up how frightening it can be. Kurosawa shoots death scenes with a simplicity that makes them all the more horrific, and the hauntings are some of the scariest things ever put on film. But over a decade later, the scariest thing about Kairo is how well it predicted the future. [C.J.]

Santa Sangre

Santa Sangre MovieAlejandro Jodorowsky is a name most will probably not recognize unless you were to be a big follower of underground filmmaking. But thanks to films getting the DVD treatment, his films have found a wider audience. Sangre is another film in the horror genre that is a complete original. Santa Sangre is about a man who has been recently released from a mental institution after many years. We find out through flashbacks that he lived with his mother and father, who ran a circus. His father, in a fit of rage after discovering she was cheating on him with a fellow act, cuts off her arms. After being released, the young man decides to become his mother’s ‘arms’ in her quest for bloody vengeance. Santa Sangre has a very intoxicating vibe throughout its 2 hour runtime and will leave you breathless. I guarantee that you have never seen anything like this. And probably never will. This is a must see. [Blake]

Session 9

Session 9 MovieSomeone once dared me to watch Session 9 with the lights off. I made it only about 45 minutes, when I had to pause the film and ran to turn them on. Brad Anderson’s film about an asbestos cleaning crew tasked with cleaning out an old mental institution takes its time, but once it hits its hour mark its one fantastic scare after another. The crew has a huge task with this massive dilapidated hospital and with the pressure mounting to get the job done early members of the crew slowly start to lose their minds. The final 30 minutes is heart pounding. [Blake]

Suicide Club

Suicide Club MovieRiding on the wave of J-horror that swept across America in the early 2000s, Sion Sono made one hell of an entrance with Suicide Club. The film’s opening shows 54 high school girls cheerily holding each other’s hands before leaping in front of an oncoming subway train. Through the limbs and blood (there is a LOT of blood) police find a bag that contains a piece of skin from each of the 54 girls stitched together, and soon one police officer is discovering a secret cult that encourages its members to kill themselves. While Suicide Club lacks in scares, it makes up for it with plenty of laughs. The film is a pitch black comedy/satire that takes the cult of celebrity to a whole new extreme. Sono switches between genres without breaking a sweat, throwing in musical numbers and brooding suspense without losing control of what he wants to say. While Sion Sono has gone on to establish himself as one of the more prominent Japanese filmmakers working today, Suicide Club showed that Sono was definitely someone who couldn’t be lumped in with the pile of J-horror imports coming out around the same time. [C.J.]

Suspiria

Suspiria MovieThe second Dario Argento film on my list. Suspiria is not only the best film Argento has done but also one of the best horror films ever made. Argento relies heavily on atmosphere and its score to create a dreamlike state. Suspiria is about an American ballet dancer transplanted to a dance school in rural Germany that is run by a coven of witches. But forget the film’s flimsy story; it’s just an excuse to showcase the brilliant filmmaking on hand. The cinematography and lighting combined with rock band Goblin’s score create one of the most surreal and hauntingly original pieces the genre has ever seen. Unfortunately when people talk about great horror films, no one seems to have seen this Italian masterpiece. [Blake]

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  • Terry

    Part 2 of this list is a lot better than part 1 🙂 There’s actually a couple here I haven’t even heard of which is getting to be a rare occurrence for me. I also thoroughly agree with your recommendations for two flicks I’ve already seen – Session 9 is intriguing tho a little drawn out and Suspiria is brilliant in every way!!

  • Shoot_the_Critic

    How does one watch “Hotel”? I really want to see it.