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10 Brilliant Horror Movies You Might Not Have Heard Of

10 Brilliant Horror Movies You Might Not Have Heard Of
written by
Leena Torky

The Conjuring 2 is all the rage right now, with headlines coming out left and right telling of how terrifying the film is. While it is admittedly super-fun to get wrapped up in the buzz surrounding a new blockbuster horror movie, it can also be pretty satisfying to find not-as-popular but equally as frightening films.

When it comes to horror, there are so many different sub-genres that it becomes difficult to decide what world you want to delve into.  We’ve made your search a little easier by putting together this list of recent movies that maybe didn’t get as much attention as The Conjuring, but certainly explore the all different realms of horror.

It Follows (2014)
Teen Slasher, Supernatural

A young woman who has a sexual encounter with a man is then followed by a strange entity which can take the form of any human. The only way to get rid of the entity? Have sex with someone else and pass it on to them. But if the entity manages to catch and kill the person it has been passed on to, it will come back to the last person it pursued.  The concept of this film is eerie enough as it is, and doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares and frightening visuals; instead, it builds up a strong sense of anxiety. As unsettling as it is, this may just be one of the best horror films (or films in general) released within the last few years.

Watch if: You enjoy aesthetically pleasing movies with an enthralling plot and a killer soundtrack.
Don’t watch if: You won’t be able to handle looking over your shoulder to make sure no one is following you for a few days after viewing this film…

Creep (2014)
Found Footage, Madness and Paranoia, Thriller

If one were to look up this movie on IMDB, they’d see that only two people are featured under the cast list. That is creepy enough in itself. The movie revolves around two men alone in a cabin in the woods where Aaron, a videographer, is hired by Josef to document a day in his life. The fact that a movie can be so anxiety-provoking with only two cast members and produced on such a low budget makes this film pretty intriguing. The ‘found-footage’ horror genre has become pretty popular in recent years (remember the hype around Paranormal Activity?) and films of the genre can end up as a real hit-or-miss. This one was definitely a hit.

Watch if: You enjoy mumblecore films and well-written dialogue.
Don’t watch if: You don’t like mumblecore or anything too dialogue-heavy.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
Found Footage, Ghost and Spirit

Deborah Logan, an elderly woman, and her daughter agree to be filmed by a documentary team in order to reveal the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Throughout the film, Deborah exhibits incredibly strange behaviour, which her doctor insists is normal in severe cases of Alzheimer’s. As the story unfolds, the viewer becomes more and more confused as to whether this is really the Alzheimer’s or some dark paranormal force.

Watch if: You like your horrors simple, unpretentious and full of shiver-inducing moments.
Don’t watch if: You’re sick of the whole found-footage mockumentary malarkey.

Would You Rather (2013)
Torture, Thriller

‘Torture porn’ was pretty popular in the early 2000s, which explains the success of the Saw film franchise. It’s difficult to explain why some of us enjoy watching entire movies dedicated to distressing situations filled with torment and anguish. In this film, eight strangers gather for a dinner party where they will play a twisted game of ‘would you rather’. You can pretty much imagine what kind of choices they are offered in the game…not very pleasant ones.

Watch if: You enjoy channelling your inner sadist.
Don’t watch if: You find it too difficult to take Brittany Snow seriously in anything else after Pitch Perfect.

Hush (2016)
Slasher, Thriller

It’s not often that we’re able to see a deaf person star as the main character in a movie. It’s even less often that we would see them star in a horror movie. Besides providing good representation, this movie also crafts an extremely suspenseful plot. Maddie is a young deaf author living in a secluded cottage in the woods. When a deranged killer discovers she is deaf, he uses it to his advantage and decides to toy with her. Maddie is forced to rely on her other senses and fight for her life. This one will keep you on the very edge of your seat.

Watch if: You’re a fan of smart slasher movies.
Don’t watch if: Suspense makes you too anxious.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Vampire, Western, Romance

This one is unique in that it is a black and white western-style film which takes place in Iran. The inhabitants of Bad City, a depressing wasteland, are oblivious to the fact that they are being stalked and hunted by a lonely vampire girl. If you are a fan of indie cinema and awesome soundtracks, this is definitely the movie for you.

Watch if: You’re a sucker for spaghetti westerns with a touch of Quentin Tarantino.
Don’t watch if: Reading subtitles isn’t your thing.

ABC’s of Death (2012)

One letter of the alphabet was sent out to 26 directors around the world. The result was this film comprised of 26 different short horror movies based on a word that begins with the letter given to the director. This collection of shorts touches on several different genres of horror including splatter, torture porn, psychological thriller, body horror, comedy horror, supernatural and many more. Whatever your feelings are about each of the shorts, this is definitely a fun movie to watch.

Watch if: You are a fan of anthologies and enjoy being surprised.
Don’t watch if: You’re too easily overwhelmed by 26 different stories in a span of 124 minutes.

Contracted (2013)
Body Horror

After being sexually assaulted at a party, a woman has contracted what she thinks is a sexually transmitted disease, but comes to find that it is something much darker. Throughout the film we slowly watch as different parts of her body become afflicted with the disease. Each scene becomes more and more agonising as we witness abnormal bleeding, strange rashes, hair and finger nails falling out and much worse. This movie has little substance or purpose besides causing you to feel extremely uneasy.

Watch if: You enjoy a challenge – seeing how far you can get into the movie without gagging.
Don’t watch if:  You’re not a fan of intense body horror.

Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Psychological Thriller, Madness and Paranoia

Critics raved about this Austrian psychological thriller. In this disturbing tale, a mother returns home to her 9-year-old twins after cosmetic surgery with her face wrapped in bandages. Due to the woman’s strange and cruel behaviour towards her sons, the twins begin to doubt that it is actually their mother underneath the bandages.

Watch if: You like some drama elements thrown into your horror films.
Don’t watch if: The ‘creepy kid’ horror film trope frightens you a bit too much.

Krampus (2015)
Comedy Horror, Monster, Ghost and Spirit

The idea of a holiday horror movie is a strange one, but it somehow works in this quirky and hilarious film about a Christmas demon. While many found this film to be a bit too ridiculous, its campy nature certainly made it pretty enjoyable to watch. Keep in mind that, although this movie is not meant to be taken too seriously, it can still be pretty scary at times. The idea of a demon-like Santa Clause is enough to give some viewers nightmares.

Watch if: You enjoy a 80s b-movie vibe with plenty of comedy horror.
Don’t watch if: The idea of demonic gingerbread men makes you nervous.

Read more movie reviews and features on Cairo 360 here.