At this time of year, we fans are constantly inundated with anything-horror-related lists. And, let’s be honest, we really like lists. We’ve shared some excellent film suggestions this season, but found that you, the hardcore fans, had already seen most. So we decided to ask our Twitter followers to contribute their own favorites that were maybe a bit more off-the-beaten track and the response was great. Some were more obscure and others were just plain creepy! So, without further ado, here’s the list from the fans that are living and breathing horror because, well, that’s just what they choose to do with their spare time. Let us know what you’d add in the comments below.
By Troy Tradup @ToughTimesPub
Remembering it made me go grab a copy and watch it for the first time in many years. It looks like it was made for about twenty bucks, but ya know, it holds up anyway, primarily due to interesting performances from John Heard, Daniel Stern, and the rest of the cast. Special props for brief cameos by a very young John Goodman and Jay Thomas. It’s amazing that such a small movie got such a great cast. I bet there’s a story there somewhere.
By Mike Dodd @BirdmanDodd
Dolls is one of those gems of the horror genre that is an essential part of ’80s horror. It’s a real treat of special effects and wonderful atmosphere and yet unmistakably ’80s. Stuart Gordon created a masterpiece with just the right amount of delicious cheese. One of my all-time favs and a great source of scares for a young Canadian boy when he was a kid.
Ils (a.k.a. Them) (2006)
By The Eater Of Dreams @rbozell
It’s a simple yet terrifying [French] home invasion film that doesn’t bother with the silly masks and motives of other home invasion films like The Strangers orYou’re Next. Instead, there’s a strong focus on creepiness, suspense, and atmosphere. At a lean 77 minutes, it gets in, gets its job done, and gets out.
One Dark Night (1982)
By Lola Runyola @LolaRunyola
One Dark Night is a rarely seen ’80s horror gem about mean girls, telekinesis and a mausoleum. The practical effects are terrific and the cast includes Meg Tilly, E.G. Dailey and the original Batman, Adam West. The dead will rise for this one.
Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)
By Laurence R Harvey @LaurenceRHarvey
When we think of silent horror films, naturally we turn to the classics of German Expressionism with its striking design and mannered OTT acting, so most horror fans have seen Nosferatu and Caligari, yet the genre also flourished in other National Cinemas. Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr is a world away from any Bram Stoker reworking, instead it utilises a combination of naturalism and surrealism to create a haunting eeriness that makes the film unforgettable. Although it was made in the early sound era, there’s very little dialogue, and the cinematic language is that of silent film (more fluid than the (sound)stage-bound talkies of the era). This film seared itself into my memory and gave me more sleepless nights than any modern horror, perhaps because the cinema of that era is a strange and alien thing?
By Samantha Ward @Ward1013
[There’s] nothing better than an evil tire.
The New York Ripper (1982)
By Kayla Schultz @kayladschultz
Nothing depicts the sleaze of 1970s New York quite like it. It’s provocative with getting-under-your-skin levels of gore.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
By Ben Sapatka @BenSapatka
It’s the ultimate fan-service movie for lovers of the slasher genre and features multiple horror icons including Robert Englund and Kane Hodder.
By Joshua Aaron Moore @KentuckyJAM
The Babadook uses a minimal amount of characters and a very self-contained concept to conjure up a flick that’s tough to watch with the lights off. The horror thrives through the reality of the mother and son’s relationship with one another. It’s the rare horror movie that rewards the viewer with nuggets for their mind to chew on.
Rawhead Rex (1986)
By William Neighbors @wjneighbors
For me, it has to be Rawhead Rex, a better-than-average low-budget ’80s horror flick set in Ireland and based on the short story by Clive Barker. I’ve heard that Barker plans on remaking it. The creature could use an update. Good film, nonetheless.
By Jimm McShane @JimmMcShane
Elves is like a yuletide Troll 2, but even worse (better)! A killer elf back from the grave, an alcoholic ex-cop working as a department store Santa Claus (played by “Grizzly Adams”), a family obsessed with incest, neo-Nazis who dabble in occult mysticism, and a twist ending you’ll never see coming (because it makes no sense). Only ever released on VHS, Elves is the best bad Christmas horror movie you’ve never seen!
The Beast Must Die (1974)
By AllHallowSteve @HalloweenAddict
A cheesy horror movie version of Clue. A whodunnit with an unprecedented “Werewolf Break” to allow your MST3K-style viewing party to howl with laughter and figure out who should get the silver bullet.
Dellamorte Dellamore (a.k.a.Cemetary Man) (1994)
By Spicer @Matthew_Spicer
WARNING: TRAILER NOT SAFE FOR WORK (CONTAINS NUDITY)
Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man) is my pick. This film is the pure distillation of the Italian horror film. It’s arty, poetic, crude, gory, beautiful, disturbing, sweet, funny, sad, nihilistic, thoughtful, intelligent, nonsensical and existential all at the same time. One could watch it a million times and come away with a new way of seeing it each time. The only constants are the gorgeous cinematography, rad zombies and Rupert Everett’s perfect deadpan performance. Everything else is up to the viewer’s own interpretation.
The Devil’s Rain (1975)
By Austin Vashaw @VforVashaw
There is perhaps no horror film more poised for cult immortality than The Devil’s Rain, yet somehow it has evaded the notoriety it deserves. Starring William Shatner and Tom Skerritt as a pair of brothers squaring off against Satan (Ernest Borgnine in goat makeup!) in a defiled church at the edge of a desert ghost town, this bizarre production is best known for its disgustingly goopy effects. When the Devil’s Rain falls, it melts anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the downpour! The film’s overly long (and cheesy if you let it be), but its utter insanity deserves to be witnessed by any connoisseur of weirdness.
Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986)
By Ben Peterson @benxpete
I love how it’s unapologetically British and seemed to be shot through an aquarium, but like much of Russell’s works, it adds to the horror and makes it a one-of-a-kind experience. I saw this film in the Asheville Film Society with an introduction by Russell’s widow, Lisi Tribble Russell and his friend and critic Ken Hanke. It was mentioned that he always envisioned his subjects, whether musicians or in this case poets, as 19th century rock stars and filmed the party scenes as such. It shows. [It’s] especially relevant now since Crimson Peak takes from it!
Chopping Mall (1986)
By Nick @31FilmTalk
Chopping Mall is one of those goofy and fun horror movies that you should watch with friends. It has one of the best head explosions ever!
Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead) (1992)
By Raymond @NSaoTpod
An early Peter Jackson film, more comedy than horror, but delightfully distasteful. Instantly quotable, impossible to forget. Until the remake of Evil Dead came out in 2013, it held the record of the most “fake blood” used in a movie, coming in at 1,000 gallons.
Return Of The Vampire (1943)
By Chad Wrataric @DrSkeletoid
Never has a movie so much wanted to be a sequel to Dracula. It’s a Columbia monster movie that is equal to a Universal Classic. Lugosi is Dracula in all but name and had more to do; Matt Willis astounds as a mix between Renfield and Talbot’s Werewolf; and Frieda Inescort is a stronger woman than you’ll find in most movies these days. Atmospheric and eerie, track this down to be rewarded with a hidden gem.