For some folks, fall means a chill in the air and leaves changing colors. But for others, the season is all about one thing and one thing only: Halloween and the scary movies that it brings! And while you could hit the movie theaters to catch Ouiji, we’re here to offer up some great suggestions you can watch while curled up on the couch behind closed doors… you know, where nobody can hear you scream! Be advised: This isn’t your typical Best Horror Films list (which inevitably contain the same movies), but rather a collection of films you probably haven’t heard of but that we think are perfect for the season! So in no particular order, here we go!
Midnight Meat Train
Bradley Cooper stars in this 2008 creepfest about a photographer who becomes fascinated by the disappearance of a young woman and how it might be connected to a mysterious man he has taken pictures of on the subway. The stylish film starts out slowly before building to a shocking, brutal climax. This one ain’t for the squeamish!
Trilogy Of Terror
While this 1975 made-for-TV movie is actually three short films starring Karen Black, you can feel perfectly free to skip the first two and skip directly to the main event, which is titled “Amelia.” In it, our heroine is relentlessly pursued by a Zuni fetish doll — complete with razor sharp teeth and a sharp little spear — after it comes to life. This is Toy Story for the horror-loving set.
Paranormal Activity 5: The Marked Ones
While the latest flick in this series got little attention when it was released last year, it’s definitely worth a look. Yes, it’s yet another “found footage” film, but it manages to tell a decent story that both advances the overall mythology of the series and offer up some decent scares. It also does something few American horror flicks do, which is to focus on a working-class Latino neighborhood and the superstitions of its population.
Okay, know right off the bat that this 1973 offering is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. And by that, we mean weird. Make that wildly, unconventionally, disturbingly weird. The story centers on a social worker who becomes borderline obsessed with the Wadsworth family and their baby… who just happens to be a diaper-clad, bottle-taking, emotionally-stunted 21-year-old.
The Devil’s Nightmare
Buy just about any cheap DVD collection of horror flicks, and this 1971 Italian flick is going to show up. A bus carrying seven passengers, each of whom represents one of the famous “deadly sins”, winds up stranded at a mysterious castle which happens to house a beautiful succubus. Wacky chaos — mostly of the bloody variety — ensues.
This 2011 Irish flick has more than a little bit in common with the Stephen King book/film Pet Sematary. But where that story is somewhat campy, Wood is almost relentlessly dark in its tale of grieving parents who discover the horrific secrets of the town they relocate to after their child’s death.
Think being a teenage girl is tough? Try doing it while slowly morphing into a werewolf! That’s the premise of this 2000 Canadian film which went on to spawn two sequels. This is the film that helped make Katharine Isabelle (Ginger) a cult favorite, but Emily Perkins — as Ginger’s sis, Brigitte — just might be the one you find yourself watching.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Whatever you do, don’t watch a trailer for this 2010 comedy/horror film, simply turn it on, kick back and enjoy. Amusingly bloody and bloody amusing, this one is equal parts charming, funny, scary and unpredictable. You’ll laugh. You’ll wince. You’ll want to scour the backwoods for a hick as loveable as Tyler Labine’s Dale so you can make him your very own.
Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon
Wildly original, this 2006 mockumentary takes place in a world where the killers made famous in slasher movies are actually real. Journalist Taylor Gentry and her camera crew are following the titular character as he prepares to take his place among the most famous villains of all time. While the plot fumbles about 2/3rds of the way through, it’s blend of satire and horror easily earns it a place on this list.