Chilling Choices Part 2: Horror Flicks Worth Your Scream

Issue 19: October 25, 2023

Welcome back to part two of my horror movie recommendation list. With Halloween fast approaching there is no better time to dive into some scary movies. This week’s edition will have a large variety and focus on underrated, lesser-known movies. While some of these movies are more experimental and not for all fans of horror movies, I do encourage giving each of them a watch this Halloween, you never know where your next scare might be. Bonus note, I am a massive fan of Shudder TV the streaming service, and if you are a horror fan such as myself, I cannot recommend the streaming service enough, they do an excellent job of inclusivity and treat their indie movie directors with respect. Most of these movies contain graphic, adult content and sometimes possibly traumatic events–all viewings should only be partaken if comfortable.

1. The Thing (1982) Directed by John Carpenter: A classic terrifying flick that only gets better with time.

The Thing is easily one of my favorite horror movies if not one of my favorite movies ofall time. The story follows a group of researchers in Antarctica who come face to face with analien adversary who can take the appearance of a human. The paranoia that follows is full of fun,horrifying moments, and scares. The cast is incredible and shows how horror movie charactersmake sound, rational decisions. The comedy in the movie is also underrated though quite dark.Kurt Russell steals the show during the movie and sports the best beard/hair combo you’ll eversee in an 80’s movie. The Thing can be rented on both the Apple Store and the Amazon Store.

2. The Changeling (1980) Directed by Peter Medak: Dr. Wahl’s pick for the list.

A sleeper pick that I had not seen until recently, Medak’s masterpiece is an outstandinglycreepy film, filled with genuine scares. George C. Scott is outstanding during the movie as is therest of the cast that does an excellent job of carrying the fantastic plot. If you’re a fan of ghostmovies, then look no further. The pacing is excellent, if you love movies like The Exorcist thenyou will find this movie very enjoyable. I won’t spoil too much of the plot but just know rentinga potentially haunted mansion never turns out well for anyone. My pick for the most underratedhorror movie ever, the scares and suspense never let up in this 80’s classic. The Changeling canbe viewed on Peacock and Vudu and can be rented on most streaming services.

3. Event Horizon (1997) Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and written by Philip Eisner. My favorite movie of all time, and it will be yours too after a viewing.

I am incredibly biased about this movie and will be my entire life. I love Lovecraftianhorror, where the scariest things in this world cannot even be shown. Event Horizon is a bit of acult phenomenon, as most of the movie’s original plot and story was never filmed and thus itmight feel strange at times, the odd pacing only adds to the tense sci-fi horror flick. LaurenceFishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, and Joely Richardson all give excellent performanceswith Sam Neill killing it as always. The story follows a group of astronauts sent on a rescuemission to the Event Horizon, a massive ship circling Neptune. What follows is a truly sinisterand evil look into eldritch space horror. The movie is very graphic and not for those with weakstomachs. However, past the gore, it is an excellent movie worth your time and scares. EventHorizon can be watched on Paramount Plus and Showtime and can be rented on any streamingplatform.

4. Train to Busan (2016) Directed by the outstanding Yeon Sang-ho. The BEST zombie movie ever, seriously just watch it.

I know, I know, really Garrett? Another non-English film? Trust me, Train to Busan is inmy opinion the most well-crafted horror movie ever put together. If you are a fan of zombiemovies it is a must-watch. If you are a fan of well-written movies then this South Koreanmasterpiece is a must-watch. Featuring the scariest zombies I have ever seen in cinema, the storyfollows a group of survivors stuck on a bullet train trying to evade the growing viral threat. Theclass commentary is excellent during the movie, a very relevant topic for political tension inSouth Korea and other countries. The movie doesn’t feature any “jump scares” but the scares areoften quick and silent, making for as realistic of a horror movie as you’ll ever see. The moviealso featured some truly heart-wrenching moments and had me crying for at least an hour aftermy first viewing. Seriously, I cannot say enough good things about Sang-ho’s masterpiece. Turnon your subtitles and enjoy the ride, literally. Train to Busan can be watched on Prime Video,Showtime, and Peacock.

5. The Lighthouse (2019) Directed by Robert Eggers. A strange movie that will have you feeling… something.

I had a hard time considering this a horror movie, however a repeated watch I decided itwas worth the list. The Lighthouse is… an experimental film to say the least. It is shot inblack-and-white with a 1.19:1 aspect ratio. The cast only boasts two stars with Robert Pattinsonand William Dafoe giving performances of a lifetime. Seriously the fact that neither of these twogot major awards for this movie is a tragedy and is why major movie awards shouldn’t be takenseriously. The quality and attention to detail of the time period and the set piece of the story arejust outstanding and there is not a single detail left out of place. If you enjoy having your mindmelted and watching two incredible actors in their natural space then look no further. Though Iwill say this movie is seriously gross: there is a strange sexual scene and a lot of fart jokes(again, experimental movie,) but this should not put you off to the excellent writing and pacing. Istruggle to write about the plot as the plot is… whatever you want it to be, most of the movie isup to your interpretation and makes it an excellent watch with friends as everyone will take awaysomething different from their viewing. The theories surrounding this movie get outlandish butagain, don’t feel entirely wrong. The strangeness of the movie might be off-putting to some, but ifyou can stomach the strangeness you are in for an excellent piece of cinema. The Lighthouse canbe viewed on Showtime and Prime Video.

6. You’re Next (2011) Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. The smartest slasher film you’ll ever watch.

A common trope among horror movies is characters making dumb decisions and putting themselves in terrible situations. Have you ever watched a horror movie and thought, “Why don’t they just fight back?” You’re Next takes this trope and throws it out the window as Sharni Vinson’s character Erin is as entertaining a movie character as you’ll ever see. She makes sound, intelligent decisions and decides to fight back against evil instead of running and tripping like most horror movie characters. I am not a huge fan of Slasher flicks (the original Halloween and Scream do have my heart though) but this one is just excellent. The story follows a family being targeted by a group of masked killers with mysterious intentions. The movie is very graphic and should not be watched if you shy away from blood. Erin steals the show as the main protagonist, and again, the fact that Sharni won no awards for her acting here is a tragedy. You’re Next can be watched on Max and can be rented on most streaming services.

7. The Void (2016) Directed and Written by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. A bloody good time.

The first time I watched this movie was at 3 in the morning on zero sleep, and I feel like there is no better way to watch this terrifying Canadian flick. The Void follows a group of survivors stuck in a small-town hospital avoiding cult members and monsters alike. The monsters are done with incredible special effects and will genuinely keep you up at night. The Void centers around religious fanaticism and human desire. I will warn you; the movie is VERY graphic. I make a lot of weak stomach warnings, but even seasoned horror fans such as myself have hard a time watching this movie’s graphic scenes. So why recommend it? The terror and suspense of the movie are just outstanding, you will never feel more on edge watching a horror movie. The movie was made for less than $82,000 and holds up better than most multi-million-dollar movies. The cult members and their masks are just downright disturbing, making for some excellent scares outside of just the monsters. I never felt bored during the movie, in fact, I could never take my eyes off the screen. If you are a fan of excellent low-budget independent movies then look no further. The movie can be watched on Shudder and Peacock and can be rented on most streaming services.