For a lot of us, horror movies are like drugs- except it comes without the associated side effects. Unless you count starting at random noises and looking for the monster under your bed at night, even though logically nothing is there. There are numerous reasons why horror movies are so widely popular till date, regardless of how cheesy and illogical they could get. It gives us an adrenaline rush- the whole chills running down your spine, lip biting anticipation and heart thumping stuff- without placing ourselves in actual danger. It’s human nature to want to get ourselves in trouble and scary movies are a way to do that without affecting the physical world in any way. So, people looking for that rush but coming up empty because you’ve gone through most of them; here’s a list of slightly lesser known scariest horror movies you can watch.
10. The Innocents (1961)
Based on the novella, The Turn Of The screw by Henry James, the 1961 British psychological horror film is as terrifying as its counterpart. The plot revolves around a governess, Miss Giddens, who looks after two children and eventually believes the mansion they live in is haunted and the children might be possessed. While the happenings look like a straight up haunting on the surface, the suggestion that the events might be a product of Gidden’s mind lingers. This fact has led the film to be severely dissected and critiqued since it’s release over the years. Deep focus cinematography, low lighting, and striking soundtrack- the film pulls you in and makes you wonder at each turn.
9. Reincarnation (2005)
A Japanese actress comes in contact with a plethora of spirits after signing a horror film that is based on a true story. Filmed in the original location of the killings, what horror awaits her there?. Reincarnation ranks pretty high on the original scale, with its stellar plot, slow pace, an emphasis on subtlety and disturbing imagery that are hard to forget.
8. Silent House (2011)
Sarah, a young woman, and her dad find themselves trapped in their family’s secluded lake house with only something sinister to keep them company. Silent House is an example of how much shaky camerawork and rightly timed jump scares can provide to a horror film. Elizabeth Olsen does a great job of conveying her terror, which serves to make the audience as tense as her. Silent House is definitely among the horror movies you should try out once.
7. Into The Mirror (2003)
South Korean supernatural horror film Into The Mirror is regarding the mystery of strange deaths involving mirrors in a departmental store. An ex-detective who is now working as a security guard in the store tries to solve the mystery in repentance for the accidental death of his partner.
Sounds somewhat familiar? This is the original version of the 2008 American film Mirror, though the plot differs largely at times. The distinct dark atmosphere, creepy visuals and an expert hand at editing, and a bit of drama thrown in, the horror film sets itself apart on a class of his own from its remake.
6. 1408 (2007)
Based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name, 1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film with more positive reviews than negative, which is a feat in of itself. The story starts with Mike Enslin, a writer unbelieving of the occult, writes books by spending time in supposedly haunted places and disproving the mystery. He finds himself in unexpected hot waters when he checks into room 1408 of Dolphin Hotel, a room rumored to have never let it’s guest leave the room alive. 1408 is terrifying as much as it is heartbreaking, spewed with twists and sudden shifts in space and time, it focuses on the protagonist’s nightmarish past.
5. Lights out (2016)
Rebecca has no choice but to return home after her little brother Martin asks for help and deal with the shadow named Diana who haunts her mother. Rebecca and her boyfriend have no choice to investigate the mystery behind the entity to protect her brother and find the truth and connection of Diana with her mother, one that will lead to some terrifying revelations. In theory, it should be easy to avoid the supernatural entity. If the ghost only appears when the lights are out, don’t turn off the lights, right? That would have made for a dull movie. Use of clever plot points, suspenseful music, jump scares and the right build-up of tension keeps the movie from becoming anything remotely near average.
5. Shutter (2004)
While the 2008 American remake is more widely known, Shutter was originally a Thai film, recognized as one of the best horror film from Thailand worldwide. The plot revolves around a young photographer Thun and his girlfriend Jane who discovers mysterious images in their photos after being involved in a case of hit and run of a young woman. As the events unfold, it becomes clear that the haunting is a result of more than that meets the eye. Excellent acting, well thought out plot, satisfying climax and most of all, the use of special effects and classical horror film techniques that gave the movie a unique advantage, Shutter is the kind of film that is guaranteed to appeal to all movie lovers.
4. The Eye (2002)
Mun, a 20-year-old blind girl gets cornea transplant in the hope she could see again, after losing her vision as a 2-year-old. She got way more than she bargained for when she discovers she can see otherworldly beings too.
As far as checking under your bed for boogeyman goes, this is certainly the type of film that will have you performing these actions before you realize it. The second half of the film can be disappointing for some people, as it leaves the spirit of thriller and turns its focus to the investigation of the cause. However, the first half, with its tricky camera work, claustrophobic atmosphere and the strong feeling of isolation and helplessness that emits from the protagonist, more than makes up for it.
3. The Others (2001)
Similar to The Innocents in terms of plot, The Others is a film about a story about a woman, Grace, who lives with her two photosensitive children, convinced beyond doubt their home is haunted. The Others is a good example of what true horror feels like. It’s never about the dangers that you know, it’s about the danger you think exists. It’s in the suggestions, in the doubt niggling in the corner of her mind. Chilling in its execution, The Others is a good film to watch from historical and religious context too.
1. Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
How many of you guessed this one? It’s quite impossible to bring up horror and not mention The Grudge. While it’s a widely known and popular movie, it has been years since its release and surprisingly, there are a lot of people there who still haven’t seen it. Hopefully, this post will give them a little push to get on it.
Two vengeful spirits, Kayako and her son Toshio, cursed Rika Nishina after she visits a house that keeps the imprint of their grudges till date. Ju-On is a slow-paced jump scare film that once has caught your heart in your throat, refuses to let it settle down to its original destination for the rest of the film.