Best Horror Movies You Probably Have Not Seen. Yet
lord jason griffenhagen | Oct 28, 2014 | 1:30PM |

We originally ran this piece in 2007. -ed.

Every once in a while, one gets asked to do something totally out of the ordinary, and comes up with something completely original. This piece of work, be it art, literature, music, etc., transcends greatness and goes down in the canon of all things wondrous and life changing. This, however, can be somewhat frightening. Having your life changed for whatever reason isn’t always appreciated. So, in deference to all those solid citizens out there who don’t need anything life changing, and seeing I write about movies, AND it is Halloween, I’m doing a scary movie list.

This time, though, it’s about movies you may or may not have even seen.And these movies may change your life. Be forewarned.

The horror, the horror.

Last House on the Left (1972): This, hands down, had to be one of the most difficult movies to watch. But, as with most films about rape and murder, it certainly is a wonderful date movie! This Wes Craven masterpiece looks almost too cheap to believe that the people in the movie are actually acting, which brings an unsettling truthfulness to the whole sordid happenings. Truly frightening.

Suspiria (1977): Dario Argento’s best film. His use of color and violent images make for a wonderfully creepy dreamlike film. The color red looks like its bleeding off the screen. Set in a European ballet school run by witches, this film captures Argento’s penchant for totally strange and surreal scenes. Look for the one where the girl crawling in the attic falls through the floor into a room filled 6 feet deep with barbed wire. Totally unbelievably, and completely horrifying.

Night of the Living Dead (1968) /Dawn of the Dead (1978): The original ones, peoples!!! Incredible films, I mean, what is scarier than a roving hoard of zombies? Personally I prefer the slow zombies to the fast 28 Days Later/Dawn of the Dead remake zombies. There’s something more inherently frightening about seeing the zombies coming from far away, and knowing there’s little to nothing you can do about it. It gives time for the dread and despair to sink in.

Maniac (1980) – One of my favorite horror movies of all time. This features the inimitable Joe Spinell, my favorite on-screen serial killer EVER. He has all the things you want in a serial killer: Greasy, sweaty, hairy, pock marked, rocking back-and-forth, putting scalps of hookers on mannequins, and whimpering for his mother. Combine this with the unbelievable special effects skills of Tom Savini & ridiculously low budget 70s filmmaking, and you get a movie that’s completely creeptastic.

The Haunting (1963) – The original one, not the awful one with Catherine Zeta-Jones. One of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, but maybe that’s just cause I was 10 when I saw it. This movie, without using ridiculous CGI, or hokey special effects, actually makes you believe the house the characters are investigating is haunted. Changed my view of spiral staircases forever.

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) – This movie isn’t particularly scary at all, but still one of my faves. How can you go wrong with a magician who invites people from the audience to get sawed in half, then really does it onstage? Look for the Ralphus the Puerto-rican midget henchman, the retarded dentist, and the cabal of wild caged women who eat unfortunate men’s penises. Over the top, completely ridiculous, and totally disgusting.

John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) – My favorite John Carpenter movie. Kurt Russell, Keith David, and Wilford Brimley (yes, the Quaker oatmeal guy) are stuck above the arctic circle in a research facility with an alien that can morph into anything. Literally, ANYTHING. Excellent special effects, and because this is before CGI, everything seems to be fairly real, even when the guys head that comes off and turns into something resembling a spider. As Kurt says when he sees it, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” If there’s any movie you need to see from this list, this is the one.

Begotten (1990) – A horrific nightmare by the guy who made Shadow of the Vampire, E. Elias Mirhige. Rivals Eraserhead in being the truly creepiest, non-linear, surreal movie I’ve ever seen. All you need to know is the first line from the IMDB plot summary: “God disembowels himself with a straight razor.” Strap yourself in. It is not recommend you smoke pot and see this film.

Eaten Alive (1976) – Tobe Hooper’s (director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) second film. This one features Robert Englund and a crocodile living under a hotel in the middle of a swamp. And guess what? People get eaten…ALIVE!!!

Martin (1976) – I couldn’t leave this one off, no matter how hard I tried. One of the few George Romero films not about zombies that is actually good. Martin is a confused young lad who kills people and drinks their blood. The question: is he really a supernatural vampire, or is he just a sick creep? Watch this to find out. Excellent film, and truly creepy.

There you have it, folks, my list of scary films that you may or may not have seen before. Check all of these out, and then feel free to email me and tell me I have problems. Slappy Halloween, kids!

do you want MORE?
check out Cesar’s’s “Top 10 scary movies of all time”. here.

Recent Comments:
  • Michael says:

    I followed the jump with the sole purpose of seing if MANIAC made the list…Joe Spinell’s masterpeice is often overlooked–I fully recommend the purchase of the DVD to hear “The Joe Spinell Story”…Fat,Ugly Jersey boy dreams of being a movie star–goes for it..and makes it big…You can’t do much better than being a feaured character in The Godfather movies..God Bless You Joe !!RIP

  • Logan Logan says:

    Watching Suspiria gives you the opportunity to use the words “rococo” and “baroque.”

  • Logan Logan says:

    Cannibal Holocaust just got added to Netflix in the past few weeks, btw.

  • Nate says:

    I’d like to see Frailty on here, personally. That movie is really disturbing.

  • Lord Jason says:

    yeah – cannibal holocaust is missing from my list because I don’t like it for the same reason I don’t enjoy watching PETA animal cruelty videos. Watching someone butcher a giant turtle isn’t particularly appealing.

    Watching Suspiria also gives you the opportunity to use the words “hey that chick looks like Karen Allen” and “boy that’s some rather red looking blood”

  • risquetrixe says:

    i am surprised that cannibal holocaust is missing from either list… it’s one of the few horror movies that i am unable to get through… that and zombi 2. The zombie vs shark scene will haunt me for the rest of my life.

  • djdmac says:

    Profondo Rosso should be on this list.
    For those paying attention, there’s a bit of that and the Suspiria theme on my latest Halloween mix. Check the homepage for the link. 🙂

  • Katherine says:

    Not really in line with most of the choices here, but A l’Interieur is a great scary film from more recent years.

  • DENMAN says:

    Nice list. Seen them all. Check out Slaughtered Vomit Dolls.

  • Lord Jason says:

    well, sorry William that you didn’t enjoy Suspiria, but comparing it to Saw and Hostel(not that I didn’t enjoy those movies) is like comparing a hamburger made by a three star michelin chef versus a hamburger you’d buy at mcDonalds. Sure, they are kind of the same thing, but one has style and grace, and the other one is just slapped together really fast. And yet, I like eating them both but for different reasons. I guess maybe you just don’t like raw, bloody hamburgers.

    And, well, if you can’t stand the grand guignol style violence in a horror movie, maybe you SHOULD stick to horror movies starring wesley snipes. I’d also recommend that you really not watch any of the other films on this list.

  • william says:

    suspira seriously fucked me up. i didn’t like it at all. AT ALL. i never thought i’d type these words but it’s…too violent. i hated watching it, but had to wonder at the sheer viciousness of it. people think all that saw and hostel shit is slaughter porn? this is a snuff film from hell.

    also: the haunting (ov) is the best horror film of all time. simply scary in the best way.

    i tend to prefer my horror stylish and vapid, with killer soundtracks, like the hunger or blade.

  • Lord Jason says:

    I totally forgot about Re-animator. Best head giving head scene EVER. Also check out From Beyond and Castle Freak for more stuart gordon lovlieness.

  • Jesse says:

    Last House on the Left is so awesome. Speaking of rape and murder, what’s your take on I Spit on Your Grave?

  • Wilford Brimley says:


    • Becca says:

      reading what you have here, my opinion of the film is beinmcog more positive. i’ve always watched it assuming a certain degree of realism was intended. things like green and red lights overpowering scenes seemingly from nowhere or emanating from ridiculous locations like the inside of cabinets (or, at one point, the bottom of a toilet) are hard to appreciate when realism is assumed. however, if its looked at more as a demented fairy-tale where logic doesn’t (and shouldn’t) reign, then i think i could suspend my disbelief further than i have. regardless, it’s hard to argue that the film isn’t beautiful and mesmerizing.

  • svetlana Svetlana says:

    I remember watching “I spit on your grave” alone in college and dying. it was too much

    One of the best taglines ever, too: “This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition… but no jury in America would ever convict her!”

    Also mortifying, and also unprotected in the backwoods with mad (wo)men: Deliverance and Misery.

    • Abed says:

      Thoughtful and as eloquent as ever, good work sir! I’m amezad that as a fan of the book you have never seen this film. I only read the book (when I was about 16) because I loved the film so much. In a lot of ways Bride of Frankenstein is a better film, give that one a go when you get a chance. Once you have, I would second Paolo’s recommendation that you check out Gods and Monsters. Of all the movies I have seen it is both the earliest example and the clearest depiction of the idea that the monster in the story isn’t really the monster of the story. This has always fascinated me as he is such an iconic monster. You say “In a way, this feels like a cheat. Prometheus isn’t paying the cost for bringing fire to the people….” A thought on that: The film ends with Frankenstein’s wedding and his father’s toast to a future grandchild. The end could be seen as Frankenstein looking for forgiveness and redemption in his abandonment of his attempt to play god in favour of a more traditional way of creating life. This works as both a religious and simply a moral statement. By the way six amazing films in this months “Blindsided by”

  • Lord Jason says:

    well, I spit on your grave has one of the best titles ever, although if you are going with rape and murder, i prefer Last House. I really have trouble watching those movies, though. it’s all a little much. If you want true exploitation, try out Cannibal Holocaust. That movies just a bunch of animals getting killed for a while, then horrific murder scenes. fun for the whole family.

  • Sara says:

    last house and suspiria are in my top horror faves. no one does GORE-geous like argento (tee hee)! i am a big fan of i spit on your grave. yes, the seemingly endless gang rape is not for the faint of heart, but the movie has a lot more going for it than people give it credit for. in a nutshell: woman suffers, woman endures, and woman TRIUMPHS. plus, she cuts off a dick!!

    for proof of my disgusting creepiness, check out the flier for this weekend’s rockinest show – deathbysexy & nihilitia @ velvet lounge.

  • svetlana Svetlana says:

    Also, as I mentioned to Jason before.
    For fans of Argento and italian horror:

    Blood and Black Lace. With subtitles.

  • alexandra says:

    dude i was raised on The Thing. scares the crap out of me to this day.

    Also, Shivers by David Cronenberg is awesome.

  • Tad Jenkins says:

    Luther the Geek

  • Ironic says:

    Along the lines of Martin, check out Nick Cage in Vampire’s Kiss.

    Or don’t. See if I care.

  • Steffen Kilbibbles says:

    The original Black Christmas and of course, Sleepaway Camp, the scariest movie of all time.

    “Hey Angela . . . why you so fucked up?”

  • El Chico Cesar says:

    you’ve hit paydirt, jason! i might have to start wearing grandma’s diapers. also, suspiria is awesome!