10 Offbeat Horror Films You Must Watch
I’ve been listening to Double Feature for years. It’s two films back to back with some form of commonality….how they reach this is always fascinating. They do this every week and haven’t missed one yet. So that’s 52 episodes a year!? Eric 13 & Micheal Koester have even become friends and 7 years later their podcast is still a favorite. I look forward to their encyclopedic film knowledge and intriguing insights every week. They’re approaching the end of Year 8 and have just launched a Kickstarter for Year 9 funding. I caught up with them to help with this piece, they’re horror experts…I’m not. Micheal explains why each film made their list.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
An ongoing unsolved mystery in Alaska, where one town has seen an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances during the past 40 years and accusations of a federal cover-up.
“Still my top pick for scariest movie ever. The layered approach to the storytelling helps lower your guard and by the time the final moments come around if you’re hooked, it’s one of the most dreadful feelings I’ve ever felt in a film.”
A newlywed couple finds their honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul discovers Bea in the woods disoriented on their first night.
“Similar in genre and type to Fourth Kind. This plays a lot on the horror themes of isolation and helplessness. However, the scale of those ideas becomes exponential and the thought experiment of ‘What would I do in this situation?’ becomes empty and hopeless.”
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
What is taking Deborah Logan? Some memories are worth forgetting.
“Another found footage gem, Deborah Logan takes an already upsetting premise and moves it in an even more horrific direction. While the tableaus are infinitely memorable, the real terror comes from the parts between the nightmarish scare moments. Also, a testament to how strong acting can elevate a horror movie.”
The House of the Devil (2009)
On a night in 1983 with a full lunar eclipse, Samantha takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances and uncovers a terrifying secret.
“Double Feature’s first look at Ti West. The real scary thing about House of the Devil is the palpable, nauseous tension. Once the terrible things finally start building, you’re already in such a twisted state of fear that it just mangles you.”
After his son is killed in a motorcycle accident, a farmer invokes a powerful demon in his quest for revenge.
“Definitely the campiest and most classic. But Stan Winston who directed this movie is a monster creature effects guy. So, the titular creature is really the only monumental scare. The movie itself is darker than the average 80s b-horror, but really, when Pumpkinhead comes through the door, it’s legitimately what a child’s nightmare monster looks like.”
Black Christmas (1974)
During Christmas break, a group sorority girls are being stalked by a stranger.
“Black Christmas is 32 years old and still sickeningly scary. The phone calls in the film are the real moments that get through the years. It doesn’t hurt that this is arguably the earliest true ‘slasher‘”, and even though it rips off what has become a sort of cliched twist, that doesn’t make you any less afraid when it happens.”
A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small town.
“This is nearly a perfect film. It’s easy to lump Pontypool in with zombie flicks, and that gets it watched, but it’s so much smarter and more in-depth that the typical bitey epidemic. The intrigue and what-the-fuckery lends itself to an inability to feel settled or comfortable while the whole thing closes in on you. One of the most underrated, under viewed films in the last 30 years.”
Digging Up The Marrow (2015)
A documentary exploring genre based monster art takes an odd turn when the filmmakers are contacted by a man who claims he can prove that monsters are indeed real.
“Adam Green directs yet ANOTHER found footage movie. This time starring himself and Will Barratt. The movie is semi-autobiographical and uses the real-world elements to paint a believably vivid baseline before Alex Pardee’s mess of tear-inducing monsters show up and drag you into the hole.”
A father dons a clown outfit to perform at his son’s birthday, only to later discover that the costume will not come off and his own personality changes in a horrific fashion.
“This one is FINALLY getting a US release. This is an example of Patton Oswald’s “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats” mentality. It should’ve been shot down for its ridiculous premise 100 times, but a select few people really saw this for what it is. It’s stripped entirely of it’s campy possibilities and drove all the way to a place where it’s fascinating, beautifully vulgar, and legitimately frightening”
Exorcist 3 (1990)
For the past 15 years a police detective has been obsessed with solving a series of murders that occurred on the night of the first exorcism.
“On the show, Eric and I discussed whether the terrifying parts of this movie came from lack of experience or incredibly strong vision. Regardless, it has some of the most unique scare shots in the b-horror world. It’s a film that’s not above a cat in the cupboard, but often takes and almost Tarantino-esque approach to shot composition and pacing. Again, total fluke or utter brilliance? Not important. The result is the same.”