Underrated Scary Movies for a Spooky-Fun Halloween
What it’s About:
A deeply disturbed man gradually spirals deeper into madness as he kills and scalps his victims to add to his mannequin collection.
The guerrilla-style filming adds an edge to the realistic gore, plus the unhinged main character fees as though he could snap at any minute.
Apartments full of mannequins
Murder at the disco
An awkward kid moves to a new town has unsettling nightmares about his parents. Is it possible the horrifying things he dreams are true?
Although it’s technically a dark comedy, there’s something about false perfection of the 1950s nuclear family and the vulnerability of being the new kid combined with butcher-esque horror that works on a cult-classic level.
Walking in on your parents
After a kid’s backyard treehouse is hit by lightning, the resulting crater unearths an otherworldly portal.
Kids with no parents around to help, and everything spirals out of control? Sounds a lot like growing up. Terrifying. Also lots of gory carnage.
Blood magic at slumber parties
A glamorous trapeze artist at a sideshow marries one of the “freaks” after learning that he is inheriting a large sum of money. When her deception is revealed, she pays a tremendous price.
You may recognize this as the inspiration for the sixth season of American Horror Story. Filmed in the 1930s, many of the actors are actual former sideshow performers. While the revenge they enact in the storyline is violent and disturbing, seeing them portray the inhumane ways in which they were treated in real life is in itself horrifying.
This is supposed to be a kids movie, but it’s so freaky, I should definitely not have been allowed to watch this as a child. A boy explores a burned out mansion, is frightened by a ghost, contracts a curse/disease and loses all of his hair. The same ghosts teach him a magic spell involving peanut butter to grow it back, and things go horribly awry.
Everything about this French-made film is unsettling, from the haunting by homeless people who died in an abandoned house fire, to kids experimenting with puberty. And then there’s a weird second act involving magic paintbrushes? It’s not gory, but it’s so off-putting, especially when you consider the filmmakers intended children to view it.
Kidnapped child labor
Ghosts of the homeless
Overgrown pubic hair