EJ Moreno looks at six must-see horror movies that may have flown under your radar…
Every year, horror fans go through whatever daunting watch list is before them. But even the most dedicated genre lover will struggle to see every must-see horror title that’s dropped.
To no fault of horror fans, there are far too many brilliant horror movies that don’t get the love they deserve, especially modern entries that have to fight with blockbusters and streaming services for attention. Thankfully as fans with far too much time on my hands, we’ve gathered quite the collection of overlooked modern horror movies.
Some may be recognizable, some may come as a total surprise, but each has earned its spots as underrated and often forgotten recent horrors. Be sure to check out the complete list and reach out to our socials to let us know your favorites….
Even if you’re the biggest Lupita Nyong’o fan, it won’t shock anyone if you missed Little Monsters upon release. The film had a small theatrical run before finding its home on streaming, but what really buried it was coming out the same year as Jordan Peele’s Us.
Trying to compete with a career-best horror performance is no easy task, but Little Monsters works independently and helps showcase the insane range Nyong’o has as an actor. Not too often are zombie movies labeled “cute,” but this earns that title with its positive energy and kid-focused plot. As a teacher out to defend her students, Lupita Nyong’o brings light and joy to a role in the way she can.
Also, hearing Nyong’o blast out Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off while zombie madness happens will stick with you for some time after. Horror films can rarely evoke joy as much as terror.
Boosting the work of Sion Sono is not easy, as recent allegations paint his often controversial films in a different light. You can feel some darkness in his career, which often makes it hard to watch, but it also serves as compelling viewing, as you get with 2010’s Cold Fish.
Sono always wants to challenge you with his films, much like he did with his 00’s underrated gem Suicide Club, and you are often challenged in Cold Fish. You are tested with how much depravity is tolerable while also dealing with such a grim story about an already-downtrodden falling into such a sick world. It’s also to ask your viewer, but it’s worth it if you’re up for the challenge.
Again, Sion Sono is not for everyone, and recommending his films feels more complicated now than before, but out of respect for the talents involved, we can’t keep overlooking Cold Fish.
Coming Home In The Dark
The most recent entry could also be one of the best, as Coming Home In The Dark burns its visuals and story into your brain. Well-acted, well-constructed, and downright chilling, you’ll only find hard-hitting pieces like this coming from Down Under.
New Zealand (and Australia) are on a wave of solid horror outings, and this 2021 Sundance Darling adds its name to the growing list. A common thread throughout all these films on the list, but especially in Coming Home In The Dark, is incredible acting. Moments sit in your soul, haunt you, and it’s all tailored around Daniel Gillies’ masterful work.
Flickering Myth speaks for most horror fans when we say that we can’t wait for whatever filmmaker James Ashcroft has in store for us after this masterwork in intensity.
A horror film about the Hollywood elite mistreating an aspiring actress? Indeed this must’ve come out post-Me Too movement in 2017. You’d be wrong, as Starry Eyes was screaming out the issues Hollywood had before it was the mainstream conversation.
In retrospect, this might be one of horror’s most important conversation starters, with the scares and terror coming from all ends of the spectrum. Some of the demonic edge plays to many fears, along with some solid horror visuals. But you are chilled by Alex Essoe’s Sarah and the horrid path to fame and power.
Starry Eyes balances retelling what happens in the industry and creating its unique world, allowing you some escapism in a needed narrative.
South Korean horror films have become all the rage in the 2010s. It’s become the trendy foreign film horror house that genre fans clamor onto; examples being Train to Busan and The Wailing. But even the less mainstream picks like #Alive shine.
We have a lot of zombies in horror, and South Korea has had a few of its offerings, but the highly modern elements of #Alive keep it fresh. There’s a refreshing take on social media, and the isolation conversations hit hard in 2020. It gave us so much comfort in a scary time, finding ourselves in this situation more than ever before.
It’s not about reinventing the wheel but giving it a new coat of paint. #Alive came, conquered, and ushered in zombies’ final heyday.
As horror fans, you often hear, “Can you recommend something not-so-mainstream to watch?”. Then you rack your brain trying to find the perfect fit. For years, horror fans often relied on The Ritual as that go-to recommendation, a sure-fire hit that not enough folks discuss.
David Bruckner’s 2017 folk horror offering lends itself to having a familiar set-up, but at every turn you expect, it veers in a new strange direction. The Ritual finds its horror in some great creature effects, a powerhouse score, and more great acting, all selling the terror. It’s solid filmmaking that goes overlooked by those outside Horror Reddit.
Bruckner seems to specialize in underrated horror, as his 2020 offer, The Night House, is just as overlooked. Take that as a bonus recommendation.
Which of these horror films are you adding to your watchlist? What other movies have we missed that are worthy of inclusion? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…