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Five awesome horror movies you probably missed

Horror movies are hotter than ever, but a few high-profile monsters of the genre gobble up the spotlight. If BabadookIt Follows, and the latest sequel followed by a sequel didn’t do it for you (or even if they did), you’ll appreciate the finds on this list.

Got a recommendation for me? Please let me know in the comments.

    1. The Guest. The best horror movies go beyond tight genre constraints. They’re a little bit thriller, a little bit mystery, a lot of suspense. Enter The Guest. A woman grieving the recent death of her soldier son is startled when his army buddy arrives at the front door. She’s never heard of him, but he’s in the photo of her son’s platoon, so he must be on the up and up, right? He’s so charming, after all.
      Things start to go wrong soon after The Guest arrives, but all the tragedies appear to be in the family’s favour–until they’re not. However, the soldier’s sister isn’t fooled and is determined to expose The Guest for who he truly is…but will her investigation get them all killed? The success of this fun, thrilling movie comes down to two things: an awesome script and an even more awesome performance by Dan Stevens The Final Girls is one awesome horror movie you may have missed
    2. The Final Girls. This is another fun one for those who like their horror tongue-in-cheek. A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a scream queen from the ’80’s, reluctantly agrees to attend a film fest in honour of her mother’s biggest slasher hit. When a fire breaks out in the movie theatre, the woman and her friends slash the screen to escape and end up in the middle of the infamous horror flick. In order to save themselves and the girl’s mother, the friends have to decide who will be the Final Girl–the virgin who’s destined to vanquish the killer in the end. This film was so entertaining I didn’t want it to end. It’s similar in some ways to Cabin in the Woods. You're Next is one awesome horror movie you may have missed
    3. You’re Next. I loved The Guest so much that I took a chance on You’re Next because it was another creation of writer-director Adam Wingard, with great reviews. I wasn’t disappointed. You’re Next revisits the tired home-invader-slasher trope that has been done to death–with an unexpected twist. Wingard turns this genre on its head by making the would-be killers victims and one of the victims the most kick-ass hero I’ve seen in a long time. I cheered out loud while watching this one. Very intelligent and diabolical. The Boy is one awesome horror movie you may have missed
    4. The Boy. A woman is hired to take care of a child while his elderly parents are on vacation. When she arrives, she finds her charge is not a toddler, but a doll. A creepy, life-sized doll. Even more disturbing, her employers insist she treat him as if he really is a child, and never, ever leave him alone. At first the would-be nanny suspects the “parents” are cuckoo, but then she starts to question her own sanity as strange, inexplicable things happen. Are her employers right? Is the doll really alive? Or is something far more sinister going on? The Invitation is one awesome horror movie you may have missed
    5. The InvitationYour ex-wife invites you and your new girlfriend to a dinner party, along with a group of your closest mutual friends. Nothing odd about that, right? Turns out the ex has found a new love–and a new religion, one that appears to worship death as the ultimate release from life’s pain. The dinner begins with the hosts sharing a decidedly spooky infomercial about their new “faith,” and things quickly spiral downhill from there. A powerful thriller with lots of emotional drama between the characters, The Invitation has one of the most chilling endings I’ve seen in a long time.

    How about you? Seen any good scary movies lately? I’d love to hear about them, and if you’ve seen any of my picks, please let me know your thoughts.

    PS – If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your peeps. You may also like Cinema’s Baddest Bitches.

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32 Comments

  1. I’m not 100 percent sure if this is full horror or more suspense/thriller, but I’ll add in “The Gift,” which came out in 2015 and does an interesting trick of turning the bad guy/good guy initial impressions on their heads. Basically a couple moves into a new home and are visited by a creeper who has ties to the husband’s past. Potential trigger issues for some, but I think that’s often a given with the genre. Kept me in suspense, with an appropriately ooky ending.

    Reply
    • JH

      Good call, Randee! I’d forgotten about The Gift, but I enjoyed that one as well. It was pretty creepy.

      I find a lot of great horror movies could be called suspense or thrillers as well. It all depends on how the powers that be decide to market them.

      Reply
  2. The Boy does sound creepy.
    Haven’t seen The Guest since its description sounded like a cheap thriller. But I might have to check it out now.

    Reply
    • JH

      Oh, it’s so much more than that. I think you’d enjoy it.

      Even looking at the pic I chose for “The Boy” made me shiver. Brr…that doll was tres creepy.

      Reply
  3. The first three sound good. Creepy doll stories are too much for me, though! I watch thrillers, but not horror, usually. I did read Stephen King’s The Shining while on vacation. I’ll be writing a blog post about it soon. He truly is the master of creating suspense. I can never look at hotel fire hose the same way again.

    (Thanks for the nice comment on my blog about the cranky critiquer.)

    Reply
    • JH

      No problem! I believe in telling it like it is, and that woman should keep her eyes on her own paper.

      Horror and thrillers are very closely linked. Sometimes the difference boils down to marketing. One of the greatest misconceptions about horror is that it begins and ends with stuff like Friday the 13th and Saw. That’s a teeny, tiny subset of the genre.

      Reply
  4. The Guest sounds like an excellent film and is that the guy from Downton Abbey?? He played the love interest to Mary who was so sweet. I think I wouldn’t mind seeing the others except for the last one. I am not much into slasher films but more creepy ones. I will say The Haunting…not the remake which was crap but the original which is excellent. The Others with Nicole Kidman was great. For pure 1970’s camp there is the trilogy of Terror starring, I think, Lee Grant…the one that freaked me out is where she has an African doll that comes to life and is not nice. The Ring is another that totally freaked me out to this day.

    Reply
    • JH

      Terror trilogy? Hmm, I haven’t heard of that one!

      Loved The Others and The Ring. I’m not into slashers, either. The Invitation is far from a slasher, but you’d have to trust me on that. 🙂

      Yes, Dan Stevens was in Downton Abbey! I was so surprised when I found out this guy, who played an American soldier from the southern states so well, is actually British. Mind: blown.

      Reply
  5. I think The Boy would give me nightmares.

    Reply
    • JH

      It is pretty spooky. I loved the Gothic atmosphere: the disturbing doll, the ancient castle-like house, the mysterious couple. Beautifully done.

      But it ends up going somewhere I guarantee you will not expect.

      Reply
  6. The Boy sounds like a real horror movie. I think I’ll skip that one. The others seem very suspenseful and intriguing. I think I’ll start with The Guest. With a main character who looks like that, it might keep me from turning away from the screen when things get too creepy or scary. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations, J.H., in this time of not finding exciting movies to watch.

    Reply
    • JH

      He’s extremely handsome, but it was the way he played the character that made it intriguing as well. He was so good in that role–you can tell he really had fun with it.

      I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying twice…horror and thrillers are very closely linked. Sometimes the difference boils down to marketing. One of the greatest misconceptions about horror is that it begins and ends with stuff like Friday the 13th and Saw. That’s a teeny, tiny subset of the genre.

      Reply
  7. I haven’t seen any of them! Wonder if they’ve ever been here to SA. I wish I could recommend something to you but I can’t – I LOVE movies but not especially in that genre. I must be the only person I know who’s NOT watched Game of Thrones. The family has been watching the series while on holiday and are thoroughly gripped by it but the bit I’ve seen is waaaaaaay too gory … 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      I’m not into gory, either. I tend to skip those kinds of horror movies–I’m more interested in the psychological aspect.

      Out of the movies I’ve featured here, The Boy is actually the least violent or gory–and that’s the one most people are saying they’ll skip! 🙂

      Reply
  8. These sound great! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll keep an eye out for them — and I’ll try to keep the weather in Egypt nice for you! 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      That would be most appreciated, Lexa. Thanks! Can’t believe I’m leaving so soon.

      Reply
  9. I don’t really watch horror movies anymore, so I hadn’t heard of any of these.

    Reply
    • JH

      Wow, with all these comments I’m getting, I wonder why you guys read my blog. 🙂 Where are my peeps?

      Reply
  10. I’ve seen 2 out of 3 of those and now I’m going to add the others to my list and check them out. =) I really enjoyed “The Final Girls”, it was such a great movie! “You’re Next” kinda fell flat for me if I remember right, but… I may have to give it another try. Movies REALLY have to grab me right off the bat or I get distracted and want to go back to reading whatever book I am reading at the time. My husband is much more the movie buff.

    A really good one that we saw, that had my anxieties through the roof was “Would You Rather”. ACK. It’s a 2012 release and the cover alone makes my hair stand on end. It, to me, is one of the ultimate horror movies in that it plays on things that are truly horrific. Sacrificing ones beliefs and convictions, loss of dignity, loss of empathy, and a truly horrible twist at the end. If you’ve seen it, I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you haven’t, I really recommend it! =)

    Reply
  11. I recently saw the Autopsy of Jane Doe, directed by André Øvredal. Brilliant horror flick!

    Reply
  12. Ooh, “The Final Girls” sounds like something I’d like! “The Boy”, too, but only by day, with all the curtains wide open and the sun shining in.

    Slasher films tend to bore me, but I liked “The Others”, the ghosts in “Crimson Peak” and more recently a German flick that tackled the abandonned haunted castle trope in an entertaining way (of course I went and forgot the title…).

    Reply
  13. I’ve wanted to see The Guest and The Invitation both.

    Reply
  14. I was going to mention The Gift but Randee beat me to it. 🙂

    The last really good horror movie I’ve seen was probably The Conjuring 2. I also did like The Babadook.

    I thought Don’t Breathe had potential but it fell apart for me as it went on.

    Totally adding the ones from your list. I also have a few foreign ones noted with subtitles that look awesome, but I have to make sure I have my glasses on before I watch those. 🙂

    Reply
    • Watched The Boy over the weekend – creepy good! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

      Reply
  15. I’m so bad at horror. To my everlasting shame, I am always the one to suggest a different film when a horror option is presented. These blurbs scared me enough. I’m going to go cry in my room now.

    Reply
  16. Never heard of any of those and am not sorry I have since I’m a wuss. LOL

    Reply
  17. I loved horror movies when I was younger, but like you, the trope of a group of people get mangled and killed is beyond dull and gore doesn’t thrill me anymore. I need a story. On the other hand, when a horror film gets to me, it really gets to me. I didn’t sleep after watching the first Paranormal Activity and had to stop half way through the third. (I love my sleep.) I’ll keep these recommendations in mind. They all sound good.

    Reply
  18. The only one on the list I’ve seen so far is THE BOY. I’ll have to check out the rest. 🙂

    Reply
  19. I don’t watch a lot of horror movies but will check them out from time to time. The Guest and The Boy both seem like stories I would find very entertaining.

    Reply
  20. Love horror movies! Scary and Gory for me. I loved “You’re Next”. Seen it a few times. The “Invitation” was pretty good. Have not see the others but will add them to my watch list.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Jessie! I’m really glad you enjoyed the post.

      Reply

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