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Monsters, Madness & Movies: hidden gems


The Season of Scares is upon us again, and to mark the occasion I’ve put together a list of lesser-known horror films that are every bit as bone-chilling as the famous classics. If you’re in the mood for a good fright, turn off the lights and give one of these overlooked pictures a try:


Salvage (2006.) Night shift clerk Claire accepts a ride home from a stranger, then immediately regrets her decision. When he drops her off safely, she thinks all is well—but is it? This indie tension-builder is creepy and atmospheric, and the conclusion will haunt you long after the end credits have rolled.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981.) Never let anyone tell you made-for-TV movies can’t rival their big screen counterparts, because this lost treasure has it all: suspense, maulings, murder, vigilantes, impalements, revenge, and an ending that will hit you right in the gut.

Coherence (2013.) Beyond the basic disquieting nature of this film, you’ll also get chills realizing that we are all just a perspective-shift away from careening into the existential void. Host a dinner party and watch it with friends for maximum impact.

Session 9 (2001.) Yes, this movie is set inside an insane asylum, but this is far more than another “spooky spirits of the crazies gonna getcha!” flick. The real horror comes in realizing exactly what’s been happening beyond the walls of this ominous institution, and who is responsible for the mayhem.

Below (2002.) Set in 1943, the only thing scarier than being stuck in a submarine as the Nazis close in is knowing that some of your fellow shipmates are cold-blooded killers --- or worse.

Jack’s Back (1988.) James Spader does double-duty playing twins who become entangled in a Jack the Ripper copycat killing spree. One is a promising doctor, the other an army medic and both are in the culprit’s crosshairs as the body count continues to climb.

Primer (2004.) A pair of up-and-coming tech geniuses can’t decide if the time-disruption device they accidentally invented is a blessing or a curse. The dilemma fractures their friendship, and leads to a future that might be everyone’s undoing.

Do you have a favorite ‘little-known’ horror / mystery / suspense film that never got the attention it deserves? Drop me a line and I’ll give it a look, and perhaps add it to my list of recommended hidden gems!


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