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The Best Hidden Gem Horror Films

Verity is a horror buff who loves things that go bump, with hundreds of hours invested in many different horror genres and styles.

The best hidden gem horror films

The best hidden gem horror films

Introduction

I adore watching horror films. One of my favourite hobbies is to go on any streaming service, search "horror" and watch whatever pops up. I don't look at ratings or reviews before I dive in. This means I have seen some pretty forgettable nonsense, but luckily it means I have also stumbled upon some absolute gold that left my mind reeling.

These recommendations are all my own opinions and my own ratings, according to my own taste. So I admit that something I find amazing might not be everyone's cup of tea. I have also not included very popular, well-known films on this list (e.g. The Babadook or The Shining) because this article is all about the films you haven't heard of. I am also going to keep all of my recommendations spoiler-free. Please bear all of this in mind as you read. I do recognise that many people will not watch a film without watching the trailer first, so as a result, I have included trailers for each film where possible. However, I never watch a trailer before the film as I believe that they can paint a false picture or spoil key moments.

If you think there is something that I have missed, or you have a recommendation for me, please do comment below and let me know!

The Awakening

  • Genre: Horror-Thriller
  • Year: 2011
  • Run Time: 1 hr 42 min

This film about a female sceptic who lives to debunk supernatural and paranormal claims had me hooked from the start. Set in 1921 the period setting lends to the eerie atmosphere, which only builds through the film. The clues and glimpses that we see briefly, makes your mind boggle at what might actually be happening here. Is she about to debunk this as a fraud, or is there something deeper happening here? Without giving away any spoilers, the ending was brilliant and had me glued to my seat. I recommend this with a 10/10 rating.

The Awakening Trailer

Don't Blink

  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 32 min

This film establishes a mysterious tone very quickly, with our characters arriving at their accommodation to find it abandoned abruptly with no idea where anyone went. As they settle in for a fun night, it all begins to unravel as one of their own party vanishes in the blink of an eye. This mysterious film does not hold your hand or spoon feed you explanations, all of that is up to the viewer to provide. The eerie atmosphere mounts towards the end, with an ending that I simply adore. My rating is 10/10.

Don't Blink Trailer

Ghost Stories

  • Genre: Horror, Drama
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 38 min

This British made horror film was one that I was very hesitant to watch, as I am not a fan of Martin Freeman, one of the leads. But I loved this film so much, that it made me like him. A non-believer is given three different cases of unexplained apparitions to find a rational conclusion to. The strangeness only intensifies as he delves deeper into the case and his own reasoning behind wanting to solve them. You realise that everything is not what it seemed on the surface, with a final reveal that blew my mind and left me with a shocked grin on my face. My rating 10/10.

Ghost Stories

Housebound

  • Genre: Horror, Comedy, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 47 min

Housebound is a horror-comedy straight out of New Zealand. Morgana O'Reilly does a fantastic job portraying a young woman who is given the most brutal punishment the courts can think of: house arrest at her mother's home in the middle of nowhere. Anyone who grew up in a rural area, and escaped, can identify with how daunting such a prospect is. Added to this torture, her mother believes that the house is haunted. Our leading lady decides to prove her mother wrong and uncovers more ugly truths and deep mysteries than she ever intended. What adds to the brilliance of this film is that the lead acts exactly the way that you or I would. The New Zealand wit and sense of humour perfects this film and I've watched it more times that I can count. My rating 10/10.

Housebound Trailer

Devil

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2010
  • Run Time: 1 hr 20 min

The premise is simple. A group of people get on an elevator only for it to get stuck, and leave them trapped. Unbeknown to them, one of them are not who they seem, they are The Devil. An investigator, keeping an eye on them via a camera in the lift, is dragged into the mind games and psychology but is powerless to help as he watches the chaos unfurl. This film really makes you wonder, is there really such a thing as a coincidence? And what is true evil? My rating 9/10.

Devil Trailer

As Above, So Below

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 33 min

An archaeologist, who doesn't play by the rules, puts together a team to explore the catacombs beneath Paris for a real treasure. At some points, while watching this film I actually forgot that it wasn't a documentary, that is how well-produced it is and how believable the performances are. As they descend lower and lower, the different levels begin to resemble Dante's circles of hell, and with their sins revealed will they atone? This very clever and very subtle film had me on the edge of my seat. This one also does not hold your hand, and leaves it up to you to interpret "sins". With a satisfying ending, I rate this film 9/10.

As Above, So Below Trailer

Savageland

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime
  • Year: 2015
  • Run Time: 1 hr 20 min

This documentary-style film felt so real that I forgot it wasn't real, and as such, I was so unsettled at the end I couldn't go to bed and had to put something funny on to watch. The film explores what happened after a lone-survivor is accused, and punished after a whole town is wiped out overnight. The man in question had a camera with him on the night in question, and while many of the photos taken are unfocused or show ambiguous material, some seem to point to them as proof of the man's innocence. With the help of experts and profilers, we can come to our own conclusions as to whether this man was guilty, or if racial prejudices allowed him to be punished for a crime he had no way of committing. My rating 9/10.

Savageland Trailer

Honeymoon

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

Honeymoon is a film with a cast of 4 people which takes place in mainly one location. A couple retires to an isolated cabin fr their honeymoon, but the wife (played by the wonderful Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones) is found by her husband wandering lost in the woods one night. When her behaviour starts to change, her husband starts to wonder if something has happened to her or if she just isn't the woman that he married. This psychological journey and thrilling conclusion rely on a very strong cast performance and wonderful atmospheric setting. My rating is 9/10.

Honeymoon Trailer

Would You Rather

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2012
  • Run Time: 1 hr 33 min

Would You Rather tells the story of a woman who accepts an invitation for dinner after it is revealed that by doing so, she could help her ill brother. All is not as it seems, however, when she arrives and discovers that many others have received the same invitation. The dinner goes well until it is revealed that the host wishes to play a game of would you rather, with the winner getting all the money. As you can imagine, the game becomes increasingly morbid with the characters having to make choices that test their morals. The film has an intimate setting which adds to the atmosphere. The film leaves the majority of any gore to the viewer's imagination, with some implied, which adds to the cringe factor and made me squirm at one point. The ending was unexpected and was really what made it for me. I felt that it was resolved perfectly. My rating is 9/10.

Would You Rather Trailer

The Limehouse Golem

  • Genre: Horror, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Year: 2016
  • Run Time: 1 hr 49 min

This movie is set in Victorian London and follows an inspector (played by Bill Nighy) as he tries to uncover the identity of the serial killer dubbed "The Limehouse Golem". As the grizzly and gory murders are investigated, a story starts to come together piece by piece. The story of a young woman, underestimated and mistreated. Will the inspector solve the crime and avoid a woman being put to death? Will the answers be the ones he wants? Will the culprit truly deserve their fate? The twisty path that this film takes to its conclusion is highly satisfying and I was glued to my seat throughout. My rating 9/10.

The Limehouse Golem Trailer

Time Lapse

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-fi
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 44 min

What would you do if you could see one day into your own future? In this film 3 friends, down on their luck, discover a camera that takes photos 24 hours into the future. At first, they plan to use this for material and personal gain. But as the photos become more disturbing they begin to wonder, once the picture has been taken does that mean your fate is inevitable? This mind-bending story is full of excellent performances from the small cast, and a wonderful developing atmosphere that makes you feel as though something just isn't right. I found the ending to be absolutely perfect. I watched this with a group and we had a lot to discuss afterwards. My rating: 9/10.

Time Lapse Trailer

Coherence

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 29 min

Is very hard to describe why this film is so excellent, without spoiling anything. A group of friends gather for a dinner party when the lights go out. A group goes out to the light at the neighbours, and find something reality-bending that they struggle to comprehend. As they begin to grapple with this strange new understanding, are the people they are sending out to explore the same ones that are coming back? And how well can these people predict their own actions? A fantastic psychological film that I rate 9/10.

Coherence Trailer

Devil's Pass

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 40 min

This film is based on the very real Dyatlov Pass Incident, that occurred in Russia. I highly recommend that anyone who has not heard of this reads the Wikipedia page for it as soon as possible. This film attempts to explain what happened to the group and how they ended up with such confusing and unexplained injuries. This movie goes far beyond the typical "people lost in the wilderness" trope and explains everything in a completely unexpected and unique way. I was completely hooked during the ending sequences and once again I found the finale to be extremely fulfilling and fitting. My rating is 9/10.

Devil's Pass Trailer

House Hunting

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 42 min

House Hunting is a film about 2 families that both go to the same open house in a secluded area. Their viewing is disturbed when they come across an obviously distressed girl who is missing her tongue. As much as the families try to leave, they cannot and must stay. Somehow when they wake up in the morning the cupboards are restocked with enough for everyone there. As they try to figure out each other's secrets and loyalties, some come to the conclusion that there is only one way to leave this place. A very tense movie throughout with a very satisfying ending. My rating 9/10.


House Hunting Trailer

Evil Things

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2009
  • Run Time: 1 hr 26 min

5 friends go to spend a weekend together in the country and go missing with no explanation, until their own filmed footage is found. This found-footage film has excellent performances from the cast. More than once it made me feel as though I was watching a home video of friends that I knew well and I was part of the group. I genuinely found myself smiling along when they were goofing about. All of this investment in the characters meant that when the characters become unsettled, scared and later terrified, I was genuinely scared for them. This film feels so real and the ending was very fitting to the movie's theme. My rating is 9/10.

Evil Things Trailer

Grave Encounters

  • Genre: Horror
  • Year: 2011
  • Run Time: 1 hr 32 min

Grave Encounters is a found-footage/documentary hybrid. It follows Lance Preston, a paranormal investigator, and his team as they film their slightly faked paranormal show: Grave Encounters. With, in their opinions, nothing to fear they lock themselves in an abandoned psychiatric hospital to add a dramatic flair to their episode. Slowly but surely as the night goes on odd things begin to happen which warp their perception of time and of the building itself. The horror starts slow and mounts until you are on the edge of your seat. Whatever is residing at this hospital is up to you as the film doesn't try to force a faux explanation on you. One of my favourites, my rating is 9/10.

Grave Encounters Trailer

The Facility

  • Genre: Horror
  • Year: 2012
  • Run Time: 1 hr 20 min

This film follows a group of people who volunteer for a clinical trial that starts to go horrifically wrong. When the drug begins to have unusual and destructive side-effects, the participants must try to find a cure or a way out before their own doses start to affect them. The film has a tense atmosphere as you try to anticipate who will be affected next, and the added pressure of everyone being a ticking time bomb kept me invested in what was happening. My rating 8.5/10.

The Facility Trailer

The Diabolical

  • Genre: Horror, Sci-fi
  • Year: 2015
  • Run Time: 1 hr 26 min

This film is fantastically deceptive. Billed as a haunted house flick, a mum of 2 and her family are disturbed on a regular basis by an apparition that disappears as suddenly as it appears. Upon trying to leave the house the children become desperately sick, almost making mum Madison (played by Ali Larter) that they are cursed. However, when her boyfriend attempts to find out the cause of these apparitions the film begins to throw some brilliant curveballs at the viewer. I loved the twists and turns that this film took and I was absolutely hooked from start to finish. I found the ending very satisfying and I loved that the film doesn't treat the audience as though they are naive. A real unexpected treat. My rating 8/10.

The Diabolical Trailer

Wish Upon

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Fantasy
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 30 min

If you could get anything in the world that you wanted, but something awful would happen to someone in your life, would you take the risk for your heart's desires? When a teenage girl discovers a box that pledges her 7 wishes, this is exactly the dilemma that she faces. I found this film interesting, I enjoyed the way that everything was tied up and the ending felt so justified. There are a couple of moments where I struggled to understand why some characters did what they did, but that seems to be par for the course when it comes to horror films and I could forgive it. My rating is 7/10.

Wish Upon Trailer

The Skeptic

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2009
  • Run Time: 1 hr 29 min

In The Skeptic a man inherits his family mansion and plans to move in straight away. Despite protestations from those he knows that the house is haunted he refuses to believe it and lives there anyway. As he tries to prove to those around him that there is nothing to fear, he begins to experience happenings that make him think he is going mad. Is he genuinely experiencing something supernatural or is it all in his head? Were people convincing him to stay away for another reason? What connection does he have to this house? As everything unfurls there are unpredictable turns that lead to a satisfying ending. Zoe Saldana plays a psychic that comes to help him unfurl the secrets of the house, in what is a bizarre character portrayal that works at times and doesn't work at other times. All in all my rating is 7/10.

The Skeptic Trailer

Escape Room

  • Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
  • Year: 2019
  • Run Time: 1 hr 39 min

In Escape Room, a bunch of strangers come together after being invited to take part in the world's most intriguing escape room. Quite quickly it starts to become apparent that should they not escape they will lose their lives, and the stakes are upped. This movie has very likeable characters that I genuinely rooted for all of the way through, and some very tense scenes as they progress through the different rooms that leave you on the edge of your seat. I went into this film expecting it to be badly acted with a low budget and I was proved wrong on every count. I was enthralled from the beginning and the ending was almost a punch in the gut, in a good way! I rate this film 8/10.

Escape Room Trailer

The Conspiracy

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2012
  • Run Time: 1 hr 24 min

This documentary-style film follows a team of film-makers as they attempt to uncover and expose a dangerous conspiracy. As they delve deeper and meet more people, they begin to expose facts that could be worse than the original conspiracy. When they begin to wonder if they can trust any of the people that they have talked to, they get dragged into the heart of a secret society that they cannot figure out how to get out of. Throughout this film, I forgot that I was watching a movie and not a real documentary, my heart was in my mouth at many moments. The conclusion does not hold your hand and tell you what to think, but makes you consider deeply the world around us. What can we truly trust? My rating is 8/10.

The Conspiracy Trailer

The Tall Man

  • Genre: Horror, Crime, Drama
  • Year: 2012
  • Run Time: 1 hr 46 min

When you see the title of this film and hear that it is inspired by Slenderman, you might instantly switch off, but don't. The story that this film tells is 100% unique and I have never seen one like it before. Locals talk of the Tall Man tale and seem to willfully accept that every so often children vanish. It is only after a nurse's child is taken, and she tries to track them down, that a deeper horror is exposed. Who is the Tall Man? What part do the locals play, if any? Where is her child? This movie had me hooked all the way through, and when I thought I had it all figured out it surprised me again. A unique treat that is well-acted and suspenseful. My rating is 8/10.

The Tall Man Trailer

Circle

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2015
  • Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

50 strangers wake up in a room with no idea who anyone is or what they are doing there. Every 2 minutes, a person is killed. At first it seems as though it is completely random, but the strangers begin to realise that they can choose who dies next by vote. Very quickly a mob mentality starts to emerge. How do you decide who is good enough to live? How much can you figure out about someone in 2 minutes? What would you say to save your life? This film gives the viewer a lot to think about morally and ethically, but throughout the film there is an urgency and a sense of mystery. After all, who brought these people here and why? Is it a game or something more? What happens to the last person left standing? This movie is psychological and exciting and leaves you glued to your seat. My rating is 8/10.

Circle Trailer

The Endless

  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Drama
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 51 min

In this film, two brothers who escaped a death cult are allowed back in order to get some answers to questions that they never fully understood. They are allowed to leave at any time and are simply there to piece their memories together. As they delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the place they belonged to for so long, reality starts to bend and warp. Nothing is permanent, apart from everything, and the men need to find a way out before they are trapped, not only in space. This psychological film plays with everything we know to be true, and kept my mind racing, constantly trying to figure out "the rules". You never anticipate a single thing that this film throws at you and I loved it. My rating 8/10.

The Endless Trailer

Altered Minds

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 46 min

A family reunion for a dying father is going well, until one of his children accuses him of using his position as a psychiatrist within the CIA to conduct psychological experiments on him and his siblings as children. At first this paranoid delusion is considered to be the ramblings of someone mentally ill, but when the other siblings start to experience a dread that they cannot place and find themselves with half uncovered memories, they begin to wonder who they can trust. This twisting and turning story always places you on the back foot and had me hooked from the very beginning. It makes you question who are the good guys and the bad guys, or if there are even such things. What is the furthest someone would go for their children? My rating is 8/10.

Altered Minds Trailer

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2016
  • Run Time: 1 hr 26 min

It seems like any other autopsy for the father and son family coroners. An unidentified body is brought to the coroner's office after being found in a crime scene where she didn't fit. The sheriff is puzzled at how she could have died and asks the father and son team to figure out what killed her. Right off the bat this film has a creepy and eerie atmosphere that only intensifies as the movie progresses. The plot seems simple enough on the outside, but as the leads uncover more puzzling evidence about our Jane Doe the psychological terror ramps up. The intimate setting and atmosphere only adds to the unsettling feeling you get in the pit of your stomach. With the added touch of Jane Doe's body being played by a real actress and not a prosthetic, the authenticity comes across through the screen and you begin to feel as if you are stood there at the table too. This film is so immersive and will have you encapsulated from the very beginning. My rating 9/10.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe Trailer

Man Vs.

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-fi
  • Year: 2015
  • Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

The premise of Man Vs. is one that has been done before in film, but trust me when I say that this film does it differently. A survivalist is dumped in a forest in Ontario to film his show "Man Vs.". At first everything goes as normal until our lead begins to think he is being stalked by a pack of wolves, it is only after his items get moved and disassembled that he realises that whatever is around him in the forest must be more intelligent than a wolf. The performance from Chris Diamantopoulos is very strong and the script is very well written, allowing us to identify with the lead and see him as human with flaws and a sense of humour. As he begins to discover more about what is with him in the forest he begins to wonder, is he being hunted or toyed with or just cohabiting with something undiscovered? When I say that you will not expect the ending that this film throws at you, I mean it. I was rooted in place through this film and didn't want to take my eyes off it. My rating is 8/10.

Man Vs. Trailer

Cry Wolf

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2005
  • Run Time: 1 hr 30 min

In this film, some posh boarding school kids decide to play a lying game. It seems simple enough, and all of our characters are having fun. That is until the lies begin to become sinister and take on a life of their own. As the film expands it makes you wonder are all of these actually lies? Can you trust a truth when it is sandwiched with lies? What would it take for you to believe a liar? Can a lie ever be harmless? This film takes unexpected turns with an ending that is likely to leave you reeling. My rating 8/10.

Cry Wolf Trailer

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

  • Genre: Horror, Adventure, Mystery
  • Year: 2019
  • Run Time: 1 hr 48 min

When a group of three friends find a book of scary stories, straight from local legend, they cannot wait to pour over it and see what is inside. Unfortunately for them, the book begins to write scary stories all on its own. These stories feature people they know. When said stories begin to come true, our leads decide that it is up to them to discover the true story behind the book and the facts behind the local legend. This film, though PG-13, doesn't hold back on putting its leads in danger and you begin to realise that no one is safe. The action and effects are great and it manages a creepy tone very well. The individual stories told by the book are very well done and spooky. The ending is a tiny bit weak compared to the rest of the film (again PG-13), however, it is still a satisfying ending and shouldn't put you off. My rating 8/10.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Trailer

Dorothy Mills

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2008
  • Run Time: 1 hr 42 min

Dorothy Mills is a disturbed young lady, so disturbed that she tried to strangle a baby, though she swears she never touched it. Psychiatrist Jane (played by Game of Thrones' Carice van Houten) is sent to monitor her and offer a diagnosis. Jane diagnosis multiple personalities and does her job routinely, identifying each one, that is until one of the personalities that emerge is Jane's own dead son. What is truly happening in this weird and eerie town? Jane sometimes feels as though she is battling against the residents rather than with them, as though there is something deeper happening here, something that no one wants to admit. A psychological ride that will have you questioning everything you see. Carice and Jenn Murray (Dorothy) are exceptionally strong leads and carry this whole film easily. A sinister tone is established quite quickly and while watching you almost feel as though you should be looking over your shoulder. A fantastic ending that really ties the whole piece together cements this film as one that I will remember for a long time. My rating 9/10.

Dorothy Mills

Pontypool

  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Year: 2008
  • Run Time: 1 hr 33 min

Pontypool is a small town in Ontario with a local radio station, the host of which is a man named Grant Mazzy. Grant considers himself to be a big thinker despite the fact that he is reporting on stories such as missing cats. Nevertheless, it is his radio station that begins to report on an odd phenomenon, people starting to become affected by something, not acting like themselves. This film takes places with a very small cast that perform excellently, especially the lead Stephen McHattie, and you really feel as though you are there with them. They are a beacon of news, yet in their studio, they are shut off from the world and relying on outside reports and phone-ins. The incident happens in real-time and as such has excellent pacing. This movie really makes you wonder about the power of words and how we perceive them. I have thought about this film often since I have watched it and I've recommended it more times than I can count. My rating is 8/10.

Pontypool Trailer

Bloodwork (Alternate title: The Last Experiment)

  • Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller
  • Year: 2012
  • Run Time: 1 hr 36 min

Two college students, desperate for cash, volunteer for a well paid medical trial. At first, they enjoy getting to know those around them and rest safe in the knowledge that they will be out in 2 weeks time. Slowly though the people in the trial start to display odd personality changes, and become more and more eager to take the next dose of the medication. When it is revealed that this new drug can do things to the human body that should be impossible, it raises ethical and moral questions about just how much you can consent to. The action pacing is decent and the factors all do a solid job delivering the scenes. A worthy addition to this horror trope. My rating 8/10.

Bloodwork Trailer

The Ruins

  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Year: 2008
  • Run Time: 1 hr 30 min

In The Ruins a group of friends on holiday in Mexico join up to explore a jungle and discover what appears to be an ancient temple. The trouble starts when the locals that stumble across them appear to be hostile that they force the tourists up the temple, and appear to be willing to kill their own just for touching a part of it. What lurks on this monument is sinister and secretive, but how can you escape when you are uncertain what your biggest threat even is? This suspense-filled film kept me glued to the screen and I thoroughly enjoyed the way that everything was slowly revealed to us. My rating is 8/10.

The Ruins Trailer

Phoenix Forgotten

  • Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, Mystery
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

This found-footage/documentary-style film documents what happened to 3 teenagers on the night of the infamous Phoenix Lights, 20 years after their disappearance. From the start, I got invested in these characters pretty quickly and became hooked on finding out what truly happened to them. The movie does an excellent job at establishing tone. With the seamless blending of film footage and real archive news footage, this film will make you forget that this isn't a completely real documentary. My rating 8/10.

Phoenix Forgotten Trailer

Black Mountain Side

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 39 min

A small team in a frozen wasteland in Canada, find an archaeological discovery that they cannot wait to begin to uncover. But as they do they find themselves cut off from the outside world. Is what they are experiencing real? Is it due to a mysterious pathogen, a curse, the devil or even just fate? This film is absolutely gripping and you will never have any idea what is going to happen next. This movie will not hold your hand or spoonfeed you easy explanations, that's all up to you. I loved the ending of this film, but what I loved, even more, were the questions that I had to ask myself once it had finished. This film will bend your mind and have you considering endless possibilities. My rating 8/10.

Black Mountain Side Trailer

Hollow

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2011
  • Run Time: 1 hr 31 min

Hollow is an English found footage film supplemented by police documentation footage. It tells the story of two couples that go away for a weekend to a house that was owned by one of their grandfathers, a priest, before he committed suicide. As the film unfurls you learn more about the obsession of the man before his death, and the old tree that for some reasons instils dread in our leads. I was drawn into this film very quickly, the characters are all very believable and the actors do a great job of portraying them in a genuine way. I got invested in the characters and their fates, due to the way that their complex interpersonal relationships are all slowly revealed. There are many evils at play here and it is up to the viewer to determine how many are real and how many are self-inflicted. My rating is 8/10.

Hollow Trailer

Last Shift

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 30 min

This film documents the first shift of a rookie cop. She is given the menial task of sitting at a desk in a closing police station, with all calls being rerouted and her job being to just tell anyone who arrives that they're closed and direct them elsewhere, this looks set to be a very boring and very safe first night on the job. Until she receives an emergency call that wasn't rerouted. Her attempts to discover who the caller is in order to get help to them before they are killed begin to reveal a tangled web where not everything is happening at the right time. As she delves deeper and deeper, regardless of the warnings, she struggles to separate her own being from that of the investigation. This psychological film twists and turns and leaves you engrossed in the action from minute 1. My rating is 8/10.

Last Shift Trailer

Ruin Me

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

A couple signs up for an event called Slasher Sleepout, an extreme experience that promises to be part wilderness survival, part escape room and part haunted house. They meet up with the other people taking part, and quickly get to solving the clues, safe in the knowledge that if the experience becomes too overwhelming they can shout the safe word and be removed from the game. This is a trope that has been seen in similar formats but Ruin Me delivers a completely new and unique experience. I struggled to make up my mind on what was real and what wasn't, and when it came time for the reveals I didn't see any of it coming. Truly a masterpiece, it will leave you wondering who you can trust and who is actually the good guy, if there is one at all. By the time it got to the ending, I was on the very edge of my seat. My rating is 8/10.

Ruin Me Trailer

Dark Skies

  • Genre: Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 37 min

This film follows a well off suburban family as they begin to fall apart after strange occurrences in their home. At first, the odd signs, such as birds flying into the house and the entire kitchen being rearranged overnight, seem to point to something supernatural. However, as the film progresses we find that what is actually going on here is much deeper and much more sinister, leaving the family utterly defenceless and without anyone they can turn to. As things go from bad to worse, they decide to try and make a final stand. This movie has a sinister and eerie tone to it from the beginning, but what struck me as I watched this film was how much I enjoyed the family dynamic and their resolve to fight. The ending is extremely appropriate for the film too. My rating is 8/10.

Dark Skies Trailer

Killing Ground

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2016
  • Run Time: 1 hr 28 min

A couple goes for a romantic camping trip but stumbles upon a campsite seemingly abandoned. When they ask a local man for advice they decide to investigate further, when they come upon a brutal murder scene and an alive baby. Horrified, they turn to the locals for help, their biggest mistake so far. This Australian film is so tense, and the actors do a fantastic job of making you genuinely despise the antagonists. There are some pretty visceral scenes that make you feel genuinely uncomfortable. By the end of the film, you are begging for everyone to get what they truly deserve. My rating is 8/10.

Killing Ground Trailer

The Witch in the Window

  • Genre: Horror, Drama
  • Year: 2018
  • Run Time: 1 hr 17 min

The Witch in the Window is a slow burner, preferring to build the dread carefully and let it mount as the film goes on. It follows a man and his young son and they fix up a house in order to flip it. They begin to realise that there is something else there too, lurking deep down and that the more love they give to the house, the more they repair it, the more this thing likes to show itself. This film has so much depth to it with gorgeous cinematography and honestly, by the end, I was a little emotional. This was contributed to, in no small part, by the fantastic portrayal of the lead by Alex Draper. My rating is 8/10.

The Witch in the Window Trailer

The Signal

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-fi
  • Year: 2007
  • Run Time: 1 hr 43 min

This is a story told in three parts, from three different perspectives that all interweave and following the arching theme. A signal has been broadcast, a signal that changes people. Coming from TVs, radios and phones, if you see it or hear it you are destined to become a killer. Each part is unique and each story, while vastly different, are all entertaining and have something great to add. The tone shifts that we experience, from dread, to wonder, to confusion, to mistrustful, keep the viewer on their toes throughout. The non-linear narrative ensures that you give the film your full attention and I enjoyed trying to piece the bits together in my head as it went along. My rating is 7/10.

The Signal

Final Prayer

  • Genre: Horror
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 29 min

Final Prayer is another found-footage style film. This one follows a team of Vatican investigators as they attempt to disprove the claims made by a local priest regarding paranormal activity in his church. This film breaks a few tropes, especially the "priest who doesn't believe in the supernatural" trope, and for the most part, the investigators do their best to find logical explanations for everything, including accusing a holy man of lying. However, once they review the footage and begin to experience events for themselves they begin to realise that this goes further than the question of faith or belief. The solid performances of the leads in this film really sells the idea that these men want nothing better than to prove that there is nothing here, and for a while, you really believe them. This film though drags that belief (and many others) into question. My rating is 7/10.

Final Prayer Trailer

The Reeds

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2010
  • Run Time: 1 hr 26 min

This English-made film tells the story of a group of friends from London that decide to go on a weekend boating party to the Norfolk countryside. Once they get there they encounter belligerent youths who threaten to ruin their weekend, however, after some harsh words our protagonists get on their way. Throughout the day and the following night, they begin to experience unusual events that make them think they are being followed and hunted. But as we see the rest of the film unfurl, we realise that it is so much worse than that. This film, despite a very obvious Chekov's Gun at the start of the film, deals out surprise after surprise, culminating in a finale that makes you feel tense and borderline panicked. I adored the ending, and how it subverted all of my expectations. I would happily sit my friends down in front of it to see if they could spot the clues that I didn't. My rating is 7/10.

The Reeds Trailer

Willow Creek

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 20 min

Willow Creek is a shaky-cam found footage film that focuses on a couple as they document their attempts to find the notorious bigfoot. The premise might be one that we've all heard before, but this film manages to deliver something new to the trope. This movie reveals everything slowly, it drip-feeds it to you so that you have enough time to fully comprehend what might be happening before it moves on. There is one scene towards the end that does a very good job of building tension but just lasts a teeny bit too long. The two leads do an exceptional job of making the viewer believe that they are genuinely terrified of the unknown. The ending reveal is is appropriate and I personally enjoyed it very much. I rate this 7/10.

Willow Creek Trailer

Extraterrestrial

  • Genre: Horror, Action, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 41 min

This cabin in the woods film about friends on holiday is an unashamed UFO flick. This film embraces all of the clichés and still delivers you something that you do not expect. The effects that this film uses are bold and done to good effect. There are a variety of different characters with different motivations, and the film switches up its pace. There are a couple of sequences that go on for too long, and none of the actors in this are going to win any Oscars, but for what it is it is entertaining. The ending really suited the movie in my opinion. If you like UFOs and films that aren't ashamed of what they are, then this is for you. My rating is 7/10.

Extraterrestrial Trailer

Pyewacket

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2017
  • Run Time: 1 hr 30 min

Pyewacket is a slow-burner that stays with you for days after you finish watching it. An almost coming of age story, it follows a young girl who is so frustrated with her mother that she performs a ritual, with the hope that it will summon a being to kill her. Everything about this film is subtle and psychological. The intimate setting increases the stomach-churning dread that you feel as you wait helplessly to see the story unfold. The acting, the soundtrack, the setting, and the cinematography combine together into a perfectly eerie atmosphere. My rating is 7/10.

Pyewacket Trailer

The Prodigy

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2019
  • Run Time: 1 hr 32 min

The Prodigy follows an exceptionally bright young boy as he starts to behave unusually, making his parents worry that he may be developing into a psychopath. However, a mother has her instincts and the one in our story believes that it must be something else. She begins to believe that he must be possessed by evil, and she will do anything to get him fixed and make him a normal, happy boy again. The movie takes you on many turns and delivers a finale that feels like a punch in the gut. Are a mother's instincts always right? Can love conquer anything or does it just make you blind? My rating is 7/10.

The Prodigy Trailer

Truth or Dare

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2018
  • Run Time: 1 hr 40 min

A group of friends are invited to play a game of truth or dare. It's all fun and games at first until someone tries to tell a lie or refuses to do a dare. These unwitting players find that no matter where they go, the game will follow them and it appears there is only one way out. This film is an interesting concept and it delivers fairly well. The truths and dares are imaginative and don't rely on too many clichés, though there are some cheesy moments and that distorted grin is definitely weird. Where this film delivers though, is the finale. I was very satisfied by the ending, and I felt it was very true to what the film had already established. My rating is 7/10.

Truth or Dare Trailer

The Devil's Rock

  • Genre: Horror
  • Year: 2011
  • Run Time: 1 hr 23 min

The Devil's Rock is set on the eve before D-Day as two New Zealand soldiers are sent on a secret mission to the channel islands. When they get there they find a German solider, absolute carnage, and a woman in chains. Is everyone who they appear to be? This film jumps into the action immediately and as such you are absorbed into it straight away and I was hooked from then on. The interesting way that the characters are slowly developed, and the mistrustful alliance between soldiers on different sides as they unite to fight something worse, is a suspenseful watch. The actors play their parts brilliantly and ending feels right for the tone of the film. When I watched it, it felt like it was over ridiculously quickly, which shows just how invested and wrapped up in it I was. I rate this film a 7/10.

The Devil's Rock Trailer

The House of the Devil

  • Genre: Horror
  • Year: 2009
  • Run Time: 1 hr 35 min

Set in 1983 this flick is a wonderful homage to 80s slasher films. The effects, the immense gore, the score and the hair-styles all combine together to create such an authentic experience that leaves you glued to the screen. We follow the story of a college student who takes on the job of a baby sitter to earn some extra cash. And the rest, as they say, is history. You are not going to be too surprised where this one goes but the ending is so satisfying, the lead plays the part amazingly and Greta Gerwig does a fantastic job of playing the friend and steals her scenes. I rate this 7/10.

The House of the Devil Trailer

Joshua

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama
  • Year: 2007
  • Run Time: 1 hr 46 min

When Joshua gets a baby sister, it's difficult to say how the eccentric boy takes to the new arrival. With a new baby in the house, the added strains and pressures it puts on the family begins to expose all of the cracks, and Joshua's tastes begin to take a more sinister turn. This film has you thinking the whole way through about who is putting on which appearances and how deceptive they may be. Joshua frequently talks as though butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, so is his father crazy to think he could be capable of seriously injuring someone deliberately? Is Joshua truly jealous that the baby is receiving more attention than him, or is his father's stress making him perceive things wrongly? This film will chill you and make keep you guessing all of the way until the end, to a finale that unsettles you to your core. My rating is 7/10.

Joshua

Chatroom

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
  • Year: 2010
  • Run Time: 1 hr 37 min

This English-made film is told in a very unique and interesting way. A group of lonely teenagers join a chatroom called "Chelsea Teens" and begin to form new friendships. Much to the enjoyment of William who enjoys collecting vulnerable friends and finding out just how much control he has. As they fall under his spell and drink up everything he says, we get to see the difference between how they choose to present themselves and how they truly are. Are vulnerable people stronger when they have a mask to wear? Does admitting to your vulnerabilities online make them less like to affect you offline? This unique concept hooks you from the very beginning and you constantly vary between whether to pity these characters or condemn them. My rating is 7/10.

Chatroom Trailer

The Skeleton Key

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2005
  • Run Time: 1 hr 44 min

When a hospice nurse travels to New Orleans she is wrapped up in a tale of mystery. At first, it appears as though the house is haunted, but the spirits at work here are far older and far more powerful. All she has to remember is that it can't hurt you if you don't believe, right? This film manages such an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere, slowly revealing more and more until the viewer thinks that they have the full picture. John Hurt does a magnificent job of ramping up the tension, despite the fact that he barely says a word. The finale to this film is gut-wrenching, and just when you think that you understand exactly what is going on you end up being completely wrong. My rating is 7/10.

The Skeleton Key Trailer

All Hallow's Eve

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 23 min

This unusual film is a kind of anthology film, featuring multiple stories told throughout, however, there is one thing that links them: a sinister smiling clown that will very briefly appear and then disappear just as quickly, but will make your heart stop whenever he is on screen. This film is low-budget and I will be very honest and say that the child actors are nothing short of annoying. However, they really aren't in the film very much, blessedly. The anthology stories are all wildly different and all wildly engrossing and more than makeup for the weaker aspect of the main over-arching story. The practical effects are quite well done and add to the tone of the film. If you are OK with low-budget and willing to look past a few minor issues, then you will really enjoy the uniqueness that this film has to offer. My rating is 7/10.

All Hallow's Eve

The Belko Experiment

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Year: 2016
  • Run Time: 1 hr 29 min

In The Belko Experiment 80 workers, all working for the Belko company in a high-rise building are interrupted during work one day, when they are locked in the building and are instructed by a mysterious voice to kill each other. Quite quickly the workers form groups with different motivations, and those desperate to survive become the most deadly in the building. This high-action movie will keep your heart racing as you form attachments to various characters, and have to hope that they survive until the end. My rating is 7/10.

The Belko Experiment Trailer

Open Grave

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
  • Year: 2013
  • Run Time: 1 hr 42 min

We start this film very abruptly and suddenly as a man awakes in a mass grave with no memory of who he is or why he is there. When he runs into other survivors, the group just work together to put into place the pieces of the puzzle. As the tale begins to unfurl, you realise that no one can be trusted and that more than just their own lives are at stake here. This film is so tense and you only become more involved in the plot as you see the glimpses of each character in the past, and why they are here. The ending is so truly bittersweet and I love it. My rating is 7/10.

Open Grave Trailer

White Noise

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2005
  • Run Time: 1 hr 41 min

A man begins to think that he can hear the voice of his dead wife through static and white noise. When he begins to investigate this deeper he falls down a deep rabbit hole and uncovers something even more sinister and dangerous. After all, if good people can come through, what is stopping bad people from coming through too? Michael Keaton gives an amazing performance as the lead that made me invest in his character quite quickly. The film establishes its tone well, and throughout I was rooted to the spot with anticipation. My rating is 7/10.

White Noise Trailer

Inner Demons

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Year: 2014
  • Run Time: 1 hr 25 min

Inner Demons tells the story of a TV crew that makes a show about addicts and recovery. They meet a young female addict and document her intervention and entry to rehab. throughout the process though, the 16 year old repeatedly tells people that it's not drugs but something much more sinister that made her this way. As well as being extremely suspenseful and intriguing throughout, at times this film made me feel genuinely sad for the lead female. She is alone, no one will believe her and she is forced into a rehab she doesn't need, and she goes along with it all in the hope that it will earn her love and salvation. Throughout this film, in the back of your mind, it makes you question how we approach drug addicts as a society. This film is more than just a typical possession film, goes far deeper and makes you feel much more. My rating is 7/10.

Inner Demons Trailer

Thank You For Reading!

I hope you enjoyed my list of recommendations, some of these films have as little as 3000 votes on IMDB and it was difficult to find a few trailers. Some of these films are slightly more well known than others, but I truly believe that every film featured on this list is a hidden gem. I have watched every film on this list, and genuinely enjoyed every single one, some of which stuck with me for days after watching.

If you think there are any films that I have missed, please recommend them to me in the comments below and I will be more than happy to watch them. I will also update this list with more hidden gems as I find them.

Once again, these reviews are just my opinion and I fully admit that as people with different tastes we will find different types of films appealing. As such, I tried to include as broad a range as possible, and I truly believe that there is something for everyone on this list!

Enjoy watching these films, and be careful of anything that goes bump in the night!

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