Horror movies have a unique power to enthrall and terrify audiences. Still, some of the spookiest and most unnerving ones sometimes go unnoticed. These 15 terrible movies, as suggested by an online community, deserve more attention for the chills they may cause and the fear they can inspire.
1. Babadook (2014)
The movie's main character is Amelia, a widowed mother who is having a hard time adjusting to the loss of her husband, who passed away in a vehicle accident while she was giving birth to their son, Samuel. The movie brilliantly captures Amelia's spiral into lunacy, taking viewers along on her terrifying journey as she battles her previous trauma, motherhood's expectations, and the Babadook's persistent presence. It effectively maintains the audience's confusion over whether the Babadook is a supernatural being or only a manifestation of Amelia's psychological suffering.
2. The Witch (2015)
The plot centers on the distraught and fervently religious family of William and Katherine, who are expelled from their Puritan society due to their religious beliefs. They build a new homestead on the edge of a dark, deep forest. Strange and unpleasant incidents occur as the family tries to establish a new life in seclusion. The concept of paranoia within the family lies at the core of the terror in the movie. Their rigid religious beliefs cause them to wonder whether God is testing them or whether darker, more evil powers are at play as they struggle with adversity and dread. Family members' deteriorating unity and growing suspicions add to unease.
3. Coherence (2013)
On the night that a comet is flying by Earth, a group of friends get together for a dinner party to start the story. Strange events begin to take place while they converse and enjoy their evening. It becomes clear that the comet's passage has caused a breach in reality, resulting in the collision of several parallel universes. The tension and perplexity dramatically increase as the characters interact with their alternate selves from these parallel realms. As they try to make sense of the increasingly strange and distressing incidents, friendships break down, trust is lost, and a sense of dread permeates every scene.
4. Session 9 (2001)
The novel's protagonists are an asbestos removal team entrusted with repairing and sanitizing the abandoned asylum. A tiny group of men who make up the team have their peculiarities and problems. It is a prime example of how effective horror doesn't always rely on gore or monsters. Still, it can tap into our deepest fears and anxieties within ourselves and our environments. The movie's climax is a culmination of psychological horror and supernatural elements, culminating in a revelation that shocks viewers.
5. The Loved Ones (2009)
Brent, a high school student dealing with guilt and sadness after his father was killed in a horrific vehicle accident, is the plot's main character. As he struggles to deal with his suffering and shame, Lola, a seemingly innocent yet gravely troubled classmate, turns her attention to him. As the plot develops, viewers are dragged into Lola and Eric's warped world, where suffering and brutality are bound up with a spooky feeling of familial devotion. The film poses concerns regarding the limits of love, the effects of trauma, and the horrifying lengths to which obsession can drive a human.
6. The Others (2001)
The Others follows Grace Stewart, a devoutly religious woman who lives in an old, secluded mansion with her two photosensitive children, Anne and Nicholas, set in post-World War II England. Due to the children's illness, the house must be kept perpetually dark, with the doors locked and the curtains drawn to protect the youngsters from sunlight. Viewers are drawn into the mystery of the mansion, its unhappy past, and the mysterious staff who appear to be concealing secrets of their own as the tale progresses. The movie effectively creates an atmosphere of ambiguity and dread while keeping the spectator guessing about the nature of the supernatural presence in the house.
7. Kill List (2011)
A disturbing and thought-provoking examination of violence, obsession, and the darker facets of human nature, Kill List centers on Jay, a troubled and disillusioned hitman who has taken a break from his line of work following a harrowing assignment. Despite his severe financial circumstances and troubled marriage, Jay grudgingly accepts to take on a new project from his old partner, Gal. Kill List's horrific images and mysterious storytelling have gained a cult following among horror fans. These fans like the movie's determination to defy expectations and leave viewers with unanswered questions and a profound dread.
8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
A terrifying voyage into the bowels of a mortuary is embarked on in André Vredal's 2016 horror film, as a seemingly routine autopsy turns into a nightmare and supernatural encounter. It stands out for its skillful blending of a small space, excellent acting, and a captivating mystery that progressively unravels to disclose disturbing secrets. The plot revolves around Tommy and Austin Tilden, a father-and-son coroner team overseeing a small-town morgue where an unidentified body was delivered. First impressions are favorable; there is no obvious evidence of trauma on Jane Doe's body. However, as the autopsy process gets underway, the Tildens find many strange and unnerving anomalies that defy scientific explanations.
9. Lake Mungo (2008)
The sudden and sad drowning of Alice Palmer, the Palmer family's daughter, occurred on a family trip to Lake Mungo. After the death, a string of odd and mysterious occurrences in and around their house prompt them to start their investigations while contacting a psychic. With interviews, home films, and surveillance material all presented in a documentary-style fashion, the movie plays out exactly like a real documentary. This strategy gives the story more credibility and makes the supernatural happenings more scary since they seem like they could occur.
10. Noroi: The Curse (2005)
Noroi: The Curse is presented as a documentary assembled from the footage of Masafumi Kobayashi, a documentary filmmaker and paranormal investigator. Kobayashi is the main character, and the story is driven by his desire to learn the truth regarding supernatural events in Japan. Instead of overt jump scares, it depends on tension, unsettling imagery, and the terror of the unknown. The film's unnerving sequence brings the curse to a terrible crescendo, and the unexpected nature of the curse keeps spectators on edge the entire time.
11. The Wailing (2016)
The movie, set in a secluded and isolated South Korean town, opens as a terrible and unknown illness spreads among the locals, causing them to act strangely and violently. It investigates the balance between good and evil, faith and doubt, and the results of one's choices that are incredibly uncomfortable and thought-provoking. As the mystery is revealed, it tests the viewer's morality and supernatural beliefs.
12. The Ritual (2017)
A group of pals plan to go across Sweden's remote woodlands in memory of a fallen friend. Their voyage begins as a chance for them to bond and pay respect, but as they become lost in a strange and terrifying environment, it quickly becomes a nightmare. The protagonists must face both their inner demons and the physical hazards of the environment as tensions increase and odd occurrences multiply. Each meeting with the venerable evil that hunts them in the woods is more horrific because it feeds on their greatest anxieties and vulnerabilities.
13. Starry Eyes (2014)
The movie recounts Sarah Walker's life, played by Alex Essoe in a memorable performance. Sarah is a struggling actress who supports herself by waiting tables while attending casting calls in Los Angeles. She is among many wannabe performers trying to enter the competitive entertainment business. The ramifications of Sarah's decisions are shockingly and viscerally revealed in the movie's climax, where the viewer is left in shock and introspection due to the narrative's distressing events.
14. The Descent (2005)
The Descent follows a group of daring women as they set out on a caving excursion in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. As they become stuck underground, they are forced to face the harsh environment, their inner issues, and broken relationships. But then, their journey into the abyss swiftly turns into a nightmare ascent. The viewer feels their sense of confusion, terror, and desperation as they make their way through the narrow, intricate cave corridors. Every crawl, squeeze, and tumble is a terrifying experience because of the feeling of confinement and the impossibility of escaping.
15. Lake Bodom (2016)
An unsolved murder case in Finland served as the basis for this Finnish slasher movie, which also incorporates folklore and supernatural terror to tell a tense and horrifying tale. A group of four youngsters go on a camping vacation to the beaches of Lake Bodom, the location of three famed unsolved murders in 1960. The film deftly manipulates viewers' perceptions by fusing the boundaries between the natural and otherworldly worlds. The tension increases when the group discovers they are being pursued by a perplexing and merciless killer donning a terrifying mask.
Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz in the past and currently writes for Wealth of Geeks.