While all horror fans know you can watch scary movies year round, Halloween really puts people in the mood. So if you’re just looking for a movie to watch with friends, or something to honestly terrify you for weeks, here are thirteen Indie horror movies to scare you this fall!
Get Out (2017)
Pretty much everyone has heard of Get Out, the hit movie directed by Jordan Peele. It won an Oscar last year, and broke a bunch of box office records. The plot is about a young man, Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris, who goes with his girlfriend to visit her parents, and discovers a disturbing truth about the family. If you’re one of the few who haven’t seen it yet, now’s the perfect time to catch up on one of our favorite Indie horror movies!
Hereditary is this year’s breakout horror, and some people are saying that it’s the scariest movie they’ve ever seen. It’s about a family that experiences increasingly strange occurrences after their secretive grandmother dies. It’s psychological horror at its best, and is being called this generation’s The Exorcist.
It Follows (2014)
One of my all time favorite films, It Follows is about a young girl, Jay (Maika Monroe), who starts being followed by a strange supernatural force that you pass on through sexual intercourse. The creature can look like anyone walking towards her, but only people who have the curse can see it. This film messes with your mind, and the ending is chilling. Four years later, it’s still one of the best Indie horror movies out there.
Green Room (2015)
Green Room, directed by Jeremy Saulnier, is one of Anton Yelchin’s last films. It’s about a punk rock band that is forced to fight for their lives against a bunch of neo-Nazi skinheads after they witness a murder. Don’t watch this one if you’re not good with gore. But if you can handle it, it’s totally worth it. Besides Yelchin, it also stars Alia Shawhat, Imogen Poots, Macon Blair, and the one and only Patrick Stewart, as the skinheads’ collected leader.
The Witch (2015)
Are there any other horror movies set in New-England in the 1600’s? That should be reason enough to watch this, but The Witch is also one of the best modern horror movies in general. It stars breakout Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin, whose family blames her after her younger brother disappears. More misfortunes fall upon the family, leading them to believe their daughter is a witch. But is it really true? Or is everything happening the result of the family’s past sins?
The Guest (2014)
Another personal favorite, The Guest came out the same year as It Follows and shares its star, Maika Monroe. Alongside her is Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey and Beauty and the Beast), who plays David, a soldier who visits the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in the Afghanistan War. They welcome him into their home, but after a few accidental deaths, Anna (Maika Monroe) begins to get suspicious. The film has a strong eighties aesthetic, and Dan Stevens kills it as the quiet and enigmatic stranger.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
The debut film of Iranian-American Ana Lily Amirpour, this Persian-Language film is set in a fictional ghost-town called Bad City, about the wanderings of a lonesome vampire. It has clear influences from movies past, and is completely in black and white. This has the same sort of tone as the innocent but deadly vampire film Let The Right One In (2008), and a strong message of female empowerment. Not your normal horror film, but if you’re looking for something fierce and original, give this one a try.
The Babadook (2014)
Just like Get Out, The Babadook got a lot of critical acclaim when it came out, and rightfully so. It’s an Australian film about a widowed mother trying to manage her young son, Samuel, who believes a monster from a storybook they read is coming to kill them. Directed by Jennifer Kent, the film doesn’t rely on cheap scares, and underneath the fight against the Babadook is a relentlessly honest look at motherhood and grief.
The Invitation (2015)
Everyone loves a good horror story at a dinner party. The Invitation, directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), is about a man invited to dinner at his ex-wife’s house. Unsure why he was invited along with some unusual guests, Will (Logan Marshall-Green) begins to suspect something sinister is planned for them. It also features John Carroll Lynch from American Horror Story in a supporting role. This film is all about paranoia and trust, and because of clever writing and great acting, it avoids being predictable. Another film with an amazing ending, it’s a great choice for subtle horror.
Clearly Logan Marshall-Green has a handle on the horror genre. Upgrade is kind of a hybrid of action, horror, and sci-fi. It also stars Betty Gabriel from Get Out. After Grey’s (Marshall-Green) wife is killed and he becomes paralyzed, a young inventor offers him an implant, STEM, that would give him back control of his body. With the extreme strength the chip gives him, Grey is finally able to enact revenge on the people who murdered his wife. It’s set in the near-future, and has a horribly bleak attitude on technology. The action and writing are amazing, but this one also has a lot of gore, so tread lightly if that’s not really for you.
One of about five Stephen King adapted movies in 2017, Zak Hilditch’s 1922 is based on one of his lesser-known works. Released around the same time as the equally affecting Gerald’s Game, it’s about a simple farmer who decides to murder his wife for money, and he convinces their teenage son to help. You then watch them unravel dealing with their rotting guilt. Unlike some of his more direct horror stories, 1922 is slow and psychologically unsettling.
Train to Busan (2016)
The only zombie film on this list, Train to Busan is an inventive take on a tired genre, about a group of passengers trying to survive on a train from Seoul to Busan. Somewhat like Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, the film is a commentary on issues in Korean society. But with great characters and bloody action, it can also be just an enjoyable zombie movie for any audience.
I guess I saved the most brutal for last. Raw came out on the festival circuit in 2016, and grossed people out so much when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival that an ambulance had to be called because audience members fainted. Directed by Julie Decourau, this french film is about a 16-year-old vegetarian who gets a taste for human flesh. While it’s certainly about cannibalism, underneath all the horror is a coming-of-age story about female sexuality and empowerment. Not for the faint of heart.
(Featured Image: A24/Focus World/Picturehouse/Netflix/Blumhouse Productions)