Happy October everyone! And welcome to the month where it’s socially acceptable to talk about all things spooky all the time. In honor of my favorite month of the year, I’ve created a list of 31 horror movies to watch this month. But this list isn’t like any list you’ve seen before. This list includes only lesser-known horror movies. Some are old movies you just may not have heard of while others are recent releases that never made it to the big screen.
I will note that some of these movies are better than others. Some are a little silly (like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein), some have a horror concept but aren’t nail-bitingly scary (like most of the movies from the miscellaneous column), and others actually left me a little uneasy (like Darkness Falls). With that being said, know that some of these movies are more just-for-fun watches rather than something to scare your socks off this weekend. Take each with a grain of salt, but you might actually find some new favorites like I did!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving some general insight into each film. The plan is to talk quickly about 10 films each week with the last week in October being full reviews of movies you want to learn more about.
So, without further ado, here is this week’s 10 horror movies you probably haven’t heard of.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown– Based on true events, The Town That Dreaded Sundown follows the residents of the small town of Texarkana, Texas. The film tells the tales of the 1946 unsolved murders of the “Phantom Killer.” This campy slasher has elements of early horror, like scenes of classic female scream queens, but mixed with goofy 1970s acting. Fun fact: this film was re-booted in 2014 for a sequel that took place 65 years after the murders.
The Ballerina– After an unfortunate accident, a father and young daughter find themselves living in a tent city in the woods. The daughter, Sophie, has nightmares almost every night of ghostly figures beckoning her deep into the woods. This movie is a must-watch solely based on the emotional roller coaster it takes you on. From fear to sadness, The Ballerina has it all.
30 Miles from Nowhere– A psychological thriller for a group of six friends who meet up in a cabin (30 miles from the next closes whatever) for their college friend’s funeral. What started out as a mournful affair turned terrifying as they quickly find themselves fighting for their lives. This was one of those movies that made me go, “Ohhhhhhhhh,” audibly once the metaphorical dust from the last scene settled.
House– I feel like campy and 80s monster movie just goes together like PB&J. House is no exception to this rule. Rodger Cobb, a troubled writer and Vietnam vet, moves into a house filled with history after his aunt’s sudden demise. This house, which is later revealed, is the location of his son’s sudden disappearance among several other strange events.
Dolls– This is one of those films that you put on with little to no expectations but end up loving the movie. Dolls is now one of my favorite horror movies, even though it’s not very scary. I will say, though, it did make me want to pull out all of my old dolls and make amends with them just so they wouldn’t turn on me during a storm.
A family finds themselves stranded during a storm when their car breaks down. They decide the nearby home is the perfect place to seek shelter until the storm clears. When the family is invited in by the owners, two avid toymakers, strange things start to happen in their toy-filled house. Add two thieves and a foreign traveler into the mix and you’ve got a great movie.
Fun fact: I previously wrote a full review for this film. Check it out on Cedar Hollow Horror Review’s blog.
My Bloody Valentine– Decades-old murder has prevented the mining town of Valentine Bluffs from celebrating Valentine’s Day their way by hosting a town-wide dance. When the young generation ignores the warning from the town elders and throws a party on Valentine’s Day, Harry Warren, the individual responsible for the murders, returns to seek his revenge. Turns out, Harry Warren went on a murder-spree because he and several other miners were trapped in the mine when their supervisors left to enjoy the party rather than assure their workers are safe. Now, on every Valentine’s Day, Harry Warren returns to the town to assure no dances, party, or fun occurs on the anniversary of his coworkers’ deaths. With a twist ended, this 80s slasher is a must-watch.
The Blackwell Ghost– Personally, I’m so over the documentary-style horror movies. By now, I feel like it’s so overdone. However, I did buckle down to watch The Blackwell Ghost, a film that follows a couple trying to prove the existence of ghosts despite their own skepticism. When a man offers the couple his haunted home for a few nights while he’s out of town, the two get more than what they bargained for.
Campfire Tales– A childhood favorite of mine, Campfire Tales follows four teenagers as they wait for rescue after crashing their car in the woods at night. Setting up a small fire to keep them warm, the group shares scary stories campfire-style from urban legends to ghost stories. Another movie with a surprise ending, I beg you to give this movie a chance!
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein– Yet another personal favorite of mine. I used to watch the Abbott and Costello movies, especially the more horror-themed ones, on repeat as a child. I loved them, except for this one. The Wolf Man scared the bejesus out of me as a kid. I used to have to run and hide under the kitchen table any time Lon Chaney transformed into the Wolf Man.
Chick and Wilbur, two freight handlers, are forced to move cargo into a house of horrors. Little do they know, the cargo they moved held the remains of Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. When Lawrence Talbot (the Wolf Man) shows up, things can only get worse. With horror icons like Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and Glenn Strange, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen this comedic horror movie.
Mercy Black– Marina is released from a mental hospital 15 years after stabbing her classmate in attempts to conjure the spirit of Mercy Black. Having to relearn what it means to be a member of society, mixed with the local teenager targeting her house with evil pranks, Marina struggles to differentiate what’s real and what’s in her head. To make matters worse, her young nephew is struggling with the same issues. Overall, a suspenseful film with similarities to the real-life Slender Man stabbing.