As someone who has spent almost 20 years working in politics, I love taking a break with mindless horror films — the jump scares, the idiot teens splitting up to check out the attic AND the basement at the same time, the un-killable hellbeasts that must be stopped by a motley group of teenagers as opposed to the legions of professionals they could call to help. It’s all fun to me and a week does not go by where I don’t watch at least one horror film. Because of that, I have seen a lot of horror movies and not just the classics. I’ve seen the good, way too many of the bad, and almost everything in between. It would be easy to give you a list of the same old movies that everyone else does (Alien, Paranormal Experience, The Thing, Halloween, etc.), but here are some solid “B” flicks you probably haven’t seen.
1. The Atticus Institute
After a lot of frustrating near misses with frauds and people with real, but insignificant mental powers, an institute dedicated to studying the paranormal comes across a woman with genuinely powerful psychic abilities. Unfortunately, those abilities come with a terrible price for her and everyone else she comes in contact with at the Institute.
This is a fun little horror flick that features a group of friends getting picked off by Mister Bedevil, who is sort of like an evil Siri who seems to get off on murder and jump scares.
3. Cigarette Burns
Norman Reedus of Walking Dead fame plays the anti-hero in this film about a man searching for a demonic film that supposedly makes people who see it go insane. This may be the creepiest film on the list and it is the best of the “Masters of Horror” series.
4. Crazy as Hell
An arrogant, but brilliant psychologist meets his match when he comes across a similarly intelligent, charismatic patient who believes he’s Satan. Of course, you’re left to wonder if he’s really the Prince of Darkness and if he is, what he’s really doing talking to a psychologist.
5. The Devil’s Pass
The downside of investigating a famous mystery that involves lots of dead bodies in the frozen wilderness is that if you don’t know what killed those people, then you could be its next victim.
This is a low-budget, found footage movie that starts with a monster in the woods and ends somewhere you’ll never see coming. It’s creepy, it’s wild, it has a great twist, and it’s surprisingly good for a “B” horror film.
7. He Never Died
This always gets classified as horror and technically it is, but it’s not a particularly scary movie. It is, however, a fascinating movie with a damaged lead character (played by Henry Rollins) living an epic life that you just can’t turn away from.
8. Look Away
A beautiful, but shy girl with limited self-esteem realizes that her reflection is alive and has all the confidence she wishes she could have. What would happen if the two of them switched places for a while? Spoiler alert: the reflection is EVIL and more than a little crazy, which is too bad because except for that, I’d much rather date her than the girl she replaces.
9. The Possession of Michael King
Michael King is an atheist who loses his Christian wife and decides to prove that God, the devil, and all other things supernatural don’t exist. It’s all fun and games at first, but Michael King eventually learns, to his dismay, that we are not alone.
10. The Ritual
It’s just a few friends getting together to hike through the woods. Nothing you haven’t seen before, right? Except for the evil deer/moose god that wants to rip them to pieces. And his cultists. Fun movie, but it’s only on Netflix.