7 Best Horror Films From Under The Radar

Christopher Horton

It is physically impossible for every movie that gets made to be shown in theaters.

Its also not possible for every movie to be mass marketed. This fact, was at one point, a huge problem for indie film-makers. But as of late, with internet-word-of-mouth, you can get even the smallest indie film a huge amount of marketing and attention. Not to mention, it seems like Redbox will buy ANYTHING.

This isn’t always a good thing.

You can literally film your turds for 2 hours, package it in a beautiful DVD cover with a striking, attention grabbing name like “The Movement” or “The Passing” or “The Splash”. It doesn’t matter that your turd movie gets one star on every review site. You made it,
and did it on the cheap.

I’ve been fooled quite a few times by an indie film that looked promising, only to get it home and find out its a bunch of re-hashed nonsense, and it looks like it was filmed with the same lighting and crew as Paris Hilton’s sex tape… only with slightly better acting than what Paris is probably capable of.

It makes you jaded. It makes you have low expectations for these little-known indie efforts.

That’s why its so unbelievably exciting when you find a film that wasn’t hyped in the media, or theaters.  Maybe you saw it for rent, or maybe it was on a streaming site. You feel like you won the lottery or something as the credits roll. You feel like Indiana Jones dodging the boulder.

  • Like when you find $20 in the pocket of pants you haven’t worn in a year.
  • Like when you order chicken nuggets in the drive-thru and you get home and open the bag to find not only your order, but a machete and an extra order of fries as well.
  • Like when you turn the corner while walking down the street and just happen to see a guy running full speed…on fire.

You get what ‘I’m saying. Its a feeling of tiny victory.

There it is: A little magical indie-horror rainbow unicorn circus of audio/visual gold. You took a risk, and it payed off. Your sense of adventure and cunning wit could lead you to any of the below mentioned films Maybe it has already.

Or you can read this list and check it out.

Would you Rather (2012)

What a huge Surprise!!! A little slow-going at first, but it all leads up to a fantastic climax. Theres a few C-list celebs in this flick, that you may recognize from TV shows. Jeffery Combs is our veteran here, though.
If you’re looking for a lot of gore and special effects, you wont get it here. Its mostly psychological,
but there ARE a few uncomfortable scenes. Lots of good stuff here, and it almost seems like an A-list movie.

Would You Rather

The Dead Inside (2011)

I got this one, sight unseen. The cover just looked cool and the few reviews that were out there, were favorable. My wife and I got home, turned on the film, and we made a startling revelation. This is a musical. Like…a musical. The plot is carried by song. But being open minded ( and more than a little drunk ) we continued to watch. As it turns out, this movie is awesome! There are only two actors, and they are both fantastic. The songs work perfectly to carry the plot, and one scene is very cleverly thought-out when it comes to song choice. Id love to see more from this director.

the dead inside

Excision (2012)

I watched the trailer, and I found the movie. I however, had NO idea what I was getting into. The star, AnnaLynne McCord, is in so much makeup she is almost unrecognizable. We also have Traci Lords as the sensible mother of our little psycho. The movie plays out almost like Napoleon Dynamite at first. The humor is quirky, the camera shots are decidedly “indie”. But we take an awfully dark turn in the final act of the film (and our protagonist’s bizarre daydreams), that changes the tone for the whole shebang.


The Mooring (2012)

This one got some brief attention in our horror community. A blurb, a review…then that’s it. If you blinked, you might have missed this one. Which is sad, because its pretty awesome. You have a menacing killer ( although his motives are never fully explored-my one big gripe) and a cast of young girls, who all have chops when it comes to acting. You’re kept wondering who will survive until the last minute.

the mooring

Vile (2011)

What starts out as a “Saw” clone, takes a pretty original turn. Funny enough, Im one of those guys that will turn off a movie if it seems like a ripoff, or its cheesey/unintentionally funny, or if it has NiC Cage in it for more that 30 seconds. So this one almost got the OFF button. Glad I stuck around!

Inbred (2011) 

I knew of Alex Chandon because I love Cradle Of Filth, and he’s directed several of their videos. But he has’nt really done much in the way of full-length films. It was good to see him in what I can only imagine is “Full on director” mode. This has dark humor, gore, perversion and just about anything else someone reading this article would be interested in. Its fun, sick and twisted! Almost everyone is fantastic in their roles, and the setting is a little town that I’m sure we’ve all passed through…

Inbred Photo 3

The Pact (2012)

Yet another one that had cool artwork on the cover, and I figured I would give it a shot. The whole movie has a feeling of sadness about it. And for some reason, made me feel claustrophobic. There were several reviews out there for this one, and it made a tiny blip in the Horror world.

The Pact Photo 4


What are some of your favorites that you feel like didn’t get the attention they deserve?


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      1. WandaLane July 20, 2013 at 4:04 am

        Honestly the main reason I have become such a huge fan of horror in the last few years is for this reason, finding an amazing hidden gem like Excision has become like winning the lottery for me. I am a pretty big film buff, but the horror genre keeps me guessing, and I love it.

      2. Dread World (@dread_world) July 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        Great job…some very cool films on here. Loved Excision. Some others to look out for too…Citadel, Cockneys vs. Zombies, Kill List…the future of horror is in these types of films, not World War Z

      3. DemonicHoodlum July 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

        “•Like when you turn the corner while walking down the street and just happen to see a guy running full speed…on fire.” – I literally laughed out loud when I read this ….. at work. Then a man on fire burst through our glass office door and tackled me. OK, no that didn’t happen, but I was just returning the humor favor. Great list! I loved Excision, Would You Rather, Inbred, and The Pact too. I’ll have to re-watch Vile and I definitely will check out The Mooring and The Dead Inside. Thanks for the heads up!!

      4. cah111480 July 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

        @Demonichoodlum- Definitely check those out! The dead isnside might put you off at first, with all the singing. But its worth it, dude!

      5. Tiago July 21, 2013 at 5:19 am

        Excision is fantastic. Inbreed and The Pact are ok. Got to check the others.

      6. Greg July 21, 2013 at 5:32 am

        There are so many bad indie movies that I’ve almost given up on them. Thanks for this list, I’ll have to check these out. Redbox Indies have mostly been terrible for me.

        Only one I’ve already seen was The Pact. I would’ve liked if I didn’t watch a lot of horror movies. There are already a ton of movies that are pretty much the same thing as The Pact, so it was obvious what the “twist” was and which characters would be killed off.

      7. mike new July 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

        In my spare time, I like to write horror. I think some of them could make some really good direct to dvd, indie films.

      8. Christopher Horton July 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

        @Greg: The Pact was definitely predictable after it gets going, but i think what really drew me to it and kept me thinking about it was it’s atmosphere. The setting is almost a character, in itself. I like that

      9. Jeff Carson July 25, 2013 at 1:42 am

        Nice to see a couple I havent seen yet. Vile and The Mooring. Loved Inbred! Pact didn’t thrill me much, sorry and Dead inside I keep putting off it just sounds like its going to be lame. BUT I’ll give it a shot!

        • Christopher Horton July 25, 2013 at 8:54 am

          Its worth the watch! Do it!

      10. DemonicHoodlum July 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        Update: Just checked out The Dead Inside and The Mooring. I am sorry to report that I was extremely disappointed with Dead Inside. I am not a fan of musicals, but having liked Sweeney Todd I went in with an open mind. I just didn’t get the plot – can someone please explain the twist at the end with the boyfriend’s phone call? The Mooring was very intense however and there was a real sense of dread especially considering how young the female victims were – it almost felt WRONG. But with most horror movies I like wrong. I would have liked to know more about the reasoning behind the villain’s killing spree, but these days we rarely get answers to that. I bought Vile and still need to watch it. Peace my horror brothers and sisters…

      11. Christopher Horton July 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        Glad you liked The Mooring. Sorry about The Dead Inside…guess its an acquired taste?

      12. L. A. Howard August 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        I saw “The Pact”, but am now also interested in a few others on this list! 😀 I liked the one I saw, but by the end, felt the name of the movie didn’t *quite* match up with the movie itself. Still, very awesome movie that……..

        **********SLIGHT SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!******

        makes one really think about getting blueprints for one’s abode! lol

        • Christopher Horton August 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

          Funny, Because I made that joke with my wife while we were watching. I said ” We are checking all original blueprints from now on when we buy a house…”

      13. Attack of the Couch Potato March 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm

        Travis Betz is a wonderful director. If you enjoyed The Dead Inside you’ll love Lo (2009). His other 2 movies are excellent as well; and he acts in 2 indie gems by Wade Roberts called Dust Up and Little Big Top (which also has Sid Haig in a lead role as an alcoholic clown).