A couple of months ago I wrote an article about some films that might have been missed (“7 Best Films From Under The Radar“). It’s easy to miss so many great indie films. Sometimes, they just don’t get any media attention/marketing at all. Some film makers just make the movie, and then they run out of money for promotion. Or they never had any money for the promotion in the first place.
Or on the flip-side: they may get really lame promotion.
- A guy standing around in the mall in a dirty Santa suit saying: “Hey! Go get this damn DVD and watch it!”.
- Paying your cousin to randomly put the DVD in people’s carts at the grocery store.
- Giving away copies of the movie at your mother’s Tupperware parties.
- Holding people’s pets hostage until they watch your film.
Sometimes they may have even made it to theaters, but it was such a limited release that only the employees, rats and cockroaches that live at the theater saw the film. It’s sad, but unfortunately true.
But doesn’t this make it even better, when you do find a great movie that you pull from obscurity and thoroughly enjoy? You rescued the film from oblivion! Ever notice that these obscure gems are the ones that you tell all of your friends about? That’s a good thing, because word of mouth is what saves a good deal of these films.
So here are 7 more films, in varying levels of quality, that didn’t quite make the mainstream. A couple of them were circulated around the online horror communities, but they never got any big media attention. Most of them are fairly recent.
1. Sound Of My Voice
Some may argue that this isn’t necessarily a horror film. I guess in the traditional sense of the word, it is not. There isnt anything gory going on here, and there isn’t anything paranormal either. What “Sound of My Voice” IS full of is creepiness. From the cult’s attire, to the secret handshake…the mysterious leader. This one will not be for everyone, as it is awfully slow in pace and it ends rather abruptly. But the film stuck with me for days after I watched it. So if you like your horror without any real gore, and more of a sense of dread, then this one is worth checking out.
2. Lovely Molly
This was one of those that seemed like it should’ve received more attention. “Lovely Molly” was directed by Eduardo Sanchez ( Blair Witch, Altered) and that fact alone seems like it should have got at least a little mainstream media attention. But with an art-house vibe, and ambiguous plot, I can see where it wasn’t very popular. There is a LOT of disturbing stuff going on in this movie, so much so that it is disorienting. You almost feel like YOU’RE the one that’s going nuts! It takes a good deal to creep me out. But this film definitely did so, and more. The whole feel of the movie is unsettling, and becomes progressively unhinged. There is also a bout of ghost rape at one point in the movie, and you’re not sure if you should be horrified or laughing. Or maybe Im just really sick, thinking that ghost rape is funny…
Hey, I never claim to be anything closely resembling a decent person.
Gretchen Lodge is a fantastic actress as the title character. I cannot wait to see what else she does.
“Nailbiter” garnered a bit of attention in the online horror circles, but didn’t make a very big splash. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and our lead actresses are all fantastic. Director Patrick Rea has yet to do anything else, but if he continues on this path I think his future movies will be pretty awesome. There is something really cool about a movie with such a small budget, like this one. The characters are creative, and so are the creatures. If you can get past a badly done CGI tornado, this one is worth a watch.
I literally picked up “Absentia” because the cover looked cool. Do you ever do that? Turns out, the cover actually doesnt have a whole lot to do with the movie. It’s definitely “no-budget”, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t creative. Director Mike Flanagan funded a good bit of the film through a Kickstarter campaign, which is becoming more common in the indie music/film industry. This film is proof that the DIY approach is a good one!
The fear in this film is often created by the atmosphere, and the things that you don’t see. Sometimes what you envision in your head is way more disturbing that some CGI creature. The effects that are used are ok. The real star of the film though, is the story and concept. It’s far from perfect, but highly watchable.
Yet another one that I picked up because the DVD cover looked cool (I have to quit doing that, because I pick up my fair share of turds this way, also. But I have the attention span of a gerbil…SO..) and I was pleasantly surprised. Just like everything on this list, it’s indie and not from an experienced mainstream director. This also means it is far from perfect, but the concept is there. Not to mention, it’s hard to not be afraid of monster children in dirty clothes carrying a various assortment of weapons. A truly creepy film worth checking out!
6. Kiss Of The Damned
Had it not been for our tight-knit online communities, I would have never even heard of this film. Luckily I checked screening info for the South By Southwest Festival, and this was mentioned. Director Alexandra Cassavetes manages to breathe a good bit of life into the tired, worn out vampire genre. It actually makes me realize why I ever liked vampires to begin with, but it also addresses some real life issues that vampires would encounter. While not low-budget in feel, this one still slipped under the radar. This is a real shame, because it is sexy, beautiful, and sinister. The style of film-making is very refined, for someone so new to being in the director’s chair. Worth checking out, if you can find it.
7. Stake Land
This movie should have been huge. I mean, like…in every theater in North America. Everything about it is awesome. With a $4 million budget, director Jim Mickle ( “Mulberry Street”, “We are What We Are” remake) managed to make a completely new world-mixing zombie apocalypse genre with vampires. The special effect are fantastic, and all of our actors (even a cameo by Kelly McGillis) are on-point. These characters could easily be part of a franchise, which is why it is very disappointing that the film made under $50k during it’s theatrical run. Even though this film is a little older than the others that are listed, I figure it’s worth mentioning because it would be a tragedy to see it slip into DVD obscurity.
What about you? What are some films that you feel deserved more attention? Post your comments below!