The Best Horror Movies of 2013 You Probably Did Not See!

Christopher Horton

Well, last year is history. Was it good for you? It was great for me. There were some great major releases last year ( Insidious Chapter 2, Evil Dead, The Conjuring).  But there were also quite a few indie releases that were worth checking out.

The indie flicks: bastard sons of the blockbuster. You often come across people that turn their noses up to indie films, thinking that just because they were made on a tiny budget,  or didn’t get a major release, means that they are somehow inferior. But us horror fans know differently. There are masterpieces awaiting us out there, that may barely see the light of day.

Most of these never saw a major release, but that doesn’t mean that they were not fantastic. Some of these are a recap, from my other “Under the Radar” posts and my horror reviews. Some of these are being mentioned for the first time!

So here you go,  a partial “best of” list for movies that flew under the radar. I hope your 2014 is full of awesome nightmares, and more great indie films!

Byzantium (2012)

“Byzantium” is a completely new take on the vampire mythos, directed by seasoned veteran Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire). Not only does it change the origin of vampires, but it changes a few of the usual rules. Not to mention that even when it is it’s goriest, it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. If you missed this one, make sure to check it out.

Byzantium 2

Theatre Bizarre (2012) 

Very rarely do i watch a film, and at the end say to myself or my roomful of cats: “What in the hell did I just watch??!!” Thatre Bizarre is an anthology film, with a very creepy wraparound story featuring living puppets and marionettes. each offering is different in style and tone, and it goes from humorous to down right WEIRD. Worth a watch!

Theater Bizarre 28

Alyce Kills (2013)

“Alyce Kills” starts off slow. So slow, that I almost got bored with it. But when it picks up, it hits the 90MPH mark and doesn’t let up until it’s conclusion. Kudos to the film makers for throwing in several “Alice in Wonderland” references, which fit perfectly with Alyce’s slow descent into complete and total madness. There’s some awesome gore in this one, and proves that just because it wasn’t a blockbuster, it can be mind-blowing.

Alyce kills

Thale’ (2012)

“Thale'” is a dark fairy-tale about Norwegian folk  monsters called “Huldras”. These rulers of the forest can be your friend, or can be your worst nightmare. The story is told in a series of flashbacks, and builds up to a very gory ending. Besides the dodgy CGI work, this is a real winner. So if you can look past a couple of bad special effects shots, you will be very surprised by this little film.


Under the Bed (2012)

Who wasn’t terrified as a child of what could be lurking under the bed? This indie gem from Stephen C. Miller ( The Aggression Scale) preys on your childhood fears.  There is very minimal CGI work, and the practical effects hit a home run. The movie will definitely appeal to children of the 80’s, as it reminds you of monster movies from that era. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great indie effort from an up and coming director. Buy this DVD!


Would you Rather? ( 2013)

“Would you Rather?” was a totally random pick for me. Im one of those people that get suckered in my cool cover art for a DVD. I figured if it’s terrible, I can return it to the redbox rental machine and it only cost $1. But I was totally surprised. what seems like a possible “Saw” rip-off at first, takes a turn and becomes it’s own beast. If you missed it at redbox, find it!

Would You Rather

Jug Face (2013)

Wow…..what a bizarre movie. “Jug face” clearly had a shoestring budget, but that doesn’t stop it from being a creepy, tour de force of horror.  I went into the movie knowing almost nothing about it, which only made the experience more interesting. Definitely check this one out!


The Seasoning House (2013)

“The Seasoning House” was as shocking and brutal as many other contemporary Horror films, up there with the likes of “Martyrs” or ” A Serbian Film”. It’s depiction of violence in the underground sex trade in the Balkans is hard to watch. Luckily it is also a blood-soaked revenge thriller!


American Mary (2012)

I was lucky enough to catch “American Mary” before it’s 2013 release. The Soska Sisters ( Dead Hooker in a Trunk) take their bizarre style of film, and take it to the next level. Katherine Isabelle is great as our title character, and you really feel her breakdown to sociopathic behavior. This is a 4 star effort from the sisters ( who even have a cameo in the film).

American Mary Photo

Haunter (2013)

I don’t even remember where I first heard about “Haunter”, but the premise sounded awesome. Ghosts being haunted by ghosts? Sign me up. This little indie gem is slow at times, but a well crafted story and the use of minimal sets, really make an impact. I also love the throwbacks to the 1980’s, such as an Atari game, and New wave music posters. If you like your ghost stories with a twist, then check this one out.

Haunter Photo

Contracted (2013)

While “Contracted” comes off silly at times, because of some dodgy effects and acting, it is completely saved by the fact that the story keeps you guessing until the credits roll. What has happened to our leading lady? Possession? A disease? This little indie film is a great example of what you can do with minimal budget, and expansive imagination.

Contracted Photo 1

Cassadaga (2013)

“Cassadaga” does almost everything right. There’s a great story, and some really great gory effects ( human marionettes!!!). Throw in a fantastic leading lady (Kelen Coleman) , and some twists and turns., and you have the recipe for indie greatness. If you missed it, go out and find it!

New Official Poster for Cassadaga

That concludes my recap of some of my favorite indie films from this past year. I can’t wait to see what awaits us in 2014 in the world of “Under The Radar”. I hope I turned some of you on to movies that you might have missed or skipped over, and I can’t wait to show you some more of these indie films in 2014. Thanks for reading!



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      1. Steve Howells January 2, 2014 at 2:00 am

        I saw 3 of the them Byzantium, Thale and of course the brilliant American Mary

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:02 am

          so many great indie films came out this year and so many got VERY little promotion with genre fans. The number of films on that list that got no buzz is just sad.

        • Steve Howells
          Steve Howells January 2, 2014 at 2:03 am

          I plan on seeing all the ones on the list as they all look great and I have heard of some of them.

        • Steve Howells
          Steve Howells January 2, 2014 at 2:03 am

          I saw Thale and Byzantium at TIFF 2012, nice to see some small horror films getting festival exposure

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

          Steve Howells be sure to let us know what you thought of them once you have.

        • Steve Howells
          Steve Howells January 2, 2014 at 2:23 am

          Will do for sure

      2. Kerri Demps January 2, 2014 at 2:05 am

        What was American Mary, Purge, Macabre, and Me to Tim like?

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

          Purge was a great concept poorly executed, American Mary everyone seemed to love, Macabre I have no idea. Me to Tim I have never heard of.

        • bob101910 January 2, 2014 at 5:18 am

          The only problem I had with American Mary was the ending. Plan on checking out the ones I haven’t seen yet.

      3. Kira Ashley Marie Andrews January 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

        Need to add maniac

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

          Maniac got quite a bit of buzz so not sure it fits this list. I saw it and loved it

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

          I agree. maniac got a lot of attention. But it was a fantastic film.

      4. Kasper Lewis January 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

        Thanks for this list I’ll be sure to check them out.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

          glad you liked it. We try to share all kinds of goodies on a variety of topics.

      5. Dana Hill January 2, 2014 at 2:13 am

        I’ve only seen three on this list. I must check the others out.

        • Horror-Movies.ca
          Horror-Movies.ca January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

          let us know what you think of the others!

        • Dana Hill
          Dana Hill January 2, 2014 at 2:27 am

          I saw American Mary, Contracted and Thale but look forward most definitely to the others.

      6. Jonell Kellogg January 2, 2014 at 2:14 am

        Jennifer Dunaway we may need to see some of these!!

      7. Kasper Lewis January 2, 2014 at 2:17 am

        My friend directed this, it’s a gem well worth checking out.. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B009T5NJ78

      8. Michael kruger January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

        Apartment 1303? Nothing left to fear? Those are some good indies.

        • Herner Klenthur January 2, 2014 at 2:27 am

          Never saw either one of them. Thanks for sharing.

        • Michael kruger January 2, 2014 at 5:30 am

          Both are pretty good. Nothing left to fear is a little too romantic, but the ending overall is good and scary.

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:24 am

          I did a review of “Nothing Left to Fear”. I was awfully disappointed in that one. It’s in the review section.

        • Michael kruger January 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

          How about apartment 13013? Good movie

      9. kXnPunk January 2, 2014 at 2:29 am

        Seen them all aside the 2 last ones and the ones I like the most in this list are Thale brilliant Norway piece once more, these dudes ROCK and Haunted, Natali is such a great director. But yeah was an awesome year for Horror in both mainstream and Indie. One I have to mention to add to this list is Open Grave. NOT the Eliza Dusku major cleveage one that ends with a S though. Brilliant piece too.
        Let’s hope 2014 will be as good and seeing what’s coming up it sure will.

        Happy New Year to you bro!!! :)

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:25 am

          I have “Open Grave”, but I havent had a chance to watch it yet. I know it has huge amount of positive attention though, so Im super excited to see it.

      10. Jonell Kellogg January 2, 2014 at 2:29 am

        Would You Rather was a good one. Watching Under the Bed right now

      11. Bryan Martinez January 2, 2014 at 2:38 am

        The Battery is another amazing horror film that should be on this list 😉

        • kXnPunk January 2, 2014 at 2:43 am

          Oh so true, amazing little piece!!! 😀

      12. Bryan Martinez January 2, 2014 at 3:14 am

        Here Comes the Devil was awesome, too.

      13. Kajsa January 2, 2014 at 3:17 am

        I LOVED Byzantium. That gives me faith in you and Im so happy that I’ve found a forum where people take horror seriously.
        I’ll be sure to find a way to see all of the movies on your list!!!

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

          Thanks for reading! Most of us here take our horror pretty seriously. I love indie horror, and try to get some attention for the indie movies that get looked over.

      14. Beckie Wilson January 2, 2014 at 3:25 am

        Dennis Wilson great recommendations. You should follow this page too.

      15. Shane Mathis January 2, 2014 at 3:45 am

        You have some list there. I never herd of those titles either. I need to check those out. Those movies look pretty good.

      16. Faith Rightout January 2, 2014 at 3:56 am

        Saw them all and Cassadaga shouldn’t even be on the list. What a joke. The only one with any value was Seasoning House.

      17. Faith Rightout January 2, 2014 at 3:57 am

        Purge wasn’t poorly executed. Maniac was boring.

        • Christopher Horton
          Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

          I think the biggest problem with the purge was the suspension of disbelief. Like, that would never happen. It takes you out of the movie, or at least it did with me.

        • Nathan Tarantla January 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm

          I agree.

        • Lazron February 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm

          Shame you found Maniac boring, never thought I’d hear anyone say that. It was graphic, disturbing, impeccably shot/scored and a rare case of a remake improving on the original. Arguably the best horror film of 2013. I was hooked from the opening scene on. What did you find “boring” about it ?

        • Mercat February 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

          I did not like Maniac. Mainly because I felt the acting was terrible. Maybe the actresses had a hard time staring into the camera and pretending it was a person, idk. I remember the old one vaguely, it creeped me out as a kid. Story is cool but again, acting is awful.

      18. Theo January 2, 2014 at 4:06 am

        Byzantium came very very highly recommended by Anne Rice herself. That itself makes it a must see :) I need to see Theatre Bizzare. That looks awesome, and The Seasoning House has been ordered on Blu Ray. Thanks for the list.

      19. Miguel Nunez January 2, 2014 at 5:00 am

        The one film on this list that I saw was Byzantium. Great new take on Vampires and the Saoirse Ronan/Gemma Arterton mother/daughter pairing is superb. There’s also one movie that I’d like to recommend called Pretty Dead. A low budget but very interesting new take on Zombies.

      20. bob101910 January 2, 2014 at 5:21 am

        Only 2 that are on Netflix :(

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

          Yeah, unfortunately you have to hit up other sources. The good news about that is : sometimes on ebay, I only pay like, $2 for the DVD. Check ebay/amazon.

      21. Matthew Starfish January 2, 2014 at 6:51 am

        Awesome, i’ve seen about 3 of them, now I can check out the rest. Love your page by the way.

      22. Doug Magee January 2, 2014 at 7:30 am

        The only one I’ve seen is “Jug Face” but some of the others look very interesting.

      23. Patrick Baker January 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        Some great stuff here, loved Alyce Kills, but it’s been on similarly titled lists the last 3 years LOL I guess IDK how this movie biz works lol Also, American Mary is on at least a dozen best of 2013 lists of major genre sites/sources. Couple here I’ve never heard, and will have to check out, so I say mission accomplished for this list :)

      24. Christina Marotta January 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        Thank you for even making this list. All the other lists were movies we’ve heard about thousands of times. Finally glad to see something like this.

      25. Don Combs January 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m pretty sure I watched Cassadaga a couple years ago.

        • Pete Howard January 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm

          According to IMDB it premiered in USA at scream fest in 2011, was released in Europe on DVD in 2012 and then was released on DVD in USA in 2013! Perhaps it was available to torrent then? I’m Currently watching it now, Hope its good!

      26. Pete Howard January 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Ive seen four on this list, Would You Rather, Byzantium, Jug Face and American Mary.
        I watched like a quarter of The Theater Bizarre but for reasons I can’t remember I really disliked the film and bailed on it.
        Would You Rather was pretty stock standard, entertaining none the less.
        Jug Face, Original concept – Enjoyed!
        My Highlights were of course – American Mary and Byzantium
        American Mary was funny, sexy, gory slick and cool. I’m also pleased to see that it’s getting more and more attention, It is well deserved!
        Byzantium. Lordy, lord! Give those two female leads the Horror equivalent of the Oscar! The ‘Freddy’? The ‘Jason’? I really want to call it the ‘Kathy Bates’.

        Ive been meaning to check out Alyce Kills and Contracted but the rest I haven’t heard of! Thank you for this list Christopher, It always feels like I’m constantly out of good horrors to watch! This should keep me occupied for a couple of weeks or a couple of days… i can never pace myself.

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

          Youre welcome Pete! I pretty much stick to indie horror, and I have plenty more reviews/lists coming in 2014. It’s sad that so many of these films get missed!

      27. Faith Rightout January 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        Every movie would never happen.

        • Christopher Horton
          Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

          Thats a bit of a stretch, I mean “The Seasoning House” DOES happen. Still to this day in that part of the world.

      28. Tiago January 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        this is gold, thanks for it.

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

          Gald you dig it, man!

      29. PizzaSquad2000 January 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        Would You Rather is not on netflix, but I saw it listed on HBO/HBOGO last night

      30. Faith Rightout January 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

        That’s not what I meant. @christopherhorton

      31. Faith Rightout January 2, 2014 at 6:03 pm

        I meant shit like the purge

      32. Aida Marrufo January 2, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        Jamie watch them for me ya

      33. Jamie Stephanie Marrufo January 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        Aida I dunno, I’m not really into any movies from this century xD I did see Alyce kills xD mum was freaking out because the chick starts touching herself

      34. Nathan Tarantla January 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        I seem to have missed a couple of these. Thanks for the new list of things to catch.

      35. pizzainacup January 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm

        It always irks and amuses me whenever somebody assumes that nobody has heard of these films when I watch films all of the time.

        I’ve already watched all of those except for Theatre Bizarre (2012) and Haunter (2013). Then too, I tend to skip films that sound terrible or look terrible in the trailer.

        Sometimes it’s nice to discovery a new film. But usually I’m thinking… I saw that… I saw that… I saw that… I saw that… My feeling is, people who come up with these lists are referring to the mainstream moviegoer. Conversely, those of us that watch films religiously, have probably already watched all or most of the films on these types of lists.

        • Herner Klenthur January 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm

          Well said and not to speak for the author but MOST HORROR fans have not seen half of those movies. including me and its all I do.

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm

          It’s true. You have to dig to find good indie movies. I just hope I can turn people on to some new films. Films that they wouldnt have heard of, without our lists and reviews here on horror-movies.ca. Im glad there are a couple on the list that you havent checked out yet.

      36. Obed Marsh Jr January 2, 2014 at 11:13 pm

        Only 2 I missed were Theatre Bizzare and Under The Bed. Will fix that pronto. Thale was stellar!

        • Christopher Horton January 2, 2014 at 11:43 pm

          Definitely check out both. “Under the Bed” is awesome!

      37. Smegma D. Obliterator January 3, 2014 at 4:43 am

        When was VHS and VHS 2 done? Those movies are great. The acting is a little stale but I thought they were awesome. I wouldn’t count Insidious 2 or Evil Dead as great though. Those movies sucked.

      38. BLam January 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        If you haven’t already, you guys should make a list of good horror films currently on Netflix instant.

        • Herner Klenthur January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

          we have done many but good idea we will do another one this week.

      39. Actress Karita Fleming January 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm

        I see a few I will be renting and as for American Mary it was good all the way up into that stupid ass ending ..I know it has the chick from ginger snaps and Bodymod in it so a lot of horror fans are going to dick ride it but overall the ending was forced and kinda stupid.

      40. MechaGhidora January 10, 2014 at 12:05 am

        Jug Face was amazing and American Mary I thought was pretty meh. NEED to see Byzantium tho!

      41. zyxw9876 January 10, 2014 at 2:47 am

        Thanks for the List; I’ve seen some of them and plan on watching the rest soon; the trailers look great. I already saw “Would You Rather”, very good and unexpected

      42. Steve January 10, 2014 at 3:37 am

        I saw American Mary and it was awesome. I started watching Theatre Bizzare but gave up on it. I’ll have to find it and with the other movies check that out. Thanks.

      43. Gabriel cordova January 10, 2014 at 10:48 am

        Out of all the movies listed i only liked two, and that was haunter and what would you rather do.

      44. ajaz ahmed January 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        horror movies should be directed in such a way that the audience who are watching the movie should be threatened in a hard manner.spirit who is playing the main role in the movie should be dressed very dangerously and the voice of the spirit should be hard.lights should be shown in the eyes of the spirit as shown in the Bollywood hindi movie [raaz]…trap in the movie is very important.if the above all is present in the movie then,the movie is going to score a good rating…

      45. nick February 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm

        Vhs and vhs 2

      46. Morley June 1, 2014 at 12:04 am

        Gore is not horror.

      47. Dagrind June 11, 2014 at 7:24 am

        Great list. I have seen 5 of them and I am looking forward to checking out the other ones. Surprised that Inbred isn’t on this list. Only one thing I have to say is that I would not have mentioned A Serbian Film and Martyrs in the same phrase as The seasoning house in terms of being shocking and brutal. I wasn’t overly impressed with it and actually found it quiet boring. I didn’t care about any of the characters at all. The violence is visceral but I would not put in the same category as the two other films I have previously mentioned. All the stuff in this movie has been done before unlike A Serbian Film and Martyrs. Anyways cool list. Cheers.

      48. steve July 31, 2014 at 8:59 am

        I have seen American Mary this week and it was well made Gothic body modification surgery gone mad horror by the Soska sisters, Mary’s revenge on the doctor was brutal and slow as in it was done over a long period of time.cut cut cut,it was touching on by the way this movie was better than a lot of big budget horrors i have seen, if this is the quality of indie horror then bring it on.

      49. PreseasAxe November 13, 2015 at 12:01 am

        I don’t understand how you were left guessing in Contracted. The title literally tells you what happened. Also that movie was stupid; the main character is more concerned with getting back together with her ex girlfriend than she is about the horribly grotesque disease she….CONTRACTED.