By Alexandria Slater

Horror is widely perceived as a genre overwhelmed with excessive gore and predictable supernatural tropes. So here’s a compiled list of hidden gems that offer more than torture porn and cheap jump scares.

11. Sleepaway Camp

Robert Hilzik produced one of the greatest plot twists of all time in this classic slasher film released in 1983. The film may not be up to everybody’s standards due to the simplistic storyline but it’s a nostalgic throwback that provides fun and easy entertainment.

10. Creep

Mark Duplass’ outstanding and authentic performance in this found footage horror is what earns it a place on this list. Creep doesn’t overwhelm you with graphic violence but instead builds unnerving suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat for the whole film.

9. Mandy

Nicholas Cage stars in Panos Cosmatos’ 2018 surrealist, gory horror. The story follows the protagonist seeking revenge for the murder of his wife, Red. A heavily saturated scarlet colour palette, accompanied with an intense metal soundtrack immerses you into the psychedelic trip of the film.

8. Parasite

Whilst it isn’t an undiscovered ‘hidden gem’ per se, it would be criminal not to mention Parasite. South Korean director, Bong Joon-Ho explores the economic immobility prevalent in society through the contrast of a wealthy and poverty stricken family. The first foreign language film to win an academy award is a seamless combination of comedy, thriller, and horror, and is a must see that will evoke critical discussion towards the inequity of the class system.

7. Raw

French, female director Julia Ducournau’s technical and experimental craft produces a unique portrayal of feminism through the perspective of a teenage cannibal. The realist themes of female empowerment, and self discovery, oddly compliment the bizarre nature of anthropophagy, making for a weird yet wonderful watch.

6. The Lighthouse

Robert Eggers’ psychological horror follows the converse of two lighthouse keepers in the 1890s. It delves into Greek mythology, self identity, and masculinity. The discourse is difficult to follow if you haven’t brushed up on your old-english dialogue but the haunting, and occult cinematography makes up for the ambiguous narrative.

5. Mulholland Drive

David Lynch’s creative direction is unearthly and Mulholland Drive is no exception to this. It’s difficult to explain what makes this masterpiece so unique without giving too much away but to appreciate the film’s phenomenon, more than one viewing is mandatory.

4. Suspiria (2018)

Set in divided, Cold War Berlin Suspiria is an abstract and historically relevant take on female empowerment, that isn’t for the faint hearted. The captivating choreography, visually-striking iconography, and remarkable performances from Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, make this remake of the 1977 Suspiria mesmerising and unforgettable.

3. Climax

Gaspar Noe creates a nightmarish realm in this chilling horror. The story follows twelve French dancers’ sinister character development as LSD breaks down their moral compasses, uncomfortably reflecting the wicked drives buried within our psyche. Disturbing tension builds with a suffocating lemotif soundtrack, aggressive choreography, and bold vibrant cinematography.

2. Antichrist

Lars Von Trier pays tribute to Berghman with this controversial exploration into the misogynistic nature of Christianity, through the lens of a mother’s mental breakdown as she tries to heal from the preventable death of her son. Antichrist is a thought provoking and thematically complex piece of artwork that brings light to the hereditary suffering of women.

  1. Eraserhead

Coming in as the ultimate arthouse horror, it’s no surprise that work by auteur David Lynch features twice on this list. Eraserhead is the perfect representation of a nightmare depicting the deepest, most heinous, fears within our subconscious. However you interpret the meaning, Lynch’s ethereal artistic expression will exceed your expectations by a mile.

Journalist studying at Manchester Metropolitan University. Arts, culture and current affairs.