The 10 Best Horror Films You Haven't Heard Of

Tired of the same old horror movie clichés? Fear not, Esquire has 10 lesser known nail-bitters well worth getting your hands on

Most Popular

1 | Martyrs

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Director: Pascal Laugier
Cast: Morjana Alsoui, Mylene Jampanoi
Year: 2008
Country of origin: France
Sub genre: Psychological/Gore
In a nutshell: A young woman, kidnapped and abused as a child, seeks revenge on her captors. Brutal and genuinely horrifying. Consider that a warning.

2 | Repulsion

Most Popular

Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Catherine Deneuve
Year: 1965
Country of origin: USA
Sub genre: Psychological
In a nutshell: Chronicling the mental decline of a young French woman (Deneuve) as she battles her childhood demons alone in her sister's London flat. Relentless.

3 | Funny Games

Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
Year: 2007
Country of origin: USA
Sub genre: Psychological/Crime
In a nutshell: A remake of the 1997 Austrian film of the same name, in which an American couple and their son are terrorised by youths in their remote country home. Disturbing.

4 | [REC]

Director: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza
Year: 1997
Country of origin: France
Sub genre: Psychological/Gore
In a nutshell: A TV crew break into a residential block following its quarantine and soon wish they hadn't. Later remade into the slick, but not quite as scary English language film, Quarantine

5 | A Serbian Film

Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Cast: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic
Year: 2010
Country of origin: Serbia
Sub genre: Psychological/Erotic
In a nutshell: An ageing porn star, in a bid to reboot his career, agrees to partake in an art project which takes a very dark and gruesome turn. Not for the faint-hearted. 

6 | Eden Lake

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Director: James Watkins
Cast: Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender, Jack O'Connell
Year: 2008
Country of origin: UK
Sub genre: Psychological/Crime/Suspense
In a nutshell: A young couple's romantic weekend away in the country is interrupted by a gang of youths with horrific results. One of the best British suspense films in recent years. Terrifyingly believable.

7 | Suspiria

Most Popular

Director: Dario Argento
Cast: Jessica Harper
Year: 1977
Country of origin: USA
Sub genre: Supernatural/Mystery/Suspense
In a nutshell: The film that inspired 2010's Black Swan follows a new recruit to a New York ballet school who is drawn into the macabre and sinister goings-on after hours. 

8 | Pulse

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast: Haruhiko Kato
Year: 2001
Country of origin: Japan
Sub genre: Psychological/Gore
In a nutsehll: J-horror original which follows a group of students who investigate a recent influx of suicides in their hometown. Turns out there's a higher power at work. Don't be put off by the terrible US remake in 2006.  

9 | Snowtown

Director: Justin Kurzel
Cast: Lucas Pittaway
Year: 2011
Country of origin: Australia
Sub genre: Physiological/ Crime/Violent
In a nutshell: Technically not a horror if you're being a stickler, but makes the list due to the heightened suspense director Kurzel manages to create.

10 | Session 9

Director: Brad Anderson
Cast: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon
Year: 2001
Country of origin: USA
Sub genre: Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural
In a nutshell: An asbestos crew take on a job in a disused mental hospital, but – you guessed it – they're not alone. 

Any we've missed?


In Praise Of…Dawn Of The Dead
In Praise Of... The Wicker Man
Why 'Halloween' Is The Ultimate Horror Movie

What do you think?

John Lydon
John Lydon On Trump, Punk And 'Selling Out'
The former Sex Pistol talks Trump, rising early and why modern men are all 'naggy housewives'
Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer Is The First Woman To Make Forbes Highest Paid Comedian List
Well played, Amy
Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan Just Trolled Jeremy Corbyn By Saying 'Power' 38 Times In One Speech
He seems to be trying to make some sort of a point, here
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
The 10 Best Quotes From The Clinton Vs Trump Presidential Debate
"A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes"​
Francesco Totti
Why Francesco Totti Is The Last King Of Football's Golden Age
​​As the Roma legend turns 40, Finlay Renwick reflects on the the legacy of the ultimate one club footballer​​
Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt's Love Life: A Timeline
Who else had forgotten about Juliette Lewis?
Liam and Noel Gallagher
Are Oasis About To Announce A Comeback?
Insert 'Don't Look Back In Anger' pun here​
Lil Wayne
Lil' Wayne Officiated A Same-Sex Wedding While In Prison
​​As you do ​
Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce Embarrasses The FA And Himself After Being Caught In Newspaper Sting
Why, Sam? Why?​​
Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear
Matt LeBlanc Signs Up For Another Two Series Of Top Gear
How you doin'? Pretty good actually​