The 40 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen

by blackskies-160-128512 | created - 14 Sep 2011 | updated - 09 Feb 2012 | Public

This is a list of mostly moratorium horror classics from the last 4 decades that stand out for me and hopefully for you the most. I made this list as a way to contribute to those who may be fatigued by the same recycled horror we've been plagued with for so long. This is for those who look for something different. A great portion of these movies are so rare that if they're not siezed by an aware consumer soon, all chances of viewing it may soon be lost.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords

IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »


Release year or range to »

1. Messiah of Evil (1973)

R | 90 min | Horror

A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

Directors: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz | Stars: Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford

Votes: 2,467

In my opinion the best horror movie in history. When I first viewed it I had to watch it twice just to absorb how good it was. It was worth every penny.

2. Shock Waves (1977)

PG | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Visitors to a remote island discover that a reclusive Nazi commandant has been breeding a group of Zombie soldiers.

Director: Ken Wiederhorn | Stars: Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Brooke Adams, Fred Buch

Votes: 4,328

Peter Cushing film. A true classic.

3. Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Brad Dourif, Cynthia Bain, Jon Cypher, William Prince

Votes: 1,982

Many have probably seen this but I felt the list must have this film to ever be complete.

4. After... (2006)

R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller

Urban Explorers are extreme sports' answer to computer hackers: a growing breed of thrill-seekers who thrive on infiltrating the planet's most dangerous man-made structures... Just because they can.

Director: David L. Cunningham | Stars: Daniel Caltagirone, Flora Montgomery, Nicholas Aaron, Madison Cunningham

Votes: 766

The story in this is downright different. I don't watch it every day but I never get tired of seeing it.

5. Dagon (2001)

R | 98 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A boating accident runs a young man and woman ashore in a decrepit Spanish fishing town which they discover is in the grips of an ancient sea god and its monstrous half human offspring.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Meroño, Macarena Gómez

Votes: 14,786

A Lovecraft adaptation. A must for his fans. Commonly viewed I think but a future classic nonetheless.

6. Body Bags (1993 TV Movie)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

Three short stories in the horror genre: the first about a serial killer, the second about a hair transplant gone wrong, and the third about a baseball player.

Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis | Stars: John Carpenter, Tom Arnold, Tobe Hooper, Robert Carradine

Votes: 6,658

The price is very steep unless you buy VHS. It's a John Carpenter movie but not well known. I wouldn't pay any price for it but $25 or less is worth it.

7. The Resurrected (1991)

R | 108 min | Fantasy, Horror

Charles Dexter Ward's wife enlists the help of a private detective to find out what her husband is up to in a remote cabin owned by his family for centuries.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus

Votes: 3,141

This is a Lovecraft adaptation. I would pay any price for it. VHS is the only affordable way of buying it unless you really shop around. Either way is saddens me this movie is being abandoned.

8. Session 9 (2001)

R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery

58 Metascore

Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas

Votes: 49,197 | Gross: $0.38M

This one may be more well known but scares me every time. Still cheap though and a common find.

9. The Runestone (1991)

R | 105 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A Norse runestone is discovered in Western Pennsylvania. The prophecy upon it tells of the Norse great wolf Fenrir (Fenris), and that its release from the stone will bring about Ragnarok --... See full summary »

Director: Willard Carroll | Stars: Peter Riegert, Joan Severance, William Hickey, Tim Ryan

Votes: 587

This movie gets more rare and expensive every year. It's based on Viking lore. This is another that breaks my heart that future gen's won't be able to view it.

10. Mister Frost (1990)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A serial killer gets sent to a mental institution, but as his insidious presence cause the doctors and orderlies to receive strange visions, his psychiatrist tries to find out his true identity.

Director: Philippe Setbon | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Kathy Baker, Alan Bates, Jean-Pierre Cassel

Votes: 2,214

This movie is flat out off the shelves. Never had a U.S. DVD release and there are no more laser disks for sale that I can find. The VHS is expensive but worth any price. I did find out there was a DVD release in Belgium so if you're commited you can look there. It's an unknown classic.

11. Nomads (1986)

R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A French anthropologist specializing in nomadic groups moves to Los Angeles with his wife, and starts following a group of sinister street punks who seem to live and move around in a black van. But they aren't what they seem.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Lesley-Anne Down, Pierce Brosnan, Anna Maria Monticelli, Adam Ant

Votes: 3,345 | Gross: $2.28M

I'm a big fan of Pierce Brosnan. My opinion of this movie may be biased. Still available but gets more expensive every year.

12. I Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (1998)

79 min | Drama, Horror

A young man gets infected and gradually starts turning into a zombie.

Director: Andrew Parkinson | Stars: Giles Aspen, Ellen Softley, Dean Sipling, Claire Griffin

Votes: 665

Not for the squeamish but a truly original zombie classic. Won't be around for much longer I think.

13. The Keep (1983)

R | 96 min | Horror

34 Metascore

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson, Jürgen Prochnow

Votes: 9,668 | Gross: $3.76M

The book was brilliant, the movie great but disappointing how it was made. Could have been better but with it's cast and story it's worth any price. There was no disk release and the tape is pricey and nearly not available. There could be a remake one day but I wouldn't let this one get away.

14. Doctor Faustus (1967)

Unrated | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A man sells his soul to the devil in order to have the woman he loves.

Directors: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Andreas Teuber, Ram Chopra

Votes: 839

Saw this as a small child and it haunted me for decades. This movie isn't for everyone but then again, what is?

15. Sole Survivor (1984)

R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

A lone survivor of a plane crash is haunted by a feeling unworthy of survival. Dead people start coming after her to collect her.

Director: Thom Eberhardt | Stars: Anita Skinner, Kurt Johnson, Robin Davidson, Caren L. Larkey

Votes: 1,034

Creepy. It's still available but don't bet it being around forever. Not worth any price but definitely worth alot unless you have no patience for low budget 80's cinema.

16. Necromentia (2009)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

Explores the use of a tattooed Ouija Board through the lives and perspectives of 4 people.

Director: Pearry Reginald Teo | Stars: Layton Matthews, Chad Grimes, Santiago Craig, Zelieann Rivera

Votes: 1,578

Some like it. Some don't. I love it though. Still widely available and cheap. I'd suggest a rental first just to be sure it's for you though.

17. Southern Gothic (2007)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Horror

A man who must atone for a tragic mistake by saving a little girl from a ruthless, undead preacher.

Director: Mark Young | Stars: Yul Vazquez, William Forsythe, Jonathan Sachar, Nicole DuPort

Votes: 271

An odd little piece. I'm not obsessed with it but it's great for at least a rental.

18. Zombie (1979)

R | 91 min | Horror

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately seeks the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver

Votes: 22,798

Recently had a BD release which I'm grateful for. This movie introduced me to Italian cinema. One of my eternal favorites.

19. Nightmares (1983)

R | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Anthology of four horror tales with a supernatural twist based on urban legends.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Anthony James, Clare Torao

Votes: 2,536 | Gross: $6.67M

Lance Henrikson and Emilio Estevez play a bit in this. If you want the DVD I hope you have deep pockets. The VHS isn't cheap either. Be careful the version though. It's a semi-common movie title. The cover will be your clue. Worth any price.

20. The Vault of Horror (1973)

R | 87 min | Horror

An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Curd Jürgens, Terry-Thomas, Tom Baker, Daniel Massey

Votes: 4,046

British horror. It won't keep you up at night but it's a treasure for the shelves nonetheless. Still common for now.

21. From Beyond the Grave (1974)

PG | 97 min | Fantasy, Horror

An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a British antique shop and its mysterious owner.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Diana Dors

Votes: 3,151

Peter Cushing. Moratorium but as of 2011 still cheap. This movie introduced me to Cushing and his utter screen dominance. Worth any price.

22. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

PG | 92 min | Horror

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson, Geoffrey Bayldon

Votes: 8,242

This was my 2nd British horror film viewed. Great story. I've lost count how many times I've watched it.

23. The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook, Derek Francis

Votes: 4,603

Creepy. In my opinion one of Vincent Price's best.

24. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston

Votes: 10,663

Never get tired of this one. For this I hope you have deep pockets. Everywhere I look the price is astronomical and getting higher by the year. Get this one while you can.

25. Pontypool (2008)

Not Rated | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

54 Metascore

A radio host interprets the possible outbreak of a deadly virus which infects the small Ontario town he is stationed in.

Director: Bruce McDonald | Stars: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak

Votes: 26,411 | Gross: $0.00M

A future classic.

26. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 52,146 | Gross: $8.95M

2nd favorite horror movie of all time. John Carpenter directs and a stellar cast. The story is lovecraftian but priceless. Moratorium and I'm angry because of it.

27. Trucks (1997 TV Movie)

R | 95 min | Horror, Drama, Sci-Fi

Aliens arrive, parking in a geostationary orbit over Nevada. Using powers unknown to us, they declare war, and use unmanned trucks as weapons.

Director: Chris Thomson | Stars: Timothy Busfield, Brenda Bakke, Aidan Devine, Roman Podhora

Votes: 2,632

Stephen King adaptation. Still cheap but I'm not sure how mainstream it is. Great movie.

28. Rawhead Rex (1986)

R | 89 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it.

Director: George Pavlou | Stars: David Dukes, Kelly Piper, Hugh O'Conor, Cora Venus Lunny

Votes: 4,005

Only affordable way to buy it is on tape. Clive Barker adaptation. It's been criticized but the critics are the minority. Fantastic settings and original story but not cheap though.

29. Midnight Movie (2008)

R | 82 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

A midnight showing of an early 1970's horror movie turns to chaos when the Killer from the movie comes out of the film to attack those in the theater.

Director: Jack Messitt | Stars: Rebekah Brandes, Daniel Bonjour, Greg Cirulnick, Stan Ellsworth

Votes: 3,566

An independent horror movie that broke some rules and got noticed. A future classic.

30. Believers (2007 Video)

R | 102 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Two paramedics responding to an emergency call find themselves kidnapped by a religious sect whose great obsession is to stop the end of the world by committing suicide and killing people.

Director: Daniel Myrick | Stars: Johnny Messner, Jon Huertas, Daniel Benzali, Erik Passoja

Votes: 2,153

The ending is worth the ride. Costs much less than it's worth.

31. Deadgirl (2008)

R | 101 min | Horror

36 Metascore

Two high school boys discover an imprisoned woman in an abandoned mental asylum who cannot die.

Directors: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel | Stars: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice King, Eric Podnar

Votes: 17,368

This movie bothers me on many levels which is why I included it. I'd suggest a rental first.

32. Long Weekend (2008)

R | 88 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A vacationing couple in the wilderness learns what happens when they disrespect nature.

Director: Jamie Blanks | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Claudia Karvan, Star, John Brumpton

Votes: 5,242

Stunning acting. Highly original story.

33. The Bunker (2001)

R | 88 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Seven German soldiers are enclosed in one bunker during the Second World War. They soon feel surrounded by enemies. When they hear about the tunnel-system beneath the bunker and some mystic... See full summary »

Director: Rob Green | Stars: Jason Flemyng, Andrew Tiernan, Christopher Fairbank, Simon Kunz

Votes: 5,494

Military horror. Worth any price.

34. Spiral (2000)

90 min | Drama, Horror

62 Metascore

The inhabitants of a small Japanese town become increasingly obsessed with and tormented by spirals.

Director: Higuchinsky | Stars: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, Eun-Kyung Shin

Votes: 6,616

First Japanese horror I ever saw and definitely not the last. This movie sits with you for a long while.

35. Marebito (2004)

R | 92 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

50 Metascore

A fear-obsessed freelance cameraman (Shinya Tsukamoto) investigates an urban legend involving mysterious spirits that haunt the subways of Tokyo.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, Kazuhiro Nakahara, Miho Ninagawa

Votes: 4,485 | Gross: $0.01M

Japanese horror. Anyone who loves horror should see this one without any doubt.

36. Kansen (2004)

R | 98 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

INFECTION takes place in a dark, isolated hospital, where one doctors mistake has led to dire consequences for a patient.

Director: Masayuki Ochiai | Stars: Michiko Hada, Mari Hoshino, Tae Kimura, Yôko Maki

Votes: 4,918

I see this one about once a year. Never tire of it.

37. Cast a Deadly Spell (1991 TV Movie)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

In a fantastical 40's where magic is used by everyone, a hard-boiled detective investigates the theft of a mystical tome.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Fred Ward, David Warner, Julianne Moore, Clancy Brown

Votes: 2,281

Lovecraftian and gone. Need deep pockets but worth any price. The fact this is moratorium bothers me.

38. Witch Hunt (1994 TV Movie)

R | 100 min | Crime, Fantasy, Mystery

In a twisted 1950's where everyone does magic, a private detective investigates a murder case without it.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Dennis Hopper, Penelope Ann Miller, Eric Bogosian, Sheryl Lee Ralph

Votes: 997

Sequel to #37. The late Dennis Hopper. #37 comments apply.

39. The Bone Snatcher (2003)

R | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

After miners disappear in the Namib Desert, scientists find their remains and seek to find what killed them.

Director: Jason Wulfsohn | Stars: Scott Bairstow, Rachel Shelley, Warrick Grier, Patrick Shai

Votes: 2,069

This one is surprisingly good. Terrific locations. Great story.

40. 11:11 (2004)

R | 95 min | Horror, Thriller

A troubled young woman, haunted by her mother's ghost, is suddenly confronted by paranormal events which are wreaking havoc on her small college town. She struggles to understand the meaning of these supernatural events...

Director: Micheal Bafaro | Stars: Laura Mennell, Paul Dzenkiw, Christie Will Wolf, Kristina Copeland

Votes: 1,239

Not the greatest movie out there but definitely worth at least a look.

Recently Viewed