Movies & TV

Lesser-Known Horror Films That Are Sure to Shock, Scare, and Disturb

Look like the cool horror movie buff.
IMAGE Third Rail Releasing
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Tired of the same old horror movie clichés? Fear not, Esquire has 10 lesser-known nail-bitters well worth getting your hands on.

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1| Martyrs
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.

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2| Repulsion
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.

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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 terrorized by youths in their remote country home. Disturbing.

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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 breaks 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.

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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 aging 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. 

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6| Eden Lake
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.

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7 | Suspiria
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.

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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 U.S. remake in 2006. 

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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.

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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, butyou guessed itthey're not alone. 

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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