The forgotten. The underrated. The obscure. The underappreciated. The cult. There’s a million reasons why some films get consigned to a cinematic oblivion and there’s a million films that deserve it. These don’t. This is a weekly list that unearths the gems of cinemas past.
Grab your shovels and your pick axes, it’s time for Monsoon’s Buried Treasures (Horror Edition)
01. The Last Broadcast (1998)
Directed by: Stefan Avalos/Lance Weiler
Plot: A film crew ventures into the forest in search of the mythical ‘Jersey Devil’.
Before there was ‘The Blair Witch Project’, there was this terrifying found footage gem.
02. Calvaire (2004)
Directed by: Fabrice Du Welz
Plot: Marc, a traveling entertainer, is on his way home for Christmas when his van brakes in the middle of a jerkwater town with some strange inhabitans.
A demented Euro film that mixes ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Straw Dogs’ to great effect.
03. American Mary (2012)
Directed by: Jen & Sylvia Soska
Plot: The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason, a medical student, into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called “freakish” clients.
A darkly comedic take on torture porn.
04. Def by Temptation (1990)
Directed by: James Bond III
Plot: An evil succubus is preying on libidinous black men in New York City, and all that stands in her way is a minister-in-training, an aspiring actor, and a cop who specializes in cases involving the supernatural.
Spike Lee by way of Troma.
05. Inside No. 9: The Devil of Christmas
Directed by: Graeme Harper
Plot: A director gives commentary over a film about a family being told the story of Krampus.
Inside No. 9 is a brilliant sci-fi/Horror anthology show from Britain and ‘The Devil of Christmas’ is easily one of the best episodes.
06. Cold Prey (Trilogy) (2006/2008/2010)
Directed by: Roar Uthaug/Mats Stenberg/Mikkel Brænne Sandemose
Plot: While snowboarding in the ice mountains with Jannicke, her boyfriend Eirik, Mikail and his girlfriend Ingunn, Morten Tobias has an accident and breaks his leg. His friends seek shelter for the night and find an abandoned hotel in the middle of nowhere. However on the next morning they find that they are trapped in the hotel with a psychopathic killer.
Norway’s most popular horror franchise with ‘Cold Prey 2’ being better than most American slashers.
07. The Loved Ones (2009)
Directed by: Sean Byrne
Plot: When Brent turns down his classmate Lola’s invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.
A deliciously macabre torture porn from Australia.
08. Siccin (Series) (2014-2018)
Directed by: Alper Mestçi
Plot: Öznur, who has the meaning of the notebook in which the sins of the kafirs are recorded in the sense of the word, has been the subject of Kudret’s wife Nisa’s enchantment and seizure of Nisa to become the son of the beloved aunt since childhood. Because of the curse that uses this insanity, Nisa and everyone in her blood will die in five nights.
A Turkish series thats equal parts ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Conjuring’ but with more blood.
09. Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)
Directed by: Adrian Tofei
Plot: An aspiring Romanian filmmaker obsessed with Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway goes to shocking extremes to convince Anne to star in his upcoming film.
One of the best found footage films ever. It’s hard to watch but impossible to forget.
10. Even the Wind is Afraid (1968)
Directed by: Carlos Enrique Taboada
Plot: Girls that were punished to sat at a boarding school during Spring Break have no idea the school is haunted by the restless spirit of a former student seeking revenge.
Often regarded as Mexico’s greatest horror film, ‘Even the Wind is Afraid’ is ‘Suspiria’ meets ‘The Haunting.’
11. Antiviral (2012)
Directed by: Brandon Cronenberg
Plot: In a blackly satirical near future, a thriving industry sells celebrity illnesses to their obsessed fans. Employee Syd March’s attempts to exploit the system backfire when they involve him in a potentially deadly mystery.
A pitch black satire from the son of David Cronenberg that hits the same notes of body horror as the director’s early films.
12. Triangle (2009)
Directed by: Christopher Smith
Plot: A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht.
A twisty-turvy thriller that has as many frights as it does surprises.
13. Lake Mungo (2008)
Directed by: Joel Anderson
Plot: A supernatural drama about grief.
A psychological thriller that slowly cultivates unease with every frame.
14. Night of the Creeps (1986)
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Plot: Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.
A crazy entertaining collision of 50’s B movie tropes with 80’s slasher movie cliches.
15. My Little Eye (2002)
Directed by: Marc Evans
Plot: Five people are offered one million dollars to spend six months together in an isolated mansion, with cameras watching their every move.
Big Brother turns evil. Well, evil-er.
16. Viy (1967)
Directed by: Konstantin Ershov/Georgiy Kropachyov
Plot: A young priest is ordered to preside over the wake of witch in a small old wooden church of a remote village. This means spending three nights alone with the corpse with only his faith to protect him.
The precursor to Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead.’
17. The Resurrected (1990)
Directed by: Dan O’Bannon
Plot: 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.
The writer of ‘Alien’ adapts Lovecraft in this underrated 90’s horror film.
18. Storm Warning (2007)
Directed by: Jamie Blanks
Plot: A yuppie couple lost in a thick brush filled marsh seek refuge at an isolated farmhouse only to discover they’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
A hardcore ‘Last House on the Left’ revenge thriller from Australia.
19. Emelie (2015)
Directed by: Michael Thelin
Plot: A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.
A disturbing cerebral drama that has enough going for it that you’ll forgive it’s weak last act.
20. The Baby’s Room (TV movie) (2006)
Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia
Plot: Hearing demonic voices coming from their baby monitor, a couple quickly realizes there’s something wrong with their new house.
Infinitely creepier than anything found in the entirety of the ‘Paranormal Activity’ series.
21. Chained (2012)
Directed by: Jennifer Lynch
Plot: Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob’s footsteps or breaking free from his captor.
An unrelenting serial killer drama with a killer last act. Highly recommended.
22. The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Plot: In an abandoned house in Poughkeepsie, New York murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes showing decades of a serial killer’s work.
A disturbing found footage film that’s loaded with gore and creepy imagery.
23. Fear(s) of the Dark (2007)
Directed by: Various
Plot: Several scary black-and-white animated segments in different styles appeal to our fear(s) of the dark.
An animated horror anthology that isn’t scary but is definitely worth checking out.
24. Messiah of Evil (1973)
Directed by: Willard Huyck/Gloria Katz
Plot: 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.
This is the closest America ever came to making a full fledged Giallo (Italian slasher) and even though it doesn’t count as one, if it did, it would be the best of al time.
25. Razorback (1984)
Directed by: Russell Mulcahy
Plot: A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback.
Arguably the greatest ‘Jaws’ ripoff ever.
26. Ils (Them) (2006)
Directed by: David Moreau/Xavier Palud
Plot: Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise… they’re not alone… and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.
The scariest home invasion movie ever made.
27. The Canal (2014)
Directed by: Ivan Kavanagh
Plot: A depressed and stressed film archivist finds his sanity crumbling after he is given an old 16mm film reel with footage from a horrific murder that occurred in the early 1900’s.
A deeply unsettling slow burn indie that delivers the goods.
28. Juan of the Dead (2011)
Directed by: Alejandro Brugués
Plot: A group of slackers face an army of zombies. The Cuban government and media claim the living dead are dissidents revolting against the government.
The less funny but more inventive Cuban version of ‘Shaun of the Dead.’
29. Citadel (2012)
Directed by: Ciarán Foy
Plot: An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier.
You take an urban horror, mix it with a psychological drama and add a twist of the supernatural and you got yourself one hell of a delicious cocktail.
30. End of the Line (2007)
Directed by: Maurice Devereaux
Plot: A young nurse who works in a psychiatric ward, boards the last subway train of the night only to have it stop suddenly in the middle of the tunnel. As those around her are brutally murdered, Karen and a handful of survivors must face supernatural forces, homicidal religious cult members, as well as their own fears and suspicions of Armageddon, in order to survive.
A pretty solid one location horror film.