1. Goodnight Mommy (2014)
The Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy follows the story of twin boys who are convinced their mother is not who she says she is after she returns home with her face covered and hidden by bandages after undergoing some serious cosmetic surgery. This film takes strange behavior to an entirely new level, so don’t be surprised if most scene leaves you with an extremely unnerving feeling. The tension is thick and the ending will probably leave you with more questions than answers in a way that will make you want to immediately watch it all over again. If you like dark, twisted psychological horror, then this is a must-see.
2. The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009)
I’ll say right up front that The Human Centipede: First Sequence is probably the craziest movie you’ll ever watch. The plot consists of the clichéd “worst nightmare” scenario, when the car of two young American tourists breaks down unexpectedly on a stormy night in the German countryside. They eventually come across a secluded home that just happens to belong to an insane surgeon who is obsessed with Siamese twins and creating his own conjoined triplets that would form a centipede in human form.
Clearly, this flick takes “disturbed” to an entirely new level, with scenes so graphic that it will leave you squirming in your seat; needless to say, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. Since its release in 2009 it’s gained an almost cult-like status, and there have been two sequels released that are easily available for streaming on Netflix.
3. Ringu (1998)
Let’s be honest, we all saw the 2002 film The Ring starring Naomi Watts and were terrified by it. Well, this Japanese film was what The Ring was borne from, only even more terrifying and twisted.
It plays out the story of a reporter investigating an obscure and cursed videotape that is said to somehow kill you seven days after watching it. For me, the vibe of Ringu was definitely creepier than that of the American remake and this version stayed terrifyingly fresh in my mind for way longer; the scenes and images in the film are eerily vivid. It keeps a hold on you and doesn’t allow you to look away until the very last scene.
4. Beware the Slenderman (2016)
This one is a documentary, and I know you probably don’t believe that any documentary could be fear-inducing, let alone be classified as horror. Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong, because Beware the Slenderman had me terrified and thinking back on it even weeks after watching. It follows the real life story of two young teens who attempted to murder their friend after becoming obsessed with the CreepyPasta legend of “Slenderman,” a faceless monster-like character who “believers” say relentlessly stalks and terrorizes children.
I’ll be honest and say that as a twenty-six year old woman, this documentary made me absolutely terrified of this imaginary being that I really knew nothing about before watching. This film gets inside your head as it delves into the world of CreepyPasta and the disturbing underbelly of internet horror culture. As a lover of horror movies, this is probably the only film I would never watch again because I’m just too damn scared.
5. 1408 (2007)
1408 is one of the least well known films that have been based off of the writings of renowned horror writer Stephen King, this one particularly based off of one of his short stories of the same name. It revolves around a writer who decides that he no longer believes in the paranormal. But little does he know what he’s about to experience when he enters, you guessed it, Room 1408. The plot of this one is fast-paced and constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. And please, don’t let the trailer on this one fool you; although it’s highly commercial, it’s a great watch and an example of a classic horror flick that meets thriller.
6. The Strangers (2008)
I saw this film in theaters back during its initial release in 2008 and I still get afraid when I think about it late at night. The storyline consists of a couple who go away for a romantic weekend in a remotely-located area and ultimately become the object of some sick mind games played by three masked strangers. And when I say mind games I mean mind games. This movie is so profoundly disturbing because in some ways it’s just so damn real. These “strangers” go on to terrorize and psychologically torture their victims and the film does a great job at being so subtle but also making you really damn scared at the same time.
7. V/H/S (2012)
This one takes a page from the book of the classic Blair Witch Project in that it uses the “found footage” format and is actually made up of four short films that tie into a larger storyline. It’s definitely less psychological than the other films on this list, much more straight-forward in its approach and showcases some intense violence and gore that will have you covering your face with your hands more than a few times. The shotty, shaky camera work gives it a gritty, eerie vibe that will have you feeling queasy and uncomfortable as you watch.