Halloween means different things to different people.

For some it's a time to socialise, for others it's a chance to get carried away dressing up and immersing themselves in a character, and for a small group, it's simply an opportunity to embrace the very best that the entertainment world has to offer in Horror.

For those who find themselves in the latter group, it can be more than a little frustrating scouring through the dregs of Netlfix, trying to find a suitable horror flick that you haven't seen a thousand times before. There's so much garbage out there, meaning that genuinely effective shockers can often get lost in the shuffle.


Which is a shame, because there are some seriously great gems just waiting to be discovered!

So here are some sorely underrated horror films that not only deserve your attention, but that might also join your collection of annual favourites if you give them a chance. 

Trick 'r' Treat

Let's kick things off with a charming little release that's been accumulating a cult status over the years. Michael Dougherty's collection of interwoven stories is essentially perfect viewing for Halloween, as each of the film's loosely connected narratives is not only dripping with a ghoulish atmosphere, but also explicitly features the holiday at the very core. A particular highlight focuses on a crotchety old man who is punished by a demon for not having the proper Halloween spirit! Trick 'r' Treat is a modern rarity with plenty of imagination, variety and most importantly of all, a real love and affection for the horror genre.


The Hallow

Given the recent influx of Insidious knock-offs, high profile creature features are now in short supply.  Thank heavens then, for Corin Hardy's devilishly good The Hallow. Reworking Irish Folklore into a horror movie context, this creative directorial debut tells the story of a British family, who are tormented by fairytale creatures that attack anyone who interferes with the local woodlands.

With unique monsters, a heavy emphasis on practical effects, and more than a couple of really intense sequences, The Hallow should easily satisfy fans of old-school genre films like The Evil Dead or The Thing.  

The Diabolical

Whilst it might seem like the last thing we need is yet another haunted house movie, Alistair Lengrad's criminally under-seen The Diabolical is an exception. It all starts off generic enough; as a single mother and her two children are victimised by an increasingly malevolent supernatural presence.

However, there is a very clever, genre blending twist in the third act, that introduces a unique spin on the narrative. To say much more would be a massive disservice to this smart little indie, but if you can get through the fairly middling first hour, then rest assured that your patience will be rewarded. 

Salem's Lot (1979)

Something a little more retro here, in the form of a straight to TV adaptation of a Stephen King novel.


The plot focuses on a writer who returns to his home in Maine (way to go outside your comfort zone King), only to discover that there has been an outbreak of vampirism among the locals. Directed by veteran horror filmmaker Tobe Hooper, Salem's Lot is a seriously creepy movie that deserves to be a staple of any Halloween celebration. One window-related set piece in particular has the distinction of being perhaps the most outwardly frightening moment in any vampire film. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 

Not every horror sequel is a direct insult to cinema itself, as Dream Warriors demonstrates.


In fact, this third Nightmare on Elm Street film is almost as good as the first one. It has dated a little in the special effects department, but in terms of raw creativity and visual invention, this is well worth a look. It's also one of the last Nightmare films to actually take its iconic villain seriously, which makes it ideal for Halloween viewing. If nothing else, this features one of the best kills in Slasher movie history, so there's that too. 

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