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7 Scary Movies That Put The "Horror" In Horrifying

Viewers beware – you're in for a scare.

7. Mother's Day (2010)

A woman sitting nonchalantly at a bar as a box in front of her is set on fire
The Genre Co./ Rat Entertainment/ LightTower Entertainment / Via

Remakes are usually looked down upon especially in the horror-film circle. However, this 2010 remake of the 1980 exploitation flick of the same name shows that you can do a lot with an old story. This film follows a group of friends who are at a birthday party at the home of couple, Daniel and Beth. Their fun is soon spoiled by the arrival of the deranged Koffin family. While the decisions the characters make will no doubt annoy some viewers, the director, Darren Lynn Bousman, shows that remakes don't always have to be a boring rehash. Rebecca de Mornay shines as the deranged mother. Let's face it; seeing an ensemble cast full of recognizable faces in a horror movie is always fun!

6. Suspiria (2018)

A disfigured dancer with her face pressed against a ballet mirror
K Period Media/ Frenesy Film Company/ Videa/ Mythology Entertainment/ First Sun/ Memo Films

Another remake/re-imagining on this list, 2018's Suspiria is no doubt an interesting movie. Luca Guadagnino's version of Dario Argento's 1977 kaleidoscopic film only follows the bare bones of the story; Susie Bannion (this time played by Dakota Johnson) goes to Germany to study at a dance academy. However, she soon realizes that something insidious lurks behind the facade of the academy. With a German autumn as its backdrop, Suspiria dazzles with great cinematography as it explores the perversion of power. Thom Yorke's score and a cold yet motherly performance from Tilda Swinton only add to this film's slow-burning sense of dread. Sure, it can't match Argento's surreal and gorgeous masterpiece, but it takes just enough risks to really make the premise its own.

5. Mother! (2017)

Jennifer Lawrence as the Mother screaming in agony and covered in blood
Protozoa Pictures

When watching a Darren Aronofsky film, you should not expect something cheerful or something even remotely akin to comfort food. Rather, Aronofsky makes the audience feel the visceral events his characters go through with painstaking detail. Mother! is no exception. This anxiety inducing hilm follows a couple living a quiet and peaceful life who soon find all sorts of unexpected guests stumbling into their home. Soon, their love for each other is tested with each and every increasingly hallucinatory and terrifying event that unfolds. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem have a fantastic chemistry with each other and give wonderful performances. While its themes might be a bit too on the nose for some and too conceptual for others, Aronofsky delivers an original horror piece that undoubtedly stands out. Sadly, the film wasn't seen by very many people when it first opened in theaters, but it's a must-see for any fan of the crossroads where art house and horror meet.

4. High Life (2019)

Robert Pattinson in space garb looking over his shoulder in an eerily glowing room
Andrew Lauren Productions/ Pandora Filmproduktion/ Alcatraz Films/ The Apocalypse Films Company/ Madants/ BFI/ Arte/ ZDF/ Canal+/ Ciné+/

Robert Pattinson's filmography has been the subject of intrigue ever since his transition from the massive pop-culture phenomenons, Harry Potter and the Twilight, to indie darling films such as The Lighthouse (2019) and Good Time (2017). A far cry from wizards and vampire-werewolf love triangles, High Life features Pattinson in a vulnerable and stripped-down performance. The story follows Monte (Pattinson) and his daughter, Willow, as they head towards a black hole. Claire Denis's film is both beautiful and horrific, allowing the actors to explore the many facets of humanity through powerful and memorable performances.

3. Climax (2019)

A girl throwing her back in a terrifying ecstasy
Rectangle Productions/ Wild Bunch

Sofia Boutella stars in this truly wild movie directed by Gaspar Noe. Climax follows a dance troupe as they rehearse in an empty school building. However, things take a terrifying turn as they realize they have drunk a ton of sangria spiked with hallucinogenic drugs. To say the least, things don't go well for the dancers. Featuring energetic editing and dance sequences, Climax is really something you haven't seen before (and maybe won't ever want to see again). The camera work and acting makes it feel like we're a fly on the wall, watching the chaos unfold around us. This movie begs the question: how fragile are the lines that separate society from utter chaos?

2. Maniac (1980)

A creepy man reading a newspaper about horrific, murderous events
Magnum Motion Pictures Inc. / Via

Arguably one of the most controversial horror movies of the 1980s, William Lustig's slasher film stars the late Joe Spinell as Frank Zito, a serial killer with a traumatic past. The film not only follows Zito as he commits his brutal deeds but also as he dates the beautiful and unsuspecting Anna. It may seem tame by modern standards, but Maniac is still an unsettling look at a man taking his anger out on those unfortunate enough to cross his path. A remake of the same name starring Elijah Wood premiered at Cannes in 2012 and is – in a unique twist – filmed in first person. It's also well worth a watch if you're in a super-spooky mood!

1. And lastly, The Last House on the Left (1972)

An evil man with blood dripping from his face
Sean S. Cunningham Films/ The Night Company/ Lobster Enterprises

[Warning: this film contains sexual violence.] The late Wes Craven is a true master of horror known for creating some of the genre's most iconic franchises (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream, etc.). His directorial debut, The Last House on the Left, is an unflinching look at a group of on-the-run criminals who kidnap two young women and leave them for dead. The criminals flee to a nearby house owned by a welcoming couple to rest for the night, but a twist of fate sets a twisted tale of revenge and horror into a motion. The Last House on the Left is an interesting and disturbing time capsule of the 1970s that would set precedents still followed in the horror genre to this day. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you want to see how Craven got his start, LHOTL is one you shouldn't miss. A remake starring Sara Paxton was released in 2009 and is just as disturbing if the original left you hungry for more.

Do you have any seriously underrated horror movies to recommend? And we all love Hereditary, but we want some seriously haunting yet unheard of horror films (such as Relic (2020)! Leave some suggestions in the comments!

Toni Collette in Hereditary screaming next to the decaying monster from Relic
A24/Screen Australia‎
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