Film Review: 8 Modern Indie Horror Films You Should See

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As a lifelong fan of the horror genre, it's pretty hard to narrow down my favourite horror films. We've all seen the big ones by now and so I decided to put together a list of some lesser known, sometimes underrated independent horrors you just have to see in the build up to October 31st.


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It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014) - Jay (Maika Monroe) is carefree teenager but when she sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), she learns that she is victim to a fatal curse that is passed on through sexual intercourse. Presented in the form of a friend or stranger, Jay is forced to fight or flee the deadly supernatural force which is hunting her.

Unlike many contemporary horrors, It Follows relies entirely on psychological horror over jump scares. From start to finish, this unique horror is unsettling to say the least and all the more scary that the supernatural presence can appear anywhere, at anytime. Above all, it presents many feminist debates. Furthermore, it's beautifully shot and features some excellent cinematography. It Follows is a true modern-day horror classic.

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The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015) - Set in 17th-century New England, a God-fearing English family living in the woods begin experiencing a series of tragic misfortunes; causing them to believe a witch is to blame. 

Whilst The Witch may not be an obviously scary horror, it does make for a chilling and stunning directorial debut by Robert Eggers. The narrative plays a wonderful game of doubt; planting seeds and leaving you constantly unsure. Shot beautifully, it's cinematography and twisted plot will certainly stay with you. 

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The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005) - A British horror following six female friends who venture in to what they believe is an undiscovered cave on a weekend getaway. Having found themselves trapped, their expedition quickly goes horrifically wrong when they realise they are not alone underground.

Though horror is very much at the forefront of this narrative, it also explores themes of motherhood, grief and rebirth through the film's protagonist, Sarah. This film has always been such a memorable film for me - as an underage teen renting this movie, it gave me goosebumps and remains a nostalgic classic amongst my ever-growing horror collection. Beautifully directed and certainly a stand out production from the time and genre. 

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The Blair Witch Project (Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick, 1999) - Three film students vanish after entering in to the Maryland Woods to make a documentary about the 'Legend of the Blair Witch'. Leaving only their footage behind, this film relives the events leading to the teens' disappearance. 

Of course by now the hand held style of shooting has long since been over saturated. However, at the time of it's release The Blair Witch Project was a game changer in horror film making. It very much divides film fans. Many think it is artless where as for it's generation it was unlike anything seen before. Made using just handheld cameras and cuts between day shots and night vision, as an audience you are amerced in the panic of the teens stranded in the forest. Forever one of my favourite ever horror movies. 

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Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) - When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his girlfriend's parents for the first time, he is very quickly made aware of a large elephant in the room. As an African American, he is made to feel increasingly uncomfortable in their untactful and predominantly white town. Following a bizarre dinner party at the family estate, Chris' suspicions are confirmed - leading to a series of horrific events.

Arguably, Get Out is actually more of a psychological thriller than a horror. When describing it to be people I often refer to it as "an extended episode of Black Mirror but better". Above all, it is a tense and intelligent satire from start to finish and easily one of the best films of 2017. With very little flaws to be found and so many wonderful Easter eggs dotted throughout, it is so easy to forget that this is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut and break away from comedy. You can read my full review of it here.

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The Love Witch (Anna Biller, 2017) - Elaine (Samantha Robinson) is a practising witch settling in a Northern California town. Having decided she is looking for love, Elaine begins using magic potions and rituals - causing the deaths of several men and sending suspicion throughout the town. As her search racks up a body count, she sets her sights on Griff (Gian Keys), the policeman investigating the deaths. 

Inspired by 1960's Carry On films and B Movies, The Love Witch is an original and beautiful stylised crafted with every detail. Combining a number of genres, it also offers a great deal of deadpan comedy between it's provokable charms and horrors. Further more, Elaine will give you fashion and beauty inspiration for days.

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The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) - In a refreshing blend of the supernatural and psychological thrill, The Babadook is a chilling Australian horror. Seven years after the tragic death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is struggling to cope with life as a single mother to a child with severe behavioural problems. Son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), is aggressive and suspended in his thoughts of story-time, magic tricks and monsters. When a mysterious and disturbing children's book appears on the shelf, Amelia battles with her son's fear of a monster, "The Babadook", lurking in the house but soon discovers a sinister presence hovering over her. 

Having made it's way in to the official Top 25 horrors of the 21st century, The Babadook is certainly one to check out although it's very much a marmite movie - you'll either love it or you'll hate it. An outstanding piece of modern horror which explores depression within mothers - you can read my full review here. 

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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Ana Lily Amipour, 2014) - The residents of a worn-down Iranian city, known as Bad City, encounter a skateboarding vampire (Sheila Vand) who preys on unsuspecting men who disrespect women.

It's title may suggest a vulnerability in a young female walking home alone but it is others who should be afraid. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a beautifully shot, monochrome comedy of the undead, a somewhat hipster interpretation of a vampire genre. Whilst it can be argued that it is nothing new, it is clear that this is made by a movie lover for movie lovers - gathering influences from all the best sources. 
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Well that's it for my Top Indie Horror Movies. Have you seen any of the above? Which films would make it on to your list? As always, I love reading your comments so please do leave me lots of lovely ones below.

Until next time film fans,




*Disclaimer - The popcorn provided in the image above was kindly gifted to me by Popcorn Shed.

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14 comments:

  1. Good list, Sophie! I've seen most of them except for It Follows and A Girl Walks Home. If it's on UK Netflix and you haven't seen it, I suggest checking out M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit (2015). There are some problems with it but to me it signaled an upward movement in Shyamalan's career.

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    1. Aw you must see them! I think you'd really like both of those film based on some of the films you've told me you like. Ah I haven't see the Visit yet but I was curious when it came out in cinemas - I think Split has given him the come back he needed

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  2. Love this list! I’m a big fan of all of these movies! Would also defo recommend Excision, The Loved Ones and Maniac too :)

    M x
    Lifewithmaria.co.uk

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    1. Thanks hun! Ha I did actually have The Loved Ones on here but thought it made the list too long haha. Awesome choice xx

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  3. Get out sounds like a very interesting movie. Will definitely add to my watch list.
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. Yeah it's sooo good! It's not scary either - definitely more of a psychological thriller. Reminds me alot of an extended episode of Black Mirror (in the best way) xx

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  4. I always love your lists. I'm desperate to see Get Out and The Witch so I'll definitely be watching those coming up to Halloween. I love a good indie horror I think their so unusual and very different to your classic conventional, Hollywood horror with a shitty ending. AGWHAAN is one of my favourite ever films.
    Marbl☾☽Moon

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    1. Aw thank you! I'm so glad someone does haha. Yeah I totally agree - I also love the look/style of alot of indie ones as well and they tend to have awesome plot twists :) Hope you had an awesome Halloween xx

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  5. I couldn't agree more with your picks, Sophie. I recently saw the Witch and thought it was really brilliant although it didn't get much of a release in the US. I haven't yet seen the Love Witch but it looks very stylised, will have to add it to my long list of movies to see. Great post as always :D xx

    Ashley
    http://www.imamovienerd.wordpress.com

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    1. Ah I'm glad you had a chance to see it. I wondered how it came across to a US audience given that it's all in Old English? The lead actress is American though (obviously). I think you'd really like the Love Witch - it's just so original xx

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  6. I've not seen any of these! Will deffo add them to my film list. Thanx!

    Millie x
    millie-loves.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aw you have to get on it! They'll all well worth the watch x

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  7. Great list here! I really enjoyed Get Out and The Witch. The Blair Witch Project is a classic!

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    1. Aw thank you! So glad you liked them - I think Get Out is in my top films of the year xx

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