Every Halloween, people reach for a small, select group of horror films to satisfy their scary-movie craving. Maybe it's one of the canonized classics, like the original versions of Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Dawn of the Dead. Perhaps its something from the many slasher-icon franchises that sprung up in the 1980s, when you had a choice of Jasons, Freddys or Chuckys. Or maybe you head straight for the boundary-testers of the 2000s, when the Saw and Hostel movies shoved the genre into torture-porn territory.
Regardless of whether viewers prefer original recipe or extra-crispy, however, folks tend to go for a number of no-brainer titles — the kind of films that even a non-horror fanatic knew about. (Ask the average moviegoer who Jigsaw is and you're likely to get a blank stare; ask them if they know about the Saw series and watch them shudder in recognition.) But what if you're looking for something besides the usual scary-movie suspects? Nothing too extreme, too underground or too obscure…just a few choices that might be outside the norm or under the radar, yet would still bring the fear in a big way?
In the spirit of helping you achieve the maximum clammy-palmed, dry-mouthed, soiled-undergarment Halloween chills, we've come up with some alt-viewing options. Here are 20 horror movies that you probably haven't seen and will scare the beejesus out of you in a big way. (We're talking from 1968 to the present, since that was the year George A. Romero helped kickstart the modern wave of horror with Night of the Living Dead.) Some are from the arthouse, some are from today's equivalent of the grindhouse, some might not even seem like a horror movie at first glance. Maybe you've even heard of a few of these titles. But chances are good that, unless you're a diehard scary-movie aficionado, you may not have seen all of these genre treasures — and trust us, you need to.