Now that it’s finally Halloween, it’s possible you might have already blown through all of your favorite horror movies while raiding the Internet for decoration ideas or while painstakingly stitching together your costumes. You might want something a little different from the stalk-and-slash antics of Jason Voorhies and Michael Meyers, or the endless line of zombie and vampire movies out there, and that’s what we’re trying to give you. This is by no means a comprehensive list of underrated horrors, but a gathering of films from the past few years that we suspect might not all be on your radar. And feel free to jump in the comments to talk about all the other lesser-known would-be classics lurking around horror’s fringe.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)This slasher mockumentary from director Scott Glosserman takes an incredibly simple premise – a documentary team talks local killer Leslie Vernon into giving them a behind-the-scenes look at his annual movie-modeled murder fest – and turns it into both an insanely hilarious and clever flick. (Well, the first half, at least.) It’s cemented by a genius performance from Nathan Baesel as Vernon, who imbues this nonchalantly sadistic character with all the nuance and awkward comedic timing of Will Farrell or Steve Carrell. This is a world where Freddy and Jason exist, and Vernon has dedicated his life to honoring their work with similarly horrifying scenarios. The second trope-filled half of the film does take a small nosedive when Vernon takes on the killer persona and mostly fades to the background, but even the stereotypical fare is better than most. Plus, there are cameos from genre stars Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Zelda Rubinstein and Scott Wilson.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is available for streaming on Hulu and for rent on YouTube; more info here.