The 5 best independent horror films were made nowhere near a big Hollywood studio. Inexpensive equipment and the ease of distributing movies economically means that regional horror is more accessible than ever. There are a ton of great independent horror films to check out, but these are five of the best:

  1. "The Blair Witch Project" This is one of the most successful independent horror films of all time. The filmmakers made a highly effective, evocative film by considering the limitations of their resources, and never trying to fake what they couldn't accomplish with what they have. Although this story of filmmakers lost in the woods inspired a nearly endless string of pallid, derivative knock-offs, the original still holds up.

  2. "Paranormal Activity" Most of the horror in this independent horror film is of the psychological kind. It isn't until the film is nearly over that it becomes apparent how much of the demonic invasion is real and how much is in the protagonists' heads.

  3. "The Signal" Three Atlanta filmmakers pooled efforts to make this original and unusual independent horror film about a TV signal that drives people mad. Each segment is in a different style, ranging from comedic to starkly dark and violent. The manner in which the overlapping stories are told work surprisingly well, without getting muddy or overly convoluted.

  4. "Dead Moon Rising" Zombies, survivalists and ass-kicking bisexual psycho exes all meet in this independent horror film made in Louisville, Kentucky. It falls apart near the end, but everything leading up to the disappointing finale still makes this a worthwhile film to watch.

  5. "Satan's Little Helper" This one was made with easily-accessible HD video cameras over a period of a few days on the streets of a New York town. Amanda Plummer shows up for a daffy turn as the clueless mother of a young outcast who as mistakenly befriended Satan on Halloween. Half funny, half spooky, this campy independent horror film is a winner all around.