Sometimes in between chugging beers and doing pull-ups, dudes like to be scared. And they're not always in the mood for big Hollywood scarefests, but something a little more refined. At the risk of being too on-the-nose, here are five indie movies that scare dudes. For the dude in your life!
"X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes"
Roger Corman was the king of independent horror, and "X" is arguably his best (and scariest) movie. It features Ray Milland as a scientist who discovers the secret to x-ray vision. Everything seems fine as he uses his power to do what any dude in the audience would-see under women's clothes and make money as a carnival psychic. But the x-ray vision keeps getting more and more severe and difficult for Milland to control-it all leads up to one of the most chilling endings in science fiction.
Here's an idea that will probably seem frightening to many dudes: You're in a woman's apartment, hoping for a little afternoon strange, and she hacks you up with a sharp object instead. That's what happens in (dude alert!) Roman Polanski's horror classic, "Repulsion." And though the movie is definitely from the point-of-view of the woman, most dudes will find the themes of sexual repulsion and violence resonant and frightening.
Another horror movie about a not-quite-right woman taking out the men in her life, Brian De Palma's "Sisters" is a scary and funny classic thriller. Even the most hardened dude will never look at a birthday cake quite the same way again. And he definitely will think twice before engaging in any kind of voyeuristic activity. Let that be a preemptive lesson out there for any would-be Peeping Toms!
A true icon of independent film, David Lynch's "Eraserhead" is basically about all the anxieties that come with being a growing-up dude. Family, having a child, the pressures of society, etc. Especially the baby part. Oh god, that baby. But pretty much all of "Eraserhead" is designed to freak out everybody watching it's full of creepy surreal imagery and the trademark David Lynch industrial crunch sound effects. While there are no corny "jump scares" that will shock you out of your seat, it's likely that the whole movie will leave with a sick feeling.
One of the most universal dude-fears is that of castration. Even the word makes most dudes start shifting in their seats. That fear plays a central role in the middle portion of "Hard Candy," in which Ellen Page lures a child molester played by Patrick Wilson into a trap. Part of that trap just might be cutting the dude's balls off. Even though he's probably a pedophile, that still seems harsh, right?