Halloween is almost here, and cable is overflowing with horror films, both classic and awful. Despite the abundance of cable channels, some underrated classics fall through the cracks (usually to make room for Friday the 13th Part 17: Jason Is Still a Dick). If you've already watched tried and true classics like The Shining and The Evil Dead, here are nine suggestions worth tracking down via Netflix or Amazon, or in rare cases, an actual local video store.

The Other

The 1972 film follows the adventures of two young twin brothers in a depression-era farm town. Niles and Holland Perry recently lost their father, and Holland is acting out, but his pranks become more and more deadly. Beneath everything is a twisted secret that turns the film on its ear. The Other also features a pre-Three's Company John Ritter in a small role. No Don Knotts, unfortunately.

Prince of Darkness

John Carpenter earned his horror film credibility with the classics Halloween and The Fog, before creating his masterpiece The Thing. The weight of those successes may be why 1987's Prince of Darkness is often overlooked. The story features a group of academics and a pries fighting evil, and the film covers everything from weird messages from the future to the apocalypse to Satan himself. It can stand proudly with Carpenter's other horror triumphs.

The Exorcist III

This film really deserved better. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty (who wrote the original Exorcist novel) The Exorcist III is as creepy as all hell. George C. Scott takes over the role of Detective Kinderman from the first film and investigates a string of serial killings, all of which point to a man who was executed more than 15 years earlier. The movie wisely ignores the disastrous Exorcist II, and contains a couple of the scariest moments I've ever seen in a movie.

Body Snatchers

There have been at least four versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The first two were well received, and the most recent (staring Nicole Kidman) was fairly mediocre. But this third take on the concept, directed by Abel Ferrara, is rarely mentioned. It takes the premise of the other films and sets it on an army base, with a young girl trying to save her family. The claustrophobia gained by the setting takes everything up a notch, resulting in a constant state of dread. Plus, Gabrielle Anwar gets naked. So there's that.

Trick 'r Treat

Made in 2007, this film sat on the shelf until it received a direct to video release in 2009. Thats usually a bad sign, but not in this case. A horror anthology in the style of the old Creepshow movies, Trick 'r Treat weaves together several short stories of terror, all of which are slightly interrelated. It's often funny as well as scary, which is difficult balance for a horror film to achieve.

Peeping Tom

This classic was so disliked at the time of it's 1960 release that it pretty much ended the career of it's director, Michael Powell. Since that time, the story of a creepy young photographer obsessed with capturing the terror of his victims on film has begun to find the following it deserves. It's only fault was being ahead of its time. Psycho, which featured many similar themes, and was released only a few months later to acclaim.

The Changeling

The second George C. Scott film to make the list (who knew he was a horror superstar?) is as unnerving as it gets. Scott plays a widower who moves to quiet old mansion in Washington State. The house is pretty sweet, except for the ghost of a murdered boy who lives upstairs. A creepy seance follows, along with Scott attempting to solve a murder mystery and finally allow the child's soul to rest.


Like Peeping Tom, Sisters is more of a psychological horror film than a slasher. But it does provide it's share of blood. Margot Kidder plays twin sisters, one of whom might be a raging psychopath. An investigative reporter gets involved, and what she discovers horrifies her (and the viewer). It also features the delightful birthday scene pictured above... which ends rather poorly.

Black Christmas

This 1974 film helped to launch the slasher movie craze by inspiring Halloween (as well as it's own awful remake in 2006). It stars Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder (again!) as sorority sisters receiving terrifying calls to their home as they prepare to leave for Christma break. Director Bob Clark went own to make A Christmas Story, proving that Christmas was safe after all. He also made Porky's, proving that you should never stick your penis through a peephole in the girls shower. It's just not as safe as it seems.

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