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Overlooked Indie Horror Films You Should Watch: Volume 4

Overlooked Indie Horror Films You Should Watch: Volume 4

Time keeps rolling by, and so do outstanding horror films that are getting lost in the crowd of movies being released in theaters, on Blu-ray, and streaming every week. Horror film archaeologists, welcome to Volume Four of Bloody Disgusting’s continuing column digging through the recent past of film releases and featuring worthwhile horror movies that you may have missed the first time around.

Share them with your friends, follow the filmmakers, and be sure to visit our previous installments if you haven’t read them already.


Amusement (2008)

Amusement seems on its face to be a standard slasher-style stalker film. However, it cleverly uses the conceit of a group of friends with a shared secret from their past to create a pseudo-anthology film in which each of the friends deals with a stalker-killer in a slightly different horror subgenre style.

Written by Jake Wade Wall, who also wrote the remakes of When a Stranger Calls and The Hitcher, the film is smarter than its packaging suggests. With a cast boasting Vikings’ Katheryn Winnick, Veep’s Reid Scott, and Gotham’s Jessica Lucas, Amusement is a fun horror movie that is self-aware but not self-indulgent.


Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

From Peter Strickland, director of the taut sexual thriller The Duke of Burgundy, comes the chilling and uncomfortable Berberian Sound Studio. Gilderoy is a British sound engineer hired to work on an Italian horror film. As he dives deeper into his job and the film, he begins to start losing track of fantasy and reality.

Starring Toby Jones, the fantastic character actor normally confined to small roles in films like Captain America and The Hunger Games, the film has a stunning soundscape that insinuates everything you don’t see in an effective and unnerving way. A clear love letter to Italian horror and Argento’s Suspiria in particular, the demented director in the film is played by Cosimo Fusco, who previously acted in Argento’s 2004 film The Card Player.


The Dirties (2013)

The found footage horror answer to films like We Need to Talk About Kevin and Elephant, writer/director/star Matt Johnson created an impressive achievement with The Dirties. The film begins as a documentation of a high school film project from two friends who are unpopular and bullied. The film takes a slow turn when one of the friends, Matt, decides that their film should be about getting back at the bullies, and it should be for real.

Johnson’s performance is a revelation, playing Matt as sympathetic and isolated, but also with clear indications that he isn’t fully stable. Johnson recently wrote and directed the film-oriented conspiracy thriller Operation Avalanche and the TV series Nirvanna the Band the Show. Intimate, humorous, tragic, and disturbing, The Dirties is worth finding.


Entrance (2012)

Entrance is a horror film about isolation in the midst of friends, about the danger that hides itself in plain sight in society. Co-directed by male directors Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath but written by Karen Gorham and Michelle Margolis, the film understands and sympathizes with the numerous indignities and fears that women quietly deal with on a daily basis.

The film about young Suzy navigating life in Los Angeles is a slow burn, building tiny clues into its naturalistic opening hour, only to blow up expectations in the spectacular single-take final act that codifies all of the nightmare possibilities into a terrifying reality. The film is not for everyone, but those who get its tone and style will be fully invested.


Good Neighbours (2010)

Clever and nasty with twists to spare, Good Neighbours is a Canadian horror-thriller that has Hitchcockian suspense with added violence and sexuality that Hitchcock didn’t live long enough to be able to utilize in his work. In the film’s plot, a serial killer terrorizes a Canadian neighborhood, and two neighbors begin to wonder about the new guy who just moved in.

The cast is fantastic, in particular the central trio of Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, and Scott Speedman. Actor Jacob Tierney gets behind the camera for this film and gets the most of his excellent cast and the source material, Chrystine Brouillet’s novel Chère voisine. The film is worth tracking down and watching with a group of like-minded friends and movie watchers.



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COMMENTS

29 Comments
  • llcc1103

    Entrance has some of the best tension building in recent memory.

    • Brett

      Where can I find this? Not on Netflix. Streaming anywhere?

      • Mightygil

        it’s on Google Play here in Canada so I am sure it is elsewhere depending on where you’re located

  • MODOK

    Thanks for the suggestions. I love this feature. I always get a few new things to watch.

    The only one of these I’ve seen is Berberian Sound Studio. I’m kind of torn on it. I can’t decide if it’s brilliant in its descent into madness, or just incomprehensible.

    • sailor monsoon

      That criticism is literally every Italian film in existence

    • Monkeymanbob

      MODOK – I’m with you.

  • Mightygil

    I’ve gotta disagree about Amusement. The opening with the clown was great, but I thought it was otherwise pretty bad

  • Necro

    Cool! I love these kinds of articles. ‘Amusement’ is the only one I have. The rest are on the list.

  • Bart Crowe

    Berberian Sound Studio is awesome but be warned it is a slow burn.

  • McGilli

    STILL – the best articles this site has to offer. Keep them coming! Love finding great movies I never new about…

  • NoGutzNoGory

    The Dirties is awesome! Keep an eye on that Johnson fella!

  • Matt Miller

    Yes, The Dirties is awesome. A found-footage style movie that is smart, funny, tragic and has an ending that punches you in the guts.

  • Evan Kiesler

    Think back in the day before internet . Not just horror but so many movies that went on too be cult status classics got lost , in the HOLLYWOOD mind set that Bigger budget always made for better pictures , sad really .

  • Honest

    Amusement was put together so, so badly. It has a couple of good scenes, but it’s such a mess I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. This site called it a train wreck or something similar when it came out.

  • sailor monsoon

    Entrance is one of the boringist films I’ve ever seen and i can’t recommend it enough.
    Power through that film because it gets better

  • Vicente Viejo Malo

    Berberian Sound Studio is quite good.

  • KSE1977

    Nice, a few new ones to add to the list, a couple of which are free to watch on Amazon Prime. Should be cool!!!

  • KSE1977

    I actually Enjoyed Amusement. It is kind of a “sum of its parts” type of movie, but Kathryn Winnick is always awesome and the clown scene is worth it alone. I would have liked a follow-up of some sort, perhaps make it a bit more tightly woven, but for what it was, it was a fun flick.

  • HalesTales

    The only one I’ve seen is Amusement, but it really is a gem that would be easily looked over in a bargain bin. The plot’s connection and use of different horror sub-genres was a love letter to horror fans. The end twist was great!

  • sliceanddice

    Berberian sound studio is an affectionate if somewhat mental love letter to giallo movie.

  • David

    Yourmoviesucks did a hilarious takedown of Amusement.

  • MpB

    Man, I just finished watching The Dirties because of this list. That shit was rough. Really sad and affecting.

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      Very glad you liked it. Sharing experiences like that is the reason I do the list, so I’m glad you found something that affected you!

  • RawBeard

    Seen Good Neighbours before, it was ok. All I remember is a dark scene where one of the characters is framed for sexual assault with borrowed sperm.

  • Bluegrasslass

    Scalene is a great little film I keep recommending to anyone who’ll listen.

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      Agreed. I have it on the list and will definitely get to it eventually. Margo Martindale is fantastic in that film.

  • I just about lost it when I saw you included Entrance, probably in my top 3 favorite movies of all time. It was such a cool experience the first time watching it, and the second time was even better because you have a different outlook on the movie.

    It was even praised by Stephen King, the DVD i ordered came with a newspaper clip of his review in the case lol

  • manyfs

    Entrance is such an amazing Ti Westian gem.

  • Rene Smith

    I find it odd that bloody-disgusting called Amusement “disastrous” in 2008 but now is suggesting people watch it.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20080730042009/http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/11089

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