We don’t cover much True Crime on Horror Freak News. We don’t have an aversion to it per se, especially when it connects with our beloved genre; but there are plenty of sites where True Crime is bread-and-butter and our focus has always been horror in film and television. But since the announcement yesterday that the 7th season of American Horror Story is titled Cult, it seemed like the perfect time to take a foray into the dark territory of real life cults.
Related Article: Top 10 Most Infamous Modern Cults
Over the next few weeks, leading into American Horror Story: Cult’s premiere on FX September 5th, we’ll be bringing you explorations of cults, secret societies, and the appearances of cults in horror cinema. To that end, we’re featuring another video list from our friends at WatchMojo.com: Top 10 Creepy Cults in Movies! Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section! Did your favorite horror movie cult make the list?
If you can’t stream, the cults and the film’s that feature them are listed below the video. Enjoy!
The Secret Philosophical Society in Martyrs (2008, Directed by Pascal Laugier)
Official Synopsis: A young woman’s quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
Eden Parish in The Sacrament (2014, Directed by Ti West)
Official Synopsis: Found footage reveals the events surrounding an investigative team’s visit to a remote commune, led by a dangerous fanatic who maintains an iron grip on his followers.
The Time Travel Cult in The Sound of My Voice (2011, Directed by Zal Batmanglij)
Official Synopsis: California couple Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius) set out to make a documentary meant to expose a charismatic cult leader named Maggie (Brit Marling) as a fraud. Maggie claims to be from the year 2054 and is seemingly allergic to almost everything in her environment; she lives in a basement, subsisting on canned oxygen, homegrown food and the blood of her acolytes. Though at first, Peter and Lorna are adamant that Maggie is a fake, they both soon fall under her spell.
Related Article: “Sound of My Voice” Filmmakers Bringing “The OA” to Netflix
The Catskills Mountain Cult in Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011, Directed by Sean Durkin)
Official Synopsis: After several years of living with a cult, Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) finally escapes and calls her estranged sister, Lucy (Sarah Paulson), for help. Martha finds herself at the quiet Connecticut home Lucy shares with her new husband, Ted (Hugh Dancy), but the memories of what she experienced in the cult make peace hard to find. As flashbacks continue to torment her, Martha fails to shake a terrible sense of dread, especially in regard to the cult’s manipulative leader (John Hawkes).
The Freiburg Dance Academy in Suspiria (1977, Directed by Dario Argento)
Official Synopsis: Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.
The Islanders in The Wicker Man (1973, Directed by Robin Hardy)
Official Synopsis: Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. A conservative Christian, the policeman observes the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals, particularly the temptations of Willow (Britt Ekland), daughter of the island magistrate, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child.
Children of the Corn in Children of the Corn (1984, Directed by Fritz Kiersch)
Official Synopsis: As physician Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend, Vicky (Linda Hamilton), drive across the Midwest to his new job, their trip comes to a sudden halt when they encounter the body of a murdered boy in the road. In trying to contact the authorities, Burt and Vicky wander into a small town populated only by children, followers of sinister young preacher Isaac Chroner (John Franklin). Soon the couple is fleeing the youthful fanatics, who want to sacrifice them to their demonic deity.
The Cause in The Master (2012, Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
Official Synopsis: Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, boozy drifter struggling with the trauma of World War II and whatever inner demons ruled his life before that. On a fateful night in 1950, Freddie boards a passing boat and meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the charismatic leader of a religious movement called the Cause. Freddie tries hard to adhere to Dodd’s weird teachings and forms a close bond with his mentor, even as other members of Dodd’s inner circle see him as a threat.
The Satanic Cult in Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Directed by Roman Polanski)
Official Synopsis: A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth.
Thuggee Cult in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984, Directed by Steven Spielberg)
Official Synopsis: The second of the Lucas/Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy needs to retrieve a precious gem and several kidnapped young boys on behalf of a remote East Indian village. This time he teams up with a night club singer and a 12-year old boy.
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