Regular readers of Horror Freak News know that we’re huge fans of the video lists and essays produced by YouTubers WatchMojo—especially when they’re horror related. This makes their latest list, released just last night, right up our alley: The Top 10 Best Indie Horror Films! While advances in filmmaking technologies and digital distribution channels have made indie films almost indistinguishable from major studio releases, they still face their own unique set of challenges, which makes a list that focuses on them exclusively very appropriate.
Indie films are almost always a labor of love, as they’re produced without the large budgets given to features produced at major studios. Indie producers often seek crowdfunding assistance; often crew and actors forgo payment in exchange for a percentage of the film’s profits—if there are any. Whereas a big studio flop might cause a few heads to role internally, indie filmmakers have mortgaged homes and gone into debt in order to produce their movies.
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Give WatchMojo’s video a spin and let us know what you think of their selections in the Comments section! Did your favorite indie horror movie make the list? What are some other indie horrors that deserve a shout out? Let’s discuss!
If you can’t stream, I’ve listed the films below the video, along with synopses and reviews when we have them Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: On a small budget and without the help of a major studio, these movies managed to deliver scares on an epic level! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Indie Horror Films! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be the Blair Witch Project, The Evil Dead, or Halloween? Watch to find out!
Green Room (2016, Directed by Jeremy Saulnier)
Official Synopsis: Members (Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat) of a punk-rock band and a tough young woman (Imogen Poots) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse.
Saw (2004, Directed by James Wan)
Official Synopsis: Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed “Jigsaw” and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon’s wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video.
The Babadook (2014, Directed by Jennifer Kent)
Official Synopsis: A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children’s book.
Paranormal Activity (2007, Directed by Oren Peli)
Official Synopsis: Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what appears to be a supernatural presence. Hoping to capture evidence of it on film, they set up video cameras in the house but are not prepared for the terrifying events that follow.
The Witch (2015, Directed by Robert Eggers)
Official Synopsis: In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer (Ralph Ineson), his wife (Kate Dickie) and four of their children when youngest son Samuel suddenly vanishes. The family blames Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the oldest daughter who was watching the boy at the time of his disappearance. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, twin siblings Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) suspect Thomasin of witchcraft, testing the clan’s faith, loyalty and love to one another.
It Follows (2014, Directed by David Robert Mitchell)
Official Synopsis: After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, Directed by Tobe Hooper)
Official Synopsis: When Sally (Marilyn Burns) hears that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape.
The Evil Dead (1981, Directed by Sam Raimi)
Official Synopsis: Ashley “Ash” Williams (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun night away. There they find an old book, the Necronomicon, whose text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends inadvertently release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives or become one of the evil dead. Ash watches his friends become possessed, and must make a difficult decision before daybreak to save his own life in this, the first of Sam Raimi‘s trilogy.
Halloween (1978, Directed by John Carpenter)
Official Synopsis: On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.
The Blair Witch Project (1999, Directed by Eduardo Sánchez & Daniel Myrick)
Official Synopsis: Found video footage tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who’ve traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.
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