Love’ em or loathe’ em, horror films are a tricky beast to master. For every nerve-jangling classic, there are a host of badly acted, schlockily-directed monstrosities stuffed full of cheap LOUD NOISE scares and naff baddies (supernatural or otherwise).
So hurrah for smart, scary and downright brilliantly conceived horror flicks like Get Out (available on demand from Virgin Movies from 24 July) - a super low-budget psychological horror that, thanks to an unpredictable script, nerve-jangling performances and genuinely chair-gripping scares, has rightfully gone down a storm (it’s the US’ seventh biggest movie of the year so far, and made over a quarter of a billion dollars globally).
But once Get Out’s lodged its way into the deepest, darkest, creepiest parts of your psyche, what next?
Luckily, we here at Virgin Movies have a few more suggestions for lesser-known but just-as-scary horror films you need in your life/future therapy sessions.
Kristen Stewart is no stranger to the supernatural (dating a vampire and fancying a werewolf makes you swiftly acquainted), but Personal Shopper is as different to Twilight as you can get.
A French psychological thriller and ghost story about a - you guessed it - Personal Shopper (Stewart) for a high society celebrity, who believes she’s being haunted by the spirit of her dead twin brother.
Arty, indie, creepy, and Hitchcockian in tone, it received rave reviews and was even in the running to win the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (ooh).
Personal Shopper is available on Virgin Movies from 17 July
A Cure For Wellness
Hospitals are creepy. Ye Olde Hospitals even more so. Gore Verbinski’s psychological horror takes that inherent fear to terrifyingly unsettling extremes, as it follows Dane DeHaan’s New York City financial high flyer as he travels to the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company’s CEO from a ‘wellness centre’.
What he finds is a bizarre hospital-esque facility in which the mysterious Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs) is dabbling in a host of ‘treatments’ for his patients that are far more than meets the eye.
There are eels, there are medical experiments, there’s a whole lot of craziness.
Find A Cure For Wellness in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Having starred in Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh, Hot Fuzz, Horrible Histories, Sightseers, The World’s End and more, it’s fair to say that Alice Lowe is one of the UK’s indie-black-comedy gems.
So it’s no surprise that her directorial debut is just as wonderfully deranged and dark - a horror slasher about a pregnant woman (also Lowe) whose grief over her deceased partner makes her believe her unborn child is compelling her to murder all those involved in the accident that killed him.
Bloody, crazy and supremely entertaining, Prevenge is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Find Prevenge in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Of all the professions, Autopsy-er was never top of our career path Most Wanted list. The Autopsy of Jane Doe does nothing to sway us otherwise, telling the chilling tale of two coroners who attempt to uncover an unidentified body’s befuddling cause of death.
As they discover more and more confusing injuries upon her person, and start piecing together a decidedly supernatural backstory, the morgue starts getting a whole lot crazier and a whole lot scarier.
Find The Autopsy of Jane Doe in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
It’s not often you come across a superlative horror-comedy, even less so a New Zealand horror-comedy by a first-time director. But Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound is one of the best films you’ve never seen - managing to be as underwear-changingly jumpy and eerie as it is genuinely LOLsome.
When ‘troubled’ young Kylie is forced to move back home with her incredibly annoying, super-mumsy Mum under house arrest, she’s already irritated. Throw in the fact she’s trapped in the house with a very bump-in-the-night spook, and annoyance meets terror to brilliantly entertaining effect.
Slasher films are brilliantly scary because they tap into a very realistic fear - it could happen to you at any time. Hush takes that unnervingly prescient ‘what would you do?’ fear and cranks up the nerves by choosing a deaf women as protagonist.
It’s one thing being stalked around your own home by someone you can at least hear coming. But what if they could be standing right behind you, screaming and shouting about how they’re going to murderise you, and you wouldn’t have a clue?