Nicolas Cage in Willy's Wonderland.
Nicolas Cage in Willy's Wonderland.

These days, most new horror movies with a modest budget and a unique, or even experimental, narrative structure fail to achieve Blumhouse-levels of attention. Indeed, there are many horror movie hidden gems that get lost in the shuffle among the latest installments of classic horror movie franchises or Stephen King adaptations, for instance, and struggle to find their audience. Sometimes, all it takes is a hardcore fan of the genre to point viewers like you in the direction of the best horror movies you might not have seen, such as these recent, underrated horror movies.

Mary Woodvine in Enys Men
Mary Woodvine in Enys Men

Enys Men (2022)

A voluntary wildlife worker (Mary Woodvine) begins to question her reality while observing the activity of a rare flower on a remote island in 1973.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: The title of writer and director Mark Jenkin’s Enys Men (pronounced "ennis main") translates from Cornish to say, “stone island,” in reference to the setting of this persistently eerie, gorgeously shot meditation on loneliness.

Stream Enys Men on Hulu.
Rent or buy Enys Men on Amazon.
Buy Enys Men on DVD on Amazon.

Huesera: The Bone Woman
Huesera: The Bone Woman

Huesera: The Bone Woman (2022)

After her dream of becoming pregnant finally comes true, a woman (Natalia Solián) begins to suffer an unexplainable living nightmare.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Inspired by a terrifying legend of Mexican folklore, co-writer and director Michelle Garza Cervera’s Spanish-language thriller, Huesera: The Bone Woman, is one of the most intense horror movies about motherhood since Rosemary’s Baby.

Rent or buy Huesera: The Bone Woman on Amazon.

Bad Things image
Bad Things image

Bad Things (2023)

After a young woman (Gayle Rankin) inherits a hotel, she, her girlfriend (Hari Neff), and two other friends (Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira) go there for a weekend that takes a bizarre, horrifying turn for the worse.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Writer and director Stewart Thorndike’s Bad Things is a recent LGBTQ+-themed horror movie that has drawn comparisons to The Shining for its setting and similarly unsettling atmosphere.

Rent or buy Bad Things on Amazon.
Buy Bad Things on DVD on Amazon.

Scene from El Conde
Scene from El Conde

El Conde (2023)

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (Jaime Vadell) decides that, after 250 years of sucking blood and living in hiding, he is ready to die, which attracts the attention of his children.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2024 Academy Awards, co-writer and director Pablo Lorraín’s wild political satire, El Conde – also one of the best 2023 Netflix original movies – is unlike any vampire movie you have ever seen.

Stream El Conde on Netflix.

Animatronic from Willy's Wonderland
Animatronic from Willy's Wonderland

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

While working as an overnight janitor for a rundown family entertainment center to pay off his car repair, a nameless, silent drifter (played by Nicolas Cage) discovers the goofy animatronics inside are alive and are not too friendly.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: While an official Five Nights at Freddy’s movie does exist, Willy’s Wonderland – a wonderfully zany low-budget horror-comedy that was apparently conceived before the video game's release, but is eerily similar – is still worth a watch, especially for Cage’s badass performance.

Stream Willy’s Wonderland on Hulu.
Stream Willy’s Wonderland on Tubi.
Stream Willy’s Wonderland on Freevee through Amazon.
Buy Willy's Wonderland on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Larry Fessenden in Brooklyn 45
Larry Fessenden in Brooklyn 45

Brooklyn 45 (2023)

The past catches up to a close-knit group of military veterans in spooky ways while gathering together in support of their grieving friend at his apartment during winter in 1945.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Ted Geoghegan – the writer and director of a great horror movie about grief, We are Still Here – takes us back in time to explore the topic in a different kind of environment with Brooklyn 45.

Rent or buy Brooklyn 45 on Amazon.

Morfydd Clark in Saint Maud
Morfydd Clark in Saint Maud

Saint Maud (2020)

A young nurse from Wales (Morfydd Clark) believes helping a terminally ill dancer (Jennifer Ehle) find God is her key to spiritual redemption.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Like many 2020 horror movies (for obvious reasons), not enough audiences got to see the A24-produced thriller, Saint Maud, which bears some breathtaking pacing and amusing commentary on faith from director Rose Glass’ script.

Stream Saint Maud on Amazon Prime.
Buy Saint Maud on Blu-ray on Amazon.

James Badge Dale in The Empty Man
James Badge Dale in The Empty Man

The Empty Man (2020)

The investigation of a friend’s missing daughter leads a former cop (played by James Badge Dale) to discover a cult tied to a terrifying urban legend.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Perhaps the most vastly underseen and underrated horror movie of 2020 was this mind-bending adaptation of the comic book The Empty Man from writer and director David Prior, who went on to helm one of the best episodes of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, “The Autopsy.”

Buy The Empty Man on Amazon.

Maika Monroe in Watcher
Maika Monroe in Watcher

Watcher (2022)

A young woman (played by Maika Monroe) begins to have deadly suspicions about her voyeuristic neighbor.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Director Chloe Okuno makes a stunning feature-length debut with the startling Watcher, starring modern Scream Queen and It Follows star Monroe.

Stream Watcher on Hulu.
Rent or buy Watcher on Amazon.
Buy Watcher on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Sean Harris in Possum
Sean Harris in Possum

Possum (2018)

A disturbed man (played by Sean Harris), accompanied by his unsettling puppet, returns to his childhood home to confront his traumatic past.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: In a recent wave of comedians-turned-horror masters (i.e. Jordan Peele, Barbarian’s Zach Cregger), one such filmmaker who deserves more notoriety for such an achievement is British comic Matthew Holness, whose feature-length directorial debut, Possum, is a hauntingly visceral and uniquely poignant nightmare.

Stream Possum on Tubi.
Stream Possum on Freevee through Amazon.
Buy Possum on DVD on Amazon.

Zelda Adams in Hellbender
Zelda Adams in Hellbender

Hellbender (2022)

A sheltered young woman (Zelda Adams) discovers she has bizarre and dangerous abilities that her mother (Toby Poser) attempted to hide from her.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Real-life mother/daughter duo Adams and Poser deserve a place among the top horror movie Scream Queens after collaborating on Hellbender — an irresistibly inventive take on witchcraft lore — as co-directors and co-writers, along with Poser’s husband, John Adams.

Rent or buy Hellbender on Amazon.
Buy Hellbender on DVD on Amazon.

The cast of Soft And Quiet
The cast of Soft And Quiet

Soft & Quiet (2022)

A simple meeting between a group of women turns grim when its organizer, an elementary school teacher, encounters someone from her past.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Our own Eric Eisenberg named Soft & Quiet one of his favorite movies of 2022 without giving away much about the story, but horror junkies who have sought out writer and director Beth de Araújo’s feature-length debut have praised its bold, unapologetic brutality and inventive narrative structure.

Stream Soft & Quiet on Netflix.
Rent or buy Soft & Quiet on Amazon.

Siiri Solalinna as Tinja in Hatching
Siiri Solalinna as Tinja in Hatching

Hatching (2022)

A young girl unwittingly puts her demanding family in danger by hiding and caring for a mysterious egg in her room.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: The horror fans who have sought out director Hannah Bergholm’s Finnish fantasy thriller Hatching have praised its bizarre, dreamlike imagery and clever symbolism.

Stream Hatching on Hulu.
Rent or buy Hatching on Amazon.
Buy Hatching on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Sydney Park in There's Someone Inside Your House
Sydney Park in There's Someone Inside Your House

There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021)

A group of high school seniors become targeted by a masked killer who intends to reveal their darkest secrets.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: With better publicity and, perhaps, a more high-profile cast, this fun, old-fashioned teen slasher — based on Stephanie Perkins’ novel, There’s Someone Inside Your House — could have been considered as one of the best Netflix horror movies sooner.

Stream There’s Someone Inside Your House on Netflix.

Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots in Vivarium
Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots in Vivarium

Vivarium (2019)

A couple (played by Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg) become trapped inside a desolate suburban neighborhood as part of an otherworldly experiment.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: I believe Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling would have been proud of co-writer and director Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium, which is certainly the weirdest movie starring Poots and one of the weirdest I have ever seen.

Stream Vivarium on Netflix.
Rent or buy Vivarium on Amazon.
Buy Vivarium on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Anna Cobb in We're All Going To The World's Fair
Anna Cobb in We're All Going To The World's Fair

We're All Going To The World's Fair (2022)

A lonely teenager (played by Anna Cobb) begins documenting the strange effect that an online role-playing game seems to have on her.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: The quasi-found footage thriller, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, is a chilling and intriguing analysis of the Internet’s obsession analog horror and “Creepypastas” from writer and director Jane Schoenbrun, who has an upcoming A24 movie on the way called I Saw the TV Glow.

Stream We're All Going to the World's Fair on Max.
Rent or buy We're All Going to the World's Fair on Amazon.
Buy We're All Going to the World's Fair on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Joseph Winter in Deadstream
Joseph Winter in Deadstream

Deadstream (2022)

A disgraced Internet personality (played by Joseph Winter) attempts to win back his followers by live-streaming his experience in a supposedly haunted house.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: Co-written and co-directed by Winter with his wife, Jessica, Deadstream is my personal favorite found footage thriller release in 2022 and one of the most entertaining horror-comedy movies also available with a Shudder subscription.

Rent or buy Deadstream on Amazon.
Buy Deadstream on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Scene from Mad God
Scene from Mad God

Mad God (2022)

An exploration of an underground world of apocalyptic ruin inhabited by monstrous creatures, as seen through the eyes of a masked loner.

Why it is an under-the-radar horror flick worth your time: I would call Mad God one of the best horror movies on Shudder, but this kaleidoscope of grungy, unsettling, otherworldly imagery without any sense of a linear narrative from legendary stop-motion artist Phil Tibbett really transcends genre.

Rent or buy Mad God on Amazon.
Buy Mad God on DVD on Amazon.

We have our severed fingers crossed that horror movie hidden gems like these still have a shot at becoming legendary classics.