Just the other day I wrote a little piece called The Best Horror Movies You Haven't Seen Yet (and I have a Part 2 and a Part 3 coming!), but one of our loyal readers made a simple request: Hey, why not offer a list of smaller-ish horror films that are on DVD that we probably haven't seen yet? And to that I say ... fair enough. But a warning to the serious horror fans before we go on: Odds are you've not only seen these movies already, but you also probably own the DVD and are listening to the director's commentary right now. I'm just tossing out a few of my oft-mentioned "under the radar" horror flicks to those who might need 'em. Which means we start with...
May (2002) -- I've probably written more about May than Stephen King has written about Castle Rock -- but every once in a while a "little" movie shows up out of nowhere and kicks you in the chin with some unexpected awesomeness. And even after multiple viewings, this deliciously off-kilter horror flick still packs a helluva punch. Great script, great cast, great ending, and a wonderfully strange lead performance by the willowy Angela Bettis.
Session 9 (2001) -- The number of people who've seen this flick is probably pretty small, but the number of those people who actually disliked the movie is extra-super-small. Brad Anderson's tale of ghosts, guilt and asbestos is one of the most quietly chilling haunted house film in quite some time. It's one of the few movies of the past decade that actually gave me chills, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. This mini-masterpiece is anchored by a powerfully good performance by Peter Mullan ... and the DVD is stocked with great extras. (Unfortunately I do believe that DVD is now out-of-print. Maybe I should track down a spare.)
Frailty (2001) -- Rare is the gore-free horror flick that inspires such aversion. No lie, I've spoken to at least a dozen grown-ups who dislike this movie because it just creeped them out that much. Call me nuts, but if I were the director I'd consider that a huge compliment. Bill Paxton does a fantastic job in front of (and behind) the camera, and the two kid actors are quite excellent -- but I'd contend that the star of Frailty is Brett Hanley's dark and deliciously twisted screenplay. (And I see copies of this swimming through Walmart's 5-dollar bin, so you have no excuse, people!)