Movies and TV
5 Obscure Horror Movies to Watch this Halloween

Matthew Parkinson | 29 Oct 2015 12:00
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Oh, Halloween. It's the day of the year when the general population publicly declares its love for horror films, even if, for most of the year, the closest thing to horror that most people watch is something like the Minions movie.

But, still, at least horror movies do get their day in the sun - err, moon. For most people, that means putting on one scary movie that they've seen so many times that it no longer has any impact. Your Friday the 13ths, Halloweens, Nightmare on Elm Streets - these are the basics to any horror movie watcher. But this Halloween; let's take a step slightly outside the comfort zone. Let's watch some movies that have flown under the radar - although not so far as to be incredibly difficult to find. Here are five obscure horror movies to watch this Halloween.

American Mary

Directed and written by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Produced by Evan Tylor and John Curtis. Release date: May 31, 2013.

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If the goal of a horror movie is to be twisted and gross, then American Mary fits the bill and then some. The premise alone is likely to put more people off than draw people in, but, then, that's the point. If you're feeling comfortable, then the movie is likely not doing its job. It's hard to come away from American Mary with that feeling.

The premise starts rather simply. Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is a medical student who falls behind on her bills. She heads to a strip club for an interview, but instead of taking off her clothes, she puts on a smock and is asked to save the life of a man in its basement - for $5,000. The fewer questions, the better. She discovers she's pretty good at surgery and winds up leaving school to perform body modifications. If you're already feeling squeamish, good. We're not even at the horror elements, which start halfway through after a traumatic event that turns Mary from someone who does body modifications to, well, torture. And given her chosen profession, you can probably figure out how that torture manifests itself.

Beyond the premise, we have a strong character study of Mary, who is intelligent, powerful, and tragic. The few glimpses we get into her psyche are fascinating. You are rarely sure of how she's going to handle a specific situation, so even without the gross-out scenes, American Mary is worth seeing. It was also directed by the Soska sisters (Vendetta, See No Evil 2, and Dead Hooker in a Trunk), who shoot some of the most beautiful horror of all filmmakers currently working. They don't linger on some of the more gruesome moments, and they have a great sense of style.

If that isn't enough, there's also a woman who looks like Betty Boop in the movie. Tristan Risk plays someone who has had several surgeries to look exactly like the cartoon character, and honestly, just seeing that on-screen is enough to see American Mary. It's not the only reason, but it's certainly one of them.

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