Essential Indie Films for Halloween Season

It Follows

Getting an STD is scary enough, but the 2014 film It Follows takes that idea to a whole other level. The evil entity in this movie is transferred only through sexual interaction and can take on the form of anyone: friend or stranger. Passing the evil on becomes a conscious choice on behalf of the cursed, and this film tells the story of a band of individuals set on destroying this ancient curse once and for all. The completely original storyline, as well as the iconic ending, is what sets this film apart from so many others.


The Babadook

Gaining popularity from both critics and internet memes, The Babadook tells the story of a depressed single mother and her (extremely annoying) son. What makes this movie unique is that the audience is unsure if the Babadook is actually a real entity or just a manifestation of the mother’s deteriorating mental health. We see the relationship between mother and son weaken and grow tense. In turn, the creature grows stronger and more violent. The constricted budget for this film adds to the dark and gritty nature of its content, and it’s a must-watch for any indie film lover.


Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

This ‘horror’ film left me clutching my gut, it is hilarious. Tucker and Dale are two imposing-looking hillbillies who unfortunately get caught up in what appears to be a murderous plot against a group of vacationing college students. As they innocently try to go about their day, they somehow always seem to be around when one of the students gets violently killed. I loved the new point of view that this movie takes on, as well as the lighthearted nature of the two main characters. This film will have you thinking all the murders Jason Voorhees committed were purely misunderstandings. 


The Blair Witch Project

Each year I’m continually surprised by how many people haven’t seen this film yet. 1999’s The Blair Witch Project forever changed (and revitalized) the horror industry, being the first ‘found footage’ horror film to terrify the nation. A group of amateur documentary filmmakers explore the forests of Maryland in search of the legendary Blair Witch. Once the crew gets lost in the large expanse of trees, they start filming more footage than they bargained for. With a budget of only $60,000, The Blair Witch Project accumulated $248.6 million at the box office, making it one of — if not the most — influential indie horror films of all time.


The Ritual

I came across this film by accident, but I’m a sucker for a good ‘group of friends lost in the woods’ trope. This film follows a band of five friends taking a hike through King’s Trail in Sweden after the death of their close friend Rob. After one of them twists their ankle, they decide to take a shortcut through the mountains back. As we all know, shortcuts never work out in horror films. This classic take on a pretty saturated trope was brilliantly done, and it once again makes you afraid to go into the woods alone.