Smile will make its world premiere at this year’s Fantastic Fest and kick off Halloween early when it hits theaters on September 30. Parker Finn’s feature debut, the film tells the story of Dr. Rose Cotter as she witnesses a series of unexplained events after experiencing a traumatic event with one of her patients.
But after audiences come out and want even more, there are certainly plenty of horror titles to choose from that offer their own traumatic and terrifying stories. From cult classics to big names in the genre, there are plenty of horror movies worth picking up and checking out.
Often considered one of the best slasher films of all time, Wes Craven was able to deliver something refreshing in 1996 with Scream. After being followed by several sequels, the fifth episode saw a new Ghostface killer slaughter teenagers who share a connection to the series’ previous murders one by one.
One of Paramount Picture’s iconic horror series, this latest iteration will be worth exploring for anyone who’s seen an installment in the horror franchise or not, as it managed to scare everyone in the face. to this mysterious stalker. Plus, eagle-eyed audiences might just recognize Kyle Gallner, who played Vince in the film and will have a major role in Paramount’s upcoming film.
All I Need (2016)
Released in 2016, this low-budget horror flick starred Caitlin Stasey as Chloe, a young woman who finds herself trapped in an apartment building with a masked killer. With mystery surrounding the murderer’s motives and her own predicament, Chloe attempts to escape before encountering the tip of a sharp knife.
After seeing Smile, some will recognize Caitlin Stasey as Laura Weaver, the patient who commits a horrific incident in front of Dr. Rose Cotter who begins her journey into madness. It may not be a supernatural story, but this film tries to add mystery and suspense that gave the actress an early entry into horror.
After starring in the hit series Killing Eve, Sandra Oh starred in this supernatural story of a beekeeper who becomes haunted by the spirit of her recently deceased mother. With Sam Raimi as producer and directed by Iris K. Shim, it unfortunately didn’t garner much attention when it was released earlier in the year.
However, its focus on past tragedies emerging through supernatural means might be enough for some to dive into this one. It will also keep viewers on their toes as they slowly learn about Sandra Oh’s character’s dramatic past in one of her best performances yet.
Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
One of the most iconic Japanese horror films since its premiere in 2002, it’s still being discovered by newcomers today while still being fondly remembered by fans. After moving into her new home with her husband, Kazumi is cursed by a vengeful ghost who was brutally murdered years before by her own father.
Although it eventually received a few American remakes, one of which was immediately forgotten, the stories remain similar and anyone can enjoy them. But the filmmakers behind the Japanese version made for a truly chilling experience that helped open the door for other films from the country to make it to the United States.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
After Sam Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy in the 2000s, those unfamiliar with the horror titles he previously worked on were thrilled as he returned to the genre that made him popular with Drag Me To. Hell. Being cursed by an elderly woman, a loan officer must try to free herself within three days before she is finally dragged into the underworld.
With harrowing visions following the female helper just doing her job, it’s one of many horror films that sees a person become needlessly victimized, making everyone root for she. Dragging him into a supernatural and nightmarish scenario, his journey to freedom will be familiar and not to be ignored.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Adapted from the novel of the same name, this 21st century tale saw Elisabeth Moss play Cecilia Kass, a woman who escaped an abusive relationship with a dominant businessman. But after he apparently kills himself, Cecilia slowly believes she is being stalked and tortured by him.
Its themes of domestic violence played a big part in the film’s success, making it more than just a modern remake of a classic story. Questioning how this new take on the fictional figure works throughout the film made for a tense ride that made it a relevant title in the process.
Lights Out (2016)
Produced in 2013 as part of the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge, Lights Out garnered a lot of attention when it went viral and was made into a feature three years later by the same director. The story revolves around a mysterious entity that only emerges from the darkness as it hunts down a family with sinister motives.
Trying to present something new to the genre with an interesting twist on history and cinema, this is a chilling film that will have everyone leaving their lights on for days to come. Turning a childish fear of the dark into a monstrous stalker will have everyone bewildered throughout this intense journey.
The Babadook (2014)
One of the biggest and most successful horror movies to come out of Australia in recent years, The Babadook became a genre icon in 2014 that many still enjoy today. After reading her son a pop-up book, she begins to have unusual visions that share similarities with the monster pictured in it.
Introducing a new horror figure is no easy task, but the filmmakers managed to make the Babadook a famous and fresh face in horror. Those who haven’t watched the film yet will be delighted as it will offer enough scares and challenging scenes for anyone to enjoy.
It Follows (2014)
One of the most unique horror titles to release in 2015, It Follows featured a creepy and creative curse that hasn’t really been explored in horror. Jay becomes haunted by an unknown and deadly entity after a sexual encounter with a young man and must perform the act with another victim to pass it on.
Using horror to tell a story about STDs, the film creatively sees its effects on Jay as she begins to see visions that may or may not be real, created by the curse attached to her. Those looking for a new and innovative horror title just might find their favorite new gem that deserves more love and attention.
The Ring (2002)
Perhaps considered one of the best American remakes of a Japanese film, The Ring would open the door for other horror titles to be remade for Western moviegoers. Based on the 1998 original, Naomi Watts plays a journalist trying to uncover the mysteries surrounding a cursed videotape.
With the surreal imagery and brutal deaths victims will encounter from the ghost the gang summons, it’s an exciting and shocking journey that no one is immune to. And with a limited amount of time before the skeptical reporter becomes the next victim, Smile fans may want to rediscover the hit horror film that inspired it and other titles from the popular genre.