5 Horror Movies To Watch If You Like Moon Knight

Fresh on the Disney+ marquee is Marvel's "Moon Knight," the latest series to emerge from under the MCU tent. The (until now) mid-tier vigilante hero departs from his onscreen Marvel brethren in several ways, including a refreshing lack of zealous Easter eggs somehow connecting him to the Avengers. But what stands out the most about the series (based on the comics character created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin) is its singular weirdness, from star Oscar Isaac's goofy accent to the show's horror-adjacent wavelength in its study of a man-mercenary with dissociative identity disorder and a whole lot of repression. After all, who is Moon Knight but a bleached-out Jekyll/Hyde? 

For those who are enjoying the new series, /Film has five left-field recommendations for after-dark viewing. Remember the rule: lights out, sound up!

You Might Be the Killer

The old moral lesson goes that there are two wolves inside of every person, and whether love or hate triumphs depends on which wolf the person feeds the most. Watching Oscar Isaac flail in the space where two wolves dwell within one body (though his wolves are more like "vanilla" and "spicy") recalls a special subgenre of horror films like "Secret Window" "Identity," and even Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." In these psych-out movies, someone comes to the shocking realization (or not, in Norman Bates' case) that they have been moonlighting as heinous criminals and functioning only under the protection of their own stressed-out psyches. He may wear a fancy cape now and then, but when Steven Grant emerges from a fugue state with bodies, plural, at his feet, it's difficult not to think of Brett Simmons' underseen 2018 slasher comedy "You Might be the Killer." Starring Fran Kranz, who horror heads might remember as stoner Marty Mikalski in "The Cabin in the Woods," the movie observes a camp counselor seeking the help of a friend (Alyson Hannigan) to help him account for his blackouts amid a rising body count on the campgrounds. It turns out that there's plenty of humor to pull from ominous amnesia, and "You Might Be the Killer" turns the laughs up to 11 with its lampooning of slasher movie tropes.

In the Mouth of Madness

An especially tense sequence in the first episode of "Moon Knight" has gift shop sales associate Steven Grant running for his life from a jackal with the speed of a rabid zombie. Not a Romero zombie, but one of those 'roided-out "28 Days Later" zeds that can do cardio better than the living. It's only by letting the tiger merc Marc (Spector) out of his cage and becoming Moon Knight that Grant is able to survive the situation. It's a horror scene in a hero show, where leaning into the void might be the only course to salvation.

The same void is present in an underappreciated film by an iconic genre filmmaker: John Carpenter's 1994 Lovecraft-referential gem "In the Mouth of Madness." Therein, insurance investigator (Sam Neill) comes to a small town in search of a missing horror author named Sutter Cane, and finds the barrier dissolving between fiction and reality, culminating in a climactic showdown with ancient, writhing cosmic gods (fashioned by the legendary KNB EFX Group) every bit as unsettling as the jackal from "Moon Knight."

An American Werewolf in London

It's not easy having a uncontrollable, destructive side to your psyche — ask any Wolfman. In Marvel's "Moon Knight," Isaac's mild-mannered Steven Grant is tasked with the bane of every mentally ill person's existence: taking on the damages caused by the unstable parts of themselves. He wakes up with a busted jaw to reset and a task to find out where he is and how to get home. He blacks out in a moment of peril, and comes to his senses atop a pile of dead would-be assailants. In the tone-setting first episode of the series, this deadly lapse is played for laughs again and again, giving "Moon Knight" a kinship with an early '80s horror-comedy classic, "An American Werewolf in London." 

John Landis' take on old wolf lore follows its poor doomed protagonist David (David Naughton) through a parade of tragi-comedy in the wake of a werewolf attack on him and his friend Jack in the Yorkshire moorland. Over the course of the story, a bitten David must reckon with his late-night escapades, which Landis leans into with every ounce of absurdity that comes from such a predicament. One of the funniest scenes of the film has a highly bewildered, amnesiac David awakening buck naked in the wolves' den at the London Zoo, highlighting the same sad-clown sentiment behind each of Grant's harrowing mental episodes (which are really Marc Spector's episodes, aren't they?).

Saint Maud

Arthur Harrow is the kind of villain who prefers masochism over mech suits, and so it's fitting that Ethan Hawke, he of perpetually tortured characters, steps into such a role. In the series' initial episode "The Goldfish Problem," captive "Moon Knight" audiences are introduced to the zealous cult leader by way of a punishing ritual: after dashing a drinking glass to pieces under his walking stick, the hippie-haired Harrow pours the jagged shards into his sandals and, wearing them, makes his daily journey on foot into town like self-flagellants during Holy Week.

The "Training Day" star explained that despite the harm Harrow is spreading (on behalf of ancient Egyptian deity Ammit), his character sees himself as a savior, destined for sainthood. Funny enough, an A24 take on religious horror brought both of these elements into its plot in 2019: an unstable self-appointed rescuer who liked putting sharp objects in their shoes for the vibes. Directed by Rose Glass, "Saint Maud" sees young, devout nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark) assigned to care for a celebrated, dying dancer (Jennifer Ehle) — it gets weird and rapturous from there in an exciting debut from Glass, which offers one of the decade's most memorable final shots in a horror film.

The Black Phone

This is one to keep on the lookout for, since the feature-length adaptation of Joe Hill's novel doesn't hit theaters until June 24, 2022. From Universal, "The Black Phone" is helmed by "Doctor Strange" director Scott Derrickson, who reunites with screenwriter C. Robert Cargill. The duo previously contributed "Sinister" to the horror movie canon, earning the honor of "Scariest Movie Ever," according to science. This time around, they tackle the tale of Finney Shaw, the latest kidnapping victim of a serial child killer known locally as "The Grabber," played by Ethan Hawke.

Genre fans got to see the film screen at Fantastic Fest in Austin last year, where they were treated to a particularly intimidating Hawke performance as an unhinged masked murderer. Where Arthur Harrow of "Moon Knight" is modeled after more zen-like madmen, The Grabber claws into a more regressive but equally disturbing menace, displaying a child-like sense of "good" and "bad" — and dubbing himself judge and executioner in the process. As a bonus for fans of "NOS4A2" and "Horns," /Film's Eric Vespe hails "The Black Phone" as the best Joe Hill adaptation yet.