The Best Canadian Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we look towards our neighbors to the north for some chilly tales of terror.)

2018’s only half over, but it’s already been a pretty fantastic year at the movies for horror fans. One of the best and creepiest is Adam MacDonald’s Backcountry follow-up, Pyewacket, which is as terrifying a feature as you’re likely to find from an otherwise polite and kind-hearted Canadian filmmaker. Canadians are a humble people and don’t often brag about their accomplishments, but the country has gifted us with numerous horror gems over the years including acknowledged classics (Black Christmas, The Changeling), slasher favorites (Happy Birthday to Me, My Bloody Valentine), early David Cronenberg flicks (The Brood, Shivers), and ridiculous cult favorites (Cathy’s Curse, The Pit).

There are plenty more where they came from – the country’s filmmakers didn’t earn the Canuxploitation label for nothing – and in the spirit of this very bi-weekly column, I thought I’d point you in the direction of a few films that aren’t talked about nearly enough. Keep reading for a look at six of the best Canadian horror movies you probably haven’t seen.

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Best Movies About Preachers

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we put our hands together, drop to our knees, and then realize that’s a terribly uncomfortable position in which to watch movies featuring men of God as lead characters.)

When it comes to priests (preachers, pastors, etc) in movies, they typically fall into just a handful of character types. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of them seem to find life as casual guys (Mass Appeal), pervs (Spotlight), or the last line of defense against the devil Himself (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). As with most professions, though, people who choose this line of work are typically more complicated than those one-note descriptions suggest. They’re not all good or all bad and instead usually offer the same gray slate as the rest of us.

Keep reading for a look at six movies with memorably atypical lead portrayals of men of God.

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The Best Spanish Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we whip out our passport and go looking for Spanish terrors deserving of more eyeballs.)

Spain is a beautiful nation filled with rich culture, wonderful people, and the abomination that is bullfighting, and like most countries, it’s also home to past sins and acts of government-sanctioned barbarism. It’s no surprise that Spanish (and Mexican) filmmakers often infuse their horror films and thrillers with that history, and that reflection on very real pain has resulted in some fantastically dark genre films from the grisly fun of Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) to the emotionally scarring loneliness of The Devil’s Backbone (2001). More recently, they’ve proven themselves capable of delivering kick-ass “zombie” films with REC (2007) and REC 2 (2009), the supernatural masterpiece that is The Orphanage (2007), and terrifying psychological horror movies including Julia’s Eyes (2010), Kidnapped (2010), and Sleep Tight (2011).

In addition to being well-known, though, most genre fans have already seen those movies. (Although if you haven’t, you should fix that sooner rather than later as they are all fantastic.) So in an effort to do what I do, I’m highlighting some other Spanish horror films this week that are a bit less recognizable despite being equally fantastic. All six are Spanish productions (despite two being in English), and while they lean heavily towards the horrors humans inflict upon each other, I made sure to toss in some hungry gastropods for good measure.

Keep reading for a look at some of the best Spanish horror movies you probably haven’t seen.

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The Best Island-Set Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a vacation and explore the best movies you’ve never seen that are set on islands.)

It’s the summer movie season, which means it’s the season of big, CG-filled adventures, and one of the biggest (and most CG-filled) of this summer’s offerings is next month’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I bring it up for a wholly different reason, though, as its franchise features some of the most well-known movies set on islands. It might seem like a pointless designation, but island-set features are almost a sub-genre to themselves as they create an immediately understood atmosphere for the story at hand.

Their geography dictates isolation from the rest of the world, and that in turn works to build suspense, desperation, and tension (if that’s the goal). Protagonists are far removed from civilization, , and the setting works to enhance their loneliness whether it be a dramatic adventure (Cast Away), comedy (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), survival tale (Lord of the Flies), coming of age story (The Blue Lagoon), folk horror (The Wicker Man), or underappreciated Michael Bay flick. Of course, you’ve already seen those movies.

Keep reading for a look at some of the best island-set movies you’ve never seen.

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The Best Superhero Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we look up in the sky for the best superhero movies you’ve never seen.)

You may or may not be aware of it, but superhero movies are big business these days. From Supergirl to Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, from Darkman to Doctor Mordrid, audiences just can’t get enough of heroes with superpowers and/or good intentions. One just released in theaters to the biggest opening weekend in film history, meaning the people suggesting “superhero fatigue” is setting in are clearly not to be trusted. They’re not all as successful as the likes of Condorman (pictured above), though, and that’s where I come in.

My name’s Rob, and while I hesitate to call it a “superpower” exactly, I do enjoy drawing attention and eyeballs towards underappreciated and underseen films. The big names in this genre belong almost exclusively with Marvel and DC, so I’m going to point you elsewhere for movies that satisfy your need for justice, action, and the kind of heroics that only a cape and mask can provide.

Keep reading for a look at six of the best superhero movies you’ve probably never seen.

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The Best South Korean Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best South Korean horror movies you’ve never seen.)

Train to Busan and The Wailing are two of the best horror films in recent years, and they couldn’t be more different. The former is a highly energetic and suspenseful zombie tale while the latter blends a methodically paced battle between good and evil with some incredibly intense sequences. Toss in less recent fare like Thirst, The Host, and A Tale of Two Sisters, and it’s clear that South Korea is home to some terrific and terrifying horror movies.

Of course, as you probably surmised by the title of this post, I’m not here to talk about the great movies you’ve already seen – I’m here to recommend ones you haven’t. Below, you’ll find six Korean chillers featuring murder, madness, monsters, and more. Some of the threats are supernatural while others are all too human, but all of them are worth watching with the lights off and a hot cocoa in your hand.

Keep reading for a look at the best South Korean horror movies you probably haven’t seen.

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Movies Directed by Actors

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition we take a look at some lesser-known movies directed by actors.)

The big film hitting screens this weekend is a horror film starring and directed by John Krasinski, and while A Quiet Place is neither the first nor the last movie to be directed by an actor it’s definitely the most recent. The joke about actors wanting to direct is an old one, but most never actually make the jump behind the camera. Those that do often leave acting behind in the process while others find a way to balance the two careers – sometimes in the same film.

Robert Redford, Sarah Polley, Denzel Washington, and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the many actors turned directors whose films have won both awards and recognition, but plenty of others have toiled behind the camera far less noticeably. Did you know that Al Pacino and Tom Noonan have each directed four movies? Or that two of the six friends from Friends have helmed films? I’ll let you Google to see if I’m lying on that count, but for now, keep reading for a look at some worthwhile movies you’ve probably missed that were directed by actors.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we unsheathe a handful of good to great movies that feature unexpected scenes of swordplay.)

This week’s biggest new release in theaters is Pacific Rim Uprising, the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim. Director Guillermo del Toro and stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam aren’t returning for the follow-up, but you’ll be happy to know the Jaeger with the big-ass sword is back for more. Why does a giant, Voltron-like mecha-suit in a sci-fi, future-set world use a weapon as old school as a sword against giant monsters? I’m not sure, but Voltron has one too so maybe it’s an homage? Regardless of the reason, there’s something oddly appealing about seeing a sword come into play where you least expect it.

It’s understood that there will be swords and swordplay in certain period films, pirate adventures, or fantasy epics, but it can be just as entertaining seeing them appear in films outside of those genres. There’s something almost anachronistic about the sudden arrival of a sword in films like Pulp Fiction, Demons, Attack the Block, or Lifeforce, but you know the drill. I’m not here to talk about the movies you know – I’m here to spread the word about the good to great to just plain fun movies most of you have never seen. So keep reading for a look at six movies that probably shouldn’t feature swords (or swordplay), but do anyway.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the Academy Awards with a look at six movies that were nominated for Best Picture over the years and then barely spoken of again!)

The 90th Academy Awards were this past weekend, and without spoiling anything for those who haven’t watched it yet, some movies won and far more lost. As is always the case on the Monday morning after, a flurry of hot takes were turned into posts that I’ll never read. The thesis on a few of them boils down to a suggestion that certain films, despite their Oscar nomination (and in some cases their win), are bound to be forgotten within a decade. It seems unlikely for the films I’ve seen associated with the idea (Get Out, The Shape of Water), but it’s a definite possibility in general.

Odds are you’re familiar with all of the Best Picture nominees from this century and probably into the ’80s, but dig back a bit further and you might be surprised. Just because you don’t recall a film, though, doesn’t mean it’s not worth remembering. And just because no one’s talking about an older movie, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth being a part of the conversation. So with that in mind, here are six great movies that were nominated for Best Picture and then mostly forgotten.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the 9th Annual Women in Horror month with a look at six horror movies you haven’t seen that were directed by women!)

Every month is the right time to celebrate female filmmakers, but those of you who like labels and official designations will be pleased to know that February is Women in Horror Month, It’s the ninth for those of you keeping track, and it’s a good reminder that while there still aren’t enough women making horror movies, there are plenty of great horror movies made by women. Near Dark, Pet Sematary, The Babadook, The Invitation, Prevenge, RavenousA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and more all come to mind as known and loved examples.

But as I’m sure you know by now – and as the title of the post suggests – I’m not here to talk about the movies everyone already knows and loves. I’m here to suggest some lesser known titles that you probably haven’t seen despite being well worth your time.

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