Four under-the-radar horror flicks you may have missed this year

Unwelcome - Courtesy Well Go USA Entertainment
Unwelcome - Courtesy Well Go USA Entertainment /

As we are fully in the thick of summer movie blockbuster releases, now seems like as good of a time as any to point out some of the horror gems that have already slipped through the cracks this year. Whether it be a foreign film that didn’t quite get the distribution it deserved, or it released on an on the rise streaming service, I felt as though not nearly enough people are talking about these four diamonds in the rough: Unwelcome, We Might Hurt Each Other, The Blackening and Influencer.


Unwelcome is truly one of my favorite films of the year. This whacky, gory, goofy yet somehow dramatic and somber tale was inspired by the Grimm fairytales and ancient Irish folklore. It follows a family looking to escape from the violence of inner city London into an inherited Irish countryside home. Skeptical of the whispers of ancient creatures living in the gnarled forests behind their home, they get into much more than they bargain for when they ask for help from these mysterious ‘Redcaps’ under dire circumstances. As CGI becomes more advanced and prevalent by the day, the art of practical effects has been dwindling. If nothing else, this film should be celebrated for its incredible use of creature design and practical effects throughout. The performances, particularly from Hannah John-Kamen, are rich and deep with equal parts dramatic prowess and psychotic chaos. I truly believe Unwelcome is a can’t-miss blast of original IP that should not be missed. You can stream Unwelcome on Shudder.

Unwelcome – Courtesy Shudder /

We Might Hurt Each Other

We Might Hurt Each Other sets up very similarly to your run of the mill slasher. The Lithuanian film was heavily inspired by Friday the 13th and follows a group of recently graduated teens who venture out to a remote cabin to get drunk and celebrate the start of the rest of their lives. Amidst their drunk fun, they destroy mysterious wooden statues near the cabin and when a masked assailant shows up to punish their transgressions, all hell breaks loose. While this sets up as a typical slasher, it really subverts a lot of ideas about how it plays out and intertwines a deep seated study on fitting in and the pressure that the future can have on the psyche of youth. Along with very simple and effective brutality that doesn’t come dressed up with a bow, We Might Hurt Each Other feels as fresh as possible for a slasher. Head on over to Screambox to stream this international unique spin on teenage slashing.

The Blackening

The Blackening is probably the most popular of these four films but nonetheless, I feel like it really came and went without enough fanfare. This horror-comedy features a group of seven friends who plan a weekend getaway that quickly devolves into a game of survival when a killer forces them to compete for their survival. Using their knowledge of horror movies and tropes, they do their best to outsmart the killer and last the night. This is a callback to the golden age of horror comedies like the Scary Movie franchise and it truly is one of the funniest movies of the year. Complete with a top to bottom cast full of hilarious comedic actors and modern references that are sure to get a laugh from any horror fan, The Blackening also features moments of true tension and action. I don’t think it got nearly enough love and I would love to see this genre start to take off again so we can get more films like this. It is currently available on several platforms on demand.

The Blackening
The Blackening – Courtesy Lionsgate /


Influencer is a very modern and intelligently composed film that reflects on social media culture and the artificial relationships and personas that come with them. Following social media influencer Madison on her solo backpacking trip in Thailand, everything changes when she runs into CW. She seems to just want to have a good time and be friends with the young traveler but as time goes on, Madison starts suspecting she has ulterior motives. This is a vibrant and tropical movie that knows its audience and is anchored down by solid performances and an intense script filled with building dread and tension. Influencer takes you on a trip you don’t wanna miss and is a well-paced thriller for anyone looking for some vacation fun. Influencer is now streaming on Shudder.

Influencer – Courtesy Shudder /

None of these movies have gotten the buzz they deserve and all are very unique and interesting. As it becomes increasingly difficult to find fresh and original projects, films like these deserve to be highlighted and celebrated. Go check them out today!

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