There are plenty of scary horror movies you could choose to watch in celebration of Friday the 13th, like the obvious Friday the 13th, but listed below are six overlooked gems that make for a fun watch on such a day. Whether you’re in the mood for classic horror movies or scary modern ones, listed below are a variety of films that are perfect for celebrating Friday the 13.
The Last Showing
A couple, Martin (Finn Jones) and Allie (Emily Berrington), go to a midnight movie to watch a special showing of the classic film, The Hills Have Eyes 2. Unfortunately for the lovebirds, they end up becoming the stars of their own horror movie when a twisted projectionist, Stuart (Robert Englund), traps them in the theater unwillingly for a film he’s shooting by CCTV cameras. By ensnaring them through a gauntlet of increasingly deadly traps, the psychotic director is determined to make a picture that is truly to die for.
This British indie horror flick is simply not getting the attention it deserves. It doesn’t reinvent the genre by any stretch, and this isn’t the first film to take place in a movie theater, but writer-director Phil Hawkins brings enough originality to the stage to make it feel fresh. Englund makes this movie, and his character’s disgust of where the genre has gone through the years—specifically, mindless horror movies centered on torture—will likely be appreciated by longtime genre fans. Besides, who else could criticize the genre better than Freddy Krueger himself?
It’s also nice to see that the film pays tribute to the late Wes Craven by featuring The Hills Have Eyes 2, as the legendary filmmaker put Englund on the map. This story packs a punch, and at just under 90 minutes, it’s a fun and easy watch, and you can view The Last Showing for free on Vudu.
Directed by Joseph Zito (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), a mysterious killer, dressed in World War 2 U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a group of college kids at an annual Spring Dance in this 1981 slasher.
The ’80s marked the golden age of slashers, and The Prowler is a cut above other horror movies made in a similar vein. Special effects guru Tom Savini, who also worked with Zito on their Friday the 13th film, had his hands in this one, so you know the blood and gore is first-rate. If you’re looking for classic horror flicks that are genuinely suspenseful and nostalgically entertaining, then add The Prowler to your list.
Road Games (A.K.A. Roadgames)
Rotten Tomatoes provides the premise for one of the most underrated horror movies of the ’80s.
“Stacy Keach is a truck driver who takes the law in his own hands to capture a serial killer. Taking to the road in his search, Keach picks up hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis — and it is her presence that brings the killer out of hiding.”
Maybe it’s because Australian horror films weren’t popular in the U.S. in 1981 or maybe it’s because it’s because it didn’t receive an R-rating, but either way, this Hitchcockian feature has seemingly gone unnoticed. But don’t let the rating fool you, Road Games is most certainly, at times, very scary. Many filmmakers have attempted to emulate Alfred Hitchcock, and most do so to no avail, but director Richard Franklin (Psycho 2) nails it.
With a budget of $1.75 million, this was the most expensive Australian movie ever made at the time. Rather than going on about the superb atmosphere, delivery, or suspense, perhaps no one said it better than Quentin Tarantino, as documented by The Guardian.
“You could remake Road Games tomorrow and not change a damn word for it and it would scare the hell out of everybody. It’s an amazing movie.”
There may be no other horror film that’s more suitable to watch on Friday the 13 than this film because it mixes two subgenres that are perfect for the occasion: haunted house ghost stories and slashers. Directed by Tom DeSimone, this feature stars Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, and horror icon, Linda Blair (The Exorcist).
IMDb gives the plot for one of the best horror movies to watch on Friday the 13.
“Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion, where they are talked by the monstrous survivor of a family massacre years earlier.”
Like the other ’81 horror film mentioned above, this was another movie that transcended the slasher genre. Initially, perhaps because of the oversaturation of slasher horror movies, Hell Night was panned. Decades later, it’s finally getting some of the recognition it deserves. This is not without its flaws, and no one delivers an award-worthy performance, but nonetheless, this is a fun little treat that’s entertaining from beginning to end.
See No Evil 2
WWE superstar Kane and Republican Mayoral nominee Glen Jacobs stars in this underrated gem. If Kane doesn’t entice you to watch See No Evil 2, then co-star and scream queen Danielle Harris certainly should. The last time we saw Jacob Goodnight (Jacobs) he was killed via a shard of glass impaling him, but as genre fans know, death is subjective in horror movies. Goodnight is back, and this time he is stalking a group of medical students in the city morgue. What better way to celebrate Friday the 13 than in a morgue?
Directed by sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), this 2014 feature is also streaming for free on Vudu. This is another solid and fun slasher film, and while it doesn’t do anything to reinvent the genre, it’s genuinely entertaining and scary. If you enjoyed the first See No Evil, then you should thoroughly enjoy this one because it’s leaps and bounds better. Filled with blood, suspense, solid performances by the cast, and entertaining dialogue, this deserves to be on your Friday the 13 list, and it’s far better than other modern slashers.
From The Last Showing to See No Evil 2, some of the best horror movies to watch on Friday the 13th are overlooked gems.