As human beings we are inherently scared of certain things. Horror is a genre which plays off those fears through the art form of filmmaking. Since horror films most often times only require a small cast and found locations, they are generally cheap to make and the majority of films in the genre are rubbish as a result. Yes, many horror films are trashy garbage, yet I'm still a fan of a well-done piece of terrifying cinema and have a guilty pleasure of watching horror movies when my wife is away and I'm home alone. Thereby I am pleased to come across a good sleeper piece of horrific cinema!
The genre suffers from many problems. Mainly a lack of originality. With most horror movies following the trends. Such as the slasher flicks of the 80's, hot douchebags on college campuses of the 90's, torture porn or psychological thrillers of the early 2000's, and found footage of the 20 teen's. So nothing pleases me more than a non-paint by numbers horror movie that is both original and memorable while being out of the wave of what's popular at the time.
There are several important elements to get right with a horror movie. Outside of the usual script and character, a quality horror film really needs to be helmed by a quality filmmaker. The American remake of the Japanese film The Ring is a great example of this. Resulting in a project that's not cheap scares with a when is something going to happen factor. An original horror movie is also is not allowed to have a spirit or entity after the child. Please never show that again all of Hollywood. Success in horror must play on our already pre-existing fears. Example, a giant spider-like face hugging alien latching onto you jizzing down your throat and having its offspring burst out your chest cavity. That's because we're naturally afraid of arachnoids, parasites, and childbirth.
When skimming through horror trailers, if it doesn't have high production values I immediately turn it off and won't even give it a moment of my time. Here's a short list of high production value yet not very know horror movies which I've gathered that are worth your time if you're willing to lower your consciousness with some distraction to escape the horror of the Republicans running all three branches of Government.
Our short film Supervised had a significant horror element to it which was tons of fun. As someone always interested in making films with lower budgets, I do admit my bucket list includes making a single horror movie. It must be fantastic, with a compelling and original story, well paced, well shot, and memorable.
Midnight Meat Train - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805570/
The Boy - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3882082/
[Rec] - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038988/
Martyers - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1029234/
Hostel - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450278/
The Descent - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435625/
The Skeleton Key - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397101/
As Above So Below - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2870612/
The Uninvited - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0815245/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Trick R' Treat - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/
Eden Lake - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1020530/
The Shrine - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1341710/
Paranormal Activity - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179904/
Trollhunter - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740707/
Jeruzalem - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4552524/