50 greatest Indie horror films

Home Sick (2007)

The Indie Horror: Despite a miniscule budget, Home Sick isn’t lacking in quality – from the surprisingly top-notch acting, to buckets of gore. When Mr. Suitcase (Bill Moseley) turns up at a party, he asks each of the revellers to name somebody they hate – before killing each one of those people.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Mr Suitcase would be a talking CGI suitcase.

The Signal (2007)

The Indie Horror: Three-part horror film directed by the triumvirate of David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry. A signal transmitted via technological devices turns people into killers.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It would have had more room to explore its big ideas.

Hell's Drifter (2009)

The Indie Horror: Twisted horror in which a vagrant gets his revenge on a man who once abused him. A game of cat and mouse ensues.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It would actually be set in Hell.

Feast (2005)

The Indie Horror: Produced via Project Greenlight, the TV show that helps filmmakers get their projects of the ground, Feast has everything you want from a low-budget film – including drunk people trapped in a bar fighting monsters. Oh yes.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: The running time would’ve been three hours, with even more monster action.

Severance (2006)

The Indie Horror: A rare high point in Danny Dyer’s career, Severance is a black comedy equipped with a very British sense of humour. A group of co-workers go on a team-building exercise only to get targeted by bloodthirsty killers.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: They could’ve paid for Ricky Gervais to make a cameo as the group’s hideous boss.

The Stink Of Flesh (2005)

The Indie Horror: Black comedy in which a group of people attempt to survive in a zombie wasteland. Think brutal, gory deaths and a fair bit of nudity.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Actress Kristen Hansen could’ve convinced her uncle Gunnar Hansen ( TCM ’s Leatherface) to be in the film.

Slither (2006)

The Indie Horror: Gory horror that takes its cue from Night Of The Creeps , with a small town infested with slithery alien menaces that transform people into horrific monsters. Nathan Fillion adds jaw.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: The monstrous creations would’ve been even more ‘out there’. Not that that’s even really possible…

Pontypool (2009)

The Indie Horror: Takes a similar idea to The Signal but tells it entirely from the perspective of radio DJ Grant Mizzy (Stephen McHattie) as an audiological virus takes over an Ontario town.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Forget about that – if it’d had a smaller budget, the entire film would’ve been a single digital effect of an audio wave as writer Tony Burgess read the script.

Spring Heeled Jack (2008)

The Indie Horror: The titular serial killer awakens in 2004 after sleeping for the best part of a century, and decides to add more bodies to his stockpile. His main target is teenager Sam Walker, who attempts to stop the supernatural villain.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It wouldn’t have taken a year to film.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

The Indie Horror: Disturbing horror from director Adrian Lyne. A Vietnam vet mourns the death of his child while attempting to differentiate reality from fiction.

If It Had A Bigger Budget:
The in-camera effects would have been done in the computer afterwards instead. Which would’ve been rubbish, frankly.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.