50 greatest Indie horror films

The Devil's Business (2011)

The Indie Horror: Genre-bending mood piece from director Sean Hogan. Assassin Pinder (Billy Clarke) tells Cully (Jack Gordon) a story as they sit and wait for their target to return home.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: The film would be an artillery-spewing blow-out from start to finish – that’s what you want from assassins, right?

Martyrs (2008)

The Indie Horror: Supremely gory film directed by Pascal Laugier, and now something of a modern cult classic, renowned for its overt violence and brutal twists and turns.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Laugier could have hired a professional Tear Artist – he says the hardest part of filming was getting the actresses to keep crying the whole time.

Eraserhead (1977)

The Indie Horror: Nightmarish, um, celluloid nightmare from director David Lynch, in which Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) struggles to deal with his girlfriend and their newborn mutant child.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Lynch could’ve made the film in one go, rather than to-ing and fro-ing on it over the space of six years.

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

The Indie Horror: Spaced trio Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make the jump to the big screen with one of the funniest, goriest and cleverest Brit horrors we had seen in years. They also created a new genre, the zom-rom-com.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It would’ve contained more Cornettos.

Braindead (1992)

The Indie Horror: A screaming, balls to the wall gore-fest, Braindead is the kind of film Peter Jackson liked making before he got all whimsical with Middle-earth.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: Jackson might have shot a few more scenes of bloody mayhem. When the film came in under budget, he shot the park scene that has gone on to be his favourite scene in the movie.

I Saw The Devil (2010)

The Indie Horror: South Korean film from director Kim Ji-woon, with a secret agent going after the serial killer that has just murdered his pregnant wife.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It might have been able to find a way around the issues of gore that meant it had to have 80-90 seconds snipped from its cinematic release.

Harold's Going Stiff (2011)

The Indie Horror: Remarkably clever zombie film that plays with the idea of dementia, as Harold Gimble (Stan Rowe) descends into zombieism. Shot as a mock doc, it’s one of the most moving horrors you’ll ever see.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It wouldn’t need it – this is an intimate little film that doesn’t rely on tons of cash to tell a cracking yarn.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

The Indie Horror: A sequel to Night Of The Living Dead directed by George A. Romero, and a far more ambitious picture that deals with the larger ramifications of a zombie apocalypse.

If It Had A Bigger Budget:
It would take the Contagion route and follow the spread of the zombie virus throughout the entire world.

Funny Games (1997)

The Indie Horror: Home invasion thriller that packs a real emotional punch. The plot revolves around a family taken hostage by two boys, who torture them both physically and mentally. Michael Haneke remade it himself in 2008.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: It would have starred people like Naomi Watts and Tim Roth…

Kill List (2011)

The Indie Horror: Ben Wheatley’s masterful second feature film (after gangster pic Down Terrace), and a twist-filled, bloodstained curio that never reveals its hand.

If It Had A Bigger Budget: The list would've been a lot, lot longer.

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.