A terrifying session in the recording booth in Berberian Sound Studio

5 Underseen Indie Horror Movies: Movies About Movies Edition

Welcome to Underseen Indie Horror Movies, an ongoing column that celebrates the hidden corners of spooky cinema.

Filmmakers love making films about films, and horror filmmakers are no exception to that rule. There have been plenty of horror films that toy with the nature of cinematic reality, from Wes Craven’s New Nightmare to Urban Legend: Final Cut to Scream 3.

So… sound: speed. Camera: rolling. And… ACTION on our 5 Underseen Indie Horror Movies: Movies About Movies Edition!

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Before director Peter Strickland made his haunted dress masterpiece In Fabric, he directed this moody, mind-bending homage to classic Italian horror films.

Tobey Jones plays a sound technician brought on to work on The Equestrian Vortex, an avant-garde horror film, for an Italian crew. But the longer he works on the film, the more he loses his identity and any understanding of the separation between life and the film.

Cut (2014)

What would happen if you applied the method acting process to the making of a horror film? You’d get Cut from director David Rountree

The movie follows a pair of filmmakers who discover, after an accidental death during the making of the film, that real killings are exactly what they need to capture the reality and terror they need for the film.

Cut Shoot Kill (2017)

Director Michael Walker combines elements of the previous film, Cut, with the sensibilities of the classic hillbilly horror as a young actress discovers that surviving her new role in a horror film is going to take more than just a good scream. 

The movie smartly uses a bit of humor but never lets the film fall into broad comedy or parody, and the film retains its tension and stakes more effectively because of it.

The Editor (2014)

Like Berberian Sound Studio, The Editor owes a great debt to Italian horror, in particular the subgenre of the giallo film. 

Unlike Strickland’s film, though, this one is more loving satire than homage, with the film having fun with the color scheme, dubbing, and ludicrous plot twists. For fans of giallo films from Argento to Avati, The Editor will be a fun and funny exercise.

Butterfly Kisses (2018)

A smart meta-found footage film, Butterfly Kisses director Erik Kristopher Myers cleverly inverts the audience’s expectations of a fake documentary to powerful effect. 

A young filmmaker finds mysterious footage of a young woman haunted by a specter captured on her footage, and he tries to share the footage with others only to find that everyone assumes he made it himself. The film moves back and forth between the woman’s obsession with the specter, and the young filmmaker’s obsession with proving that the footage of her that he found is real.

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