Watching the same movies year after year get’s pretty exhausting, especially when said movies are of the “classic” nature. There’s nothing wrong in indulging in the classic horror scene, but sometimes it’s nice to get something new in that DVD player or On Demand search history.

Last week, I gave my top three recommendations for horror series to include in a marathon, and this week it’s all about the stand alones.

1. The Loved Ones (2009)

On an entirely different note, The Loved Ones is a movie that I don’t see make people’s lists often, yet every time it was on Fear Net (rest in piece), I found it good enough to rewatch. The Loved Ones is an australian horror movie following a psychotic teenage girl by the name of Lola who, after her crush rejects her, decides to kidnap and torture him on the night of prom. Very few movies make me cringe during torture scenes, but this one does a good job at causing me to squirm in my seat. 10 out of 10, definitely ruined chicken for me.

2. Babadook (2014)

The IMdB summary says it perfectly: “A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.” While this movie is often on “what to watch: horror edition” type lists, it took me an awful long time to sit down and watch it for myself. On the off chance that there are people like me reading this who need to see it repeatedly to be convinced- here’s your sign to just watch it. It is not gore porn or the ever beloved slasher flick, but it does so much with very little and relies on heavy suspense to carry the movie which is rare. Normally movies on everyone’s lists are overhyped, but Babadook was worth every good review.

3. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1978)

Put on some makeup and drag and learn the time warp, because this hit is a must during halloween season! Okay, so the Rocky Horror Picture Show may not be a hidden gem, but it most certainly is a product of it’s time, and a cult classic. The movie follows the madness that unfolds as two newlyweds fall into the mansion of Doctor Frank-N-Furter, and are forced to witness a Frankenstein like plot in the most weird and sexual way imaginable. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is packed full of quotable moments and catchy songs written by Richard O’Brien (who also makes an appearance as a main character in the movie). While I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is safe to say that RHPS is a “love it or hate it” type movie due to just how dated it is, but the only way to really know which side you lay on is to experience it yourself.

4. The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers is the terrifying true story of three masked strangers who break into a home and terrorize three individuals. What makes this movie so amazing is the little to no actual gore used in the film as it focuses more on suspense and the unknown. While most horror movies of today use jump scares galore, The Strangers masters using the unseen to the viewers advantage, which in turn brings the audience into the experience when it comes to keeping an eye open up until the final moments and the terrifyingly chilling conclusion where the question “why” is answered. It is the perfect movie for a Halloween marathon, not because of special effects and blood and guts, but because what makes it truly unnerving is it could happen to anyone- even you.

5. Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Okay, you caught me, this isn’t a stand alone- but it is one of the best “matchup” movies to date. Even without knowing the backstory of either character, it is very easy to understand and has some of the most enjoyable kills (is there a way to say that where it doesn’t sound illegal?). The movie follows child murderer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) as he seeks to gain more power by making the town of Springwood remember him. In his quest for infamy, he awakens Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) of the Friday the 13th franchise, but when Jason starts taking it into his own hands, Freddy needs to remind him just who owns who. It leads up into bad ass head to head fight of the elements leading up all the way to its ending. Freddy vs. Jason leaves room for debate just who won, which makes it a fun movie to discuss with friends afterwards.