8. [REC] 2 (2009)
[REC]’s direct sequel expands on the sinister biblical plague premise of the first film, continues to serve up the scares in the form of well-placed jumps and creeping dread, and borrows liberally from other religious horrors like The Exorcist for some of its most chilling moments.
We pick up almost immediately after the first film and continue to follow survivors of a supernatural virus outbreak in a Spanish tower block. One hell of a twist that comes late on was clearly designed to set up the film’s less successful sequels, but it adds another unnerving perspective to appreciate if you ever rewatch it.
7. One Cut of the Dead (2017)
The omnipotent handheld cam that the cast generally don’t acknowledge but that still needs to have obscuring blood wiped from it is a knowing stylistic choice. The way reality is played with throughout is pretty clever, with multiple credits sequences (both within and without the film-within-the-film) and stretches where the ever-present cameraman’s actual presence is… ambiguous. We see a filmed sequence for real, then flash back to the table read/rehearsal, then the making-of. It’s possible cinema has never seen simulated DVD special features to such an extent before, featurettes that act as a prequel to the (maybe) real horrors to come.
This is a film about making a film in which they’re making a film. Savvy?
6. Creep (2014)
A filmmaker travels to stay with an interesting subject who lives in the middle of nowhere and has hired him to document what could be the final stage of his life. Josef is affable but eccentric and prone to erratic and threatening behaviour, and Aaron is compelled to keep recording until his situation becomes dire.
Here, the performances and the disturbing believability of the story shine through – don’t expect a thrill-ride, but do expect to shiver next time you read about a bizarre murder story on the news.