5. REC (2007)
Despite arriving long after the peak of found-footage horror cinema’s popularity, REC may very well be the best film in the genre’s catalogue.
The majority of the film is perceived as a faux documentary, with late-night TV Host Angela (Manuela Velasco) following the fire department as they do their jobs throughout Barcelona. It’s a relatively run-of-the-mill premise, but everything changes when the fire service are called to an apartment building that is sealed off after an old woman is infected with an unknown virus.
The rest of the movie plays out like Dredd or The Raid, with the fire department and the camera crew battling their way up each floor, encountering new terrors along the way. The documentary-esque filmmaking lends itself to the legitimacy of the terror the characters are going through, making for one of the scariest films ever made.
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4. Ringu (1998)
Known to mainstream audiences in large part thanks to Gore Verbinski’s US remake The Ring, released in 2002, and for being spoofed in the popular comedy Scary Movie 3, Hideo Nakata’s Japanese horror Ringu is one of the most highly regarded horror films of all time, and for good reason…
Following the now famous story of a cursed video tape that unleashes an unholy fate upon each of its viewers seven days after they watch it, Ringu sets the stakes perfectly. Not only does there appear to be no way out of the certain death that comes with watching the tape, but there is a timeframe that continuously counts down throughout the film’s runtime, making each minute more intense than the last and stretching out the horror for the entirety of its one hour and thirty six minutes.
It’s the kind of horror that puts you in the position of the victim, asking you what you’d do if death came knocking just because you put a VHS in your video player – funny given that most would have watched it on VHS at the time.
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3. Train to Busan (2016)
One of the most emotive horrors of the last decade, Train to Busan is one of many films on this list that takes place almost entirely in one location, in this case on a train.
Following a group of ordinary people travelling to Busan in South Korea’s South East, Train to Busan plots their journey against the oncoming onslaught of zombie Armageddon, making for a unique visual experience and a terrifically horrifying film.
Fast paced and making the most of its unique action and horror elements, this Yeon Sang-ho directed feature also shapes a number of brilliant characters that you can’t help but to become attached to, making their inevitable deaths all the more hard to stomach.
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