When it comes to the horror genre, there's an over-saturation problem that often stops people who aren't familiar with the material from jumping in. What if the movie you pick out of the thousands on offer turns out to be a dud, and you end up wasting your Saturday night? We get the frustration.

With that in mind, we've decided to pick out seven of the best movies to have made their way into the horror genre

7. The Witch (2015)

The Witch takes audiences back to 1630s New England, introducing them to a Puritan Plymouth Colony and a family who are banished from their ranks after a religious dispute. Though they do their all to carry on living a peaceful life, building a farm near a large, secluded forest, forces that could be either real or imagined come into play to kickstart a series of worrisome and life-changing events.

Some of the best horror performances of all time are present in this movie, with Kate Dickie's portrayal of Katherine particularly striking a chord. This is one of those films that sticks with you long after watching; a sign of a classic horror in-the-making, that'll undoubtedly go down in history for all the right reasons.

6. The Others (2001)

Director Alejandro Amenábar delivers the work of a lifetime in The Others, which has been described as a gothic supernatural psychological horror, for good reason. With Nicole Kidman fronting up the cast, it brought in a lot of eyes upon its release, with the majority of audiences walking away knowing they had been a part of something special.

Whilst CGI and expensive special effects are good in some places, they're not needed here to bring on the scares. In dispelling them from the film, Amenábar ensures that every little eerie detail is utterly believable, which is something that really gets under the skin of all those watching.

Haunted house tales are a dime a dozen, but this is one that you absolutely must indulge in.

5. Funny Games (1997)

If you've never seen this Austrian psychological thriller, you must add it to your to-watch list. It's one of the most disturbing sequences of events ever depicted on the big screen. Just make sure you get the 1997 original and not the 2007 American remake!

Funny Games focuses on a wealthy family who arrive at their holiday home beside a lake, but when two men take them hostage and begin to torture them with sadistic games, they're faced with the very real possibility that they're never going to make it out with their lives.

One of the most distressing aspects of the film is when the fourth wall is broken by one of the sadistic invaders. Addressing the camera on a number of occasions, audiences are invited into the world of chaos, with the act of simply watching this fictional piece play out suddenly making the viewer feel guilty and hopeless.

You have to have nerves of steel to watch this one, but if you can face it, it's certainly worth your time.

4. Gerald's Game (2017)

Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, Gerald's Game tells the story of a couple who arrive at an isolated Lake House in Alabama for some time alone. With a romantic weekend planned, they look set to have the time of their lives. But as a viewer, we know that in a horror movie, this will never last!

An unexpected tragedy leads to an epic fight for survival not only against the elements, but against tricks of the mind. Because of the bleak yet realistic nature of the film, it leaves the skin prickling and those watching feeling a little sick, at times.

If you've got a Netflix subscription, give this one a try.

3. The Omen (1976)

Adopted at birth by his father, who attempts to cover up the death of his own baby, Damien (Harvey Stephens) is always the 'real' son to Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick), as she's kept blissfully unaware of the truth. In some of his youngest years however, death seems to follow Damien around. 

When Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) warns Robert his and Katherine's next unborn child will be killed by Damien, he begins to dig into the adopted boy's history. This is where he starts to realise that he could have unwittingly brought the Antichrist into his home...

No list of truly creepy horror flicks is complete without a visit from The Omen. Despite being released all the way back in 1976, this is a true gem of the genre that has managed to stand the test of time.

2. The Exorcist (1973)

Any person who claims to be a horror junkie, but who hasn't watched The Exorcist is a LIAR! Plain and simple! The film is one of the most intensely ferocious classics of the genre, and feels fresh and unique still to this day, despite being over 35 years old.

Adapted from the novel of the same name, by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who is the subject of demonic possession. Whilst the efforts of two priests look to help the youngster at times, at others, they only serve to antagonise the demon using her as a host.

No matter how many times you've seen The Exorcist, there's always a twist or turn that managed to evade you on previous viewings. Always worth a rewatch, especially when with friends. Just keep a tight grip of the popcorn, or you may end up wearing it!

1. Eden Lake (2008)

A few years ago, I decided to give British independent horror/thriller flick Eden Lake a try. I hadn't heard of it before, but with an incredible cast made up of Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender and Jack O'Connell amongst others, it was without a doubt going to be worth anybody's time. When I jumped into the picture however, I had no idea just how unsettling it would really be.

Reilly and Fassbender play a couple who want to escape for a few days on a relaxing retreat to a remote lake in the wooded English countryside. Their holiday is quickly disturbed by a gang of hooded youths who, despite adhering to some damaging real-life stereotypes, quickly become some of the most realistic and stomach-turning horror villains in existence.

Horror really works well when you can imagine the situation you watch playing out on scene working its way into the modern world. Eden Lake does that effortlessly, and with perfection. Smart writing combines with terrific performances, resulting in one of the most watchable, but terrifying horror films ever.

MORE: Seven movie villains who stole the hearts of audiences

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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