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Horror Movies You May Not Realize You’ve Never Seen

Updated February 25, 2021 2.2k votes 197 voters 4.8k views14 items

List RulesVote up the horror movies you've never actually seen in their entirety (be honest).

Remember in Scream, when Drew Barrymore is certain that Jason is the slayer in the original Friday the 13th? She ends up as one of Ghostface's victims because she's confusing the rest of the Friday the 13th sequels with the original, in which Jason's mom is the guilty party. That kind of thing happens all the time with horror movies. The major franchises routinely have multiple sequels, and the originals are constantly referenced in TV shows and other films, so it feels like we've seen them even if we haven't. 

Back to Scream. It's entirely possible you haven't seen the original, but you may still intrinsically know the scene in question simply because it's been parodied so often in pop culture. If you're not a major horror-head, there are probably a lot of horror movies you haven't seen - which is fine. It just means you get to experience some of these groundbreaking films for the first time.

  • There are so many iterations of Hellraiser that it's hard to not feel like you've seen them all, but unless you're looking at the Blu-ray on your shelf right now, consider the possibility that you haven't seen the actual original Hellraiser. Young viewers likely got their first taste of Pinhead thanks to Hellraiser III, a film that toned down the psychosexual text and injected more of a straight horror vibe.

    Hellraiser III was the first of the films to play on USA (in a heavily edited version), and while it's not really anything like the original, it does give you an idea of what Pinhead's all about. (Having pins in his head, for instance.)

    Following Hellraiser III, there were numerous straight-to-VHS/DVD sequels that could be found at Blockbuster in the '90s or on late-night cable. Many of those films repurposed footage from the first film or actively tried to parallel its storyline, so much so that it feels like a lot of these movies blur together. There's even the possibility that you've seen Hellraiser II, which has the same cast and feels the most spiritually similar to the first film. Whatever the case, you haven't experienced pain and pleasure until you've watched the first entry in this very dark series.

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  • Of course you know what happens in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger attacks teens in their dreams and wipes them out one by one until he's defeated via sleep logic. If you've seen any of the seven sequels, or watched the remake from 2010, you get the gist of the original film, or maybe you feel like you've seen it because Freddy is still everywhere.

    Thanks to shows like Meet the Goldbergs and Rick and Morty putting Freddy (or a version of Freddy that doesn't infringe on New Line Cinema's copyright) in their series, more and more viewers have become aware of A Nightmare on Elm Street lore, further convincing them they've probably seen it. Some may be surprised to go back and take a look at the first film, where they'll find a truly surreal and unnerving experience. Freddy isn't the wisecracking MTV addict he becomes in later films. Instead, he's a genuinely terrifying presence whom you'd really rather not run into in a dark alley - regardless of whether it's all in your head.

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  • Leatherface and his family may not be as wide-reaching culturally as some other horror icons, but there have been so many sequels, prequels, and reboots of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that you can feel like you must have seen the original. In 2003, there was a remake of the film that did gangbusters at the box office, and it follows much of the main beats, right down to the meat hook scene. So if it's ever come up in conversation, you've probably thought, "Oh yeah, that pretty good movie with Jessica Biel."

    Aside from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (which you definitely haven't seen, although that's your next assignment after watching the original), the rest of the films in this loose canon aren't all that imaginative. They reuse a lot of the setup and scares from the original, but even with higher budgets, they're still not as effective as they were the first time around.

    There's also the possibility you were staying up late while watching TNT when you were knee-high to a grasshopper and caught an edited version of Motel Hell and thought it was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Both films are about running into evil rednecks in the middle of nowhere who like to use chainsaws, so it's easy to see how you could make that mistake.

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  • If you say "Frankenstein" to the average person, they're probably going to imagine Boris Karloff -  bolts in his neck, flat head, the whole deal. Universal's depiction of Frankenstein's monster, which first appeared in 1931, has cast a long shadow on the story and character, so much so that it's not out of the question for someone to feel like they know everything about it.

    The images of Karloff as Frankenstein's monster, and of Colin Clive as Doctor Frankenstein shouting, "It's alive," are so ingrained in popular culture that it's like the movie never left theaters. Imagery from James Whale's 1931 original is reused and referenced all the time. If you've seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, or pretty much any movie with a mad scientist, you've taken in the greatest hits of Frankenstein.

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