It's been kind of a strange year for horror. Though there have been occasional standouts that've demanded headlines, it's felt like a footnote on 2018's offerings, which saw huge hitters like A Quiet Place, Hereditary and Halloween dominate the box office. The closest 2019 got to those successes was It: Chapter 2, and even that underperformed critically and commercially compared to the first.
Of course, that doesn't mean this year has been a washout for the genre, just that the best releases haven't been the studio pictures everyone expected to succeed (and if they were, they were criminally ignored by audiences).
As always, there have been plenty of underrated fright fests lurking outside of the Hollywood system, delivering some of the most imaginative, daring, and sometimes just outright fun moviegoing experiences you can find across any genre over the past 12 months.
From long-awaited international films that have finally received a Western release to new oddities that came out of nowhere, Halloween might have long since passed, but there's no excuse to keep sleeping on these hidden gems.