10 Horror Movies Hiding In Plain Sight

Comedy, drama, crime, whatever the genre may be horror has its DNA spread through all of cinema.

Upstream Color

Much like comedy, horror is subjective. What one person might find scary, the person sitting next to them might find laughable. It’s not cut and dry. The genre as a whole is very much the same. Some non-horror movies could easily be described as horror. Sci-fi, drama, comedy, all of these genres contain secret horror movies.

There has been tons of debate over the years as what constitutes as horror. Think of all the crime films that had you checking your locks at night, or all the war movies that had you cringing at the various ways a person can get dismembered. Those visceral, paranoia inducing reactions that are the bread and butter of the genre can be found everywhere.

This list aims to shed a little light on some movies that either dip their toes into horror, or just straight up dive in headfirst. Ones that challenge the very notion of genre classification. It’s time to get spooky up in here.

10. Upstream Color

Upstream Color
Metrodome Distribution Ltd.

Shane Carruth has directed two features during his surprisingly long film-making career. The first is the mind-melting time travel film Primer, a movie requiring a video game style guidebook to understand, and the second is the experimental drama Upstream Color.

The narrative follows two people trying to reclaim their lives after being previously kidnapped and violated by a mysterious man. It’s a beautiful movie about the human condition and what ties us together. Though, it wouldn’t be on this list if it didn’t have some horror in it.

There’s a completely unexpected moment early on where a woman attempts to remove a long worm-like parasite inside her body with a knife, the viewer watching it wiggle under her skin as she desperately tries to catch it. It's body horror at its purest. Cringe-worthy doesn’t even cover it.

That alone is enough to secure it a spot on this list, but what really helps it is the overall tone. Everything in Upstream Color feels off from the start. There’s this nagging feeling that something is wrong mixed under all its beauty.

The best part though? Carruth offers no answers. The lack of closure makes this oddly unsettling feeling stick with you long after the credits roll.


Part-time writer, full-time Kurt Russell enthusiast.