10 Meta Horror Movies That Deserve More Attention

These horrors delve deeper than you could imagine...

The Final Girls
Stage 6 Films

Although meta-references are an excellent tool in storytelling, they're noticeably more effective when it comes to horror. Because the genre has a fusillade of clichés, it's deeply entertaining to see a film that's in on the joke.

Scream demonstrated this notion perfectly, since Wes Craven's slasher was genuinely unsettling and clever, while poking fun at its own predictability and triteness. Despite the fact many moviegoers were unfamiliar with meta before Scream, it's a highly recognised concept now, thanks to Shaun of the Dead, Cabin the Woods, and Funny Games.

Although it's fantastic to see the genre thrive, plenty of self-aware slashers, creature features, and spook stories never got their due. Because these flicks often have unusual premises, they're hard to market, making it tricky for them to break into the mainstream. (How does a studio advertise a movie about a killer tyre?)

Certain movies are teeming with so much imagination and originality, it's baffling how they escaped the horror community's attention for so long. Even if you consider yourself a seasoned veteran in all things frightening, there's a few meta-horrors that probably escaped your radar.

10. Rubber

The Final Girls
UFO Distribution

Rubber tells the story of a killer car tyre with psychic powers. With a pitch like that, this fantasy-horror sounds like a dumb monster flick, designed solely to laugh at itself, like Leprechaun or Sharknado.

However, watching a telekinetic tire massacring its victims isn't the weirdest thing about Rubber (not even when he transfer his consciousness into a tricycle). Considering the film opens with a sheriff jumping out of a car trunk and discussing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial directly to the audience, that's the first sign Rubber is bonkers.

Rather than being coy with self-awareness, Rubber obliterates the fourth wall. The action is regularly interrupted by the stand-in audience's commentary. Some characters are aware they're in a movie, while others are oblivious to it. The sheriff tries to poison the audience, believing a movie cannot exist without viewers. When one survives, the sheriff realises he must kill him or the movie will continue indefinitely. These meta-jokes are so nutty, viewers can momentarily forget this is a story about a psychic wheel.

Although quirky indies promise to deliver something different, many of them rely on the same derivative clichés. Fortunately, Rubber doesn't fall in this bracket, since there's nothing else like it.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85