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These underrated gems featuring students in peril will deliver fear, fun, and thrilling campus carnage to your next college movie night.

Mon Mon Mon Monsters campus horror

If you didn’t start your horror education early, college is the perfect time to dive into the world of horror movies. That’s especially true for those whose parents frowned upon such content in the home. Horror offers a great escape from the stress of campus life and the increased pressures faced by young adults. Plus, you brainy types will appreciate how much great science there is to support the health and productivity benefits of watching horror. Ultimately, there’s something so thrilling about gathering with friends in a dimly lit dorm room, popcorn in hand, ready to be spooked.

We love watching student bodies in horror almost as much as genre filmmakers love making these films that take place in institutions of higher learning and/or involve high-school and college kids being terrorized by far more than strict teachers, excessive homework, and brutal finals.

While there are more films involving a campus killer than you can shake a stick at — including all-time classics you may be watching this time of year, like the original Black Christmas or the surprisingly excellent remakes from 2006 and 2019 — we present a few more hidden gems you may have missed that may just make the grade for those looking to cozy up to a college horror movie night.

If you are a horror fan but cannot devote much time to watching your favorite movies because of piles of homework, try Grabmyessay.com. You can write an essay and ask a professional writer to edit and proofread it while you devote time to your hobby.

1. Seance (2021)

The 2021 supernatural horror film Seance marked the directorial debut of indie horror mainstay Simon Barrett. Barrett, who also wrote the film, is best known for writing some of the genre’s best, including You’re Next and The Guest (as well as writing segments in V/H/S, V/H/S/2, and The ABCs of Death).

Taking place at a boarding school for girls, a clique of popular mean girls pulls a nasty prank on a classmate that ends in the tragic death of their victim. When Camille, a new student, arrives on campus and inherits the room of the deceased girl, she begins to experience supernatural occurrences.

When one student suggests they conduct a seance to contact their dead former classmate, things get spooky and sinister in a hurry.

In a director’s statement, Barrett says he’s long been a fan of horror movies that unfold as murder mysteries.

Starring the very talented Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch), Seance is a stellar addition to the always reliable boarding school horror subgenre, joining the hallowed ranks of classic films like Suspiria and Phenomena, as well as modern gems like The Moth Diaries from Mary Herron (American Psycho), the dark fairytale thriller The Woods from May‘s Lucky McKee, and the criminally underrated Satanic spookfest from Osgood Perkins (Gretel and Hansel), The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

Stream on Shudder.

2. Mon Mon Mon Monsters (2017)

Looking for something a little different? Are you a fan of foreign horror? If so, we’ve got a humdinger of a recommendation for you!

Mon Mon Mon Monsters is a horror-comedy from Taiwan, written and directed by Giddens Ko, about a bullied student accused of a crime he didn’t commit and forced to do community service alongside his classmate tormenters. As they begin to accept him and, in turn, corrupt him, the group stumbles upon a pair of flesh-eating female ghouls and captures one of them. What follows is a sadistic game that shows just how depraved these students really are, resulting in catastrophic consequences.

Originally conceived as an iPhone-shot mockumentary, the film evolved into a more personal statement fueled by the public hate Ko was receiving at the time for an affair. Ko proudly proclaimed that the film was an expression of his hate for the way he had been treated.

That makes sense because it definitely comes across in this nasty little tale of sadism, nail-biting tension, and magical realism.

Mon Mon Mon Monsters boasts stellar acting, exceptional creature effects, originality and non-stop entertainment, and some potent commentary about human nature, crime, and punishment. Many scenes are wildly bloody and fun, and the ending packs one hell of an unforgettable punch.

And if you like this one and are looking to study abroad with some more campus chillers, you can’t go wrong with the manga-adapted Japanese horror film Signal 100 or the video game-adapted Detention — a terrifying Taiwanese horror from 2019.

Stream on Shudder.

5. The Lurker (2019)

Written by John Lerchen and directed by Eric Liberacki, the homage-heavy tribute to 80s slasher films The Lurker centers around a bunch of theater students and a cursed school production of Romeo and Juliet. A masked murderer stalks the young thespians, who are hiding a secret that could expose an explosive scandal.

The film takes place in Crystal Lake, Illinois (an obvious homage to Friday the 13th) and features a cameo from the original Jason Voorhees, Ari Lehman. It stars Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween 2008) as the film’s tortured final girl.

This isn’t a slasher game-changer by any means, choosing to honor the familiar tropes of the subgenre rather than subvert them. But it does offer a good amount of suspense and mystery, as well as plenty of solid gore and practical effects. It also boasts a great 80s-inspired synth soundtrack.

It would have been better to have set the film on a college campus rather than a high school (Taylor-Compton makes a much more convincing college co-ed), but it’s still a solid entry into the “students in peril” subgenre and a pretty entertaining dorm distraction for your next collegiate movie night.

If you enjoy seeing theater kids getting slaughtered, the far funnier and campier romp Stage Fright from 2014 will no doubt fit the bill. This musical horror-comedy from Canada stars the late rocker Meat Loaf and is deliciously gory fun.

Rent on VOD.

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