10 best direct-to-video horror movies of all time

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Whether the reason is budget, widespread appeal, or time frame, some movies don’t get the theatrical releases and box office success that big franchises get. This goes for all genres of movies, but horror movies particularly miss these opportunities.

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But just because a movie goes straight to video doesn’t mean it’s not a great movie. In fact, some of these less publicized horror movies are some of the greatest of all time.

American Psycho 2 (2002)

The first edition of American psychopath the saga made its film debut in 2000 and starred Christian Bale as a possible serial killer Patrick Bateman. An Oliver Stone sequel to the film was unfortunately never made, but this sequel, starring Mila Kunis, follows Rachael Newman. She saw Bateman murder his babysitter and stab him with an ice pick before becoming a murderer on his own.

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Even though this film went straight to video when its predecessor didn’t, it is still very entertaining. It’s also nice to see a woman in a position of power, telling and controlling everything in her path. Female serial killers are rarely featured in horror, so this movie is a nice break from that.

Tremors 2 (1996)

In most cases, sequels don’t get as much funding and publicity as the original film. This was the case for tremors. Corn, tremors 2 has a dedicated, critical fan base who thinks the sequel deserved as much, if not more, praise than the first film.

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In this film, a Graboid epidemic struck an oil refinery in Mexico. The actors must outsmart and fight them, even convincing some of them to swallow bomb-rigged devices. It also deals with the real life applications of being a person involved in horror movie stories, starting with Earl Bassett who was deprived of an income due to his experience with the Graboids, which is a hilarious and interesting angle for a movie to take. .

The Curse of Chucky (2013)

Chucky and Nica are in bed in Curse of Chucky

Unlike the original films of the Chucky franchise, Curse of Chucky went straight to video instead of having a theatrical release. With the recent release of Chucky television series and the varying degrees of intelligence of its actors, fans of the series remember one of the most innovative installations.


This version of Chucky’s story was so creative because it created a compelling story with little to no directing. The ability of a horror film to retain audiences with low production costs is very impressive. Chucky’s story has a pervasive horror appeal, and fans of the show uniquely enjoy his usual serial killer shenanigans.

Cthulu’s Call (2005)

Screenshot of Cthulu's call

HP Lovecraft was another original horror writer, and his haunting tales have been adapted repeatedly since the early days of film and television. Cthulu’s call was live-to-video, but it was very well received and even won several awards at film festivals.


The film stands out from other horror films by being entirely silent. Horror films are generally not made in the style of silent cinema, so this deviation from the standard results in Cthulu’s call extra brownie points. The storytelling in the movie is amazing and they are able to convey the haunting story of the cult of Cthulu without any dialogue.

Resuscitator (1985)

Reanimator scientist doing experiments

A bit like an unsuspected cult horror film, Resuscitator is directed by Stuart Gordon, a regular in direct video. A scientist is obsessed with the idea of ​​defeating death and performs bloody experiments in an attempt to bring the dead back to life.


Resuscitator is a cheesy but incredible horror film, with gallons of fake blood and organs. In the vein of Killer Klowns From Outer Space and other gore false horrors. But that’s what fans love him for. For lovers of camp-style super gore, this is an ultimate classic.

Night of the Demons (1988)

Screenshot from Night of the Demons

A group of excited and naive teens want to spend the night celebrating Halloween at a funeral home in this video film. With all the sex appeal and horror drama of an 80s movie, Night of demons is a truly creative story told in the traditional sense of horror.

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The film received an excellent reception among horror fans, cultivating the appreciation of classic horror fans. Combined with sex appeal, Night of demons makes for a fun and dashing viewing experience.

The Door (1987)

Door demon

In this movie, the honest unexpected happens. Two boys at the house accidentally open a portal that allows small demonic creatures to be released into the world. As with most direct-to-video movies, this is a one-time story that didn’t receive enough credit when released.

As an IMDb reviewer claudio_carvalho says, “This cult movie is very underrated. I love this little gem.” The technical side of the production was also noticed, with another IMDb reviewer, SnoopyStyle, saying, “The effects are fun with a good effective mix of forced perspective and stop-motion animation.”


Radiance (2008)

Screenshot from the movie Splinter

A splinter seems like a trivial and, at most, annoying inconvenience in life. However, the concept of a shard-like parasite that infects its victims and turns them into monsters is what makes this live-to-video horror film one of a kind.

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This film does a lot with very few locations and even less funds. A strong point is the character work that the actors do. Each person brought their role to life, and one of the fan favorites was the antagonist, Dennis Farell, played by Shea Wingham.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)

film review at the wrong turn

Characters getting lost in the woods may be a cliché played in the movies, but some movies take that snapshot and turn it into a great viewing experience. Wrong turn 2 continues the story of cannibalistic loggers attacking travelers from the first film.


It’s not often that a sequel is better than the original in a movie franchise, but it can be a rare case of this happening. In fact, some Redditors, like 500NightDays, say, “I wasn’t a big fan of the first one, but this one was good.”

Serious Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters cast speak in a hallway

Serious encounters is a great example of a found images horror movie that’s done in a compelling and genuinely scary way. The found images horror subgenre has been made several times since the great success of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal activity, corn Serious encounters is in a league of its own.

The film is very well paced and Reddit users love HoratioMG say, “Easily one of the best picture movies found. I really like that they include subtle scares that you won’t even notice the first time you watch. As the paranormal investigation team spend the night in an abandoned mental hospital, viewers will be on the edge of their seats awaiting the next scare.


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