Spookyruralnoirmovies! yes, pls.
May 4, 2017 9:50 AM   Subscribe

as its finally so sunny and nice out, i'd be interested in hearing any recommendations you might have on some hella tight dark, creepy, murdery (mystery?), noir/horror movies or series. brownie points for small towns / rural ..places - don't mind if they're old, or done on a small budget or anything, just feel like putting a little bit of spook in the atmosphere this weekend.

things i've loved/enjoyed thus far:

i am not a serial killer
winter's bone
true detective
twin peaks
varg veum, beck, the bridge etc.
the killing
american gods (..sort of.)
edge of darkness (-yeah, even though)
posted by speakeasy to Grab Bag (44 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
The Gift (2000 - Cate Blanchett is amazing in this movie and no one ever talks about it!!!)
The Others
posted by lovableiago at 9:56 AM on May 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

It's not the world's most amazing work of art or anything, but I liked The Skeleton Key
posted by greta simone at 10:11 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

It Follows!
posted by prewar lemonade at 10:13 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Howard Frank Mosher writes some amazing books about rural northern Vermont. Some have been made into movies. None of them are exactly creepy but they're pretty interesting.

- Stranger in the Kingdom deals with issues of rurality and race. Great performance by Ernie Hudson
- Disappearances is another good one along these lines, may not have a murder at the center of it, but definitely weird and rural

Others not by him

- Pathfinder, if you can find it, is all about a slaughter in very rural Lapland. First motion picture shot with the Sami language as the main language. Not spooky exactly but amazingly bleak setting.
- Wallander isn't always spooky and isn't always rural but there is an otherworldliness to it and Branagh is amazing. The original is set in more of a small town but I haven't seen it.
- Hinterland is also supposed to be like this but it hasn't hit the top of my queue yet.
posted by jessamyn at 10:14 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Insomnia (or the US remake).
Top of the Lake.
posted by Candleman at 10:21 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

From the 48Hours Mystery series---The "Live to Tell" works are just terrifying. Affected me on a very different level deeper than a CSI type clinical investigation. Also, Highway of Tears and Who Killed These Girls cold cases. Great photography, context of violence, tenacity of investigators. Available on CBS website or YouTube clips.
posted by effluvia at 10:26 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Green Room was scary as fuck, if you'd be into watching Nazis trying to murder a punk band deep in the woods. It's intense, realistic and genuinely disturbing, but definitely not "noiristic" like Brick or True Detective.
posted by windbox at 10:46 AM on May 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

El Orfanato (The Orphanage), produced by Pan's Labyrinth's director Guillermo del Toro. Dark. And creepy. And heart-wrenching. And beautifully-shot.

Wake Wood, which is basically The Wicker Man* meets Pet Sematary. It's...very rural. (Plus a tad ridiculous in places, but still good!)

* The original version, that is. :P
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 10:53 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but when you said old was OK, the first thing that came to mind was The Night of the Hunter. If you haven't seen that before, you should probably watch it, and if you have, you should probably watch it again.

Tom at the Farm and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely are both are kind of creepy psychological thrillers in rural settings. Maybe Queen of Earth, too, if that's your jam, but that one is more like, uh, mumblecore. (I'm sorry. I couldn't think of a synonym.)

Also, there a whole lot of Scandanavian/Nordic and other nationality noirs for series, some of which have been mentioned already, but there are pretty many of them. You might possibly like Fortitude, set in Iceland. What I saw looked like it might be of interest, but the plot took a turn to supernatural, which isn't my thing, so I stopped watching. It was creepy and visually interesting, though.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:08 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Maybe A Field in England?
posted by orrnyereg at 11:11 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Reflecting Skin
The Returned (also known as "Creepy French Zombies", apparently. I've only seen the first season.)
Carnival of Souls (surprisingly good, ultra low budget b&w from the 60s)

and on the off chance you've never seen it: Texas Chainsaw Massacre
posted by Bron at 11:38 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just watched Creep on Netflix, and it's definitely worth a couple of hours. Intimate little suspenseful horror with just two characters.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:39 AM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Get Out
Saw 1-7
Silence of the lambs
The Invitation
Would You Rather

Dexter on Netflix is pretty good also...
posted by Whatifyoufly at 11:45 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cape Fear, the original or the remake. But the original for Gregory Peck.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:10 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Descent

Also seconding Night of the Hunter and Insomnia.
posted by rhizome at 12:38 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jug Face (but some pretty heavy trigger warnings about miscarriages).
30 Days of Night.
The Fog (the 1980 version).
The Crazies.
The Mist.
posted by Candleman at 12:49 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Omen. Lee Remick, Gregory Peck, Leo McKern.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:10 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bunny Lake is Missing. Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea, Noel Coward.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:16 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

+1 on The Mist. If you can lay hands on a copy of the Blu-Ray, watch the black-and-white version.

Also, Population 436 ticks a lot of the boxes you mention.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:17 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, I know you asked for films but if you're at all open to print, may I recommend The Ritual by Adam Nevill? In which a camping trip in the Swedish primeval forest goes horribly wrong (and how could it go otherwise?).
posted by orrnyereg at 1:18 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, in addition to Blood Simple, above, definitely No Country for Old Men.
posted by eclectist at 1:20 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Citizen X
I'm almost positive it's available on one of the streaming services, but I'm at work and without all my logins, so I will update later tonight.
posted by invisible ink at 1:24 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Witch (2015) is a great horror* movie set in very muted colors, taking place in rural puritanical New England. Not quite noir, but very unsettling and very atmospheric.

*I don't necessarily think of it as horror, but it gets pulled into that genre by most.
posted by hydra77 at 1:26 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Close Your Eyes
I was ambivalent about watching this, because I am generally more scared by serial killer-type movies and not supernatural horror, but this is a little bit of both, and I found it terrifying.
posted by invisible ink at 1:30 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

The episode titled "Home" on Season 4, Episode 2 (I believe) of The X-Files is also not to be missed. You do not have to have watched any previous episodes of The X-Files in order to understand it.

Googling it turns up so many spoilers, I recommend just finding whichever streaming service has that season and watching it.
posted by invisible ink at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Housebound is a wonderful kiwi horror-comedy (it's funny but still manages to actually be scary) that takes place primarily in just one house in a pretty remote area. i'm pretty sure it's still on netflix!
posted by burgerrr at 4:14 PM on May 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

The Descent!
posted by likeatoaster at 4:57 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Directed by Werner Herzog. Not small town, but definitely noir-ish, southern, and gothic/grotesque.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 5:06 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Extremely surprised that this thread is already 29 answers deep and no one has mentioned A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
posted by aparrish at 5:25 PM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

State of Emergency (not high art, but "diverting", as my mother would say).
posted by gudrun at 6:00 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, Citizen X is on Amazon Prime. Highly recommend watching it before it goes away (it seems anything I like expires quickly on Amazon).
posted by invisible ink at 7:13 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Troll 2 is a "horror" "movie" set in a small town called Nilbog.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:34 PM on May 4, 2017

Don't see Troll 2, the guy who suggested that has terrible taste in movies.

There's a David E. Kelley series from the early 90s starring Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker called Picket Fences that might be of interest. I never saw it, but the description sounds like it might tick some of your boxes. Although it's a David E. Kelley show so it might tend more toward quirky than dark.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:44 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, and dear god... almost anything by David Lynch. Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks... dark and creepy af.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:45 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

American Gothic was a weird, short-lived TV series starring Gary Cole as a Sheriff. A bit cheesy, but kind of dark side of Mayberry.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:47 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're going to watch Troll 2, be sure to take LSD first.
posted by rhizome at 8:59 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Beau Sejour, a beautiful, sad, human, atmospheric Belgian supernatural mystery series on Netflix. It hits the Brick, Winter's Bone, Twin Peaks, El Orfanato mood perfectly.
posted by tinymojo at 9:14 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Picket Fences was good for the era but doesn't hold up well with as good as TV has gotten and is definitely more twee/quirky than dark and spooky.
posted by Candleman at 10:04 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

The HBO series Carnivàle is about a raggedy carnival winding its way through rural, depression-era America. It's pretty tasty.

I'm Not Scared is a really compelling piece of neo-noir set in the Italian countryside.

Also, ditto the recommendation of The Reflecting Skin. It fits your criteria perfectly.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:01 AM on May 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

ooh did you guys deliver! i'm set up for days - plan on trying to hunt down most of these - they look really good!!
stoked to see some john carpenter, even x-files (!), non-US, as well as old school recs - i'll def check out the writers too. thanks guys!!
posted by speakeasy at 4:30 AM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

More of a psychological thriller than horror, but Frailty. Seconding I'm Not Scared. Really enjoyed that.
Adding Let the Right One In
posted by cnc at 12:36 PM on May 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hush is on Netflix, set in a remote cabin, and is scary af.
posted by lucyleaf at 7:06 AM on May 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

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