Originally appeared on October 30, 2020.
The goblins come out to play as the sun sets and the shadows grow. Halloween is almost here.
In order of release date, here is just a partial list of horror films shot in the Mitten State. Michigan can claim recognizable titles that may amuse you for hours and keep you awake at night. And other films which will give you the heebie-jeebies. Some will raise chills, and others will reduce you to laughter. One thing you may find common among these offerings is the amount of cheese. If that is something you like with your horror, McDonald’s has nothing on us. Have fun.
Note: click on the title of each movie (if you dare), and you will be connected to the film’s trailer (If that title has one). For more information on each title, click the link to each title’s IMDb page. Here, you can see the particulars in each film, with the actors who now haunt your dreams revealed for not the first time.
Vanishing on 7th Street (2010), 1 hour 32 minutes
written by Anthony Jaswinski and directed by Rad Anderson, Vanishing on 7th Street stars Hayden Christensen, Thandiwe Newton, and John Leguizamo. The population of Detroit has almost completely disappeared, but a few remain. As daylight fades, they realize that the Dark is coming for them. Filming locations Detroit, Michigan.
Mimesis (2011). 1 hour 35 minutes
Douglas Schulze and Joshua Wagner Douglas Schulze, Mimesis stars Allen Maldonado, Sid Haig, and Lauren Mae Shafer. “Why watch a horror movie when you can live one?” The clue to what is happening is in the film’s title; mimesis refers to life imitating art; in this case, a group of sickos has decided to recreate the classic 1968 horror film “Night Of The Living Dead.” a disparate group of people, including a young girl, attend a horror filmmaker’s lecture. Invited to a special after-party, they wake up in strange surroundings. One of the first groups – two buddies – is attacked by a zombie and severely wounded. A woman joins them and makes it to the house where, in the disjointed introduction, the householder – a farmer – and his disabled wife are murdered. It’s all very confusing so far and supernatural, though it turns out these zombies are anything but. Mimesis trailer
Blood Red Beauty(2012), 1 hour and 20 minutes
by Keith Samland and Keith Samland and Jason Christopher Smith, starring Rachel Antolovic, Deena Broderick, and Jordan Brun, Blood Red Beauty is about Alice and her crew of ghost hunters called upon to investigate the strange happenings at Deadwood Asylum. After hearing the stories of the hospital’s sordid past, they begin what would surely be their most hunted expedition yet. As they try to communicate with the spirits that still walk these halls, they stir evil hundreds of years old—presented by Alienstone Entertainment in association with Duality Films. Blood Red Beauty official trailer: https://youtu.be/Dpg2_jOmvZ8
A Haunting in Cawdor (2015), suggested by Phil Wurzel
Vivian Miller is serving her jail sentence at a work release program in the Midwest. Her final 90-day sentence takes her to the Cawdor Barn Theatre, a dilapidated old structure run by Lawrence O’Neil, a troubled man raging at his past mistakes. After Vivian views an old VHS tape of what looks like a murder being recorded, she sets out to unravel this horrific crime before she becomes the next victim of the supernatural forces inhabiting the haunted structure. Written by Phil Wurzel and directed by Phil Wurzel, starring Shelby Young, Alexandria DeBerry, and Michael Welch, among others. This film was shot in Battle Creek, Michigan. Trailer: https://youtu.be/Rb04urs_eAA
Directed by Matt Jaissle and starring Deanna Cockrum, Ezekiel Alexander Enriquez, and William Jaissle, among others, Revolution 666 is about a Manson-style cult that uses a long-lost “Fab Four” song to jump-start the zombie Helter Skelter. A famous radio DJ plays the music, inadvertently creating a flesh-eating zombie in a walrus costume. https://youtu.be/h5Wg4jnXunIofficial trailer
Eloise (2016), 1 hour 29 minutes
Christopher Borrelli and directed by Robert Legato, starring Chace Crawford, Eliza Dushku, and Brandon T. Jackson, shot on location in what used to be one of the largest mental institutions in the world, four friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. Unbeknownst to these four trespassers, what begins as an in-and-out adventure will evolve into their darkest nightmare in a place haunted by evil doctors, tortured spirits, and unspeakable memories.
Garroter (2016),(also known as Mayhem Park) 2 hours, 22 minutes
Written by Joey Harlow and Benn Perry and directed by Joey Harlow, Garroter stars Michael James Alexander, Natalie Peri, and Connie Kincer, among others. A recent spate of brutal murders by an unknown killer begins terrorizing the city of Detroit, and one police officer becomes obsessed with his capture. An innocent family’s youngest brother is accused of the local mass murders. Someone must step in to solve this mystery and stop this lunatic. Who will it be? Filmed in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.
Elder Island (2016), 1 hour 21 minutes
Co-written by Fabricio Cerioni and Darrin James and directed by Darrin James, “Elder Island” stars Jamie Bernadette, Jordan Trovillion, and Melissa Anschutz. Based on the events around Beaver Island, Michigan, and King James Strang–Elder Island, 1856. Peter Wittgenstein turned to the men of the five island families around him and warned: “Tell nothing of this.” as the men all looked at the body of their former Reverend–gunned down just outside his own home–and a decision was made. They secretly buried the body on Graves Island, and the reign of America’s first and only king ended, but there is always a new beginning for every end, for evil was born that night. Five families have always controlled the Island. Five families share the Island’s fortune; five families share its curse. Elder Island was filmed on Beaver Island, Michigan, and produced by Elder Island Movie. Official trailer: https://youtu.be/Npe7JxsylOE
Directed by Ryan Sean Davy and starring Ethan KellyTaylor Denby, and Marielle Hill, among others, The Parricidal Effect is about an Amnesiac teenager who undergoes hypnosis to reveal the truth behind the murder of his parents for which he is being held accountable.
Return of the Scarecrow (2017), 1 hour 14 minute
Written and directed by Walter Lodes, Return of the Scarecrow stars Jason Brenner, Scott Baisden, and Rebecca Bettig, “When the sun sets, he rises.” Return of the Scarecrow is an ’80s horror comedy throwback that tells of a rural legend of an evil scarecrow that slumbers until its evil cannot be contained. It awakens and continually returns to unleash its unholy terror. However, a hillbilly prank gone wrong has resulted in a case of mistaken identity and a night that a group of unsuspecting campers and townsfolk will never forget. Return of the Scarecrow was filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Thaw of the Dead (2019), 1 hour, 24 minutes
Written and directed by David Marek, starring Benjamin BuschHeather FairbanksShri Fugi Spilt, among others, Thaw of the Dead is about a waning group of survivors Isolated in the frigid Northern Michigan back-country who have found refuge in an abandoned dam. Starved and torn, the group looks to one of their own for survival. His brutal journey will be the last chance to preserve humanity, separating this group of survivors from becoming the monsters they are trying to escape.
Written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, My Soul to Keep stars Parker Smerek, Remington Gielniak, and Arielle Olkhovsky. Like many 9-year-old boys, Eli Braverman believes something menacing lives in his basement. When his older sister leaves him home alone one night, Eli discovers if this evil is real or all in his head. What Eli confronts may be far more terrifying than even his worst nightmare. Produced by Exodus Pictures. Official trailer: https://youtu.be/rrYfxO1aMTU
(The following three movies are all Harley Wallen-directed movies, all suggested by Nancy Oeswein )
Enigma(2019), 1 hour, 40 minutes
Written by Harley Wallen, Nancy OesweinJerry HayesA psychic reader and Medium are invited to a party. Something goes very wrong, and something comes over from the other side to haunt the people from the party. They must solve the mystery before it’s too late. Agramon will not be easy to stop. Written and directed by Harley Wallen, Agramon’s Gate stars Laurene Landon, Yan Birch, and Kris Reilly. https://youtu.be/0RmYmQRuh1E
Ash & Bone (2022), 1 hour, 37 minutes
by Bret Miller, directed by Harley Wallen, Ash& Bone stars Jamie Bernadette, Angelina Danielle Cama, and Harley Wallen. Cassie is a rebellious and destructive teen with a new stepmom who keeps finding her way into trouble, so her father takes her and his new wife, Sarah, out of the city for bonding and quality time together in a small town. When boredom leads her to a house deep in the woods, she realizes that finding the truth could cost them their lives! This small town has a deadly secret that could cost them their lives! Ash & Bone https://youtu.be/l3ZZu7V79zo
An Intrusion (2021), 1 hour 38 minutes
Written and directed by Nicholas Holland, “An Intrusion” stars Dustin Prince, Keir Gilchrist, and Billy Boyd. Produced by SLK Media Group, Diamond Dead Media, and Laugh Cry Productions, “An Intrusion” is about Sam, a man who has kept violent secrets from his family and must confront the consequences when a vicious stalker instigates a terrifying home invasion. Trailer: https://youtu.be/BHkYD10UDXo
The Spore (2021), 1 hour, 32 minutes
Written and directed by Matt Cunningham, The Spore stars Jeanie Jefferies, Haley Heslip, and Peter Tell. In The Spore, the lives of ten strangers intersect through a terrifying chain of events as a mutating fungus spreads through a small town, wiping out everyone who comes into contact with it. It was filmed in Grand Rapids and produced by Night Prowler Video and Talk Global Media. Trailer: https://youtu.be/gFOrmgWUGBk
Half Dead Fred (2022), 2 hours 32 minutes
Written and directed by Bron Theron, Half Dead Fred stars Corin Nemec, Jason London, and Tiffany Shepis. Filmed in Flint, Michigan, Half Dead Fred is a mysterious murder that takes place in Flint, Michigan, and Medium Detective Freddy Nash is on the case. There is a treasure to be found and paranormals that cannot be unseen. Years ago, Fred was the victim of a fatal car accident that killed him and his 9-year-old son. A few seconds after his death, he came back to life in the hospital. Since this traumatic accident, he has been able to see the dead. An old friend from Alcoholics Anonymous assists him, although he has been off the wagon for years. The Michigan case turns out to be much more than a murder.
Let Us In (2022), 1 hour 32 minutes.
Written and directed by Anthony Moran, “Let Us In” stars Indiana Rose, Hans Whitrock, and Kevin “MSV” Tates. In “Let Us In,” three strangers seek refuge in an abandoned house after the Government puts a shelter-in-place order into effect. Cities nationwide are in the process of shutting down as a highly contagious virus sweeps through the population. The strangers fight off zombies and a vicious biker gang while trying to survive the chaos! Official trailer: https://youtu.be/RqmlgWS49J0
Paradise Lodge (2022), 1 hour and 45 minutes
Written by Randy Dies and Dale Hills, directed by Randy Dies, Paradise Lodge Stars Mlo O’Brian, Dale Hills, and Jared Kuzich. A group of friends goes on a weekend getaway to remember a friend on the anniversary of her death. Unfortunately, they aren’t as alone as they thought. Produced by Silverwing Entertainment. Official Trailer: https://youtu.be/I83UOCPOL9E