Haddonfield, Illinois seems like a perfect small town, and horror fans will get to visit it again in Halloween Ends, which will be released in October 2022. It has everything someone needs for a happy and peaceful life and seems like a great place to raise a family. But its residents know that the mystery of Michael Myers lives on and that ever since October 31st, 1978 when Michael terrorized Laurie Strode and her friends, he has come back.
There are several other horror movies about tiny towns holding massive secrets, the kind of dark truths that change someone’s ability to live an idyllic existence in an otherwise beautiful place. Redditors are recommending the most compelling films that fit into this category.
They’re Watching (2016)
Stream on Tubi
Redditor EricHart recommended They’re Watching as this type of movie and wrote that it has a “great setup.” The fan continued, “Every scene in that town was so tense, and you knew something secret was going on.”
Reality shows about home decor and renovation are never scary, but in this case, making a TV series about a woman creating an artist’s colony in Moldova has become unnerving and terrible. Sarah Ellroy begins working with Alex Torini and Greg Abernathy and they discover that the seemingly peaceful area has something sinister at play. The characters dig deeper and are stunned by their findings, and the film pokes fun at home renovation shows in a playful way.
Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)
Rent on AppleTV
Redditor Anitnatalista said that when it comes to scary films about small towns that have big secrets, Halloween III: Season of the Witch “fits that description perfectly.” While the third film isn’t as popular as the others, it does have a terrifying Halloween franchise scene involving the Silver Shamrock masks.
The story focuses on the town where the unsettling Halloween masks are created, and while it seems like a pretty and peaceful place in Northern California, audiences learn that the masks have microchips that will murder people. There’s definitely more than meets the eye here.
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Rent on AppleTV
Redditor thomastheturtletrain replied in a thread about horror films focusing on secret-filled towns and said The Mothman Prophecies is “underrated. That phone call always gives me the chills.”
John Klein moves to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, an incredibly effective name since it sounds like a pretty place to live where nothing much ever happens. Before long, John hears voices that predict a plane crashing, and he realizes that people are seeing what looks like a horrifying moth. The town might sound nice, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
Dead And Buried (1981)
Stream on Prime Video and Shudder
Redditor Bookofdrewus replied in a thread, “shout out to Dead and Buried. Love the twist at the end” and Redditor thomastheturtletrain said “great atmosphere.” The 1981 film is set in Potters Bluff, a town that has another idyllic and beautiful name but which houses murderers.
The opening scene is powerful, as several town residents kill a photographer, and murders keep taking place as the story progresses. The most compelling movie small towns have residents who are anything but trustworthy. The trailer calls it “a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to die there.”
Population 436 (2006)
Rent on AppleTV
Redditor amethystlocke said “Population 436” is a good example of this type of horror movie, and the setting is totally on point. The people of Rockwell Falls, North Dakota are noticing strange happenings, and the main character, Steve Kady, works for the US Census Bureau. He realizes the harsh truth about the town: it can never go above the population of 436.
This movie fits into the stories about small towns that don’t actually let the residents leave, and when someone moves there or visits, it’s fascinating to see them realize the terrible reality that they will never be able to see the outside world. Audiences will want to know if the people living there are aware of this or if they have been living in blissful ignorance all of this time.
House Of Wax (2005)
Stream on Tubi
Redditor alixandrya said “House Of Wax” fits this category as well, and the 2005 remake sees brother and sister Nick and Carly Jones traveling through a small town with a wax museum. This seems like a quirky addition to the area, as no one would ever think anything more of this type of building. But unfortunately, there’s something deadly going on.
The main characters figure out what the wax figures actually are, and the alarming discovery sets the rest of the movie into high gear as they fight to get out. Taking a supposedly nice and beautiful setting and making it gross and dangerous is always going to be effective.
The Void (2017)
Stream on AMC+ and Shudder
Redditor standingrooms wrote that “The Void is really good” and the Canadian monster horror movie features characters running from a creature who is out to get them. The movie has many hallmarks of small town horror, from a quaint hospital to typical figures, from a local sheriff to doctors to townspeople.
While a creature terrorizing people will always be entertaining, watching a monster let loose in a small town feels more powerful and interesting. The fact that one of the main characters is pregnant adds to the sense of urgency and danger.
The Clovehitch Killer (2018)
Stream on AMC+ and Shudder
Redditor TriStateGirl recommended “The Clovehitch Killer,” which focuses on Clarksville, Kentucky and the unspeakable murders there. The main character, Tyler Burnside, is a teenager who thinks that his dad, Don, who is the head of his religious family, could be the one who brutally killed ten women.
The film is a painful, disturbing reminder that even if a small town looks innocent and a family is popular and thought to be an integral part of the area, that doesn’t mean that something horrible isn’t happening. It looks like the kind of place that anyone would be happy to live, but that’s definitely not the truth.
Silent Hill (2006)
Stream on DirecTV
Silent Hill is one of the best ’90s survival video games and when replying to a thread about films focusing on tiny towns with secrets, Redditor LeeMountford said “Silent Hill is another (though I much preferred the first 3 games to the films).”
Rose Da Silva is upset and scared about her daughter Sharon’s sleepwalking and troubles, and when they travel to Silent Hill, Sharon disappears and Rose realizes that this is no ordinary place. After a coal fire back in the ’70s, everyone left the town, which has a creepy atmosphere and seems to have ghosts and secrets everywhere. The residents believe in witchcraft and people seem to come here for dark reasons.
Stream on Pluto or rent on AppleTV
Based on the book by Dean Koontz, Sheriff Bryce Hammond and his employees Steve Shanning and Stu Wargle work to stop creatures that look like moths in the small town of Snowfield, Colorado. For one Redditor, “I thought it was well done and had a good Lovecraft vibe to it.”
Like other places in Colorado, Snowfield is all about welcoming tourists who want to enjoy some fun winter outdoor activities, and this is definitely putting a wrench on those plans and ruining the town’s reputation. The movie is a fun ride as it’s unclear if the characters will be successful or if the horrors of the town are too strong.