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The 5 best movies our horror expert saw at this year's Fantastic Fest

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Anthony Head (left) and Karl Rice in "Let the Wrong One In."
Anthony Head (left) and Karl Rice in "Let the Wrong One In." Dark Sky Films
  • As Insider's resident horror expert, I've watched plenty of scary movies and thrillers.

  • Fantastic Fest, which specializes in horror and thrillers, took place September 23 to 30 this year.

  • The festival was packed with standout genre films, but these are the five best movies I saw.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Baby Assassins" follows two teenage killers who accidentally cross the Yakuza.

Saori Izawa and Akari Takaishi in "Baby Assassins."
Saori Izawa and Akari Takaishi in "Baby Assassins." Shaiker Japan

Starring accomplished stunt actor Saori Izawa as Mahiro, and Akari Takaishi as Chisato, "Baby Assassins" is equal parts action-packed thriller and hilarious coming-of-age story. Because while they both work as accomplished killers, both Mahiro and Chisato have just graduated high school, and are soon forced to deal with newfound adult issues (like how to cohabitate with a roommate) as well as more pressing professional struggles.

It's a delight to see Izawa and Takaishi play off each in other in this violent but surprisingly fun thriller, and the fight sequences are particularly memorable. And while it's definitely gory, "Baby Assassins" contains some heartfelt ideas about friendship and growing up.

"Game of Thrones" actor Iwan Rheon stars in "Barbarians."

Iwan Rheon in "Barbarians."
Iwan Rheon in "Barbarians." Buckland

While there are plenty of horror movies that take place at a dinner party (Karyn Kusama's 2015 film "The Invitation" comes to mind), things quickly take an unexpected and unforgettable turn in "Barbarians," which follows four friends enjoying a meal together.

Rheon stars as the soft-spoken Adam, whose friendship with social-media star Lucas is put to the test throughout the night as secrets come to light, and unexplainable events begin plaguing Adam, Lucas, and their significant others. His role on "Game of Thrones" (he played the psychopathic Ramsay Bolton) won't be forgotten anytime soon, but Rheon's equally as mesmerizing in this new role.

"The Execution" is inspired by the real-life case of a serial killer in the Soviet Union.

"The Execution" follows a detective in the Soviet Union working to catch a brutal killer.
"The Execution" follows a detective in the Soviet Union working to catch a brutal killer. Hype Film

Fans of true-crime dramas like "Mindhunter" and "No Man of God" won't want to miss "The Execution," which mixes time periods and viewpoints to tell the story of Russian detective Issa Valentinovich, and his efforts to catch a notorious killer.

Valentinovich is at the end of his career when he's forced to reopen a murder investigation from years ago, and his ensuing struggle to apprehend the murderer (whose calling card is stuffing his victims' mouths with mud before killing them) is riveting to watch. And political context from the fall of the USSR adds even more nuance to this new entry in the serial killer genre.

"There's Someone Inside Your House" is a fresh take on the slasher genre.

Sydney Park as Makani Young in "There's Someone Inside Your House."
Sydney Park as Makani Young in "There's Someone Inside Your House." David Bukach/Netflix

Calling to mind classic teen horror movies like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Scream," as well as newer additions to the genre like "Freaky," "There's Someone Inside Your House" is a fun and appropriately gory new slasher film that premieres Friday on Netflix.

The new film follows high schooler Makani as she moves from Hawaii to small-town Nebraska, discovering upon arrival that there's a killer terrorizing her and her classmates. And while the film's commitment to being politically correct seems a bit overwrought at times, director Patrick Brice (who also helmed 2014's excellent "Creep") is able to keep things entertaining and terrifying in equal measure.

"Buffy" alum Anthony Head stars in vampire horror-comedy "Let the Wrong One In."

Anthony Head (left) and Karl Rice in "Let the Wrong One In."
Anthony Head (left) and Karl Rice in "Let the Wrong One In." Dark Sky Films

The draw of "Let The Wrong One In" is definitely Anthony Head, whom some fans will likely recognize as the beleaguered librarian/Watcher Giles from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Like Giles, Head's character in this new film isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, and his efforts to stop vampires from taking over Dublin are genuinely entertaining to watch. Also in the mix is Matt (Karl Rice), who's forced to deal with the fact that his deadbeat brother is now unfortunately a vampire.

"Let the Wrong One In" deftly combines horror and comedy to create a tongue-in-cheek, hilarious new spin on the classic vampire vs. slayer narrative.

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