The Best Underrated Horror Movies List!
Author: Lisha Blackhurst

This week, I wanted to create a list that gives certain films the chance to be commended for their downright unappreciated brilliance. Sadly, these films have managed to slip under the radar and either been forgotten or dismissed, and none are considered classics of the genre, yet, they are forever in my favourites, and I tend to watch them all once a year or so. If any of these are ones you’ve heard of and just never gotten round to watching, less of the excuses and ge­­­t cracking!

  1. House on Haunted Hill [1999] William Malone [IMDB rating 5.6]

This neat little 90’s flick offers some great acting from mostly unknown actors, and a quirky original take on the old classic story. This was the THING back in the 90’s; with Marilyn Manson on the soundtrack, it appealed to all us goth-horror fans who were taking our first steps into discovering the genre. Anything with a mental institution as an aesthetic setting is a win for me; the gory opening to the film as well as all the little snippets of asylum-life throughout the movie are remarkably chilling!

  1. Severance [2006] Christopher Smith [IMDB rating 6.6]

This hilarious British black comedy is the perfect blend of horror and clever wit. With a superb cast embarking upon a much dreaded team-building weekend that is quickly turned into a battle for their lives against terrorism. The film plays upon the horror conventions and adds a quirky innovative twist with its dark comedy.

  1. The Mist [2007] Frank Darabont [IMDB rating 7.2]

As an avid Stephen King fan, I enjoy most of his work coming to life on the big screen. I had a very difficult decision to make of which King film would make the cut to be added to this list and this just narrowly beat Thinner [1996] to the post. Every review you see will always state, “the ending, THE ENDING” and they are correct; the ending is brilliant.

  1. The Changeling [1980] Peter Medak [IMDB rating 7.3]

You will NEVER EVER in your lifetime see a movie like this made ever again. A classic ghost story, The Changeling [no, not the one with Angelina Jolie, sigh] uses no tricks or cheap jump scares to create tension, and will haunt you for weeks after. Preferably, watch alone on a dark stormy night and go right back to basic terror as it was intended. It will make you long for a more simple time in cinema.

  1. Gothika [2003] Mathieu Kassovitz [IMDB rating 5.8]

This movie has an all-star cast and that Behind Blue Eyes – Limp Bizkit cover song we all loved when we were kids. Any thriller fronted by Halle Berry is refreshing to watch, and this movie shows how outstanding horror really can be when fronted by extremely talented actors. The film suffers for its many supernatural elements, but the basic reign of drama that is threaded throughout keeps it grounded in realism.

  1. Dead Snow [2009] Tommy Wirkola [IMDB rating 6.4]

It may come as a surprise, but I am not in any way a fan of the zombie genre. I enjoy the older classics of the genre as a reference to communism and society but further from analysing as an historical commentary, it just doesn’t appeal to me as entertainment. However, it turns out it is actually pretty easy to change my mind; merely swop your average flesh-eating zombies for terrifying Nazi zombies and I’m sold! This is a wonderful Norwegian flick that doesn’t take itself seriously, and I found the zombies, in particular the Nazi leader, rather creepy!

  1. The Last Exorcism [2010] Daniel Stamm [IMDB rating 5.6]

The problem with any mainstream horror that hits the big screen is it is often built to appeal to the masses, and sadly this audience aren’t solid horror movie fans. This said, The Last Exorcism has unique elements that make it stand out from your typical possession movie, one being, this priest doesn’t believe in God. This mockumentary follows an atheist priest embark upon what is his last exorcism. Combining an over-used subject matter with a shred of realism means this movie hits a lot harder than its similar counterparts. Don’t dismiss it as a modern horror movie cliché, give it a chance to shine.

  1. Slither [2006] James Gunn [IMDB rating 6.5]

It is no secret that Nathan Fillion is one of my favourite actors, stemming from Two Guys and a Girl right up to Castle, so seeing him cast in a scary movie was this horror fans dream come true. This is a smart little sci-fi movie with a vein of delicious dark comedy throughout, and also stars Elizabeth Banks who is a regular face in the genre during this time-period. The only thing I would change? More Fillion. Always more. Preferably in every scene if possible.

  1. Hostel Part II [2007] Eli Roth [IMDB rating 5.4]

Do not be fooled by the fact this is a sequel; this movie stands alone and isn’t affected by the sequel curse. Developing on what we discovered in Hostel [2005] about the secret murderous money-fueled organisation, this movie not only twists the conventions and embarks upon a new female-orientated approach, but also offers a deep insight into the mind of the killers who pay for that one chance to feel powerful and godlike. This movie offers multiple layers to its narrative and is far more intelligent than its predecessor.

  1. Dead End [2003] Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa [IMDB rating 6.7]

This finely crafted little number is by far one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen, yet when I mention it, no one ever seems to have heard of it. Ray Wise is always welcome in any horror film, and he particularly stands out in this simple yet effective movie that’s plot centres around a dysfunctional family travelling across country over the Christmas period. Deeply suspenseful, it is a long long road filled with dark hilarity and eerie moments.

 

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