As we reach the finish line of the Halloween season, I have one last treat to toss into your Halloween bucket. Every horror movie fan can rattle off a list of the best horror movies ever and, just as quickly, they can name the worst ever made. The best part of horror movie fandom is we tend to love the bad ones as much as the great ones. There is another category of horror movie that isn’t quite good enough to make the “best of” list but definitely rises above the bottom dwellers of the genre. Through intensive scientific research involving technology and concepts your primitive intellect wouldn’t understand ( Who got that reference?), I have compiled a list of nine underrated horror movie you should watch if you dare. Why nine? Ten seems too obvious and eleven would cause me to endlessly reference This is Spinal Tap. So allow me to indulge my artistic eccentricity and scare the pee pee out of you!
9. The Thing From Another World- 1951- Yes, the movie that inspired John Carpenter to make one of the greatest horror movies ever, The Thing, is still a fun fright fest. Scientists and Air Force personnel in the Arctic discover a UFO and unwittingly thaw out its alien inhabitant. Quicker than Trump can build a wall, this illegal alien brings terror to the secluded outpost. If you can get past some campy 1950’s dialogue and special effects this film delivers some solid scares and one of the most amazing fire stunts ever. Not only do they set the stuntman on fire, but they also throw gas in his face! Go watch that scene, it is insane!
8. The Changeling-1980- I bet you haven’t seen this on in a while! George C Scott plays a grieving man that moves in an old house with a deadly, paranormal secret. This is a great slow-burn horror movie that relies on atmosphere and story to build the tension and scares. George C Scott delivers his usual great performance, lending this movie a much-needed character that you have an emotional connection to. If you have not seen this scary haunted house movie, remember the current crop of haunted house movie stole most of its techniques from this classic, so I don’t want to hear any whining that you’ve seen that in ” such and such” movie. The ball bouncing down the stairs scene still creeps me out!
7. Wolf Creek- 2005- As if there isn’t enough to scare you about Australia, what with the Great White sharks, punching Kangaroos and “worlds deadliest” everything, Wolf Creek gives us Mick Taylor, Satans version of Crocodile Dundee. Mick enjoys terrorizing backpacking tourists as they traverse the wide open spaces of the Australian Outback. This movie has fun playing on your love of good ole Crocodile Dundee to fool you into thinking Mick is a fun fellow. It doesn’t take long before we get to the gore and terror that Mick enjoys so much. I wasn’t fooled by Mick, as I have seen The Road Warrior, so I know what Australians are capable of! Enjoy this one as John Jarratt is very memorable as Mick.
6. The Woman in Black-2012- Another great haunted house movie full of amazing atmosphere and supernatural scares. Daniel Radcliffe plays a young solicitor sent to a creepy town to examine documents of a deceased woman. Sounds a bit lame, you say? Did I mention the woman lived in the scariest house you have ever seen? I would run away from that house like Shaggy and Scooby. This movie uses darkness and shadows to play with you as you watch wondering if you saw something or not right before it scares the bejeezus out of you. Plus the turn of the century kids toys are absolutely terrifying! Saw this on a date, so that was a bonus as well! ( See I give more than reviews, I share my life with you, not like other boring bloggers)
5. The Collector- 2009- A masked psycho terrorizes a family in their home. Sound pretty generic? This film adds a great twist by having Arkin, an unwitting thief, break into this families house on the wrong night. Arkin stands out in this genre of horror movie, as he is such a sympathetic character that has to make a difficult decision, should he escape or stay and help the family. The tension skyrockets as Arkin tries to help while avoiding the crazed killer and his gory booby traps. (huh-huh booby). I love the tension this movie delivers because I actually care about Arkin and am legitimately scared for him throughout the film. I tip my cap to you filmmakers!
4. The Crazies- 2010- A deadly toxin is accidentally released on a small town causing its inhabitants to go…wait for it…CRAZY! This 2010 remake of the George Romero original rises above usual horror remakes by upping the tension and scares, as well as crafting characters you actually care about. The toxin affects the residents all differently which keeps this from becoming another mindless zombie movie and keeps the scares original and creative. The tension is upped by the fact the residents not affected have to deal with the crazies as well as the military responding to the incident. The scene with the crazy carrying the pitchfork in the hospital room with the women strapped to the hospital beds is terrifying and will have you on the edge of your seat.
3. The Decent- 2005- Some lovely ladies decide it would be fun to take a holiday and try exploring caves and wouldn’t you know they pick the wrong cave to venture into. As if the claustrophobic cave exploring isn’t scary enough, the cave has some “special” inhabitants that are hungry for some lunch. I love this film as it builds a complicated relationship between the friends, giving us more than a generic mutant horror flick. Add to that the terror of the tight spaces in the cave that will leave you gasping for breath as you feel like you are wedged into the rocky terrain with the women. About the time you get adjusted to the confines of the cave, the film unleashes the gory mutants that are terrifying. The final resolution between two of the “friends” is jaw-dropping and perfect for this movie. Trust me, you will sleep with the lights on after this one!
2. Drag Me To Hell-2009- Horror fans have a soft spot in our hearts for Sam Raimi. His Evil Dead films delivered us a great mixture of scares, gore, and silliness to keep our inner 14-year-old coming back for more. After stepping up to the big time with his Spider-man movies, Raimi took a trip back into the land of horror with this little gem. Alison Lohman is Christine Brown, a loan officer that turns down the wrong old gypsy lady ( is there a right old gypsy lady?) who puts a curse on poor Christine. She spends the movie trying to keep the demons from fulfilling the curse and dragging her to, well, Hell. Raimi gives us his greatest hits with plenty of gross-out moments, laugh out loud slapstick and genuine scares through crazy camera tricks. Poor Alison Lohman gets the Bruce Campbell treatment as she gets dragged through the slime and mud all the way to the end of this scary story. But does she get dragged to Hell? Only one way to find out!!
1. Slither-2006- I love, love, love this movie!! The story of a small town invaded by slimy aliens is a great mixture of scares, gory alien effect, comedy, great characters and horror movie easter eggs for fans of the genre to smile at. This film has a great cast with everyone’s favorite Nathan Fillion as the town sheriff trying to survive the invasion and save as many town folk as he can. Nathan is working right in the middle of his wheelhouse mixing heroics and witty dialogue with ease. The man that steals the show is Michael Rooker as Grant, the first person infected by an alien. He makes this creature so evil and sad as the alien inside of his human body falls in love with Grants wife, but he eventually learns he can never be with her. It is such a great touch to the character that could have been just a terrifying alien, but you can relate to its unrequited love. I cannot recommend this movie enough!! Go watch it and have a blast!
There you go my reliable reader, nine of the most underrated horror movies you will ever find. Go watch them all but do not blame me if you can’t sleep after watching any of these scary flicks, I warned you!! Do you have any underrated horror movie you love? Please let me know, I’d love to read your responses. Be sure to like, follow and share my amazing blog so we can finally have peace on Earth. Oh, and if I offended any Australians I was only joking around, so put away your post-apocalyptic leather outfits and we’ll have a beer if I ever make it down under!
As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho