Watch These 21 Underrated Horror Films This Halloween
Watch These 21 Underrated Horror Films This Halloween
Updated on October 12, 2022 18:11 PM by Laura Mendes
There are plenty of terrifying movies available. There really is something for everyone, whether you're looking for kid-friendly Halloween movies or organising a movie night with the greatest Halloween films ever produced.
Therefore, it's likely that you haven't seen every Halloween movie available, even if you're a die-hard fan of the genre. Because of this, we contacted a few horror-loving entertainment journalists to find out which underappreciated films (and, in some cases, TV episodes) you might have missed but ought to see this Halloween.
As Above, So Below (2014)
I wasn't prepared for how much I would enjoy this horror film when I discovered it on Netflix. I was hoping to be entertained but not blown away. It's a tightly wound action movie that stays away from some of the cliches and annoyances found in the majority of found footage or documentary horror movies. The film's religious themes resonated with me as a former Catholic, and it's just so much better than it should be.
There's a tight line between "horror" and "psychological thriller," but don't worry—this Bill Paxton-helmed film has enough truly horrific moments to put it in the former camp. A film-length flashback begins when Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) enters FBI Agent Wesley Doyle's (Powers Boothe) office and reveals that his brother Adam is the "God's Hand" serial killer. Fenton tells the story of their upbringing, the brothers' relationship with their father (Bill Paxton), and the horrifying secret that brings the movie back to the present for its shocking conclusion.
Ready or Not (2019)
I recall going to see Ready or Not without having any expectations. One of the best movies of 2019 was what I received. I don't think this movie is discussed enough. In this movie, meeting your future in-laws and then having to battle for your life to survive in your new family are real-life nightmare scenarios. It's fascinating, suspenseful, and gory in all the right ways. Everyone does their roles to perfection. I had a feeling Samara Weaving would become famous. If You're Next was great, this movie is for you, but you wanted more humour with the same intensity. Bonus: Adam Brody is in his absolute preppy jerk role.
Creep, starring Patrick Brice and the Duplass brothers, has long been a favourite of mine. A videographer (Brice) is hired by a guy (Mark Duplass) who has been given the diagnosis with cancer to record a message for his family. Here's a lesson on why you should never respond to Craigslist ads. In contrast to masterpieces like The Babadook, Midsommar, or Get Out, Creep isn't particularly innovative. No, the 77-minute thriller's strengths stem from how well-written it is. In order to create a nightmare that feels horribly plausible, the film expertly mixes the inherent suspense of the found footage genre with the horrors of a slasher.
The Guest (2014)
Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead come to mind as neglected Halloween movies, but The Guest deserves more attention. Dan Stevens played a different "David" in The Guest opposite the incredible Maika Monroe before he became the Beast or a cast member of the bizarre television series Legion. In this movie, which straddles the border between an action movie and a slasher, Stevens is so endearing and vicious. The Guest is a wild, gory ride for anyone who wants a little bit of everything in their Halloween viewing, especially in the film's concluding, triumphant moments. Written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard.
She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
What if the unwavering conviction that you would soon leave this mortal coil was more than simply a parasite eating away at your mental health? What if it was a disease? The first character (Kate Lyn Sheil) in Amy Seimetz's utterly unsettling thriller is plagued by the fear that she will pass away tomorrow. After discussing this with a worried friend, that person now feels like she's going to die as well, and so on. This nihilistic sorrow quickly spreads rapidly, and it also sends a meeting invitation to the Outlook calendar residing within their heads. You start to identify with these people's collective crazy more and more as you continue to witness their collective self-destruction.
The House of the Devil (2009)
I strongly advise you to spend a Halloween season night with Ti West's The House of the Devil if you like X (and its recently released prequel Pearl). West's slow-burning tribute to the satanic panic era, which was released in 2009 but is set in the 1980s, also stars actor-turned-filmmaker Greta Gerwig and Tom Noonan (Manhunter, The Monster Squad). It is enjoyable, bizarre, and rife with historical allusions, much like West's most recent work (enter a dance scene set to "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx). Just be certain to place an order for a greasy pizza before you hit play!
Blood Quantum (2019)
The zombie movie is the most intelligent and foolish subgenre of horror cinema. With George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, and Yeon Sang-Train ho's to Busan, some of the greatest minds in the medium have cleverly used the walking dead to allegorize racism, the zero-sum game of political isolationism, and the thin layer of civility that keeps modern society functioning. However, the zombie film can also be used as a bloody non-weapon. Blood Quantum, the latest zombie movie from Canadian director Jeff Barnaby, thankfully swings for the metaphorical end of the undead entrails; it is both a passionate critique of colonialism and a bloody splatterfest.
After Midnight (2019)
A successful horror film must be able to surprise its audience, and 2019's After Midnight is a lovely surprise of a movie, scary or not. When Hank's girlfriend vanishes, he starts to second-guess the orderly, regular life he's built for himself. Oh, and all of a sudden, an ominous creature starts assaulting his house every night. Even while you may believe you understand what's happening After Midnight chooses to go in a different (and far more intriguing) way, leading to what may be the most beautiful finale I've ever seen in a horror movie.
All My Friends Hate Me 2021
All My Buddies Hate Me is a horror and comedy movie that doesn't really belong in any genre. It centres on Pete (Tom Stourton), a 30-something who is eager and enthusiastic to spend time with his college friends for a weekend getaway. Pete is put in an awkward situation right out of the gate in the movie when his buddies arrive late for his birthday weekend and ignore the news of his most recent professional accomplishment. The audience and Pete become more uneasy as the reunion goes on since it's harder to tell whether Pete's buddies are just bored to see him or are pulling a cruel joke on him. It's not obvious from the movie's many turns and turns if Pete is a trustworthy narrator or is losing control of his mental state.
It's a film that sticks with you and sparks conversation. The actors do a fantastic job of portraying their character arcs, making them both likeable and despised.
Also read :25 best underrated horror movies
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)
If The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of your favourite films this Halloween, but you haven't seen filmmaker Darren Lynn Bousman's adaptation of the 2002 play, you should. The movie centres on a pandemic in which a biotech corporation introduces an organ-financing scheme. But when they arrive to collect, things get deadly. Although the societal critique is excellent, watching Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Anthony Head) as the singing Repo Man is what makes this movie so enjoyable.
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Not only is Sleepaway Camp II possibly the best instalment in the series, but it is also a remarkably underappreciated addition to the canon of slasher films. It stands out because you can immediately identify the murderer and follow them as they commit their crimes. Knowing the killer simply heightens the suspense as you wait for the other shoe to drop anytime they appear on screen with a victim-in-waiting. The film is chock-full of gory murders, tributes to horror greats like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, and some truly gross scenes that will make you wince. All of it, together with Pamela Springsteen's (yes, Bruce Springsteen's little sister) genuinely humorous performance as the killer, makes for a film that is well worth seeking out.
Personal Shopper (2016)
This movie terrifies me more than any other in recent memory, although most people seem more focused on the clothes than the phantom. As a clothing shopper for a wealthy customer, Kristen Stewart's Maureen frequently travelled between Paris and London. Maureen also receives persistent texts from an "unknown caller," a menacing figure akin to the mocking phone maniac from Scream. The texts are even more heartbreaking since Maureen, who believes in a message from her recently deceased twin brother, is hoping to hear from him. In a masterful approach to horror, writer/director Olivier Assayas contrasts profound spiritualism with crass materialism to evoke genuine chills.
Also read :underrated horror movies
Practical Magic (1998)
Since you generally don't think of Practical Magic as a horror film, it is underestimated as one. But when delving into the more gruesome aspects of the ostensibly lighthearted dramedy about two sisters (Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman) whose witchy abilities result in some (justifiable) murder and (light) mayhem, director Griffin Dunne doesn't hold back. No one mentions the dark turn the midnight margarita scene takes as Sally and Gillian's aunts Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest) discover what their nieces have been up to, let alone the terror surrounding Gillian's lover Jimmy (Goran Visnjic), undead evidence that Gillian has, in Sally's words, "the worst taste in men."
Swallow, written and directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, features a seductive Haley Bennett as a young pregnant housewife who has a peculiar penchant for swallowing bizarre and hazardous things, which are frequently pointy and irregular in shape. That feels like a gun that must go off some time, but as her husband grows more domineering, she finds that her bad habit just becomes worse, and she starts to feel less and less like she belongs in her new, supposedly ideal existence. Despite being gorgeous, the film's pastel pink and purple aesthetic never once lightens the heightened sense of dread. Your own breath will become trapped in your throat as you exude a sense of seclusion and confinement.
Before regularly producing excellent Netflix horror shows like The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, Mike Flanagan made a significant impact with Oculus. By co-writing (with Jeff Howard) and directing the story of a brother and sister (Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites) dealing with a mirror that may have dangerous supernatural abilities that were the cause of great tragedy in their family, this 2013 Blumhouse movie demonstrates just how assured and skilled Flanagan was from an early stage in his career. It successfully combines really spooky and emotionally powerful passages while taking place in two different historical periods, as Flanagan has done again and time again in his subsequent work.
Also read :Best underrated horror movies
Scare Me (2020)
An overlooked classic from 2020 is the horror comedy by Josh Ruben. Ruben not only wrote, produced, and directed the movie, but he also plays Fred, an actor/writer who travels alone to the Catskills for a retreat. He meets best-selling horror author Fanny (Aya Cash), who is staying nearby. Fred and Fanny spend the time while the area is in a blackout by exchanging their spookiest tales. It explores themes like frail masculinity, particularly when up against a competent female counterpart, and makes smart allusions to horror film classics. It works differently for writers and other creative people by focusing on our vulnerabilities. The worst part of this film might be Fred realising he's a terrible writer, despite Fanny and Fred's terrifying fireside tales.
Little Monsters (1989)
Is the film on the list with Little Monsters the scariest? No. 33 years later, does it still hold up in the end? Obviously not. However, I was enthralled as a child by director Richard Greenberg's film about a misfit child (Fred Savage) and the monster that appears from under his bed (Howie Mandel, in some gnarly makeup). Last Halloween, I showed the movie to my rather frightened children, and they agreed that it was just as campy and enjoyable—in that late-80s, coming-of-age, trope-filled way. Check under your bed if you're seeking less spooky but entertaining fare this season.
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Famous director Sam Raimi's new horror film, Drag Me to Hell, has everything you'd expect from a Raimi production. Of course, the body horror and jump scares are amazing, and you'll chuckle almost as much as you squirm. I don't want to give anything away, but Justin Long and Dileep Rao deliver outstanding performances in this terrifying drama.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is undoubtedly an underestimated film overall (it frequently appears on lists of the 100 greatest films). Still, it receives far less attention when considered as a Halloween or horror movie. It shouldn't be like that. Steven Spielberg, the director, cleverly employs the holiday as a crucial plot element to transfer the E.T. figure covertly throughout the suburbs while donning a costume. And when it comes to horror, E.T. has it all, whether you find the idea of aliens invading Earth frightful on its own (not to mention how closely linked this alien's health becomes to that of one special young boy) or if you're more afraid of what the government can and will do, particularly to that young boy.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
I'm going to lie and cheat by proposing a limited-run TV show because prestige TV is the new movie. The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix offers ten episodes of subtle gothic beauty. The show strikes a mix between character development, psychological suspense, and spooky elements. The series succeeds on many levels as it shows a family battling both actual ghosts and the metaphorical ghosts of generational trauma. The entire series is fully rewatchable, thanks to a surprising ending. Honourable mentions go to The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass (2021), both created by creator Mike Flannigan (2020).