5 Underrated Horror Movies

5 Underrated Horror Movies
Case File 041: House on Haunted Hill (1999) - 27th Letter Productions

credit: House on Haunted Hill

It’s very easy to think of why movie critics and even the fans don’t respect every horror movie that comes to light, especially since a lot of them are remakes, some of them are seriously lacking in the originality department, and some are just that bad. But there are plenty of horror movies that tend to get overlooked and underrated for reasons that are hard to figure out.

Some might not have the same kind of wow factor that other movies might have or might have been released at a time when other, more popular movies were being paraded in front of the fans. Whatever the reason, a lot of better-than-average horror movies have been seriously underrated over the years, and while some of them aren’t exactly the type of movies people rave about, they still tell a great story that might not have been conveyed in the script, the dialogue, or even the general feel of the movie. Sometimes actors don’t vibe with each other, dialogue can come off choppy, or the effects can even play a role in the movie’s less-than-desirable showing. 

With that in mind, here are five of the most underrated horror films ever. 

5. Trick ‘r Treat

Trick 'r Treat to Play in Theaters For the First Time For Halloween

credit: Trick ‘r Treat

A couple of movies on this list have been turned into cult classics, and this is one of them since people have come around to the idea that this was actually one of the better movies of its time. While it’s not quite an anthology, even if I’ve stated as such over the years, Trick ‘r Treat is a group of connected stories that take place on, you guessed it, Halloween and feature a character named Sam that is the embodiment of the holiday.

While he doesn’t do much apart from the beginning and near the end of the movie, he is a noticeable figure that is present for each story, which offers up the interesting connection that is finally brought to bear near the end of the movie. If nothing else, this is great storytelling and, therefore, easy to appreciate. 

4. As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below nauseating for the wrong reasons: review | The Star

credit: As Above So Below

So yeah, in the long line of horror movies, this is one of those that make use of the idea that heading into the depths of a city where things are reported to happen, and people have actually been lost, is one of the worst ideas. So let’s do it, right? When the main characters make their way into the depths of Paris, though, they end up finding more than they bargained for since in a movie such as this, with the use of the dark and the occult practices that are taking place as they wander through the lower levels of the city, there’s no telling what’s about to pop out, or if it’s going to be the last thing the individuals see. As far as storytelling goes, it wasn’t bad, but the shaky camera work is kind of hard to get into. 

3. House on Haunted Hill 

House on Haunted Hill' Will Live in Glorious Infamy for Its Over-the-Top  Theatrics [Revenge of the Remakes] - Bloody Disgusting

credit: House on Haunted Hill

If this remake suffered from anything, it was the fact that story felt a little too rushed in spots and the other fact that the special effects could have used a little work. It almost feels as though the movie might have been working off the same budget as the original movie did four decades earlier. But one has to remember that back in the 90s, the special effects generated by computers were still uncertain and didn’t always fire on all cylinders unless the money was there.

As far as the story goes, however, it was a fun movie since the idea of using a mental institution was interesting. Unfortunately, it did spawn a sequel that was absolutely horrible since it doubled down on the story of the first movie and decided to give a concrete reason for the haunting of the institution. 

2. The Midnight Meat Train

Midnight Meat Train 2008, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura | Film review

credit: The Midnight Meat Train

Clive Barker tells a truly gruesome story, and this is one of those that might make a lot of people cringe if they’ve ever seen it. There’s no messing around with this movie since the graphic nature of it does manage to cull the squeamish from the interested as the story of a photographer looking for a scene that tells a tale of the city and a murderer that feeds the things that live beneath it is one that is kind of disturbing but is also morbidly interesting.

Also, the original story kind of speaks to the history of New York City in a manner that makes it even more interesting since it could have been done in a way that shows a little more of Barker’s tale in vivid detail. 

1. Thirteen Ghosts 

REVIEW: Thirteen Ghosts (2001) – FictionMachine

credit: Thirteen Ghosts

There is a great story to be told here, but somehow it was lost within the script as the hilarity of the designs, and the overall dynamic between the characters somehow sapped all the real horror out of the movie. There are still enough scares to make it worth watching, but for a lot of people, the chill factor of this movie isn’t quite enough to make it difficult to go to sleep without nightmares plaguing a person every step of the way. 

Clive Barker

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