13 Underrated Horror Movies That Will Keep You Up At Night
Being a horror fan isn’t always easy. You’re so desperate to find the next great thing that you’ll sit through absolute trash hoping for a glimmer of actual scares. We’ve done our best to dig out some of the better ones you might not have seen here, here, and here, but if you’ve already seen those, thankfully there are even more. Hooray! Here are thirteen solid horror movies you may have never heard of or you heard of, but probably skipped. If you have suggestions of your own, we’re always open to new ones so let us know!
1. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Usually a sequel to a classic movie falls flat, but “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” breathes new life into the legacy and introduces it to a whole new generation. This is proof that the slasher subgenre is far from dead and, if done correctly, can still leave viewers on the edge of their seats.
2. Starry Eyes
If your child wants to move to Hollywood to pursue a dream of acting, avoid this movie at all costs. The terror is so overwhelming it’s almost palpable as we watch how far a young woman will go in order to get her big break. Pat Healy gives yet another incredible performance and proves once again that he’s one of the best character actors working today.
3. The Canal
Don’t be turned off by the worst DVD cover in the history of modern cinema. “The Canal” is much better than you’d expect because it’s not just blood and gore and jump scares. There’s a heavy sense of dread that builds and builds throughout until you’re certain that there is no possibility for a happy ending. In other words, it’s exactly what you want in a horror film.
4. The Den
“The Den” is far from a perfect movie and there are some moments you’ll wish were done better or just cut out, but the overall film is really enjoyable. It’s a fun, interesting take on found footage that replaces the shaky handheld camera with a computer screen similar to Chat Roulette. If you still need a reason to watch it, Melanie Papalia gives an absolutely amazing performance in a role that gives the movie the adrenaline shot it needs.
5. It Follows
Every year there’s at least one indie horror movie that fans clamor to see. 2015 belongs to “It Follows.” The story follows an urban legend about something evil that is always coming after you. No matter where you go or what you do, it’s always approaching. The hype was so big it may not hit the expectations some had for it, but it’s a breath of fresh air in a market saturated by remakes and unnecessary sequels.
I am an unapologetic Eduardo Sanchez fanboy and will be the first in line to see anything he’s attached to, but it’s because everything he puts out is gold. “Altered” was his first feature film after “The Blair Witch Project” and it does not disappoint. The alien abduction revenge story feels fresh and haunting while the special effects makes things even better. After you finish this one, check out “Lovely Molly” and “Seventh Moon” for even more of Sanchez’s splendid work.
“Splice” may lean a little closer to sci-fi than traditional horror, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of genuine terror. Things start off weird and then take a sharp turn into a territory where you’ll silently sit with your mouth hanging open in disbelief of what you’re seeing. Plus if you’re anything like our editor Max, just seeing the name Adrien Brody in the credits is all it takes to get you in the seats.
8. The Sacrament
First of all let me say that I did not enjoy “The Sacrament” at all. It was done well and Ti West knows how to build suspense, but for me it didn’t deliver. Apparently, I am in the minority because almost everyone I talk to loves it and thought it was completely engrossing. So if you’re into found footage horror with the ghosts replaced by humans behaving as monsters, you should check it out. If you hate it, then we’ll be on the same page, but I wouldn’t want you to pass up a possible great one because it wasn’t my thing.
9. The Mothman Prophecies
Look, I’m surprised as anyone that I’m recommending a horror movie starring Richard Gere, but here we are. “The Mothman Prophecies” is just flat out creepy. It’s smart enough not to parade the monster in front of your face like “Jeepers Creepers,” and gives you just enough glimpses where you’re freaked out, but can’t quite comprehend it. Even the most casual fan of horror will enjoy it.
10. The Hatchet Trilogy
We’ve recommended the first two part of the trilogy in the past, but if you haven’t gotten around to watching one of the most entertaining and enjoyable horror franchises in recent memory, now is a great time to marathon all three. Victor Crowley is the movie monster horror fans want and deserve and director Adam Green keeps things bloody, gory, and ridiculously fun. We need more movies like this.
11. The Ruins
It was easy to see the cover of “The Ruins” and assume it was like all the other mindless horror movies with a bunch of pretty faces and no plot or talent whatsoever, but that’s certainly not the case. It takes a lot for plants to be considered a villain, but “The Ruins” will make you stock up on lawn care products.
12. A Horrible Way To Die
Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett make the horror movies that should be dominating the box office. They’re setting the watermark of how suspense and horror should be done. You probably know them from the insanely good and painfully underrated “You’re Next” and “The Guest,” but “A Horrible Way to Die” was their project before those two masterpieces and you’d be foolish not to add it to your list.
13. Hostel 2
Eli Roth can be very hit or miss for me. “Cabin Fever” is one of my all time favorites, while the original “Hostel” was hard to get behind because all the characters were so unlikable. “Hostel 2” gives you a few to root for so you get emotionally connected and that makes it so much more enjoyable because this time there are stakes on the line. If you can’t do gore, skip it, but anyone else might be pleasantly surprised.