Be it by critics or fans, horror films often fail to get the recognition they deserve. Hundreds of scary movies fly under the radar simply due to lack of discussion about them, and an equal amount are met with a poor reception and are generalized as not being very good. The 10 films featured on our list today fit both categories. Be sure to comment with your favorite underrated horror films below and on social media!
10. The Possession (2012)
Contrary to critical opinion, The Possession rests within the upper echelon of possession films. Though there are undeniably silly moments within the movie, much of Ole Bornedal’s film is damn eerie and effective- especially a frightening climactic moment in the hospital morgue. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is incredible, as per usual, and save for the out-of-place Matisyahu, the entire cast adds an ample amount of dramatic heft as well.
9. The Village (2004)
Considered by many to be the first misfire of M. Night Shyamalan‘s career, The Village is hardly as bad as people claim it to be. In fact, it’s not bad at all. While the trailers promised a straightforward horror film, Shyamalan’s 2004 effort was much more of a period-piece romance that featured elements of horror than it was a clear-cut genre film. Still, the thrills are genuine, it’s gorgeous to look at, and the twist, though divisive, is unforgettable.
8. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Not only is House on Haunted Hill one of the most underrated horror films, it’s one of the greatest horror remakes. Quote me. Scarier than the original film, especially with its terrifying imagery, the film is a blast from start to finish. While the CGI is dated, as is the CGI from most 90’s horror films, the film remains enjoyable and undeserving of the slander in which it’s received.
7. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Unpopular opinion: Scott Derrickson‘s The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the greatest modern horror films. In half, it’s a compelling courtroom drama, with the other half working as a terrifying possession film. Incredibly directed and powerfully performed, this horror flick deserves to be revisited and appreciated.
6. Silver Bullet (1985)
Rarely mentioned among the greatest 80’s horrors or werewolf films, Silver Bullet, based on a novella by Stephen King, is undeniably one of the most underrated horror films. Featuring several frightening sequences, a score that you’ll be humming for the rest of your life, and great performances, especially by Everett McGill as the equally underrated villain, Silver Bullet deserves much more love than is bestowed upon it. This is private justice.
5. Lovely Molly (2012)
Eduardo Sanchez is an incredible director that rarely gets the credit he deserves, and Lovely Molly is arguably his greatest film. Psychologically disturbing, frequently scary, and featuring a powerful, all-time great performance by Gretchen Lodge as the titular character, this is a can’t miss film that you should seek out immediately.
4. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Few directors capture dreadful atmosphere as effortlessly as John Carpenter. One of the shining examples of this is his underrated 1994 apocalypse flick, In the Mouth of Madness. Influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Mouth is nightmarishly bizarre and horrific, working like a fever dream that refuses to release you. Not only is it one of the greatest horror flicks of the 90’s, it’s one of the most underrated horror films of all time.
3. The Funhouse (1981)
My personal favorite film by Tobe Hooper, The Funhouse is a superior slasher film due to its willingness to focus on atmosphere and setting rather than cheap, run-of-the-mill slasher scares. Though it’s overshadowed by popular movies from the filmmaker, namely The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist, it’s arguably the scariest of the bunch.
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Who needs Michael Myers when you’ve got Tom Fucking Atkins? Next.
1. The Exorcist III (1990)
For the life of me, I’ll never know how this film has flown under the radar for so many people. Though not quite on the same level as 1973’s The Exorcist, this sequel is frequently every bit as frightening and as powerfully performed. Brad Dourif stands out as the evil Gemini Killer, giving one of the creepiest horror performances of all time, and the dream-like tone of the film is genuinely unnerving. Watch it, love it, and watch it again. The Exorcist III is incredible.