It’s that time of year again, but you’ve most likely seen all there is to see in the horror genre – or so you think. If you’re tired of looking for some horror movies to watch this month, we definitely have you covered. Here are 19 underrated horror films you need to watch right now:
19. ABCs of Death 2
It’s that time of year where everyone is looking for something to make them jump, get freaked out and many other (strange) things. Well, in most cases, horror fans have probably seen all there is to offer but we’re hoping that in this list, you’ll find something that maybe you haven’t seen yet:
The first ABC’s of Death had an interesting premise; 26 different short films centered around death caused by a different letter of the alphabet, each with a different director. Interesting premise, freaking awful, terrible, horrible execution. There are literally, not kidding, four stories centered around death by farts, poopies, and toilets. One, I could excuse. But four? Really?
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I volunteered, even paid for the experience of The ABC’s of Death 2. No idea why; just did it.
And, I am very glad I did. This is the true ABC’s of Death. The stories are mostly well-told, with a few actually bringing me to tears (R, for real, is perfect in every way.) There was variety, surprises, and overall, pretty much an enjoyable experience. Do not ever watch the first ABC’s of Death (unless you like feces), but watch this one. -Sylvia Maixner
18. The Collection (2012)
This horror sequel is a lot of fun, if not a little generic. However, it’s still better than the majority of mainstream horrors as it has plenty of imaginative deaths and some beautiful cinematography throughout. The first ten minutes alone is worth a gander for its preposterous yet fantastic display of bloodshed. – Jonathan Edwards
17. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
An utterly insane entry into the franchise, A New Beginning is not only a fun, gratuitous 80’s throwback but it’s also a surreal drug inducing oddity. With a high body count, graphic violence and explicit nudity, this movie is a staple of a classic 80’s slasher. Once you’ve given it a watch you will not be surprised to learn that behind the scenes the production was plagued with hardcore drug use. Utterly insane. – Jonathan Edwards
16. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Kristen is a teenage girl with problems. She has an alcoholic tramp for a mother, no friends, deep depression, and really, really bad dreams. When her mother wakes her from yet another nightmare to find her wrists slit and a razor in her hand, she immediately has her daughter committed.
One of her therapists at the juvenile institution is none other than Nancy Thompson, a woman with a nightmarish history of her own. One by one, other patients reveal that they are all dreaming of the same killer, and Nancy is the only one who believes them. She may also be the only one with the power to save their lives.
In my opinion, Dream Warriors is by far the most creative, original, and fun entry in the Elm Street series. The unique mix of relatable characters, solid special effects, awesome soundtrack, and of course, Freddy’s infamous one-liners, all come together to make this a spooky good time for all horror fans. – Jennifer Huneycutt
15. 1408 (2007)
Mike Enslin is a paranormal researcher who has become so cynical, even he doesn’t believe the stuff he’s writing. Hearing of a supposedly haunted room at the Dolphin Hotel, he checks in, set on debunking the macabre myth of room 1408.
What follows is one of the most terrifying descents into madness I’ve ever seen on film. You find yourself questioning reality, sanity, and the power of evil, right alongside Mike.
This is one of those rare movies that truly gets under your skin, inside your head, and chills you to the bone. The pervasive sense of dread never lets up for an instant, and even the well-timed jump scares aren’t enough to make you look away.
With a beautifully ambiguous mind-f*ck of an ending, this chiller will have you never wanting to stay in another hotel room again. – Jennifer Huneycutt
14. Outpost (2007)
Notable for being the film that launched a wave of imitation Nazi-Zombie ‘straight to DVD’ releases (including its own two poor sequels), this 2007 offering sees future Punisher Ray Stevenson’s band of Mercs penetrating a WWII Eastern European bunker complex in search of a Nazi time-hopping Mcguffin.
The world-weary supporting cast of expendable former soldiers is quite endearing, including Luther/Ben Wheatley alumni Michael Smiley, and Game of Throne’s own King of the White Walkers, Richard Brake.
Their opponents are also well visualized, favoring the use of lighting and make-up effects over CGI. The film has an overwhelmingly hopeless, grimy feel to it, with the sets and cast almost saturated with the mud and clay they are slogging through. It’s definitely worth spending your time on. -Simon Andrews
13. Cabin Fever (2003)
This film is definitely for any fan of a horror film with just the right amount of dark humor (comedy, if you will), gross moments and just an overall sick feeling after viewing a film. I mean, it probably wouldn’t come close if you compared it to director Eli Roth’s Green Inferno, but it’s definitely worth a view for any horror fan. -Frank Palmer
12. The Shrine (2010)
A journalist, her assistant, and photographer travel to investigate a rash of disappearances in a remote village in Europe, and discover more than than a good story for the papers. A simple premise, a bit cliched perhaps, but well executed and a surprisingly good time. – Sylvia Maixner
11. Odd Thomas (2013)
The film wastes no time in setting up Odd’s complicated existence in his little Californian town, making it instantly accessible, with no need to have read the source material.
Being psychic, our hero is visited by the spirits of the recently departed, and is able to write their wrongs for them. As well as the deceased, Odd can also see Bodachs, invisible creatures who are attracted to and feed off evil.
It soon becomes clear, with a major jump in the local Bodach population, that something very big and bad is on its way, so the film follows Odd and his friends as they try to figure out and prevent the coming tragedy.
As you’d expect from a Dean Koontz story, the characters are all quite likeable, which only makes the ending of the film all that more emotionally engaging. It’s a quirky oddball tale, with some wonderful jumps and frights inside. -Simon Andrews
10. Pontypool (2008)
Pontypool is an effective horror which was inspired by Orson Welles’ infamous radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. Performances are solid, the script is tight and the chills are as cold as an ex lover. Hugely recommended for those who love horror and looking for something a little more unique. – Jonathan Edwards
9. Stake Land (2010)
Arriving in cinemas at roughly the same time as the first season of ‘The Walking Dead’, the two projects share a good deal of DNA, only in this case it’s bloodthirsty savage vampires that have saturated the USA, and not a shambolic zombie plague.
The film follows Martin, a young boy who is saved from a massacre by Nick Damici’s ‘Mister’, a hard-as-nails modern day vampire slayer who takes the young survivor under his wing, and trains him up as the two make the way across the States to the relative safety of the Canadian border.
As in some of the finest horror offerings, it’s the human threats and not necessarily the undead who pose the greatest threat to our protagonists, as the two must also evade a militia of religious zealots. Damici is brilliant as the unflinching, stake-wielding Mister, and the film is a true hidden gem. – Simon Andrews
8. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
This movie is pretty much the perfect example of how a genre examines itself; it belongs right up there with Shawn of the Dead and Cabin in the Woods. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is a superior movie to Cabin in the Woods, in that the love for the genre, and not for meta film-making, is what really fuels this film.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon follows a documentary filmmaker and her crew, following a slasher killer as he gleefully shows them how he does what he does. The leading man, played by Nathan Baesel, is charming, whimsical, and intimidating; you cannot keep your eyes away from him. If you like slashers, and horror in general, this is a must watch. – Sylvia Maixner
7. The Mist (2007)
The Mist is the third adaption of a Stephen King story by Director Frank Darabont, after The Shawshank Redmption and The Green Mile. The Mist focuses on the residents of a small town trapped in a grocery store after a military experiment causes a mist, full of dangerous creatures, to descend on the town.
For the most part the creatures the creatures are sidelined, as the real danger comes from within when a religious fanatic plays upon people’s fear. The cast all do a great job with the criminally underrated Tom Jane playing a father determined to protect his son from the horrors around him. Tense and atmospheric with one of the most shocking endings in recent years, The Mist is an excellent addition to the Darabont/King series. – James Hadden
6. City of the Living Dead (1980)
What do you get when a priest hangs himself from a branch in a cemetery of a remote village? You get the gates of hell opening up on said village, causing the now evil priest to acquire supernatural powers that turn your insides out, and the dead appearing out of thin air, only to rip the back of skull from your body. This is City of the Living Dead. This Italian horror film is the first part of Fulci’s unofficial “Gates of Hell” trilogy that is a wonderful gore fest which sound design really makes you cringe when limbs are being torn off, and of intestines are vacating a body.
The story is simple but the fright is there. The make-up and effects fit that classic 70s/80s vibe but don’t come off as cheap. But forewarn, the ending is a definite head scratcher, yet, is actually kind of interesting once you do a little research. Give this under appreciated classic a view and give yourself up to the filmography of Lucio Fulci. – Mark Salcido
5. Day of the Dead (1985)
George Romero’s third venture into the world of the undead never quite received the acclaim of its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it’s in anyway a bad film. Taking place sometime after the initial outbreak, Day of the Dead focuses on a small band of soldiers and scientists and the conflict between them as they attempt to survive in an underground bunker. Dark and claustrophobic, Romero turns the genre on his head by humanizing the zombie, in the form of Bub, and revealing the soldiers to be the true threat, something which zombie films continue to do to this day. – James Hadden
4. Frailty (2001)
Up until 2010 when I first watched this film, I’d never even heard of it. I found that to be odd, considering I was aware of pretty much every movie that came out in the 90’s/early 2000’s. I wasn’t expecting much but what I got was a pretty creepy movie which features a great performance from Bill Paxton – and a twist you definitely won’t see coming at the end.
3. Splinter (2008)
On its arrival in 2008, two years prior to the debut of Boardwalk Empire, this horror feature found Shea Wigham at a time in his career where he was still very much a supporting cast member. This film, however, promotes him to leading man, as he plays Dennis, an escaped Bank Robber who ends up trapped in an isolated gas station with the couple he car-jacked, stalked by a relentless and sinister parasite.
The monster/disease is a nightmarish creation, essentially a black mess covered in spines, that infects anything it comes into contact with, and reanimates them as vicious killing machines. As the trio desperately tries to survive, they are attacked not only by the undead, but also by ‘The Thing-esque’ individual body parts, which have remobilized and gained the ability to fire infected spikes at them. Both are clever and compelling viewing. – Simon Andrews
2. The Orphanage (2007)
The story of a mother and former orphan who buys the abandoned Orphanage she grew up in, it’s a brilliantly suspenseful affair where the audience is terrorized as much by what they don’t see on screen, just as much as they do. This is typified in the standout scene of the movie, where the main characters must sit and listen to the horrific running commentary of a psychic, walking through the premises, and encountering the ghosts of the previous occupiers as she does.
As her son goes missing in the grounds, and the mystery gathers pace, it all leads to a heart-rending conclusion that I dare you to remain unmoved by. – Simon Andrews
1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Few movies embrace Halloween like Trick R’ Treat. It’s kind of like a documentary on Halloween history and traditions, only with more murder and candy. A tight collection of inter-woven short stories, with the most adorable overarching villain ever, this film shows horror anthologies how it’s done.
Confession time: Next to Rosemary’s Baby, this is actually my favorite horror film, period. – Sylvia Maixner
What’d you think of the list? Will you be watching any of these? Sound off in the comment section below!