Lexi Harrington fell in love with horror after picking up Stephen King’s novel Carrie in middle school. Since then, she’s devoured as many horror movies and horror novels as she can. Lexi even writes about horror at Florida Atlantic University, where she is studying English. She’s also a Vinyasa yoga junky and teacher.
The Dreadful Ten: 10 Underrated Horror Films from the New Millennium!Movies/TV,News Lexi Harrington
There is nothing more frustrating than discovering an obsession worthy horror film, only to find you are the one person who liked it. You’re met with blank stares every time you say the title, because the movie has simply slipped through the cracks. So you go online, realizing your computer is the only one who wants to talk more about this movie with you. That is where you find your treasured film being trashed on every movie review site in existence. We won’t stand for it! In honor of these neglected and misused horror films, FANGORIA brings you the most underrated movies of the past sixteen years.
10. We Are What We Are (2013)
We Are What We Are approaches the theme of cannibalism from a uniquely intimate angle. Instead of being set in an exotic jungle with tribe members cast as cannibals, this film welcomes you into the American home of the Parkers. Viewers are placed uncomfortably close to the tension filled family dynamic, as daughters Rose and Iris become increasingly at odds with their domineering father, Frank. Viewers tour through the dark depths of the family’s strange customs before witnessing the breathtaking finale.
9. Oculus (2014)
Oculus tells the story of a mirror which houses an evil entity. The film’s generous amount of supernatural imagery sets it apart from other’s in its sub-genre. The ghosts are depicted in lavish, fearless detail and come off as disturbing rather than phony. With the increasingly unnerving supernatural threats that meet the sibling protagonists, you’re sure to find yourself on edge.
8. Untraceable (2008)
While the traditional “cop pitted against psychopath” plot turns the film into more of a thriller-hybrid than pure horror, Untraceable’s torture scenes are reminiscent of the Saw franchise. The film successfully sustains an anxiety provoking, running-out-of-time feel throughout. It also features an emotionally unbalanced villain whose antics are decidedly shudder inducing. Enjoy the high speed chase.
7. Julia’s Eyes (2010)
Producer Guillermo del Toro once again asserts himself as a master within the horror genre with Julia’s Eyes. With its setting of dark, gothic homes and buildings, the film takes the use of ‘unsettling atmosphere’ to new heights. Del Toro’s instinct for creating unnerving images and scenarios is sure to get under your skin.
6. Splice (2010)
Horror meets science fiction in the best of ways in Splice. A brilliant power couple of genetic engineers go too far when they develop an entirely new species of animal- and then adopt their creation. Genuinely played by Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, the couple finds their marriage deteriorating as their creature-child, Dren, becomes harder to control. What they don’t as easily accept is that their ‘daughter’s’ behavioral problems may actually be the emergence of predatory instincts.
5. Carrie (2013)
This remake, based off Stephen King’s novel, is made nothing short of intoxicating by the performances and the stylized atmosphere. From the dim home where Carrie’s unstable mother (Julianne Moore) lurks to the cruelly vivid world of the high school, viewers are fully immersed in Carrie’s (Chloe Grace-Moretz) claustrophobic town. Stunningly acted, this tale of a harassed teenage girl with telekinetic powers is as emotionally charged as it is explosively violent.
4. The Shrine (2010)
The Shrine single-handedly defines ‘hidden gem’. Three reporters sneak off to an isolated Poland village, eager to investigate the disappearance of a backpacker. They arrive on European soil to find hostile villagers and a strange fog hovering over the neighboring forest. A foray into the woods leads to the discovery of a horrific artifact and the unfolding of equally horrific events. Demonic forces, served up European style? Yes, please.
3. Mama (2013)
With Guillermo del Toro as producer and Jessica Chastain as protagonist, Mama is a masterpiece of a ghost story. Visually, the film is awe inspiring, featuring woods that come off as both beautiful and terrifying. When not in the woods, viewers find themselves the dim home of Chastain’s character and her two new nieces. The two little girls have miraculously survived years alone in the woods but are now under Chastain’s care. Unfortunately, something has come out of the woods with them. Viewers will find themselves nervously awaiting the appearance of the viciously jealous Mama.
2. From Within (2009)
In From Within, a fanatically religious town finds itself cursed by its one un-Christian (and therefore shunned) family. The sinister apparitions through which the curse manifests are chilling enough to prompt the use of a nightlight. One of After Dark Horrorfest’s ‘Eight Films to Die For’, From Within conducts an intelligent conversation on prejudice while creeping the hell out of you.
1. I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
I Spit on Your Grave, the remake, is as astoundingly powerful as it is visually vicious. It boasts an unforgettable heroine, Jennifer Hills, whose brutal vengeance schemes will first drop your jaw, then have you cheering. Sarah Butler’s incredible performance remains with the viewer long after the movie is over. With flawless acting and unapologetic torture scenes, revenge has never been this much fun before and will never be this much fun again.
And now, here are some honorable mentions that unfortunately didn’t make the cut…
The Collector (2009)
The Unborn (2009)
The Forest (2016)
The Devil Inside (2012)