The Horror movie genre ranges from cinematic classics and mind-bending thrillers, to dark comedies and B-rated unknown treasures. There are so many people out there who claim to be major horror fans, yet there are many films that these so-called experts have never even heard of.
Whether you were raised as a horror fanatic in the 80’s, or you are just not getting into scary flicks thanks to today’s blockbuster suspenseful films, there must be a few movies out there that even the biggest fan of horror hasn’t seen.
Here are the 25 Best Underrated Horror Movies for you to add to your watchlist :
25. Basket Case (1982)
Horror movies from the 80s are some of the campiest features that you will ever have the chance to see. This comedy horror starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith and Beverly Bonner follows a young man named Duane Bradley who carries around a large basket containing his deformed Siamese twin brother.
Duane is on a mission in the film to seek revenge on the doctor who separated the boys against their will.
24. Monkey Shines (1988)
This chilling feature directed by George A. Romero and starring John Pankow, Kate McNiel and Jason Beghe as Allan Mann is the story of a quadriplegic who has a trained monkey that helps him with his everyday tasks. That is up until the moment when the monkey starts to develop feelings of rage against his master.
23. Antiviral (2012)
This highly satirical horror film takes place in the near future when an industry sells celebrity illnesses to their dedicated fans. The hero’s attempt to exploit the system takes a turn for the worst when he is involved in a deadly scandal. The movie stars Caleb Landry Jones, Lisa Berry and Sarah Gadon. It was written and directed by Brandon Croneberg.
22. Demon Seed (1977)
Based on the novel by Dean R. Koontz, the movie stars Julie Christie, Frtiz Weaver and Gerrit Graham in a sci-fi thriller where a scientist creates a super computer that has artificial intelligence and becomes obsessed with all humans, especially it’s creator’s wife. This one may not be considered unknown for Koontz fans but it’s a great one to check out if you haven’t seen many horror films from the late 70s.
21. I Saw the Devil (2010)
This South Korean film that is considered an Action/Crime/Drama was written and directed by Jee-won Kim and stars Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Coi, and In-seo Kim. The plot is about a secret agent who seeks revenge on a serial killer throughout an alarming series of captures and releases that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
20. They Live (1988)
This classic John Carpenter movie may not be unknown to those who grew up in the 80s, but late horror fanatics may still need to be introduced to it. Starring the late WWE wrestler Roddy Piper, along with Keith David and Meg Foster, the story is about a drifter who finds a pair of sunglasses that allow him to discover that aliens have taken over the Earth.
19. Kaidan (2007)
This unrated horror/drama was originally released in Japan. It is directed by Hideo Nakata and stars Kumiko Aso, Takaaki Enoki and Leona Hirota. The story takes place 250 years ago in Japan when a moneylender named Soetsu is killed by a Samurai. His body is dumped in the Kasenega-Fuchi river.
According to an ancient legend, all who drown in the river never surface again. 20 years later, the samurai’s son, Skhinkichi meets up with the daughter of Soetsu, and they fall in love, however it is a tragic love story thanks to the haunting of her father’s spirit.
18. Lovely Molly (2012)
This horror/drama was directed by Eduardo Sanchez and stars Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis and Alexandra Holden. It centers on the experiences of a newlywed woman named Molly who moves into the home of her deceased father deep into the country. Everything is fine until dark memories from the past begin to haunt her.
17. Candyman (1992)
Candyman is a classic 90s horror movie that shouldn’t be underrated, however there are still plenty of people who haven’t seen this one yet. The movie is based on “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker and stars Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Vanessa Williams and Xander Berkeley. It is the story of a murdering soul who has a hook for a hand. The Candyman is accidently summoned into our world by a grad student who is researching the myth of the monster.
16. Case 39 (2009)
This horror/mystery/thriller starring Renee Zellweger, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper, and Jodelle Ferland tells the story of a disturbed girl who is taken out of her foster home by a case worker (Zellweger) due to what everyone believes is abuse from her parents. Only later everyone finds out that the problem is much more severe than they could have ever imagined.
15. As Above, So Below (2014)
This mystery thriller was written and directed by John Erick Dowdle and stars Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, and Edwin Hodge. The movie involves a team of explorers who go into the catacombs located under the streets of Paris, and soon discover a very dark secret that is hidden inside the city of the dead.
14. Black Sunday (1960)
This horror film directed by Mario Bava stars Barbara Steele, John Richardson and Andrea Checchi. When a vengeful witch and her servant return from the dead, they start a bloody plan to possess the body of the witch’s look-alike descendent. However, the young girl’s brother and a handsome doctor attempt to put an end to the witch’s evil plans.
13. May (2002)
This movie written and directed by Lucky McKee stars Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, and Anna Faris. It tells the story of a lonely young woman who must face the trauma of her difficult childhood and does so in a way that is unusual to others. Her attempts to connect with new people sends her into a murdering spree.
12. The Hallow (2015)
When a family moves into an old mill house in Ireland in a remote location, they find out that they are in for the fight of their lives thanks to a demonic creature that is living in the woods nearby. This horror film was written and directed by Corin Hardy, and stars Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic and Michael McElhatton.
11. Botched (2007)
This grisly comedy horror film was written by Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle, Kit Ryan directed it. During a heist in Russia, a professional thief finds himself dealing with a group of dangerous and insane people including a two-faced psycho, hostages and a group of serial killers as he tries to find a way to make it out alive.
10. We Are Still Here (2015)
This horror film that was originally released it the Netherlands takes place in a cold and sleepy part of New England where a creepy old house awakens every thirty years, and the vengeful spirits that remain inside demands that there be a sacrifice. The movie stars Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig and Lisa Marie. It was written and directed by Ted Geohegan.
9. We are What We Are (2013)
The UK film based on the French movie Iskonski nagon, tells the story about the Parker family who practices ancient cultures. To their neighbors, they appear to be wholesome, yet reclusive as they stay to themselves most of the time. When their mother dies suddenly, it is up to the daughters, Iris, and Rose to take on the morbid responsibilities of the family. The movie stars Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, and Julia Garner. It was directed by Jim Mickle.
8. Beneath (2013)
This thriller horror film was released in May of 2013 in the US. It focuses on six high school students who are spending time out on a rowboat when they are attacked by a man-eating fish and must decide who must be sacrificed as they fight for their lives in the middle of the ocean. The movie stars Daniel Zovatto, Bonnie Dennison, and Chris Conroy. Larry Fessenden directed it.
7. Dark Was the Night (2014)
This horror thriller which was released in the US in July of 2015 tells the chilling story of an evil that is unleased in the woods inside a small town when a new logging company moves in. The mysterious spirit that is hidden in the trees strikes fear in all the people who live there. This movie stars Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, and Bianca Kajilch. Jack Heller directed it.
6. Exeter (2014)
When two struggling actresses are assigned to do background work on a movie set, they assumed it would be a simple gig. But when they showed up for their job, they found that the location was an abandoned hospital, and a famous place for ghost hunters to visit. The horror movie they thought they were filming soon takes an unexpected twist. The movie stars Meredith Prunity, Ashley Tramonite and Paisley Scott. It was directed by Ann Tramonte.
5. Hatchet (2006)
If you are looking for a campy, comedy horror that has a great mixture of laughs and jump scares Hatchet is a great choice. It may not be an award-winning film, but it is a fun movie to watch with friends late at night.
When a group of tourists visit the haunted swamps of New Orleans, they find themselves stranded in the wilderness and their fun evening soon turns into a brutal, bloody nightmare. The movie is written and directed by Adam Green and stars Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore, and Deon Richmond.
4. The House of the Devil (2009)
One night in 1983, there was a full lunar eclipse that left babysitter Samantha Hughes surrounded by strange circumstances, that is until she learns about her client’s unusual secret. The movie is written and directed by Ti West and stars Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, and Mary Woronov.
3. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
It may be considered a cult classic but there are still many people who have yet to watch this hidden gem. Trick ‘r Treat features five different stories that are intertwined together, and all occur on Halloween. There is a couple who learn what happens when you blow out a jack-o-lantern before midnight, a group of teens who play a prank that goes too far, and a hermit who is visited by a special trick or treater, among other tales. You’ll have to watch to find out how they go together. The movie stars Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Dylan Baker.
2. Dead Silence (2007)
Written by the duo that brought us the Saw legacy, Leigh Whannel and James Wan, Dead Silence tells the story of a young widower who goes back to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s murder, which could be connected to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist. The movie stars Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, and Donnie Wahlberg.
1. Splinter (2008)
Saving one of the best for last, Splinter is a creature feature film with plenty of gore and excellent chemistry between the cast members. A young couple becomes hijacked by a man and woman while camping in the woods. The four of them end up in an abandoned gas station after their car’s tire is punctured by a strange animal found dead in the road.
Trapped in the gas station, the couple and their captors must work together to find a way to defeat this strange and unusual parasite. Toby Wilkins directed Splinter, which, stars Shea Whigham, Jill Wagner, and Paulo Costanzo.