5 Underrated Horror Movies!!!

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Time heals all things. For me, this rings especially true of film criticism and the public’s assessment of a film’s quality. When John Carpenter’s The Thing was released in 1982, it was rejected by audiences and critics alike. Meanwhile, MGM’s remake of The Amityville Horror grossed well over $100M worldwide upon its release in 2005. Who has even seen that movie in the past 7 years?

To that end, there are a few films whose legacies and merit I feel deserve some modicum of reconsideration. I’m not saying I’ve picked 5 movies that are secretly The Thing level of quality – none of them are THAT good. But I still think that these are deserving films that got short shrift. They’re the epitome of “underrated.”

Head inside to check out 5 Underrated Horror Movies!!!

JENNIFER’S BODY

I flat out love this movie. It’s not perfect, but it’s stock full of fully realized characters, laughs and scares. Amanda Seyfried is perfect as Needy – but Megan Fox, Johnny Simmons and Adam Brody turn in some great work as well. Jennifer’s Body is also surprisingly successful when it comes to developing and exploring its themes of beauty, youth and – most importantly – relationship dynamics. It’s a sexy horror film about people who need each other more than they think they do (for reasons they don’t fully understand). Plus, “Throuuggghhhhh The Trrrrreeeeeesssssss!

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

I wrote at length about this one a little over a year ago. Now, of course I didn’t expect my piece to change the world or anything. But a year later I still think about how much I enjoyed watching that movie again, I mean it’s f*cking great! I know that there are certainly people out there who recognize its legitimacy as a good piece of entertainment, but they’re not loud enough. I want this Fred Walton masterpiece mentioned in the same breaths as, at the very least, stuff like Sleepaway Camp and Maniac Cop. Not that it has much to do with those films, it’s just weird that they’re not even as good as this one and somehow get more love.

April Fool’s Day is a better movie (all around) than the original Friday The 13th. There, I said it.

NIGHT OF THE CREEPS

This one got re-issued on Blu a few years back and in the process got a little bit of mainstream coverage that I thought would propel it into people’s consciousness more, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This is an unrelentingly fun movie with a great performance by Tom Atkins. It’s also surprisingly brutal, there’s one character with a built in sympathy card that you’re pretty sure they won’t let die – but they go for it anyway.

HOSTEL PART 2

Not only is Hostel Part 2 Eli Roth’s best film to date, it’s a d*mn good movie in general that was unfairly overlooked upon its summer 2007 release. Ditching the charming humor of Cabin Fever (and even some of the goofier stuff from the beginning of the first Hostel), the film makes the fascinating choice to follow the antagonists parallel to its (mostly) doomed female protagonists. You get to see what makes the members of the Elite Hunting Club tick. It’s also gorgeously photographed. It’s this kind of film-to-film evolution (not counting “Hemlock Grove”) as a director that has me excited for Roth’s return to the helmet’s chair in The Green Inferno.

INNOCENT BLOOD

Is this John Landis outing anywhere near as good as An American Werewolf In London? Hell no. But it’s still a strikingly unique look at Mob life told through the lens of Anne Parillaud’s vampire Marie. Innocent Blood has style, laughs and… blood to spare. Just as important? It has Don Rickles in vampire sclera lenses. That’s reason enough.

  • DarrelDreadful

    I love this list. I thought I was the only one who thought Jennifer’s Body was underrated and Megan Fox did great. Hostel Part II (way better than the first imo) and April Fools Day are two of my favorites.

  • CorbinRaven

    I LOVED JENNIFER’S BODY!!!!

  • seesoccer

    Great list. I love that Jennifer’s Body was rated R and didn’t succumb to the PG-13 rating. This is probably the only thing Megan Fox has done that I’ve liked. I randomly decided to rewatch April Fool’s Day last night and still love it. It’s on FearNet onDemand right now. I’m not a fan of the Hostel series but I did like 2 better than 1. I would also add Trick r Treat to the list. It sat on the shelf for years before getting a very limited release. It is an anthology that’s a great tribute to Halloween. The acting is great and I love how the stories are interwoven. Very underrated and deserved a theatrical release.

  • divisionbell

    Innocent Blood…truly an underrated horror flick. LOVED that movie. While I loved a lot of Hostel 2, I cannot say it’s better than the first. The cheap kill of the original hero, and the way they resolve the heroine’s escape from the guy who paid for her just killed it for me. Not to mention the incredily cheesy scene of the kids kicking the head around like a soccer ball. However, the bathory scene was incredible and Diodato’s cameo was brilliant!

    And seriously…Jennifer’s Body really deserves way more credit than it gets. Great movie and Megan Fox was surprisingly excellent in that role!

  • djblack1313

    i either like or LOVED most on this list! APRIL FOOL’S DAY i loved so much from the very first time i saw it (and it has some great 80′s faves Deborah Goodrich, Clayton Rohner & Amy Steel! what’s not to love!). i also find both APRIL FOOL’S & FRIDAY THE 13TH to be both awesome but for VERY different reasons. lol.

    NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is pure awesomeness (and it was able to be both somewhat lighthearted, gory-ish AND creepy, no pun intended). i forgot Suzanne Snyder (the fun 80′s actress pictured in the above CREEPS pic) was in that movie for a cameo!!

    INNOCENT BLOOD is decent but the main reason why that is IMO is because of gorgeous, underrated French actress Anne Parillaud (why isn’t this woman a bigger star/more well known?! she’s flawless and amazing! check her out in the thriller “IN THEIR SLEEP” or LA FEMME NIKITA!).

    i agree that HOSTEL 2 is Roth’s best film to date (as far as technique/cinematography/etc. JENNIFER’S BODY was ok. i didn’t love it although i thought Megan Fox did a great job!

  • dr.lamb

    “April Fool’s Day” had one of the best final scenes ever.

  • http://thefilmpolice.blogspot.com/ Armand DC

    I haven’t seen “April Fool’s Day” and “Night of the Creeps” yet.

    “Jennifer’s Body” and “Innocent Blood” well deserve their spots on this list. I liked the former a lot, plus – you’re right – “Through the Trees” got me. It definitely has one of the awesome sounding soundtracks in the genre.

    I can’t say the same about “Hostel 2″ though.

  • horrorking95

    Jennifer’s Body was nothing amazing, but it was fun. I haven’t seen any of the other films apart from Hostel 2 which is also a guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve never understood why people think it’s so much worse than the first one, which was just a bit of fun.

    I think a lot of the French Canadian horror films are underrated. I never hear anyone talking about incredible films like: 7 Days and 5150 Elm’s Way. In fact, I only came across Elm’s Way by accident and watched the trailer and bought it immediately. It did not disappoint! I’d highly recommend those two.

    • djblack1313

      horrorking95, 5150 ELM’S WAY does look pretty good! thanx for the mention/suggestion!

  • ThunderDragoon

    Yes, Hostel Part II! I feel like the Hostel franchise in general just doesn’t get enough recognition. It really should’ve had the chance to turn into a huge series like Saw did. It had, and still does have, big potential.

  • crane

    Im loving these top 5 lists you’re doing Evan. Im only wondering if your ever going to make some Top 50 or 100 list of your best or worst horror movies.

  • eagleye25

    Yes, April Fools Day, Hostel II, and Night of the Creeps are all great.

    Innocent Blood and Jennifer’s Body, however…

  • MrBeasty_015

    You forgot “The Insatiable”.

  • JAYSAW

    Really? Jennifer’s body is ‘underrated’? pish. it is total hipster horror with pithy one-liners and cheap gags.

    Innocent blood is a john landis staple film. a cult classic. Same with night of the creeps and april fools day. they are not ‘underrated’ it’s just people forget about the little gems director’s do sometimes. HOSTEL part 2 never seen apart from the ‘bathory’ scene and that’s all i was interested in after the first one.

    I can think of plenty of other films that would have been better classed as ‘underrated’.

    • GothicGuido

      Hate to come here and be negative but I gotta agree, I don’t know what this guy sees in Jennifer’s Body. I mean thumbs up for an R-rating and not using vampires but Diablo Codie’s dialogue is so damn cringe inducing (best described by the kid from god bless america lol)

      I liked innocent blood but imo but I would have loved it so much more with werewolves (set in the same universe as AWIL) Still dreaming a movie like that gets made (or an underworld movie that does not blow)

  • coldblood

    I think THE BURNING and BLACK CHRISTMAS (Original 1974 version) are probably the two most underrated horror flicks of all time. But otherwise this list is good.

    For newer flicks, I think ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is awesome. But honestly, it could have had a better title – which is what I think kept it from being more marketable here in the U.S.

  • Erebus Dirge

    Innocent Blood has one of the best villains ever in a horror movie – Sal The Shark, ” I can hear an angel’s fart! I can smell you’re fuckin’ dreams!” classic.
    Something that I though missed the list of underrated was Dagon, the movie just does’nt get enough recognition that it deserves, it’s not without it’s flaws though. The “skinning” scene alone is reason enough to watch it.

  • viking1983

    top 5 under-rated – haute tension, theater of blood, black christmas (original), evil ed and braindead

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    i gotta agree about Jennifer’s Body. it’s a fun movie to watch. it had some pretty funny and clever ways of putting a completely absurd spin on the drama of the high school years. i haven’t seen Night of the Creeps or Innocent Blood. i need to see if they’re on netflix or something

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    I completely agree about ‘Hostel Part 2′, It’s one of the best films in the past decade and certainly one of the best sequels ever. You can definitely see Eli Roth’s maturity as a filmmaker with every film he’s done; definitely agree it’s his best work so far.

    Jennifer’s Body, however, I do not agree with. I still don’t know what type of film the filmmakers were going for; It didn’t work as a comedy, horror film, or a parody. I’m normally a huge fan of Diablo Cody’s work, so this leads me to believe that perhaps the director is to blame for the lack of vision on the project.

  • Skullbone

    I always thought Waxwork was overlooked a lot.

  • Evil_Flip

    ‘I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is your boyfriends are here. The bad news is they’re all dead!” I freaking love night of the creeps. The end could use a bit more oumpf but it’s a great double feature with Slither. I also thought Jennifer’s Body’s is not as bad as everybody says it is. But I think it’s one of those cases where everybody assumes it’s crap because everybody else says it is. Same goes for Hostel 2.

  • DethHand

    I’m happy to see Innocent Blood get some recognition. In my opinion, its one of the best vampire movies made. But what about C.H.U.D, The Vindicator and Ghoulies (Just some of my personal favs). And I totally agree about Waxwork, hell, even Waxwork 2 was entertaining to me.

  • mobstar67

    i have no problem with this list
    Hostel 2 probably the best of the Hostel bunch..
    Jennifer’s Body probably lifted a little to much from Heathers but then again i loved Heathers so i admit it was fun…
    April Fools Day saw it first run and have a soft spot for Amy Steele..
    Innocent Blood pure hotness and i love the mob tie in..
    Night Of The Creeps was and still is a killer…

  • Joe-Banger

    Interesting list Evan, I them all except Jennifers body. That one was weak and Megan Fox has definately gotten annoying. It had good original effort over all. I Hope to see more list like this one.

  • Joe-Banger

    I meant to say ^I like them all except Jennifers body.

  • Zombie-Killa

    1,000,000x YES on Jennifer’s Body!!!! At times, I thought I was the only person, who really enjoyed this movie! Glad to know I’m not alone!!! lol.

    Amanda Seyfreid was solid, but Megan Fox was so entertaining as Jennifer. That character was tailor made for her, and she NAILED it. BUT the only thing I hate about that movie is that damn “Through The Trees” song by the crappy band! Ugh, every time I watch Jennifer’s Body, that song is stuck in my head for days, and I can’t get it out. This is a problem, because I have the movie on DVD, and watch it constantly! lol.

    Although, I did not like Hostel II. It’s pretty much the same exact story, set up, plot, and scenarios from the first film! They just replace an all male leading cast with an all female leading cast. I mean, we learn more about the secret society of weirdos, who like to torture and kill people for fun, but the movie as a whole is just a massive fail for me.

  • sqitso

    Night of the Creeps was just plain fun. Innocent Blood was a new take on vampires and way ahead of it’s time.

  • dariofulci

    April Fool’s Day, Hostel 2 and NOTC are all great. Innocent Blood is Decent and Jennifer’s Body is awful.

  • sadistinchains

    I love that Jennifer’s Body is on this list. It was fun, gory, and it felt like an homage to ‘Ginger Snaps’. I didn’t enjoy April Fool’s Day though, mostly because of the ending and the characters. As for Hostel 2, I love it but I would say that Cabin Fever is Eli Roth’s film best film yet. I haven’t seen the other films yet.

  • DevilDiabloDearieDear

    First of all, there are some many underrated horror films out there that a Top 5 wouldn’t scratch the surface. It needs to be done on a far smaller canavas, but often aswell, say five from each year, or each subgenre. Kudos to she who mentioned that ‘Waxowrk’ was underrated, but I would call that typical of the 80s who had the best variety of horro movies, yet get no appreciation whatsoever beyond the much feted two or three.

    About these five selected, ‘April Fool’s Day’ is by far the most underrated, but the makers of ‘Cry Wolf’ certainly noticed it, didn’t they. I’m impressed, cosidering its denoument, so many hold it in high regard (perhaps it was labelled a “cheat” at the time, but if it was done now, would you be impressed? I don’t hold with either the failed B- movie ‘Jennifer’s Body’ (below average, if not exactly bad but what was it?) or the rather pointless ‘Hostel 2′ retread of the first one, (loved the dangerous dogs, though)deserving a place here, especially when there are far more deserving recent gems completely ignored, among them ‘Husk’, ‘The Burrowers’, ‘Burning Bright’, ‘The Ruins’, ‘Ogre’, ‘Chaw’, ‘The Reef’, ‘The Mist’, ‘Rogue’, ‘Primeval Kill’, ‘Devil’ and ‘Primal’. Couldn’t coment on ‘Night Of The Creeps’ as I’ve yet to see it, but sure I’ll enjoy it, it’s from the right decade, while ‘Innocent Blood’ is good and deserving of a mention in an underrated list, but only if twas far bigger.

    For myself, aside from the short list I mentioned, past classics like ‘Vamp’, ‘Scarecrows’ from 1988, ‘Frogs’, ‘Long Weekend’, the sublime ‘Dagon’, ‘Dolls’ and ‘The Faculty’ are totally underrated, overlooked horrors far more worthy of reappraisal than many other films out there. And something like ‘Skyline’ I feel very sorry for. It’s surrounded by pointless abso-brat non-horrors, fake exorcisms and non-para normality setting horror and the usual cannibal crud that has nothing to do with actual zombies, yet it got utterly stoned and spat on. Why?

    • Milk

      All of those movies that you listed I actually really appreciated so I’m going to check out Burning Bright and Chaw since those are the only ones I haven’t seen from the list. Thanks for new movies to watch :)

  • violentdope

    just finished watching night of the creeps and what a great movie…thanx for the horror gem…

  • Scream_lover

    I freaking LOVE April Fool’s Day. I’m just waiting for the Scream Factory release of that beautiful movie cause it’s hard as hell to find anywhere. Jennifer’s Body is one that I have no problem defending because Diablo Cody knows how to write entertaining movies, plus Chip is just adorable. I HATED Hostel: Part 2, that’s probably the only one I have an issue with. That movie was just too much, I could not get into it. I preferred the original WAY more. Other than that, haven’t seen Night of the Creeps or Innocent Blood, but I’ll give them a shot. All in all, good list! Happy that April Fool’s Day and Jennifer’s Body are receiving the praise they deserve, ESPECIALLY April.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabbi.cordero Gabbi Cordero

    jennifer’s body is irredeemable. it’s not a cult classic even though it wanted to be and for me was a dead give away that maybe diablo cody isn’t the maestro people made her out to be.

    i remember reading a review of slither, that it was a rip-off of “night of the creeps”. then i saw it and thoroughly unimpressed thinking if it were even half as good as slither that critic may have had a point. as it stands, creeps is just a monotonous, plodding b-movie.

    i understand this is someone else’s subjective top 5, but for me the only movie that deserves its listing is Innocent Blood

  • diapers

    April Fools Day is one of my all time favorites! Yeehaw. I have never, ever, heard of Night of the Creeps. I’m gonna go and secure that one right now.

  • Introverted Surd

    Haven’t seen any of these but after reading this I guess i should give jennifers body a go. I couldn’t bring myself to before because everyone said it was awful but after reading this i feel I should at least try it.

  • Mr.Mirage

    I was not on the Diablo Cody fan email listing after Juno, so my daughter, who loved it, just said that if I never saw that one, I should watch Jennifer’s Body. As usual, we were in agreement, and I was so happy with it that Cody’s name attached to The Evil Dead filled me with gleeful anticipation.

    I can see she isn’t for everyone, fine, but she is a strong writer with a clear voice. Maybe you don’t care for her one-liners, but they were the equal to any toss-off clever smarmy remark in The Cabin In The Woods. (Not meant as a put down, btw: just… funny as hell in the Oh HELL no manner.)

    I understand that someone made a movie called Hostel and tossed the number 3 after the title. Haven’t seen it, most likely won’t, because there is only one movie called Hostel, and like Kill Bill it came in two parts. IMHO… and why people hate it is a total mystery to me.

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    This is kind of old, but i’ll comment anyway. I’ve never seen Innocent Blood, i like Jennifer’s Body, i don’t remember Night of the Creeps, didn’t care for Hostel 2 and no offense to anyone but the twist in April Fool’s Day pisses me off so bad. At least they could have had an ending where after Amy Steele finds out it’s all a joke, she goes nuts and slaughters everyone. Anyway, here are my five:

    High Tension
    Frailty
    The Caller (Some might say it’s more thriller than horror)
    Orphan
    Silent Hill

    Oh, and the remake of Nightmare On Elm Street…Just Kidding!

  • Milk

    Yes to all of these except Hostel 2. I thought it was absolutely terrible.

    • Milk

      Oh to name a movie that I thought was totally underrated was Splinter. That movie was so much fun but I never see anyone ever talking about it.

      • isabelleadjanitis

        Splinter is a good, nasty ride.

  • isabelleadjanitis

    Jennifer’s Body was absolutely terrible. Laughable, in the wrong way, horror movie. Night of the Creeps rules though and Innocent Blood is lots of fun due mostly to Robert Loggia.

  • reallivehorror

    What’s really underrated is Celebrity Ghost Stories! It’s coming back tomorrow for a new season, 9pm EST on Bio!

  • DeadInHell

    Haven’t seen Jennifer’s Body and I’m ambivalent about Hostel 2. The rest, however, are great. April Fool’s Day is one of the better late 80s slashers. The ending is divisive (apparently) but I never took issue with it. It just works. It didn’t feel like a cheap gag the way “twists” too often do in horror (e.g. High Tension).