A few weeks back I shared a list I took a lot of joy in, 5 Underrated Horror Movies. Some of you may doubt this, but I always take more pleasure in saying positive things than I do in trashing films. I often don’t like the energy associated with the occasional vitriolic outburst I have against whatever film I feel has wasted my time that day. As much as I unleashed on something like Wrong Turn 5, I often feel bad about it afterward. That doesn’t mean I don’t stand by that review – I do. I stand by every word, but hating something is always a bummer. I think there’s a wider perception that critics enjoy writing bad reviews, when in my experience we would all much rather just see good movies every day of the week.
This is all a long way of saying that, while I do find the films in this list to be “overrated,” I don’t necessarily think all of them are “bad.” I’m not here to kick sand in their eye. It’s just interesting to look back on movies whose legacies have weathered the years and re-evaluate them with the perspective that only the passage of time can offer.
Head below for my list of 5 Overrated Horror Movies!!!
The Crow isn’t necessarily a bad film but considering the rabidness of its fan base almost 20 years later you’d think it would be some kind of masterpiece. It isn’t. It’s elevated by a good performance from Brandon Lee, but narratively speaking it’s a disjointed mess. I feel like the perception of the film benefitted from the legend of Lee’s tragic demise and its release during the height of goth’s popularity in 1994. Both of those factors and the nostalgia that surround them obscure the film’s weaknesses.
WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE
I know a lot of people prefer New Nightmare over Scream, which is insane to me. The film has a bunch of interesting post-modern concepts, stuff that Scream would later improve upon (and make entertaining to boot), but the execution here is haphazard. The design of the “new” Freddy isn’t remotely frightening or aesthetically pleasing and the film is too in love with its ideas to let them play out organically. Almost 20 years later, this film feels forced – a interesting demo of something Craven would polish to a high sheen just two years later.
The Omen is a good film, but it’s not really the classic many suggest it is. I’ve seen some people place it in a similar league as The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, which feels off base to me. It has some great moments, a great cast and a good premise, but the tone of the piece too often veers towards camp. Now, normally I’m good with camp, but I feel like The Omen takes itself too seriously to go all the way with it. As a result, the film is stuck somewhere between “good” and “great.” Director Richard Donner quickly moved on to superior material.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
This is sort of the opposite problem. I know not many people think of I Know What You Did Last Summer as a classic, but the fact that it gets any consideration at all is beyond me. Step away from the 1997 moment you may be re-living whenever you watch this film and marvel at how it ever became a thing to begin with. It’s pretty laughable stuff. So in terms of being overrated – some people actually think this film is decent. Decent would be rating it too high.
I LOVE Joe Dante. Love him. Gremlins and Gremlins 2 are two of my favorite movies ever, so whenever I write about this film it pains me. I know I pile on The Howling every now and then but it’s just because I’m sort of mystified that it has the status it does. It’s a decent film, of course. I just think that Dante’s name, some really good effects work and perhaps one of the greatest posters of all time have somehow convinced people that this is one for the ages. It’s not. The pacing is off and the setting – which should be ripe for a pulpy lark – is never fully utilized.
It’s not even in the Top 5 Joe Dante films for me. I place The Burbs, Explorers and the aforementioned Gremlins films way above it. Truth be told? I even prefer his underrated recent effort The Hole.