For being one of the most popular film genres there are so many underrated horror movies that people should know about. These aren’t necessarily deep cuts but movies that we at EPIX think deserve to have a little more spotlight.
Everyone takes shortcuts to get to a destination quicker, right? Ray Wise and his family are heading to a relative’s house on Christmas Eve for a holiday celebration when Wise thinks it would be wise (see what I did there?) to take a shortcut on a back road. It’s the beginning of the worst night this family has ever had. Wise falls asleep at the wheel and wakes when he almost crashes into an oncoming car. All of a sudden a woman dressed in white appears outside of Wise’s family car. She appears to be in shock and also has a nasty wound on her head, so Wise offers her a ride. Once this creepy silent woman enters the car the family’s lives will never be the same. So a word to the wise (I did it again, I couldn’t help myself) next time you want to take a shortcut, make sure you know where it ends. Don’t let this thrill ride slip through your fingers.
Who doesn’t love a tale of revenge, witches, and vampires? Most horror fans you speak to will tell you they love Black Sunday. It, in my opinion was way ahead of its time. The eeriness of the film still holds up today even though it was released in 1960. Director Mario Bava definitely knew how to get fans attention, with beautiful women and gruesome murders, of course. Alongside her protégé Javuto, Princess Asa is sentenced to death by the hand of her brother for practicing sorcery. Asa vows revenge and puts a curse on her brother and all his descendants. Now let’s fast-forward the story to two centuries later. A doctor and his assistant are travelling through the town where Asa was put to death, and of course they accidentally bring the witch back to life. Now Asa is alive and seeks not only revenge but also eternal life. This film is one of the classics and if you haven’t seen this staple in the horror genre, watch it now. Seriously, right now.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Prepare for an invasion of blood sucking alien clowns! Stephen Chiodo’s movie about aliens closely resembling Bozo (that famous clown who’s haunted many a dream) has gained cult-status since it’s release in 1988 and it’s no surprise. This horror flick has lots of fright as well as dark humor. While some may judge a movie by its poster (or title), we never do, which is why I’m telling you watch this movie! Clowns are creepy enough, but add in a healthy lust for human blood and out-of-this-world adventure and you’ve got the makings of an underrated, yet must see horror film.
This may not have Buffy the Vampire Slayer in it, but the original Japanese version of The Grudge, Ju-On, is in my opinion, much better than it’s American remake. Everything about this movie is creepy. Literally. Everything. We begin with a concerned schoolteacher dropping in on a frequently absent student to make sure everything at home is all right. If you guessed that everything is far from ok at this point, you win nothing, but you’re observant so good for you. What the teacher discovers is the boy’s mother’s undying love for him and her dead body in the attic. The little boy, who remains silent the whole time, is covered in bruises, so the teacher attempts to rescue him, but receives a call from the father confessing to the murder of his own wife and son. On top of that he has murdered the teacher’s wife and unborn child. A few years later, a new family moves in and the unspeakable acts of violence remain in the air as a curse. The new residents experience some of the creepiest stuff I’ve seen. You’d be crazy to miss this one.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The famed Texarkana Phantom killer is back 65 years later in this meta-sequel from Ryan Murphy (creator of American Horror Story). The story begins with Jami and her boyfriend watching the original “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” at the drive-in theater. Jami decides she doesn’t like the movie and her and her main squeeze Corey sneak away to suck face. They were just watching a horror movie that took place in their town; don’t they know teens that go make out in the woods are ALWAYS the first to bite the dust? Apparently not. Corey is murdered in front of Jami and the Phantom tells Jami to “make them remember.” Jami is now on a mission to find out who is the current Phantom killer and put a stop to these gruesome killings. Several more murders take place, and some pay homage to the original, which as a horror fan I appreciated greatly. Will Jami survive? I mean one always does, she’s got a pretty good shot being the babe that she is. Don’t miss this violently awesome flick.
Farmer Vincent receives travelers from all over looking to try his famous dried, smoked sausage, but what’s his secret ingredient? You guessed it. The very tourists looking to chow down get chopped up and added into his tasty mix. His recipe takes a lot of preparation – only the highest quality human meat is acceptable! – with Farmer Vincent planting his victims in the ground up to their necks at which point he oh, so carefully slices their throats. Once Vincent’s brother Bruce learns the secret recipe, it’s time for a chainsaw showdown between the two brothers, which is blood dripping, but also hysterical.