Ah, October. For department stores it means it’s time to put up Christmas decorations, for kids it means it’s the one time they can ask people for candy without repercussions, and for cinephiles, it means it’s time to start watching horror films. Every year, we get horror films that get put on pedestals.
Some of those films deserve them like Get Out or Hereditary, while others do not such as It: Chapter 2 or mother! However, what about the films that should be on a pedestal, but aren’t. I’m not talking about the films that are loved by a wide majority of people have seen and enjoyed like Cabin in the Woods or Overlord. I’m talking about the movies that even most film majors I know haven’t seen and always say “Oh, I really want to see that!” These are the films that I really want to talk about today, so without any more delay, here are the horror films I believe to be the most underrated of the decade.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Venom was good? Wonder no longer, as Upgrade is exactly that. A guy that kinda looks like Tom Hardy, relationship/job that ended up not working out (for very different reasons but it still stands), and an “implant” which speaks to our Tom Hard-iish and compels him to right the wrongs of the past. The differences in order are 1) Upgrade is actually funny.
The banter between Grey and Stem is great and has a lot of good timing and fast-paced comedy. 2) The action is amazing. I actually saw this movie twice in theatres, and both times, I thought the punches were beautifully brutal. The peculiar movement of the camera combined with the great acting from Logan Marshall Green makes for great entertainment. 3) The ending. It might just be because I hadn’t seen a lot of horror movies at the time, but when I first saw the ending, I was amazed. The final scene is truly incredible. It’s definitely one more people should see.
Ready or Not (2019)
This is the newest movie on the list at not even two months old at the time of writing. It tells the story of a bride who is being hunted down on her wedding night to make a satanic ritual to appease an angry game mogul ghost. You know, I’d appreciate it if they paid me for the story of my second marriage, but oh well. This is in all actuality, much more of a comedy than a horror film, but it is still a good horror movie. The house is just filled with atmos-fear-ic tension. (haha, puns) and great designs.
There is some great tension and suspense, especially in the second act mainly revolving around an insane butler. Also, the song written for the film “The Hide and Seek Song” is in all actuality deserving of Best Original Song at the Oscars. I mean, the song itself is nothing great, but the guy singing is having the time of his life belting the tune out. It also plays during what might be the best scene in the movie, the ending. The entire time, you don’t know if the family is actually cursed, and the ending answers the question in the funniest way possible. All in all, you should seek this one out.
Hell Fest (2018)
Does this movie have a 43/42% critic/audience split on Rotten Tomatoes? Yeah. Are the IMDb/Metacritic ratings at 5.5/26? They are, but gosh dang it Hell Fest is just a really fun time. I’m known for my lambasting of horror films with many of my friends, but I just had a great time during this movie. It makes everything I hate about the Friday the 13th films (which don’t have a single good film in the franchise) or the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise and turns it into basically a really fun, very dark horror film.
The murderer, who is never really given a name aside from “The Other”, is a pretty cool serial killer. While he doesn’t have the iconism of someone like Jason or Michael Myers, does have some fun kills and an ending that I really liked. Is it high art? No. Is it a pretty fun horror film that is better than all but three Halloween films? Definitely.
Scream 4 (2011)
I really like this entire franchise. I’m not a huge fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise, so when I started watching the first film, also directed by Wes Craven, I was kinda nervous. Good thing that these four horror films are some of my favourites of the genre. Honestly, when it comes down to favourite horror franchises, this one is probably at the top of my list. I always feel a sort of tongue-in-cheek humour when watching these movies.
Scream 4 is as good as any of the movies, which is what earns the spot here. The jokes about the horror reboots run amok here, and the killer still has some interesting twists. Plus, no one can deny the incredible final line from Neve Campbell at the end. It isn’t repeatable, but it’s amazing. Overall, Scream 4 is chock full of wit and decent scares to make a solid, and underrated, horror film.
Tragedy Girls (2017)
Ah, Tragedy Girls. I remember when I first read the synopsis of how it’s two high schoolers attempt to become celebrities by murdering people and posting about it in order to make their website reach tons of views, I could only think of one thing. “Finally, something relatable!” If you look past the fact that the two main characters are murdering psychopaths, they’re actually kind of relatable in a teenage “I hate everyone but want everyone to like me” way. Hildebrand and Shipp also contribute two really good performances to make it even better.
I will say though, this is the most niche demographic of any film on this list. I’ve never met anyone else who has seen it, but it is one of the best horror films of the decade. With the humour of murder and some good social commentary, I would recommend the film to anyone I know, except children, definitely not for them.
So those are the most underrated horror films of the decade. They all range from good to great, and give us what we need on Halloween. I’m awaiting what great, underrated horror films we get next year. What horror films do you feel are the most underrated? Let us know in the comments box below.