If you follow me on social media you know I love Halloween. Guess what? It's my birthday. And yes, it's the best birthday of all the birthdays. It's the PERFECT holiday. No obligatory family gatherings. No gifts to buy. And you can celebrate however you want! Extrovert? Go to a costume party! (Not this year. This year your butt is glued to your couch.) Introvert? Stay in and watch a scary movie!
Speaking of scary movies, you've either started your horror movie marathon for the year or it's just around the corner. Here's a list of 7 underrated horror/Halloween movies with something for everyone. There's even one for the family that just might be my most controversial pick!
AS ABOVE SO BELOW (2014)
Wow. I love this movie. It's everything. Psychological, suspenseful, a little big of gore, but not too much, some fabulous jump scares. A group of daring treasure hunters travels off the beaten path in the catacombs beneath Paris. There is nothing like the theater-viewing of this movie, but I watched it again just a couple of weeks ago and it's fantastic. Turn off all the lights and get ready for all the surprises.
Suspense City! This delight is from director Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House Netflix Series) and is written by Flanagan and his partner Kate Siegel (she played Theo in The Haunting of Hill House and is hands-down one of my favorite actresses EVER). Siegel plays a writer who is left deaf and mute from a childhood illness. She lives in solitude in the woods, which sounds like a peaceful idea... until a killer shows up and just ruins it all.
HALLOWEEN H20 (1998)
Josh. Hartnett's. First. Role. Ever. Do I need to keep going? Lol. But seriously, this is one of the better Halloween sequels. You also get a brief baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt appearance, LL Cool J for the comic relief, a solid Michelle Williams performance and a delightful cameo from Janet Leigh! (You should be watching Psycho at least once a year TBH.) Jamie Lee Curtis is so freakin' committed in this movie and while the 2018 Halloween remake (which I also love) is complete erasure of H20, I will keep it firmly in my Halloween rotation.
THE FACULTY (1998)
Josh Hartnett again! How did that happen? :) The Faculty was released in the wake of the notorious Scream and, while it may not be as strong, it totally holds its own in the 90's teen slasher flick catalogue. The plot of aliens possessing the high school faculty who begin hunting down their students is ridiculous and wonderful. Elijah Wood and Jordana Brewster tie this one together and Clea Duvall is perfect in everything. Also, witness the brief film career of Jon Stewart!
IT COMES AT NIGHT (2017)
I think this film was a victim of a mishandled marketing message. We all went in expecting a jump scare horror fest. What we got was a psychological slow burn. If you go in with accurate expectations, you'll find it's a fabulously acted, heart-breaking, unsettling, human story.
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014)
A horror comedy! While I definitely wouldn't say this is "underrated," I do think not enough people know it exists. I'm sure you're familiar with the fantastically popular TV show of the same name, but did you know it was a movie first? Directed by and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. What else do I need to tell you?
And my most controversial pick...
THE HAUNTED MANSION (2003)
When this movie came out it was so hated by fans and critics alike, I actually never saw it until THIS. YEAR. And to my pleasant surprise... it was actually enjoyable! My husband puts it best: "It's just a fun f***in' movie!" Eddie Murphy is just so damn good at what he does. And while some of the casting choices were interesting, *cough LEOTA *cough, and the story is a bit lacking, I genuinely laughed out loud multiple times and just had a good time! It's also a gorgeous movie. Give it a chance!
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