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Are These Popular Horror Movies Overrated?


I think it has been well established here on this blog (or at least this October!) that I love horror movies. If I’m watching any movie, there’s at least 50% chance it’s going to be a horror movie (there is honestly never a bad time to watch a horror movie!). But as much as I love horror movies, there are so many out there that I’m not the biggest fan of of. Whether it’s the type of horror genre (and there are so many out there! Supernatural/ghosts, sci-fi, body horror, psychological horror, slasher, creature features, zombie, vampire, werewolf, comedy horror, etc.) I’m not into, or it may just be the movie itself. I personally love supernatural horror and psychological horror, with a smattering of some other in between, but that doesn’t mean I love every single supernatural and psychological thriller out there. In fact, I find a lot of horror movies overrated. Especially some of the popular ones (gasp!).

Now, don’t hate me, but I’ve put together a list of some of the most overrated (in my opinion!) horror movies I’ve seen. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think they’re good movies (well, some on this list are), but I just don’t think they’re as great as a lot of people say they are (again, just my opinion!). Whether they were marketed the wrong way or were just given too much hype, here are a few movies that I thought weren’t as great as people made them out to be.

My apologies in advance if I’m going after your favorite horror movie! These are just my own opinions, and if you love these movies, don’t let my silly ol’ thoughts on them stop you from watching them! Also:

*Warning! Spoilers Ahead!*

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Artisan Entertainment
I feel like this one is a bit obvious. While it was ground-breaking for its time, and for the found footage horror genre, The Blair Witch Project had so much promise and was scary in the beginning in its initial watching, by the end it just crashed and burned. You get the sense of dread from its student filmmakers, but none of the payoff at the end. While very low-budget, you still wanted to have some intense ending, whether it was clear one or not. And the end was not clear, and definitely not intense. Though I did love that imagery of the branch figures hanging everywhere, it was the eeriest part of the entire movie. But the props being the scariest part of the movie? A bit sad.

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

Universal Pictures
I really wanted to like this movie. I really, really did. A woman gets cursed by an old woman and tries incredibly hard to do whatever it takes to break this awful curse that in a few days will send her straight to hell. It seemed like a big budget B-horror movie and pretty fun, but instead of taking on its campiness, it took itself way too seriously. Instead of rooting for the main character and her desperate attempts to shake the curse, I kind of found myself rooting for this old lady. I mean, she gets denied a loan from this little blonde woman trying to be all tough all because she wants a promotion and this old lady really needs this time extension on her loan and blondie can’t be lenient just this one time? If I had the power to curse someone, it would definitely be on someone like the protagonist (if that's what you want to call her!). Karma can hit you and sometimes karma comes with a curse. Keep that in mind the next time you’re a bit rude to someone.

Also, she totally got dragged to hell at the end. Kind of satisfying, honestly.

Orphan (2009)

Warner Bros.
I loved the premise of this movie and was super into it when I first watched it. A family adopts a seemingly cute and somewhat foreign sounding little girl (did we ever determine which country she was from?), but it turns out Esther isn’t as sweet as she appears, especially to the other kids in the family. What seems like it’s going to be a take off of The Bad Seed or The Good Son, it turns into a crazy mess of a woman pretending to be a little girl in order to get with the dad and off the other family members. Yes, you read that right. Talk about looking younger than you actually are. It’s an insane twist and one that is too out there to work- at least for me. If nothing else, she should have gotten into the acting biz and made her living playing younger roles and cashing in that way! What’s the point of seducing the dad and killing the family when you can possibly play a cute kid on a sitcom and earn coin that way? (Meh, she’d probably join Scientology and just get crazier. It’s a lose-lose situation here.)

It Comes At Night (2017)

A24
This movie was...interesting? And by interesting I mean disappointing. A family in the middle of nowhere is sheltered from an unnatural but unnamed horror that is happening out there in the world, but their safe and secure life is upended when another family comes looking for safety themselves. After taking them in, paranoia overcomes the father of the family and suspicions fill the entire household, ending in something even more horrific than they could ever encounter out in the real world. Like a lot of these movies, I loved the premise of it, and while I love psychological horror movie, this one was a bit too ambiguous for me to follow and empathize with the characters. It was almost like a weird morality tale plus a mix of the insanity of The Shining (all work and what not) mixed into one and it didn’t work. At all. At least not for me. Plus, I barely remember any of it, and that doesn't bode well for any kind of movie you watch!

The Ring (2002)

Dreamworks Distribution 
You guys remember this one? I remember when this movie came out and everyone was talking about it. Everyone was terrified of watching the movie and then hearing their phone ring afterwards. The movie scared me a bit, but after thinking about it and rewatching it years later, it just makes me shake my head. A videotape that curses you to die in seven days after watching it via phone call? Sigh. While it did introduce a lot of the western world to Japanese horror (because it was, of course, a remake), I've heard a lot of people say the original Japanese version way better (I think they say that about most American remakes anyway!). But we can all admit that Samara and her dark, wet hanging hair crawling out of a well and a TV is total horror icon. She deserved better than this movie!

The Babadook (2014)

IFC Midnight
“If it’s in a word or in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook.” Okay, if there was one movie I was excited for back in the day, it was The Babadook. I couldn’t find anywhere that was playing it near me, so my boyfriend at the time pre-ordered it on DVD for my birthday and when it finally arrived, we both were eager to hear what all the (good) fuss was about. But by the end, we were...confused. Not scared or freaked out, just really confused. Was this a horror movie? It had all the elements. A grieving mother. A weird kid obsessed with homemade weaponry. A kid’s book with a malicious main character that kept showing up and starts influencing the mother. Is this really a malevolent creature or is it all in the woman’s (and child's) head(s)? It wasn’t until I rewatched the movie a bit later (post breakup, so I had some thoughts of my own that weren’t influenced by anyone else, ahem), that I realized that while it was marketed as plain horror, it was a straight up psychological film posing as a horror movie. And not only that, it was a great metaphor for grief and acceptance. So on a deeper level, it was actually quite brilliant and I ended up really liking it when I thought of it that way. But horror? No. Not at all.

Though we can ALL agree that The Babadook rhymes are scary as hell. They still send a bit of a shiver down my spine when I think about or hear them!

Hereditary (2018)

A24
Oh boy. This one. This movie. I know we all heard those great reviews about Hereditary. I really wanted to see it in theaters, but in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. I honestly don’t get why this movie was so popular and considered scary. It was just bizarre! From the miniature making (that can be a career?? Making miniatures based on your life and people actually buy them?? I guess art really is subjective), to the convenient nut allergy and premeditated yet accidental beheading (yes, you read that right), then to the sudden paranormal events, and then to the coven, I was just not expecting any of that. And it didn’t scare me. It worried me. What was all of this? I remember just watching it at home with my dad and looking at it at the end and saying at the end, “I didn’t like it.” Plain and simple. My father, however, was more concerned that after his sister was just accidentally yet not accidentally beheaded, the brother drove off and my dad kept saying “he left the scene of the crime! That’s against the law!” Hereditary was like a weird art house horror movie that I wasn’t supposed to get, because I’m not an art house person. Which made me sad, because I feel like horror should be for everyone, not just a certain elite demographic. Very disappointing. Sigh.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Paramount Pictures
Please don’t despise me for saying this: this movie was pretty overrated. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, real life couple and now onscreen couple? Brilliant. A movie about creatures who attack you if you make noise so you have to stay quiet at all times and pretty much sound proof your house? Cool premise, but sort of like Bird Box, but trying to cut out another sense. But the overall story? Meh. Also, the family dynamic was a bit messed up. Just because they had to be quiet most of the time doesn’t mean the father and eldest daughter couldn’t have talked (quietly) about the son’s death at the beginning of the movie before the father *SPOILER* sacrifices himself at the end to save them. Communication in any relationship, whether it’s familial or romantic is key, people!

Also, did the mother and father run out of birth control that was at the drug store they frequented in town? Because having a baby (aka the noisiest creatures in all of the animal kingdom) when monsters who are attracted to sound are hunting you at all times is possibly the dumbest decision they could make. Seriously. Though Emily Blunt was a total boss when she was in the bathtub, trying to be quiet while she was in labor and a monster was lurking in the house. But seriously, this could have been avoided if they had just picked up a prophylactic pack or two. Just sayin’.

Poltergeist (1982)

MGM/UA Entertainment Company
“They’re heeeere.” I know, I know. This movie is considered a classic. Who am I to be judging a classic? But I guess I still kind of am. I’m sorry! But this movie was all over the place. If you’ve read anything about poltergeists, you know that they don’t make clowns come alive, nor trees, nor drag little girls into a television and keep her in another dimension. While disturbing AND scary upon watching it, (I mean, the guy pulling the skin off of his face and the crawling meat with the maggots popping out of it? Urgh!) it was just a hot mess of anything that could and would freak you out. Plus, we all know now that building anything on top of an ancient burial ground, let alone a moved Native American one, is very disrespectful. Back when the movie was released, I think this was news to everyone. Plus, the skeletons they used at the end were actual real human skeletons. Apparently, they were cheaper to acquire than prop skeletons. The 80’s were a wild time, man.

💀

Ta-daa! That was my list of what I thought were some of the most overrated horror movies ever. But this was just one weird girl’s opinion! I know some of you probably thought some (or all!) of the movies on my favorite horror movies to watch for Halloween were overrated (read my latest here!), so I want to know what you thought of this list. Did you agree or disagree with what I thought of these movies? Let me know in the comments! (But please be nice. We're all horror fans and are allowed to have our own opinions!)

Stay Weird,
Emily


Experiencing Screamfest LA 2019 (Horror Movie Festival)


If there’s one thing (of the very random things that make up my life and person) you should know about me is that I love horror movies. Love, love, love them! The spookier, the better! And out of all the genres (and sub-genres) there are horror, my favorite tend to be the paranormal/supernatural. Does it have ghosts in it? I’m watching it! Does it have demons or someone that is possessed by a demon in it? Then I’m watching that one too! I do love a good psychological horror movie as well, but the paranormal/supernatural genre is where it’s at for me. So it was such good timing and luck that some friends of my family in Los Angeles, California invited me to go to a horror film festival with them last week!

Screamfest is an annual film festival that celebrates horror in all of its many genres, with short films and feature films that come from filmmakers from all over the world. It’s a great way for directors, writers, actors, musicians, cinematographers, student filmmakers, and more to enter their films and showcase all of their hard work and passion for the horror genre. The movie Paranormal Activity (I’m sure you may have heard of it and all of the sequels/prequels it has spawned over the years!) premiered there and movies like Trick ‘r Treat were awarded prizes (on closing night they have a party and hand out awards). Basically, it’s great for both filmmakers AND horror lovers and the perfect way to celebrate both film and Halloween. The festival this year ran from October 8th to the 17th and is celebrating its 19th anniversary! Which makes me wonder what the 20th anniversary holds in store for the festival next year!

I had been looking forward to this for months and my friends were super excited to take me. They love horror too and, living in the LA area, they go to Screamfest every year. Since it was my first time going, my friends decided to give me the whole Screamfest experience, which means two blocks of short films and then ending with a feature film at the end of the night (there are actually two feature films showing each night, but they usually only see one and I was fine with that. It sounded like it was going to be a long- but fun- day anyway!). My friends picked me up on Saturday, October 12th and we left for Hollywood at around 12 pm (because you know it takes at least an hour in LA traffic to get anywhere! And if you didn’t, now you know! Los Angeles is HUGE).

We got to the famous TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood (formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, back in the day. Fun fact: as an LA native, my mom used to go there to see movies back in the 50's and 60's) and attached to it and the surrounding area, is almost like a huge, multi-storied mall, filled with stores and restaurants (very touristy, but fun!). The first block of short films didn’t start until 2 pm, so we wandered around the mall, checking out the fun (and expensive!) shops, as they pointed out the El Capitan theater across the street, where they film Jimmy Kimmel Live. As we people-watched the tourists walking and posing with the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then posing with the people who dressed up as famous characters like Batman and Minnie Mouse to take pictures with, the clock made its way toward two and we headed back to the theater.

Screamfest is run by volunteers, and they were giving out booklets in the front about the featured films, little postcard sized ads for the short and feature films, and were working hard by giving out general information about the festival. (If I lived in the area, it might be fun to volunteer with them! Especially if I could sit in on all of the films!) Behind them was a fun black carpet where the filmmakers and actors could pose for the cameras before the showings. They also had some fun zombie props to pose with, which my friend and I did. I wish I had the picture! (Hopefully they’ll send it to me at some point) I’m sure me standing next to a decrepit zombie lady made me look even better in comparison. It was really fun to wait in the lobby and see lots of people dressed up, knowing that they were either the filmmakers or the actors, and this was their big, proud moment. Plus, you could tell they brought their family and friends, too, to share in the joy of their finished work!

That Weird Girl Life
We got in our seats before two and enjoyed the first block of films! Each film could be as short as 3 minutes or as long as almost 30 minutes. I’ll try to list all the ones we saw in the first block with the descriptions listed in the official booklet (I’m sorry if they’re out of order, I’m doing this from memory! The arrangement, not the descriptions. That would be quite impressive of me!):

The Original- “Alana’s partner, Gwendolyn, is in the final stages of locked-in syndrome. They are offered a chance to regain the life they thought they had lost through a procedure that will transfer Gwendolyn’s consciousness into a healthy clone. Although the procedure initially appears to be a success, something has gone terribly wrong.”

Bad Hair- “Insecure and balding Leo has closed himself in his apartment to try hair growth liquid for fixing up his looks. The liquid causes a series of grotesque metamorphoses with his skin and hair and as Leo tries to get his bodily changes under control the evening quickly turns into chaos.”

Dead Packet- “On the eve of his record breaking 444th on-screen death, veteran Hong Kong actor Richard, forsakes a long lasting Chinese superstition- challenging the Chinese demon, Sui, to come and devour his soul.”

The Desolation Prize- “With only the ghost of the man he killed years before to keep him company, Jake lives an isolated life. He rarely goes outside, and his groceries are delivered to him. Fearful that this unwanted spirit will continue to humiliate and terrorize him in public, he has structured his life around a lonely and bleak existence.”

Murder Ballad- As an abused wife tends to the post-robbery wounds of her criminal ex-husband, they are visited by a mysterious- and malevolent- preacher.”

The Listening- “A group of friends on their way to a remote lake house come across a stranger with some important information.”

The first set of short films, as well made as they were, honestly weren’t my favorite. Since my favorite genres of horror are supernatural, which none of these were, none of them really spoke to me. I did really like The Listening, since it was a straight up horror comedy, mocking the slasher genre is such a fun way. As for Bad Hair, I am not a body horror fan at all, and while well done, I made the mistake of snacking right before it came on, and my stomach started churning as the gory special effects started getting more extreme and nauseating (but the film was a big hit with the audience!).

After the first block, a Screamfest volunteer invited the filmmakers of the shorts to come up and introduce themselves and explain a little bit about their films. It was so interesting to hear how they came about with the ideas for the shorts and even where they were from! It’s amazing that filmmakers from all over the world had their short films premiere for the first time here at Screamfest. You could definitely hear the pride from the crew, actors, and families in the applause after the films ended (and sometimes right as they started!). Though most of the short films in the first block weren’t my style, they were all excellent and so original and everyone in each and every one of them should be extremely proud!

Afterwards, we had some time before the next block started at 4 pm, so we got a snack at concessions (nachos!), used the bathroom, and then headed back to the theater for the second block of short films:

Amandine- “Amandine is a kind, extroverted Postdoc student who is living temporarily at a student residence. Oscar is the doctor who works at the infirmary. As the rest of the students leave the residence for the holidays, Amandine is forced to stay on a few more days to finish her Postdoc. Her relationship with Oscar intensifies. When the day arrives for Amandine to leave, Oscar finds an unusual way for Amandine to stay with him, perhaps forever.”

The Crying Boy- “Andrea visits deceased painter Arganti’s house to investigate his cursed paintings of the crying kids, among them The Crying Boy.”

#chadgetstheaxe- “Join top ten vlogger, Chad Ryan, as he live streams his visit to the William Burrows murder cabin!”

Honour Thy Mother- “Liz is homeless, living life adrift. In a moment of despair and loneliness, she returns home after many years to her God-fearing mother and discovers time has changed more than she ever could have imagined.”

Shelly- “Shelly is the story of a Halloween party gone very, very wrong…”

A Mother’s Love- “A woman forgets who her daughter is, but things aren’t as they seem.”

Sunnyvale- “Sunnyvale, a ‘happy healing home’ uses cutting edge technology to free its patient’s minds...But happy comes with a cost.”

Now the short film block #2 was more of my style! While all of the films in second block were great, one of my favorites was definitely, Amandine, a Spanish short, which was a great way to start out the second part of the night. It was more a psychological thriller and was just so well done. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! #chadgetstheaxe was a perfect horror comedy and a hilarious commentary on influencers in the world of YouTube and streamers right now. It had the audience, myself included, literally howling with laughter, but still had that great horror edge to it. Shelly was a cute, fun teen short about a ghost girl who just wants to attend a Halloween party, with devastating results for the other partying teens.

But my absolute favorite of the night, by far, was The Crying Boy. It was a supernatural short, and while quick, it had the best scare of the night that left the whole audience jumping and then clapping. It was so well received that I swear it got the best audience reaction of the night (or, at least, in my opinion it did!). During the second block Q&A (which included a director from China who was in the US for the first time ever!), the directors of The Crying Boy, three Italian men, said that they are hoping to turn The Crying Boy into a full length feature film! That got a big round of applause from me! (I’m now following them on Instagram to get more updates on it!)


After the second block of short films, we had time to kill (hardy har har) before the last feature of the night, the full length film, which started at 8 pm. We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, where we ate outside and had a great view of the Hollywood sign, and then browsed at the Sanrio store (who doesn’t love Hello Kitty??) and then at a very expensive sweet shop that have a ton of different themed rooms and candies of all types (they had European candy! I got to get my Kinder Happy Hippos for way too much! But did I regret it? Only slightly because they were so delicious and cute!)

And now, it was time for our main (and last event). The 8 pm full length feature film! Here’s the premise:

Swing Low: “When a nature photographer explains to the police how she fought her way out of the Watchatoomy Valley, they dismiss her crazed and violent story as a meth-induced nightmare. But when they discover that she’s telling the truth, it’s too late.”


Wow, you guys. This movie. Was. DISTURBING. So, so disturbing. It was a rollercoaster ride of a psychological/revenge thriller and by the time it was halfway through, I was hugging my knees I was so terrified. A nature photographer named Harper sees something horrific done by some locals, takes some photos as evidence, and brings it to the police. From there, she learns that she can trust no one, and must escape from some truly horrifying men, survival being her main goal. This film was brutal to watch, but it was so well made and left me truly aghast at the end. I was almost shaken up it was so intense and horrifying. It’s definitely one of the more disturbing movies I’ve ever watched (and that’s saying something) and it really does have that Deliverance vibe to it (if you’ve seen that movie, you know what I mean). Wow. While this movie was incredibly good and so well done, I would only recommend watching it if you kind of know what you’re getting in for. Because I didn’t and it was intense, to say the least. Right after it ended, I wanted to turn to my friends and ask “what did we just watch???

Thankfully, there was a Q&A with the director/writer, cinematographer, and fellow actors, who got up from the audience to answer questions (including how they got Bruce Dern to be the in movie- who was great, by the way) and, for me, bring some much needed levity after the credits rolled. It was fascinating to me to hear from the director/writer and see how the film was made, where they filmed it (his place in Virginia!), where the story came from (one of the most disturbing parts was based on a news report he heard on NPR, of all things), and what it was like to work with Bruce Dern. It was a crazy way to end the night, and it gave my friends and myself a lot to talk about.

After we left the theater, our night of horror was officially over, but for the people who were there for the 10 pm feature, it was just getting started. A movie called The Wave, starring Justin Long, was playing after Swing Low, and the lobby was crowded! It must have been a popular one, but we were tired after a long day, so were headed out to the parking garage to start the long trek back.

Screamfest wasn’t what I expected (I actually wasn’t sure what I was expecting!) but it was a whole lot of horror fun and I’m so glad I got to go! It would have been fun to go another day as well, that way you could pick out of the schedule what movie you wanted to see that night (not that Swing Low wasn’t good, I just might have picked a feature length that was more supernatural based). It was really neat to be able to see the cast and crew sitting in the audience with you, but only realizing it after you saw the short or film! I got a little bit shy once I noticed I was sitting near some of the actors that afterwards I avoided them, instead of saying “good job!” (I get a little starstruck around celebs. Apparently when I was little and at Disneyland, I was terrified of Mickey Mouse when I finally saw him in person. I think it got a bit too real for me and that’s how I felt with the actors in the theater!) If I go again hopefully next time I’ll have the courage to say hi and congratulations!

If you’re at all interested in horror and are in the LA area when Screamfest happens in October, I highly recommend you check it out! It’s a great way to discover new horror and support the filmmakers who love the genre as much as you do! Check out their website at Screamfest LA and also, they have a YouTube channel where you can watch some horror shorts that have been featured there in the past. But be careful- you might fall down a horror filled rabbit hole like I did before I went! (Fun though it was, it just sucked up my evening and made it hard to sleep that night!)

And that was my very first experience at Screamfest! Would I go back again? Definitely! I’m crossing my fingers for next year! If I lived in the area I’d love to volunteer, but I think it would be so much fun to be part of a cast and crew that helped make the film and then finally see it on the big screen. You definitely felt proud for being there and supporting filmmakers who love horror just as much as you. Plus, I kind of really wanted to get dressed up and walk that black carpet after seeing some of the filmmakers and actors do that too! All in all, it was a spooky fun time and a great way to celebrate all things horror!

What did you think of my experience at Screamfest? Are you a horror fan too? Would you dare to go and see lots of different types of horror shorts and films? And which short films sounded the most fun to you out of all of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay Weird,
Emily

PS. Also, I NEED The Crying Boy to be online as soon as possible because I loved it so much and I just want to show everyone how brilliant it was! If I find it online, I’m definitely going to be posting it on social media, so look out for that!


Underrated Horror Movies to Watch This Halloween! (Part 3)


It’s that time of year again! It’s October, which means HALLOWEEN is in the air! And you know what comes with Halloween besides pumpkin everything and delicious mini versions of your favorite candies? Horror movies! In my opinion, horror movies are a year round thing, but there’s something extra spooky about watching them around Halloween time. This year, I’ve written part three(!) of some more of my favorite underrated horror movies (thirteen in all, of course, because that is the spookiest and unluckiest number!). These are some of my favorite and, just a warning, most of them have to do with the supernatural since that’s kind of my spooky jam. So get in the spirit (get it? I know, I’m sorry) and get watching! You only have a month to watch them all!

For When Going a Hiking Trip with Your Buddies in Another Country Just Isn’t Exciting Enough For You So Let’s Throw In Something Scary To Stalk You All:

Netflix
I’m going to be honest: this is based on a book which I did not like. At all. So when I saw that Netflix was making The Ritual into a movie, my expectations were suuuuuper low. But when I saw the movie, I was so glad that they changed a lot of the book and actually made a scary ass movie out of a not so great book (in my opinion, please don’t come for me book fans!). I was actually very impressed by the quality and the story, and it actually scared me! Me, horror movie extraordinaire*!  If you haven’t seen this movie, please do, it is entirely worth it! (Plus, Thomas from Downton Abbey is in it!)

*Not my official title.

For When You Want to Watch Something Both Spooky and Stylish (And If You Want to See Tom Hiddleston’s Butt):

Universal Pictures
Guillermo del Toro is a huge horror fan, so it makes perfect sense that he would direct his own Gothic tale Crimson Peak with his fantasy laced style woven throughout. The plot may not be the most complicated and twisted (I was actually hoping for more of an original twist and backstory, but oh well), but it makes up for that with a horrific sense of dread, fantastic sets, costumes, and creepy ghostly prosthetics, and some great, creepy acting, courtesy of Jessica Chastain (how has she not won an Oscar yet??). Plus, the classic Gothic style of the entire movie has been turned up to eleven, so it really is a horror lover movies dream (and most likely Guillermo’s too!).

For When You Thought Having a Twin Might Be Fun But You Learn the Hard Way That Having Someone Who Looks Exactly Like You Isn’t As Cool If They Want to Murder You:

Universal Pictures
You guys. This MOVIE. After seeing Get Out, I knew Jordan Peele was onto something with his horror movies. Get Out was so different and original than anything I had seen before and Us is no exception. The symbolism and story is just as thought-provoking as Get Out, but the story is completely different and all together more horror-like. I promise you will not have seen anything like this before and if you see that twist coming, then you must be psychic, because I swear, none of us did. And if you did, I'm a little scared of you, honestly.

For When You Watch Something That Will Remind You to Never, Ever, Ever Use An Oujia Board (EVER):


Film Factory Entertainment
You may have heard of Veronica, this Spanish movie because of the hype that surrounded it after Netflix released it, with people calling it the scariest movie they’ve ever seen. Was it the scariest movie I’ve ever seen? No. But was it a good horror movie with an excellent slow burn that ended in some great and scary final scenes? Heck yes! Plus, it was based on a real life police case that they officially ruled was caused by “supernatural” causes. Seriously.

For When You Want to Watch a Ghost Story That Is Classically Gothic But Also Has Harry freakin' Potter In It:

CBS Films
Who doesn’t love a classic Gothic ghost story? You don’t need blood and guts when you have a super scary backstory, an empty abandoned mansion, and a dead woman bent on revenge aka murdering your children in The Woman In Black (based on the novel by Susan Hill, which I have not read yet, but it is on my to be read list!). And here I thought all British towns were quaint and cute. Apparently not! (Also, this is a great reminder that Daniel Radcliffe has great acting chops and can star in almost any genre!)

For When You Don’t Think That You Are Terrified Of Small Spaces But After Watching This Will Now Have a Severe Fear of Exploring Caves (Among Another Things):


Lions Gate Films
You will never step into a cave on a girls spelunking trip* after seeing this movie. I can promise you that. Also, claustrophobic people beware: this will scare the sh*t out of you. So maybe don’t watch if you don’t want to be traumatized forever.

*There goes my future bachelorette party!

For When Moving Into a Haunted House Isn’t Creepy Enough- Try Moving Into an Old House with a Morgue in the Basement Instead:

Lionsgate
This is one that I feel is very underrated, very scary, and very unknown as far as horror movies go. It’s based on a true story (dun dun DUNNNN) which always make it a hundred times more terrifying. You’ll never want to move into an old house after seeing this. No matter how good the price and location is. (I think I might be the only exception to this rule. You know how in some parts of the world you don’t have to disclose if someone died on the property? I’d be asking the realtor to tell me because that would be a selling point if the house was haunted! But with nice ghosts, no malevolent spirits or demons or anything like that! Just making myself clear.)

For When You Want to Watch A Scary Halloween Based Anthology Movie That Is Both Fun and Frightening:

Warner Bros.
Trick 'r Treat is a cult classic for a reason: not only does it not get the recognition it truly deserves, it has a massive fan following that loves it to bits. Me included! If you’ve never seen the movie and are a horror movie fan in general, you need to watch this movie! It seamlessly weaves various story-lines together, slightly overlapping them, and all of the various plots occurring on Halloween night. But most of all, it’s whole bunch of Halloween fun. And you’ll end up loving/being scared of Sam. You’ll know who I mean when you watch the movie! He is literally a horror icon now.

For When You’re Home Alone and Nice and Relaxed But You Hear Something Coming From the Other Room, But You Swear All the Doors and Windows Are Locked (But Did You?):

Universal Pictures
This is another one based on a true story, though even if it wasn’t, any kind of home invasion movie is still terrifying. The entire premise of The Strangers is scary because it’s entirely possible for this to happen to anyone, you included (not that I would wish that on anyone! Well.... no, I'm just kidding!). The movie does an excellent job of building the story (and the scares!) to a horrifying climax (I hate using that word, but you know what context I’m using it in!) that will leave you exhausted and horrified.

For When You Want To Convince Your Friends That Clowns Really Aren’t That Scary- And End Up Scarring Yourself In the Process (Beep Beep, Ritchie):

New Line Cinema
I’m going to say something here that is going to upset a lot of people in the world: I am not a fan of Stephen King’s horror style. I know, I am a monster and don’t deserve to read books. But it’s true! I’ve read The Shining and I’ve read Pet Semetary, and while both are great stories and have good premises, I’m just not a fan of his type of horror. He is a fantastic writer, I will give him that, but his horror doesn’t spook or thrill me. So when the remake of IT, came out, I didn’t go see it in theaters. For obvious reasons. But I decided to give it a try when it came out on video and WHOA. I was not expecting to like it that much! I thought IT: Chapter One was terrifying and so well done that I immediately because a huge fan and had to see IT: Chapter Two as soon as it came out in theaters (loved it, but I thought the first one was better. Just an opinion!) For me, IT: Chapter One was the perfect balance of horror and those summer days of being a kid and hanging with your group of friends. Plus, Bill Skarsgard was perfect as Pennywise. He was so good in that role you almost rooted for a child eating clown? (Just me? Forget I said that.)

For When You Want to Trick Your Friends Into Watching a Horror Movie By Saying You’re Just Going to Throw on Something with Kate Hudson in It:

Universal Pictures
Kate Hudson the rom-com queen (I guess more like princess- Meg Ryan is my rom-com queen!) in a horror movie? Who knew! The Skeleton Key is a great mix of Southern horror, with some (obviously!) voo-doo inspired supernatural elements thrown in to make one original and spooky movie. It’ll creep you and make you think twice before buying a little voo-doo tourist souvenir the next time you’re in New Orleans (I know you want to, but don't do it!).

Honorable Mentions (aka not movies):

For When You Want to Watch a TV Series That Will Scare the Sh*t Out of You But Also Make You Feel All the Feels:

Netflix
Oh goodness, guys. This show was more than I ever expected it would be. Inspired by (and very loosely based on) Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House, the show goes back and forth in time to tell the story of the Crane family, where they spend a summer fixing up and flipping a very, very, very haunted house. As adults, they must come back together after a tragic event to come to terms and literally deal with what happened in their childhood. The first season is so well done, weaving different timelines, the character’s individual story-lines, and the history of the house all together, along with providing some shocking scares but even more potent emotional scenes and familial relationships. You’ll fall in love with the characters and root for them, despite the very human flaws they show. It’s the deepest character study I’ve seen of human nature and grief in a horror series. Watch it, you won’t be disappointed! And also, episode six, "Two Storms," may be one of the best TV episodes I've ever watched in my life. So, I guess look out for that one!

For When You Want to Be Reminded of Who the REAL Monsters Are: Human Beings:

Netflix
Most of the movies (and shows) on this list deal with the supernatural (or just random bad people who like to break into people's houses), and whether or not you believe in ghosts or demons, I feel like we sometimes forget who we should really be scared of: our fellow man. If you’re fascinated by serial killers, then you’ve come to the right show. Based on real accounts, in Mindhunter the two main FBI agents interview serial killers and learn what makes them kill. It’s a disturbing and interesting way of seeing the inner workings of killers’ minds and hearing in their own words (based on real life interview tapes with real life and very infamous serial killers) why they did the awful crimes they committed. And interwoven throughout the first and second season are short snippets of scenes of a (very famous) serial killer in various points of his life, paralleling the hard work the Bureau agents are doing to help understand and stop people just like him. It’s fascinating, gripping, and just plain old frightening.

And there you have it! Just in time for Halloween, my part 3 of some of my favorite underrated (well, some more than others!) horror movies to celebrate this most spooky time of year! What did you think of my list this year? Let me know in the comments if you've seen any of these movies and if you found them scary or not! (Let's keep it friendly though! I know us horror movie fans are a very opinionated lot!)

Stay Weird,
Emily