The Most Underrated Horror Movies of All Time

by on February 10th, 2011
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Halloween is upon us and you’re looking for a Halloween night horror movie to rent. You’ve seen “Nightmare on Elm Street” and you’ve tired of “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.” So what scary movie should you rent to get good and scared on Halloween?

Here are a few suggestions — a few of the most underrated scary movies for your Halloween enjoyment.

“The Last Exorcism”

While it has the look of just another attempt to clone “The Blair Witch Project” with its low-budget aesthetic and shaky cam style, “The Last Exorcism” is in fact a sneaky, sly horror movie that sneaks up on you. Directed by Daniel Stamm, “The Last Exorcism” stars Patrick Fabian as a huckster preacher who performs exorcisms in order to debunk the process.

It’s a terrific premise — a faithless man finds his faith in the face of actual horror — and Patrick Fabian is terrific as both the charming con-man preacher and the fearful man of God whose restored faith is met with ultimate evil. “The Last Exorcism” will have you jumping in your seat with each new shake of its camera.

“The Crazies”

If zombies are more your Halloween party style, the 2010 remake “The Crazies” is right up your alley. “Justified” actor Timothy Olyphant stars as the sheriff of a small town where the citizens begin slowly losing their minds. First a neighbor shows up at a local softball game with a shotgun and has to be shot. Then it spreads to other upstanding members of the community until seemingly everyone is looking to slaughter their family and friends.

“Insidious”

Back to demonic possession for a moment, the thriller “Insidious” tells a multi-track story of demons taking over the body of a child and astral projection, in which a living soul leaves the body and goes for a walk in the land of the dead. When the soul of his son gets lost while projecting, Patrick Wilson as the father must use his own gift to track his son down. “Insidious” has a terrific build to suspense and scares, as well as stunner of an ending that will leave any Halloween party gasping.

“Dead Silence”

“Insidious” was written and directed by the “Saw” team, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell. The “Saw” team also collaborated on another brilliant and terribly underrated horror movie called “Dead Silence.” Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg star in “Dead Silence,” the story of a murdered ventriloquist named Mary Shaw who takes vengeance against the townspeople who murdered her from beyond the grave with the help of her dolls.

The premise for “Dead Silence” sounds really hokey. Puppets as killers? Really? But Wan and Whannell invest the film with a gleeful gloom that leaves you too scared to laugh. The opening murder is a masterpiece of horror suspense and gets the movie off to a quick, scary start that never lets up on the tension and terror.

“The Descent”

One of my favorite films of all time, “The Descent” seemed to come out of nowhere. It’s is the story of a group of female hikers who wind up in an underground cave and stumble across a large number of terrifying, cave-dwelling creatures eager for human flesh.

The film begins with a violent car wreck and from there it rarely eases up on the shocks. “The Descent” is a classic “watch it through your fingers” horror movie, with director Neil Marshall turning up the tension at every turn until a phenomenally frightening and cathartic finish.

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