Horror Movies: The Overrated, The Underrated, and the Perfectly Hyped

Horror movies are my happy place. This definitely seems contradictory to a lot of people, but something about a really good horror movie brings me so much joy. Maybe it’s because horror movies are so rarely good. Maybe it’s the rush of adrenaline. Maybe it’s just something to talk about with my therapist. But because of this, I’ve seen more horror movies than I know what to do with. Naturally, I’m here to tell you, in one woman’s correct opinion, which ones are overrated, which ones are underrated, and which ones totally deserve the hype.

 

  1. 1. The Overrated

    -The Babadook (2014). We’re starting off with a controversial one, but I honestly couldn’t even finish this story of a mother’s concern over a sinister presence plaguing her young son. Most of the story was extended shots of the child screaming and being generally awful, or the mother looking extremely tired and ready to give up. Perhaps it ramps up near the end, but what I saw of The Babadook was closer to effective birth control than edge-of-your-seat horror.

    -A Quiet Place (2018). Now, please don’t get me wrong--I did have a decent time watching A Quiet Place and I definitely think Emily Blunt and John Krasinski did a great job with it. But after the floods of media attention and fan hype, I think I just expected something a little more mind-blowing. The stakes are high and the characters are likable, but I just wanted them to go further with the scares.

    -Unfriended (2014). To be honest, Unfriended is kind of hilarious. Obviously I’m not talking about the plot in which a group of friends caused a girl’s death and then spread it on the internet, but the fact that this movie became so dated so quickly. This was one of the first films to take place entirely through a computer screen, but between its incredibly 2014 graphics and the kind of teen slang that could only be written by a 47-year-old man, Unfriended reads more like a comedy than anything else.

  2. 2. The Underrated

    -Society (1989). I’m just going to start off by saying that this movie is weird as all hell. At the beginning, it simply follows a high school boy with a beautiful mullet as he grows in paranoia and distrust for those around him. He knows that things are not what they seem, but everyone around him seems dead set on proving him wrong. If you like body horror, corny 80s dialogue, and just an overall good time, I would definitely dig into the vault for this one.

    -Creep (2014). This movie is a core tenet of my personality. A part of my brain is always on Creep and that is exactly how it should be. Since I first watched this found footage-style movie following a cameraman who is hired to film reclusive oddball Joseph for a video to give to his son, I have seen it at least a dozen times. The tension and confusion in the atmosphere between the sole two characters we see on screen is impossible to tear your eyes away from as Creep quietly gets weirder and weirder, culminating in one of the most memorable horror finales I’ve ever seen.

    -Ready or Not (2019). While this title definitely saw widespread advertising and a large release, I haven’t seen nearly enough praise for its atmosphere, sense of humor, and wonderful acting in the lead role. I can’t say that I’m the biggest film snob, but Ready or Not, which follows the unconventional trials a new bride has to go through to join the family, is so well made and honestly just incredibly fun. 

     

  3. 3. The Ones That Deserve The Hype

    -Psycho (1960). I think I’m gonna be talking about Psycho until I’m old and wrinkly. This Hitchcock classic basically redefined the horror genre, turned every trope on its head, and made millions of people scared to close their eyes in the shower. This movie makes me find something new and amazing every time I watch it and is the closest I get to talking like a pretentious film critic.

    -Get Out (2017). The best way to describe Get Out is that director Jordan Peele’s brain is huge. What at first seems like an eerie yet campy flick starts with young black photographer Chris going to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time, yet slowly evolves into something sinister and thought-provoking and amazing. This movie deserves an entire semester of class devoted to unpacking it.

    -Midsommar (2019). At this point, someone reading this list is likely starting to seriously question my mental health (valid), and the addition of Midsommar DEFINITELY is not helping. This iconic A24 movie follows a grieving woman as she accompanies her good-for-nothing bare minimum boyfriend and his friends to a summer festival at a small commune in Sweden. As expected, things start to get weird. This is all especially haunting considering it takes place during the time in which Scandinavia is continually lit by the sun, making this the brightest, most colorful horror movie I’ve ever seen. 

     

Happy watching, and please remember to check trigger warnings for these titles (I recommend doesthedogdie.com)!