My Top 10 Underrated horror films:

Ok, I’m recycling. I’m having an outpatient procedure (every day for two weeks) and have very little time so I hope you don’t mind if I recycle a few of my older posts.

—————————————————————-

My The Top 10 Underrated horror films:

In no particular order, here are my top 10 underrated horror flicks. This list is subject to change…

The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A great ghost story starring Roddy McDowell, which provides scientific explanations of the existence of ghosts, creepy mood, dark atmosphere and quite a bit of carnage and death! This is one of the first ghost/horror movies that scared me as a young lad, so I may be partial to this film. Would love to know what other people think.

 

The Entity (1981)
I watched this recently and was terrified for the woman within the first ten minutes of the film. The movie never lets up. Barbara Hershey, plays a fantastic role as the struggling single mom tormented by an evil spirit. I was surprised that the film had an affect on me so many years after I had first seen it.

 

The Amityville Horror II (1982)
IMO this film is scarier than the original, with strong characters played brilliantly (albeit melodramatically) by their respective actors. Follow the Defeo’s lives’ up until the time of the true-life murders. There is a ten-minute sequence, from the demon’s POV, where the evil presence travels from the cellar through the house. Creepy as hell.

The Night Flier (1997)

This quiet little film made for Showtime, from Stephen King’s story of the same name, became one of my favorite King adaptations. A successful yet jaded reporter, for a fringe tabloid newspaper, begins hunting a vampire, who has been landing his Cessna at small northern airports and leaving havoc in his wake. The reporter, played perfectly by, Miguel Ferrer, is a total A-hole, but you like him anyway.

Feast (2005)

This is one great horror-comedy. This film is funny and it contains plenty of hard hitting action, violence, original monsters and a strong R rating! Another lazy night in a Texas bar on the outskirts of Anytown, USA, turns into a war between humans and monsters as a horde of creatures move in from the desert, looking for some eats (humans) and to procreate – much like the usual barfly’s. These are some ugly looking creatures ! Did I mention, tons of gore?

Open Water (2003)

Based on a true story, filmed in a gritty, reality style, we follow a young couple on a scuba-diving expedition during their Jamaica vacation. The party boat mistakenly leaves them stranded in the deep Atlantic, with no sign of land anywhere. We follow this couple as they try to stay afloat and fight for survival against the elements.

The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

In the first scene, from the killers POV, we see the stalking and murder of a victim. It immediately reminded me of Halloween and I cursed the film as a blatant rip-off of Carpenter’s style – until I looked at the credits. The film was actually written by John Carpenter (but not directed by him). The Eyes of Laura Mars is a great white-knuckle thriller, worthy of mention in the same breath as Hitchcock and Brian DePalma films. Laura is plagued by visions of a serial killer’s murders as they happen in real-time.

Creep (2004)

A young lady is mistakenly locked in the London Underground – what we NY-ers would call the subway – and is stalked by a strange creature. As she desperately tries to find another way out, she discovers the humanoid’s lair, a long abandoned underground medical facility that had cruelly experimented on humans. It seems this Creep is going to do some surgical experiments of his own.

The Fourth Kind (2009)

A strong unease gripped me after seeing this film. I wasn‘t even all-that scared when I was watching it, but the movie wouldn’t let go of me; I kept thinking about it for days. Was it a demon disguising itself as an alien so it would be relevant in this modern day and age? Or was it an ancient alien still wielding strange powers upon a small northern town because it could isolate it’s victims? The film never really gives you an answer – I think that is what makes it unnerving.

Dagon (2001)

A cross between the very short-story, Dagon, and the infamous “Innsmouth” tale, this Lovecraft adaptation successfully captures the true fear, atmosphere and mood of Lovecraft terror. When a young couple’s yacht runs aground, they become stranded in a strange, backward town on the coast of Mediterranean Spain. The feeling of isolation and terror grow, as the strangely deformed townspeople close-in on the unwelcome intruders.

Honorable mention:

Pulse (2006)
Nobody seemed to like this film as much as I did. To me, it relays a plausible scientific theory: the expansion and amplification of once unknown frequencies will eventually lead us to discover something we should not, or, in this case, they will discover us. A proficient programmer/hacker in college is contacted by entities from the great beyond, only to discover they are the denizens of hell. In the end, this brooding, quiet film turns into an apocalyptic disaster as the film looks outward from this college community to the bigger picture. Wi-Fi is everywhere.

Let me know what you think of my picks. Post some of your favorite underrated horror flicks in the comments, films you think should’ve gotten more attention.

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) – movie review

insidious- chapter 2
Insidious Chapter 2 (2013)

After being thoroughly entertained by ’The Conjuring,’ I was eager to see James Wan’s sequel to his earlier film, Insidious. I like the 1st film despite the similarities to Poltergeist and Nightmare on Elm Street. It had its own originality with the black and red demon. The depictions of the Nether and the veiled old crone were creepy. After a brief back-story scene, Insidious 2 begins immediately following the events of the 1st film. The Lambert family has moved into their mother’s home, having their own home quarantined as a police investigation into the death of psychic medium, Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye).

insidious 2 pic 2Josh (Patrick Wilson) is happy that the ordeal is over but his wife, Renai (Rose Byrne), is not convinced. She begins to see and hear strange things in the house, just like at their own home. When she tries to tell her husband, Josh insists that these events are nothing. Eventually the incidents turn into full-on poltergeist encounter. Renai and Lorraine (Josh’s Mom played by Barbara Hershey) get suspicious of her husband’s insistence that it should be ignored.

This first half of the film was successful in creating suspense and delivering a haunting atmosphere. I will say that the phantom piano playing was done better in both, The Others and Grave Dancers but combined with the baby monitor noises, and some ghostly apparitions floating through the rooms, it was escalating nicely. It was good to see Jocelin Donahue from ‘House of the Devil’ playing a young Lorraine in the flashback sequence. I think she’s a fine actress and hope to see her get more parts in film.

(spoiler alert – if you intend to see the film, skip to the last paragraph)
There is a point in this film where everything lined up too perfectly and where everything seemed too explained. The thing that makes paranormal films (and the paranormal in general) scary is the not knowing. I also feel that Wan and Leigh Whanell (co-writer) decided the audience was too dumb to figure things out without slapping them in the face with it. I would say most viewers had already understood that the serial killer, Parker, was abused by his mom and that she made him dress like a girl because she hated men. This was obvious early in the film. But then they had a whole scene, again, which explained it and showed it in better detail. This only made the audience feel sorry for the young boy Parker who grew into the killer Parker. Insidious2 pic 3Feeling empathy toward your main antagonist doesn’t make him scary, it makes him a sorrowful figure. And if that’s not enough, the psychic, Elise, (I know, she’s dead but she was there in the Nether waiting for Josh) then explained it verbally for a third time and added, “If we destroy the memory of the Mom, the spirit looses his power.” Really, that’s too nice and neatly packaged for me. I also love the way the son can fall asleep at a moments notice, even when he is terrified by a psychotic banging down the door. My BS meter was pinned.
(spoiler alert – end)

Eventually, the events became too much to believe. Everything lined up too conveniently. A good film needs to not drift too far from reality to be effective. At times I couldn’t believe all the logic and simple explanations of the events happening. I’d rather have no explanation than a dumb one. I get the same feeling from most cop shows on TV. Every clue leads to another clue or witness and in an hour everything is wrapped up nice and neatly. It’s like paint-by-numbers. It is amazing that a lot of the same techniques that worked so well in The Conjuring, fell flat here. It’s another one of those movies that I wouldn’t mind watching the 1st half, but would then shut it off as it becomes too silly. As always, the sequel isn’t nearly as good as the original.
——-


Related Articles:
The Conjuring
House of the Devil
Creepy Old Ladies in film