Horror is a unique genre. There’s a great supply of fantastic, masterpiece-quality horror films, but for every The Shining there’s a Sharknado. But eclipsed by the great films and hiding amongst the duds are gems. Diamonds in the rough. On that note, I’d like to share 10 horror films I consider highly overlooked. Here’s the first part of the list – maybe you’ll see something you’d enjoy.

Severance (2006)
Severance tells the story of Maggie (Laura Harris), Steve (Danny Dyer), and the rest of a group of employees of Palisade Defence as they partake in a corporate retreat in the Hungarian woods. What starts as silly paintball shenanigans turns into a fight for survival as the corporate group realize that they’re not alone. A funny script and some genuinely tense moments make this a great horror flick.

Session 9 (2001)
The only thing you need to know about Session 9 is that it’s a fuckin’ scary flick – one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. It follows a group of workin’ stiffs (played by Peter Mullan, David Caruso, Josh Lucas, etc.) clearing out a disgusting, abandoned mental facility…where something eerie is happening. The film has a relentlessly disturbing vibe and a great “descent into madness” performance by Mullan throughout.

House (1986)
No, not the show about an irascible Hugh Laurie! The movie is about a Vietnam vet named Roger Cobb (William Katt) who moves into an old house that’s totally haunted. This flick is directed by Friday the 13th director Steve Miner. To top it all off, it’s got George Wendt (Norm from Cheers!!!) in it as the nosy but ultimately helpful neighbor.

Fun fact, it’s followed by House II: The Second Story…which is just batshit weird. For one thing, it’s got a much more family-friendly vibe (no, really. And it features John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers!!!). Too bad they didn’t make House III: The Third Story with Kelsey Grammer.

The Prince of Darkness (1987)
There’s no excuse for not seeing this flick. It’s one of the last good Carpenter horror movies and it’s got a supremely creepy vibe and story. In the film, a team of scientists basically find the devil in a church basement and have to fight him and a bunch of possessed homeless people. Okay, that doesn’t really sound that great. But it features frequent Carpenter collaborator Donald Pleasance as a priest. Plus, Alice Cooper!

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
This is a fantastically underrated found footage horror film, one the filmmakers have been trying to make a sequel to for a while.

Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) is a burgeoning slasher being followed by a documentary film crew in the days leading up to his first slaughter. Mask has a lot in common with Scream, namely the subversion of horror movie rules and a great reverence for horror classics. It features a lot of great horror actors as well, such as Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees) Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), and Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina Barrons from the Poltergeist films).



13 thoughts on “10 Overlooked Horror Films – Part 1

  1. I really loved Behind The Mask and am hoping to buy a copy of that very soon. I have never seen Prince of Darkness , but your review and the fact that it reunites Carpenter and Pleasance make it a must see for me

  2. Ah I haven’t seen any of these. I’ve been meaning to see Prince of Darkness and Session 9 for awhile (especially after seeing Peter Mullan in Top of the Lake). Hadn’t even heard of Severance of Behind the Mask though, so they definitely must be overlooked!

      • I wanna see that horror flick! You’re in for a treat if you haven’t seen any of these. Prince of Darkness and Session 9 would make for a great double feature. They’re actually probably the darkest of these films. Happy watching!

  3. I can’t say that I’ve seen the last one, but I’ve seen the others. I’m always surprised that more people haven’t seen ‘Prince of Darkness.’ I saw that movie as a pre-teen and it scared the heck out of me. I recently saw ‘Session 9′ on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It was pretty creepy. I think they really filmed in an abandoned mental institution. The set itself was a character.

    • You shouldn’t be disappointed with Behind the Mask. It’s funny but still has some great classic horror love. I really want to watch Prince of Darkness again after talking it up so much. The mental institution in Session 9 is such a huge part of the film. Pretty sure it was a real place.

  4. I’m pretty sure I liked Severance… but it’s been awhile. Session 9 was creepy, but not as scary as I’d hoped. I’m so old, I actually saw House theatrically…damn.

    Totally in for Carpenter’s flick. Sounds killer.

  5. Pingback: 10 Overlooked Horror Films – Part 2 | French Toast Sunday

  6. John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness is a great one – you could quite easily list a few of Carpenter’s film – outside of Halloween – in this category. Nice to see Dog Soldier’s appear on part 2!

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