I wrote this a while back for another site, but the project didn't work out. Seeing that it's now streaming in Amazon Prime I thought I'd throw it up here...
The 50 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen (2014)
"a countdown of horror's hidden gems"
We all love a countdown show, right? A couple of hours playing pop culture bingo, agreeing with or disputing the decisions and rankings. It's a good time. When I came across this one from 2014 (and that title which, frankly, felt like a challenge) I couldn't resist.
First, let me say that this is not a top tier production. It’s affiliated with the now-defunct Shock Till You Drop website and directed by Anthony Masi, whose career seems to mostly consist of making horror documentaries. It’s populated by passionate horror fans who work in the genre - but don’t expect any heavy hitters.
The biggest name is PJ Soles (Lynda in Halloween) who narrates. Besides her, there’s a motley crew of indie horror creators, mostly c-list actors, and journalists and bloggers you've probably never heard of. As you’d expect, they each pop up intermittently and give a little context, personal opinion and recommendations for each movie. Some of them are better at being in front of the camera than others, but the worse it gets are some cheesy jokes and dated comments about sparkly vampires.
What’s cool about this countdown is that it’s pretty much spoiler free, so if any of these films do catch your interest, you can seek them out happily knowing nothing more than the basics.
Here’s the list. What do you think?
(btw I've linked any that I have reviewed in the past).
50. Basket Case (1982)
49. When a Stranger Calls (1979)
48. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
47. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
46. Valentine (2001)
45. Grace (2009)
44. The Hunger (1983)
43. Prophecy (1979)
42. The Dentist (1996)
41. The Food of the Gods (1976)
40. Motel Hell (1980)
39. Wrong Turn (2003)
38. The Fury (1978)
37. April Fool's Day (1986)
36. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
35. Hatchet (2006)
34. May (2002)
33. Lemora (1973)
32. The Brides of Dracula (1960)
31. The Exorcist 3 (1990)
30. Burnt Offerings (1976)
29. The Funhouse (1981)
28. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
27. Hard Candy (2005)
26. Castle Freak (1995)
25. Feast (2005)
24. Slither (2006)
23. Inside (2007)
22. Tourist Trap (1979)
21. Trilogy of Terror (1975)
20. Splinter (2008)
19. Session 9 (2001)
18. Ginger Snaps (2000)
17. Alice Sweet Alice (1976)
16. Visiting Hours (1982)
15. Repulsion (1965)
14. Alone With Her (2006)
13. Near Dark (1987)
12. Joshua (2007)
11. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)
10. Audition (1999)
9. Let The Right One In (2008)
8. Re-Animator (1985)
7. Wishmaster (1997)
6. The Descent (2005)
5. Alone in the Dark (1982)
4. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
3. The Beast Within (1982)
2. Pumpkinhead (1988)
1. Black Christmas (1974)
If you're the kind of person who’s going to watch 2 hours of something with a title like this, I'd say you've probably heard of, if not seen, a lot of these movies. Perhaps this was made more for spooky scene-setting, to be aired around Halloween for inspiration, but for those of us who kind of live and breathe horror, there’s a fair amount of “well, duh” entries. However, I did get a couple of new films to check out such as The Fury: Brian De Palma made a telekinetic horror movie?! Sign me up immediately! And The Exorcist 3: which I always assumed was crap, but apparently it's amazing.
The one that jumps out as a dubious addition in my opinion is number 45. Despite a juicy premise, Grace was a big disappointment lacking the gut-punch you expect from baby-horror. I’d swap that out (choosing pre-2014 films to keep it fair) for the “humans are the real monsters” tale of Deadgirl or maybe the bloody mindfuck of Triangle.
The 50 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen is worth checking out if you’re in the mood for something inoffensively horror-adjacent. While not something that's going to truly blow any horror fan's mind, the countdown doesn’t drag, there are some interesting tidbits, and you might just discover some new favourites.
Currently streaming on Tubi, Amazon Prime and Youtube, too.