As any fan of the genre likely knows, horror is a very subjective thing. In the massive amounts of horror films released every couple of years, there are some who would argue that a majority are bad, with the remaining few counted as gems. However, in my experience there are still a few horror movies in every round of releases that are simply passed over. They aren't mega hits, but they're not necessarily flops either, and despite being quite good they don't seem to get the recognition they deserve.
With this article, we will focus on 10 horror releases of the Millennium that are simply underrated. They might have had a great cast, great dialogue, great effects, or a great story but for whatever reason, they just didn't seem to take off like they could have. On the other hand, this list also features some films that might have taken off, or received a sequel, but didn't quite stand the test of time.
10. The Ruins (2008)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
The Ruins is one of those movies you probably saw and forgot about, and that's sort of the point. Even though it wasn't necessarily a massive hit with audiences, it's not a bad horror movie. It's a rather interesting concept when you sit down and pay attention. Not to mention it has Jena Malone — who doesn't love her?
9. Splice (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74% (certified fresh)
Everyone who has seen Splice knows why it's a difficult movie to talk about. This is an interesting movie. It's even a rather creepy movie. However, it didn't seem to gain a big following because of the subject matter. The events in the final act of Splice either had audiences celebrating the creativity or running for the hills screaming. Which reaction did you have?
8. Excision (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%
Even though Excision was a big hit (more with critics than audiences), you still don't hear about it too much. Yes, it was weird and graphic and shocking, but that's sort of what we look for in the modern horror genre. I've always thought Excision didn't get the attention it deserved (did you know it started out as a short film?) and highly recommend checking it out if you never have. Just don't watch it with your parents.
7. American Mary (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%
American Mary is one of those movies that has been on Netflix forever but you've probably scrolled right past it. It's a real shame how audiences have passed over this movie because it really is a horror gem. The concept is original and the story is quite good for a modern horror film.
6. May (2002)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
It's been a while since I've seen May, but it's definitely one of the lesser-known horror gems of the Millennium. This independent film is quite creepy in its own right and it has a pretty decent cast with Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, and Anna Faris. It profiles the psychological effects of loneliness in a way that can hit home and definitely make you feel uneasy. After all, if you can't find a friend you might as well make one.
5. Trick 'r Treat (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Although Trick 'r Treat has picked up in popularity over the past nine years, I still consider it to be one of the more underrated indie horror films of the Millennium. The anthology format was utilized perfectly here — the stories connect with each other and it is everything a horror fan would want. If it got the attention it deserved, we would already have the sequel.
4. Frozen (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%
No, this isn't the Disney tale and you won't find Elsa or Anna. For those who have never seen Frozen, it's definitely a wild ride and it's not bad for a modern horror movie. Not only does it reinforce why you should never trust those rickety ski lifts, but it definitely makes you realize what would happen if you ever got stuck out in the cold for an extended period of time.
3. Absentia (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
I would bet that a majority of people, including horror fans, have never even heard of Absentia. This independent film takes us into a supernatural world that is creepy, surprising, and unsettling. It also is one of the few films to be crowd funded via Kickstarter. For me personally, Absentia was a refreshing attempt at the supernatural horror subgenre and I appreciated every second of it.
2. Orphan (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%
Don't let the RT score fool you because Orphan seriously is a great movie. 2009 had a lot of failed horror attempts, but I always thought this movie came out on top as it was suspenseful, interesting, and shocking. If you've never seen Orphan and don't know the twist at the end, don't let it be spoiled for you. Plus, how can anyone resist a movie with Vera Farmiga?
1. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92% (certified fresh)
Drag Me to Hell is perhaps one of the best modern horror films ever made. It marked Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi's return to the horror genre in a way only he could make happen. Drag Me to Hell was received well by critics, but overall it was shit on by a majority of audiences for being overly slapstick and lame. For me, it is just straight horror perfection about a demonic curse set by an old gypsy and it's definitely one of my favorites from the past 10 years. If you've never seen it, don't listen to the haters and just watch it.
Grave Encounters (2011), Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), Slither (2006), Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006), The Loved Ones (2009), Honeymoon (2014), Contracted (2013), The Collector (2009)