There's no specific order to this list. One film isn't more underrated than the other here. Well, that's not true, I am sure if we took a poll we'd find that some of these films are more underrated than the others. But, I don't really care about that, it's just not important. What is important? Maybe you give these films another chance. So with that being said, let's get started...
DAY OF THE DEADWe all know Night of the Living Dead and of course Dawn of the Dead. But, do you remember Day of the Dead? If you don't, it's worth taking a look at. The special effects are done brilliantly by Tom Savini who also did the effects for Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th and so much more. When it comes to gore effects, there really is no one better. In Day of the Dead he out does himself. You also need to keep in mind this is a few years before CGI. The special effects are much better than most of the stuff you will see in today's horror movies.
The story is unique from the rest of the films in George A. Romero's series. Night and Dawn are about people being chased by zombies and trying to survive. Day is about an underground military lab that is experimenting on the zombies. This film brought up questions in the genre that until recently have pretty much been ignored. Could you train a zombie? Could they be productive? Is there anything of what they were left inside? We're only now starting to see other films raise these questions like Fido and Warm Bodies to name a few. It is a zombie movie that tried to do something different and succeeded.
Halloween IIIn my personal opinion this film is so much better than the first one. I know this is going to come off as blasphemy to some true horror fans. But, at least allow me to explain.
When I was 12 or 13 way back in '82 and '83 I loved Halloween I & II so much that I edited them together into one movie on to a sharp clean Beta tape! The movie blends so well into one long film, it really does. The more I watched it, the more I found myself fast- forwarding to get to part 2. If you're honest with yourself, you have to admit that Halloween had some issues with our heroine. Laurie Strode goes down in the history of horror as one of the first strong female characters. But, in the first Halloween she should have died of stupidity a few times.
Honestly how many times does Laurie stab Michael then drop her weapon conveniently next to the shape and then walk away like an idiot. Seriously, it was stupid. We all just seem to overlook it. The rest of the movie, the story, the scares, all so good we just let Laurie's stupidity slide at the end.
Well, a few years back I watched this with my daughter who was maybe 15 or 16 at the time. She is a huge horror and sci-fi fan like myself. Almost nothing scared her in the movie and by the time we get to the end, she was too busy screaming at Laurie to pick up the knife and keep stabbing him to be afraid. Needless to say, she was so disappointed in the film. One of my favorites of all time and she pretty much thought it sucked. She respects it for it what it was but that's about as far as the love goes with the movie for her.
So what makes Halloween II different? Several things. There's actual gore in it. There's almost no blood in the fist film. Halloween II we get the horror movie basics: blood, gore and boobs! We also get some insight as to why Michael is going after Laurie. Not to mention we also see confirmation that Michael Myers isn't human, that he's just pure evil and silent rage.
Nothing shows that more than when Michael walks through the glass doors to the hospital in his pursuit of Laurie. The glass just shattering, Michael not even stopping. What makes it better this time is that Laurie now understands her mistakes. She knows that Michael is a force that maybe can't be stopped and she does everything she can to stay one step ahead of him. If you haven't seen it in a while, check it out. You won't be disappointed!
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael MyersHere's why I love this one. It's probably the scariest of them all.
After the debacle of Halloween III I thought for sure my favorite psycho killer of all time was gone for good. John Carpenter and Debra Hill the heart and soul of the franchise were gone now. They had hoped to turn the franchise into a series of stand alone films. New stories, new scares and characters. So they had created Halloween III and failed horribly. Not that H III is a bad film, it's pretty good if you don't think of it as Halloween III but rather just think of it as a new film called "Season of the Witch".
It turned out though that even though John and Debra created Halloween they weren't the heart and soul of it. That title is held Moustapha Akkad who was an uncredited producer of the first film. He was the heart and soul. He never gave up on the series. So he went to work on producing Halloween IV. Keeping John Carpenters amazing musical theme and bringing back Michael Myers he managed to create a good story, with some really good scares and very few people doing stupid things. The movie was smart and little newcomer Danielle Harris was really good at playing the scared little girl. Her cries and fears were so believable and yet she was a strong female lead and formidable protagonist.
Sit back one of these nights and have a Halloween marathon. Limit the distractions and watch Halloween, Halloween II and Halloween IV. I think you'll see a natural progression in the stories and an increase in the scares as you watch.
FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3 IN 3DJason Voorhees is probably the worlds best known psycho killer. That big relentless, unstoppable killer in a hockey mask. Part of the most successful horror franchise of all time. The Friday franchise beats out, Saw, Halloween, Child's Play and the Exorcist. It's the top dog in horror.When you think about it. Jason wasn't even the killer in the first movie. It was his mother. In Friday II Jason wore a potato bag over his head. It wasn't until Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D came out that we even saw the infamous hockey mask. The most iconic movie killer of all time and his look wasn't even defined until the 3rd film in the series. Most franchises are dead by the third film. Friday the 13th was just getting started.
If Friday III was bad, if it was just a joke of a movie would Jason still be wearing a hockey mask? More than likely the series would have come to end and the name Jason Voorhees would just be a footnote in horror films. Friday the 13th would be still be a great film. Friday II would would have been fun and Friday III would be known as the film that killed the series. But, that didn't happen. Friday the 13th Part 3 made Jason a household name. When he first slid on that hockey mask, horror movie history was made.
Because of Friday III Jason went on to slaughter naughty teens in several more sequels. He took on Manhattan, Freddy, space and even a semi-successful reboot a few years ago. It's bloody, fun and it's the film that made Jason an icon.
Psycho IIThis is probably my favorite sequel of all time. People hated this movie and I could never understand why. It had so much heart. It was suspenseful and it made you care for Norman Bates. I mean you spend the movie rooting for Norman hold on to his sanity. We're not sure if he's slipping or something else going on? It was a real mystery.
I was 11 or 12 when this came out. I loved it and got it at that age. I understood how Norman was struggling to hold on to his sanity. I felt for him. I understood Vera Miles character wanting to send Norma back to his institution or prison for killing her sister. I understood Meg Tilly's character being torn between wanting to help her mother and at the same starting fall for Norman Bates.
The acting was great in this film. Anthony Hopkins was better in this film than the first film and to be completely honest, I enjoyed part 2 much more than I did the original Psycho.
Psycho was just slow and it bordered on boring. I love how the suspense built. I loved how it killed it's major start 45 minutes into the movie. But, that first 45 minutes, wow. It's like 45 minutes of a blonde chick looking guilty while driving and having flashbacks. No one dies, nothing really happens.
It was well done and the suspense did build but I have to admit that the movie just drags the first half. Of course he shower scene was traumatic, shocking and frightening that I think we just tend to forget about how slow the first half of the film. That shower scene was another example of movie history. I think the only other movie in history to have that kind of effect of on people was Jaws. Psycho made us afraid to take a shower and Jaws made us afraid to go into the water. So understand, I am not saying that Psycho isn't a classic.
I am just suggesting that Psycho II was able to do somethings that Hitchcock couldn't do back in the day. It also managed to take Norman Bates from psycho killer to a sympathetic character we wanted to root for. There's just nothing to like about this film. Great acting, great actors, interesting story line, mild gore and a couple of pretty good scares in it as well.
You can't have a heart and not like Psycho II. But, don't take my word for all that I've said. Watch them back to back one night see for yourself.