10 Most Underrated Horror TV Shows From The Past Decade

One of the biggest problems facing horror films is the need to tell a story, provide a few scares and wrap it up all in about 2 hours. Then the inevitable seven sequels, sure, but you get the idea. TV shows give the horror genre more room to breathe, expand, build character, build tension and the pay off is often in more unique and complex storylines.

RELATED: 10 Most Terrifying TV Shows You Shouldn’t Watch Alone On Halloween, Ranked

In the last five years, the genre of TV horror seems to have enjoyed a resurgence. We’ve put together a list of the ten most underrated horror TV shows of the last ten years (that means no Walking Dead or Stranger Things, I’m afraid).

10 Z Nation

Even though Z Nation recently met its end when it was canceled by SYFY at the end of 2018, this competitor to The Walking Dead held its own for five seasons. The show is set three years into the apocalypse, so everyone knows where they stand. Except for Murphy, a zombie bite survivor who seems to exist somewhere between human and zombie, and as such, has gained a few unique powers that the group hopes will solve their zombie problem.

The show doesn’t reach the lofty heights of Walking Dead at its peak, but its five seasons have a lot more consistency in their action, tension and comedy than Walking Dead does these days.

9 iZombie

From the title, you might expect an intense, zombie-filled action series akin to The Walking Dead. However, on watching iZombie, you quickly realize this isn’t your everyday zombie flick. Technically, it’s nothing more than a crime show adapted from a comic book.

RELATED: iZombie: 10 Things That Need To Happen Before It Ends

The main idea behind the show is that Liv is a zombie. However, she isn’t a proper “Full Romero” zombie, so long as she satisfies her desire from brains every now and again. In a pretty clever move, she takes up a job in a morgue and eats the brains of the bodies stored there. It’s her ability to take on personality traits and memories of the brain she is eating that sets up most of the show’s storylines.

8 Ash Vs Evil Dead

Designed as a sequel/reboot to the original trilogy of Evil Dead films, Ash Vs Evil Dead takes comedy horror to the next level.

Ash, the protagonist of the main series, returns and has done pretty much nothing with his life. Before long, he has to get back to business and take on Evil Dead once again. The show has been praised for combining brutality, tension and comedy in a convincing way throughout, but still ended up getting canceled in 2018 after its third season.

7 Santa Clarita Diet

While Santa Clarita Diet is more of a comedy than a horror, surely the very premise gives it enough spine-tingling tension to call it a horror show. It’s also very gory, albeit completely over the top.

In the opening moments of the show, Sheila turns into a zombie-like being who craves human flesh. Her husband and family spend their days trying to navigate the social issues that come with being a zombie, while uncovering a strange mythological mystery. The show didn’t last and was canceled in 2019, despite positive reviews across the board.

6 Penny Dreadful

Taking on the unique approach shows like Once Upon A Time have in their incorporation of public domain characters, Penny Dreadful is the perfect example of horror that would only work as a TV show.

RELATED: 10 Scariest Moments On Penny Dreadful, Ranked

During the three-season run of the show, we encounter the likes of Dorian Dray, Count Dracula, and Frankenstein’s Monster with the acting talents of Billie Piper, Jessica Barden and Timothy Dalton playing particularly interesting characters. Even if it isn’t the most spine-chilling horror of all time, it’s a very well made piece of character-driven drama.

5 Bates Motel

Focusing on the iconic Norman Bates, Bates Motel is fronted by the child actor Freddie Highmore (known for his work as Charlie in 2005’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) and Vera Farmiga, famed for her role as Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring series.

Though they have the immense pressure of providing the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho with a prequel, the writing team do it an incredible justice. The tension comes thick and fast in every episode, while the central characters of Norma and Norman are convincing throughout. The final season even semi-adapts the original film and does so surprisingly well.

4 Hannibal

Fronted by Mads Mikkelsen, arguably the only actor in the world with the ability to live up to a role first portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal’s cancellation is one of the great mysteries of TV.

RELATED: 10 Storylines From Hannibal That Never Got Resolved

The show does well to avoid Silence Of The Lambs and its legacy but employs various plot points and characters from the slightly less iconic Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. While the show was canceled without wrapping up many storylines, the cast have all expressed an interest in returning to the show one day. We can only hope.

3 The Exorcist

TV remakes aren’t always the greatest thing in the world. Take for example when Stephen King hated Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining and made his own shambolic TV adaptation. Despite coming from the scariest horror film of all time, The Exorcist does remarkably well to live up to its source material.

RELATED: The Exorcist: 10 Best Episodes, According to IMDb

This probably comes from the fact that it doesn’t attempt to remake anything. The show (wisely) ignores all of the sequels to the original Exorcist, and instead acts as a direct sequel to the 1973 original. And it works. A lot better than the sequel films, anyway.

2 The Sinner

While The Sinner isn’t billed as a horror, it’s pretty scary at times. Much of the show is built on the investigations of Bill Pullman’s Harry Ambrose into the strange crimes of Cora Tannetti (season 1) and Julian Walker (season 2).

The show is seriously dark, with unexpected violence, shocking twists and horribly blood-curdling reveals very slowly exposing themselves over the course of the show’s tension building and unraveling. Despite its perfect writing and unique tone, the show have received a strange lack of attention.

1 The Haunting Of Hill House

In a way, The Haunting Of Hill House isn’t underrated. In fact, it was lauded as exceptional by everyone who saw it, including Stephen King. However, it pretty much needs to be seen by anyone who cares about horror. Its characters are perfect, every actor (including all of the child stars) are brilliant, the storyline is gripping, and, more than anything, it is absolutely hauntingly scary.

Episode five ends with one of the most chilling scenes in the history of horror, with the tormented Nell returning to Hill House to dance around its decaying rooms, before one of the most exceptional twists is revealed in a few gut-wrenching moments.

NEXT: 10 Most Terrifying Ghosts in Horror TV History

2019-12-30 01:12:40

Dan Peeke

American Horror Story: Apocalypse’s Antichrist Explained

American Horror Story’s Apocalypse season was one of the most celebrated years of Ryan Murphy’s anthology horror series and it brought the Antichrist into the picture in a very big way.

Part of the fun of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story is that each season gets to wipe the slate clean and start fresh as well as allow the talented cast to try out new roles that are often radically different from their prior appearances. Due to the nature of the show’s anthology structure, viewers are often left wanting to see more with these characters. American Horror Story finally gave into that desire with its eighth season, Apocalypse, which acted as a crossover between two of the show’s most popular efforts.

Related: American Horror Story 1984 Theory: Mr. Jingles’ Mom Is La Llorona

American Horror Story: Apocalypse featured a return to characters from the show’s Murder House and Coven seasons in a grandiose storyline which was centered around the end of times and the ultimate battle between good and evil. AHS: Apocalypse amounted to be a controversial season in some ways and got a little out of hand, for both better and worse. Actors like Sarah Paulson got to play multiple characters at once, which is undeniably a mark of a very ambitious and fun season. Another major asset is what it does with Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), the Antichrist, something fans were waiting for the show to return to at some point.

The Antichrist is teased at the end of American Horror Story’s first season. It’s prophesized that a child that’s conceived between “spirit and human” will be the Antichrist and usher in the end of times, which is exactly what happens when Tate Langdon’s spirit has his way with Vivien Harmon. At the end of Murder House, a young Michael Langdon is already off to a murderous start by slaughtering his nannies. AHS: Apocalypse continues Michael’s story into young adulthood as the Church of Satan fosters his impulses and supernatural talents. He even helps usher in nuclear Armageddon and becomes the first ever male Supreme.

Michael Langdon is such a dangerous threat to all of mankind that the only way he can be defeated is by the witches resorting to time travel. Mallory (Billie Lourd) goes back in time to 2015 when Michael’s Satanic powers are still growing and she runs him over with her car. It’s a very unceremonious finish. That being said, AHS: Apocalypse concludes with what appears to be the birth of a new Antichrist. Timothy and Emily, who both appear in the apocalyptic timeline that Mallory changes and are said to have “strong genetic material”, conceive a child in 2020 that exhibits the same evil signs as Michael did. This child even catches the attention of the Church of Satan in a similar fashion. Whether American Horror Story ever picks up this thread again or not, this seems to imply that the Antichrist is an eternal concept in the series that can never truly be erased.

More: American Horror Story: Freak Show Angered Real Clowns Over Twisty

2019-12-30 06:12:03

Daniel Kurland

Before American Horror Story, Scream 4 Launched Emma Roberts’ Horror Career

Emma Roberts has turned into one of the most reliable faces in horror, but her successful career as a scream queen got started with Scream 4.  

Emma Roberts was steadily working for over a decade before she transitioned over to horror. Before Roberts got her major break, the actress was primarily doing lighter fare and breezy romantic comedies, as well as establishing a career in the music industry. Roberts mastered the basics of the industry as she grew up in these roles (and surely learned plenty from her cousin, Julia Roberts), but she eventually was ready to move on into more mature productions and show off more of her range.

Related: American Horror Story: Every Character That Emma Roberts Played

Renowned horror director, Wes Craven, was instrumental in broadening Emma Roberts’ career. Roberts hasn’t entirely turned her back on the lighter kinds of projects where she got her start, but she’s comfortably embraced her place in the horror genre and found considerable success in the arena. Wes Craven’s Scream 4 was widely celebrated for its smart update to the series and the return of the original cast, but arguably the person who benefitted the most from the horror film was Emma Roberts.

Scream 4 was a big deal for horror and happened to be a fitting swan song to Wes Craven’s career as the director’s final film. Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott is still fundamental in Scream 4, but the film features a passing of the guard, so to speak, as it introduces a younger generation of characters who mirror the group in the original Scream. The most significant of these fresh additions is Emma Roberts’ Jill Prescott, Sidney’s cousin. Jill turns out to be the major mastermind of this new massacre, set on using the sensationalism of the crimes to catapult her into the spotlight. Jill’s scheme in Scream 4 may not be a success, but Roberts’ powerful, layered performance in the movie was enough to kickstart a prosperous career in horror.

Craven’s Scream 4 showed the world that Roberts could play an unhinged killer, which was quickly capitalized on by Ryan Murphy. Murphy first cast Roberts in Coven, the third season of his American Horror Story anthology. Roberts has become a regular presence throughout American Horror Story’s run and Murphy even made her the centerpiece of his short-lived Scream Queens horror parody series. Even beyond television, Roberts has appeared in horror films like The Blackcoat’s Daughter and the trippy Paradise Hills. It’s safe to say that Roberts’ days in horror are far from over and maybe if a sequel to Scream 4 ends up happening, it’ll find a logical way to feature her in some capacity.

More: Scream 4 Deleted Scene Gives Director A Cameo

2019-12-29 02:12:24

Daniel Kurland

Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House Saved The Horror Sub-Genre

Horror is such a broad genre, with an almost limitless amount of sub-genres, so it’s natural that popularity of some will ebb and flow with the times. However, with the success of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, the slow-burn horrors of a good haunted house movie are making a wild comeback.

Haunted houses seem like such a staple in horror, yet their mechanics have been underwhelming for modern audiences in a lot of ways. Typically, they are low on gore and bloodshed, though not exclusively. While they do typically employ some level of jump scares, the sub-genre on the whole has suffered in the past from too many in total or too many at once. Occasionally, they are too slow-burn to hold an audience’s interest, and the setting, while able to explore a beautiful, unique aspect some will enjoy, as Guillermo del Toro did with his 2015 gothic horror, Crimson Peak, the aesthetic is often not enough to sell an experience for horror buffs.

Related: Netflix’s Haunting Of Bly Manor Has Big-Screen Movie Competition

When done correctly, however, haunted house movies are some of the most potent and lasting staples of the horror genre. Recently, director Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep) adapted Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House, for a Netflix original series of the same name. It was just enough to kickstart audience interest, and breathed new life into the dusty old corners of the haunted house sub-genre just in time for a new decade.

The Haunting of Hill House was a wild success for Netflix and Mike Flanagan both, playing off the old mysteries of films within the same sub-genre from years past. Flanagan was not the first to adapt Jackson’s novel. His series was actually the third major project to do so, following two movie adaptations: The Haunting (1963) and The Haunting (1999). The former was better received than the latter, but both contributed different aspects of the same story, which Flanagan expanded on tremendously for the 10-episode season. Other major players in this particular sub-genre are House on Haunted Hill (1959, 1999), House (1985), and the entire Amityville Horror franchise. Many of these movies stem from fictional works and classic stories from the Victorian era, but the concept of a house being haunted is as old as time itself.

Flanagan’s series was so successful that Netflix green-lit a second season, which Flanagan stated will be drawing on a different haunted house story based on the 1898 novel, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James. The second season, which has been titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, will also feature aspects of other stories by James, though the aforementioned is its primary focus. James’ novel is also being adapted into a movie, The Turning, which is slated for a January 2020 release. The Grudge remake is also getting a January 2020 release, and while it can be argued that this is a haunted house movie because the curse is connected to the house, it’s not what audiences traditionally think of when they think of the haunted house movies of old.

Traditionally, haunted house movies conjure up old-fashioned aesthetics and conceptualize atmospheric scares over more definitive possession and haunted object films. Like the houses themselves, they are meant to breathe with a looming sense of dread that permeates the entirety of the film or series. Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House did this expertly by making the house almost a character in and of itself, which is truly the mark of a great haunted house film, and likely is why, for many years, the concept seemed to fade away entirely. If season two is successful and The Turning manages to do well in theaters, it’s very likely there will be a major resurgence in the sub-genre, as has been done with other sub-genres that faded into temporary obscurity in the past.

Next: What To Expect From The Haunting Of Bly Manor

2019-12-28 02:12:32

Jack Wilhelmi

Not Just Supernatural: The Horror Films of Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are best known for playing Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural, but they’ve appeared in horror films as well. After 15 long years on the air, next spring will see the end finally arrive for Supernatural, one of the most popular horror series in TV history. It’s been a rocky road for Sam and Dean, who’ve saved the world multiple times, lost and regained loved ones, and have both entered Hell itself more than once.

As much as Padalecki and Ackles love their Supernatural characters and the show’s legion of fans, Supernatural‘s ending will finally allow two very talented actors to spread their wings a bit and take on new roles. This is something they’ve rarely gotten to do during Supernatural‘s run, as the show normally produces 20-plus episodes per season, making it nearly impossible to juggle outside projects. It’ll be interesting to see where they turn up next, and whether or not they remain fixtures in the horror genre.

Related: Supernatural Season 15 Is Setting Up A Happy End For Sam… Not Dean

Speaking of horror though, Supernatural isn’t the only time either Padalecki or Ackles stepped into the realm of fright fare, having each starred in more than one horror film. It’s a bit weird for Supernatural diehards to see the pair in different roles, but it’s interesting to look at their horror resumes nonetheless, resumes that may soon be added to.

Jared Padalecki’s first horror film role came in 2005, the very year Supernatural premiered. Padalecki starred in House of Wax, a remake of the classic 1953 film starring Vincent Price, which is so well-regarded it’s been preserved by the U.S. Library of Congress. The remake didn’t live up to the original, either critically or commercially. Interestingly, Padalecki co-starred with Paris Hilton in the film, who later popped up on Supernatural. Also in 2005, Padalecki played a prominent role in the now mostly forgotten slasher flick Cry Wolf, opposite Lindy Booth.

Padalecki’s most high-profile horror film role to date came in 2009’s criminally underrated Friday the 13th remake, and it was pretty cool for Supernatural fans to see the man behind Sam Winchester go head-to-head with Jason Voorhees himself. Padalecki played Clay Miller, a man searching for his sister Whitney, who it turns out had been abducted by Jason. Only Clay and Whitney end up surviving Jason’s rampage, although a last minute scare ultimately leaves their fates ambiguous.

Jensen Ackles’ horror film resume is shorter than Jared Padalecki’s but still contains entries of note. His first horror movie role came in 2005, which as mentioned before, was the year Supernatural debuted. Ackles played lead character Jake Gray in the direct to video Devour, which sees his character’s life turned upside down by a Satanic live-action online roleplaying game. Interestingly, future Superman actor Henry Cavill would star in the similarly themed Hellaiser: Hellworld in that same year. In 2009, the same year Padalecki fronted the remake of Friday the 13th, Ackles starred in a horror remake of his own, My Bloody Valentine 3D. In a fun bit of contrast, while Padalecki’s character was the hero of Friday the 13th, Ackles’ My Bloody Valentine character, Tom Hanniger, turned out to have been the masked killer all along.

More: Jason Is A Deadite: Friday the 13th/Evil Dead Connection Explained

2019-12-26 03:12:41

Michael Kennedy

You’re Next: Every Horror Movie Final Girl Trope It Subverted

For generations, final girls have been a cornerstone of the horror genre, but in 2011, You’re Next rewrote the rules and challenged everything a final girl could be.

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, two of the most interesting up-and-comers in the horror genre made their presence known with 2011’s You’re Next, which was an unflinching take on both slasher and home invasion movies. Wingard has since been attached to such projects as The GuestBlair Witch (2016), and Netflix’s movie version of Death Note. Barrett is a frequent collaborator with Wingard, but has also lent his talents to the V/H/S franchise. The duo’s intensity of focus on characters and plot driven stories were also a welcome take to horror, which occasionally tends to lean more heavily on gore and kills than well-rounded characters who the audience actually cares about.

Related: The Best Horror Movies Of The Decade

Because Wingard and Barrett put so much emphasis on characterization, no death is purely hollow in You’re Next, whether it’s a celebrated death or mourned one. However, their creation of Erin (Sharni Vinson) raised the bar for any final girls who follow in her footsteps.

Typically, final girl tropes involve the sole survivor being virginal, innocent, occasionally spurned by a romantic partner or bolstered by one such male until he reaches his inevitable demise and she must fight alone. This has been subverted somewhat in movies like Scream, where Sidney Prescott is every bit the capable heroine throughout the franchise, but she started from similar roots. In Scream, Sidney’s own boyfriend, Billy (Skeet Ulrich) and their friend Stu (Matthew Lillard) were responsible for the deaths of their friends and Sidney’s torment. Modern horror films like Black Christmas have tried to subvert the tropes as well in an overtly feminist take where multiple women team up together to take their power back from a male adversary. However, You’re Next takes what is effective and beloved about a horror film’s final girl and adds more than just grit, determination, and capability: Wingard and Barrett arm their heroine with genuine survival skills.

A family reunion goes quickly sour when masked hunters, all of whom have adopted animal masks, invade Erin’s boyfriend’s familial home and start picking them off one by one. Instead of needing a moment to process or reverting to fear, Erin immediately springs into action, taking point to triage and tend to the wounded and directs the family members who survive the initial attack with the hunters’ ranged weapons into action on how to hide, secure themselves and their surroundings, and, most importantly, how to fight back. Eventually, Erin reveals that she grew up on a survivalist compound, which explains her knowledge of combat tactics, security, and her ability to set traps that are much more lethal, elevated versions of Kevin’s from Home Alone to take out their would-be assailants.

Where most final girls seem to spring into action solely to defend themselves or their friends, Erin showcases little concern about murdering the hunters without a second thought. She is remarkably cool under pressure, and doesn’t rely on any of the tropes regarding a final girl finding her strength at the last moment, because Erin already has strength to spare. The hunters don’t stand a chance, which is another major revamp because usually those involved are easily dispatched by capable killers, occasionally with a supernatural edge. Erin from You’re Next took being cool under pressure, completely comfortable with herself, and some hardcore survivalist skills, then weaponized them to pave the way for more self-sufficient final girls, like the Strode family in 2018’s Halloween remake. Because of Wingard and Barrett, new heroines in horror are inspired and the archaic final girl tropes can be put to rest.

Next: Black Christmas 2019 Ending & Real Killers Explained

2019-12-26 01:12:34

Jack Wilhelmi

Video Nasties Explained: Why Britain Banned So Many Horror Movies

Horror gets a bad reputation from time to time, especially due to some of the more ultra-violent entries and the occasionally exploitative aspects of the genre, but Britain started outright banning some of these titles, which they called by the nickname, video nasties.

While there are some well-known names on the list, many of the titles that were banned were smaller, independent releases that tried to play with and push the horror genre in what directors hoped would be new, exciting ways. Censorship in horror is nothing new, as content has been attacked and limited for decades. In modern years, it’s not uncommon for the MPAA in the United States to require extensive edits of films from directors in order to achieve a certain rating. In many cases, filmmakers are successful with talking an NC-17 label down to an R-rating, though a resurgence in PG-13 horror may be due, in part, to directors being aware of this censorship and trying to avoid unnecessary risk as well as making a film more marketable to a broader audience.

Related: Sam Raimi Regrets THAT Tree Scene In The Evil Dead

The introduction of video cassettes in the UK was what initially tipped off this increased censorship of horror films and other exploitation-style films in the 1980s.

In the 1980s, the UK lacked a system of regulating video sales. In response to films that were coming out on video cassette, the Video Recordings Act Of 1984 passed as a way to regulate what could be distributed to home audiences. There was a stricter code regarding what could be shown on video than in theaters. Once passed, all videos had to get BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) approval before being released. Previously, videos didn’t have to be checked because of a loophole in film classification laws that allowed them to bypass the entire process. This is partially why so many independent horror films were released direct to video. The term “video nasties” was originated by the National Viewers and Listeners Association founded by Mary Whitehouse, and is now known as Mediawatch. Whitehouse was a social activist in the UK who opposed social liberalism in the British media; part of her campaign was against the BBC.

Some notable video nasties include The Evil Dead, Wes Craven’s The Last House on the LeftCannibal HolocaustFaces of DeathI Spit On Your Grave, and Dario Argento’s InfernoThe Evil Dead was one of those to be rather lucky, as it was released during the height of the video nasty craze; its theatrical version originally passed with some cuts but the video version did not. However, the BBFC understood its tone was tongue in cheek, and removed it from the list in 1985 after a court case with the distributors brought to light that it was not, in fact, obscene in the way they were trying to prohibit, given its satirical outlook of horror. Cannibal Holocaust was successfully prosecuted in 1983 and banned by the BBFC until 2001, where it was cut to remove most of the animal cruelty and rape scenes.

The Last House on the Left was seen as problematic by the BBFC even before the act was passed, all the way back in 1974, when it was refused cinema release. BBFC Secretary Stephen Murphy stated “we can find no redeeming merit” with the film. It briefly hit video release before 1984, but was quickly added to the video nasty list, and didn’t come off until it was deemed suitable for an 18 rating on its DVD release in 2002. In August 2009, a legislative mistake was discovered and the Video Recordings Act of 1984 was repealed. However, it was reinstated in 2010 with no changes as the Video Recordings Act of 2010. Some of the original 72 titles still remain but as of 2018, 33 titles were dropped from the video nasties list. The classification system still exists to this day.

Next: 15 Controversial Movies That Have Been Banned Around The World

2019-12-25 06:12:11

Jack Wilhelmi

Every Horror Movie Preserved in the US Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry preserves films that are historically, aesthetically, or culturally significant, including horror. While the horror genre often gets an upsetting lack of respect from mainstream critics and awards ceremonies, horror is just as essential an element of film’s past, present, and future as any other genre. There’s a reason horror has been a go-to for movies since the early days of the medium, and that’s because the genre allows for almost anything to happen, and offers filmmakers a limitless well of creativity that’s only constrained by money and time limitations.

One could easily argue that horror is currently experiencing one of its best periods ever, with studios like Blumhouse and Warner Bros. making enormous profits off the genre, and the streaming landscape making it easier than ever for indie filmmakers to get their work seen as well. Additionally, horror and horror-adjacent TV shows now dominate the programming landscape, with The Walking Dead, The Haunting of Hill House, Stranger Things, American Horror Story, Supernatural, Black Mirror, and Castle Rock amassing huge fanbases.

Related: The Shining: Jack’s Freezer Escape Proves the Ghosts Are Real

Thankfully, the National Film Registry operated by the U.S. Library of Congress hasn’t forgotten to give horror its due, inducting quite a few fright flicks into its hallowed halls. Here’s a complete list of horror films deemed important enough to be preserved.

  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  • Dracula (1931)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • Freaks (1932)
  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • King Kong (1933)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • Cat People (1942)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  • The Thing from Another World (1951)
  • House of Wax (1953)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • House of Usher (1960)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  • Eraserhead (1977)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Alien (1979)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

As one might expect, the above selections are predominantly undisputed horror classics that earned rave reviews from both critics and fans. It’s a bit surprising to see no horror films included from after 1991, but then again, there really hasn’t been much post-1990s material added to the National Film Registry as of yet. One assumes more will be as the decades go by. What’s there includes some really heavy hitters though, such as Halloween, Alien, The Exorcist, The Shining, and The Silence of the Lambs.

There’s also some cult classics included in the bunch, such as midnight movie staple The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and David Lynch’s insanely weird debut film Eraserhead. Horror comedies are also represented by Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. That Frankstein’s monster sure is hilarious. Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock gets some love via Psycho and The Birds, while classic Universal Pictures horror is heavily represented, including Dracula, Frankenstein, and Bride of Frankenstein. Up to 25 new films are chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation each year, and one wonders what will be the next horror selection.

More: Halloween: The True Story That Inspired Michael Myers

2019-12-25 04:12:13

Michael Kennedy

American Horror Story 1984 Theory: Mr. Jingles’ Mom Is La Llorona

American Horror Story has adapted numerous historical cases, figures, and legends throughout its nine season arc and, while a slightly untraditional adaptation of the La Llorona legend, signs point to Mr. Jingles’ mom being a representation of the character in 1984.

In 1984, the character was first introduced in episode 7, “The Lady in White”, and is played by Lily Rabe, one of American Horror Story‘s alumni dating back to the series’ first season. The episode serves as a partial origin story about Benjamin Richter (John Carroll Lynch), also known as Mr. Jingles. While the character of the “lady in white” is only utilized for a short arc, she plays a powerful role in the season on the whole given her relationship to one of the primary characters, and the implications that her familial tragedy is partially to blame for the camp’s curse that forces all who perish on the grounds to stay confined there, in purgatory, similarly to how is done with the Murder House in season one of the show.

Related: AHS 1984 Suggests Season 1’s School Shooting Could Have Been Avoided

La Llorona was recently adapted into a movie within The Conjuring universe, The Curse of La Llorona, which was a critical flop. Though the legends surrounding La Llorona are firmly rooted in Hispanic culture, a cautionary tale told to children by their parents and grandparents, Murphy’s character bears a striking resemblance, intentional or not.

Benjamin Richter’s origin story goes back to 1948, when Camp Redwood was known as Camp Golden Star. His mother, Lavinia (Rabe), was a cook at the camp, which takes a clear page from Friday the 13th. Benjamin had a younger brother, Bobby, who was the apple of their mother’s eye whereas he was harshly criticized by her. After Lavinia tasks Benjamin with supervising his brother so they can go swimming in the lake, a tragic turn of events led to Bobby’s death. Benjamin abandoned his brother to go watch counselors hook up in the woods, and Bobby disobeyed his brother’s orders not to go in the lake, which resulted in him being run over by a boat and cut up by the propeller when it couldn’t be stopped in time. Lavinia, mad with rage, went on a killing spree, then turned on Benjamin, who ended up killing her in self-defense.

According to the show, “her blood had poured into this ground, with her pain and her rage.” This implies she is the reason why those murdered at the camp end up in purgatory. Richter discovers his mother is still bound to the camp after the ghosts tell him they are being terrorized by a “lady in white.” La Llorona’s story is a little different, as she murdered her own children by drowning them after finding out about her husband’s infidelity; it was her way to get revenge. After murdering her children, La Llorona killed herself out of grief. According to legend, she was refused entry into Heaven until she found her sons’ souls. She is known to prey on children, kidnapping them and compulsively drowning them, and is commonly described as a vengeful, restless spirit. While this does differ from Murphy’s origin tale, there is significant overlap.

In American Horror Story, Lavinia is similarly a restless, vengeful spirit who constantly is in search of her son, Bobby, after his death. She terrorizes the counselors – even though they’re already dead – in a similar loop to her murder spree before the night she died. Her vengeful qualities surfaced after she convinced Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) to go on a killing spree and frame her son, Benjamin. She is also always seen in white attire, similar to how La Llorona is always depicted wearing a white gown with a veil. Also like La Llorona, Lavinia Richter is overcome with anguish until she was reunited with her son, Bobby, which allowed her to finally be at peace.

Next: AHS Season 10 Theory: It’s All About Urban Legends

2019-12-25 02:12:19

Jack Wilhelmi

5 Horror Movies We’re Looking Forward To In 2020 (& 5 We’re Not)

2020 looks to be a…mixed year for horror. But then again, isn’t that every year?

There are a ton of interesting looking and sounding horror movies releasing throughout the next year. Some are sequels to beloved movies, and some are originals that sound intriguing. But there are also movies that look…not so interesting. You know the kind ⁠— the cheap, horribly written, poorly acted tripe that is made for pennies and meant solely to squeeze cash from teenagers.

RELATED: The 10 Funniest Kills In Horror Movies

We’re here to root out the good from the bad. And be forewarned ⁠— some of these choices may be a bit controversial. Here are five horror movies we’re looking forward to in 2020, and five we’re not.

10 Looking Forward To – The Grudge

Despite the January release date (which never bodes well for a horror movie), we are cautiously optimistic about The Grudge. Yes, this is about the tenth iteration of The Grudge that we’ve seen, and it’s serving as a reboot of a remake. Yes, Hollywood is now that desperate for content. However, the teaser trailer was surprisingly good, and the R rating has us hopeful that it will deliver a no-holds-barred, disturbing horror fest. It’s also being directed by Nicolas Pesce, whose 2016 movie The Eyes of My Mother was both nightmarish and utterly psychotic.

9 Not – A Quiet Place: Part II

Call us crazy, but we are not looking forward to A Quiet Place: Part II. We just…don’t have much confidence in it. It reeks of “unnecessary sequel” and studio greed. Does every single movie (especially horror movies) need a sequel? A Quiet Place was lightning in a bottle, and we don’t have faith that the sequel will replicate its success. The sequel will also be releasing under some scrutiny, as it seems like like A Quiet Place has undergone a bit of a critical reevaluation on the internet in recent months. This is nothing but a largely unnecessary sequel that will more than likely be inferior to the first. Like…literally all horror movie sequels.

8 Looking Forward To – Gretel & Hansel

Gretel & Hansel is yet another retelling of the famous Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, and it looks…surprisingly good. The teaser has us incredibly excited, as it contained some gorgeous (and haunting) visuals and a very eerie score. It’s also starring Sophia Lillis, who proved with It that she can handle scary material with surprising maturity and skill. Finally, it’s being directed by Oz Perkins, who was behind the 2016 horror movie I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. No, the January release date isn’t promising, but we still have a small semblance of hope.

7 Not – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

If you need a good example regarding the detriment of unnecessary horror sequels, we give you The Conjuring franchise. The first was a well-made and spooky movie, and it was a success. So of course we got an entire extended universe spanning a Conjuring sequel (admittedly decent), the Annabelle movies, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona. Like, really? The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It doesn’t allow us much room for excitement. The director has a poor track record (The Curse of La Llorona), and chances are that this is going to be another jump scare-filled haunted house ride. Pass.

RELATED: 5 Real & 5 Fictional Moments In The Conjuring Universe You Never Noticed Before

6 Looking Forward To – Halloween Kills

The only reason we aren’t docking Halloween Kills is because we knew it was inevitable. That said, we are getting tired of this recent thing where Hollywood is retconning entire franchises and pretending that certain movies just don’t exist. Halloween, despite doing the whole “these movies never happened” thing, earned enough goodwill from general audiences (and us) to secure a sequel. And yes, we are cautiously optimistic about it. However, the Halloween franchise should definitively end after this. At this point it’s just like Michael himself – forever shambling and never dying. Case in point: Halloween Ends is in 2021. Of course.

5 Not – The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man had some potential. It looks like it wanted to tell a story about metaphorical ghosts and about how victims of abuse are never truly free from torment. And that’s great. Not only that, but it also could have spun an interesting tale regarding Elisabeth Moss’s potential insanity, an intriguing “is she crazy, or is there actually an invisible man?” scenario. But no, it looks like they’re going with a straightforward and generic “an invisible man kills and maims people” plot, and frankly, that’s just boring.

4 Looking Forward To – Antlers

This is a fantastic time for original horror movies. We’ve received some great and original horror ones in recent years, and Antlers looks like another winner. The trailer is largely without dialogue and relies instead on haunting imagery like a child kneeling beside an eviscerated animal, the same child feeding food to some unseen creature, a brief glimpse of some bloodied man, and a very brief glimpse of some type of Lovecraft-esque monster. It also boasts a killer cast (Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons) and is being directed by Scott Cooper of Black Mass and Crazy Heart fame. Keep an eye out for this one.

RELATED: 10 Most Underrated Horror Films From The Past 5 Years

3 Not – Candyman

Yay, another…Candyman. That’s cause for celebration, right? This is yet another “ignore all those other movies, this is a sequel to the original” sequel, as it is ignoring both Farewell to the Flesh and Day of the Dead. The best we can say about this movie is that it’s being written by new horror maestro Jordan Peele. We don’t know, maybe it’s just us, but is anyone really clamoring for a new Candyman? This franchise hasn’t been relevant for years. Hopefully this will be the Halloween (2018) of the Candyman series. But we don’t know.

2 Looking Forward To – Last Night In Soho

Six words: Edgar Wright directing a horror movie. Where do we sign up? Edgar Wright has earned a ton of goodwill throughout the years, mainly through his acclaimed Cornetto trilogy and Baby Driver. He seemingly can do no wrong, and with a cast containing Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Matt Smith, Last Night in Soho is looking to be yet another winner in Wright’s ever-expanding filmography.

1 Not – The Organ Donor

Believe it or not, there is another Saw movie coming in 2020. How are we not done with this franchise yet? The Organ Donor will be the ninth entry in the Saw franchise, a franchise that should have ended eight entries ago. OK, maybe seven. Saw II was decent. Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw II, III, and IV is returning to direct, and it will star both Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson in the leading roles, which to us seems a little “fishing for internet points.” Maybe it will be good, but if the last six Saw movies proved anything, it probably won’t be.

NEXT: 10 Of The Creepiest Movie Monsters From The 2000s (That Horror Fans Love)

2019-12-23 01:12:02

Nathan Sharp