Horror movies have had an interesting relationship with the movie industry. While there have been some incredibly popular horror movies throughout the years, the genre has predominantly remained on the fringe. The insane storylines and over-the-top gore have separated the genre from popular culture and have caused horror to maintain a cult following. It is a shame that most horror movies have remained with a cult following only. Throughout the years there have been some truly great horror movies that have been produced. There have been movies that capture the horror genre perfectly and should have been a success in the mainstream. Below we will take a look at ten horror movies that deserve a second chance!
A Second Chance: Dog Soldiers – 2002
Coming out of the U.K, Dog Soldiers is a fantastic werewolf story that never gained much traction this side of the pond. It is a shame that it never did because director Neil Marshall gave us one hell of an entertaining story.
Following a group of military personnel, on a training exercise, Dog Soldiers is a gritty and violent werewolf story. It goes away from the fantastical stories of the past and presents a gory and realistic telling of a worn-out tale. It was an original concept and one that breathed new life into the genre.
Outside of the great story, the practical effects used in the movie were A+. The gore was realistic and the werewolves were downright terrifying. It was a different way to present the creatures to the audience and it paid off big time.
A Second Chance: Pontypool – 2008
Canadian horror movies don’t get the love they should. That is why this chilling thriller from the Great White North gets lost in the shuffle.
Set in a radio station in Pontypool, Ontario we follow a radio d.j as he tries to understand an evolving situation. Throughout his broadcast, we keep hearing various reports of violence and death throughout the city. We eventually learn that a virus has infected the English language and has turned people into zombies.
This is one of the more creative stories in horror history. The concept of language being a virus is an interesting one that can draw parallels in the real world. It evoked a psychological horror that we have all encountered at some point in our lives. The ability of words to be deadly is a reality we all experience and this movie took that concept one step further.
A Second Chance: Prince of Darkness – 1987
John Carpenter is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of horror. Some of his movies are at the top of many horror movie lists, but some have flown under the radar.
Prince of Darkness is a lesser-known Carpenter movie that deserves some credit. Taking place in Los Angeles, we meet a priest who recruits some university students to help him determine the origin of a mysterious canister held under a church.
This movie had your regular Carpenter direction. It was tense and included some great practical effects. While being filmed in a large city, there was a sense of claustrophobia in every scene. It was very unsettling and added a sense of dread to the movie.
Then there was the usual terrific John Carpenter score. His work is always great and it helped to create the perfect atmosphere for this movie.
A Second Chance: Ginger Snaps – 2000
Another Canadian horror movie that should get more credit was this fantastic werewolf story from the early 2000s. Following the story of two sisters, one of whom is attacked by an unknown creature, Ginger Snaps is a great indie horror movie. The small budget did hinder the practical effects for the movie but the story being told more than made up for it.
This was a heartwarming tale of sibling relationships with the backdrop of a chilling thriller. It is shocking to see the creators weave two such stories, but they did an amazing job of it. We could all feel for both sisters as one slowly devolved into a blood-thirsty creature.
The movie was a great subversion of werewolves movies of the past. We were in a suburban setting which gave a too close-to-home feeling about the story. It was a great idea and one that set this movie apart from others of the day.
A Second Chance: Grave Encounters – 2011
The found footage genre has been much maligned throughout the years. There have been many that have been downright terrible, and this is a shame. This has shied many people away from found footage movies, and thus not many have seen the fantastic Grave Encounters.
We meet a paranormal reality crew that locks themselves in a supposedly haunted psychiatric hospital. Their goal is to find some evidence of the paranormal but naturally, all involved are not enthusiastic about finding proof. Of course, they end up discovering that the hospital is haunted and none make it out.
This is a great example of what can be done with a found footage film. The tension throughout the movie was awesome. The lighting effects showed us only what we needed to see and helped to provide some great jump scares.
A Second Chance: Mimic – 1997
Coming to us from Guillermo Del Toro, Mimic was a widely released film that did get some notoriety, but not nearly as much as it deserves.
We begin the film by hearing how a disease has stricken the younger population of New York. This brings in entomologist Susan Tyler, who uses genetic engineering to create a solution to the problem. We soon find out that this solution provided a larger problem as giant insects begin terrorizing the people of New York.
This was one of the first directing credits in North America for Del Toro. We witnessed his fantastic directing style and his ability to create the perfect atmosphere of terror. The constant rain and darkness were a great way to confuse the viewer and play up the camouflaged nature of the creatures.
There were also pitch-perfect performances from the cast. The actors completely bought into the concept of the movie. It was their performances that helped to instill terror in the audience and make this a must-see horror movie.
A Second Chance: Cube – 1997
It could be the fact that this writer is Canadian, but there are a bunch of underappreciated Canadian horror movies out there. Cube may be at the top of the list of Canadian horror films that should get more love.
We see a tremendously tense thriller that involves 5 people trapped in a giant cube. Random rooms within the structure have been booby-trapped and only by deciphering the mathematic code of the cube can the individuals survive the ordeal.
This film is a blueprint for psychological horror. The paranoia between the characters keeps building and building throughout the movie and it captures the feeling perfectly. The claustrophobic setting gives the viewer an uneasy feeling during the movie. These themes created a terrific atmosphere and one that helps to tell a gripping story.
A Second Chance: Bone Tomahawk – 2015
Following a small-town sheriff, as he, and a posse, track down a tribe of natives that kidnapped some locals, this is a surprising horror movie.
From the onset, there are some horror leaning scenes, but this movie seems like your usual western movie. Then the story gets flipped on its head as we move into the second act. We see a tremendously gory revenge movie. It was a great way to present the story and one that gave the western genre a breath of fresh air.
Outside of the great gore, the performances from the ensemble cast were impeccable. Kurt Russel, Patrick Wilson, David Arquette, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox created some incredible characters. Their work was so great that we were gutted when the characters met their fate in the latter stages of the movie.
A Second Chance: Blood Quantum – 2019
The last Canadian movie to make the list is also the most recent movie to be added. Telling the story of a zombie uprising and the indigenous population who is immune to the virus. It is a very creative way to tell a zombie story, considering the over saturation during the past decade.
This is a perfectly told zombie story. How the director, Jeff Barnaby, deals with indigenous issues in this movie is brilliant. It gives strength to the population that is not usually present in many movies. How the natives have become immune and have to deal with the white population seeking refuge is an interesting turn.
Going away from the social issues, the gore is fantastic. Zombie movies are usually very gory and this one was no different. The practical effects used tons of blood and it was a great way to move from social issues into a straight-up horror movie.
A Second Chance: The Relic – 1997
Perhaps the most well-known movie on this list but one that still doesn’t get the love that it deserves. The Relic is your usual big-budget monster movie from the late-1990s. It includes a scientist and detective who are racing against the clock to find a killer at the Natural History Museum in Chicago. They and we, soon find out that an evolving monster has been stalking the museum throughout the movie and this leads to a climactic final act.
As far as big-budget movies go, this is a great one. The special effects were fantastic and the creature design was spot on. It should be no surprise that Stan Winston Studios was behind the creature effects of the movie. It was a creative and terrifying design that was unlike anything we had seen before.
The writing and cast performances were other strong points of the movie. There was a comedic tone throughout that helped to highlight the scary moments. It was a great way to present the story and it helped to set it apart from other big-budget monster movies of the day.