Horror movies are kind of a niche genre of filmmaking. They're a persistent part of the film landscape, but they're typically made to serve a very particular audience and their trendiness seems to wax and wane regularly. However, the decade of the 2000's was kind of a high point for horror movies (or at least a high point in terms of how many horror movies were produced and succeeded at the box office).
But like any other genre or era of film, the horror movies of the 2000's were always hit or miss. Some of them were extremely memorable, and others are the kinds of movies people wish they could forget. There were actually quite a few horror flicks in the 2000's that were rousing successes, but now in retrospect it's difficult to understand why. And on the other hand, there were plenty of films that were received badly at the time, but they now seem totally awesome. So here are 5 underrated movies from the 2000's, and 5 overrated ones.
10 Overrated: The Human Centipede
Even the title The Human Centipede sounds mysterious and scary, and the concept behind it is definitely a unique one in the horror genre. But where The Human Centipede falls flat is that it's just a one trick pony. The centipede is gross, it will give anyone watching it an immediate sense of revulsion and disgust, but that's pretty much it. Having a good idea that horror audiences haven't really seen before is definitely important when making a horror movie, but the movie has to move beyond that one idea and have some real meat to it. The Human Centipede unfortunately does not.
9 Underrated: Jennifer's Body
Nowadays a lot of people will like to claim that they loved Jennifer's Body before it was cool, but they're probably liars. When this movie (penned by witty as hell Juno writer Diablo Cody) first came out it was met with apathy or straight out derision, but the years have certainly been kind to Jennifer's Body.
This movie is a pretty perfect teen horror flick and a pretty perfect send up of a teen horror flick, and if anyone was under the impression that Transformers star Megan Fox couldn't act then this movie will disabuse them of that notion very, very quickly.
8 Overrated: The Grudge
The Grudge may have been one of the most financially successful horror movies of the decade, but now that the movie has had a chance to age, we have to ask ourselves, why? The movie is a perfectly passable horror film, but there's nothing particularly memorable that stands out. It follows in the footsteps of quite a few horror movies of the era, it's an American remake of a Japanese horror movie, and the remake really doesn't add anything to the original material to even make it worthwhile. The movie made close to $200 million, but the surprisingly few sequels that followed it kind of demonstrates how weak it was conceptually.
7 Underrated: Pitch Black
Pitch Black is one of the extremely unusual instances where most casual movie goers are more familiar with the sequel than with the original film. The Chronicles of Riddick was one of Vin Diesel's earliest starring vehicles, but the character of Riddick originated in Pitch Black. This sci-fi movie focuses on a ragtag group who is stranded on a planet that is inhabited by massive predatory animals that come out at night. Their mission is simple, to escape the planet before they die. And it's difficult to make a film who's premise requires intense darkness into something that is visually and narratively compelling, but Pitch Black more than gets the job done.
6 Overrated: Queen of the Damned
A film adaptation of an Anne Rice vampire tale seems like a pretty easy sell, and after the epic awesomeness that was Interview With A Vampire the expectations for Queen of the Damned were understandably high. And the result was... lackluster. To say the least.
The movie is ostensibly about Lestat's experience in this new era, and the fact that a huge portion of the film focuses on Lestat as the lead singer of a famous rock band was even cringey at the time, and time passing has not done this movie any favors. But Queen of the Damned's ultimate problem is that it's just very, very boring.
5 Underrated: 30 Days Of Night
While vampire movies like Queen of the Damned were trying way too hard to be edgy, 30 Days of Night managed to tell a modernized vampire story that actually did feel edgy. The vampires in this flick are more animal than human, but they've learned to adapt with the times. They certainly don't have the kind of look that would blend in, so in order to feed they go to the extremely isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, with the plan of decimating the entire place. Barrow goes through 30 days straight without sunlight and it's residents have no means of escape, so they have no choice but to face off with these monsters.
4 Overrated: House of 1000 Corpses
It comes as no surprise that goth musician Rob Zombie is a massive fan of all things horror, and while his foray into the horror filmmaking world certainly isn't the worst movie ever made, it's simply not a particularly memorable or standout film. House of 1000 Corpses draws some obvious inspiration from some of the most famous horror movies ever made, most clearly The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But the truth of the matter is that both of those movies would be a much better use of anyone's film watching time than this derivative and uninspired movie.
3 Underrated: Alien vs. Predator
When news first came out that there was going to be a movie crossover between the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise it sounded like an incredibly obvious cash grab. And honestly, Alien vs. Predator is an incredibly obvious cash grab. But that doesn't mean that it's not actually a pretty rad movie.
The film actually manages to create a pretty believable and easy to follow mythology that explains the connection between Predators and Xenomorphs (as well as both of their connections with humankind), and the movie also offers up all of the scares and gory moments that any horror or science fiction fan would hope for.
2 Overrated: Underworld
Who knows why the particular horror movie trend of super edgy vampires became such a thing for a while (maybe Buffy is to blame?), but Underworld is yet another entry into the genre that is completely forgettable and barely entertaining. It's actually baffling that this movie managed to spawn multiple sequels, because this leather clad, excessively blue movie about the never ending battle between vampires and werewolves really has nothing interesting or unique to offer. Kate Beckinsale is undeniably lovely to look at, but that is really the only positive thing that can be said about the movie, and it's clearly not enough to sustain two hours of running time.
1 Underrated: Let the Right One In
Let The Right One In is actually one of the most critically acclaimed horror movies of all time, but this small Swedish film was very easy to miss too. This bizarre tale of a child vampire is actually terrifying, and the dark and snowy Swedish atmosphere is the perfect accompaniment to this riveting tale. Obviously a horror movie with subtitles (or really any movie with subtitles) is a bit of a hard sell, but Let The Right One In is more than worth the effort and possible eye strain. And anyone who was bullied as a child will undoubtedly love to vicariously live out some gruesome revenge through this film.