Don’t miss these seven underrated Halloween movies

Photo courtesy of freesvg.org.

Photo courtesy of freesvg.org.

Sadie Dallas, Deputy Arts & Culture Editor

This previously ran in our October 2021 print issue.

With the crisp autumn air settling in, now is the perfect time to curl up with a good movie. Classics like Halloween, The Addams Family, and Hocus Pocus will undoubtedly dominate cable television again this year, and rightfully so. The Halloween season sheds light on all things spooky and strange, including some excellent movies. Here are 7 that often fly under the radar:

  1. Death Becomes Her (1992)

Glamorous undead rivals (Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn) fight for the attention of nerdy plastic surgeon (Bruce Willis) in this increasingly wacky dark comedy. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film has garnered a devoted following over the years and even inspired a challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. With delightfully wicked characters and gorgeous costumes, it’s certainly worth a watch this spooky season. Death Becomes Her also takes the cake for the coolest movie title on this list. 

      2. The Fly (1986)

What starts out as a slightly cheesy science fiction movie slowly turns into one of the most repulsively captivating movie-watching experiences of all time. It’s almost impossible to look away as Jeff Goldblum’s endearingly dorky scientist descends into madness after an experiment gone awry bonds his DNA with a fly’s. Nightmarishly tragic and extremely quotable, this movie is an overlooked masterpiece for the brave viewer. 

       3. Crimson Peak (2015)

This movie has it all: a haunted house, a devious scheme for inherited money, and goth Tom Hiddleston. While its not-at-all subtle symbolism may bother some viewers, Crimson Peak’s striking visuals and excellent performances make it a noteworthy contribution to the gothic horror genre. 

      4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola’s borderline campy take on the classic tale is full to the brim with eerie visuals and pulpy horror. The all-star cast includes Halloween queen Winona Ryder as Mina and Gary Oldman as the titular vampire. Freaky and over-the-top, it’s a highly undervalued horror film. 

      5. The Changeling (1980) 

After his wife and daughter die tragically, a grief-stricken composer moves into a Victorian mansion and discovers it is haunted. Simple yet chilling, this film has all the elements of a great ghost story. Even though some critics feel that The Changeling offers nothing particularly new to the haunted house genre, the sinister plot twist and first-rate performance by George C. Scott make it worthy of this list. 

      6. Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Only recently has this cult classic about a possessed cheerleader gained recognition for being the sharp commentary on female friendship and sexuality that it is. Because this movie grows more popular each year, it may not technically be underrated these days, but is still worth a mention. 

      7. The Innocents (1961)

Fans of Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor should check out this interpretation of The Turn of the Screw. More ambiguous psychological horror than actual ghost story, this film is possibly the creepiest adaptation of the classic Henry James novella.