5 underrated horror movies of the 2010s

The 2010s gave audiences plenty of horror films to enjoy, across all subgenres. There were blockbusters, beloved franchise returns, and zombies everywhere you looked. More independent horror has been recognized by mainstream audiences, and directors like Ari Aster and Robert Eggers have emerged to leave their mark on the horror genre. But for each Scream 4 Where The VVitch, countless other films did not get the recognition they deserved.

This list takes a look at 5 underrated horror movies from the 2010s, featuring foreign figures, evil music boxes, and the wicked side of folklore. There may be movies here that have gone completely unnoticed or others that just didn’t look appealing, but each has its own merits and deserves a first or even a second look.

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Wishes

Released in 2017, Wish on takes the underutilized wish-fulfillment trope gone wrong. Starring Joey King as Clare, a teenage girl haunted by her mother’s suicide and embarrassed by her diving into a dumpster, hoarder father Jonathan, played by Ryan Phillippe. On one of his trash diving trips, Jonathan finds an old engraved Chinese music box and offers it to Clare for her birthday. She translates some of the handwriting to mean seven wishes and immediately wants her high school bully to rot.

Of course, like the classic Monkey’s Paw tale, Claire’s wishes come with consequences. For every wish she makes, a loved one dies horribly. Even though it takes a surprising number of wishes to achieve this, and the fact that she continues to wish after the fulfillment, Wish on actually has a lot to like. The dead are inventive, the cast and actors are good, and the ending isn’t what you usually get with screaming teenagers.


defense

Starting with a chat on his podcast and becoming a meme in the Kevin Smith community (Walrus, yes!), defense became Smith’s second foray into horror after 2011 Red state. The premise of the film is simple, Justin Long stars as Wallace, host of the popular podcast The Not-See Part, who stumbles upon a post for free room and board and lots of interesting stories. Wallace arrives at Howard Howe, a retired old sailor played by Michael Parks, who tells him the story of Mr. Tusk, a walrus who once saved his life. Unbeknownst to Wallace, he was drugged and wakes up the next morning in a wheelchair with half of his leg amputated.


What follows is a slow, grotesque boil that sees Howe attempting to completely transform Wallace into the eponymous Mr. Tusk through multiple surgeries. Michael Parks shines as a mad sea dog obsessed with the animal that saved his life while Justin Long also performs as a terrified man in the face of a life-changing transformation. There is also a very weird cameo of Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe with a ghastly French-Canadian accent.


under the shadow-Dorsa

The Iranian film of 2016 Under the shadows takes place in war-torn Tehran in the 1980s. Shideh lives with her daughter Dorsa and her husband Iraj. Shideh, a former medical student banned from practicing medicine due to her previous involvement in leftist student groups, while Iraj is a practicing physician, who is recalled to military service. After Iraj leaves, a young refugee boy moves in with his neighbors and tells Dorsa the legend of the Djinn, triggering a chain of events that threatens the lives of Shideh and Dorsa as the legend of the Djinn becomes all too real.


Dorsa falls ill, personal items disappear, and vivid nightmares plague Shideh as missiles continue to fall around them and their friends and neighbors leave for safer spaces. Located in mostly closed neighborhoods, Under the shadows is led by fantastic performances from Narges Rashidi and Avin Manshadi and some really creepy jump scares which are not the usual easy scares.


pliers

Released in 2012, Grabbers is a monster comedy set on a remote Irish island and follows new Garda policewoman Lisa Nolan and her reluctant partner Garda Ciarán O’Shea as an alien invasion threatens their picturesque island life. When the corpses of mutilated whales start washing up on the shore, that’s just the beginning, as sprawling monsters of space that linger in blood and water attempt to dry up the island and its inhabitants. A man inexplicably survives the attack on the creatures and it turns out to be because he was more alcoholic than man at the time, and the creatures, nicknamed Grabbers, are completely allergic to alcohol.


With Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley and Russel Tovey, Grabbers is an extremely fun monster movie with an absolutely ridiculous dead end as the city works together to get drunker than any city ever to keep aliens away.


sanctify it

A much more serious Irish case, the coronation shows the public the dark side of fairies. Environmentalist Adam, his wife Claire, and their baby Finn move to a remote location so Adam can study plant and fungal life in the local woods. Locals are less than happy to see Adam and his family move in and when officers respond to a report of vandalism at the family’s home, they pass on the legend of The Hallow, fairies, banshees and thieves. babies that would inhabit the woods. As Adam’s studies uncover more and more examples of a strange fungus in and around local flora and fauna, it becomes clear that Hallow is more than a local legend and that they want baby Finn in their ranks.

With eerie mythology and truly gruesome body horror, the coronation reinvents and subverts what audiences expect from fairy tales, taking it from magical to horrible in a very short period of time.

MORE: 7 Underrated Sci-Fi Movies From The 2010s And Where You Can Stream Them


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