10 Critically Reviled Action-Horror Movies (That Weren't Actually That Bad)

Silly, popcorn fun...that isn't as bad as you remember!

Van Helsing 2004
Universal Pictures

A genre that really came to prominence in the early 2000s, the action/horror genre can often be characterised by two things; a handsome leading man, and a budget that wasn't big enough for the ambitious project.

The origin of these films come from the adventure serials of the 1940s. These films leaned more on edgy, often body horror-esque tropes that allowed for great visuals throughout despite budgetary restrictions.

Take The Mummy, for instance - a great action adventure film that has incredibly bad CGI at times. That being said, you take one look at the poster with Brendan Fraser and you know exactly what you're in for: a classic creature feature.

It can't be denied that some of the films released in this genre were admittedly terrible (the majority all being directed by Uwe Boll). You've got Bloodrayne, House of the Dead, and all the other video game adaptions that came in the early 2000s, not to mention a ton of other questionable outliers.

However, there are some films of this genre that were hated at the time of their release but are actually... very enjoyable! While none of the films on the list were Oscar nominees, there is no reason that they should be held up with as much disdain as they are, and they are certainly worth revisiting.

10. The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

Van Helsing 2004
Universal Pictures

The third instalment of The Mummy franchise took a diversion from the deserts of Egypt and instead took Rick O'Connell and the gang to China, to look at the beginnings of the Terracotta Army. The film features Jet Li as the titular Dragon Emperor in this film, which makes for a nice change from Imhotep in the previous two.

While this movie lacks some of the charm and campiness of the first two instalments, it makes up for it with its action sequences. The plane crash sequence and the final battle at the great wall really help elevate the film's closing sections.

Brendan Fraser is on point as ever as Rick O'Connell. He shows audiences why he was one of the breakout stars of the early 2000s. He's both charismatic and heartfelt, something you don't expect from a throwback serial. He's matched well by Mario Bello, who has good chemistry with Fraser, meaning they manage to recapture some of the magic from the first film.

While The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor isn't the deepest of films, it by no way deserves a poor 13% Rotten Tomatoes score. It is a solid, throwaway Indiana Jones-lite adventure!

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Horror fanatic, exhausted wrestling fan and die hard Brendan Fraser stan.