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

Surprising sequels, one-offs which deserve a second chance, and great (unintentional) comedies...

Silent Hill
Davis Films

We here at WhatCulture will be the first to admit it; sometimes, the critics get it wrong.

Not us, mind you, but it happens.

It might be a big budget disaster which everyone is busy bashing and doesn’t realize is actually alright (hi there, Danny Boyle’s underrated The Beach). It might be much-awaited franchise instalment with sky high expectations which no one has the heart to slam upon release (sorry, Attack of the Clones). Whatever the cause, critical consensus can sometimes end up slamming a solid flick or lauding one which ends up looking laughable in the years that follow.

The horror genre in particular is often singled out for pretty brutal reviews by critics who may not even know their Insidious instalments from their Annabelle sequels, and a lot of horrors are subject to rough reviews despite having moments of promise nestled amongst their jump scares.

So today we’re highlighting a few horror flicks which we don’t think got a fair shake from critics the first time around—whether they were actually underrated gems, or just not as woeful as the reviews would have you believe.

10. Silent Hill

Silent Hill
Alliance Atlantis Communications

Big ups to French fantasy/horror visionary Christophe Gans, deservedly adored in his home country for his ambitious historical fantasies which fuse impressively ambitious stunt work and choreography with lush CGI and beautiful practical effects seamlessly—check out 2014’s Beauty and the Beast for an adaptation which batters Disney’s recent attempts to reimagine the classic fairy tale.

The director’s sole Hollywood effort, 2006’s long-awaited video game Silent Hill, was never going to fare well with critics on account of… well, of being a video game adaptation.

Upon reappraisal, it’s clear that a lot of the issues critics had with the film are actually arguably amongst its strong suits—the stilted dialogue wouldn’t be out of place in a Lynchian nightmare and the lengthy runtime makes the film’s upsetting atmosphere more immersive and overwhelming, whilst the incomprehensible plot serves to further deepen the film’s fear of the unknown.

It’s a story which should be difficult to navigate, with no easy answers and frequent misdirects and frustrating near-misses, and we can’t help but wonder whether the director’s difficult-to-decipher nightmare would have been more positively received if it weren’t inspired by something so plebeian and critically-disapproved as a video game.

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