If you’re looking for the best horror movies, there are a few cult classics worth revisiting or discovering. As fans of the genre know, with the litany of horror movies out there to choose from, some titles are often forgotten about or lost in the shuffle. Whether you’re a longtime fan of horror or a newer one, the movies listed below are cult classics that are highly-rated among genre buffs.
In the Mouth of Madness
When Sutter Cane (a Stephen King-esque bestselling author) goes missing, an insurance investigator, John Trent (Sam Neill), searches for his whereabouts. His journey takes him all the way to Cobb’s End, a fictional town created by Cane. But that’s just the beginning of Trent’s problems.
Horror icon John Carpenter (Halloween) directed this film that concurrently pokes fun and honors the work of Stephen King. This film has been described as a thinking person’s horror flick, and it’s as fun as it is scary. With edge-of-your-seat suspense, an original storyline, and a standout performance by Sam Neill, In the Mouth of Madness was regarded as one of the scariest horror movies of the mid-90s.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman), an ethnobotanist, is sent to Haiti after rumors circulate that a drug is being used for black magic rituals that turn people into zombies.
(Very) slightly based on the true-life experiences of ethnobotanist Wade Davis, author of the book by the same name, this chilling story takes viewers into the voodoo-cult underground of Haiti. The late and legendary Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) directed this film that many regard as one of the best horror movies of the late 80s. Longtime horror fans will most likely remember the famed tagline of The Serpent and the Rainbow, which sums up the essence of the movie perfectly: “Don’t bury me…I’m not dead.”
Prince of Darkness
A physics professor, a group of grad students, and a priest investigate a mysterious cylinder containing an odd energy force. If opened, the energy force could summon the Devil himself.
If you’re looking for other John Carpenter horror movies after viewing In the Mouth of Madness, then look no further than this gem. Prince of Darkness features a cameo from Alice Cooper, and Carpenter fans will remember Victor Wong and Dennis Dun from their roles in Big Trouble in Little China. And where Donald Pleasence played Dr. Loomis in Halloween, in this horror flick he portrays Father Loomis (named in homage to the famed character).
Prince of Darkness received mixed reviews at the time of its release, but audiences absolutely loved it. Cinema Crazed describes why this is one of the best horror movies by John Carpenter, and how it successfully stands the test of time.
“It’s interesting that [this] is almost a precursor to the found footage film boom of the mid aughts, as director John Carpenter stages a series of dream sequences void of cinematic flare. Through fuzzy hand held cameras, he manages to stage numerous horrific dream sequences signaling the coming of the anti-god, and the anti-Christ, all the while using it as a means of expressing how imminent the apocalypse is. The thirty second dream sequences are much more horrifying than most found footage films I’ve ever seen.
“Prince of Darkness still holds up as a creepy and atmospheric gem, and John Carpenter manages to deliver a truly underrated genre entry for the satanic sub-genre.”
Night of the Comet
When a comet wipes out most of the Earth’s population, two valley girls fight for their lives against zombies and evil scientists.
This horror-comedy is one of the most overlooked movies from the ’80s and because of nostalgia, it’s just as fun now as it was upon its initial release. The film received rave reviews from critics, and Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 82 percent (making it one of the highest-rated horror movies of 1984).
Before Peter Jackson took audiences to Middle-Earth in The Lord of the Rings, he grossed them out while making them laugh with Bad Taste. Both critics and audiences alike raved about this film, and IMDb provides the premise for one of the best horror movies for a gross-out good time.
“Derek and his friends must investigate the missing people in a small village. Then they find out its human formed aliens that are really big headed monsters that used all the people in the small village into their snack burgers. Now, Derek must save the day and the world with his chainsaw before the meat eaters strikes the whole planet.”
OTHER HORROR MOVIE ARTICLES FROM THE INQUISITR
From In the Mouth of Madness to Bad Taste, some of the best horror movies are cult classics.
[Featured Image by New Line Cinema]