Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
What exactly is a guilty pleasure? Well, it’s pretty much self-explanatory you’re yelling at your screen right now, as it’s simply feeling bad about something you personally enjoy that most people think is bad. But here’s the thing, is it that you’re actually feeling bad or do you feel guilty because everyone else says the thing you enjoy is stupid.
I’m betting nine out of ten times it’s the latter because no one wants to be left out right? To hell with all that I say! If you enjoy something (that doesn’t cause harm to anyone else) and specifically a horror movie that all your friends and the internet says is trash, then why should you have to pretend to like it ironically?! I say screw the guilt and just admit it. You’re a fan!
So let’s get to it. Here are my (and I apologise in advance for the long title) Top 5-ish Most Rewatchable Horror Movies – No Guilty Pleasure Required.
#5 Darkness Falls
Raise your hand if you love it when people take beloved children’s folklore and turn it into something nightmarish. I’ll admit the CGI hasn’t held up that well (which is the case for most special effects in movies) but the premise is still a cool one. A woman who was wrongfully murdered in life takes on the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her.
Before movies like Lights Out and Don’t Breathe made the darkness extra spooky, Darkness Falls utilised it to scare the pants off audiences. I’m betting sales on batteries and torchlights went through the roof. And who can forget that mask made out of children’s teeth?! Don’t let the four out of ten IMdb score mislead you, this may not be as good as Lights Out but it’s a helluva lot better than most people give it credit for.
#4 Virus and Ghost Ship and Deep Rising
Yes, these are three very different movies but I’m putting them together because I tend to watch them (or in this case re-watch them) as my own personal triple threat feature. Or, as I like to think of them, Hell on the High Seas.
Virus dropped in 1999 and starred Scream Queen (or at this point we should just call her Scream Goddess) Jamie Lee Curtis, the always awesome Donald Sutherland being villainous long before his turn in The Hunger Game movies and William Baldwin teaming up with some others to salvage a vessel that has already been claimed by an alien entity. This particular lifeform thinks we suck (then again, don’t they all think that?) and proceeds to use all the parts it can find to make bodies capable of annihilating our heroes. Did I mention those parts are both mechanical and organic? Think Terminator on the Ocean but in this case the T800 is built out of our parts and you’ll have an idea of what to expect here. It’s fun sci-fi horror that doesn’t require anything from the viewer but for you to sit back and have yourself a blast.
Then there’s Ghost Ship (2002). This group of salvagers also come across a boat worth its weight in gold (plus, actual gold bars to boot) but this time their antagonist is of the supernatural variety. Even if you’ve only seen this once, I’m betting you remember that insane opening. It made the last half of the Titanic look like a bumpy ride on the Love Boat.
Closing off our top three reasons to avoid the high seas is Deep Rising. Now this one has more of a cult following than the other two but it wasn’t well received on initial release. Except by fans such as myself who couldn’t get enough of this action horror that pits a group of thieves who decide to rob a cruise ship against a Lovecraftian beast from the deep. I refuse to feel bad about enjoying each and every minute of these three movies, all of which tick my horror-meets-action loving boxes and no matter how many times I’ve seen them, I never walk away unsatisfied.
#3 The First Power
Don’t ask me to explain because I’m not even sure what it is, but when I tell you I’ve seen this movie AT LEAST a couple dozen times (I even rewatched it again this year) I’m not exaggerating.
The First Power has one of those premises that you’ll probably never see again. A devil-worshipping serial killer named Patrick Channing, delightfully played by Jeff Kober (The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy), is captured by detective Logan (Lou Diamond Phillips) with the help of a psychic named Tess (Tracy Griffith) and later executed. He then returns to life (resurrection being The First Power granted to him by the devil) with the ability to possess people and use them as he sees fit.
It’s insane! I know! But with tight pacing, a straightforward noir-styled story, invested actors and a superb score that’s as memorable as Jason’s Friday the 13th theme, I can honestly say I love it. It even has an open ending that suggests Channing is still floating around the ether (and they were probably hoping to make a sequel or two, which never happened).
I recommend checking it out for yourself. I’m sure everyone has that one movie they adore that not that many other people are into (or even know about); this is that (horror) movie for me.
#2 The Relic
Man turns into giant chimera-type monster and has to eat people’s brains to survive. How could you not have fun with that?!
It’s like the 90s was the last time we got to have fun with films such as these as The Relic is one of the best modern day creature features I can think of. Tom Sizemore plays superstitious but very likeable cop Lt Vincent D’Agosta and Penelope Ann Miller plays biologist Margo Green. Together they team up to solve the mystery of who or what is killing people at the Museum of Natural History where she works. And as the detective thriller turns into a straight up horror fest we’re left with genre gold.
While it initially had mediocre to negative views, The Relic (which celebrated its 25th anniversary last January) has now gone on to gain a strong cult following. But I didn’t need to wait; I had a blast with this one from the jump and whenever I’m in the mood from some man vs monster action, you can bet your butt I’m queuing up this. The Relic will always be a winner in my book.
Honourable Mention: Dead Silence
Dummies man, they freak me out!
Maybe it’s because I will never not find ventriloquist dolls to be creepy as all hell, but I find horror bros. James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Dead Silence to be a ton of rewatchable fun. Not only is the opening unexpected and chilling but that twist ending is something no one saw coming. So whenever I want to show a casual (aka easy to scare) horror viewer something spooky, you know I’m showing them this.
#1 Event Horizon
I loved it, I love it and a thousand years from now when they unfreeze my cryogenically frozen head to attach it to a kick-ass android body, I’m still going to be a fan of Event Horizon.
A spaceship that was designed to quickly traverse space ends up travelling to Hell (technically a hellish dimension) and the unlucky crew that’s sent to retrieve it finds out where’s it been the hard way. Starring the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Jason Isaac and Kathleen Quinlan (just to name a few) I would give ANYTHING to see a director’s cut of this sci-fi horror flick. But even if that never happens, Event Horizon is one of the genre’s best and I personally rank it up there with the likes of Aliens. Yes, I said Aliens; that’s how much I enjoy this movie. I’ll even admit to being a bit smug about always being a fan long before it gained a cult following of its own. There are even rumors circulating that we might be getting a television show, which means we might be revisiting this doomed ship (I’m guessing it would be a prologue about the first crew?) real soon.
So no Guilty Pleasure required, no excuses given, if you love a movie, and genuinely enjoy it, you should just say so. What’s that saying? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And this horror fan will treasure these movies forever!
So do you agree with the list? What are some of your most rewatchable horror films that require no guilty pleasure? And you can check out more great horror movie lists below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
Double Tap Baby!