There’s nothing more annoying than books and lists that promise movie fans movies they’ve never seen or should see, only for you to find a list of the same old titles. The good thing about “Hidden Horror” is that it promises 101 movies you likely never saw, and surely enough as someone whose seen it all, I found some interesting gems in this book. To make things better, the underrated films really are some of the most under appreciated films I’ve seen in a long time.
Most of the films here go back to the silent era, which is a great plus for horror fans. Any self respecting horror fanatic should be willing to visit the silent era for their dose of horror, and there’s some interesting suggestions. There’s a chapter written for “The Man Who Laughs,” the silent horror film said to have influenced Bill Finger to create the Joker for the Batman comics. There are also great entries written for the Jack Hill horror comedy “Spider-Baby” that pays the often overlooked masterpiece its due, and there’s a wonderful entry for “I Spit On Your Grave.”
BJ Colangelo’s entry for the often lambasted revenge film connects with the author who, a victim of rape herself, found empowerment in the film and used it as a means of coming to grips with the horrible crime. There’s a lot of respect paid toward some truly excellent horror films including the religious thriller “Frailty,” the Asian masterpiece “A Tale of Two Sisters,” and the classically bad slasher film “Pieces.” And if you’re looking for something a little less straight faced, there are excellent chapters written on “Tremors,” the raucous action horror film about underground monsters eating people in the desert.
Daniel Eckholm also writes up a great piece on the 1988 remake of “The Blob,” a great reworking of the drive in classic that’s shockingly dismissed even to this day. “Hidden Horror” brings together a slew of very talented and noted writers and industry veterans to compile a very diverse and fascinating list of horror films that will challenge and entertain the reader. Not everyone will agree with all the entries, though. I really can’t understand why “Q” is remotely considered underrated, but Patrick Mathewes makes a very good argument for its inclusion. “Hidden Horror” has something for everyone, and can work well as a digest for young horror fans looking to educate themselves in the genre and begin their education with films that deserve to be discovered.