11. Jug Face (2013)
While the “dark hole” mythos has appeared in multiple horror films (from “The Hole” to indie darlings such as “Deep Dark”), “Jug Face” does have an ascendance over them. First of all, Lauren Ashley Carter and Larry Fessenden offer this production more than a few memorable scenes.
Second of all, the “hole” is less a metaphor for some unknown ailment or demon from the past and more of an actual “sacrifice requiring hole.” One that apparently sculpts the name of its victims on a jug, through the mind of a mentally disabled man.
12. The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013)
Also known as “Devil’s Pass”, this found footage film takes us on the tracks of five American students who aim to investigate the famous “Dyatlov Pass Incident” in which nine skiers mysteriously disappeared in the Ural mountains.
Unlike many recent feature films that take a “realistic” approach, “Devil’s Pass” stands on its own and offers the viewer a decent experience. The unusual enemy? Well, you’re just gonna have to see this one to find out. If you need some hints, we can tell you it involves creepy military experiments and a time-related twist.
13. Sharknado (2013)
This movie was so bad (even for a parody) that it became an instant fan favorite and spanned no fewer than three sequels. Yes, we know it’s produced for The Asylum and that none of the actors themselves took it seriously (just like nobody takes Tara Reid seriously anymore), but “Sharknado” has crossed beyond the boundaries of cinematography. All we can see in its wake is a large trail of stupid lines and, of course, a tornado made of killer sharks!
14. The Pyramid (2014)
A bland, but not “as bad as they say” found footage film, “The Pyramid” follows the trials of an archaeological team who stumbles across a completely uncharted pyramid. What makes this movie stand out (albeit not too much) is the fact that it avoids the classic “evil mummy” encounter.
Instead, “The Pyramid” treats us with demon cats and, here’s half of a spoiler, the actual god Anubis. Obviously, the latter is more than thrilled to welcome a bunch of B-list actors into his ancestral prison.
15. Harbinger Down (2015)
Like many viewers, we really tried to like this movie, mainly since Lance Henriksen is in it. Unfortunately, that’s the only good thing one can say about “Harbinger Down”. It’s got all the ingredients for a successful sci-fi horror film (a crew out at sea, isolation, mystery, betrayal), but it seems to mix them at random and deep-fry them for too long.
One of the movie’s problems is that its main villain consists in mutated tardigrades. Exactly! “Harbinger Down” pits our heroes against water bears… those highly resilient, microscopic fun bags.
16. The Hallow (2015)
Demonic creatures that protect the woods are nothing new, but “The Hallow” manages to mix the old “changeling” myth with a couple of other myths from Celtic and Germanic mythology and create the kind of monsters only a conservationist would dream about.
In fact, that’s exactly what the main character’s job is. “The Hallow” is also worth mentioning for its above-average atmosphere and for being one of the better films on this list.
17. Stung (2015)
An old saying goes: when in doubt, just go for giant mutant wasps! Alright, we have no idea if such a saying exists, but that’s exactly what “Stung” does.
The main merit of this movie, and probably its only one, is that it manages to remind us of the “good ol’ days” of monster flicks. “Stung” stands as a testament for the fact that “Night of the Lepus” once ran in theaters.
18. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
With a more than balanced cast and a brilliant setup (a morgue that also doubles as an autopsy room), this film does something few others have done. Our heroes continuously doubt their sanity while fighting something that doesn’t move, scream, or attack.
The aforementioned Jane Doe is a dead body that actually stays dead (although some apparitions and revelations give us some hints to what is happening). Our heroes don’t fight zombies, ghouls, or vampires. They fight a dead body that they’ve already cut into and have analyzed in great detail.
19. Spectral (2016)
A well-produced Netflix production, “Spectral” is what you’d call a “military horror”, since our heroes are caught in the line of duty. A NATO detachment from eastern Europe is battling both insurgents and an unknown foe that mixes the supernatural, quantum mechanics, and 3D printing.
If you’re curious about that last part, we won’t actually spoil the ending, especially since the movie’s explanation is rather convoluted. If you need an additional reference, “Spectral” bears a slight resemblance to “The Darkest Hour”, although the latter is significantly worse.
20. Yoga Hosers (2016)
Yes, this movie is directed by Kevin Smith and is somehow related to 2014’s “Tusk”. Yes, this one also features minor roles and cameos from Justin Long, Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment, and Stan Lee. And yes, “Yoga Hosers” is an incredibly bad horror-comedy whose main villain are Bratzis, or Nazi bratwursts. And that was as much as we could take from the man who once brought us “Clerks” and “Red State”.
We wanted to include other “masterpieces” on this list, but we’re afraid “Zombeavers” would have made our readers run away in laughter. Even so, our article overstepped the boundaries of our initial 20 films in order to bring you a few more gems of dubious origin.
From an evil Tooth Fairy to a vengeful Santa Claus, these movies seem to have captured them all. However, we’re sure you have many more sensational examples on your mind. If you can think of anything produced in the past 20 years that fits the bill, why not drop us a line?
Author Bio: Vlad Stoiculescu is a writer and senior copywriter living in Bucharest, Romania. When not digging up obscure horror films for Taste of Cinema, he writes marketing materials, scripts, short stories and, believe it or not, children’s books.