15 forgotten horror movies from the 2000s that deserve another look

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Bryn Gelbart
·7 min read
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house of 1000 corpses
"House of 1000 Corpses" turned Rob Zombie into a famous horror director. Lionsgate
  • While horror franchises like "Saw" and "Final Destination" dominated the 2000s, many were forgotten.

  • Several of these films, such as "The Mist," dwindled in popularity but could be worth a second look.

  • Some movies, like "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" and "Jason X," were overlooked installments.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Despite a silly plot, "Halloween: Resurrection" (2002) boasts some impressive performances.

halloween resurrection
Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes' performances make "Halloween: Resurrection" worth the watch. Dimension/Miramax

The 2002 entry in the, at the time, exhausted "Halloween" franchise is one of the most reviled, with a 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film follows a group of teens competing on a reality show set in the childhood home of killer Michael Myers, who is ready to wreak havoc.

Dated in many ways, "Resurrection" is completely ridiculous but worth seeing for some inspired performances from Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes.

Nicole Kidman shines in "The Others" (2001).

nicole kidman the others
Nicole Kidman in "The Others." Warner Bros.

People often think of this movie when reflecting on Kidman's career, as this ghost story features one of her finest performances.

The film follows Kidman as a religious mother who is forced to acknowledge that something supernatural may be afoot in her home.

And even 20 years later, "The Others" is a haunting, award-nominated movie that is worth revisiting.

"Exorcist: The Beginning" (2004) was an unneeded prequel but still part of an iconic franchise.

exorcism the beginning
Stellan Skarsgård in "Exorcist: The Beginning." Warner Bros.

With a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Exorcist: The Beginning" is a prime example of bad horror-franchise sequels.

An attempt at a prequel to the famous original, "The Beginning" is set in a post-World War II Africa, and Stellan Skarsgård plays a man haunted by his past.

Like many bad prequels, the movie sets out to explain where the original evil came from, but it turns out "The Exorcist" didn't need that sort of explanation. That said, the franchise is still an iconic entry in the genre.

"The Mist" (2007) is a noteworthy Stephen King adaptation.

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Frank Darabont directed "The Mist." Dimension Films

This Frank Darabont adaptation is one of the best and most easily forgotten King movies.

"The Mist" is about a Maine town struggling to keep a hold of its way of life after a large storm passes along with an enveloping mist.

It's no surprise that Darabont handled King's source material so well. As the director of "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) and "The Green Mile" (1999) before this, he had a track record of translating the author's work to the screen.

Part psychological thriller, part monster movie, "The Mist" is a must-see for King fans.

"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (2000) has an interesting premise but couldn't live up to its predecessor.

book of shadows blair witch 2
"Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" did fairly well in the box office. Artisan Entertainment

There hasn't been anything quite like "The Blair Witch Project" since its release in 1999.

The pre-internet marketing scheme and mainstream introduction of found-footage style made the original an instant classic. So when the sequel was released the following year, many people forgot about it.

"Book of Shadows" takes a meta approach and focuses on fans of "The Blair Witch Project" who visit the town where the film is set, looking for clues and answers.

Despite its interesting premise and decent box-office success, the movie didn't quite end up delivering.

"Cabin Fever" (2002) is chock-full of tension.

cabin fever 2002 movie
"Cabin Fever" kicked off Eli Roth's career. Lionsgate

Eli Roth became known for helming "torture porn" horror movies with the "Hostel" franchise, but his directorial film debut is often forgotten.

"Cabin Fever" takes the "teenagers go to a cabin in the woods" formula to a claustrophobic extreme as a flesh-eating virus begins to infect a group one by one.

Plus this gross, intense horror-comedy was made on a limited budget.

"The Ruins" (2008) is still a well-loved, yet forgotten entry in the horror genre.

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"The Ruins" is an Australian horror flick. Paramount

This 2008 Australian horror movie, although forgotten, was distributed by Paramount.

An adaptation of a Scott Smith novel, "The Ruins" follows a group of college kids as they explore ancient Mayan ruins and find trouble.

Its middling reception may be why this film was so quickly forgotten, but some folks still love it.

"Jason X" (2002) is a horror movie set in space.

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James Isaac directed "Jason X" (2002). New Line Cinema

Unless you live for ironically loving the weirdest and worst entries in franchises, "Jason X" is probably a distant memory.

The 10th "Friday the 13th" movie can be described simply as "Jason in space," and per its 19% Rotten Tomatoes score, the premise didn't hit.

However, James Isaac, the famous special effects producer who worked on "Return of the Jedi" and "Gremlins," took directorial reigns on this project.

"The House of the Devil" (2009) is one of Ti West's best horror flicks.

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Jocelin Donahue in "The House of the Devil." MPI Media Group

West is known for his horror movies, and "The House of the Devil" is one of his best.

This terrifying home-invasion slasher's lead, Jocelin Donahue, was praised for her performance, and the film also features Tom Noonan and Greta Gerwig.

The movie barely made its tiny budget back, which may explain why no one talks about it today.

"Wolf Creek" (2005) has been a polarizing entry in the horror genre.

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"Wolf Creek" is an Australian film. Dimension Films

In this Australian horror-thriller, three friends who go for an innocent backpacking trip at Wolf Creek International Park are eventually kidnapped and hunted.

"Wolf Creek" ended up being a polarizing film with critics and fans — Roger Ebert panned it, while Slant magazine named it one of the 100 best movies of the 2000s.

Lucy Liu and Michael Chiklis deliver impressive performances in "Rise: Blood Hunter" (2007).

"Rise: Blood Hunter"
Lucy Liu in "Rise: Blood Hunter." Samuel Goldwyn Films

Starring Liu and Chiklis, this vampire action-horror movie was directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, cowriter of "Snakes on a Plane."

Liu's character, a recently turned vampire, and Chiklis', a detective with a haunted past, track down a group of evil undead in this mishmash of genres.

Sporting impressive performances, this flick is worth another watch.

"House of 1000 Corpses" (2003) marked Rob Zombie's directorial debut.

house of 1000 corpses
"House of 1000 Corpses" turned Rob Zombie into a famous horror director. Lionsgate

Another overshadowed directorial debut, "House of 1000 Corpses" was Zombie's directorial debut.

The musician turned to filmmaking with this movie in 2000, but it wasn't released for three years due to multiple distribution issues.

The original cut was not released by Universal for fear of getting an NC-17 rating instead of R. Working with Lionsgate, Zombie cut an R-rated version of the movie that was released in theaters in 2003.

The movie, following a family of killers, was panned for being both disturbing and incoherent but has since become a cult favorite.

Halle Berry's turn in "Gothika" (2003) is worth watching.

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Halle Berry in "Gothika." Warner Bros.

Berry and Robert Downey Jr. star in this largely forgotten psychological-horror movie, which was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz and written by Sebastian Gutierrez.

In the film, Berry's character is accused of murdering her husband but can't remember anything that happened after she nearly hits a mysterious girl with her car.

Although "Gothika" was not well regarded by critics, Berry's impressive performance garnered some awards buzz.

"The Midnight Meat Train" (2008) holds up in several ways.

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Bradley Cooper in "The Midnight Meat Train." Lionsgate

Even with a title as outrageous as "The Midnight Meat Train," many have forgotten about this entry.

Based on a Clive Barker short story, the movie stars Brooke Shields and Bradley Cooper, who plays a photographer trying to track down a serial killer.

The film features pre-superstardom Cooper, so it's worth seeing for that alone but ends up being a movie that holds up in most ways.

"Queen of the Damned" (2002) has a unique premise.

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"Queen of the Damned" is the sequel to "Interview With The Vampire" (1994). Warner Bros.

Based on "The Vampire Chronicles" series by Anne Rice, "Queen of the Damned" stars Aaliyah as a vampire queen awoken by the power of music.

The film was released after Aaliyah's death in 2001 and received mixed reviews, but it still stands as a unique, albeit a bit strange, installment in a popular franchise.

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