Horror is a special genre because even some poorly made films can be enjoyable. Even if the characters are thinly drawn or the direction leaves a lot to be desired, audiences can still be entertained. The teen horror subgenre is even more unique because they can be fairly campy or cheesy, and these films still have their fans.
Rotten Tomatoes has a ton of great info for film fans. There are many teen horror flicks that just didn’t earn high ratings on the website, even though they have pretty large fanbases who don’t mind turning to them time and time again when a horror movie night is on the horizon.
10 The Craft (1996) – 55%
This teen horror movie and Goth fashion icon is reportedly getting a reboot, which will be interesting since the original only got a score of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and yet it maintains one of the most dedicated cult followings ever seen.
The Craft follows four rebellious teenage girls who start experimenting with witchcraft for fun. Things go south when the witchcraft they practice turns out to be the real thing and they find themselves facing dark forces that should never be played with. The Craft stars 90’s mainstays such as Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, and Skeet Ulrich.
9 Disturbing Behavior (1998)- 34%
Katie Holmes might be famous for playing good girl Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek, but she was also in a slew of teen movies around the time that the drama was on the air. One of those is Disturbing Behavior, which is about teens who realize that their fellow students seem to be a little too perfect and too good at everything. It turns out that they’re robots… sort of.
An edgy cross between The Stepford Wives and the teenage angst of the decade, Disturbing Behavior is a favorite for many who love 90’s horror films that are just corny enough to be fun instead of grating, yet totally radical.
8 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) – 42%
Often compared to Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer is one of those horror movies that technically isn’t very good. The characters are pretty stereotypical (the good girl, the working class guy, the spoiled rich friend, etc.) as far as horror movies go, and the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired.
It makes sense that the Rotten Tomatoes score would only be 42%, as the cinematography and characterizations aren’t on par with some of the best made movies in the genre. And yet, I Know What You Did Last Summer is one of the most well-known 90’s horror movies, and many people still count it among their favorite films today. Its popularity can’t be denied, even if its parody — Scary Movie — is arguably more beloved.
7 Cherry Falls (2000) – 53%
Some horror movies worry audiences the whole time, and others are just a lot of fun. Cherry Falls is one of the latter, as it’s a campy horror flick that fans can’t help but be entertained by, even though it’s not a critical darling by any stretch.
The plot sounds like a spoof of a slasher movie, where a serial killer is going after virgins in a small town, and the characters aren’t really that interesting. But there’s something compelling and entertaining about Cherry Falls, which is what makes it such a fun cult hit. That, and Brittany Murphy does a pretty decent job as the main character, Jody.
6 Ma (2019) – 55%
The meme-fountain that has become Ma features a group of party-hungry teenagers who meet Ma (Octavia Spencer), who seems to be the answer to their prayers. She offers them the basement of her house to party in, and they never even stop for a second to think that this could be a problem.
Ma didn’t do well in terms of critical reception, but it’s a well-crafted story that also has a lot to say about boring small town life and dreams that slip away. The film definitely isn’t as bad as its score implies and it also features good performances, especially by Spencer, Diana Silvers and Juliette Lewis as a teen girl and her mother, respectively.
5 Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) – 59%
There are many great horror movies taking place on a computer, and Unfriended: Dark Web is the sequel to the 2014 movie Unfriended, which was a supernatural horror movie told exclusively through a girl’s laptop. Its sequel keeps the framing device but shakes things up, this time focusing on dangerous hackers instead of a dead girl’s ghost.
Here, Matias (Colin Woodell) comes across a computer, and it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to him as he becomes involved in a very dangerous game involving cybercriminals. It might not have won over critics, but horror fans appreciate the smart and thrilling style with which Dark Web is told.
4 The Faculty (1998) -52%
Directed by Spy Kids and Machete creator Robert Rodriguez, The Faculty stars Josh Hartnett and Elijah Wood, among with other young 90’s and early 2000’s actors, as students who learn that their teachers are aliens.
It’s a wild premise and a fun movie, even if it would never be considered a classic of the genre and it might be overlooked by many people today. Those who have seen it, though, appreciate the storytelling, especially since it shares many dated yet undeniably fun traits with the aforementioned Disturbing Behavior. Coincidentally, both movies were released on the same year.
3 Final Destination (2000) – 35%
Final Destination might be better known as a series, but many fans would agree that the first film is the only one worth seeking out. The sequels are fun, but mostly for fans only. While not really a hit with critics, Final Destination proved so popular with audiences that it spawned an entire franchise.
Based on a dumped X-Files episode, Final Destination’s premise is simply fun and timeless. Thanks to a harrowing premonition of the disaster to come, Alex (Devon Sawa) and his friends cheat death by leaving a plane before it explodes midair. However, Death itself is after Alex and company, and they must do everything they can to escape Death’s grasp.
2 Idle Hands (1999) – 15%
It makes sense that a silly horror movie like Idle Hands would only get 15%, but this is a perfect example of a movie that still has a pretty big fanbase. Idle Hands is the kind of movie that only those in the know truly appreciate.
This cross of a horror comedy and a typical 90’s-era slacker romp tells the story of Anton (Devon Sawa), a lazy teenage stoner whose hand becomes possessed by a demonic force that wants to kill everything in its path. Somehow, Heaven and Hell are also involved. Idle Hands is as cheesy as it sounds, but it’s also very funny. This weirdness is arguably what helped the film gain a cult following.
1 Jennifer’s Body (2009) – 45%
The story of a beautiful teenage girl (Megan Fox) turning into some kind of demon and terrorizing boys doesn’t sound like it would fare well with critics, so it’s no wonder that Jennifer’s Body got a middling critical reception. But even with its middling Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s become a cult hit that has won more fans as time went on.
Jennifer’s Body saw a resurgence in popularity in the years after its release, with many only appreciating its satirical edge and feminist subtext in hindsight. The film has been favorably compared to Ginger Snaps, which has a similar storyline but is admittedly much better done. Still, there’s something about Jennifer’s Body and the way that it tackles popularity, desire and femininity that were somewhat ahead of their time in 2009.
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