Monthly Archives: January 2022
I have such fun with the Dirty Dozen countdowns!
Today I’d like to discuss underground films. No, not indie underground. Subterranean horror! I’m counting down my favorite movies that take place under the surface of the earth.
12) THE CATACOMBS (2007)
Vic, who is visiting her sister in Paris, ends up at a party in the catacombs. If you don’t know, that’s basically a giant labyrinth of bones under the city. To me, throwing a rave in the catacombs seems equal parts awesome and morbid. Naturally, since a reckless crowd of young adult party-goers is disrespecting a mass grave, an evil presence begins to pick them off. Main character Vic becomes lost in the Paris catacombs, instantly trapped in a game of Life and Death.
11) THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008)
I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker’s written work, but the films are hit and miss. This one is compelling to watch, quite cringey, and layered with gory misadventures.
10) CREEP (2004)
Not to be confused with a more recent horror film of the same title, Creep follows a young woman who awakes in a London tube station to find it locked up and deserted. She’s forced to navigate her way through the vacant tunnels, pursued by an unseen attacker. This one will make you realize how dreadful it can feel to be all alone in a bad situation.
9) HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003)
Most of House of 1000 Corpses takes place above ground, but the weirdest, and–arguably–most out of place scene, is the ending, when our heroine descends into the subterranean realm of Dr. Satan.
8) THE PYRAMID
The Pyramid (2014) provides its audience some good scares. To be honest, I don’t remember how it ends, but I’m pretty sure it had a confusing ending, which I hate in a movie! Hm… I’ll have to re-watch it now. I’ve always loved anything to do with Ancient Egypt, though, and I *do* recall some creepy moments. That’s why this one is #8.
7) THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (2007)
Two generations of a murderous family, mutated by radiation, terrorize a National Guard platoon by forcing them into their lair–the abandoned mines beneath the desert sand. This movie was well done, surprisingly so for a sequel. I identified with the characters and rooted for their escape. The gory scenes looked realistic, causing me to empathize with the victims. Good stuff, all around.
6) THE CAVE
A group of cave-divers and scientists become trapped while exploring a cave system in Romania, and encounter a pack of deadly creatures. This movie combines subterranean horror with aquatic horror, as there are plenty of water scenes that will make your toes curl.
5) MIMIC (1997)
Entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically creates an insect to kill cockroaches that are carrying a virulent disease, a hybrid between a mantis and a termite that releases an enzyme which accelerates the roaches’ metabolism, causing the disease-carrying pests to starve to death. Three years later, a new breed of insect is discovered infesting the subway tunnels below town, and it is out to destroy mankind. Mimic is one of those movies, like Jurassic Park, in which scientists should leave nature well enough alone.
4) THE DESCENT 2 (2009)
All right, if you saw the first one, it will drive you CRAZY that she is RETURNING to the caves where she narrowly escaped death, but the writers imply it’s from memory loss, which is plausible, so…. buckle up, buttercups, it’s back to the deep dark caves! Pretty scary. A good enough movie to make the #4 spot.
3) AS ABOVE, SO BELOW (2014)
I don’t usually go for the “found footage” style of filming, but this one gave me the heebie jeebies! The French catacombs are the perfect setting to send goosebumps down the back of your neck.
2) THE DESCENT
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s watched The Descent and not given it raving reviews. This gruesome survival situation feels like a true story as it unfolds. You can almost picture this happening in real life! Admittedly, this movie is a huge reason why I’ll never be convinced to go on a cave-exploring adventure! No way!
AND IN THE #1 SPOT:
If you’ve somehow managed to miss Tremors because you’ve been living under a rock since 1990, don’t feel bad. Graboids live under rocks, too, and they have a whole series of movies modeled after them! What is a “graboid”, you ask? Good god, go watch Tremors immediately!
So there you have it, my picks for the Dirty Dozen Top 12 Subterranean Horror Movies.
Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!