Remember that horror film from the 80’s that everybody completely disliked, or at least had a few negative opinions on? Replace the 80’s with any decade, and a horror fan will be able to name at least one film. What is remarkable and quite lovely is that the word, “disliked,” is being used in the past tense. That film has now fermented over the years. Its effervescence reached out into the air, intoxicating the newcomers that it attracted as well as those who did not once appreciate it.
The following films are ones that did just that. They had to sit around before people began to enjoy their beats, realize their brilliance, and understand exactly what kind of film they were meant to – or not meant to – be. They’ve had their fans from the beginning, but over the course of time, those numbers have grown, and their taste is ever so much better.
10. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Tommy Lee Wallace’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the leader of the pack when it comes to fermented films. The initial response was a mob of angry and confused individuals who questioned why there was no Michael Myers. Season of the Witch would have initially worked if it had been a standalone film. No one appreciated John Carpenter’s idea for an anthology string of films. As for now, it has become a beloved standalone film with special edition Blurays, forthcoming action figures, and a legion of devout fans that includes this individual.
9. Halloween II (2009)
Perhaps this entry hits you with a sense of confusion. Rob Zombie’s Halloween II was bashed upon initial release and continues to rank low with most fans. It’s an acid trip, violent approach to Myers‘ reign of terror left a blegh taste in most people’s mouths. Eleven years later, you may find that people have come to respect the film for its brand of unusuality. Zombie took Myers down a path that we hadn’t seen before, and that path has garnered a bit of respect since. Brad Dourif’s portrayal as Sheriff Bracket as well as Danielle Harris’ Annie Bracket seems to be the glue that brings the fans together.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
While we’re talking entries of a franchise, Freddy’s Revenge mustn’t go unlooked. It experienced many a year placed in the bottom of Nightmare films ranking lists, yet it had its merits. Those merits are being closely looked upon these days thanks (big thanks) to the resurgence of appreciation of queer horror. Trust, there are plenty of queer elements within this film, no matter what director, Jack Sholder, says. Add on the release of the documentary co-created by Mark Patton (Jesse), Scream, Queen!, which documents how his life and sexuality were affected after the film, and a lot of eyes and hearts have reconsidered the franchise’s second entry of the franchise.
7. Jack Frost (1997)
I like to believe that it was the rising popularity of this used to be often overloooked film that led to Joe Bob including it in 2019’s Red Christmas presentation. It’s absurdity and campiness wasn’t initially accepted, but within the past few years, Jack Frost has found a place in many a horror lover’s heart. Its effervescence comes in the form of a killer snowman created by chemical waste slaughtering the occupants of a small town, the absolutely lovable Marsha Clark (Marla), and the cringeworthy death scene of Shannon Elizabeth (Jill). Jack Frost may have frozen initially, but the film has warmed the hearts of horror fans.
6. Valentine (2001)
Amidst the post-Scream slashers, Valentine was low on the totem pole of critical and fan success. It was one of the few horrors to center around Valentine’s Day so it had that going for it. The baby Cherub mask, the cast (Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Katherine Heigl), the inventive Valentine related kills, and the unsolved by assumed identity of the killer played a part in its initial demise. Fermentation did its thing, and let all of those ingredients simmer for a while. Now, every February 14th, you are bound to see many social media posts that rival Valentine horror royalty. My Bloody Valentine (1981).
5. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (1987)
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 made quiet the splash onscreen in the name only sequel, but the splash didn’t reach far. Thanks to numerous plays during those 90’s late night horror shows, the splashes that she made resonated. Now that those tykes are full grown adults, they have spread the word of Mary Lou. This has resulted in a new generation or a discovery of those previous generations reacting to Mary Lou’s devious doings. Rarely does a “sequel” deviate from its original source, become its own, and find a place of acceptance among the horror crowd. It’s a wonder why Mary Lou doesn’t have her own franchise outside of Prom Night.
4. The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
The Taking of Deborah Logan is a little bit different from the other films on this list. It has always received the utmost appreciation. It’s just that the appreciation was from the lucky few who were able to see it at either festivals or during its quiet run on Netflix a few years back. Now, with director, Adam Robitel, having a few theatrical releases under his belt (Insidious: The Last Key, Escape Room), and Shudder having the film in its roster, Deborah Logan is terrifying a broader audience, educating on the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease, and has fermented itself as one of the best found-footage films.
3. Black Xmas (2006)
When I saw Black Xmas on Christmas day of 2006, I was sure that it would be successful. Haha to the little me that had never seen the original Black Christmas (1974) who wouldn’t understand the backlash that those fans of the original would place upon this film. Given a good decade-plus, Glen Morgan’s reinterpretation would finally take hold of the horror community. They came to enjoy the absolute nonsensical and absurd backstory to Billy, the hack and slash editing, and the cast of aughts’ TV talent that would be offed in ridiculous Christmas manners.
2. Jason X (2001)
We are nearing the 20th anniversary of James Isaac’s Jason X. While my love for the film has been undying since its premiere, the same can not be said about the general public. There were franchises before Friday the 13th that took its titular character to space, and they didn’t receive love, either. But for some reason, Voorhees in space began to take hold of people’s hearts in the past few years. I say “for some reason” as if the reason is unexplainable. The reason is because it’s a fun, graphic film that deserves to be within the Friday the 13th franchise. It features one of the franchise’s most beloved kills, a reiteration of the franchise’s most prior beloved kills, and amplified aspects of the films before it.
1. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
The world wasn’t ready for a feminist film featuring a bisexual titular character who devoured men back in 2009. The cinematic world was a different place at the time, but director Karen Kusama and writer Diablo Cody were the future, and they nailed the future with the tale of Jennifer and her body being possessed by a demon. Tack on to that the representation of female relationships, the performances by Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, and the forever quotable moments from Jennifer, the world no longer views Jennifer’s Body just as lime green jello. It’s viewed as a socially relevent, hecking good time.
In all honesty, I never expected the love and apprecation of half of the films listed. It’s sort of surreal that some of them have fermented to the point of of rabid fan bases. All films should be championed for the blood and sweat that goes into making a film. It’s just that these films that were either bashed upon revival or not seen enough to garner attention have risen above, and experienced a second or multiple revivals of appreciation that makes them kick so much ass.
What’s the film that you saw rise above their initial reception that you deem to be full of the effervescence? Let us know on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and on The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!