Underrated Performances In Horror Films – Part 1

Welcome to Day 7 of Spooky Season!! Today, I wanted to bring recognition to some of the best horror performances that I believe don’t get talked about enough. These performances could’ve been unappreciated due to the film itself receiving poor reviews, or  another performance ended up outshining theirs. Either way, these actors and actresses stuck with me for many years and it’s time for me to shed light on them! (SPOILER ALERT!!!)

Kent Broadhurst as Herb Kincaid – Silver Bullet

Kent Broadhurst in Silver Bullet

This is the performance that made me want to start this series. Although in only three scenes, Kent stole the show in every single one. When we first see Herb, he comes across the mutilated body of his son, Brady. The absolute shock in his face and painful scream will forever be burned into my mind. In his next scene, you could see the pain behind his eyes as he reminds the Sheriff of what he’s lost. That was pure talent right there. Then in his final scene, the pain behind his eyes were replaced with pure emptiness as he laughed and said there is no comfort anymore. There were many wonderful performances in this movie, but I have to say Kent’s was the one that stuck with me the most.

Fritz Weaver as Dexter Stanley – Creepshow

Fritz Weaver in Creepshow

This poor man has been through a wringer. Dexter started out as a suave, calm professor with a normal life. Then, he had to see not one but two people he knew get eaten alive by a beast in a crate. It’s enough to make anyone go crazy. You can feel his agony with every scream and cry. By the time he reached his friend’s house, he was so traumatized by what happened, he actually began to laugh hysterically at the very idea of it all. With the brilliance of Fritz Weaver’s performance, this Creepshow segment became a perfect mixture between funny and intense.

Elizabeth Banks as Rachel Summers – The Uninvited

Elizabeth Banks in The Uninvited

When I first saw Elizabeth Banks, she scared the hell out of Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. After watching her performance in The Uninvited, I saw that she could scare me too. The first time we watch the movie, we see Rachel as the villain trying to get rid of her boyfriend’s daughters so she had him all to herself. If you rewatch it, you see her from a whole new perspective – as someone who’s trying to connect with her boyfriend’s daughter, then realized that said daughter wasn’t ready to leave the asylum she was released from. Elizabeth perfected this performance so much that we’re able to see two different sides of her character that both worked. She impressed me so much, that when I started writing my own scripts, I created an antagonist specifically for her to play.

Blanche Baker as Ruth Chandler – The Girl Next Door

Blanche Baker in The Girl Next Door

A movie as messed up as The Girl Next Door needs an antagonist who’s not only perfected the art of manipulation, but ruthlessness as well. Blanche Baker went above and beyond for this movie! Ruth’s beauty and humanity both decline as the movie progresses and we are shown the horrific atrocities she’s capable of doing. Seeing her emotionless, zombie-like expression as a young girl is being tortured in front of her sends chills down my spine. She was cleverly able to switch from a sadistic psycho to a charming single mother who fooled everyone.

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