Time-travel horror movies are fascinating and unique in the way they explore humanity’s fear of alternate dimensions and the dark unknown. They also can provide an interesting take on the consequences of interfering with events from a different point in time. Unfortunately, some of these movies are under appreciated and underrated in comparison to their more well-known counterparts in the horror genre. Here are five underrated time-travel horror movies that are sure to spark a range of emotions from chills to thrills.
The Final Countdown (1980)
The Final Countdown is a classic sci-fi action movie about an aircraft carrier that suddenly travels back in time to December 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The crew struggles to determine whether or not to intervene in an effort to save the lives of thousands while facing the moral consequences of their actions. Despite the film’s impressive cast, The Final Countdown has never really gained the attention of mainstream audiences.
This comedic take on horror by director James Gunn tells the story of a small town that is invaded by alien parasites. After finding a meteorite, the residents begin to behave strangely with some even being infected with aliens. While lacking in time-travel elements, Slither still deserves a mention as one of the best unknown cult-classics of the genre. It’s fun, creepy, and contains some truly impressive special effects for its time.
The Terminator (1984)
No list of time-travel horror movies would be complete without the classic The Terminator, a story about a cynical cyborg assassin sent back from the future to murder an unsuspecting woman, played by Linda Hamilton. This iconic movie launched the career of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It might no longer be as well received as it used to be, considering the five sequels that have been released since, but The Terminator should still be given its due credit as one of the original creators of the time-travel horror movie.
Triangle, starring Melissa George, is an interesting take on a time-travel horror movie that follows the story of a mysterious ocean liner that appears in the middle of the ocean. When an attempt to escape the ship only leads to a recurrence of the same time loop, the protagonist is left attempting to find a way out. The film is a superbly crafted example of time-travel horror that splices elements of psychological horror with intriguing plot twists.
Sean Mullen’s Primer is a low-budget movie that failed to gain any traction when it was released, but has grown in popularity since then. It’s the story of two engineers who accidently invent a machine that can bring them to different points in time. The movie features captivating dialogue and some stellar acting that continues to drive the film’s cult-following today.
Time-travel horror movies can be a great way to explore themes and ideas that audiences may otherwise take for granted. With the growing popularity of streaming portals, it’s now easier than ever to explore these overlooked and underrated titles. These five underrated time-travel horror movies are essential viewing for any fan of the genre.