EJ Moreno on the best action horror films…
With a new Predator film on the horizon, viewers will get the treat of another entry into the obscure action/horror sub-genre. While there are plenty of movies to include in this list and the sub-genre, it isn’t easy to define.
What makes something an action/horror film? For me, it’s blending both the scares or intensity of a horror film with the fighting or brutality of an action film. For example, the first and second Resident Evil film blends both the macabre plot with the violence of a traditional action film. Now the later entries into the franchise fall far more into the action territory, only dipping into horror for a cheap jump scare or some disposable foe. The perfect movie in this sub-genre maintains what makes both of the primary genres beloved, but it can dip into other styles as well.
With some light criteria set aside, this is the list of the best action/horror movies!
- Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)
- They Live (1988)
- The Purge Franchise (2013-2018)
- The Guest (2014)
10. The Mummy (1999)
If you ever wanted to see Indiana Jones but a little more spookier, 1999’s The Mummy is the film for you. Lightning in a bottle, this cult classic blends so many styles to make something unique. Somehow The Mummy feels like a fantasy adventure, a classic Universal horror movie, and a 90’s action film all at once. If you don’t think there’s any horror, look up the Scarabs scene and tell me it doesn’t make your skin crawl! They tried to capture this magic again in 2017 with a Tom Cruise reboot, but that only showed the beauty of this late 90’s romp.
9. Underworld/Resident Evil (2003/2002)
Many fans will not be happy to see these two franchises slapped together, but it just makes the most sense. Underworld and Resident Evil both started out as an action/horror film and later strayed into pure action movie territory later on. Resident Evil is one of the highest grossing in this sub-genre as its total box office hit over a billion dollars. Underworld is no slouch with the franchise earning just around $500 million for its five films. Both franchises led by their gun-toting female lead made an impact in the industry and became a must-see for any fan looking for a little horror in their action film.
8. Grindhouse (2007)
This 8th entry almost went to From Dusk To Dawn, but if I’m going to pick an action/horror with Tarantino & Rodriguez, Grindhouse is the better choice. This writer leans towards the motto “two for the price of one” and both films in Grindhouse, Tarantino’s Death Proof & Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, are a great showcase of this sub-genre. Death Proof is the superior of the two films, a clear homage to exploitation masterpiece Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. Although, it is undeniable that Death Proof is another hilarious and thrilling film from action/horror master Robert Rodriguez.
7. Train To Busan (2016)
28 Days Later turned infected people into fast monsters. 2004’s Dawn of the Dead remake made zombies scary again. And now, Train To Busan finally evolved zombies from just horror to a terrifying new level. Never does the film lose the balance between action and fear, the terror is in your face and unrelenting. A South Korean zombie film structured like a traditional action film from the 1980’s with a father and daughter plot, things get gruesome very quickly when a zombie virus overtakes a train. The zombie effects are surprisingly fresh, and so is the Rotten Tomatoes score as it sits at 96%.
6. Blade (1998)
In the 90’s, Marvel movies were a far cry away from what the MCU is now. But many consider Blade as the first step forward to something better for the brand. This film not only brings the vampire superhero from the page to the screen seamlessly, but it also serves as a thrilling ride with its feet firmly in both action and horror. The vampires Blade encounters and the ensuing battles are not only bloody but so damn bad-ass. Everything about this film is why so many love the action/horror sub-genre; it’s the best of two very similar worlds. If you haven’t seen this in a while, watch Blade & Blade II right now!
Click below to continue on for the top five picks…