13 Underrated High School Horror Films

List Rules
Vote up the spooky movies that gave you the best school spirit.

High school horror is a subgenre that's never going to run dry. With new crops of teenagers arriving in schools year after year - and each new crop bringing fresh fears to the table - there's always fun to be had with slashers, mad scientists, and alien invasions.

Each of the following films makes use of the fertile ground that is high school, both as a setting and a concept. They often place students in their familiar classrooms after the bell has rung and class is out, turning the hallways the students know by heart into a shadowy labyrinth of terror. Besides taking place in high schools and boarding schools, these films share something else: Many went unappreciated upon their initial release and have yet to be reappraised. Every single one of these movies will fill you with school spirit, so vote up the films that you think should make the honor roll.

  • 1
    261 VOTES

    Sometimes being in high school can feel like you're starring in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and in The Faculty, that fear becomes a reality - a bunch of slug-like aliens take over a high school, starting with the teachers before taking over the entire student body.

    It's up to a Breakfast Club crew of misfits to save their school, not because they love the campus or anything, but because they just want to maintain a shred of their individuality. That's not the easiest thing to do in any high school, especially one that's crawling with hive-mind alien creeps.

    The most horrifying moments in the film make use of the overwhelming creepiness of an empty high school in the middle of the night. What begins as a normal place is rendered a house of horrors in this new, shadowy context.

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  • 2
    260 VOTES

    Moving to a new town in the middle of your high school years can be traumatizing, but what if your new school was populated with witches, burnouts, and creepy jocks? The Craft's high school setting isn't just an excuse to explore the cliquey nature of teenager-dom - the school itself is incredibly spooky.

    Filmed at Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga, CA, the extreme Catholic overtones give the oppressive surroundings of this fictional high school an incredibly creepy vibe.

    The Craft doesn't just rely on its school's physical location to demonstrate the horror of being a teenager; once the group of young witches realizes their power, they immediately go from the bottom of the social food chain to apex predators. Not only do they bully their former tormentors, they also learn just how easy it is to be corrupted by power after they turn on each other in an attempt to literally destroy the newest member of their coven.

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  • 3
    170 VOTES

    Disturbing Behavior

    Disturbing Behavior
    Photo: MGM

    Things may look like they're all on the up-and-up in the upwardly mobile community of Cradle Bay, but there's something sinister happening at the local high school. A group of clean-cut, overachieving students known as the Blue Ribbons is taking over the school and brainwashing anyone who poses a threat to their authority.

    This wisecracking take on The Stepford Wives and Invasion of the Body Snatchers went unappreciated upon its 1998 release - likely because of the glut of teen horror being released at the time - but it remains a prescient and fun film about teenage individuality.

    If Disturbing Behavior suffers from anything, it's the very strange marketing that tried to make the movie look more like Scream than it actually is. At its heart, the film is about paranoia and the lack of faith teens have in adults and the educational system, plus it includes some really fun plot points about microchips getting shoved into teenage brains. Needless to say, It's not quite the whodunit it claims to be. Regardless, just try playing this back-to-back with The Faculty, and you're in for a rock-solid night.

  • How did it take 20 years for Michael Myers to run wild in a boarding school? Halloween H20 takes Myers out of his familiar Haddonfield, IL, setting and brings him to Summer Glen, CA, the location of Hillcrest Academy, where a certain Laurie Strode is now working as the headmistress after faking her death.

    Myers stalks the campus, rendered eerily silent thanks to a school-wide field trip that leaves just a few students (read: victims) wandering the dorms. What should be a fun weekend spent partying in a massive, empty school with no teachers or parents - and Mediterranean Revival aesthetics, no less! - quickly goes pear-shaped when the students learn a masked killer is lurking just around the corner.

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