IMDb is the most popular movie website out there, but the IMDb ratings are not always a reliable indicator when it comes to deciding which films are worth watching and which are not. Of course, IMDb ratings are just the general audience’s response to a film, and this usually translates into popular, easy to grasp films getting rated higher than they should, while smaller films aimed to a niche market are usually getting ratings that don’t really reflect their quality.
There are lots of underrated films on IMDb and you could make dozens of lists on this topic. That is why, for this particular list, we chose to focus on films that were released in the last four years and received a rating below 6.9 on IMDb. Let us know in the comments what other great recent films deserved better ratings on the famous movie database.
1. Dig Two Graves (2014)
IMDb rating: 5.6
“Dig Two Graves” is a thrilling, well-acted film which takes place during the 1940s and the 1970s and focuses on a 13-year-old girl whose brother died after drowning in a river, and three mysterious men who come to town and claim to be able to bring him back to life. With barely over 2,000 ratings on IMDb and an average score of 5.6, this film is both obscure and underrated.
However, critics really seemed to dig it. Peter Sobczynski from RogerEbert.com rated it a 3.5/4 stars and called it an “uncommonly smart, well-made and ultimately touching meditation on grief, revenge and the ordinary perils of adolescence,” and we couldn’t agree more. If you’re into old-school mystery films with a touch of gothic horror, this one is for you.
2. The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)
IMDb rating: 5.8
Two girls are left alone at their prep school after their parents fail to appear and take them home for the winter break. Meanwhile, a young woman is desperate to arrive at the school, where some strange things start to happen.
“The Blackcoat’s Daughter,” or “February” as it was released in the UK, is the riskiest choice on this list. If you’re going to read some of the reviews the film received, you will find out that the opinions are very divided. If you’re into atmospheric horror films, chances are you’ll really like this film.
However, we will say right from the start that this film has some flaws. Its plot is pretty simple and thus a little predictable, the ending feels too sudden, and the actors have moments where their acting is not the best.
With all of this said, there are many things to like about ”The Blackcoat’s Daughter.” The film manages to create a really creepy atmosphere and doesn’t spoil it with cheap jump scares. It also knows how and when to make use of its soundtrack. Many times, horror films exaggerate by overplaying creepy tunes in the scenes that are supposed to be scary.
However, in this film, the music is perfectly balanced with moments of silence, and silence can sometimes be much more frightening than any creepy soundtrack. The film is also edited in a very interesting way, making use of timeline jumps that create a state of confusion until the third act of the film.
“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” is much better than what you would expect from a 5.8 horror film, and you should really give it a try.
3. I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)
IMDb rating: 6.2
“I Am Not a Serial Killer” was far from a box office success, despite being one of 2016’s most original films. The film stars Max Records as John, a troubled teenager who struggles with homicidal thoughts, and Christopher Lloyd in what is probably his best role since his “Back to the Future” days as Crowley, John’s old creepy neighbor who also happens to be a serial killer.
“I Am Not a Serial Killer” is a dark film that will plunge you in the atmosphere of isolation and alienation of a wintery American small town, where murderous adolescents and unearthly creatures can easily go unnoticed.
4. Personal Shopper (2016)
IMDb rating: 6.2
When given the right part, Kristen Stewart shines. This was the case with “Personal Shopper,” a deeply unsettling film that, while not being a typical thriller, manages to keep the viewer interested for its entire 105-minute running time.
Stewart is perfectly cast as Maureen Cartwright, a young woman whose twin brother died in Paris and is desperate to receive a sign from his spirit. When she moves to Paris after getting a job as a personal shopper for a famous model, her obsession becomes more and more apparent, and soon reality and fiction seem to mingle inside her head.
“Personal Shopper” can be labeled as a ghost film, but the supernatural elements are so subtly inserted into its narrative that they never steer the film away from being an atmospheric drama toward a generic horror.
5. It Comes at Night (2017)
IMDb rating: 6.2
“It Comes at Night” is the typical case of a wrongfully marketed film that didn’t really find its audience. Based on the trailers, “It Comes at Night” looked like a better-than-average horror film filled with jumpscares and grotesque imagery. In fact, the film turned out to be a slow burn that, while being atmospheric and having its share of spine-tingling moments, is really more of a psychological thriller than an actual horror.
That being said, the film is great and paranoia-inducing. It features a family that lives secluded in a house near the forest after a contagious outbreak took over the world. When a stranger asks for their help and seeks refuge for him and his family at their home, things slowly become more and more tense.
“It Comes at Night” is a film about family and trust. In many ways, it’s like this year’s “A Quiet Place,” but without the monsters. Watch it with this thought in your head and you might love it. Expect a horror film and you will hate it.
6. Daphne (2017)
IMDb rating: 6.2
Daphne, played by “Into the Badlands” actress Emily Beecham, is a 31-year-old Londoner who is in the middle of a crisis but is completely oblivious to it. She doesn’t give a damn, she is unstable and uninterested in any kind of relationship, and she makes sure to mock everyone around her. She sounds like the most unapproachable person ever. However, you can’t help but like her.
With a fantastic screenplay, a more than charming lead character and some of the funniest and wittiest lines you will find in recent films, “Daphne” should have been an instant success and the British “Lady Bird.” The sad truth? This film has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes fresh score, but only 857 (!) IMDb ratings that average an outrageous 6.2 score.
7. Queen of Earth (2015)
IMDb rating: 6.3
Psychological drama/thrillers like “Queen of Earth” are a rarity nowadays. This is a fantastic film that has its roots in Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona,” and Roman Polanski classics such as “Repulsion” and “Knife in the Water,” but takes the madness one step further.
Elisabeth Moss gives a terrific performance as a disturbed woman who is at a low point in her life. She has just gotten out of a relationship and her father died. Trying to get ahold of herself, she retreats with a friend at a lake summer house, but their friendship drifts apart and things go off the rails. “Queen of Earth” shouldn’t be on this list, but on a list of the greatest films of this decade.