Subterranean horrorby Mighty_Emperor | created - 13 Feb 2012 | updated - 07 Dec 2016 | Public
The real underground horror films, where the bulk of the film takes place in caves, tunnels, sewers, etc. The common factor is the dark, claustrophobic atmosphere and grim, remorseless predators (and perhaps mole people).
See also: Hollow Earth films, which are subterranean but not necessarily horror.
Further reading: Fearnet's guide to underground horror, although they also include films where creatures attack from below (it seemed worth a new list).
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1. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Not Rated | 93 min | Horror
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.
Votes: 13,839 | Gross: $0.72M
Based in the catacombs.
3. Quatermass and the Pit (1958– )
30 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Horror
A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.
A spaceship has been unearthed in the underground and it brings weirdness with it.
4. Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Approved | 72 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
A group of gold thieves pull of a heist and flee into the snowy wilderness, only to be pursued by a horrible, spider-like monster.
5. Five Million Years to Earth (1967)
Approved | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.
6. Raw Meat (1972)
R | 87 min | Horror
There's something pretty grisly going on under London in the Tube tunnels between Holborn and Russell Square. When a top civil servant becomes the latest to disappear down there Scotland ... See full summary »
A classic set on London's underground.
7. The Severed Arm (1973)
R | 89 min | Horror
Trapped in a cave, five men cut the arm off of another companion in order to ward off starvation. After they are saved, their victim seeks revenge on them one by one.
For the early scenes.
8. The Bat People (1974)
PG | 93 min | Horror, Romance
After being bitten by a bat in a cave, a doctor undergoes an accelerating transformation into a man-bat, which ruins his vacation and causes considerable distress for his wife.
Not as "batty" as the name suggests, but it is bookended by subterranean horror.
9. Alligator (1980)
R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.
11. Demonoid (1980)
R | 78 min | Horror
A British woman visits her husband at a Mexican mine that he is attempting to reopen and discovers that the workers refuse to enter the mine because of an ancient curse. The couple enters ... See full summary »
12. A Stranger Is Watching (1982)
R | 92 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
The 11-year old daughter and girlfriend of a man whose wife had been raped and killed in front of his daughter three years earlier are kidnapped by the same killer. Held captive in a bunker... See full summary »
13. C.H.U.D. (1984)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A bizarre series of sudden disappearances on the streets of New York City seems to point toward something unsavory living in the sewers.
Votes: 8,495 | Gross: $4.65M
The acronym says it all: Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller.
14. What Waits Below (1984)
PG | 88 min | Action, Horror
The U.S. government has been using deep caves in Central America as bases for a special type of radio transmitter used for communicating with submaries. When the signal from one of these ... See full summary »
A British horror film that sounds awfully like The Descent
15. Underworld (1985)
R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
When high class hooker Nicole is kidnapped from her brothel, Rich businessman Hugo Motherskille hires her ex love Roy Bain to find her. Investigating the disappearance, he eventually finds ... See full summary »
17. Trapped Alive (1988)
Not Rated | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A sheriff's deputy, some escaped prisoners and two young girls find themselves trapped in a mine shaft where a cannibalistic mutant is hunting them for food.
18. The Terror Within (1989)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
When a chemical warfare leaves the world barren and filled with mutated monsters, a band of survivors in a underground complex battles one of the creatures who was able to break in.
Votes: 998 | Gross: $0.86M
20. Shadowzone (1990)
R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After someone is killed in the subterranean project called "Shadowzone," a NASA captain is called in to investigate. In the project, sleeping subjects are induced into a deep EDS state ... See full summary »
21. Alligator II: The Mutation (1991)
PG-13 | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A giant alligator runs riot in a small town with a lake connected to a sewer/drainage system. Typical plot; nobody believes the sightings until lots of people have been killed.
22. The Resurrected (1991)
R | 108 min | Fantasy, Horror
Charles Dexter Ward's wife enlists the help of a private detective to find out what her husband is up to in a remote cabin owned by his family for centuries.
23. The Dark (1993)
R | 87 min | Horror
Something is alive beneath the surface of the graveyard. Something with the power to destroy and the power to heal. One man, a cop, is determined to kill this mysterious creature. Another, ... See full summary »
25. Mimic (1997)
R | 105 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.
Votes: 40,431 | Gross: $25.48M
27. The Bunker (2001)
R | 88 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Seven German soldiers are enclosed in one bunker during the Second World War. They soon feel surrounded by enemies. When they hear about the tunnel-system beneath the bunker and some mystic... See full summary »
28. Resident Evil (2002)
R | 100 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.
Votes: 220,777 | Gross: $40.12M
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996–2003)
TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy
After killing Caleb, Buffy conceives a plan to defeat the First once and for all. Willow invokes a magic spell that alters the ancient Slayer spell and gives Buffy the allies she needs to ... See full summary »
The final episode of Buffy ends in full subterranean horror-style, when the Slayers descend into the Hellmouth.
30. Marebito (2004)
R | 92 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
A fear-obsessed freelance cameraman (Shinya Tsukamoto) investigates an urban legend involving mysterious spirits that haunt the subways of Tokyo.
Votes: 4,290 | Gross: $0.01M
Strange film that taps into Richard Shaver's hollow earth theories.
31. Creep (I) (2004)
R | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Trapped in a London subway station, a woman who's being pursued by a potential attacker heads into the unknown labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city's streets.
32. Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004 Video)
PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
A prequel to Tremors (1990), this movie tells us about how the town of Perfection, Nevada became founded and how they defended it against the Graboids with the help of Burt Gummer's ancestor, Hiram.
The prequel with a lot of action based in a mine, the rest (and other similar films) are dealt with in my other list: They Attack from Below
33. The Descent (2005)
R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.
Votes: 173,116 | Gross: $26.02M
The first of three caving horror films released in 2005
35. The Cavern (III) (2005)
R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
8 explorers trapped in a Russian cave system are hunted by an unknown presence.
Originally The Cavern, the name was changed because of the two films above.
36. Alone in the Dark (2005)
R | 96 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A detective of the paranormal slowly unravels mysterious events with deadly results.
Votes: 39,338 | Gross: $5.18M
Although the category really only applies to the later parts of the film it is classic subterranean horror, which doesn't save it from being terrible (although not as bad as AitD2, despite what the IMDB ratings might suggest). Does that sequence strike anyone else as being awfully similar to the underground parts of the Buffy episode "Chosen", mentioned above?
38. Sl8n8 (2006)
90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
After her father gets killed in an automobile accident, Kristel Lodema discovers that her dad was investigating an old mine where convicted child killer Andries Martiens died back in 1857. ... See full summary »
39. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
R | 107 min | Horror
A suburban American family is being stalked by a group of psychotic people who live in the desert, far away from civilization.
Votes: 142,135 | Gross: $41.78M
The hills may indeed have eyes but quite a lot of the film, and the end section involve what happens beneath the hills.
40. After... (2006)
R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller
Urban Explorers are extreme sports' answer to computer hackers: a growing breed of thrill-seekers who thrive on infiltrating the planet's most dangerous man-made structures... Just because they can.
41. Wicked Little Things (2006)
R | 94 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Karen, Sarah, and Emma Tunney are all moving to a small town in Pennsylvania where, unknown to them, in 1913, a horrid mine accident trapped dozens of children alive, underground. But there's a problem. They're still alive.
42. La hora fría (2006)
92 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
The eight year old boy Jesús has been living in a crumbling underground facility since he was born with eight survivors of an apocalyptic war: the leader Maria and her lover Pablo; the gays... See full summary »
Nine or so years after some kind of global war a small group of survivors cling on in an underground bunker menaced by The Invisibles, icy cold ghostly beings, and The Strangers, people infected with an enemy bioweapon (which means this film also has some crossover with contagious violence). Well worth a watch.
43. Caved In (2006 TV Movie)
R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
Disguised as extreme adventurers, a group of high profile thieves unknowingly lead a group of wealthy tourists on an expedition through an abandoned salt mine that is guarded by ancient creatures.
45. End of the Line (II) (2007)
95 min | Horror, Thriller
In this unsettling and creepy thriller, Karen (Ilona Elkin), a young nurse who works in a psychiatric ward, boards the last subway train of the night only to have it stop suddenly in the ... See full summary »
46. Urchin (2007)
Not Rated | 105 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
In a tunnel deep under Manhattan, the Old Man rules the citizens of Scum-City. He swears to lead them to a paradise within the hollow earth once he finds five noble souls; but until then ... See full summary »
Also touches on Hollow Earth themes.
47. Catacombs (2007)
R | 100 min | Horror, Thriller
On her first trip to Paris, a young woman hits a party in the Catacombs, the 200-mile labyrinth of limestone tunnels under the city that's lined with the remains of 7 million people. ... See full summary »
48. Bottom Feeder (2007)
86 min | Horror
A group of utility workers are trapped in a series of tunnels which, unfortunately, contain a scientist mutated by his own creation. The creature feeds instantly on a rat, becoming what it has eaten.
50. Stag Night (2008)
R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
Four men out on a STAG NIGHT in New York prematurely exit an underground train after the soon-to-be-best-man begins to hassle two women. Trapped at a deserted station these six adults ... See full summary »
51. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A photographer's obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways imaginable.
Votes: 52,749 | Gross: $0.08M
Bloody and brutal slayings on the underground, it rather dodges the full Lovecraftian ending from Clive Barker's story but it still works well (although I'd recommend you read the story for the full explanation, as the story makes more sense with it).
52. Outpost (2008)
R | 90 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
In war-torn Eastern Europe, a world-weary group of mercenaries discover a long-hidden secret in an abandoned WWII bunker.
Nazi zombies haunting a bunker that houses strange WWII-era technology.
54. The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
R | 94 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller
Refusing to believe her story about cave-dwelling monsters, the sole survivor of a spelunking exploration gone horribly wrong is forced to follow the authorities back into the caves where something awaits.
Picks up where the first film finishes, and we have to go back underground and face the subterranean menace again.
55. The Devil's Tomb (2009)
R | 90 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
An elite group of soldiers on a covert mission to retrieve a scientist from an underground lab encounter an ancient evil in the facility.
56. Fobos. Klub strakha (2010)
78 min | Horror, Thriller
Rainy summer evening... Young people are arriving at the new trendy club named Phobos which is still under construction. Or re-construction - since it's a former bomb shelter which is ... See full summary »
57. The Tunnel (I) (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
58. Underground (I) (2011)
Not Rated | 83 min | Horror
A group of friends fight for their lives against the lethal and ravenous creatures lurking beneath the Earth's surface. The group finds themselves at the mercy of creatures genetically ... See full summary »
59. The Depraved (2011)
Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, Thriller
Anxious to explore the mysterious hidden world under metropolitan Berlin, an international group of four urban explorers hires a local guide, Kris, who leads them into the maze of escape ... See full summary »
60. Beast Beneath (2011)
Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller
This is based on a true tale. A large ranch, now known as Griffith Park in Los Angeles, belonged to Don Antonio Feliz in 1861. The Don's best friend and a greedy attorney stole the property... See full summary »
62. Private (2011 Video)
10 min | Short, Drama, Horror
Trying to impress on a first date, Pete and Jake take Beki and Julianne to a secluded bunker in the woods. However, the 'action' turns out to be not as they intended. What is the bunker's ... See full summary »
63. Sanctuary (VI) (2011)
15 min | Short, Action, Horror
A story about a group of youths trapped in an old World War 2 bunker following a terrorist attack in London on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games. How far will they go to survive?
64. Dead Mine (2012)
Not Rated | 87 min | Action, Horror
The legend of Yamashita's Gold lures a treasure hunter and his group deep into the Indonesian jungle. Once they are trapped in an abandoned World War II Japanese bunker, they face the terrifying reality that the only way out is to go further in.
65. Mine Games (2012)
TV-14 | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of young friends make an incomprehensible discovery in an abandoned mine, but the more they try to change the future, the more they seal their fate.
66. The Mine (2012)
PG-13 | 95 min | Adventure, Horror, Mystery
Five school friends seek adventure on Halloween night in an abandoned, haunted mine, only to find to their horror that the ghostly rumors may be true as they fight for survival.
67. Crawlspace (2012)
Unrated | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A special forces unit sent, to infiltrate Pine Gap Australia's top secret underground military compound, come under attack from unknown forces.
68. Toxicity (2012)
40 min | Short, Drama, Horror
A scientist and a broken spirited soldier discover that plant life has begun to grow again after spending years living in an underground settlement dying of radiation poisoning.
69. Outsiders (2012)
9 min | Short, Horror, Thriller
Cold, Dark, Damp. Deep in the depths of a disused Victorian tunnel network something is waiting, desperate, alone. James (James Kenneth Davenport) and Harry (Johnny Ostle) are exploring an ... See full summary »
70. Living Dark: The Story of Ted the Caver (2013)
PG-13 | 112 min | Horror
Two brothers, reunited for their father's funeral, stumble upon the entrance to a nearby cave, where they are slowly forced to confront the true, nightmarish cause of their father's death. ... See full summary »
71. Beneath (V) (2013)
Unrated | 89 min | Adventure, Horror
A crew of coal miners becomes trapped 600 feet below ground after a disastrous collapse. As the air grows more toxic and time runs out, they slowly descend into madness and begin to turn on one another.
73. Lacrimosa (I) (2013)
16 min | Short, Drama, Horror | Completed
Laura Robson is locked away in her bedroom, aching for the day she will be loved again. Her mother, father and siblings fear what they do not understand. Over the course of a single evening... See full summary »
75. The Advisor (2013)
11 min | Short, Drama, Horror | Completed
Daniel awakens in unfamiliar surroundings accompanied by a strange, shadowy figure he has never seen before. Is this individual even human? It soon becomes clear that whoever he is, he ... See full summary »
76. As Above, So Below (2014)
R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.
Votes: 59,527 | Gross: $21.20M
77. Crawl or Die (2014)
Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
An elite security team assigned the task of protecting the last known woman who can become pregnant, find themselves caught in an endless claustrophobic underground tunnel system. The team ... See full summary »
79. Ninja Apocalypse (2014)
Not Rated | 84 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
Framed for assassinating the Grandmaster, the Lost Ninja Clan must battle their way up an underground nuclear bunker filled with hordes of supernatural enemies, mutants and flesh eating ... See full summary »
80. Carnage Park (2016)
Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Crime, Horror
After botching an ill-conceived bank robbery in a desolate California town, two wannabe crooks flee the scene with a hostage and lead the local lawmen on a dangerous high-speed chase.
81. The X Species (2018)
90 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller | Completed
An archaeological expedition uncovers a prehistoric hominid burial site. When their team is unexpectedly attacked they are forced to take refuge in the catacombs of an unmapped cave. One by one they fall to an ancient predator.
82. Golden (2018)
90 min | Thriller | Post-production
After an earthquake uncovers an abandoned goldmine, a hiker falls in and is trapped, forcing friends to grapple with a moral dilemma that spirals into madness.
110 min | Horror, Thriller | Announced
A group of friends descend upon a remote wilderness area in celebration of Ridge and Allie's return after a year spent out West. Their decision to embark on a short exploration of a nearby cave turns into a horrific struggle for survival.