There are the great horror movie classics. There are the "so bad they are good" kind of horror movies you can still enjoy. And then there are the movies that are so bad that you wonder why they even exist.
We're going to take a look at the third category, because you should't waste your 31 days of October on these 31 horror duds. You definitely should not even watch these out of curiosity. This list doesn't really go in any particular order — like, say, from best to worst — it's just listing off bad movie after bad movie. Let us begin this crapfest!
1. 'Night Skies'
Take Fire In The Sky and remove anything scary or enjoyable about it, and you basically get the boring mess that is Night Skies. A group of people are stranded in the middle of nowhere when aliens begin stalking them. The acting is terrible, the aliens are not scary, and it has Michael Dorn in it for 30 seconds. Do not watch it.
2. 'The Devil Inside'
One of the many terrible found footage movies that somehow made its way into theaters. Let me ask you something: did you watch the trailers for this movie? If you did, then you basically saw ALL of the scary parts, since there are maybe five minutes of scary scenes altogether (and that's being generous). This was a complete snooze-fest from beginning to end with boring characters, boring story and boring everything that should have gone straight to DVD — but since film studios were on a found footage high at the time, they decided to put it in theaters. Do not watch it.
3. 'The Haunting' (1999)
The original 1963 The Haunting was a fantastic psychological/supernatural thriller filled with amazing tension, characters and eerie scenes to earn the ranking of a classic. The 1999 remake, directed by the man who brought us Twister, is a complete joke and a waste of time.
Now I know what you are probably saying: "But it stars Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lili Taylor! Three great actors! How could it possibly be bad?" Oh trust me, it is terrible. Hilariously awful CGI ghosts and effects, the psychological aspect is out the window, it's not scary, an annoying Owen Wilson, and a climax that feels like something straight out of a children's book ... wait, no, that's actually insulting towards kids and books. Do not watch it.
4. 'The Seventh Moon'
While the two lead performances are fine, the rest of the movie is a complete mess with a plot that makes no sense. The director can't keep the camera steady; during the night scenes you're basically looking at a black screen because the lighting is awful. It does have one very tense scene towards the end, but it is not worth sitting through an hour and 15 minutes of headache-inducing darkness. Do not watch it.
5. 'Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers'
A bit of an unpopular opinion, but I actually didn't mind Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Is it great? No way, but I could consider it an okay return of the William Shatner-mask clad serial killer. The fifth movie in the franchise, however? Meh, it was the same old, same old slasher flick.
By this point, you could only do so much with the Halloween franchise, and while they certainly tried their hardest, their efforts did not result in a good movie. Do not watch it.
6. 'House At The End Of The Street'
I don't think this movie knew what it wanted to be. I feel like it began as a Nicholas Sparks romance movie but halfway through the filmmakers just decided to make it a horror movie. That would have been a good twist (and something that was done effectively in Disturbia) but that is not the case here. It's yet another boring movie filled with wasted talents like Jennifer Lawrence. Do not watch it.
7. 'The Pyramid'
A movie where the concept could have been executed with the right direction, it is instead another found footage movie that didn't need to be (especially considering that the movie constantly switches in and out of found footage throughout).
I could have looked past the terrible acting, and I could have forgiven them for using the dying gimmick of found footage, but the one thing I could not forgive was the monster used in this movie, which is an anubis. The idea for this monster is awesome but it is executed so poorly. When you make the CGI for the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns look superior, then it's time to take a step back and wonder what the hell you are releasing to the public. The Pyramid is a terrible movie. Do not watch it.
When it comes to ghost/demonic haunting movies, I am aware that it is nearly impossible to come up with new ideas. As shown with movies like Insidious and The Conjuring, you can use familiar formulas and ideas, then execute them perfectly. Ouija is the opposite of those movies since it throws every single haunting cliche in the book at you — but that's only 25% of this movie, because the rest of it just follows a bunch of carboard cutouts that seem to take the place of characters, doing absolutely nothing. Unless you're looking for a movie to fall asleep to, I urge that you do not watch it.
9. 'The Others'
Ladies and gentlemen, behold: one of the most boring movies ever made! It's not scary, it's not interesting, every actor is about as wooden as the cast of Birdemic, nothing happens for at least an hour, the underrated Christopher Eccelston is wasted even more here than he was in Thor: The Dark World, and it has one of the dumbest twists I've ever witnessed in cinema. Ouija looks like a suspenseful, exhilarating thriller in comparison to this movie. Do not watch it!
10. 'The Cavern' (AKA 'Within')
Monster-infested caves seemed to be a trope for filmmakers for a couple years, and while The Descent proved to be a terrifying hit and The Cave was an okay movie, The Cavern basically takes what was done in those other two movies and removes anything good about them and then adds the biggest problem from The Seventh Moon because you can't see anything for large periods!
If you're looking for your "cave movie" fix, then stick to The Descent or The Cave because The Cavern is just not good. Do not watch it.
This movie was so hyped-up to be the true return of the body horror subgenre (The Fly, From Beyond, the Thing, etc.) with reports of multiple people throwing up in the theater and even some being taken to the hospital because it was so disturbing. I was genuinely excited to see Bite — and when I finally got to see it, what was my reaction when the credits rolled? Eh...whatever.
Honestly I feel like this was overhyped WAY too much, because it mostly just comes off as a poor man's version of David Cronenberg's The Fly, which still has some of the most disturbing body horror to date. While I won't deny that the practical effects here are genuinely good, they feel wasted on the mediocre flick itself, so it's not even worth watching it for that. If you want to see someone slowly transform into a giant insect, then go watch The Fly (a cinematic masterpiece) but as for Bite? Do not watch it.
Why do werewolf movies suck so much? Sure, there are the gems like Bad Moon, American Werewolf In London and Dog Soldiers, but 90 percent of the time you end up with crap like Silver Bullet, every sequel to The Howling, Red Riding Hood, and of course, Wes Craven's attempt on this concept, Cursed. This is a very bizarre movie that doesn't seem to know what genre it wants to be: horror, comedy, both? It fails at all of them, so it ends up being a mess.
Stars Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg really do try their hardest to work with this awful script. Unless you want to laugh at a hilariously bad villain and climax, then I suggest you do not watch it.
13. 'Ticks' (A.K.A. 'Infested')
When it comes to the killer insect/arachnid movies, I have seen much worse than Ticks but that still doesn't excuse it from being an extremely lame horror movie. The idea of giant killer ticks is actually not a bad idea, since they are some of the nastiest little creepy crawlies in existence, but unfortunately it just results in basically every killer insect movie combined with the "cabin in the woods" trope.
The only enjoyable things about this movie are Seth Green, who gives the best performance, and Alfonso Ribeiro, who plays a tough guy from the streets. For a much better and scarier movie about swarming creepy crawlies, I recommend watching Arachnophobia starring Jeff Daniels. Ticks does have a somewhat cool climax with an even bigger tick, but is it worth the hour and 15 minutes of boredom? No. Do not watch it.
14. 'Mimic 2'
The original 1997 Mimic directed by Guillermo Del Toro is probably one of my favorite horror films of all time, a true return of the giant insect movies which showed that it could be done effectively. I'll also say that the third entry in the franchise, Mimic 3: Sentinel, was actually okay, giving a monster movie version of Rear Window.
The second movie, however, was just a lame mess, which tried to develop more upon the Judas Breed (the giant bugs) in a very lazily written story with boring characters that were performed very poorly. Since there is very little connection between the three movies other than the Judas, I recommend you watch the first and third movies, because the second movie is just not worth your time. Do not watch it.
Creature (or as I like to call it, "pornography with a monster") is about a bunch of college students who come to a town because of a legend about this creature who used to be a regular guy then transformed into a crocodile/human monster. Ladies and gentlemen, this movie is TERRIBLE! It's pure bad from beginning to end.
How are the monster effects? Terrible. How is the acting? Terrible. How is it written? I think a drunken ape with a pen and paper could have written a better script. Is it scary? No. Is it fun like Evil Dead 2? Nope. It's just an awful movie that I cannot believe made it into theaters. Do not watch it!
16. 'Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday'
When it comes to the Friday the 13th franchise, I pretty much enjoy a majority of the entries for popcorn slasher entertainment — but when it came to Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday? Yeah I hated nearly every second of this movie. It felt more like a Freddy Krueger meets Hellraiser movie than a Friday the 13th.
Jason Voorhees only physically appears in the movie for maybe five minutes in total (and that's being generous) because his spirit is possessing different people throughout the movie. Yeah, I'm not kidding. I know the Friday the 13th movies have never been groundbreaking when it comes to the plots, but this one definitely jumped the shark — and this is coming from the franchise that has Jason Voorhees come back from the dead thanks to lightning. The deaths are not that impressive and nothing really stands out (except for one scene where a character melts, but it's not worth sitting through a plot that has enough holes to turn the movie into swiss cheese). Do not watch it.
I always respect when filmmakers attempt to create a new iconic horror villain, the best example being the Collector from The Collector and The Collection. In 2012, it would seem that we would get a new terrifying face to fear with the slasher flick simply titled as Smiley. What are my thoughts? It sucks about as hard as a high-powered vacuum. There isn't a single frame in this movie that I enjoyed; I can't even describe everything I hate in this movie, otherwise we'd be here for a few hours. Do not watch it!
18. 'Diary of the Dead'
Zombie mastermind George A. Romero returned yet again after Land of the Dead for his franchise that revolutionized the subgenre forever and brought us the MPAA. While I thought it was going to be cool seeing Romero return to his low-budget roots, it unfortunately resulted in a very poorly executed found footage movie that comes off as your run-of-the-mill zombie flick. I really wanted to love Diary of the Dead but I just couldn't. Do not watch it.
19. 'Evil Dead' (2013)
I am a loyal fan of the Evil Dead franchise, and was very excited to see it remade in a darker, more serious tone, done under a good budget. The trailers did nothing but excite me by setting this up to be the true return of horror. Did it pay off? Well, that should be obvious since Evil Dead is on this list, but what isn't obvious is that I HATE THIS MOVIE! It takes true expertise in sucking to make me so angry that I'm tempted to walk out of the theater.
The first 45 minutes of this reboot were honestly very promising but the instant that the characters become Deadites, it's a 90-degree drop down from that point on.
I understand wanting to change some things to establish yourself from the original but that does not excuse killing off the character who was a genuinely great replacement for Bruce Campbell and making the movie into the cliche lone survivor girl trope that I am sick to death of. And you wonder why you were replaced with Ash vs the Evil Dead...
In the end, Evil Dead was supposed to revitalize the "cabin in the woods" horror films, but instead ended up being the same generic films in that category. It was said to be the most terrifying film you will ever experience but it just wasn't, not even close. Do not watch it.
20. 'Dark Skies'
Not to be confused with the aforementioned Night Skies, Dark Skies came out much later...and is much worse. This is a movie I was genuinely excited for, due to always wanting a good horror movie centered around aliens, but unfortunately we did not get that; instead we got probably one of the worst horror movies that I have ever witnessed.
Every single character is awful, and the movie is the farthest thing from scary. When the aliens finally appear in the last 10 minutes, they are unimpressive, generic and not scary in the least. The rest of the movie is just the family dealing with cliche haunting tropes: objects being moved when they aren't looking, kids talking to imaginary friends, etc; apparently the filmmakers seemed to confuse aliens for ghosts.
That's only a small problem with the movie. Let's take a look at the last act, shall we? An estranged family boards up the doors and windows inside their house where they have one last dinner together and just before the aliens come along, the family reminisces about great moments of the past... hmm, where have I seen this before and done so much better?
The biggest problem with Dark Skies is definitely the characters, who are either so unlikable that you wish that these aliens would just murder them in their sleep or they are so stupidly written that they make characters from a slasher flick seem like Nobel Prize winners.
There are also a lot of scenes that will make you just drop your jaw from how awful they are. The eldest son wants to impress a girl, right? How do you think he goes about doing so? Singing to her, writing her a poem...? Oh no, he mimics a porn by putting his hands on her chest and rubbing her — and she is impressed by this! No, I am not kidding; I lack the insanity to come up with a scene that awful. DO NOT EVER WATCH IT!
I'm not going to be gentle with this one; I despise this movie. I am a lifelong fan of the Alien franchise, so when I heard that Ridley Scott was coming back to give us a prequel that explained the origin of the Xenomorphs and the Space Jockeys, I was ecstatic. I have never been more angry walking out of a theater than I was when I walked out of Prometheus.
Do you know what makes the first three Alien movies work? All of them have memorable casts of characters, with some that are at least likable enough to drive the plot along. Oh, and let's talk about the Space Jockeys — or as they call them in this movie "Engineers," shall we?
If you're a fan of the original, you would remember the Space Jockey that was shown in that movie was in fact a skeleton, so you were curious as to what the creature originally looked like, right? Well, Prometheus ruins this by explaining that the skeleton that we saw was just an exo-suit for the Engineers who look like 'roided-up Voldemorts!
You want to know how Xenomorphs are created? Oh it is too ridiculous to even type it on here. I'm not even going to get into the plot holes because then we'd be here for the next few decades, so I'm going to sum up my thoughts. Prometheus is the worst film in the Alien franchise, yes even worse than Alien: Resurrection, and the fact that it is getting a sequel is baffling to me. Do not watch it!
22. 'Halloween: Resurrection'
The final movie in the original Halloween series, it stars Tyra Banks and is about a reality TV show being filmed inside the old Myers house on the night that Michael decides to come back. Yeah, if you actually saw this in theaters, I pray you got your money refunded, because you witnessed something so awful that it literally killed the Halloween franchise for several years. You want to know how bad it is? Michael Myers is defeated by Busta Rhymes, who fights him with martial arts after yelling the one liner, "Trick or treat, motherf**ker!" The movie sucks, do not watch it!
Remember that terrifying doll from the first Conjuring movie? Could you imagine a whole movie centered around it? It'd be like the next Dead Silence combined with Child's Play. Well, from the director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation comes Annabelle, a movie which tempted me to find this director and plant itching powder in all of his clothes because this movie is the complete opposite of the first movie.
The first movie had memorable characters, haunting atmosphere, great acting and terrifying scenes throughout. Annabelle has only one genuinely scary scene, which features the reveal of the demon in the basement and staircase; I won't deny that it did get under my skin, but the moment it is over, the movie immediately returns to being awful.
The two main characters are about as interesting as the dirt I found in my backyard, the movie is BORRRRRING, and it heavily conflicts with The Conjuring in terms of the explanation for the doll. Speaking of, apparently the director was too lazy to even move the doll's hand or head because there are times where it just cuts to the doll for long periods and the doll does nothing; the eyes don't move, the head doesn't move, and the hands don't move. Okay, anybody can put a camera up to the doll and play creepy music, director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation! Stick with James Wan's The Conjuring and walk right past Annabelle if you see it in stores. Do not watch it.
24. 'Case 39'
You ever seen a movie where it feels like there was so much potential but it was obvious that both the cast and crew did not put any effort into the film? Well, that's Case 39 in a nutshell, one of the most mediocre horror films I've ever seen. How's the acting? Meh. How's the mystery? Meh. Is it scary? Not really. How's the direction? Meh. There's nothing about the movie that stands out as good or bad, it's just...there. Unless you're looking to waste your time and be more bored than you would be watching the grass grow, then I suggest that you do not watch it.
I am a fan of the "contained thriller" subgenre of horror; it can allow for some truly suspenseful movie like say Buried, The Shallows or Misery — but of course, every great idea is poorly executed with at least one movie, and that is ATM. The idea for this movie was a great one: a psychopath keeps three people locked inside an ATM station trying to find ways to kill them.
It could have been a great indie horror if it weren't for one thing that absolutely kills the movie: the characters. Not a single one is likable; we are just stuck with them complaining for about an hour before anything happens. Do not watch it.
26. 'The Tommyknockers'
Poor Stephen King, it seems like nobody can get your stories right except for Stanley Kubrick (who changed a bunch of The Shining) and Rob Reiner who directed Misery. The Tommyknockers is probably the best example of his stories being adapted poorly, with hilariously silly scenes. One of the villains kills a couple of cops by using a lipstick death ray that she built. Yeah, definitely do not watch it.
27. 'Jason X'
All you really have to say is the general plot of this movie and everyone is sure to walk away: it is Jason Voorhees wreaking havoc in space in the distant future...and thus nobody showed up to the theater to witness this dump upon the Friday the 13th franchise. The sets look worse than Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, the acting is terrible, the kills are not that creative except one or two, and it all just stinks of a company trying to squeeze as much money out of a franchise as possible.
There is only one good thing I can say about it, and that is that it is better than Jason Goes To Hell — but that's like saying Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 4. No matter what, you're ending up with crap.
28. 'Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge'
This sequel to the horror classic seems to divide audiences, and obviously I'm on the side that doesn't care for it; it had some cool ideas and some decent effects but the story is what confuses me, thus irritates me. With a movie titled Freddy's Revenge, you'd expect this to be a direct sequel to the first movie's plot, right? Well, you'd be wrong, because this movie has absolutely no connection to the first film other than Freddy Krueger appearing.
This movie also establishes a whole new set of rules for the supernatural killer this time without any explanation, which really drags this movie down for me. Personally if you've only seen the first movie and are curious about the sequels, I'd say skip right to the third movie, which acts more like a sequel than Freddy's Revenge did. Do not watch it.
29. 'Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings'
I wouldn't exactly call the original Pumpkinhead a masterpiece of horror but I do really enjoy it for its simplicity, the amazing monster effects by Stan Winston, good performances from everyone (especially Lance Henriksen), and some great scenes of Pumpkinhead killing teenagers in the woods.
So what happens when you remove everything that was good about Pumpkinhead? Well, you basically get a sequel that suffered from a much lower budget, poor acting, lazy writing, not so impressive monster effects, and the same problem as Nightmare on Elm Street 2: there is no connection to the first movie. They even give Pumpkinhead a completely different origin from the first movie. If you're a huge fan of the first Pumpkinhead and you see Pumpkinhead II in stores, then I definitely say that you do not watch it!
30. 'House of Wax' (2005)
I'll give you one hint that this movie sucks: it stars Paris Hilton. Yeah, you can practically hear the crickets leaving the auditoriums because even they find the movie too terrible to sit through all the way.
The original 1953 film this movie is "based on" starring Vincent Price is a truly fantastic horror film with a good mystery, some amazing tension, and a story that I dare not spoil for anybody who has not seen it. I put quotations around "based on" for the simple fact that this movie has nothing to do with the original except for the title. You could have called this movie a remake of Hellraiser and it'd have about as much of a similarity. So if those reasons aren't enough, then I'll just sum up the movie like this: it is your generic slasher flick but inside a house made of wax. Do not watch it.
31. 'Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers'
How fitting to end this list than with not only the worst film in this dead franchise but in my opinion, the worst horror film I have ever sat through. I think it took me three different tries before I actually was able to finish it, simply because my brain began melting out of my ears from the pure unadulterated awfulness that just projected off the screen.
Why does this movie suck so much?
- Michael Myers was never the psychotic, evil man that we thought! No, he has been controlled by an evil cult since the beginning.
- The plot of this movie makes no sense whatsoever.
- It's never scary, just frustrating.
- The characters are either complete ditzes or are so unlikable that you just wish that Michael would just hurry up!
The only two things that are the least bit enjoyable are Paul Rudd in his first role as a grown-up Tommy from the first movie and Donald Pleasance in his final role as Dr. Samuel Loomis. That's right, this was his last movie...such a shame. Rest in peace, Donald. You deserved better.
I would rather watch a marathon of all 30 aforementioned movies before sitting through Halloween: the Curse of Michael Myers again; it is THAT bad. I hear there is a superior Producer's Cut, but I doubt it salvages this turd a movie, which I of course recommend that you DO NOT WATCH IT!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that brings us to the end of this list of the bad, mediocre, and the terrible movies that I recommend you avoid this October. I hope you enjoyed me tearing them apart.
If you're wondering which movies you should watch, then I recommend looking back at all the films I put on this list because if you were paying attention, then you would have seen that I mentioned plenty of great films for this time of the year, including:
- John Carpenter's The Thing
- The Grudge
- The Insidious trilogy (watch in a marathon as one long movie)
- The Conjuring
- Trick 'r Treat
- Return of the Living Dead
- Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
- Any of the Friday the 13th movies that I did not mention on this list.
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
- Any of Hammer Films' monster movies
- John Carpenter's Halloween
- Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II
Here are some more classics:
Normally I would ask you what your least favorite horror film is but I think we've had enough negativity for one day, so instead I'm going ask you what your favorite horror movie of all time is. Let us know and we hope you have a Spook-tacular Halloween! Muahahahahaha!