Next week is Halloween, so everyone is searching their shelves and streaming services to find scary movies to watch on the 31st. Most people reserve the night to huddle under the covers and almost shit their pants, but sometimes you find a movie that is supposed to be scary but ends up just being bad. In the annals of horror, there have been tons of movies that fail to garner true fear but there are some that are just plain bad. Here is a ranking of ten movies that were supposed to be scary but ended up being pretty bland and somewhat comical.
Another case of a great movie followed by an abysmal sequel. You will often find this movie on worst movie ever lists and for good reason. Everything about it from the tone deaf and blatantly racist African scenes to the nonsensical hypnotism sequences amount to a really bad movie. The recreations of scenes from William Friedkin’s original look like spoofs and Linda Blair is turned into a sexy succubus which results in mixed reactions from viewers. Stick with the virtually unrelated EXORCIST III or the new television series if you want a worthy followup to THE EXORCIST.
The RESIDENT EVIL series has it’s share of fans who enjoy the mix of science fiction, violence, gunplay, and zombies, but I am not one of them. These zombies are not scary and they pale in comparison to the video game. Sure, I enjoy staring at Milla Jovovich as much as the next guy, but each film gets progressively worse and never manages to mount a decent chill. Even the video games bother with decent jump scares, these movies don’t even try.
THE RING is one of the best horror movies of the last twenty years and somehow the sequel is one of the worst. It is really strange considering the directing duties were handed over from Gore Verbinski to the filmmaker who helmed the Japanese RINGU, Hideo Nakata. Maybe it was the language barrier, but THE RING TWO makes virtually no sense and doesn’t share any scares, cheap or otherwise, that even compare to the original.
Does this one even need explanation? Steven Spielberg’s JAWS is the epitome of summer blockbusters, action movies, thrillers, and scary movies. JAWS made sharks even more terrifying than they always were. Maybe it was the absence of the acclaimed filmmaker behind the camera, but every sequel has been just terrible. The shark was never convincing and the stories got increasingly more ridiculous, culminating in the fourth film starring Michael Caine. Caine himself has admitted to taking the job for the paycheck and that never bodes well for a finished product.
As much as I love the goofy LEPRECHAUN movies, Warwick Davis’ diminutive Irish demon is not scary at all. The first movie is the closest to being scary but it ends up being more comedic than anything. Even the Leprechaun himself is only scary in still photos. The moment you hear him talk, it all goes down the shitter and turns into a really long SNL sketch that never amounts to much but eye rolls and groans.
In the late 90s, Dark Castle Entertainment looked to remake a number of classic horror films like HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and THIRTEEN GHOSTS. Every other studio tried to mimic that trend and the result was dreck like FEAR DOT COM. Hearing that this movie was so disturbing that it originally was rated NC-17 should have built up the buzz, but this movie is so nonsensical and unscary that even Uwe Boll would have looked at it in puzzlement. URLs are not scary and neither is this movie.
Stephen King is the name synonymous with horror and yet the master himself couldn’t direct a halfway decent movie. Based on an original idea, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE should have been JAWS with cars and trucks. Instead, it is a cult classic with a half-baked plot and an underused cast. Sure, that Green Goblin looking truck is pretty iconic, but can you honestly remember anything remotely scary about the movie?
M. Night Shyamalan went from one of the best directors of horror with THE SIXTH SENSE to one of the worst. A blend of science fiction and horror, THE HAPPENING is meant to be a cautionary tale about what the environment could do if it turned on us. Instead, we get Mark Wahlberg’s absolutely worst performance in a film that makes almost no sense. But, if you are scared of pensive glances and killer plants, this is the movie for you.
The original version of THE WICKER MAN is an absolute masterpiece of cinema, horror or otherwise. A remake was never going to come close to the quality of the first, but this movie is so bad it is a must see experience. If you spend any time online, you would recognize the infamous scenes involving the bees, the sidekick to Leelee Sobieski, and the "how’d it get burned" quote. Yeah, this movie is the opposite of scary.