Plan 9 From Outer Space
Entertaining enough to spare it from the critical chopping-block, Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) is a trainwreck that audiences love to hate. Featuring aliens, UFOs, vampires, and the resurrected dead, this sci-fi may poorly execute its ideas but at least it’s amusing.
The equivalent of a warm hug from your grandma, Plan 9 is a go-to cheesy movie for a healthy dose of nostalgia.
Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence
Sequel to cult classic The Human Centipede: First Sequence (2009), Human Centipede 2 (2011) ratings are even grimmer than the plot. With a 29% Rotten Tomatoes score, director Tom Six’s attempt to weave social commentary into a would-be repulsive horror makes the film more tasteless than scary.
As the momma’s-boy Martin obsesses over the original’s experiments, it fails in replicating either the experiment’s shock or any of the first iteration’s merits.
The Bye Bye Man
Aside from it’s unusual title, The Bye Bye Man (2017) aims to implement elements of successful horrors and create the ultimate scary flick; unfortunately, it’s all in vain. Hackneyed writing drowns any potential to pull-off the convoluted premise.
“Don’t think it, don’t say it” is the mantra of teenage characters who try to spurn the mind-controlling influence of the horrific "Bye Bye "man. While an intriguing backstory of the monster attempts to crutch the movie’s nonsensical nature, lifeless execution ultimately kills enjoyability even in the comedic sense.
A homicidal laundry-folding machine. Yeah. That’s the premise of The Mangler (1995). If this kind of idea is all it takes to make a good horror flick, there’d be a lot more out there.
Obviously, this plot is barely substantive. We’re still scratching our heads to how this film stretches longer than half-an-hour. In fact, actually doing laundry is scarier than watching this long-shot movie.
Another undeserving remake of an Asian hit, The Eye (2008) isn’t the worst of this list yet deserves to be here as another useless Hollywood knockoff. The storyline is intriguing, featuring a woman with newly restored vision who happens to see into an alternate world, and sustains the first half of the film.
As for the rest? Expect wooden performances and flawed twists that audiences sense from miles away.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008) and the following Birdemic 2: The Resurrection (2013) are the culmination of every horror movie cliché you can imagine. While not the lowest rated by critics, with 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, the only good reviews commentate on the film’s goofy charm if you choose to watch it like a comedy.
Swarms of killer birds terrorizing a small town is a nefariously simple plot, so alluringly easy that it attracted a cult following much like lovers of the “best worst movie ever made” -- as crowned by fans and critics alike -- Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003). Thus, it’s not so much of a shock that the killer-bird film garnered enough attention to deserve an equally terrible sequel!
Classified among the worst scary movies ever made, The Happening (2008) is an ecological thriller that begins with promise but slowly devolves into “an incoherent and unconvincing trifle,” according to Rotten Tomatoes critics. As the characters struggle to pinpoint the source of the population’s sudden suicidal tendencies, watchers figure out that plants release the toxins within the first quarter of the film.
The failure of this film wouldn’t be so shocking if not for its maker, The Sixth Sense (1999) director M. Night Shyamalan. His previous box-office flop The Village (2004) set a precedent of fan disappointment in Shyamalan’s endings. The only reason to watch this film, with its laughable apocalyptic twist, is to understand all those memes making fun of it. Otherwise, the entire movie should have a massive trigger warning attached!
The Wicker Man
The Wicker Man (2006), a remake of the 1973 classic, fails to pack the punch of the original’s famous suspense. Struggling to achieve a respectable reputation as its predecessor, even with Nicolas Cage at its center, the 2006 sequel is among the most notorious of retellings.
Where the original was cleverly horrific, this was brainless to the point of comedy. Annoying, boring, and ultimately unnecessary, the sinister forces at work in the film are more the result of the bad script than the sacrificial rituals.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The Blair Witch Project (1999) is a staple example of well-executed found-footage filmmaking. Taking time to establish believable scenarios and relatable characters, the film is highly rated by top critics.
The first film's high praise makes its sequel Book of Shadows (2000) all the more disappointing. Lamely forcing Blair Witch into a formulaic rip-off of classic horror and completely lacking the intrigue of mystery and clever dialogue of likable protagonists, this sequel will forever live in the shadows of its creative older sibling.
House at the End of the Street
The flick that pioneered Jennifer Lawrence’s horror-film career, House at the End of the Street takes its sweet time in expositional sequences before dropping the ball at its climax. Arbitrary pacing, choppy scenes, and a lack of suspense degrades the film to a meager 13% Rotten Tomatoes score.
While not the best movie ever made, JLaw’s acting and a few clever twists make the move a fine option for unexpected Netflix movie-nights.
A sleazy remake of 2001 Japanese masterpiece Kairo, the American Pulse (2006) is every horror convention smashed into one. The visuals may be scary at first but hardly make up for the repurposed plot ruined by cheap teen-horror. The original’s intriguing questions sustained audience attention while the remake’s attempt to answer them created an atmosphere of dull indifference.
Best said by Top Critic’s Nigel Floyd, “As the ghosts suck the life out of their victims, the audience suffers the same fate.” Why can’t we leave the classics alone?
Repetitive writing, lackluster cinematography, and base-level scares are enough to make Ouija (2014) a filler movie for your Halloween watchlist but not much else. But if you particularly enjoy watching still-cam shots of teenagers gathered around a table, this might just be the film for you. It trades any substantive quality, such as emotion or actual character development, for a surplus of lowly jump-scares.
More reminiscent of a branding commercial than a horror film, watchers will suffer more from capitalist greed than suspense.
The Devil Inside
Endings tend to make-or-break a horror film, but if the rest of the film is great, fans can muster forgiveness to an odd failure or two. Such isn’t the case for The Devil Inside (2012), a derivative attempt to play off 1973’s The Exorcist massive success.
Where The Devil Inside falls short is its lack of focus, poor writing, and ineffective found-footage format. Two exorcists and four demons all squished into one insane asylum poorly overcompensates for a lacking script. A series of boring twists and near-unwatchable climax culminates in an ending so senselessly abrupt that the film loses any sliver of meaning. CineVue critic Daniel Green described it best, saying this “hackneyed bore” of a film is one that “audiences shouldn't have to see." Yikes!
With a whopping 4% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne (2005) is a ridiculous video-game adaptation centered on 18th-century human-vampire Rayne’s pursuit of her devil father. While it sounds just like any other bad horror-fantasy, BloodRayne surpasses the lot with poor costuming and set design, not to mention the excessive misuse of violence and sex to overcompensate for a slim plot.
The acting, despite the majority of the film’s budget seemingly allocated to secure a strong cast, is the scariest part of the movie, with the fight scenes supported by what critic Rob Gonsalves dubs “the worst kind of editing room cheating.” Looks like you’re better off playing the game than sitting through two hours of sloppy filmmaking.
House of the Dead
The Dead Island video games already taught us that traveling to a deserted island isn’t a good idea, no matter how fun a private rave sounds. Just another for the list of subpar remakes, House of the Dead (2003) actually makes shooting zombies in the head a mundane task.
If zombie movies are the bottom-of-the-barrel of horror, this soulless gore fest is the filth on the barrel’s underside.
Alone in the Dark
The adventure-horror-mystery-thriller Alone in the Dark (2005) lacks as much focus as it provides gaudy action sequences and flat dialogue. Inspired by the video-game of the same name, director Uwe Boll shocks audiences with outright violence, which fails to mask the unintelligible plot.
There are plenty of demon-worshipping movies out there that shine in comparison to Boll’s typical low-class handiwork.
Creepshow 3 (2006) barely deserves the franchise’s title. Taking on the established format of its predecessor, it presents an anthology of low-budget scary shorts.
Void of any emotion, originality, or substance, this sequel relies on pre-established gags to capture attention. You’re better off seeking a laugh from the film than a scream.
Jaws: The Revenge
With a horrendous 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Jaws: The Revenge (1978) is the epitome of exploitative filmmaking. The slim 90-minute runtime, supported only by a nonsensical screenplay, is much too long for audiences to bear.
Lacking any intrigue to convince audiences to suspend disbelief, inexpensive effects and anticipated shark attacks place this scary sequel at the top of any “worsts” list.
The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), a remake of 1994’s The Crow, is more of an insult than an improvement of the franchise. The original film was respectably rated as a fantastical tale of a man’s quest for merciless revenge against his murderers; obviously, a crutch for it’s slew of mediocre sequels.
Wicked Prayer follows a similar plot to the original, implementing the Crow with all of his supernatural infamy yet fails to replicate the first’s successes. Poor writing, low-budget sets, and spotty acting all mashed together creates an unsalvageable adaptation of what could have been a great comic-book adaptation.
Based on the title alone, Muck (2015) clearly isn't a movie concerned with taste. We can deal with swamp killers and jump scares, but misogyny? No thanks. Overtly sexist costuming, action, and dialogue further knocks Muck from any realm of respectability.
This wannabe horror is a sad justification for writer and director Steve Wolsh to display his darkest perversions on the big screen.