As a diehard fan of horror movies I am more than willing to put up with cheesy nuances, terrible acting, and stupid plot lines. To me, the climax of any horror film is incomparable to that of any other experience at the cinema. I love relishing in the tension of waiting for a cheap jump scare, traveling alongside characters in found footage material, and uncovering the mystery of a haunted house. However, I have realized that to an average viewer, these movies can incite rage and are seen as a colossal waste of time. Below are ten movies only a horror fan could love.
It: The Miniseries
This is generally considered the go-to movie in pop culture when terrifying clowns are dared to be even mentioned. But, if you have ever seen this feature you can understand why it would be horrendous for a person with coulrophobia (fear of clowns). And although this is considered a classic in the genre, it is not an exciting film. The clown himself (Pennywise) isn’t exactly timelessly creepy. There are some scenes that are scarier if viewed as a child, but over 3 hours of characteristic Stephen King plot makes April a dull girl or at least makes for a really a dull film. Before watching I actually made it through the entire novel, which is nearly a staggering 2000 pages. Anyway, when comparing the two I enjoyed the movie because of the attention to detail and accuracy from the original manuscript. But how faithful an adaptation is becomes irrelevant if you can’t stay awake! The genius of King’s novels is the intricate plot and character development that intrigue and fascinate readers. Needless to say, this does not translate well into a movie for the everyday viewer and quite frankly, besides Pennywise this film was disappointing and silly if one had not invested the time into the novel first.
I was seventeen years old when I was first exposed to The Exorcist and I almost wet my pants. Ever since that movie I have sought The Exorcist clones in an attempt to recreate that magic. Let me tell you, that has burned me more than rewarded me. This feature is a shining example of a time that I got burned. If you saw this flick 3 years ago, you know exactly what I am talking about and you are probably nodding in agreement already. As my love for horror has refined, I make it a point to attend new films when they are fresh off the press and on the big screen. So, three years ago when The Devil Inside was advertised, my hopes for a kick-ass exorcism feature were lifted! Never have I been so wrong. This movie is complete garbage and that is a hard pill for me to swallow since I try to see the good in every horror film I watch. For example, the scariest part of the movie is when a Rottweiler jumps on a fence and barks at the main characters. The actual exorcism scene is a joke. I laughed, out loud, and so did half the audience. Not only is the entire movie off-putting, there is no attempt at a conclusion that makes any sense. Everyone in my theater left the movie pissed. My husband and I enjoyed chatting in the parking for a half an hour with strangers about how terrible it was. I have never seen so many people on social media condemn a movie, but it was warranted in this case.
If you have ever heard of Lestat, vampires, or even the color black, you are probably aware of Anne Rice and her infamous vampire novels. I have thoroughly enjoyed the series throughout the years and I came across this movie after I actually finished the book on which it is based. Well, silly me, I thought that this flick would capture the sex and violence that trademark the original story, but yet again I was wrong. This movie is sloppy, fails to introduce any important characters (besides showing them in irrelevant conversations without naming them), and attempts to distract from the terrible writing with sexy scenes. I am sorry, as hot as Stuart Townsend might be, his rocking bod is not going to brainwash me into thinking that this movie is good….in any sense. It is really sad because the soundtrack is phenomenal and unique and it almost (almost!!) makes up for my rock bottom disappointment. This severely dissatisfied fans of the novel and was damaging to the already bad rap that vampire movies get. I can only imagine how a non horror enthusiast would feel about it.
This poor feature unfortunately bears the name of M. Night Shyamalan, who seemed to scare us throughout the movie, but falls enormously short in the dialogue department. The alien aspect of this movie is interesting and undertakes an unusual perspective on an extraterrestrial invasion. However, the adult characters are mind-numbingly dull and the children are scarier than the beings from outer space. Ok, I get that the children are grieving over the death of their mother, but seriously, do sad children become emotionless, disturbing automatons when left motherless? The adult main characters are even worse; they are so absurdly ignorant. So much so that they begin to rely on the ridiculous musings of the children the more the film carries on. I am still not sure if the big alien reveal scene actually scared me or I just jumped because I was so surprised something happened. This is a film you can skip, especially if you aren’t a die hard horror enthusiast.
Here is a movie that is excellent at sparking rage debates. This film was advertised with vague notions of being a creature feature with no shots of the actual monster itself. This is a classic found footage flick that follows the story of a giant monster, a group of friends, and one dumb decision to save a love interest. I will admit that I LOVE this movie and I felt it was a great throwback to the old monster movies that starred giant Gila monsters or horrifyingly massive tarantulas. I am also a huge sucker for found footage films, but I swallowed my pride and realized why typical audiences gave this movie two thumbs down. None of the characters are really likeable, the reveal with an image of the monster is predictable and cheesy, and just like a Shakespearean play, everyone dies. This is a give or take, I would personally recommend it, but I have heard violent exchanges between fans and dissenters of this film about its merit.
This movie is a prime example of writers attempting a shocking twist that should disturb you and keep you up at night, but instead will leave your head tilted in confusion. The ENTIRE time you are lead down the typical road of an exorcism film. You have all the right ingredients: A young girl, strange occurrences, and shaky found footage cam. As the story unfolds it turns chillingly creepy….until the end. Instead of using cheap jump scares and eerie shots of the possessed girl covered in blood, you are introduced to the fact that the entire family (and small surrounding community) are devil worshippers??? It is an odd choice for sure and I even re-watched the movie to see if there was ANY indication to lead to this conclusion. Instead of being pleasantly surprised, audiences (me included) were left feeling disoriented and baffled by the ‘surprise ending.’ What is even worse is that there was a sequel to this movie…seriously?
Ah, another M. Night Shyamalan fail, BUT instead of the movie losing your interest because of terrible writing or poor character choices, this one was a disaster in the ‘surprise ending department.’ This film is utterly fascinating upon the first watch. You are introduced to The Village, a small community that appears to exist in the colonial days of early America. The clothing, nuances, and social structure all contribute to this atmosphere, but there is a slow growing sense that gives the viewer an uneasy feeling that not all is as it seems. There are glimpses of porcupine, monster people that roam the village at night to keep everyone in and I was even willing to overlook this sort of silly aspect because I was enjoying myself. That was, until the end. The ‘big reveal’ of the entire movie is that the older people of The Village built this community inside a park in order to escape the cruelty of the modern world. So, basically, they are a bunch of rich, snotty people who didn’t like the 21st century and decided to buy a nature preserve, make up weird monsters, and party like it was 1776. Needless to say, either people were delighted or most of the time they rampaged about the poor choice for the conclusion. Damnit Shyamalan… I think we all need to stop giving you chances. As a horror fan, I keep tolerating your films in the hope you’ll eventually make something good again but I can see why most mainstream moviegoers have given up.
As one of the early followers of this franchise, I have thoroughly enjoyed these movies, but since the beginning there has been a line drawn in the sand. Either you love or hate these movies, there is no ‘they are ok’ or ‘meh’ feelings hanging around. I thought that they were and still are an imaginative, scary, and enjoyable series, but I have seen people storm out of theaters, rant online, and even angrily shove the disk back into the Redbox machine. These movies have an original story that I appreciate in this genre, but then the sequels started. After Paranormal Activity 2 (PA2) I was like ok, scary, but complementary to the first one. Then PA3, nice back story, still creepy, and ties them all together. I sighed at PA4, but I went to the movies and I remember thinking, What a great conclusion, they should end with this one, it tied all of them together. PA5, What a great conclusion, they should end with this one, it tied them all together. And now they are making PA6 and even though the preview shows promise, SERIOUSLY?!? Do we honestly need to hear more about this story and these girls and Toby? Every new movie in this series ruins the creative originality brought from by the first one and brings more disdain from mainstream audiences that have tired of the gimmick.
This is the found footage movie that made the genre famous, even though the original found footage film was released 19 years earlier (Cannibal Holocaust). This film causes fights between friends who either argue that is a Halloween staple or that it is the dumbest movie they have ever seen. The debate is so frequent that I have even heard (and made the same point myself) advocators tell nay-sayers to watch the movie in a specific way. You must be by yourself after sundown and wait until the fall has a certain crisp air. Then you need to keep a window open and listen to leaves rustling outside in order to provide the correct atmosphere. This is utterly ridiculous because you either like a movie or you don’t and I don’t know why I think that convincing someone to perform a ritual while watching this movie will make them like it. Yet, year after year I still try to sell this film in this fashion. Since this flick is older there are not only disputes with millennials, but also with our parents, which makes this hilarious.