Horror Films

October 31, 2013 by  

Horror Films, When it comes to horror movies, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I loved Final Destination 3; a movie that sits at a mediocre 43% on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of people adored Insidious, a film I turned off halfway through. Someone out there had a really great time with Jason X and found A Serbian Film to be insightful social commentary. Opinions are subjective, my friends.

Yet some horror movies are so awful, so wrong from misjudged conception to limp execution, that even the most forgiving horror fan can’t wring joy out of their lifeless corpses. They are products of greed, favours, egos, or all three. Cynical, soulless cash-ins that sit like calcified dog turds on the filmographies of everyone involved. Dead on Arrival.

Book of Shadows:The Blair Witch Project 2
Released 2000

“This is not one of Joe Berlinger’s proudest days,” said Roger Ebert of the documentarian’s 2000 foray into fiction, Book of Shadows: The Blair Witch Project 2. It’s a polite yet apt observation, so uninspired is the film, which completely rejects the original’s found-footage style in favour of semi-dramatized slasher pap. A mix of terrible acting, bland characterisation and overly-expository dialogue secured the film a place at the bottom of Target bargain bins the world over, and the swift death of a promising franchise.

Stephen King’s The Shining
Released 1997

Where to begin with Stephen King’s own mini-series adaptation of The Shining? Admittedly, it was far from un-watchable and predictably adhered to King’s book more faithfully than Stanley Kubrick’s version did. But adaptations tend to be better handled by those with an impartial eye. Kubrick’s Shining, now comfortably sitting in the annals of the greatest horror films of all time, is a deeply scary, moody journey into insanity. King’s version, which has a proud ghost Jack show up at Danny’s graduation years later, is a perfectly palatable horror movie of the week.

The Amityville Horror (remake)
Released 2005

The original Amityville Horror movie, released in 1979, was unremarkable, partially due to its hilariously histrionic performances, but mostly due to its fairly shoddy source material in the form of Jay Anson’s sensational ‘true story’ bestseller. So why then, was a remake required in 2005? This one starred Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George as the Lutzes, who move into a Long Island house haunted by a red-eyed pigs and invisible marching bands, and does little to define itself outside of its predecessor other than introduce a terminally glum mood to the proceedings.

“Will this kill our careers? WILL IT??”

An American Werewolf in Paris
Released 1997

An American Werewolf in Paris shared little in common with its predecessor, An American Werewolf in London, other than the suspect claim that it was “based on characters created by John Landis.” While the original Werewolf movie was a fun yet genuinely frightening flick, this one commits the cardinal horror/comedy sin of being not-very-funny, and loses its plot in an excess of ’90s special effects. We should just be thankful that Julie Delpy’s career survived this so she could bring us the terrific Before Sunrise sequels.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
Released 2009

There are far more offensive horror movies out there than The Human Centipede, but few have grabbed the kind of mainstream attention that Tom Six’s movie did. For this very reason the film deserves a place on this list: instead of seeking out classic video nasties or splatter a lot of kids think that a guy relieving himself into the mouth of a woman surgically attached to his behind is the height of horror titillation. Please, do the future generation a favour: don’t let your kids watch this movie.

“My career can only go up from here. Right?”

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