Five Horror Movies You Should Avoid Like the Plague

The Langoliers
The Langoliers

Really Bad Horror Movies

There are some horror movies we watch because they are legendarily great like The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973). We watch some horror movies because they are cult classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974). Other we watch because they are the newest, freshest takes on the genre like Paranormal Activity (Peli, 2007). Some horror movies, on the other hand, should never, ever be watched by anyone. Ever.

You will never get those hours back and since I have already had my hours stolen from me forever, let me save you the trouble. Avoid these horror movie stinkers at all costs, because they’re not so bad they’re good, they’re just bad.

Troll (Buechler, 1986)

Bad acting? Check. Bad special effects? Check. Bad storyline? Check. How can a movie staring Michael Moriarty from the Law and Order franchise, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Noah Hathaway who played Atreyu in Never Ending Story (Peterson, 1984), Charlie’s Angels’ Shelley Hack and Sony Bono? Well, I guess that says it all there. The only amusing thing about this film is that the main character and his son are both named Harry Potter. It drags on and on; trying to build up suspense where there is none. It doesn’t even have enough sense to be tongue-in-cheek or campy like Leprechaun (Jones, 1993).It is what no horror film should be: boring.


Warlock (Miner, 1989)

Some say Julian Sands should have been Lestat in Interview with a Vampire (Jordan, 1994) instead of Tom Cruise. I would have had to agree had I not seen him in this limp film. There are too many things that don’t make sense and nothing is actually blood curdling or creepy. The saddest part is that the book inspired by the movie is actually better. Not only does its storyline make sense, it is a sadistic, gore-filled page turner with a compelling protagonist whose actions are cringe worthy. Too bad the film didn’t succeed in the same way, or it might have been worth watching.

Queen of the Damned (Rymer, 2002)

Speaking of Lestat and the Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice, it saddens me that this was the last film with the talent that was Aaliyah (1979-2001). This movie is bad. After the morbid cockiness of Cruise’s Lestat, Stuart Townsend comes off more like a teenager trying to be a badass. His acting leaves much to be desired.

The ugliness that is this film, however, is not all due to Townsend’s bad acting; Rice has to take the blame for the muddled mess of a screenplay she put out. She cuts and pastes some interesting parts from her novels The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. Sadly, she didn’t pick the best parts. If she had, there would have been two movies and either had a better chance at being good than Damned.

Sleepwalkers (Garris, 1992)

How bad is this Stephen King horror film? It’s about supernatural creatures searching for a virgin to sacrifice. Not a bad premise. Did I mention they are incestuous mother son duo who morphs into felines? I’m sure it made sense in the book, but on celluloid it fails at capturing the imagination in the same way Cat People (Schrader, 1982) did. As a cherry on top, the pair is finally destroyed by cats. Irony can be horrific or funny, but this is neither. The film also spends a little too much time on the mother son love fest that quickly moves it into awkward territory.

The Langoliers (Holland, 1995)

There are a few other Stephen King adaptations that could have made this list, but none would be worse than this made for TV disaster. There are two big bad guys in this film. The first is “a sound” you don’t get to see for most of the film. When they finally show “the sound”, it turns out to be something like “tribbles[1]” with teeth. Nothing is scarier than Muppet-like furry little monsters, except for maybe Bronson Pinchot of Perfect Strangers fame. His character is the other ‘big bad’, who evilly rips magazine pages and napkins. Because you know nothing is more frightening than Balki Bartokomous sweating profusely while ripping paper products to shreds.

The only thing worse than poor Balki is Dean Stockwell being the voice of Stephen King and concluding that they are indeed in a past point in existence to be destroyed by the Langoliers. Everything is a deduction, conclusion, presumptive theory in which the whole plot is pushed forward by. Do you know why he knew for a fact they were in a past already left behind by mankind? Because the soda had no fizz. Yeah, folks you heard it here first. And what caused the crazy time warp? An Aurora Borealis over Arizona. The sad thing is it looks like the film was made in 1978 instead of 1995. That is three hours of my life I will never get back.

[1] Star Trek’s famous episode Trouble with Tribbles which features furry little creatures that multiply like crazy.

There are more Stephen King films that could have made this list. He’s such a good writer and his books are so riveting that it’s easy to forget that not all psychological horrors can be translated into great visuals. Are there other horror films that should have made this list? Most definitely, but I’ve already lost hours of my life on these. Don’t lose any of yours. Know of any movies I should avoid?

What is the worst movie on the list?

See results without voting

More by this Author


37 comments

FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

I just caught the tail end of "Langoliers" on TV a couple of nights ago. Lord, I'd forgotten how awful that one was.

I kinda like "Warlock" and "Sleepwalkers" though. At least "Sleepwalkers" has that classic death-by-corn-cob scene. That's something I could honestly say I'd never seen in a movie before!!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I agree that The Langoliers could possibly be one of the worst movies of all time. It took everything in me to sit through the entire thing and that was because I was too sick to change the channel.

I knew some people would like Warlock, especially since it got enough play to garner two sequels, but in the end it was still really, really bad next to the book and since the book was only made for the movie that takes it to a whole different level of "what the heck went wrong here?"


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Some of these movies can be amusing in their awfulness. My fave bad horror movie is Stephen King's IT. The book is amazing (as most of his books are) but the movie is campy and unscary (unless you're my sister, who is terrifed of clowns). Kudops to you for referencing Cat People, but I do prefer the original 1940s version. if you haven't seen it, you should. Good work. Voted up!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I wrote a list of more camp horror films, but I wasn't able to get into these and usually when it comes to horror I'm very easy to please.

I did think It was great, but I also hate clowns with the fury of a thousand suns and prefer to think of Tim Curry as a sweet transvestite, the son of the devil or a quick talking butler.

And you caught me. I totally forgot about the 1940s version of the film. I saw it a while ago, I forgot about it entirely.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

the original Cat People is truly groundbreaking. Way ahead of it's time. I'll check out your hub on campy horror movies


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I'll have to rewatch it. All I can remember at the moment is a lot of trips to the zoo and vague shots of shadows. I remember I liked it, but for some reason I can't recall.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England

Interesting list, I remember enjoying Warlock but it's been years since I last saw it. Maybe I'll cringe if I saw it now.

A recent horror film I hated was The Last Exorcism, filmed in shakycam with a truly terrible cop out ending.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

I haven't seen any of these movies, but I've heard of Warlock. I'll be avoiding them. Its good to know whatnot to waste time on when it comes to horror movies, as there are a lot of mediocre ones out there.


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I remember seeing Warlock in the theater since I adored Julian sands, but wow. I was 'meh' about it until after someone bought the book for me. I read it many, many years later when I was bored and enjoyed it. So, I gave the move another try. Bad choice and that made several hours of wasted time instead of just an 80 mins.

I don't mind mediocre movies, especially if a deficeincy in one or two of the main criteria (acting, directing, story and fun). I watch them then try to dissect why they didn't work for me. But these? Ack. Avoid them like the plague.


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I just found this clip from Langoliers. It's not as hysterical as Bronson Pinchot ripping paper, but it comes pretty close.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Have u seen Pinocchio's Revenge? It's really awful, but might be considered campy. IN fact, my wife still is thinking about the psychological impact of the film. I may do a hub on it. The action is porno quality.


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I have not seen the movie, but with a name like that I really should. I just read the summary in IMDB and I've got to wonder how I missed this one. Sounds cheesetastic.

I'd would be interested in reading a hub about for sure. Thanks for the heads up.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

A very interesting list...I agree with you about more of Steven King's stories could have made the list...with Maximum Overdrive being the best worst movie. Queen of the Damned is the one of the five you mentioned that I have not seen. But knowing how bad the other four are...I will take your word that Queen of the Damned is indeed horrible....voted up and awesome.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

Very good and very entertaining. If Steven King's Nightshift was on this list, I would choose that one. Very entertaining!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Cogerson

The ironic part is that King's books are so good, it's a shame his movies veer to the so bad territory. On the other hand, I actually like Maximum Overdrive because it's so bad it veers into good territory. When the waitres goes and and screetches, "We made you! We made you!" I laugh hysterically...in fact I'm chuckling now just thinking aobut it.

Tammyswallow

Nightshift is right next to Salem's Lot, but none are as horrific as the Langoliers. I made this list and discussed it with a group of friends; one of which didn't agree with me on Warlock, so he went back and watched that and the Langoliers. He changed his mind on both.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

well, who should write that HUB, u or I?


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

On which one, Steven King novels to books or a list of his best and worst films? I think I like his best and worst films.


Steve Orion profile image

Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Hmm, I'm glad I've never seen any of these, though I've wasted my fair share of time on others. I just did a Hub review of the new movie Grave Encounters. Pretty bad stuff. I'm about to watch and review The Human Centipede 2 Uncut Edition (I hope it's good!) Thanks for the warnings on these, I'll catch the plague before watching them =)


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Lol, I'll have to read your hub, because I love horror films, I'll watch whatever is out there. Sadly, I've come across some really bad or boring ones, but these were so bad I had to share.

Thanks and you must tell me how Human Centipede 2 is.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i think u should find a way to compare his best novels and his worst movies. the only movies of his that translated well from the books were green mile, the shining and shawshank redemption. IT was great simply because it was corny


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I'll see what I can come with PDX! He has a new made for TV movie coming out on the Sci-Fi channel I think. Or it could be A&E, I'm not entirely sure. I'll have to find out and see that one as well. It stars Pierce Bronson, so at least I know the acting should be adequate.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i was always interested in a film version of Insomnia, but, as far as I know, it hasn't happened.


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Well, since Stephen Kings insists on having a lot of creative control on the movies based on his books, it's probably for the best. By the way, I've finally finished the Best of List for Stephen King movies. I've attached a link above.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i'll check it out!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thanks for the warning. Since the winter is coming, I won't have to watch some stupid movies. Maybe a few, but there are some to check off the list!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

If you're into horror, I made a list of some really good obscure horror films that everyone should give a chance to. I'm glad you'll miss these movies, no one should have to go through that amount of torture.

Thanks Michele!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

I like the ones without all the gore and gross blood. Things that make people think. I will read that one.


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

Michele, then Rashomon is your movie. It's a Japanese film by the great director Akira Kurosawa. It's amazing...AMAZING! Also, there's Fritz Lang's M, a German film made prior to the start of World War I.

Rashomon: http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Horror-Movies-to...

M: http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Film-Review-of-t...

M is the first talking film from Metropolis' Lang and it is one of the best movies ever!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thank you, I appreciate that. As you know I have epilepsy and sometimes cannot go anywhere for a few days. At least this helps give me something to do besides cleaning house, watching crappy tv...etc

Thanks again!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

My pleasure! Narrowing down the film field to just the good movies can be a rough task. Anytime I can help, just let me know! :D


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thanks, I will!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

vmart, just checked out Rashomon for film class. spectacular film


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

PDX, it's it wonderful? Such a superb movie. Hey, you're in Portland, aren't you? Where did you take the class, if you don't mind me asking. I've been looking to keep up with film theory and haven't found a place up here.


carmen 4 years ago

I still love Queen of the Dammed. Bafest movie for me ed the lst exorcisem. Real piece of junk. And don't let him in. That was s low quality movie


cindi lu 4 years ago

I so agree, the ending of the "Langoliers".. totally sucked, but really how CAN you capture the horror from his books..he is and has been one of my fav authors..def the king of horror..as long as he is WRITING it!


duppycon2 profile image

duppycon2 4 years ago from Yuma AZ

Sadly enough, we horror movie fans have to wade through a LOT of these caliber movies to find one or two good ones. And, interestingly, as good a writer as Stephen King is, the movie adaptations usually blow! Sure, there's the occasional exception (Misery, The Shining, The Stand TV miniseries wasn't half-bad, and Silver Bullet for pure campy Gary Busey fun), but his batting average ain't that great.

Great article, vmw!


vmartinezwilson profile image

vmartinezwilson 4 years ago from Vancouver, WA Author

I agree, I can't even remember half of the really bad horror movies I sit through to find that diamond. Too many and the sad thing is that I sit through the whole thing. I wrote a hub about Stephen Kings's best book adaptation and generally, the best ones, he has little input in. He might do the screenplay, but he has little input on their alterations. Those he does, generally turn out very bad. The newest Carrie or The Shining? Not very good at all and, although they are closer to the book, they don't live up to the original. The problem with King, imo, is that he doesn't seem to understand that many of the major plot devices he uses don't translate to film very well.

And Silver Bullet...pure camp and a young Corey Haim...memories.

thank you!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working