Five Horror Movies You Should Avoid Like the Plague
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.
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This is a Top 10 list of the best films based on Stephen King books, novellas and short stories. He's a great writer and these are the films that have made us laugh, made us cry and have become classics.
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” 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.
 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?