Horror is an exceptionally diverse genre and it continues to grow each year. You have horror movies win Academy Awards and break records at the box office, however, not all horror fans flock to these movies for high quality film making. Instead, many gravitate toward to campy, cheesy cult films that have gained fame for being the best of the worst.
There are lots of bad horror movies out there, as it’s pretty easy to make a low budget horror movie (compared to other genres such as action, fantasy, etc.). However, to be considered one of the worst horror movies of all time, you’ve truly done something special. Thanks to the critic and audience ratings at Rotten Tomatoes, we know which films are the most hated in horror across the board. Each of these films scored less than 10% and for some perspective, “Cats” has a 19% rating and “The Room” has a 23% rating. So if you’re looking for major epic fails, you’ve come to the right place.
“Jaws: The Revenge” 1987
1975’s “Jaws” is one of the most successful and watched horror movie of all time, inspiring millions worldwide to “GET OUT OF THE WATER.” It’s second sequel, however, is recognized for a very different reason. The first film had Spielberg in the driver’s seat, but this one gave audiences an incoherent plot, comically bad special effects and virtually no suspense.
“Return of the Living Dead Part II” 1988
“The Return of the Living Dead” is one of horror’s great comedies and introduced audiences to many popular punk and deathrock bands in Los Angeles. It’s sequel, unfortunately, failed to rise up to the occasion of the first film and was more funny than fearsome.
“Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” 1989
Once you hit the eighth movie in a horror franchise, it can be pretty tough to come up with new ideas. But, “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” had some serious potential when it came to scenarios surrounding the city. But, this film definitely read as a parody to the earlier films and is the worst performing film in the entire franchise.
“I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” 1998
“I Know What You Did Last Summer” was a big success, bringing some of the 1980’s best tropes into the next decade. But, several of the film’s original cast members didn’t return for the second film and to audiences, this film lacked the thrills that it’s predecessor provided.
With a title like “Feardotcom,” this movie was doomed from the start. It was considered so repulsive to audiences that critic Rob Gonsalves compared watching it to be sprayed by a Super-Soaker filled with sewage.
“Alone in the Dark” 2005
For a horror film that was based on a video game, we honestly couldn’t have expected greatness. This film attempts to tie together a multitude of confusing elements, from supernatural investigating to ancient Mayan civilizations to demon monsters from another dimension. Honestly, if you’re looking for a video game inspired horror movie, you’re better off settling for “Detective Pikachu.”
“The Fog” 2005
Remaking a horror movie by a legend like John Carpenter is a huge undertaking. And 2005’s “The Fog” certainly didn’t rise to the occasion. There aren’t a lot of good scares in this movie and when it comes to horror, that’s just unforgivable.
“When a Stranger Calls” 2006
As one of the first horror movies I personally saw, this film holds a special place in my heart. Yet, given a second look, I can admit that this movie was a big flop. This film was a remake of a 1979 cult classic, but dragged out the best parts to the point where it was unwatchable.
“One Missed Call” 2008
This film holds the number one spot for the worst horror movie (ratings wise) on Rotten Tomatoes. And there’s a reason for that. This film is extremely frustrating and one of the greatest examples of a J-horror remake gone terribly wrong.
“Prom Night” 2008
Again, this is one of the first horror movies I owned on DVD, but today, I have a more sophisticated taste for horror. This film was a remake of an ’80s classic and although it had many notable actors, it lacked the suspense and thrills expected of slasher films.
“The Haunting of Molly Hartley” 2008
If you were a young teenager during the late 2000s, this type of film drew you in hook line and sinker. With cast members from “Gossip Girl” and “90210,” this movie put all of it’s budget into a recognizable cast and forgot to write a memorable script.
This film is a major departure from Barton’s iconic horror performance in “The Sixth Sense,” proving actors don’t always get better with age. This film borrowed from many better films, notably “Misery” and didn’t deliver a story worth watching.
“The Devil Inside” 2012
Found footage and exorcism films were all the rage during this time, but this film that the combination doesn’t necessarily lead to great results. Also, don’t even get me started on the ending.
There was a lot to play with when it came to making this movie and as a genuine fan of Ouija boards, I (among many others) was extremely disappointed with this film. At least they redeemed themselves with “Ouija: Origin of Evil” two years later.
“Cabin Fever” 2016
Again, another classic horror movie that didn’t need remaking. This 2016 film definitely delivered on the gore, but fell short in almost every other area.
The original French film is one of the most hardcore and respected films in horror. This remake was completely unnecessary and lost all the edge of the 2008 original.
“The Disappointment Room” 2016
With disappointment in the title, this film really did it to itself. Although Kate Beckinsale is a great actor, the fact that this film was inspired by an episode of an HGTV show is a huge no-no.
There was a ton of hype behind “Rings,” as it was the much awaited third film in the wildly successfully “The Ring” franchise. But, this film definitely let down some hardcore horror fans because it left out many of the scares the series was known for.
“Slender Man” 2018
Taking inspiration from one of the biggest internet conspiracy series in recent years, this film had big potential to knock it out of the park. But, the weak script ignores much of the lore that could have made this film a huge success among critics and fans alike.
“Fantasy Island” 2020
2020 was a very tough year to release a movie, as no one was going to the theater, but maybe that was a good thing for this film. This film serves as a horror prequel to the 1977 television show of the same name and it’s the perfect example of a film that wasted a good idea with bad writing.