5 Unexpectedly Bad Horror Movies


Very recently, I wrote a piece about horror  films that completely caught me off guard when it came down to the surprisingly great quality department.  This is one of the many great things about the horror genre that we all know and love.  I would bet that every horror fan has had similar experiences where we go into a film with little or no expectations and end up being pleasantly surprised with the results on screen.  Then again, sometimes we have high expectations for horror films considering the names attached and the hype leading up to them and we end up getting very disappointed.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that any of the films mentioned are bad per se, but they didn’t come anywhere close to how great we figured they would be.  Here are five films that I expected to be good, but was instead left feeling let down.

Vanishing on 7th Street (Dir: Brad Anderson – 2010): Due to his involvement with Session 9, The Wire, The Machinist, and Transsiberian, anything that Brad Anderson has his hand in will immediately be watched by me.  The double edged sword here is that I will definitely hold his films to a certain standard of quality that I have come to expect from Brad Anderson’s previous work.  The Vanishing on 7th Street started strong and created a great atmosphere but after the first half hour the film kind of falls off of the rails.

When we actually get to know the main characters in the story, we quickly find out that they aren’t very likeable at all.  For me, this is a problem because I will quickly stop caring whether or not the characters live or die making the tension pretty much worthless.  Add in the fact that Brad Anderson hides pretty much everything in so far as the cause of the killer blackout shadows and the complete absence of any logic and we all get left with something that could have been great if the audience was thrown a bone at any time at all and not kept in the dark the entire time about every single plot element (ha, see what I did there?).

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (Dir: Martin Weisz – 2007): Alexandre Aja’s remake of The Hills Have Eyes wasn’t only one of the best horror films of the 00’s, but I would even go as far as saying it’s one of the best horror movies in the last 20 years.  Aja would sit out for the second film, but to compromise, we got a story written by Wes and Max Craven.  So, the pedigree was still there for a great film, but instead we were given a movie that completely stripped away everything great about Aja’s film.

There was nothing going on in this film under the surface whatsoever that could in any way be mistaken for a message.  The deep and subtle nods to the notion of family, American aggression, and who is “the other” are all gone and traded for a cookie cutter horror film that focuses on every cliché in the book.  I didn’t expect the film to be great, but for crying out loud I at least expected them to try and make it at least as good as the first film.  Hills Have Eyes 2 doesn’t attempt in any way to advance the horror genre and in reality, I could have completely done without this film.

Silent Hill (Dir: Christophe Gans – 2006): If there is one film on this list that I will get flak for deriding, it’s this one.  Now, I would like to say that Silent Hill wasn’t bad at all on its own merits and I am kind of being unfair putting it on the same list as some of these stinkers.  That being said, I expected the movie to be amazing, and it wasn’t.  I played the first 2 Silent Hill games until they were burned into my television, and waited patiently until Hollywood would finally realize how great this world would translate into a film.  The games were revolutionary in their cinematic qualities, attempting to merge the video game world with the world of film and they all worked wonderfully.

That is why I didn’t understand at all why the movie was so radically different from the games.  What really set me off however was the long scene at the end which completely spelled out the entire backstory for the audience that honestly left me feeling insulted.  I expected a lot with this film, maybe even too much.

My Soul to Take (Dir: Wes Craven – 2010): You know not that I think about It, I must really have a soft spot in my heart for the guy that created Freddy Kruger.  Every time the name Wes Craven is attached to anything, I immediately get excited because I truly believe that he has at least one more great horror film inside of him.  Then I go see the movie.  I leave bummed out all the time.  When I saw the previews for My Soul to Take it seemed like a neat film involving High School kids and some kid of weirdly cursed town which right there is something that I could get on board with.  Unfortunately, MSTT was boring, contrived, poorly written, and directed as if by one of the actual High School students.

The twist at the end isn’t even a twist since everyone who was still paying attention could have figured it out twenty minutes into the film.  It’s so boring and by the numbers that it’s impossible to even see it as a “good, bad horror film”.  With a little bit of tweaking, it probably could have made a decent Halloween centric Lifetime Movie.  Yes, that bad.

The Haunting in Connecticut (Dir: Peter Cornwell – 2009): I absolutely love ghost films.  I always salivate at the options available for a screenwriter to utilize with an enemy or force that doesn’t have to follow any kind of specific logic of space or time.  The Haunting in Connecticut however isn’t very interested in utilizing the brain power required to come up with that kind of neat stuff so instead we just get to see the same god damn ghost scares we’ve seen 1000 times before.  Guess what, we all know that you aren’t trying.


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      1. TerrorCorner August 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        I liked Silent Hill up until the ending- which I felt was un-necessarily bloody while the rest of the film was more moody atmosphere and suspenseful.  I didn’t mind “Haunting in Connecticut- though the original “A Haunting” episode it was based on was better in my opinion.

      2. Vamp_Slayer August 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

        I knew the Hills Have Eyes 2 would be bad when they announced a mutant who would be like a chameleon. I was right. I liked Silent Hill a lot though and I thought A Haunting in Connecticut was pretty good, but I didn’t have any expectations for it since I didn’t know a lot about it before seeing it.

      3. SevenUnearth August 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

        Same opinion than you on every film except that I like Silent hill for the great world around it and the prestance of pyramid head…Sooo fucking badass. Oh and I never watched My soul to take…well because of you. The trailer looked bad anyway.

        And I didn’t like hills because there was no story and the disgusting rape scene. Even A serbian’s film is less disgusting…hummm…no maybe not that much =P

      4. Googopqp August 22, 2011 at 11:09 am

        The picture from Hills Have Eyes 2 I thought was like Monsturd or something, I was like wait, you thought that would be good? lol that one was such a dissapointment.

      5. pinkzombieprincess August 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

        Saw all of these except for Hills have eyes 2..was just not interested lol. These movies were all slightly disappointing even tho I did like most of them. I enjoyed the Haunting in Conneticut the most but there was something missing to it..I just felt they could have done a little more.

      6. Mark C September 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        What about The Cabin In The Wood and the ending is just bonkers and also The Thing Remake which is awful

        • Jeff A September 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm

          You didn’t like Cabin? Me, and the 10 people I went with thought it was simply the BEST!!! (OK, maybe not as a horror film, but sheer entertainment value?? the BEST!), and the ENDING WAS UNFORGETTABLE!! It was EXCELLENT!!

        • Super8rocks September 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

          I saw Cabin in the Woods 3 times the opening week. Loved it! I also saw My Soul To Keep over 2 years before it was released. It’s title back then was 25/8 too and that version of it was actually really good. Wes was at the screening and I gave him a thumbs up afterward. They need to release that version.

          Oh, and the first half of Silent Hill was really good.

      7. Tiago September 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        I liked The Hills Have Eyes 2. I had fun with that movie. It is not brilliant, but fairly good. and everything good about Aja’s remake was in the original.

      8. David Flack ( wolfie) September 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm

        i haven’t seen vanishing on 7th street or my soul to keep, and fair enough about the other two but i disagree about ” A Haunting In Connectcut” i thought it was very good.

      9. Herner Klenthur September 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

        Hey Wolfie give Vanishing a chance. I watched it on NETFLIX and it was pretty solid!

      10. Mike September 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        Vanishing was solid. As was Silent Hill. Have to agree with the rest, though. Just horrible. The Ward should be on here, too.

      11. S David Staggs September 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        I personally liked Vanishing and Silent Hill. Not sure why they made this list. But all the others i completely agree with!

      12. Mike New September 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

        Awesome list! Surprisingly, I liked my soul to take. I guess it is because Wes Craven was behind it. I really was disapointed with Hills have eyes 2 since the first one was awesome. I really like Cabin in the woods. I had to watch it a second go around to realize that. The first time I was indifferent. I am sure there are plenty of other movies that could be added on this list.

      13. Dennis Francis September 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

        I loved Vanishing and Haunting. Hills 2 I was indifferent about because it just seemed they wanted to capitalize on the Gore porn that every Horror film was dishing out around that time. Silent Hill would have been a masterpiece if it hadnt been for the long ending which was unnecessary. My Soul To Take was decent.

        And for the other comments. Cabin In The Woods is an art piece. Simple as that. its a special movie to not be taken seriously that is hand down the best Comedy/Horror in decades.

        I disagree with The Ward because i think it was a solid outing for Mr. Carpenter himself.

        The Thing remake or whatever it was supposed to be should be on this list for sure though. A lot of expectations going into the film and it was absolutely terrible.

        • Tiago September 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

          I really think it is unfair to label Hills 2 as Torture porn. It has one rape scene ( a great one, by the way) and most of the movie is about isolation and survival. It is a cliche, well, because it works. Not brilliant, but good movie. Weird ending, I didin’t like that.
          Cabin in The Woods fails as a comedy and as an horror movie. It wants to be a smart meta horror comedy, but it’s just not.

      14. bob101910 September 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        I find it hard to believe you had high expectations for Silent Hill since 99% of movies based off video games are nearly unwatchable. I hated the older games, so I was glad that the movie was only a little like it. The biggest problem I had with it, is that they barely showed any creatures. Luckily they changed that for the sequel.

        The most unexpectedly bad horror movie for me was Cabin in the Woods. I heard it was one of the greatest horror movies ever made and then it turned out it had maybe 15 minutes of awesomeness. Reminded me of Breaking Bad, everybody loves it, but there’s only 5 minutes per episode that are worth watching.

        • Herner Klenthur September 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

          I had never played the game. Thought the movie would be great but it was not.

      15. Rafizan September 30, 2013 at 4:24 am

        Mr. Poppa does not like THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2?? That “You give me babies” line is the only one I still remember till this very day from a movie! And the audience at that time was so involved by a movie that kind of heightened up the whole movie-watching experience. And that seals the deal for me why I need to watch movies at cineplexes instead of downloading.

      16. Kate September 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm

        I didn’t even *see* The Hills Have Eyes 2, because once I heard that Aja wouldn’t be involved, I opted out. And it seems that I was correct.

        I’m the same as you – I played Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3 until they were worn out. No movie has EVER scared me the way that those games did, and the only game to reach that level of terror since has been the first Dead Space. I liked the Silent Hill movie, but it’s one of those movies I like, even though I know it has a lot of flaws but I just can’t help myself. I put it in the same category as Event Horizon. Silent Hill could have been so much better. I just hope that if they ever do a Dead Space movie, it will turn out.

      17. David Carlile September 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm

        I think this article could of been worded differently. What I mean by this is how expectations of a movie and how they felt after watching it are so different. Some movies are still okay but you are left feeling that they could of been great. Silent Hill was good but knowing the game and after watching the trailer I thought it could of been way better if they would of followed the game. I liked the new Thing but was still disappointed that they couldn’t create the same tension and excitement of the 80s Thing. I didn’t like Cabin In the Woods because I expected something else. Some people love that movie so it goes to show that everyone expectations are different.

      18. Christina October 3, 2013 at 2:46 am

        I really liked the Silent Hill, however, the second one could have definitely made the list. Also, I think Haunting is one of the few ghost stories I actually like. But, good thought on your list.

      19. Nick October 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

        That’s what I love about this site. Everyone has the right to their own opinion without fear of being bashed for it. I agree with most of your list but I have to disagree with you on Silent Hill. I loved the effects and the mood and I felt that it capture the spirit of the games fairly well. It is one of my favorite films. Outside of that I think your list is pretty spot on. I did enjoy My Soult To Take but mainly because I am a total Wes Craven geek and enjoy anything the man puts out. Keep up the good work!!

        • Tiago October 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          I also love this web site.
          But from the comments here, we see a lot of people without own opinion. Taking group opinions and making it their own. I call it the collective idiots. And they are often very offended by any real individual opinion.

      20. jeff October 25, 2013 at 3:35 am

        I agree with haunting in Connecticut, my soul to take, and hills have eyes 2. I would also include dark skies and world war z (even though it is more of an action movie).