Halloween is almost upon us, which makes now a great time to binge on horror movies. Sadly, some famous horror flicks, even a few considered classics, don’t live up to the hype around them. What popular horror movies let you down when you finally watched them?
M. Enois Duarte
The horror series that annoys me most and I find most stupidly overrated is the ‘Saw‘ franchise. Even as a crazed horror fanatic, I can’t stand it. The deaths are not only ridiculously elaborate and over-the-top, but they’re also pointless and lack even a shred of emotion. I love my gore, but I hate the idea of gore just for the sake of grossing out the audience, and that’s all this stupid series is.
The killer is a self-righteous moron who preaches his absurdly twisted brand of motivational demagoguery. Hell, he even looks like a wasted, meth-addict version of Tony Robbins! About the only positive that has come from the franchise is the admittedly awesome puppet on a tricycle. The Jigsaw doll is cool, but the movie is dumb and shouldn’t even be considered horror.
When it hit theaters in 1999, ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ had a lot of buzz since the pre-internet spoiler era allowed it to have some mystique behind it. It is really found footage? Or it is just a lightly scripted independent film? The nervous anticipation and its accompanying fear made for an astounding moviegoing experience. The emotional effects of the movie started much earlier than the movie itself. It was magnificent!
Unfortunately, you can only go through that experience once. After seeing the disappointing and lackluster movie itself, that feeling was entirely gone. At the age of 18, I remember asking myself, “That’s what all the hype was about?” I’m absolutely fine with horror movies that do nothing. Rising tension is fantastic, but when it’s strung along by whiny, bitching characters and concludes with a completely anticlimactic scary image, it has all been for naught.
Leading up to the movie, I was enamored by the idea of it. But after that first viewing, when all the buzz and marketing-created suspense was over, all I was left with was a bad movie.
Back in the early days of Netflix, some friends and I sought out several horror classics with a whole range of results. One that just had no horror type effect on us was the original 1973 ‘The Wicker Man‘. The reason I’m singling it out is because I hate when I reference the film’s denouement in conversation (say with regards to visiting a remote location) only to have people respond that they never saw the movie. While I think of it as an overrated movie, I wish more people would watch it just to get the joke reference.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
I lost track of how many times I’d been told what a grueling, unnerving, incomparably terrifying experience ‘Paranormal Activity‘ was, but it was enough for me to walk into a darkened theater with dizzyingly high expectations. Instead, I slumped out afterwards wondering, “Wait, that was it?”
Micah might’ve unseated Franklin from the original ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ as the single most grating, insufferable character in a horror flick ever, and his wife Katie is about as dreadful. Too actively repulsive to garner the least bit of sympathy, the two of them bicker, sleep and generally avoid doing much of anything. Even as a great admirer of such atmospheric ghost stories like ‘The Innocents’ and ‘The Changeling’ with little in the way of horror theatrics, none of the scares in ‘Paranormal Activity’ really land.
Oh no! Those keys were on the counter, but some mysterious force has nudged them onto the floor! You know what’s even more excruciatingly dull than watching home movies of two people sleeping? Those same two people playing back that footage afterwards! Thrill once again to lights mysteriously turning on and off, or bedsheets wiggling around.
If ‘Paranormal Activity’ sincerely is the most terrifying film you’ve ever been subjected to, then I can’t help but wonder what other horror movies you’ve watched. ‘Garfield’ Halloween specials don’t count.
‘Suspiria‘ is one of the most famous and renowned films from Dario Argento, the Italian maestro of splatter and gore. Essentially an artful slasher flick in which every frame is treated with painterly care and precision, the movie plays like a dark fairy tale with art direction and photography awash in symbolic splashes of color. From a design standpoint, the movie is pretty fascinating to watch. Unfortunately, if you pay any attention at all to the story when you watch a movie, this one is really stupid. I mean, REALLY stupid.
It’s basically just a pretentious version of a cheesy teens-in-danger slasher picture that relies on dull-witted characters who act stupidly for the convenience of the plot. The low point of this occurs when one poor girl falls into giant pit filled with piano wire. Why there would be a giant pit filled with piano wire in a school dormitory is never explained, and the girl could obviously see the wire before she steps into it yet does so anyway. It looks like she’s being killed by a big Slinky toy.
The acting (from an international cast all speaking different languages on set) is pretty terrible across the board, the once-shocking gore looks really hokey now, and the long dull stretches in between murders feel interminable. Even at just over 90 minutes, the movie wore out my patience long before its incredibly lame climax. From its reputation, I went into ‘Suspiria’ expecting to be wowed by it, but I found it to be a ridiculous bore.
Tell us in the Comments below about the famous horror movies that left you cold.