Weekend Roundtable: Overrated Horror Movies

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.

Luke Hickman

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.

Brian Hoss

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.

Josh Zyber

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.

19 comments

  1. Chris B

    I’d have to go ahead and agree with Luke on the original Blair Witch. I vividly remember going to see it with a group of friends the year it was released and being incredibly let down by it. There was audible laughter and growns in the theatre by the end if it. Major dissapointment.

  2. Ryan

    I agree about The Blair Witch Project, my friends and I went to see it and just laughed and asked what the hype was about.

    As for Saw I agree with parts 2-(whatever they stop with since more seem to be coming), but I did enjoy the original. The original was fairly tense and only focusing on the 2 guys in the bathroom helped it a lot…. Then they had to keep going and they got worse and worse, I do t even think I watch the last 1 or 2 releases in the franchise.

  3. ryan

    Paranormal Activity for me very dumb,corporate Horror. I agree about Suspiria cool movie but dumb story.In fact Josh El Rey Netwrok is playing Suspiria tonight at 9pm Thanks you guys rock

  4. Never forget going to see the first Saw movie with a big group of people. Most of them were really into it, and I just couldn’t understand why. It was awful. By the time Cary Elwes was feverishly hacking off his own leg to escape Jigsaw, I was doubled over laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was.

  5. Thulsadoom

    There are a lot of overrated horror movies… The Ring bored me to tears (the original and remake). Even my mother watched The Ring and was just bored. Blair Witch is a snorefest… I can’t get into most of the ‘modern’ horror movies either. All the ‘torture p**n’ as it’s called, is just boring and nasty. Give me good old-fashioned John Carpenter style horror, full of atmosphere and great characters… From Halloween or The Fog, through to The Thing or In the Mouth of Madness.

  6. Oculus. It got decent to good reviews when it was released, and when it showed up on Netflix and I started watching it, I was in agreement – at least up through the first act.

    Finally here was a horror film where the protagonists dedicate themselves to experimenting on the haunted object and documenting the experiment. They even had this terrifically thought-out kill switch in place over the offending mirror. This should have happened in so many different horror films and now finally it was happening. Science v. parascience at last!

    Then: premise abandoned. The second and third acts intercut past and present in a lame ghostly time travel plot.

  7. theHDphantom

    My picks would be Martyrs, It Follows, and The Babadook. Three extremely overrated “art house” horror films. They all had a couple creepy moments here and there, but ultimately all 3 had too many unintentionally funny moments that helped bring the films crumbling down. Today’s filmmakers just try too hard to create that next horror “classic” and it just ends up turning into portentous drivel.

    • Pedram

      I agree with the last two for sure. I haven’t seen the first one, but judging by the other two, I’m guessing I’d agree.

      • Clark

        I also agree with theHDphantom in regards to It Follows and The Babadook. Both are boring and not scary at all! Actually, I actually agree with Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity too. Both are so lame, they made me doze off in the movie theater.
        In regards to Saw, I liked the first movie.

    • Brian

      Agreed also on It Follows. I was very excited to watch it due to all the hype I was hearing. I watched it and was wondering if I really just didn’t get it or something because it did not do much for me.

    • Chaz

      Both of those were my favorite horror films over the past year, each was excellent in what they were trying to do. It Follows is such a throw back to classic Carpenter and of course the original Halloween, something extremely simple that works. I found it to be pretty damn creepy, the thing could be anyone at anytime and it slowly walks its way towards you and never stops or listens….I thought it was really effective and I was looking at people walking for a couple of days, lol. But I know lots of people out there that thought it was insanely stupid, it seems to be a pretty polarizing film, same can be said about the Babadook too, you either loved it or thought it was really dumb, no real in between but I think thats the case with most horror movies 🙂

  8. Pedram

    100% agree with Paranormal Activity. I heard lots of good things, but when I watched it with a friend who was also into horror, we were both thinking “Really? That was it?” afterwards. The ads made it out to seem like the next biggest thing in scares, but it ultimately left us quite disappointed and wondering where the scares were.

    As for the Saw series, I have to say that I enjoyed the first one, but then it went downhill from there.

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