100 worst horror movies of all time, according to critics
100 worst horror movies of all time, according to critics
A tradition as old as the genre itself, bad horror films fluctuate from guilty pleasures to unwatchable train wrecks. While most have been forgotten in time, a choice few persist as the stuff of midnight movie legend. Directors such as Ed Wood and Uwe Boll endure as kings of camp, occupying their respective spaces in the annals of cinematic history. It might be bad cinematic history, but it's history nonetheless.
Thanks to the work of these anti-pioneers, the nearest streaming service contains a treasure trove of clunky dialogue, cheesy special effects, atrocious acting, and all-around poor execution. And remember: just because there are copious amounts of gore, that doesn't mean the film is actually scary.
To prove that buckets of blood don't necessarily make for a passable horror flick, Stacker is listing the 100 worst horror films of all time, according to the critics. Each one was culled from the last five pages of Metacritic, a site that compiles movie reviews from the professionals (though it also has a user section). In order to qualify for the list, each film needed at least four reviews or more; the data was updated Dec. 13, 2018. Ties were broken by the number of reviews, counted by Metacritic. So grab the popcorn, pull up a chair, and prepare to laugh at movies that were aiming for at least one scream.
Counting down from really bad to completely terrible, here are the 100 worst horror films of all time, according to the critics.
RELATED: Worst thrillers in movie history
#100. Maximum Overdrive
Director: Stephen King
Horror legend Stephen King learned he should stick to writing the hard way, when he directed this adaptation of his own short story in 1986. In the film, Emilio Estevez and others do battle against homicidal vehicles and appliances at a truck stop. As reviewer Ken Hanke put it: “This is why other people usually direct King's writing.”
#99. Sorority Row
Director: Stewart Hendler
Starring Rumer Willis, Audrina Patridge, and Carrie Fisher, this campy misfire falls far short of the cheesy slasher flicks it tries to imitate. The terror begins after a group of sorority girls accidentally kills one of their own during a prank gone awry. As the sisters cover their tracks, a sadistic killer hunts them down one by one.
#98. Piranha 3DD
Director: John Gulager
On the heels of a trashy cult hit came this 2012 sequel, which was just plain trash, according to critics. In the film, deadly piranhas with an appetite for bosoms and blood terrorize a newly opened waterpark. Despite the gory premise, most critics took the film to task over its plodding pace.
#97. One Missed Call
Director: Eric Valette
“One Missed Call” is a “wrong number,” according to Entertainment Weekly. Based on a Japanese horror film, which was in turn based on a novel, the 2008 movie finds a group of people receiving mysterious voicemails from their future selves. Included in the messages are details of each respective person's impending death.
#96. The Pyramid
Director: Grégory Levasseur
History has all but forgotten this paltry excuse for a horror movie, in which archaeologists unleash a deadly creature inside a lost pyramid. As the creature hunts down its prey, audiences struggle to stay awake. It's no wonder that The Hollywood Reporter dubbed this film “a stinker in every sense.”
#93. Saw 3D (tie)
Director: Kevin Greutert
The “Saw” franchise opened on a high note in 2004 and went downhill from there, wallowing at rock bottom by the time this 2010 installment came along. It follows a group of the villain Jigsaw's survivors as they fall under the leadership of a self-help guru, eventually becoming ensnared in a new set of sadistic torture games. No amount of 3D gimmickry could save this one from the trash heap.
#93. Stay Alive (tie)
Director: William Brent Bell
Failing to deliver on a potentially sound (albeit contrived) premise, this 2006 thriller centers on a video game with the power to kill in real life. At the root of the terror is a deadly countess named Elizabeth Bathory, based on a 16th-century Hungarian noblewoman and alleged serial killer. The critic for Toronto's Globe and Mail said the film “tries to be a video game but is less entertaining than a vending machine.”
#93. Captivity (tie)
Director: Roland Joffé
At the height of the so-called “torture porn” craze came this 2007 clunker, about a fashion model (Elisha Cuthbert) who suffers unspeakable horrors at the hands of her abductor. Before the film was even released, it stirred up controversy by way of a grotesque billboard and poster campaign. As it turned out, the posters were scarier than the movie itself.
#92. Apollo 18
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Presented as found footage from a secret moon expedition, this 2011 horror movie pretends to expose what really happened to two American astronauts. The film actually made some money at the box office, though most viewers found it to be a bore. New York Times critic Mike Hale called it a “drab combination of science-fiction horror film and conspiracy thriller.”
#91. The Skulls
Director: Rob Cohen
This poorly executed thriller stars Joshua Jackson as Luke McNamara, a college senior who gets recruited into a secret society. What at first seems like a world of luxurious privilege soon reveals itself to be something far more deadly. Can Luke uncover the truth before falling victim to the society's evil ways?
Director: Nick Hamm
In this 2004 flop, a couple (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn) agrees to have their dead son cloned in hopes of recapturing what they lost. A bizarre doctor with potentially ulterior motives oversees the procedure, played by Robert De Niro. As the young boy ages and begins to exhibit strange tendencies, the couple wonders if they've made a terrible mistake.
#89. Hollow Man
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Taking cues from H.G. Wells' novel “The Invisible Man,” this sci-fi thriller follows a scientist (Kevin Bacon) as he gains the powers of invisibility. Unfortunately, side effects may include insanity, stalker issues, and homicidal impulses. Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven later said it was the only movie of his that he couldn't defend, and that's coming from the man who made “Showgirls.”
#87. Make a Wish (tie)
Director: Sharon Ferranti
Injecting an extra dose of camp into the “camp horror” genre is this obscure dud, in which a group of women heads into the wilderness for a birthday celebration. When it turns out a deadly fugitive is on the loose, the women must put their romantic entanglements on hold while squaring off against a common enemy. According to New York Times critic Dave Kehr, the film's shoddy execution is “almost enough to make ‘Friday the 13th' look like a masterpiece.”
#87. Temple (tie)
Director: Michael Barrett
Critics and audiences alike agree that this 2017 movie is about as bad as modern horror can get. In the film, three American tourists head deep into the jungle of Japan, where they encounter an ancient temple and the deadly spirits therein. Reportedly intended as an homage to Japanese horror, the film “fails to provide any real scares,” according to Los Angeles Times critic Kimber Myers.
#86. Pay the Ghost
Director: Uli Edel
After his son goes missing during a Halloween carnival, Professor Mike Lawford (Nicolas Cage) sees ghostly apparitions and receives cryptic messages. Determined to get to the truth of the matter, Lawford and his estranged wife embark on a quest to find their son once and for all. Somewhere along the way, a ghost presumably gets paid. Hopefully Cage did too, as this clunker has cash grab written all over it.
#84. Yoga Hosers (tie)
Director: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith's directing career hit a low point with this 2016 effort, which stars his daughter Harley Quinn Smith and actress Lily-Rose Depp in the lead roles. Set in Canada, the movie follows two yoga-loving main characters as they do battle against an evil entity. Should the girls fail, their upcoming party plans will totally fall apart.
#84. Underworld: Blood Wars (tie)
Director: Anna Foerster
The latest “Underworld” installment is also the worst, according to the majority of critics. It sees Kate Beckinsale reprise her role as a vampire death dealer named Selene. Facing enemies on all sides, Selene must finally put an end to the war between the Lycans and Vampires.
#83. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Putting an unnecessary twist on a classic fairy tale, this 2013 horror-fantasy flick stars Jeremy Renner as Hansel and Gemma Arterton as Gretel. Having developed a knack for bounty hunting, the duo tracks down a child-abducting witch named Muriel (Famke Janssen). New York Post critic Lou Lumenick might have said it best when he called the film “an exceedingly dull and stillborn attempt to update the Brothers Grimm.”
Director: Louis Morneau
Genetically altered bats are terrorizing the residents of a small Texas town, and only a bat expert (Dina Meyer) and local sheriff (Lou Diamond Phillips) can stop them in this reviled sci-fi thriller. One critic suggested that the “visual jolts may please horror buffs.” If the movie's paltry IMDb rating is anything to go by, that critic was wrong.
#81. Darkness Falls
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
It was only a matter of time before a deadly tooth fairy showed up in the horror genre, and that time was 2003. To be fair, the tooth fairy in “Darkness Falls” is actually an ancient evil spirit in disguise. Nevertheless, critics and audiences weren't exactly impressed.
#80. The Snowman
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Based on the best-selling novel, this 2017 mystery thriller stars Michael Fassbender as detective Harry Hole. With help from a new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), Hole tries to stop a weather-obsessed serial killer from striking before the next snowfall. Director Tomas Alfredson would later attribute the movie's many shortcomings to the fact that he was unable to shoot 10–15% of the script during production.
#78. Cannibal Holocaust (tie)
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Years before “The Blair Witch Project” took the country by storm, this inventive horror flick included (fake) footage of Amazonian cannibals feeding on a documentary film crew. The movie stirred up plenty of controversy and quickly became a cult sensation, due to its realistic depiction of gruesome murder. According to Metacritic, that doesn't mean it's actually any good.
#78. Maniac (tie)
Director: William Lustig
Bolstered by its psychological underpinnings and creepy synth music, this would-be-generic slasher flick distinguishes itself from the herd thanks to legions of horror buffs. As a result, the story of a crazed killer with mommy issues has retained a cult following over the years. If the professional critics are anything to go by, however, viewers might want to watch the 2012 remake instead.
#77. Dark House
Director: Victor Salva
Filmmaker Victor Salva struck horror movie gold with the “Jeepers Creepers” franchise, but that didn't stop this 2014 effort from tanking on every conceivable front. It centers on a man with the ability to see exactly how people will die when he touches them. In hopes of finding his father, the man heads to an abandoned mansion deep in the woods, where deadly secrets and tired genre tropes await.
#75. Friday the 13th (tie)
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
This iconic slasher film might have spawned a full blown franchise, but it's not a very good movie by most cinematic standards. Set in Crystal Lake, the film follows a group of camp counselors as they're stalked by a masked killer. Numerous installments would follow, as would video games, a TV series, countless merchandise, and a 2009 remake.
#75. Exists (tie)
Director: Eduardo Sánchez
At the heart of this 2014 found footage film is a question that's been plaguing mankind for ages: Does Bigfoot exist? As it turns out, he does, and he's not in a particularly good mood. That's bad news for a group of friends, who find themselves being stalked by the hairy beast while camping in the Texas Big Thicket forest.
Directors: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz
A controversial French film got an American makeover in 2015, and the result was this lackluster horror drama. In the movie, a former kidnap victim seeks out her abductors and enacts a brutal revenge. After a friend arrives to help clean up the mess, the two become embroiled in a much larger conspiracy.
#73. Shark Night 3D
Director: David R. Ellis
Aiming to capitalize on the killer shark genre, this 3D horror movie sics hundreds of the underwater eaters on a group of vacationers in the Louisiana Gulf. It comes from the director of “Snakes on a Plane,” but fails to deliver the same level of cheesy thrills. Movie critic Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News called it “a boring B-movie that turns up dead in the water.”
#72. Black Christmas
Director: Glen Morgan
In this uninspired remake, a homicidal maniac returns to his childhood home to discover it's been converted into a sorority house. What's a maniac to do but kill off the sorority sisters one by one, and on Christmas Eve no less? The movie goes big on gore and even tries to incorporate a range of psychological themes, but it ultimately fails as entertainment.
#70. The Gracefield Incident (tie)
Director: Mathieu Ratthe
Another clunker from the found footage genre, this 2017 film finds three couples squaring off against an alien presence during a camping trip. The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck said the film was “so formulaic and unoriginal that its poster should accompany the dictionary definition of derivative.”
#70. The Zodiac (tie)
Director: Alexander Bulkley
Leading up to the release of David Fincher's modern-day classic, there came this certifiable turkey from Alexander Bulkley. It similarly depicts the reign of terror enacted by the famous Zodiac Killer in late 1960s San Francisco, as seen through the eyes of an investigator and his son. Movie critic Bruce Westbrook fittingly dubbed it “the B-team version of the story” in his review for the Houston Chronicle.
#69. Ice from the Sun
Director: Eric Stanze
Filmed in Super-8 millimeter, this gory horror fantasy puts a dimension-hunting assassin on the trail of a sworn enemy. As the story progresses, so too does the bad acting and poor production value. What results is “barely a movie,” according to one critic.
#68. Ghost Team One
Directors: Ben Peyser, Scott Rutherford
Hoping to impress a female ghost hunter, two male roommates unwittingly unleash a lustful demon inside their home. It all goes down in this 2013 horror comedy, which puts a subversive spin on the typical found footage fare. Critics and audiences alike were horrified by everything but the scare tactics.
#67. Hellraiser: Bloodline
Directors: Alan Smithee, Kevin Yagher
The name of director Alan Smithee alone should serve as a forewarning of a terrible movie, one critic argued after enduring this movie. So it goes with the fourth “Hellraiser,” which partly takes place aboard a space station in the year 2127. Things only get worse from there.
#66. The Order
Director: Brian Helgeland
A rare misfire for star Heath Ledger, this 2003 religious thriller kicks off with a string of unexplained murders involving a secret society known as The Order. When a young priest (Ledger) investigates, he ends up confronting centuries of unspeakable evil. If it all sounds like a half-baked follow-up to “The Exorcist,” that's because it is.
#65. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Director: Danny Cannon
In this critically panned sequel, the fisherman and his deadly hook are back to terrorize a pair of survivors from the first film (Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr.). That brings the killer to an exclusive island resort, where plenty of other potential victims roam. If the cheesy title isn't enough to make audiences laugh out loud, the shoddy execution should inspire at least a few chuckles.
Director: Jimmy Loweree
Absence does not make the heart grow fonder when it comes to this 2013 found footage fiasco. After a pregnant woman's baby mysteriously disappears from her womb, she and her husband become suspects in a missing child case. Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News asks, “Can we stop remaking ‘The Blair Witch Project' already?”
#62. Would You Rather (tie)
Director: David Guy Levy
Metacritic goes harder on this 2012 horror flick than Rotten Tomatoes, though most critics agree it represents a missed opportunity. The premise is simple enough: A young woman agrees to partake in a deadly game of “Would You Rather” in order to help her ailing brother. It all sounds like cheap thrills in the making, but the film itself left critics more than a little disappointed.
#62. Soul Survivors (tie)
Director: Stephen Carpenter
After surviving a horrible car accident, a college freshman named Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) finds herself straddling a world between the living and the dead. Haunted by all sorts of terrifying visions, Cassie searches for love while trying to avoid the lure of darkness. Movie critic Carla Meyer summed things up nicely when she claimed the movie is a “truly awful mix of bad direction, nonsensical storyline and dialogue that appears to have been made up on the spot.”
#61. Saw V
Director: David Hackl
Audiences were slightly more receptive to the fifth “Saw” installment than the critics were, though most agree it represents a low point for the franchise. As one might expect, the movie follows a group of people as they endure a series of gruesome tests. Critic Elizabeth Weitzman said the film was as “disappointing as a Halloween bag filled with nothing but raisins.”
#60. A Haunted House
Director: Michael Tiddes
From some of the same people behind the “Scary Movie” franchise came “A Haunted House,” which pokes fun at various found footage horror films. Cowritten by and starring Marlon Wayans, the movie and its endless barrage of tasteless jokes earned a drubbing from the critics. Nevertheless, it made enough money to yield a similarly abysmal sequel.
#59. I Spit on Your Grave
Director: Meir Zarchi
Despite a handful of negative reviews over on Metacritic, this 1978 slasher pic endures as something of a cult classic. After a female writer is brutally attacked and left for dead, she seeks gory revenge on the men who abused her. A pointless remake was released in 2010.
#58. The Hillside Strangler
Director: Chuck Parello
The real-life killing sprees of Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono (aka The Hillside Stranglers) inspired this critically reviled film from 2004. Less of a true story account than it is a gory exploitation pic, the movie was dubbed a “relentlessly sadistic exercise” by Ron Stringer of L.A. Weekly. C. Thomas Howell and Nicholas Turturro star.
#57. Species II
Director: Peter Medak
The second time is not the charm for the “Species” franchise, about deadly aliens with a penchant for sex and death. Returning to the fold is actress Natasha Henstridge, who plays a cloned version of her previous character. Two more installments would eventually follow.
#56. The Covenant
Director: Renny Harlin
After more or less ruining “The Exorcist” franchise, director Renny Harlin botched religious-themed horror once again in 2006. In “The Covenant,” four supernatural teenage boys do battle against an evil force while dealing with drama from within. Critic Elizabeth Weitzman called it a “profoundly mediocre supernatural thriller.”
#54. Halloween: Resurrection (tie)
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Before the 2018 resurrection of the “Halloween” franchise, there was this previous installment from 2002. It similarly found scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, who does battle against vicious serial killer Michael Myers. The outcome was so abominable that the franchise itself stayed buried for 16 years.
#54. Virus (tie)
Director: John Bruno
“It's an unbelievably bad movie, just bad from the bottom,” said Jamie Lee Curtis of this 1999 bomb. The critics were apt to agree. In the film, Curtis and others (including Donald Sutherland) square off against an alien life form aboard an abandoned ship.
#53. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice
Director: David Price
If one can believe it, the consistently terrible “Children of the Corn” franchise has yielded eight movies to date. Originally based on a short story by Stephen King, the series centers on a cult of farm children who ritualistically murder their elders whenever given the chance. To the chagrin of critics, the second installment was far from the “The Final Sacrifice.”
#52. The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Blob-like aliens are attacking Earth and it's up to five young men and women to stop them in this poor excuse for an invasion movie. Starring Emile Hirsch among others, the film takes place in Moscow. In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Keith Staskiewicz asserted that “you might as well be rooting for the blobs. Most likely, though, you'll just be rooting for the credits.”
#50. The Apparition (tie)
Director: Todd Lincoln
Playing like a greatest hits compilation of the genre's most tired tropes, this 2012 horror flick finds a couple accidentally conjuring a deadly spirit during a university experiment. Soon enough, the supernatural entity begins haunting the couple in their very own home. Entertainment Weekly critic Keith Staskiewicz wrote in his review: “With more telegraphed scares than Samuel Morse on Halloween, it still might give you a restless night, but only because you fell asleep in the theater.”
#50. BloodRayne (tie)
Director: Uwe Boll
No list of the worst horror films is complete without German director Uwe Boll, and he makes his first appearance with this lambasted 2005 flop. Based on a video game series, the movie follows a human-vampire hybrid as she embarks on a quest for revenge. Despite tanking at the box office, the film paved the way for two equally terrible sequels.
Director: Jamie Blanks
Landing in 2001 with an instant splat on the Tomatometer, this contrived horror flick follows a group of women as they're stalked by a killer in a cherub mask. It all amounts to a disappointing Valentine's Day for the characters, critics, and audiences alike. Denise Richards stars.
#48. The Devil Inside
Director: Joaquin Perea
Proving that for every one good found footage film there are about 20 terrible ones is this exercise in pure nonsense from 2010. In the film, an American documentarian travels to Italy to learn more about her potentially possessed mother. According to Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, it's a movie that “will make you puke for all the wrong reasons.”
#47. The Lodger
Director: David Ondaatje
A surprisingly decent cast (that includes Alfred Molina and Hope Davis) couldn't save this obscure thriller from ending up in the trash heap. In the film, a couple rents out a room in their house to a mysterious tenant, who may or may not be a vicious murderer. Based on the same novel as the eponymous Alfred Hitchcock movie, a classic this was not.
#46. I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Director: Mark Edwin Robinson
Mischa Barton goes looking for her missing boyfriend and ends up inside a haunted high-rise in this 2012 clunker. Audiences did not follow this one into the dark theaters, to say the least. Giving the movie a 0 out of 5 rating, critic Elizabeth Weitzman called it “an embarrassment for everyone involved.”
#45. Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
Director: Tyler Perry
On the heels of the marginally better original came this awful sequel from Tyler Perry. Starring Perry himself as multiple characters, the horror comedy puts Madea and the gang on the run from monsters, goblins, and the bogeyman. Uninspired bits and tired jokes ensue.
#44. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Director: Adam Marcus
The ninth installment of the “Friday the 13th” franchise promised to be the last, and its producers waited a good eight years before breaking that promise. At the very least, the movie explains Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins, albeit with striking incompetence. Critic Stephen Holden called it a “largely incoherent movie” in his review for The New York Times.
#43. Prom Night
Director: Nelson McCormick
In this 2008 remake, Donna (Brittany Snow) and her friends have their senior prom ruined by an obsessive killer. Tethered to a trite formula and a PG-13 rating, the supposed horror movie fails to deliver on every front. As critic Jeannette Catsoulis put it in her review for The New York Times, “the movie offers less gore than the average Band-Aid commercial and fewer scares than the elimination episodes of ‘Dancing With the Stars.'”
#42. See No Evil
Director: Gregory Dark
One of the first major films from WWE Studios stars wrestling icon Kane as a 7-foot menace named Jacob Goodnight. Armed with razor-sharp fingernails, Goodnight proceeds to terrorize a group of delinquents at the Blackwell Hotel. A sequel no one asked for came out in 2014.
#41. A Haunted House 2
Director: Michael Tiddes
As if the first installment weren't tiresome enough, Marlon Wayans and company returned with “A Haunted House 2” in 2014. Like its predecessor, this one poked fun at the found footage horror genre by way of fart jokes and more fart jokes. As with the original movie, critics ripped it apart.
#40. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
Director: Tom Six
A follow up to the ludicrous cult hit “The Human Centipede (First Sequence),” this repulsive sequel aims to outdo its predecessor in every possible regard. It follows a man who watches the original movie on DVD, and then tries to make a human centipede that's 12-people-long. The result is an hour and a half of epically bad taste.
#39. Bless the Child
Director: Chuck Russell
Based on a novel, this uninspired horror film centers on a supernaturally gifted young girl named Cody. After Cody is kidnapped by a satanic cult, her adoptive aunt (Kim Basinger) teams up with a detective (Jimmy Smits) in order to track her down. Movie critic Lisa Schwarzbaum called “Bless the Child” an “abysmally stupid drama.”
Director: Tom Nagel
A violent gang of killer clowns stalks a group of friends in this low-rent horror flick. While deadly clowns are a common staple in the horror genre, their presence here fails to whip up even the slightest chill. It's then no wonder that Variety critic Dennis Harvey claimed the film was “arguably less scary than ‘Big Top Pee-Wee.'”
#37. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Director: Danny Steinmann
In this lame-brained installment, Jason Voorhees returns from the dead once again to terrorize a group of mentally disturbed teenagers at a halfway house. Or is the real culprit Tommy Jarvis, who once killed Jason Voorhees and has been in mental institutions ever since? All answers will be revealed after copious amounts of cheesy acting, senseless nudity, and explicit gore.
#36. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Director: Michael J. Bassett
Coming at viewers in 3D was this 2012 video game adaptation, which follows up on a previous film. Wasting a fairly talented cast, the movie suffers from clunky writing and bad pacing, among other problems. Movie critic Nathan Rabin described the film as “stiff, episodic, and disjointed.”
Director: William Malone
One among numerous horror films to incorporate the internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this movies centers on a deadly website called feardotcom(.com). As a detective (Stephen Dorff) investigates the matter, he soon realizes that the only way to solve the case is to visit the site himself. One critic called it the “cinematic equivalent of spam in your e-mail inbox.”
#34. Urban Legends: Final Cut
Director: John Ottman
The popularity of the “Scream” franchise kicked off a slew of similar fare, including 1995's “Urban Legends” and this 2000 sequel. Set on a college campus, it follows a film school student as she and her crew fall victim to an elusive killer. The urban legends theme provides a backdrop for what ultimately amounts to a generic slasher pic.
#33. Lost Souls
Director: Janusz Kaminski
Winona Ryder headlines this anemic thriller, in which her character must prevent the devil from taking human form. To accomplish her goal, she must convince an atheist journalist (Ben Chaplin) that he's been chosen as the next antichrist. The film resorts to so many ludicrous plot points that it “evokes unintentional laughs,” according to one reviewer.
#32. Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
Directors: James Cameron, Miller Drake, Ovidio G. Assonitis
The debut feature from acclaimed director James Cameron is his worst by a wide margin. Awash with B-movie tropes, it sees swarms of mutant piranhas descending on an island resort. To be fair, Cameron was fired mid-shoot over creative differences.
Director: Robert Legato
Breaking into an abandoned insane asylum turns deadly for four friends in this 2017 horror movie. A premise ripe for cheap thrills gets undercut by poor production value and botched execution. The movie received a mere 15% rating on Metacritic, and the rare 0% over on Rotten Tomatoes.
#29. House of the Dead (tie)
Director: Uwe Boll
Uwe Boll returns to the list with another dreadful video game adaptation. In “House of the Dead,” college students flee from hordes of zombies on a mysterious island. It would be years before Boll retired, after audiences gave him the title of “world's worst director.”
#29. Jaws: The Revenge (tie)
Director: Joseph Sargent
It would take a feat of strength to top the awfulness of 1983's “Jaws 3-D,” but this fourth installment was up to the task. True to its name, the film finds the infamous great white shark targeting Chief Brody's family in pursuit of revenge. Legendary critic Roger Ebert wrote that this is “not simply a bad movie, but also a stupid and incompetent one.”
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Bringing nothing new to the haunted house premise, this 2004 horror film follows a girl (Anna Paquin) and her family to an old house in the Spanish countryside. It's here that they come across an ancient evil lurking within the walls, which has been patiently waiting for them to arrive. In the words of critic Nathan Rabin, “It's not even bad enough to be any fun.”
#27. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Director: Joe Berlinger
The first “Blair Witch Project” reinvented the possibilities of the horror genre, which only made this 2000 sequel that much more disappointing. Eschewing the found footage approach in favor of traditional cinematography, the movie sends a group of Blair Witch enthusiasts deep into the woods. What follows is generic horror of the lowest order.
Director: Eli Morgan Gesner
Blending elements of comedy and gore to lackluster effect, this 2015 horror film follows a spoiled rich girl as she moves into a condemned apartment building. After her fellow squatters drink from a toxic water supply, they become zombie-like killers. Critic Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter dubbed it as “one of the most egregiously awful horror films in recent memory.”
#25. The Offering
Director: Kelvin Tong
Movie producers apparently never tire of ripping off movies like “The Exorcist” or “The Ring.” Enter “The Offering” (also known as “The Faith of Anna Waters”), in which a young girl travels to Singapore and crosses paths with a demonic entity.
#24. Cabin Fever
Director: Travis Zariwny
By updating Eli Roth's semi-derivative cult classic for no good reason, this gruesome horror comedy comes off as all the more contrived. In the film, five friends encounter a flesh-eating disease while staying in a woodsy cabin. It's more or less exactly like the original, but with worse acting.
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Using the recordings left behind during a massacre, two detectives try to figure out exactly what happened and who was responsible. The idea sounds promising enough, but the film itself is little more than a sloppy take on the found footage genre. Capping the action off is a “stupendously idiotic ending,” according to New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis.
#22. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Director: Rob Hedden
Here's a horror movie that's exactly as stupid as it sounds. It sees Jason Voorhees taking a near-literal slice out of the Big Apple, one victim at a time. An early poster with Jason slashing through the “I Love NY” logo was withdrawn after the city's tourist bureau threatened to sue, and that's the most interesting thing about this film.
#20. Armed Response (tie)
Director: John Stockwell
Actor Wesley Snipes' glory days were far behind him when he starred in this 2017 dud, which was coproduced by WWE Studios. In the film, Snipes and his team of military operatives square off against a deadly enemy inside a high-tech compound. Rife with bad acting and clunky dialogue, “Armed Response” is so inadequate and campy that it just might be worth watching.
#20. Murder-Set-Pieces (tie)
Director: Nick Palumbo
Chronicling the exploits of a homicidal fashion photographer, this gruesome splatter pic takes its protagonist on a Las Vegas killing spree. Heavy on disturbing imagery, but light on substance, the movie ultimately comes off as a race to the blood-soaked bottom. One critic described it as “nothing more than a gory, bloodsoaked snuff film, reveling in its own shock value.”
#19. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Director: John Carl Buechler
Another “Friday the 13th” installment invariably means another bad horror film, and “Part VII” duly abides. This time around, a telekinetic girl accidentally frees Jason Voorhees from the bottom of a lake and then sets out to stop him. The film was reportedly stripped of its best and bloodiest scenes while trying to avoid an “X” rating, meaning a marginally better version might be out there somewhere.
#18. Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras
Directors: Karl DeMolay, Mike Lyddon, Will Frank
With a title like “Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras,” it's safe to say this cheesy horror movie wasn't exactly striving for critical approval. Still, being called “unwatchably bad” or “amateurish and incoherent” probably stung a little. As one might have guessed, the film features a zombie wreaking havoc in New Orleans.
#17. Jersey Shore Massacre
Director: Paul Tarnopol
It might sound like sadistic wish fulfillment in the making, but “Jersey Shore Massacre” had most people simply wishing they'd never sat down to watch it. Blending comedy and horror to cloying effect, the movie puts a group of meatheads and divas in the path of a deranged killer. Original “Jersey Shore” cast member Jenni 'JWoww' Farley produced.
#16. Nothing Left to Fear
Director: Anthony Leonardi III
The only thing left to fear in this religious-themed turkey is that it won't end soon enough. Inspired by the legend of Stull, Kansas, the film opens with a woman (Anne Heche) and her family seeking a new life in a new home. As a series of horrific occurrences mount, the family discovers that the gates of hell are about to blow wide open.
#14. Fading of the Cries (tie)
Director: Brian A. Metcalf
When evil manifests itself in a small town, a young man and his powerful sword become mankind's only hope. So goes this completely negligible horror fantasy from 2008. More than critical of the film, a number of reviewers were baffled as to how it got made in the first place.
#14. The Final Project (tie)
Director: Taylor Ri'chard
Found footage horror is back and worse than ever in “The Final Project.” It takes place on an abandoned plantation, where six students cross paths with an evil spirit. One critic called it “slipshod in every way,” and most audience members agree.
#13. Scary Movie 5
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
The “Scary Movie” franchise went out on a low note with this fifth installment. Similar to “A Haunted House” from the same year, this one satirizes the found footage genre while taking its biggest cues from “Paranormal Activity.” Franchise mainstay Anna Faris is no longer in the picture, nor is any semblance of good taste.
#12. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Director: Joe Chappelle
Set six years after its predecessor, the sixth “Halloween” film sees the return of serial killer Michael Myers. Joined by a crazy cult, Michael visits Haddonfield in hopes of finding his niece and her unborn child. Critic Stephen Holden claimed it was “easily the most inept episode of the 'Halloween' series.”
#11. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
Director: John De Bello
Mutant tomatoes embark on a killing spree in this purposefully campy send-up of classic B-movies. Despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, the film would ultimately gain a cult following and even spawn a mini franchise. Included among the sequels was “Return of the Killer Tomatoes!” starring George Clooney in one of his earliest film roles.
#9. Saturn 3 (tie)
Directors: John Barry, Stanley Donen
Putting a range of reputable talent both in front of and behind the camera, this sci-fi comedy horror show is about as strange as a mainstream movie can get. Set on Saturn's third moon, the film follows two lovers (Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett) as their lives are uprooted by a visiting technocrat (Harvey Keitel) and his evil 8-foot robot. According to the critics, this film works best when it's viewed as a parody—even if that wasn't the original intent.
#9. The Tortured (tie)
Director: Robert Lieberman
Seeking revenge for their child's murder, a middle-class couple kidnaps the man responsible and enacts some vigilante justice in this inept thriller. Thanks to poor writing and editing, the title might very well be referring to audience members. Critic Kyle Smith advises potential viewers to “run away from this psycho killer flick.”
#8. Alone in the Dark
Director: Uwe Boll
This video game adaptation might very well be Uwe Boll's finest moment, presuming one watches his movies hoping they'll be as terrible as their reputations suggest. It stars Christian Slater as paranormal investigator Edward Carnby, who revisits the past while taking on his most dangerous case yet. In his review for the Baltimore Sun, critic Chris Kaltenbach wrote, “The idea that anything could be worse is the only genuine scare the movie has to offer.”
#7. Septic Man
Director: Jesse Thomas Cook
While investigating a water contamination crisis, a sewage worker gets trapped in a septic tank and undergoes a gruesome transformation. As Septic Man plots his escape, the film reduces itself to little more than a string of gross-out sequences. The critical puns practically write themselves.
#5. Transylmania (tie)
Directors: David Hillenbrand, Scott Hillenbrand
Blending bad humor and horror, this brainless misfire sends a bunch of college stoners to Romania as part of an exchange program. When an ancient vampire comes back to reclaim his throne, the stoners must do battle if they ever want to party again. While Entertainment Weekly critic Adam Markovitz hated the film with a passion, he suggested people watch it because “everyone should see something this bad at least once.”
#5. The Mangler (tie)
Director: Tobe Hooper
In this adaptation of a Stephen King short story, a laundry-folding machine springs to life and starts murdering innocent people. Yes, a laundry-folding machine. Is there really anything more to say about it?
#4. May I Kill U?
Director: Stuart Urban
After a freak accident, a British bicycle cop becomes a murderous vigilante in this cheeky thriller. Minding his manners, the cop always asks his intended victims “May I kill you?” before he murders them. While the elements for black comedy and social satire are there, director Stuart Urban fails to put the pieces together in a convincing—or even entertaining—fashion.
#3. Dirty Cop No Donut
Director: Tim Ritter
In this low-budget “shockumentary,” a psychotic police officer embarks on a bloody rampage while satiating various carnal desires. Intended as a parody of TV shows such as “Cops,” the film feels more like an 80-minute prank on the viewer instead. As one critic put it, “the project smacks of juvenile hijinks.”
#2. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
Director: Tom Six
Just when critics thought “The Human Centipede” franchise couldn't get any worse, the third and final installment came along to up the ante on poor taste. This time, a crazed warden wants to construct a 500-person centipede out of his prisoners. The movie tries to push as many buttons as possible, but it ultimately tests one's patience more than anything else.
Director: David DeFalco
Alternately reeking of nihilism and amateurism, this derivative horror movie depicts the brutal torture of two young girls at the hands of a sadistic gang. The chaos that ensues is almost exclusively the result of bad filmmaking, hence the score of 1 over on Metacritic. Calling the movie an “exercise in heartless cruelty,” critic Roger Ebert openly expressed regret over having seen it.