If you're looking for the greatest movies of the past decade, look elsewhere. You can find some handy lists to that effect at blogs like Horror-Movie-a-Day, Dollar Bin Horror, The Spooky Brew and of course, The Vault's own sister blog, Day of the Woman. That's not what I'm here for tonight. I'm here to celebrate and commemorate the terrible, the atrocious, the near-unwatchable.
Just as in any given time period, there have been a near-limitless number of really bad horror movies made in the 2000s. In order to keep it to a neat list of 25, I'm focusing on the most notoriously bad--the turkeys that we recognize the most for being the worst, spanning the years 2000 to 2009. In many cases, these are the flicks we love to watch because they're so bad; in others cases, these are flicks so bad we really have no desire to watch them at all.
So take it for what it's worth: The Vault of Horror's 25 Most Notoriously Awful Horror Movies of the Decade...
25. Ghost Ship (2002)
This one gets the enviable spot of being the lowest ranked among the worst movies, by virtue of the unforgettably implausible-yet-awesome opening scene. Unfortunately, it was completely downhill from there, and it's almost unfathomable to believe the same guy who starred in Miller's Crossing starred in this abomination.
24. Bruiser (2000)
Sorry, George Romero. I love you and all, and your Living Dead movies are part of the reason I--and many of us--are horror fanatics on the first place. But this...well, it just wasn't exactly your shining hour. And this is coming from a defender of both Land and Diary of the Dead. Maybe this is why the guy feels the need to stick to the undead.
23. See No Evil (2006)
Yeah, I worked for WWE, so what? Sour grapes, you say? Well yeah, but that's besides the point. If you think it's just due to bitterness, then you obviously never saw this sorry, derivative excuse for a slasher flick (derivative slasher flick--redundant? You be the judge.) I had the "privilege" of reading the script beforehand, and knew even then that it wouldn't even be worthy of the dollar bin.
22. Man-Thing (2005)
You can point to Ang Lee's Hulk as the "jump the shark" moment of Marvel movies--I point to this actively painful affair. I have adored this character since I was a little kid--way cooler than that other guy at DC--and so wanted this to be awesome. Yet it skipped a theatrical or even direct-to-vid release and went straight to the mother-lovin' Sci-Fi Channel. A sad day, True Believers...
21. The Gingerdead Man (2005)
Most decidedly in the "so bad it's good" category, but still, I'd be remiss if I didn't include this epitome of the lame horror concept movie. File it right next to Jack Frost and Uncle Sam in the "We've run out of ideas" section.
20. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Yeah, let's pit Michael Myers against... Busta Rhymes! And while we're at it, throw Tyra into the mix! Oh yeah, and let's kill off that pesky Laurie Strode character in the first ten minutes--who needs her, anyway? They just couldn't leave well enough alone with the far-better-than-it-should-have-been H20, could they?
19. Queen of the Damned (2002)
Yeah, Aaliyah's dead, I know. That was a decade ago, so trashing this movie is fair game. Hell, people were even doing it then, that's how god-awful this thing is. What a classic missed opportunity to make good on Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles after that woefully miscast 1994 essay in mediocrity. I didn't think anyone could make a worse Lestat than Tom Cruise until I saw Stuart "Fired from the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings" Townsend.
18. Hood of Horror (2006)
A blatantly racist and hamfisted attempt to cash in on the "Ooooh girrrll--don't go in that room!!" segment of the horror audience--hosted by the one guy I think of when I think horror. That's right--Snoop Dogg! The only thing scary about this guy is the concept of his children getting old enough to understand the lyrics of his songs.
17. Mother of Tears (2007)
If I live 100 years, I don't know if I'll be able to wrap my brain around the notion that the same guy who made Suspiria, Tenebre and Deep Red also made this colossal strunzo. I had the extreme displeasure of coming across it one late night on cable and literally had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't simply dreaming I lived in a world in which Dario Argento was an unbearable hack.
16. Shark in Venice (2008)
See: "Gingerdead Man". But seriously, how did it take this damn long for someone to come up with a movie about a shark rampaging through Venice, the world's only floating city?? A guilty pleasure if ever there was one, but let's not get so euphoric that we forget this is actually really, reeaally bad.
15. One Missed Call (2008)
Forget worst horror movies of the decade, I've actually come across a few worst movies of the decade, period, that included this one. Now that's an accomplishment! Plus it also has the distinction of having one of the worst movie posters of the decade as well.
14. Night of the Living Dead 3-D (2006)
I'll admit, I was fooled by this one. A NOTLD remake starring Sid Haig? Count me in! Plus, the zombies looked really bad-ass. But wow. This actually made the infamous John Russo "special edition" of the original NOTLD look like Casablanca. Take that, Captain Spaulding fans who thought this was gonna be great!
13. Flight of the Living Dead (2007)
More zombie awfulness! Hmmm... We had Snakes on a Plane, plus we have a cool title that sounds kind of like Night of the Living Dead--let's build a whole movie around it! Of course, if they had actually paid attention to the Snakes on a Plane phenomenon, they'd have seen that all the hip and edgy internet hype in the world will not save a movie that is that bad--guess what, all you irony-loving millennials: No one gave a crap! So why anyone would actually want to emulate it is beyond me.
12. Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis/Rave to the Grave (2005)
Yes, I'm cheating a bit here. But these two ripe stools are basically one extended project, filmed back-to-back, if I'm not mistaken. That's right, kids, it's the 4th and 5th chapters in the ROTLD series, the ones we wish we could all forget ever happened. Trioxin-as-Exctacy... Tarman-as-comic-relief... Plus, the worst crime Peter Coyote's committed since he almost killed E.T.
11. Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
The most wrong-headed of all prequels, made by the patron saint of soulless mercenary directors, Renny Harlin, after the studio rejected the version made by Paul Schrader that actually showed signs of, ya know, being interesting and original and stuff. At least Exorcist II was fun to watch, if only to hear Richard Burton say "Pazuzu". But this is just no fun at all...
10. Mansquito (2005)
Yes, this was a TV movie and I'm bending the rules again. But this was so very famously bad, how could I ever leave it out? Can you imagine the size of the balls on someone who could actually bring themselves to write a script and actually type the title "Mansquito" at the top of it? Breathtaking.
9. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
The original Alien vs. Predator was bad, but nothing even remotely close to this. The sheer enormity of so profoundly screwing up two such beloved franchises in one fell swoop is not something I think anyone fully appreciates yet, but rest assured that history will commemorate this colossal entry in the annals of stupidity. Whoever thought a movie in which Aliens fight Predators could be so utterly impossible to enjoy in any way?
8. Halloween 2 (2009)
Sitting there in the dark as Rob Zombie's sweeping ode to the pitfalls of pretentious self-indulgence unspooled before my eyes, I had to ask myself that ominous question: "Is this supposed to be a joke?" But alas, it was not. It appears Mr. Zombie actually intended for this to be taken seriously as a horror film. But as Alex Trebek might say, "Oh... Sorry, so sorry." I don't even know where to begin, so I won't.
7. I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Without a doubt, the Glitter of horror movies. Lindsay Lohan is bad even by Lindsay Lohan standards in a role that justly earned her the coveted Razzie Award. Take watered-down torture porn, cross it with the plot of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie--if Arnold was an anorexic stripper--then fold in a generous helping of suck, and you have this crime against humanity.
6. FeardotCom (2002)
And speaking of crimes against humanity... Would you ever think a movie starring Stephen Dorff, Udo Kier, Stephen Rea and Jeffrey Combs could be unwatchably bad? You would if you ever saw this one. And as a bonus, we get the worst horror movie tagline of the decade: "Want to see a really killer website? It's the last site you'll ever see." Douche chills.
5. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
One of the most infamous "dropping the ball" moments in recent movie history... Someone apparently thought that doing a straightforward, traditional horror flick sequel to The Blair Witch Project would somehow be a good idea. This person could probably be categorized with George Custer's military strategist, and the guy who designed the Titanic.
4. The Happening (2008)
While I will say that there are several films ranked lower on this list that are a lot worse than this one, what makes The Happening so egregious is that it was touted as such an amazing movie, and thus the letdown when watching Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel wander aimlessly for 90 minutes was the equivalent of falling off the top of the Empire State Building. When you rent Shark in Venice, you know what you're in for--but this? Although after Lady in the Water, perhaps we should've known.
3. Day of the Dead (2008)
If Wikipedia were wise, then on their entry for "Horrendous", they would include a link to this movie's IMDB page. Steve Miner should most likely be incarcerated for taking such a blood-tinged piss upon the legacy of George Romero. Mena Suvari as a Marine; the complete neutering of Rhodes, one of the great horror villains of all time; and of course Bub morphing into Bob, the vegetarian zombie--what more evidence do I need, your honor?
2. House of the Dead (2003)
I had a tough time picking a definitive number-one, because this certainly is a doozy, and if you had it as your own personal number-one, I certainly wouldn't blame you. So much abuse has been heaped on Uwe Boll at this point that it's like beating up a little kid in a schoolyard, who also happens to have no limbs and be in a coma. Yet to paraphrase Amadeus, when one sees such sights, what can one say but, "Uwe Boll"?
1. The Wicker Man (2006)
"NOT THE BEES!!" I can honestly say, without reservation, that this remake of the 1973 unassailable British classic is the most notoriously awful horror movie of the 2000s. In fact, I would probably rank it among the 10 worst movies of the past decade, of any kind. If you can get past the utter raping of one of horror's most sublimely brilliant films, it's worth seeing for a really good laugh, and Nicolas Cage's performance alone is proof that there is no God--or least that He has given up on us completely.
- An American Haunting
- Dracula 2000
- Eight-Legged Freaks
- The Eye
- The Ring 2