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Saturday, January 2, 2010

The 25 Most Notoriously Awful Horror Movies of the Decade

I really tried hard not to get sucked into this whole list mania. I did. But with this big end of the year/end of the decade thing going on, the temptation has proven too great (and yes, all you decade purists, I said "end of the decade"--perception equals reality, deal with it.)

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
  • Doom
  • Dracula 2000
  • Eight-Legged Freaks
  • Primeval
  • The Eye
  • The Ring 2


BJ Colangelo said...

i almost pissed myself at your descriptions for hood of horror, halloween resurrection, and queen of the damned. way to go b. :D

B-Sol said...

Thanks--Bad movies really inspire me! It's just so much fun to trash them...

Unknown said...

You have to watch Mammoth. That one is the most ridiculous sci fi movie I have ever seen. I think it's the only one I could ever watch more than once too.

BC said...

Hahah I love that you point yr readers to my "awesome" list - which has 3 of the movies on your "awful" list :).

Pax Romano said...

As bad The Happening was, it, at least, had several brief moments that were stunning (the men at the construction site falling from the roof, Betty Buckley as the wacko at the farm house...OK, well that's two).

Anonymous said...

Wow I Liked Haloween 2 and I Know who Killed Me But rest of list is Right ON!

MarilynMerlot said...

You know I disagree with Halloween 2, I really enjoyed it. The Happening did have some good suicidal scenes, nothing is as bad as his "Lady in the Water".

Anonymous said...

I liked Flight of the Living Dead and Hood of Horror - rest of the list is pretty much right on. But no Friday the 13th?? That movie was so bad I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be watching. It didn't even feel like a real film.

Cool list!

B-Sol said...

BC: As Paul Simon said, one man's ceiling is another man's floor!

Pax: Happening did have some stunning setpieces, most of which were condensed into the trailers... All the more cause for disappointment at the sum of the parts!

MM: Yes darling, we'll agree to disagree on Mr. Zombie's opus. But you know I feel your pain on Lady in the Water.

GGG: F13 was indeed a really awful remake! I just didn't think it was "infamous" enough to make this list of stinkers...

Wings1295 said...

Good choices! I would rank Halloween 2 higher, myself. Luckily, I haven't seen some of these. Thanks for taking some bullets for the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of excrement in the morning. Agreed on all except Flight of the Living Dead. It was fun and stupid and made no attempts to be anything but. Oh, and I kinda like I Know Who Killed Me. It was like the slasher version of Parent Trap.

gordrichards said...

Wicker Man is one of the only films I know of that could rank on both best and worst of lists.

Also ditto Eight Legged Freaks in dishonourable mentions. I never even finished the thing before I threw it out.

Stark said...

Eight Legged Freaks in dishonorable mention? Harsh.

MarilynMerlot said...

Come to think of it, I don't consider "The Happening" a horror flick!!!

KT Grant said...

Shark in Venice? OMG you got to be kidding me. And seriously, a remake of Wicker Man is a major fail since the original was a fail to being with.

Great list B-Sol!

le0pard13 said...

Great list, B-Sol. 25) did you ever see the 1980 film, DEATH SHIP, this one was a remake of? They even used the similar poster graphic. 20) It's my choice,too, for worst H sequel. 11) You said it all, and best with this one. 4) I recall the JACKIE BROWN quote when I think of M. Night Shyamalan and this film: "What the fuck happened to you, man? Shit, your ass used to be beautiful!" 1) You nailed it!

Thanks, B-Sol.

Unknown said...

lol good job when i read the tittle of this blog Laid To Rest was the first thing to pop into my head

B-Sol said...

MM: See, but I think The Happening was actually meant to be taken as a horror flick--it was just so ridiculous that it made you forget!

KB: The original Wicker Man a fail??? I don't know if we can continue being friends ;-)

Leopard: Wow, never even knew Ghost Ship WAS a remake!

B-Sol said...

MM: See, but I think The Happening was actually meant to be taken as a horror flick--it was just so ridiculous that it made you forget!

KB: The original Wicker Man a fail??? I don't know if we can continue being friends ;-)

Leopard: Wow, never even knew Ghost Ship WAS a remake!

KT Grant said...

Why isn't Audition on this list?? I finally watched it and wanted to push a needle into my eye because it was so boring.

the jaded viewer said...

Wicker Man made Nic Cage a walking parody. Can you believe he was an actual good actor once?

Andre Dumas said...

Nicholas Cage was a good actor once?! When did this happen! Wicker Man must have erased all previous knowledge of the Cage man from my mind.

I'm upset about some people not minding I Know Who Killed Me......is that for serious!?

B-Sol said...

KB: Audition is actually very highly regarded, what kind of horror geek would I be if I included it here?

Andre: Believe it or not, he was! Won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas. Don't know what the hell happened...

deadlydolls said...

I too agree with most of the list, although I'd also toss in a few remakes: F13, It's Alive, and The Hitcher. The only real argument I'd mount is Flight of the Living Dead. Wayyyyy better than Snakes On a Plane, but also a pretty fun, occasionally jump-scary little horror that's one of the best fast-zombies film I've seen in some time.

Rhonny Reaper said...

Fear dot come and the wicker man remake should never have been made (GAWD i hate fear dot com!)

I actually liked ghost ship lol. ad because i have a soft spot for really bad movies, and snoop, I wanna see Hood of Horror lol.

Rhonny Reaper said...

and P.S. thanks for the mention :)

obxfreak68 said...

Once again, you leave us all begging for more lists from you. Hell, I'd like a list you'd compile on the 'Worst horror movies to include hand puppets and petroleum jelly' LOL.

This one was fab. The entire list just shines with complete and utter dreck. Thankfully I haven't seen a few of them...
But God how I hated One Missed Call, BW2, and The Happening!

And seriously? Mansquito? The Gingerbread Man? These were actually films? Ugh.

B-Sol said...

You're very welcome Rhonny, and thanks a million for the kind words, obxfreak!

Bonehead XL said...

Hey man, Eight-Legged Freaks was awesome. What was your beef with that flick?

I also think I Know Who Killed Me is extremely underrated and nowhere near as bad as most seem to think. If nothing else, the director is a pretty cool guy.

Karl Hungus said...

Good read.

I would've put Captivity up there as one of the worst as well, or at least a dishonorable mention.

deadlydolls said...

1-agreed about 8 Legged Freaks. Good spirited monster movie fun
2-I still think I Know Who Killed Me is laughable in an enjoyable way, but the director did also make a pretty interesting adaptation of Jack Ketchum's The Lost, so perhaps there's something there after all.
3-Captivity pisses me off for being so blatant about cashing in on the torture porn craze. The studio actually tossed in gruesome footage during post-production just to ride the train. Granted, it wasn't a good film to begin with, but that sort of obvious pandering just gave films that actually had merit (like Hostel 2 or Martyrs) such a bad name.

Will said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc Patterson said...

Wow - this is a good list. I love that you confirmed I wasn't the only one to have watched Rave to the Grave. I especially loved when the zombies dropped E and started getting all hot and bothered on each other.

What's most frightening about this list is that the real tragedy is that I think I've seen every one of these films.

And yes - Ghost Ship, while it sucked possibly had one of the best openings of any horror film - a true doubled edged sword right there.

B-Sol said...

I'd like to imagine that I never saw Rave to the Grave, if at all possible. As for Eight-Legged Freaks, like I said, it is a harmless little monster movie flick, and so was saved from my full ire. I Know Who Killed Me cannot be saved, regardless of the level of coolness of its director.


I still feel like hitting someone over THE WICKER MAN remake. I have been recommending the original to my friends for years... I guess the remake is what I will recommend to my enemies.

Also I consider MANSQUITO one of the signs of the beginning of the end for the SCI FI channel.

And isn't MAMMOTH the movie that asks us to believe that zombie wholly mammoths can sneak up on people?

B-Sol said...

A zombie woolly mammoth once tried to sneak up on me. I wasn't gonna mention it, but you brought it up...

Chris H said...

I was at the Pittsburgh premier of Bruiser and I felt so bad for hating it while Romero sat a few rows behind me. I tried to like it, George, I really tried.

John said...

The Eye movie of Jessica Alba didn't moved me. But the original will always do.
Brian@Rhinehoth a New Horror Novel by Brian E. Niskala

Spike Ghost said...

i have seen some of these cinematographic abortions, and i actually own The Ring 2 on DVD.
I know who killed me was just awful and shows how Lindsay Lohan can not act at all. Sometimes i wonder how anyone would green-light these projects...
But i have to admit i'm curious about seeing some of Uwe Boll's stuff XD

And for Halloween Resurrection, This movie doesn't exist for me. The series ended at H20 and that's all

B-Sol said...

I feel your pain, Spike...

Azoola said...

The Strangers was just plain crap.

Monster Scholar said...

I agree with you on most of this, but I have to say that I love Ghost Ship in all its schlocky goodness. Everything is so over the top from the poisonings, deaths on the dance floor and the part where the chick gets hooked. I even have the song from that sequence My Little Box on my ipod.

Glass Art said...

I seen the movie ghost ship. It was horrible. Very scary. Thanks for mentioned.


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Mesothelioma claims said...

Those are the really good horror movie. Thanks for your list.


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W Summers said...

Sadly despite being an ardent fan of horror, I do have a soft spot for Ghost Ship. Probably just because of Gabriel Byrne and let's not forget Mudvayne's "Not Falling".

Overall though I can agree highly with this list. I would argue that all american remakes of japanese films need burning but still...

And completely agree with The Wicker Man! The best actor in that quite frankly was the wig! Cage well and truly sold out at this point, it is a pointless; hopeless remake devoid of any character, creepiness or tension. If one film ought to be banned it's this one, no one deserves to suffer through it.

Unknown said...

Guinea Pig series are the most disqusting and brutal movies of all time ..

Unknown said...

Like I said, Slaughtered Vomit Dolls Was SHIT and always will be.

Don't watch it.

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