HomeNewsHalloween: The top 10 most overrated horror flicks

Halloween: The top 10 most overrated horror flicks

From ‘The Ring’ to ‘Paranormal Activity’, Film Daily gathers together the 10 most overrated horror flicks. Perhaps give them a skip this Halloween, folks?

Halloween: The top 10 most overrated horror flicks

Woah! Happy Halloween! Are you ready to GET SPOOKED? We’re already catatonic with all the spooks we’ve been getting. Such a scary day, gee-wiz. Anyways, we’re here to trick and treat you to some amaze listicle today. You know when you’re gathered around the screens and you’re trying to find a film to put on. Then your friend just fishes out a DVD of something which, you know, everyone likes. But everyone likes it just a bit too much. You know that feeling? When something is overrated. Isn’t that the spookiest feeling of all?

Also your friend is a zombie!

Get spooked!

👻 Ghosts have no concept of overrated.

Oh no it’s the gimmick of the film critic ghost again! We’re all going to get spooked! Hold on tight as we count down the top ten most overrated horror films for this Halloween.

👻 I’m only sticking around because I have unfinished business.

What would that be?

👻 I just cannot seem to be able to finish the director’s cut of Cloud Atlas. It’s like it just goes on forever and ever. And this is coming from an immortal eighteen-dimensional being.

Paranormal Activity

This 2007 box office smash dazzled audiences with its unique take on the found footage genre. Shot from the point of view of a home security system, we watch on as a young couple are traumatized by a haunted house. Sounds spooky, right? Unfortunately, at least eighty-two minutes of the film focused on watching a door open and close again. Spookily, of course. What a snorefest.

👻 There’s at least five sequels to Paranormal Activity, and none of them even attempt to take the original formula in a different direction. The original at least tried to find a neat angle on how to tell a horror story, but did itself to death through franchising. Also the film is totally discriminating against ghosts.

We’re people too, you know.

Or, were, rather.

Saw

This torture-porn fest changed modern horror forever – in a bad way. Saw spawned a whole host of copycats and its own infinite franchise all centered around dismemberment, gushing blood, and all sorts of bodily horror that managed to wear out any semblance of shock. Besides a twisty-turner storyline that dives back and forth with complete confusion, Saw dumbed everything down to shocking moments of blood and gore, actually removing the true horror in the process. It’s nice to see the comeback of psychological horror under It and Get Out this year, but Saw has remained in the system for far too long. A boring, muddled mess of a franchise.

👻 The first film isn’t actually that bad. It’s just that they took something slightly interesting and made eighteen billion sequels out of it, and probably a theme park ride. Dismemberment isn’t even that spooky any more. Know what is spooky? Student debt. Where’s my student debt horror fest!

Final Destination

Final Destination follows a bunch of teenagers who manage to cheat death by airplane explosion. Lucky escape, right? Not really, Death later adds them to his personal kill list. The film showcases wacky, creative death scenes that, again, helped to reinforce shock horror as king.

Like Saw, Final Destination also spawned a bajillion sequels and ran whatever ideas it had into the ground. It’s just not totally interesting to watch a bunch of characters, each of whom have no interesting qualities, end up dead. Because you kind of want them to exit off-screen anyway.

Signs

Otherworldly beings travel millions of light years, only to die upon contact with water. Talk about a failed attempt to invade Earth.

A planet that’s 71% water.

That’s all that needs to be said.

The Grudge

Hollywood has a real thing for producing remakes that tear the living soul out of the original. This 2004 film is a remake of Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), produced in Japan. Of course, the remake stuffs itself with an American cast but still decides to keep them in Tokyo to get spooked by a creepy little supernatural girl. There’s also some non-linear storytelling involved just to spice things up in case you get too bored. Which you will.

👻 I am a being cursed and compelled to incorporeal existence without rest or remorse, and The Grudge even made me fall asleep.

The Ring

Speaking of Hollywood remaking Japanese horror, The Ring was the original sin of its kind. This 2002 film by Gore Verbinski was actually a remake of Japan’s Ringu (1998). The premise has been parodied and ripped off more times than you can count. The plot revolves around a spooky video tape that’s possessed by the spirit of a young girl. If someone dares to watch the tape, they’ll die within a mere seven days. Now then, how creepy is that?

👻 Is the scary video something like, I don’t know, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice?

Aw yes, sick burn film critic ghost! High five!

👻 I cannot high-five. I am incorporeal.

Verbal high five!

Scary Movie

Scary Movie was an attempt to cash in on that Scream box office dollar, a parody movie centered around eviscerating horror film clichés and tropes. But none of the spoofs quite land, as we end up watching Anna Faris struggle with a script that feels like it was cobbled together by a bunch of twelve-year olds who watched Chucky half-a-dozen times.

None of the jokes land and no broad point about horror is made. Instead, Scary Movie replays the same scenes and setups without any care or even an attempt to be clever. If you like your horror a lot more meta and post-modern, then watch the far superior Cabin in the Woods instead.

Insidious

A bit of a controversial pick, we know. Insidious attempted to gravitate horror away from the anchor of Saw and other such gore-fests. It featured a spooky child who was haunted by a devil-like demon. For the most part, it’s not too reliant on jump scares.

But it does manage to deliver the frights through a story that’s slow-burn and heavily psychological. It’s spooky enough. We just think it’s overrated because at one point you can totally see members of the production crew visible in shot, and microphone cables on the floor too. It’s too obvious an error and-

👻 You’re being a little unfair.

Well you can’t type so I’m in charge here.

👻 Wow. That’s discrimination against ghost-kind.

How are you even a film critic ghost if you can’t actually critique?

👻 Film criticism is not a celebration of being able to type listicles and review films. It’s not about taking down the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s about a broad appreciation of art, so that art may better. It’s about how these pieces of themes and ideas are able to connect with us, to change us, and to make us see the world in a different light.

Film criticism attempts to contain that essence of artistic appreciation, in an attempt to answer the fundamental questions of how and why these things connect with us. It’s a noble pursuit, for man and ghost-kind.

Nah.

Dawn of the Dead

Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 masterpiece is a confused mess when witnessed today. You can see all the trademarks of Snyder’s filmmaking techniques in embryo form, before he went on to ruin Batman and the historiography of the Battle of Thermopylae (read a book!). Dawn of the Dead is a zombie thriller that commits the cardinal sin of having the most boring zombies imaginable. I mean, none of them are even wearing spooky hats! What’s a zombie without scary hat? Wow. Complete flop of a film.

👻 Are you all trying to be subversive with the listicle format? Like, reduce it to parody. To try and express how reducing film criticism to lists is just reductive and shallow writing?

We just really really love lists.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

This story about a possessed and living train is the absolute spawn of Satan. It’s one of the scariest films out there, and has Alec Baldwin consigned to an existence as a miniaturised servant to train-kind. They have skulls and hearts, and they’re the spookiest monsters ever made.

It’s utterly frightening stuff to watch these mechanical beings shamble about the world and terrorize it. We don’t know why it’s so lauded though. Because, for some bizarre reason that’s unknown to us, someone decided it’d be a good idea to shoot a film about monster trains during the day. Appalling decision.

👻 Wow! We did it. We destroyed ten super scary Halloween flicks!

We saved film criticism!

👻 Maybe not that.

Oh.

Also…

come close…

How? You’re an emoji on screen.

👻 Just a bit closer. It’s a secret I’ve been wanting to share for some time. I trust you guys with everything.

Oh wow. We really appreciate that. I’m so glad we’re becoming closer friends.

👻 BOO!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

👻 GET SPOOKED!

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Nathan Hardisty is a screenwriting student, 'Blade Runner' obsessive, and all-round consumer of everything even vaguely not-mainstream. He likes to pretend he's not a hipster. When he's not writing about himself in the third person, he's walking his dog or writing a story that goes nowhere.

nathanh@filmdaily.co