The horror genre is filled with great potential, more than any other genre in cinema. However, as we horror lovers know best, it also provides us with quite a few stinkers on a yearly basis.
Upon watching 144 horror films that came out or had their wide release in 2018, I can say most of the movies I watched fell in the middle, ranging from entertaining but forgettable to subpar. 15 titles, however, stood out – so to speak – as true train wrecks, flicks so awful it’s hard to get them out of one’s head: this article – which will work bottom-up – lists the worst of the year in terms of horror cinema. If you want to know what the great ones are, click on this link to check my 15 BEST Horror Movies of 2018 list.
Before we start – and as I already said one year ago in my WORST Horror Movies of 2017 list – let me make clear that I don’t watch movies to shit on or biasedly criticise them: when I sit through a horror film, I always hope it’s good or at least entertaining, and I never go out of my way to check flicks that I expect to be bad. Also, this list is based on my personal opinion: don’t get mad at me if you disagree on some titles, just leave a comment and tell me why you experienced one or more of these flicks in a different way than I did.
Unlike last year, for this list I won’t include ‘dis-honourable mentions’: instead, I’m going to list a few movies that I found extremely disappointing but not per se terrible. Some of them are actually pretty decent from an objective standpoint; I just couldn’t help myself to like them. In other words, read the single reviews for this ‘list of disappointments’ and see if some of them might be right up your alley: I didn’t like them, but you just might!
2018 most disappointing horror movies (listed alphabetically): The Cloverfield Paradox (USA), Family Blood (USA), Feral (Canada), Forest of the Lost Souls (Portugal), The House That Jack Built (Danmark/Germany/USA), Housewife (Turkey), Marrowbone (Spain), Patient Zero (UK), Ravenous (aka Les Affames, Canada), Revenge (France), The Strangers: Prey at Night (USA), Winchester (USA).
One last thing: I didn’t include on the main list the atrocious Deep Blue Sea 2, because I found it ‘so bad it’s good’. It’s a terrible flick, but at least it’s unintentionally entertaining… there are teeny tiny vampire-sharks!
And now it’s time to delve into the garbage bin for the worst horror movies of the year!
15) DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE (USA) – when I first reviewed this flick, I even gave it a somewhat positive grade (shame on me!) but upon checking it out a second time to see if it’d fit this list, I realised it absolutely does! DotD: Bloodline is uneventful, it looks cheap, it’s got very dumb plot devices: a zombie falls in love with a girl and therefore tries to rape her?! Are you serious? The decent gore effects and the silly but entertaining ending save this terrible zombie flick from being one of the worst zombie movies ever made. Still, it deserves a place on this list.
14) OPEN HOUSE (USA) – this is a movie where absolutely nothing happens. By that, I don’t mean that there isn’t enough horror or action (which is also true): Open House doesn’t have a story (mom and son are trying to sell their property, that’s it), doesn’t have characters (because they’re never developed), doesn’t have any moment when tension increases or decreases. This movie is just a big fat nothing: even the dialogues seem to lead nowhere and are just there as fillers. Open House can’t even be judged as a regular film, because of the lack of substance to it! Look at a white wall for 90 minutes and you’ll probably get less bored than sitting through this visual sedative.
13) SLENDER MAN (USA) – people who watch mainly mainstream cinema agree on the fact that Slenderman is the worst horror flick of 2018. Although for me it’s not the absolute worst, they make a good point: this PG-13 cash-grab is just a series of supposedly creepy images, with no real story nor interesting elements. Joey King, once again, ended up in an atrocious horror movie… she’s becoming the (scream) queen of shitty movies: kudos! (not really). Besides being idiotic, unimaginative and boring, Slender man seems to be made by people who know nothing about teenagers and cinema. This horrendous flick doesn’t even have a main character! Next time, attend cinema class 1:1 before you write a script or sit behind the camera, okay?
12) SLEEP NO MORE (USA) – this is one of the movies I’m really sorry to include on the list. In fact, Sleep no More has a fantastic premise (check my review to learn more about it) but wastes it on terrible acting, dull script and disposable characters. The biggest sin of this movie is that it takes a great idea and turns it into a turgid, thirteen-in-a-dozen horror flick we’ve seen multiple times throughout the years. Had it not been for the competent special effects, Sleep no More would be closer to the bottom of the list.
11) THE FIRST PURGE (USA) – first, a bit of context for The Purge franchise: I’m not a fan but, other than the first one, I didn’t hate the other movies. The second and third instalments in the series aren’t good movies, but they’re entertaining. The First Purge – which is a prequel of sorts – had the potential to become a fresh start for this unimaginative franchise. However, it wastes its potential on obnoxious and overly simplified political commentary, terrible effects (the CGI blood is unwatchable), one-dimensional characters and lack of entertaining action. If you try to give a twist to the franchise and to make it more charged with smart content, maybe you should try not to make your movie as dumb as a sack of bricks!
10) SLICE (USA) – opening the ‘top 10’ nobody wants to be part of there’s a horror/comedy that’s painfully unfunny and terribly out of focus. So much shit is thrown at you in this 80-minute-long flick. Fart and poop jokes is all this movie has to offer: loads of good actors are wasted on this terrible flick that tries to imitate the style of Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and miserably fails. Poorly executed, badly acted (not the actors’ fault) and 100% unoriginal, Slice is a movie you should avoid like the plague.
9) DARK WEB (UK/USA) – this horror anthology made of 8 segments tried to cash in on the Unfriended: Dark Web popularity, by stealing its title. One of the short segments is rather watchable and mildly entertaining; other than that, this movie is pure low-budget shlock, ruined by awful ideas, non-existent production values, atrocious acting and nonsensical storylines. If you ever come across this one, run away like your life depended on it.
8) MARA (UK) – the talent of Olga Kurylenko couldn’t save this atrocity against humanity. Mara is the most unoriginal and painfully conventional horror flick I’ve seen whole year: the script is basically a carbon-copy of every possession flick that came out in the last decade. As if unoriginality wasn’t enough, demon and ‘scary’ sequences in Mara are laughably bad: everyone’s performance is over-the-top and naggy, to the point I started thinking the director gave stimulants to the whole cast! The constant and obnoxious exposition is the cherry on top: the movie even thinks its audience isn’t smart enough to figure out the most simplistic of plots. I could go on and on about the terrible directing, the one-dimensional characters, the cinematography devoid of any style… but I think you got an idea of how bad this pile of garbage is.
7) CHILDREN OF THE CORN: RUNAWAY (USA) – I know what you’re thinking: ‘did you really expect this 10th sequel in a tiresome franchise to be any good?’. I didn’t, my friends, but I expected it to be at least entertaining due to the presence of John Gulager at the helm. However, this poor flick doesn’t have any hint to the director’s style and love for gore: it’s a terribly-looking, stupid and boring, nonsensical mess. Basically, nothing of interest happens throughout the whole runtime and I challenge you to make it through the entire thing without dozing off a couple of times. Most likely, this atrocious flick was made only to retain the rights to the franchise. The 2.5/10 final grade I gave the movie in my review is really a blessing for this turgid bore.
6) ROMINA (Mexico) – a ‘rape and revenge’ horror flick from Mexico (where they make some truly disturbing films) sounded awesome. Then, I watched the movie. Romina has the level of filmmaking of a homemade birthday video, except that the acting in this terrible flick is worse! Filled with unlikeable characters, shots that are too dark for you to make out what’s on the screen, awful practical effects and a storyline that makes less sense than an episode of Spongebob, Romina is truly an endurance test. The selling point of the movie – graphic violence and even more gruesome revenge – happens off screen, so that the little impact this terrible movie could have had is completely lost. Annoying teenagers (who are actually borderline psychopaths) and poorly executed establishment shots is all this bastard of a movie has to offer. Watch it on a first date and you’ll be single by the end of the runtime.
5) THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH (Italy) – William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist and many other great films) promises the audience to show an actual exorcism performed by a real exorcist. Unfortunately, this documentary is biased and filled with post-production editing and sound design to make it look real: Friedkin wanted so bad to show exorcisms are real that he ended up making a hoax! Besides being completely one-sided and ridiculously fabricated, The Devil and Father Amorth is very dangerous: it makes gullible people blindly believe in something that science refuses; it panders to impressionable audiences that might be in search of relief to push the director’s agenda. This documentary is a fraud, it shows Italy as a country filled with credulous idiots (although, as an Italian, I can testify this is sometimes true) and caters to uneducated viewers to make a profit. Seeing such a great filmmaker wasting his talent on such a poorly made hoax is truly a stab in the back!
4) TRUTH OR DARE (USA) – If this is not the first time you came across this website, there’s a huge possibility you read my Everything Wrong with Truth or Dare spoiler-filled review (click the link to read it) since it became quite popular over the course of the past few months. I get it, you were expecting to find this title on the top spot of this list. Unfortunately, I’ve seen three horror flicks that are even worse! Truth or Dare is the pinnacle of shitty, PG-13 cash-grabs Hollywood regurgitates into existence every year: a tiresome concept filled with stupid and unlikeable characters who are just one-dimensional and mean to each other is all you’ll find in this shitshow. The moments that are supposed to be creepy are, in reality, either laugh-out-loud ridiculous or painfully predictable. The script seems copy-pasted from other similar shitty movies, with just different character names. Truth or Dare even struggles to create a cohesive set of rules, which are often broken by the movie itself to carry the paper-thin plot along. The acting ranges from embarrassing to downright awful and, for a mainstream horror flick, there’s an impressive amount of plot holes and technical mistakes: they fucked up even editing and transition in certain scenes! If you scrap the bottom of the barrel, you’ll find Truth or Dare.
3) THE DOLL (USA) – thank god only a handful of people have seen this pile of crap. The Doll has to be, objectively, one of the worst movies ever made: this is borderline pornography (both in terms of horny teenagers fondling prostitutes in a few sequences and in terms of the non-existent plot) at its lowest. The acting is awful, with the ‘characters’ forgetting their lines during some scenes, and the technical features of this atrocity are embarrassing: cheap sets are poorly lit, you can see the equipment of the crew in the corner of some shots, the editing is filled with hasty cuts that make no sense whatsoever. I can’t even describe this atrocious attempt at filmmaking: you really should see it for yourself to understand how terrible The Doll is. Then again, I love my audience, so I don’t want them to try and carve their eyes out halfway through this sin against humanity!
2) DEATH HOUSE (USA) – speaking of sins against humanity, at number two we have one of the biggest marketing gimmicks, one of the most outstanding examples of manipulation towards film audience in horror history: Death House. This was supposed to be a gore-filled spectacle where horror icons would come together to escape a maximum-security prison. On the contrary, Death House uses most of these legends as brief cameos, while focusing on a dumb storyline permeated with ultra-cheap production values, amateur acting, incoherent development, hideous sequences that serve no purpose and are detached from each other. On top of all of that, we have a director who’s seemingly able to make movies only because he has connections, which is just sad for all the aspiring filmmakers who put real passion in their work! Death House is a middle finger to horror fans and to cinema in general, a marketing gimmick that was sprouted into existence and that should be forgotten as soon as possible. Death House just sucks!
But the worst horror movie of the year is…
1) INSIDE (USA) – Inside is the remake of brilliant French gore-fest A l’Interieur (2007), one of my favourite horror films of the 2000s. The filmmakers (or the studio) behind this remake decided to replace the awesome gore of the original with a PG-13, tame home-invasion vibe: brilliant idea, you really have to be a moron to come up with something like that! Inside, coincidentally the first horror movie I saw in 2018 (fuck me!), represents everything wrong with remakes of great foreign films. This agglomeration of stinky rubbish doesn’t have a 10th of the impact of the original. It’s extremely stupid, it’s got awful acting and even worse characters (every choice the lead girl makes is nonsensical and dangerous; luckily for her, the antagonist is even dumber), it’s tame and has poor production values – the whole picture is dark and terribly lit. On top of these serious issues, Inside replaces the fantastically disturbing and nihilistic grand finale of the original French film with an average, viewer-friendly happy ending. What were they thinking?! Sure, one might argue that Inside is at least more watchable than some of the previous titles. Even if that’s the case, Inside takes a marvellous concept and a truly disturbing piece of cinema and turns it into an inoffensive, bland, boring, poorly made and soulless piece of crap that insults me and all the other fans of A l’Interieur. This atrocity deserves to be considered the worst horror movie of 2018 and I truly hope no one will ever watch it from now on!
Now it’s your turn: what horror movie pissed you off the most this year? What did you think about my list and what terrible horror flicks did I leave out? Drop a comment in the section below and let me know!
Before you leave, please consider supporting my job with a little donation and check my IMDb page, Twitter account and other fun stuff:
Click the follow button to subscribe to HorrorWorld&Reviews
Follow me on Twitter @Horroreviews: https://twitter.com/horroreviews
My reviews are also available on IMDb