10) Troll 2- It’s hard to find something to say about Troll 2 that hasn’t already been said. Over time it’s become one of the quintessential bad films of the genre. From its cheap special effects to its over-the-top silly performances, nothing about the film really works on any kind of serious level. Most people react to seeing it with either confusion or uncontrollable laughter. So why wouldn’t I put this higher on the list/ because like many have said before me, it’s so bad it’s good. Troll 2 is just fun as hell to watch, especially in a theater. It’s quickly becoming a popular midnight movie and has grown a loyal fan following. At this point I’d guess that more people have seen and love Troll 2 for what it is than the original. That puts it above the other films on this list in my book.
9) Saw 3D: The Final Chapter- If I was being more biased this spot would probably be filed by Saw 2. I really don’t like the direction the series took after the first film. I however can’t deny the appeal of Jigsaw/John Kramer and how he carried the first four films well. For the fifth film his apprentice Mark Hoffman took the mantel and while it wasn’t great it did have a few cool traps. The biggest fault with Saw 3D is in the title. I know 3D was big at the time but the decision to use Saw to capitalize on this trend was poor. Saw just wasn’t designed to be in 3D and seeing 3D effects in a Saw movie is extremely distracting. Especially in a movie that’s trying to close out the whole series. One of the film’s biggest crimes is that it brings back several characters from previous films including Cary Elwes’ character from the first film and gives them little to do while focusing on new characters it doesn’t do a good job of making us care about. As an end to the whole thing it feels underwhelming to say the least.
8) A Nightmare on Elm Street 2; Freddy’s Revenge- It’s really hard to say what went wrong here. The makers of Elm Street 2 had it so much harder than filmmakers who came in later in the franchise. Freddy is different than most slashers. There are more rules to follow when writing a story about him and it’s a lot harder to tell what the status quo is when there’s only one film to compare yourself to. All they had to do when making the later films is watch this one and note “see what they did there, don’t do that”. All of its problems are in the story so I can’t really say much about it without giving it away but what I will say if that what makes Freddy is the way he corners his victims is a place they can never run away from. He’s not the kind of movie killer you can have terrorize a full, well lit room of people. Despite that it still has some of that Freddy charm and a few cool death scenes. That’s more than enough to keep it low on this list.
7) Exorcist 2- What’s the best way to follow up one of the most successful and iconic horror films of all time? Hire a filmmaker who absolutely hated it of course! Director John Boorman had no interest in making anything close to the first film and while I’m all for sequels not being carbon copies of their origin this was just far too much of a departure. More so than that it was just bizarre. Having the film’s protagonists using a machine to enter the mind Linda Blair’s character Regan was one of many plot points that left audiences scratching their heads. It was taken out of theaters twice to be re-edited and was received very negatively by audiences and critics alike. If I was listing the most hated sequels of all time this would probably number one but despite its many faults it’s actually a visually stunning movie at times. It was the most expensive film produced by Warner Bros. at the time and it shows in the cinematography.
6) Halloween Resurrection- 2002 was an interesting time for horror movies. Six years earlier Scream brought back the slasher and two years after that the Halloween franchise capitalized with Halloween H20 and it was good. Fans enjoyed the direct follow-up to the first two films but by the time Resurrection came out four years later horror fans had moved on from the Scream era of slashers. The highest grossing horror films of 2002 were 20 Days Later and The Ring, audiences were clearly done with the traditional slasher for a while. The movie starts off with a massive curveball that through a lot of fans off and if it had stuck with the tone it had in that scene it might be considered an underrated classic in the series. However, this film gets silly quick. It largely centers around Busta Rhymes hosting a reality show from the Myers house and if the movie hasn’t already lost you with that extremely dated concept it will by the time Busta tries to take on Michael Myers with his Kung Fu.
5) Howling 5- The first Howling was so good, an amazing screenplay made by amazing filmmakers with amazing actors. Then they started making sequels… While the first 3 follow-ups were in no way great films they had something going for them. They either had memorable performances or a strong connection to the source material (The Howling novels). The fifth however was only connect to the series in that it was called The Howling and it had werewolves in it. The movie centers around a group of unmemorable characters slowly getting picked off in a Budapest castle. Nothing about this movie stands out except how cheap it looks and I have to wonder why they even bothered to make it in the first place. The last film in the franchise had only come out a year prior. The whole project just come across as a very desperate attempt to squeeze more money out from a dried up well.
4) 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams- The 2005 remake of 2001 Maniacs was one of the better remakes of it’s time. Largely due to a strong cast lead by Robert Englund, Lin Shaye and Giuseppe Andrews and a good balance between humor and horror. The follow-up released five years later “Field of Screams” was just ridiculous. It barely resembles the first film, trading any sort of real horror element for silly gore. Two key members of the cast Giuseppe Andrews and Robert Englund didn’t return for the movie. They were replaced with Bill Moseley in place of Englund and Ogre from the band Skinny Puppy in place of Andrews, reuniting the duo from the utterly obnoxious cult film “Repo! And the Genetic Opera”. Englund and Andrews were sorely missed but it wouldn’t have done the film all that much good if it had them. No amount of Englund’s Krueger charm could have saved a film about killer southern ghosts riding around in a school bus. There’s just no taking this film seriously, even as a comedy.
3) Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning- The idea of doing a Friday the 13th movie without Jason after part 2 seems absurd to some but after the iconic slasher was killed by a young vampire hunter in part four it looked like the producers would have to commit to the loss for one movie at least. I have two major problems with this movie, the first being it’s major downgrade in the gore. The two things most people go to see Friday the 13th films for are Jason and gore. You already know you’re working without one, why would you skimp out on the other? The second issue I take with this film is it’s villain’s poor attempt to convince us and his victims that he’s Jason. I like the idea of a new killer being motivated by Jason, it could have been a great way to continue the franchise but having him pretend to be Jason just didn’t work. It didn’t help that the Jason imposter looked nowhere near as intimidating as the real thing. It would have been much better if they had given this character his own identity. In one of the movie posters for it shows a different hockey mask than the one used by Jason and the imposter, I wish they had used something like it for a new yet slightly familiar look. The ending of this movie plays out like an episode of Scooby Doo followed by foreshadowing things to come that never really did. So much wasted potential, so little gore.
2) Seed of Chucky- Following Child’s Play 3 the franchise went a different direction and put out more of a horror/comedy, Bride of Chucky in 1998. It brought on Jennifer Tilly as Chucky’s bride Tiffany and was a very enjoyable inclusion to the series. Seven years later they tried again to disastrous effect with Seed of Chucky. It’s a bizarre joke from start to finish. Jennifer Tilly is back as Tiffany but she also plays herself in the film and not just for a quick gage. Her role as herself plays a major role in the film’s story and her and her doll counterpart share several scenes together. The most unlikable thing about the whole movie is Chucky and Tiffany’s child and the film’s protagonist Glen. A British doll whose major character traits are that he’s a wuss and he pees his pants. On top of the strange plot and characters it had pointless celebrity cameos and so many jokes that just aren’t funny. Towards the end of the film it starts to try to have a twist but it’s so ridiculous and by that point you just don’t care. Naturally the film didn’t do well and Chucky went away for a while but nine years later he returned in awesome fashion in Curse of Chucky, a far better film in the series that helps wash the bad taste of this movie out of your mouth.
1) Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes- The villain in this movie is a possessed lamp. Do I really need to say anything more? The movie starts off at the Amityville Yard Sale where a lady buys the evil lamp for $100 because she thinks it’s ugly and she wants to send it to her sister as a joke. The lamp is shipped over to her (seriously, that’s a lot of money for a practical joke) and proceeds to terrorize the woman and her daughter and granddaughter. I guess the idea was to make a movie without the iconic house so they thought use something that was in the house but why a lamp and where in the house was this big, distinct lamp kept because it wasn’t in any of the other movies. Not a single character stands out, they’re all so bland. Even after a kid gets his hand ripped up in the garbage disposal the three main characters barely react. I had a hard time deciding which film should take the number one spot but I ultimately chose Amityville 4 because at least Seed of Chucky knew it was a joke. Amityville tries so hard to take itself seriously with an equally ridiculous concept and fails so miserably. At no point does it evoke any sort of terror or fear and at no point does it succeed at making that Burton looking lamp intimidating. It’s a truly embarrassing installment to a franchise that should have thrown in the towel two movies ago. There have been a few attempts to reboot the Amityville film series, the most recent being the 2005 Ryan Reynolds film but it never really worked out. You could say that the hoax turned franchise’s story just not holding up is the cause for these films failing but I personally blame the lamp. It’s so stupid it ruins anything its close too. There’s a new Amityville film coming out in 2016 called “The Reawakening”, maybe it’ll finally be able to break the curse of the lamp.