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20 Bad Horror Movies That Are Actually Good

April 14, 2020 3.1k votes 330 voters 3.8k views20 items

Horror has long been the genre of cheesy, over the top movies. Whether it's a slasher flick made for less than $10 grand, or a psychological horror that cost millions, the genre contains some pretty bad movies. While that's certainly true, studios keep making them, and the reason they continue to do that is because audiences love them the sillier and more ridiculous they are.

There are also some serious attempts at horror or some sort of psychological suspense films, and they don't always do well financially. Whatever the type, there are plenty of horror movies that are either considered bad by critics, but good by audiences, or they are so incredibly bad, they wind up being entertaining and fun to watch regardless.

This list compiles the 20 best horror movies that are the absolute worst! In order to qualify for the list, the movie has to have a "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but at least a 40% in the Audience Score. Find your favorite bad horror movies below, and don't forget to give them a vote up to see which one rises to the top!

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  • Saw (2004)
    Photo: Lionsgate

    Saw revolves around two men who find that they've been chained in a large bathroom. One man has been given the order to kill the other, or his family will die. The other receives instructions to try and escape, but as the men explore their surroundings, they find various items that truly outline what a dire situation they were in. Hacksaws suggest that they must saw off their own feet in order to escape, and other traps and deadly devices make everything much, much worse.

    It's surprising that the first feature-length Saw film has a "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, seeing as it spawned several sequels, and made nearly $104 million on a budget of only $1.2 million. That's a success in anyone's book, but Saw did have its detractors where critics were concerned.  Rotten Tomatoes summarizes the critic's consensus with the following, "Saw ensnares audiences with a deceptively clever plot and a myriad of memorable, nasty set pieces, but its lofty ambitions are undercut by a nihilistic streak that feels more mean than profound."

    Saw was less a movie than it was a cultural phenomenon, and it has more than enough support in the movie watching community. After all, the movie spawned eight sequels. 

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

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  • Maximum Overdrive is a comedy horror film written and directed by none other than Stephen King. It stands as the only movie King has ever directed, though he's had dozens of films made from his books. The movie is based around the idea that because Earth passes through the tail of a comet, inanimate machines to come to life. This creates a great deal of chaos, leading to numerous injuries and deaths. At a rest stop, a group of tractor-trailers terrorize the people there, which leads the manager and a recently paroled man to organize a defense and launch a counterattack. 

    Maximum Overdrive is a campy black comedy as much as it is a horror movie, and that's one of the reasons people love watching it. It did horribly when it was released, but the overall theme is funny enough to have made it a cult classic. 

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

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  • House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
    Photo: Lionsgate

    House Of 1000 Corpses was Rob Zombie's directorial debut, and the first film in the Firefly film franchise. The movie centers on a group of teens, who are kidnapped and tortured by a psychotic family on Halloween. The movie was inspired by The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both of which have plot elements lifted for this film.

    The critics were not kind to House Of 1000 Corpses as its rating on Rotten Tomatoes can attest. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter noted that the movie "lives up to the spirit but not the quality of its inspirations." He further wrote that it was a "cheesy and ultragory exploitation horror flick." Despite his and other critics' comments on the film, the movie more than doubled its budget, and garnered several sequels and is considered a cult classic by many fans of the genre.

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20%

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  • Creepshow 2 is the direct sequel to Creepshow, though it's not held in as high regard by movie critics. Like the original film, it's a horror anthology film featuring three separate stories based upon the work of Stephen King. The segments are Old Chief Wooden Head, The Raft, and The Hitchhiker. Originally, it was supposed to contain two more stories like the first film, but Cat from Hell and Pinfall were both scrapped due to a lack of sufficient funding.

    One could argue that Creepshow 2 was a success, seeing as it made $14 million off a budget of only $3.5 million. Despite making enough money to satisfy its backers, the film has not been treated kindly by professional critics, who have given it a score of only 32% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fans tend to appreciate it a bit more, which is why it landed a 40% Audience Score on the site.

    Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

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