Every actor who works regularly has appeared in a film that either didn't perform well or that they didn't like working on. In most cases, actors just move on to their next gig, but the following actors who hated their horror movies were so put off by the experience that they didn't have any problems letting the whole world know about it.
A lot of today's A-list actors started their careers in the horror business. Jamie Lee Curtis made a big splash with slashers, as did George Clooney and Rooney Mara. What else do they have in common, you ask? They all dissed the horror movies they worked on.
Some of these actors have genuine bones to pick with their horror film legacy, while others have more questionable comments about their well-known genre films. It's up to you to say which film is worth the diss.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening has been derided as one of the more disappointing films of the director's career. The film follows Elliot Moore, a Philadelphia high school teacher, as he tries to keep his wife safe during a global crisis in which plants spread a neurotoxin that causes humans to commit suicide.
Mark Wahlberg plays Moore in the film and has admitted he had no idea what was happening in The Happening - he just took the role because he was tired of playing tough guys:
The Happening. F*ck it. It is what it is. F*cking trees, man. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.
Shyamalan responded to Wahlberg's criticism of the film in 2019 during the press cycle for Glass, and he took the whole thing in stride, saying:
Since that would be the only case of [an actor criticizing one of his films] - no. But really, no. It’s totally his call. However he wants to interpret it.Deserved the diss?
- Photo: Warner Bros.
Horror isn't for everyone - just ask Rooney Mara. The actress starred in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but if she had her druthers, the casting office would have lost her number. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly in 2011, she explained that she didn't want to be in the reboot of a beloved horror franchise but that she couldn't help but nail her audition:
You kind of learn to self-sabotage with things you don’t want to get. Sometimes you don’t want to get something but you do a really good job and you get in anyway. That’s kind of [what happened] with A Nightmare on Elm Street - I didn’t even really want it. And then I went in [to audition] and I was like, [whispering] "F*ck. I definitely got that."
Mara continued, saying that her experience on A Nightmare on Elm Street was so bad, she wanted to stop acting forever:
I didn’t want to act anymore. I was like, "This isn’t what I signed up for. If this is what my opportunities are going to be like, then I’m not that interested in acting." So I was very discouraged and disheartened.Deserved the diss?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Movies based on video games are always hit or miss. Sometimes you'll get a Resident Evil, but if you're unlucky, you get a Super Mario Bros. It all comes down to whether or not the filmmakers understand the franchise and if they have the ability to really pull it off. Even in the modern era, in which video game adaptations are an accepted filmmaking genre, these movies are still hit-and-miss, but in the 2000s, audiences never knew what they were in for.
Doom is about as 2000s of a movie as you can get. It's a straightforward action-horror flick with elements of a popular video game, and it flopped with fans and critics alike. Dwayne Johnson acted in the movie long before he was a megastar, and on his press tour for Rampage in 2018, he was finally able to talk about what went wrong with the video game adaptation:
I lived the video game curse because I made Doom. And Doom was a movie based off a very popular video game and was incredibly unsuccessful. So I lived the curse, and I experienced it... [It was important] that there was a winking charm and humor in Rampage that, for me personally, was not in Doom.Deserved the diss?
- Photo: New World Pictures
Today, George Clooney is known as one of the suavest actors of a generation. He's made a career out of scene-stealing roles in films by directors like the Coen brothers and Steven Soderberg, and he was Batman, after all. The guy has a talent for picking excellent roles, but that wasn't always the case.
In the 1980s, Clooney was just another struggling actor who took whatever role he could get his hands on as long as it paid. While speaking at the 2012 Oscar roundtable for Newsweek, he was open about the fact that things can be rough for an actor who needs money. You might just take a role in the sequel of one of the most schlocky B-movies ever made. He explained:
As an actor, all bets are off if you need money. I've done really [crappy] movies or [crappy] jobs when I was broke, and people go, "Why did you do Return of the Killer Tomatoes?" Because I got the job!Deserved the diss?