Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Shining: They're all classic films with the sole goal of making the viewer's skin crawl. The most celebrated horror movies don't skimp on scares, but the focus is always on the characters. Horror auteur James Wan once succinctly stated, "If you don’t create characters you care about, then it doesn't matter how great the scares you come up with are, you just don’t care about it." Without good characters, the scares fall flat and a wave of disinterest washes over the audience. But when a film has well-rounded characters with whom the audience can truly sympathize, those same moments can chill them to the bone.
When we asked the Ranker audience which horror films didn't live up to expectations, several of the responses echoed that same sentiment. However, there are also stone-cold viewers in the comment section who think Hereditary is a leisurely Sunday walk in the park.
"The Exorcist. I can't watch it without falling asleep."
"Paranormal Activity. OMG, that was so awful I threw popcorn at the screen to entertain myself."
"The Conjuring 2. Not scary at all. It was actually very predictable to me."
"The Shining, I say this on a personal level lol just because I'd be bored in the hotel and I would be tormenting Johnny hahaha."
"Pet Sematary, the book, freaked me out. The movie was cheesy and awful. Glad I read the book first because the movie would have ruined it."
"The new It."
"When people were tripping about The Grudge and I was just like uhhhh ok lol."
"The... [Exorcism] of Emily Rose."
"Hereditary. Just a disappointment and DEFINITELY not 'this generation's Exorcist.'"
"Veronica definitely was a fail on scare factor (typing while drunk and nailing it)."
"[The] Witch from a couple years ago. Total waste of time."
"The original It."
"Recently finally watched It Follows and I have never been so disappointed in a movie. Was absolute garbage."
"Freddy vs. Jason... I laughed continually in the theater because I had just watched The Simpsons 'Tree House of Horror.'"
"Rosemary's Baby. That movie can cure insomnia."