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Which Horror Movie Isn't As Scary As Everyone Says?

Updated July 23, 2019 41.2k votes 4.4k voters 29.0k views15 items

List RulesVote up the horror films that made you yawn instead of shriek; vote down those that made you shiver.

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.

  • 1
    The Exorcist
    1,795
    1,543

    "The Exorcist. I can't watch it without falling asleep."

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  • 2
    It
    1,864
    1,641

    "The original It."

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  • 3
    The Conjuring 2
    1,660
    1,476

    "The Conjuring 2. Not scary at all. It was actually very predictable to me."

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    #38 of 64 The Most Rewatchable Horror Movies#5 of 67 The Best Demonic Possession Movies

  • 4
    Paranormal Activity

    "Paranormal Activity. OMG, that was so awful I threw popcorn at the screen to entertain myself."

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    #78 of 144 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time#16 of 75 The Best Blumhouse Productions Movies

  • 5
    The Shining
    1,633
    1,610

    "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."

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  • 6
    Pet Sematary
    1,248
    1,416

    "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."

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  • 7
    It
    1,438
    1,651

    It

    "The new It."

    More 

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  • 8
    The Grudge
    1,304
    1,544

    "When people were tripping about The Grudge and I was just like uhhhh ok lol."

    More The Grudge 

    #4 of 15 Non R-Rated Horror Movies As Scary As Anything#49 of 114 The Best Horror Movie Franchises

  • 9
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose

    "The... [Exorcism] of Emily Rose."

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    #190 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#11 of 20 20 Horrifying Crime Movies Whose True Stories Are Way More Terrifying

  • 10
    It Follows
    1,097
    1,439

    "Recently finally watched It Follows and I have never been so disappointed in a movie. Was absolute garbage."

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    #53 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies#18 of 47 The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks

  • 11
    Freddy Vs. Jason

    "Freddy vs. Jason... I laughed continually in the theater because I had just watched The Simpsons 'Tree House of Horror.'" 

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    #23 of 105 The Best Horror Movie Sequels#156 of 264 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

  • 12
    Rosemary's Baby

    "Rosemary's Baby. That movie can cure insomnia."

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  • 13
    Hereditary
    884
    1,398

    "Hereditary. Just a disappointment and DEFINITELY not 'this generation's Exorcist.'"

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  • 14
    Veronica
    686
    1,112

    Veronica

    "Veronica definitely was a fail on scare factor (typing while drunk and nailing it)."

  • 15
    The Witch
    803
    1,358

    The Witch

    "[The] Witch from a couple years ago. Total waste of time."