The Worst Things About Otherwise Incredible Horror Films

List Rules
Vote up the things you hate about the horror movies you love.

The horror cannon is full of impressive and gruesome films that poke at our worst fears and tell stories that speak to viewers of every generation.

Every film that's included here is a stone-cold classic. Full stop. But that doesn't mean these beloved horror films don't have a few minor issues worth quibbling about. We're in a safe space - vote on these films to let us know what you hate about these movies you love.


  • A Nightmare on Elm Street is so good. It's not just another slasher like much of the glut of the '80s; it's a fascinating look at the subconscious, as well as an examination of generational trauma. Oh, and the kills are f*cking amazing. Tina's death still stands the test of time whether you're a first-time viewer or a repeat offender.

    The one thing that sours this film is the final scene, in which final girl Nancy walks outside for a ride to school with all of her dead friends and Freddy gets his final dig in. As Nancy's mother waves at her from the front step, Freddy pulls her in through a tiny window. Except it's not her - it's a weird-looking blow-up doll-type mannequin wearing a dress and a wig. For such an imaginative film, this is a real dark spot on the entire proceeding.

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  • The Universal Horror films are must-sees for any and every gorehound out there. Not only do they feature creatures and characters that audiences still fear to this day, but they also set a template for films that are still being made. The Invisible Man is genuinely astounding. Its effects are ahead of their time, and the concept is much headier than a lot of other horror films of the era.

    After creating an elixir that turns people invisible, Dr. Jack Griffin slowly begins to lose his mind until he's a complete lunatic. It's a scary concept that must have freaked people out in the 1930s, but for today's audiences, the film feels a little tame. Griffin beats up a couple of people who work in a B&B, and he goes to war with the London Police, but it's not all that scary.

    That being said, The Invisible Man really does feel like you're watching what would happen if someone figured out how to be invisible. Of course they would throw people down the stairs. Of course they would be a creep and run naked through England. It's a fun movie - it's just not scary.

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  • As Stephen King has said (and said and said and said) The Shining is like a "big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside," and much of that is due to Stanley Kubrick focusing on the visuals rather than the character development.

    Even the most ardent Shining fans have to admit that Jack Nicholson isn't the best choice to play Jack Torrance. Rather than start out as a regular guy who slowly loses his mind, he starts crazy and ends crazy. It's a fun performance to watch, but there's no growth whatsoever.

    When it comes down to it, no lack of character development can take away from the visual strength and the claustrophobic atmosphere of The Shining. Kubrick's take on this horror classic remains one of the best horror films of the 20th century - just don't ask Stephen King about it.

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  • John Carpenter's Halloween is arguably the most important slasher ever made. Peeping Tom and Psycho may have come first, but it's Halloween that inspired (and continues to inspire) every horror movie that followed. The film concerns Michael Myers, a man who's been in a psychiatric hospital since he was a child, returning to his hometown, where he cuts up babysitters, their boyfriends, and a dog. Myers is a purely evil killing machine, which is why one scene feels a little too goofy.

    After sticking a teenage boy to a wall with a collection of kitchen knives, Michael heads up to the bedroom to see Lynda, but instead of busting in there and taking her out, he puts on a sheet and a pair of glasses. It's definitely creepy, but the scene also feels a little too playful for a guy who's the embodiment of evil.

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  • Out of all the nits to pick, this is a very big nit, but it has to be picked. Throughout The Exorcist, Regan is put through the wringer. This preteen has to spew pea soup, her entire body falls into a gooey disarray, and then there's the whole head thing. Her head literally spins around all the way, which would have broken her neck and spine several times, but she survives the ordeal unscathed.

    The same can't be said for Father Karras, one of the priests charged with saving Regan's soul. The film climaxes with the demon Pazuzu jumping out of Regan's body and into Karras, who then jumps out a window and falls to his death on a set of stairs. If we're supposed to believe that Regan's body was completely spared, then why wouldn't the same be true of Karras?

    Thankfully, this was all wrapped up in The Exorcist 3, which reveals that Karras has actually been alive and possessed by the Gemini Killer for years. It's up to each viewer to determine whether or not these narrative shenanigans ruin The Exorcist for them or if they just want to go with the flow.

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  • Hellraiser rocks. Clive Barker's tale of madness and sexual depravity never ceases to frighten and titillate, and even if the films that followed don't live up to the brutal insanity of the series's first entry, it's still one of the most beloved horror films of all time. It's just that it takes a minute for the actors to wake up.

    Clare Higgins as Julia is fantastic from moment one, as is Doug Bradley (Pinhead), but it feels like everyone else has to figure out their character while the cameras are rolling. This early kind of blankness in Hellraiser is likely because Clive Barker had never directed anything before. In 2017, he told The Guardian that he had to check out a book on directing before filming got underway. It's honestly miraculous that Hellraiser is as good as it is without a knowledgeable director at the helm.

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