Expectations for horror films reach a fever pitch every year around Halloween. Like Halloween games, food, and other traditions, viewing some spooky movies is a seasonable must for many. When horror fans are let down during the most wonderful time of the year, it’s a total bummer. Scary movies released for Halloween need to be special. They represent a deluge of all the pent up spooky tendencies for a lot of fans. However, when Hollywood tries to make Halloween memorable for audiences, they often blow it.
The worst movies released around Halloween are what you’d expect; prequels to movies that didn’t need them, tossed off Stephen King adaptations, and a lot of mutated bats. It’s hard to say exactly what the worst year for Halloween films was, as the topic is subjective. While some may cringe at the titles below, others may proclaim them underrated gems. That’s where you come in. Vote on the worst years for Halloween movies and maybe even check out a few of the films that you haven’t seen, if you dare…
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Q: The Winged Serpent
Halloween III: Season of the Witch: While the third film in the Halloween franchise has taken on cult classic status in recent years, that doesn't make it good. The film follows a drunk detective trying to stop a coven of corporate witches from murdering the children of America with Halloween masks powered by the Stonehenge... or something like that.
Time Walker: If you were one of the few people who went to the theater to see Time Walker, then you likely got a nice two hours of sleep. This cinematic tranquilizer is sort of a sci-fi take on a slasher film where an alien mummy murders a bunch of college students so it can go back to its home planet.
Q: The Winged Serpent: The screenwriter and director behind Q would go on to write the well received The Stuff and Phone Booth, but this movie about a killer dragon loose in New York City is nowhere near as interesting or scary as those two films. For a creature feature, the film is pretty light on creatures.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
The Grudge 2
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning: One of many prequels to 1974's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this film answers questions about Leatherface that no one asked. It was critically panned as the incomprehensible storyline and overreliance on jumpscares and gore left a bad taste in the mouths of reviewers.
The Grudge 2: The glut of American remakes of Japanese horror films reached its peak with The Grudge series. While the first film has its share of creepy moments, the sequel was pretty mediocre. While the three intersecting plot lines about people being haunted by creepy child ghosts is a cool narrative device, the film failed to deliver.
Saw 3: The third film in this neverending franchise is definitely the most Rube Goldbergy of the films, which makes it one of the more polarizing. It might have fared better with horror fans had it been released any other year, but the onslaught of sequels and prequels made it a disappointment for 2006 moviegoers.
Trick or Treat
Deadly Friend: Released only two years after the sensational A Nightmare on Elm Street, Deadly Friend is a far cry from Craven's best work and holds a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film follows a group of friends who put a fancy microchip in a dead girl's brain to bring her back to life. Things go down hill immediately when she begins to kill. The film was reportedly wrecked by studio interference, but it probably wasn't scary even before the reshoots.
Trick Or Treat: No, not that one. This Trick or Treat was made possible by the Satanic Panic, a time in America when hair metal was powered by the Devil and the enemy of mothers everywhere. The film follows "Ragman," a hapless teen who loves demonic hair metal bad boy Sammi Curr. Curr kills himself in a Satanic ritual which puts his soul into his final recording. When Ragman gets his hands on the record, Curr's soul is set free. If you like cheesy movies about hair metal demons, then Trick or Treat is a must see. But if you're looking for a scary movie to watch on Halloween, this is a hard pass.
House on Haunted Hill
The Minus Man
House on Haunted Hill: You know a year is bad when the critically panned remake of House on Haunted Hill is the best horror movie released in October. While the original version of the film showed that the "haunting" was actually an elaborate ruse perpetrated by Vincent Price, this version saps the film of its horror by making the ghosts very real, and very boring.
Bats: If you like campy creature features, then you might like Bats. When a bunch of genetically mutated bats swarm a small Texas town, it's up to a scientist and a sheriff to freeze them all to death. Sadly, the film really wasn't that interesting or scary, which is perhaps why it's fallen into relative obscurity in recent years.
The Minus Man: There are a lot of good actors in this movie about a serial killer played by Owen Wilson. Unfortunately a good cast can't make up for a pretty dull script.