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The Worst Years For Halloween Movies

Voting Rules
Vote up the most disappointing years for Halloween releases.

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…

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  • 1990
    Photo: MGM
    63 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases:
    Graveyard Shift
    Troll 2

    Soultaker: This movie posits that when you die, a member of the Estevez family comes to take your soul. If you just have to watch this movie, save yourself the pain and watch the MST3K version. 

    Graveyard Shift: This Stephen King adaptation starts out like it's a slasher movie and turns into a creature feature about a giant bat who eats guys who work in a mine. King adaptations tend to be very hit or miss, and this flick is in the latter category. For every Shawshank Redemption and The Shining, there are films of this variety (see also: Thinner) that demonstrate why certain King novels are best kept away from the big screen altogether. 

    Troll 2: Hailed as the "best worst movie," Troll 2 isn't going to scare anyone. It will make you rethink your plant-based lifestyle. Over the years, it's become a favorite of those with a taste for bad movies, not the least of which due to the documentary chronicling its bizarre backstory. However, viewers who suffered through the original theatric release likely left wanting their money back. 


    63 votes
  • 2
    75 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases: 
    Halloween III: Season of the Witch
    Time Walker
    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. 

    75 votes
  • 1987
    Photo: MGM
    55 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases: 
    Prom Night 2

    Prom Night 2: Were you hoping to catch a sequel to the bananas slasher Prom Night? Too bad, because this is a sequel in name only. The film follows a girl who becomes possessed by the spirit of a different girl who was murdered in the '50s. The film definitely has its charms, but it's just not that scary. 

    Nightflyers: There are a lot of good movies about astronauts being killed by an evil computer in space, but this isn't one of them. But it is the earliest film work of George R. R. Martin, so check it out if you need your Game of Thrones fix. 

    55 votes
  • 4
    70 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases:
    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. 

    70 votes
  • 5
    52 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases: 
    Deadly Friend
    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. 

    52 votes
  • 6
    62 VOTES


    Disappointing Releases: 
    Lost Souls
    Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
    The Little Vampire

    Lost Souls: For Winona Ryder completists only, this movie is about a group of cool Gen-X Catholics trying to stop the antichrist. It's a lot like End of Days and Stigmata, but without all the action. 

    Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2: The two things audiences wanted from a sequel to The Blair Witch Project were answers and scares. The first film was terrifyingly cryptic, so the sequel received considerable hype from fans hoping it would extrapolate on the mysteries from the first movie. This film provides none of that. There is a weird puzzle in the movie, so if that's what you're into, check it out. 

    The Little Vampire: Is there any worse genre of horror than children's horror? Jonathan Lipnicki plays a kid who befriends a small vampire and helps him become human. This is for no one. 

    62 votes