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…
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.
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.
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.
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.