50 Worst Horror Films of All Time

January 4, 2018 by Sam Stebbins

Source: Courtesy of Dimension Films
Several great films in the horror genre were released last year, and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” may go down as one of the best of all time. But horror is also a genre that at its worst embraces camp, cliche, and endless attempts to revive franchises that should have stayed dead.

2017 saw the release of widely-panned reboots and sequels, including “Rings,” “Jeepers Creepers 3,” and “Amityville: The Awakening.” There were also plenty of terrible original titles, including “The Bye Bye Man” and “The Gracefield Incident.”

In early 2018, the fourth entry in the “Insidious” franchise, “Insidious: The Last Key” has hit theaters. If the early critical response is any indication, this film has a chance of making a future version of this, 24/7 Wall St.’s 50 Worst Horror Films of All Time.

Click here to see the 50 worst horror movies.
Click here to see our methodology.

Bad films have their own place in the pantheon of horror movies. For some genre fans, bad acting, confusing plots, and schlocky effects enhance the movie-watching experience. Yet for most people, the prospect of sitting through a bad horror film is scarier than the film itself.

It is no accident that so many poorly made horror movies exist. For one, the genre doesn’t require large budgets for a movie to be successful. The original “Blair Witch Project” reportedly cost $60,000 to make and has grossed nearly $250 million at the worldwide box office. More recently, the found footage film “Paranormal Activity” grossed over $194 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $15,000. Many films set out for similar commercial achievements but fall extremely short.

The genre’s generally low budget requirements make it an appealing place of entry for inexperienced filmmakers who want to make feature films. While some directors – such as Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson – did well working in horror early in their careers and moved on to become successful directors in other genres as well, many directors find that perhaps they do not have much talent to work in the movie industry. Still, we are left with their horror “creations.”

Despite the higher risk of creating a bad movie – often the final product is actually expected to be a b-rated movie – producers have an incentive to fund low budget horror flicks. Horror is one of the few genres with a dedicated fanbase. This fanbase is willing to pay to see low budget, second-rate, and trashy movies. A film like “The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)” already has an established audience who will pay money to see it before it is released. For this reason, the quality of the actual film matters less.

A successful horror film will also – almost inevitably – inspire a sequel. These sequels unsurprisingly do not always recapture what it was about the original film that made it popular. Of the 50 films on our list, 15 are sequels. Another five are remakes, which suffer from the same issue of not capturing the original film’s special charm.

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

50. Skinwalkers
> Released: 2006
> Director: James Isaac
> Starring: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra
> Source of terror: Werewolves

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Screen Gems

49. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
> Released: 2004
> Director: Dwight H. Little
> Starring: Morris Chestnut, KaDee Strickland, Eugene Byrd
> Source of terror: Anacondas

Source: Courtesy of Norman Twain Productions

48. Scar
> Released: 2007
> Director: Jed Weintrob
> Starring: Angela Bettis, Brittney Wilson, Tegan Moss
> Source of terror: Serial killer

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

47. Vampire in Brooklyn
> Released: 1995
> Director: Wes Craven
> Starring: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Allen Payne
> Source of terror: Vampires

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

46. Night of the Lepus
> Released: 1972
> Director: William F. Claxton
> Starring: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun
> Source of terror: Rabbits

Source: Courtesy of Entertainment One

45. The Offering
> Released: 2016
> Director: Kelvin Tong
> Starring: Daeng Amer Omar, Darius Tan, Colin Borgonon
> Source of terror: Ancient demonic entity

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

44. The Darkness
> Released: 2016
> Director: Greg McLean
> Starring: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz
> Source of terror: Ancient supernatural entity

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

43. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
> Released: 1998
> Director: Danny Cannon
> Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy Norwood
> Source of terror: Fisherman

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

42. Valentine
> Released: 2001
> Director: Jamie Blanks
> Starring: Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton
> Source of terror: Masked killer

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment

41. House
> Released: 2008
> Director: Robby Henson
> Starring: Reynaldo Rosales, Heidi Dippold, Michael Madsen
> Source of terror: Masked killer

Source: Courtesy of Level 10 Films

40. Smiley
> Released: 2012
> Director: Michael J. Gallagher
> Starring: Caitlin Gerard, Melanie Papalia, Shane Dawson
> Source of terror: Online killer

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Rogue

39. Shark Night 3D
> Released: 2011
> Director: David R. Ellis
> Starring: Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack
> Source of terror: Sharks

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

38. Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
> Released: 1981
> Director: James Cameron
> Starring: Tricia O’Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen
> Source of terror: Piranhas

Source: Courtesy of Dimension Films

37. Piranha 3DD
> Released: 2012
> Director: John Gulager
> Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff
> Source of terror: Piranhas

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Hemdale Film Corporation

36. Howling II: … Your Sister Is a Werewolf
> Released: 1985
> Director: Philippe Mora
> Starring: Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown
> Source of terror: Werewolves

Source: Courtesy of New Films Cinema

35. Chain Letter
> Released: 2009
> Director: Deon Taylor
> Starring: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif
> Source of terror: Maniac killer

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of American International Pictures

34. Empire of the Ants
> Released: 1977
> Director: Bert I. Gordon
> Starring: Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, John David Carson
> Source of terror: Giant ants

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

33. Amityville 3-D
> Released: 1983
> Director: Richard Fleischer
> Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy
> Source of terror: Demon

Source: Courtesy of Freestyle Releasing

32. Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour
> Released: 2007
> Director: Lisa Comrie
> Starring: Rissa Walters, Brian Comrie, Dan Comrie
> Source of terror: Ghosts

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

31. Species II
> Released: 1998
> Director: Peter Medak
> Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger
> Source of terror: Alien DNA

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

30. Prom Night
> Released: 2008
> Director: Nelson McCormick
> Starring: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup
> Source of terror: Serial killer

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

29. The Wicker Man
> Released: 2006
> Director: Neil LaBute
> Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Leelee Sobieski
> Source of terror: Pagans

Source: Courtesy of Screen Gems

28. Boogeyman
> Released: 2005
> Director: Stephen Kay
> Starring: Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel, Lucy Lawless
> Source of terror: Boogeyman

Source: Courtesy of IFC Midnight

27. Cabin Fever
> Released: 2016
> Director: Travis Zariwny
> Starring: Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis
> Source of terror: Flesh-eating virus

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Rogue

26. The Disappointments Room
> Released: 2016
> Director: D.J. Caruso
> Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido, Duncan Joiner
> Source of terror: Haunted house

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

25. Exorcist II: The Heretic
> Released: 1977
> Director: John Boorman
> Starring: Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Louise Fletcher
> Source of terror: Demonic possession

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

24. Urban Legends: Final Cut
> Released: 2000
> Director: John Ottman
> Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner
> Source of terror: Masked killer

Source: Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

23. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
> Released: 2000
> Director: Joe Berlinger
> Starring: Jeffrey Donovan, Stephen Barker Turner, Erica Leerhsen
> Source of terror: Witch

Source: Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

22. Soul Survivors
> Released: 2001
> Director: Stephen Carpenter
> Starring: Melissa Sagemiller, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck
> Source of terror: Ghosts

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

21. One Missed Call
> Released: 2008
> Director: Eric Valette
> Starring: Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Ana Claudia Talancón
> Source of terror: Ominous voicemails

Source: Courtesy of Trimark Pictures

20. Leprechaun 2
> Released: 1994
> Director: Rodman Flender
> Starring: Warwick Davis, Charlie Heath, Shevonne Durkin
> Source of terror: Leprechaun

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

19. A Sound of Thunder
> Released: 2005
> Director: Peter Hyams
> Starring: Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack
> Source of terror: Time travel

Source: Courtesy of Empire Pictures

18. Ghoulies
> Released: 1984
> Director: Luca Bercovici
> Starring: Lisa Pelikan, Peter Liapis, Michael Des Barres
> Source of terror: Demons

Source: Courtesy of Destination Films

17. Bats
> Released: 1999
> Director: Louis Morneau
> Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Dina Meyer, Bob Gunton
> Source of terror: Bats

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of ARC Entertainment

16. Creature
> Released: 2011
> Director: Fred Andrews
> Starring: Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Daniel Bernhardt
> Source of terror: Swamp monster

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

15. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
> Released: 1994
> Director: Kim Henkel
> Starring: Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks
> Source of terror: Texas rednecks

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

14. The Devil Inside
> Released: 2012
> Director: William Brent Bell
> Starring: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth
> Source of terror: Demonic possession

Source: Courtesy of Freestyle Releasing

13. The Haunting of Molly Hartley
> Released: 2008
> Director: Mickey Liddell
> Starring: Haley Bennett, Chace Crawford, Jake Weber
> Source of terror: The Devil

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

12. The Apparition
> Released: 2012
> Director: Todd Lincoln
> Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton
> Source of terror: Supernatural entity

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

11. Jaws 3-D
> Released: 1983
> Director: Joe Alves
> Starring: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkindale
> Source of terror: Shark

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

10. The Fog
> Released: 2005
> Director: Rupert Wainwright
> Starring: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair
> Source of terror: Fog/ghosts

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

9. Feardotcom
> Released: 2002
> Director: William Malone
> Starring: Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea
> Source of terror: Website

Source: Courtesy of Boll KG Productions

8. BloodRayne
> Released: 2005
> Director: Uwe Boll
> Starring: Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez
> Source of terror: Vampire

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

7. Jaws: The Revenge
> Released: 1987
> Director: Joseph Sargent
> Starring: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles
> Source of terror: Shark

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of IFC Midnight

6. The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)
> Released: 2015
> Director: Tom Six
> Starring: Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts
> Source of terror: Horrendous surgery

Source: Courtesy of Attack Entertainment

5. Jersey Shore Massacre
> Released: 2014
> Director: Paul Tarnopol
> Starring: Danielle Dallacco, Angelica Boccella, Giovanni Roselli
> Source of terror: Killer

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Severin Films

4. Birdemic: Shock and Terror
> Released: 2010
> Director: James Nguyen
> Starring: Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore, Tippi Hedren
> Source of terror: Birds

Source: Courtesy of Lions Gate Films

3. Alone in the Dark
> Released: 2005
> Director: Uwe Boll
> Starring: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff
> Source of terror: Demons

Source: Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

2. House of the Dead
> Released: 2003
> Director: Uwe Boll
> Starring: Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard
> Source of terror: Zombies

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Synapse Films

1. Manos: The Hands of Fate
> Released: 1966
> Director: Harold P. Warren
> Starring: Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Adelson
> Source of terror: Cult

Methodology:

To determine the worst horror films of all time, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes’ average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database’s average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have at least 1,000 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, 10 approved tomatometer critic reviews, and 1,000 IMDb user ratings.

We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. The year the movie was released and the actors and actresses starring in each film came from IMDb.