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The Worst Horror Movies Ever Made

Over the past few years, the horror genre has shown mainstream audiences that there are still quite a few original stories aching to be told in the medium. Get OutA Quiet Place, and Hereditary are just a few examples of scary flicks changing the genre, which many still view as a stomping ground for masked slashers and brain-hungry zombies. One thing's for certain: as long as movies have been around, the things that go bump in the night have been delivering the big-screen frights.

Horror is a genre known for fits of gore and greatness, alike. But as fantastic as these frightful flicks can be, a whole mess of cinematic bombs have been put to film over the years. The genre is notorious for its low-budget limitations, but as you will see, sometimes that fact is more a curse than a gift.

For this list, we're relying on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer as our guide — with a bit of our own discerning opinion thrown in for good measure. From vengeful trees to murderous birds to a killer shark with human emotions, here are the ten worst horror movies ever made. 

Birdemic: Shock and Terror is exactly like Hitchcock, except in every single way

When one thinks about horror movies about murderous birds randomly attacking people, it's hard not to go right to Alfred Hitchcock's timeless classic, The Birds. Well friends, this is not that bird movie. Director James Nguyen seemingly popped on the scene out of nowhere. According to VICE, he paraded his misspelled Birdemic van up and down the streets of Sundance, eventually catching the attention of Severin films.

After its release in 2010, Nguyen's movie achieved an odd type of cult status reserved for the Tommy Wiseaus of the world. This is one of those flicks that many would argue is so-bad-it's-good. The film follows the romance between a salesman named Rod (Alan Bagh) and aspiring model Nathalie (Whitney Moore). And then, after a lovely night together, violently angry — and horribly animated — eagles begin randomly attacking people. Add in a message on global warming, and you've got a clumsily-written and poorly-acted movie that makes little to no sense. 

Alas, the buzz behind the ridiculousness of Birdemic quickly led to packed theaters, similar to the cult phenomenon of The Room. This may explain the 19% score on Rotten Tomatoes. While CinemaBlend gave the film a whopping five stars, PopMatters made the argument that Birdemic is "simply, irrevocably bad."

Don't feast your eyes on The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)

After delivering a barrage of gross-out visuals in the first two Human Centipede movies — which prompted many to angrily vacate the theater — director Tom Six returned in 2015 with the last entry in the series, The Human Centipede 3 (The Final Sequence).

Dieter Laser returns once more as the demented one in charge. This time around, though, instead of playing Dr. Heiter, the face-to-butt sewing surgeon of the first two flicks, he takes on the role of Bill Boss, the sadistic warden of a failing Texas prison. That odd continuity choice raised many eyebrows. Was Six attempting some sort of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2-style comedy amid all the stomach-turning gore?

Variety says, "Tom Six's latest, largest-scaled and most lamentable entry yet in the gross-out horror series manages to be completely obnoxious even before the gross stuff kicks in." Actors like Eric Roberts and Tommy "Tiny" Lister show up as prisoners in the film, showing Hollywood's knack for jumping on a crazy horror gimmick, only to beat it into the ground. With an 18% Rotten Tomatoes rating, this movie features a chain of 500 unfortunate prisoners, which is an image kind of worth all the rubbernecking. Much like its predecessors, though, The Human Centipede 3 lacks any worthwhile substance, cinematic fortitude, or story-telling value.

The Happening will make you wonder what's happening

After wowing audiences with his breakout horror hit The Sixth Sense and subversive superhero flick Unbreakable, M. Night Shyamalan became Hollywood's plot-twist king. But after lackluster reactions to polarizing films like Signs, The Village, and The Lady in the Water, public opinion of the writer/director took a nosedive. In 2008, the director released The Happening, his first R-rated movie, which The AV Club calls "an homage to kooky drive-in sci-fi played inconsistently straight."

Here, Mark Wahlberg plays Elliot Moore, a science teacher who catches onto a biological conspiracy after the Northwestern US is plagued by mass-suicides. Moore and wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) are soon chased by an invisible attacker — which they believe to be an unidentified neurotoxin — as people continue to die.

It's all pretty engaging until the big Shyamalan twist reveals itself. The pathogen in question turned out to be an attack by the Earth's plant-life, spurned by a fit of revenge against humans. Because, you know, climate change. According to EW, even Wahlberg admitted at a press conference for his film The Fighter that The Happening was a bad movie. "F**king trees, man. The plants. F**k it," the actor said. "You can't blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn't playing a cop or a crook."

The raw insanity of Stephen King's Sleepwalkers

Simply put, our cup runneth over with Stephen King adaptations. Some of them are great and some of them, not so much. In the early '90s, King decided to branch out and put on his screenwriter hat. In 1992, the cat-scratch insanity of Stephen King's Sleepwalkers hit theaters everywhere.

The film follows Charles and Mary Brady (played by Brian Krause and Alice Krieg), a mother and son who, in the film's first five minutes, cap off a romantic slow dance with some unexpected incest. Things only get nuttier from there as it's soon revealed that Charles and Mary are a gruesome duo of shape-shifting vampire-like beasts who feed off the life force of young virgin women to survive — and they're deathly afraid of cats.

Director Mick Garris, who ended up teaming with King on 1994's The Stand and 1997's The Shining mini-series, stepped behind the camera for this crazy film. The result is a cavalcade of over-the-top gore and nonsensical dialog. "Sleepwalkers gets crazier and crazier as it proceeds, which is saying something, as it starts out bats**t insane," says The Dissolve. Apparently a bonkers story needs some crazy cameos and Sleepwalkers does not disappoint on that front. Ron Perlman, who played a cat-like monster in the '80s live action Beauty & the Beast TV series, is here. So is everyone's favorite Jedi Master, Mark Hamill. Horror filmmakers Clive Barker, Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante, and John Landis all show up. And of course, so does King himself.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 didn't survive a higher budget

One year after The Blair Witch Project took audiences by storm and birthed the found footage genre, Artisan Entertainment put the sequel Book of Shadows on the fast track. The movie follows a group of Blair Witch fanatics as they venture out to the Black Hills to explore the legend first-hand. Chaos eventually ensues — but it was ultimately tough for audiences to give a damn.

Not only did Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 ignore the the tonality and rules of the original film, by the time the sequel hit theaters, everyone was in on the gimmick that the Blair Witch wasn't actually real. YouTuber Chris Stuckmann calls Book of Shadows "a studio-assembled horror movie disaster." With too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen, director Joe Berlinger allegedly never ended up making the movie he envisioned.

Instead, Book of Shadows is chock full of random violence and reshot sequences which ultimately makes the film a real slog to get through. "All the no-brainer horror cliches, old and new, that Blair Witch so triumphantly discredited have been reintroduced into a yawn-inducing follow-up," said The Guardian in October of 2000. To make matters all the more confusing, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 doesn't actually feature a Book of Shadows anywhere throughout the movie's hour and thirty minute running time. Cue head scratch.

Troll 2 is a misunderstood masterpiece, except terrible

Troll 2 is technically a sequel to the 1986 movie Troll — which featured Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a near-naked wood nymph — but features no real connection to the flick. That said, Troll 2 is quite an anomaly. The movie tells the story of a family terrorized by a gaggle of goblins (there are no trolls anywhere in this movie) who view humans as food. As it turns out, these little monsters are vegetarian, so in order to eat their human captives, they must first turn them into plants.

Troll 2 is a fine example of a horror film that has nothing going for it. Along with its eye-roll-inducing story, the movie has an abundance of clunky dialog and dimwitted movie logic — let's never forget the big reveal that the word "Nilbog" is Goblin spelled backwards. Brought together by director and screenwriter team, Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi, it's possible that the misunderstood movie, through all its wooden acting and hard-to-follow logic, was the end-result of a culture clash between the Italian filmmakers and the American film establishment. Don't take our word for it: Fragasso loves his movie.

Coming in with just a 6% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Troll 2 has since gone down in cult movie history as one of the worst horror movies ever made. The experience was so bad, that the movie's former child star Michael Paul Stephenson decided to put together a documentary about it: 2009's Best Worst Movie.

House of the Dead is a bad director at his worst

Uwe Boll has made a reputation as a director who makes incredibly awful video game flicks. It'd be easy to pick apart his other releases — the Bloodrayne movies and Alone in the Dark, for example — but we're sticking with House of the Dead, based on the popular arcade game where the player uses a light-gun to shoot an onslaught of slow-walking zombies. Boll's movie takes this concept and completely obliterates it with a flimsy plot and a group of one-dimensional characters. As for story, the film follows our collection of cardboard cut-outs as they go to a zombie-filled island to attend a rave.

"A problem is the aggressive obnoxiousness of the characters, who puke on each other and snarl one-liners even before the monsters attack," says Empire Online. The movie also constantly reminds us of its video game origins by splicing clips of gameplay footage into the mix every time there's a scene transition.

"House of the Dead is that rare beast that goes beyond bad and then beyond 'so bad it's good' into its own little niche where even the most die-hard horror fans fear to tread," says CinemaBlend. Boll's movie completely ignores the rules of the genre, presenting a bunch of haphazard monsters that'd feel way more at home in any episode of GooseBumps.

Plenty of people still went into the water after Jaws: The Revenge

A decade after Steven Spielberg created the summer blockbuster with Jaws, Universal released Jaws: The Revenge. With a whopping 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Lorraine Gary/Michael Caine-starrer is probably one of the worst movies ever made.

The film follows Mrs. Brody (Gary), the wife of late Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), who becomes convinced her family is being stalked by a vengeful shark. That concept presents a world where sharks are in fact capable of human emotions. Roger Ebert pointed out the plot's ridiculousness in his 1987 review, stating, "her husband was one of the men who hunted this shark and killed it, blowing it to bits. And what shark wouldn't want revenge against the survivors of the men who killed it?"

Logic aside, it seems the production was troubled from the get-go. According to Den of Geek, two years worth of production was crammed into a mere nine months. The shoot was plagued with a malfunctioning shark and a load of rewrites and reshoots. Universal was allegedly aching for a big screen hit, but by focusing more on potential profits than the quality of the product, the fourth film in the Jaws franchise ended up a huge flop. "Jaws: The Revenge is so slapdash in conception and butterfingered in consummation, it almost makes the viewer question the entire series," states FlavorWire. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Creepshow 3 was the sequel no one asked for

Fans champed at the bit when Creepshow 3 was announced. This was the horror house that George Romero and Stephen King built, after all. The success of the first two flicks even led the men to the small screen for Tales from the Darkside the TV series. Almost 20 years after Creepshow 2 hit theaters, Creepshow 3 crawled out of the muck to titillate and terrify audiences everywhere. Unfortunately, it didn't succeed at doing either.

Creepshow 3 has a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Aside from the movie's title, and its iconic comic-book font, the final installment to the franchise lacks the charm that made its predecessors work. According to Dread Central, Taurus Entertainment got the name rights to Creepshow, and without any involvement of King or Romero, "decided to bank on the fan popularity of the titles with their own entries, having almost zero knowledge of what makes for effective horror movies." The end result is a mishmash of cringeworthy special effects, sloppy character development, and silly vignettes which all link together in the expected wrap-around anthology format.

Manos: The Hands of Fate is a pile of manure from a man who sold it

If it weren't for Mystery Science Theater 3000, we probably wouldn't be talking about Manos: The Hands of Fate. In retrospect, this attention from the series may be the reason Manos: The Hands of Fate received a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It deserves much worse.

Manos: The Hands of Fate — a title which literally means "Hands: The Hands of Fate" — all came about due to a bet made by Harold P. Warren, the writer, director, editor, and star of the film. He alleged that anyone could make a good horror film on their own. By all accounts, he was extremely incorrect. The movie follows married couple Michael (Warren) and Margaret (Diane Mahree) as they find themselves at a remote house where an occultist named The Master (Tom Neyman) rules over a cult. He has a harem of near-dead brides and a knack for sacrificing severed hands to a malevolent god. "It isn't one of those flicks that happens to be so wretched that it's actually enjoyable, it's just ... wretched," says Horror Freak News.

Movie critic Eric D. Snider thinks Manos should be studied in film school, as it showcases everything filmmakers should never do. "What makes 'Manos: The Hands of Fate' noteworthy is that every aspect of it is badly done," he says. "Writing, directing, acting, cinematography, sound, lighting, sets, costumes, music, plot, character — it's all inept and worthless."