Watching terrible horror movies, so you don’t have to

Donna (Britney Snow) comes face to face with her families’ murderer, Mr. Fenton, (Johnathon Schaech) in Prom Night.

Promotional material courtesy of Original films, Newmarket Films, and alliance films.

Donna (Britney Snow) comes face to face with her families’ murderer, Mr. Fenton, (Johnathon Schaech) in Prom Night.

In the fickle horror movie industry, directors have to create the perfect conglomeration of suspense, drama, and horror to captivate their audiences. Some movies succeed, holding a spot in the viewer’s heart. However, many fail miserably. Luckily, viewers can still utilize these atrocious films for a laugh. If you aren’t in the mood for a scare, here are five of the worst horror movies ever created: 

13 Cameras: 

Gerald (Nevile Archambault) peering into the personal lives of his unknowing tenants in director Victor Zarcoff’s 13 Cameras. (Promotional Material Courtesy of 79 & Broadway Entertainment)

13 Cameras, released Apr. 15, 2016, wedges itself in the caustic range between scary and funny, leaving viewers inevitably unsatisfied. The film follows Gerald (Nevile Archambault) as he tracks his unknowing tenants on surveillance cameras placed inconspicuously around their rental property. Gerald tries to conjure a sinister mood with miscellaneous snarls and moans, but leaves the viewer uncomfortable, waiting for the scene to end. The agonizing acting is complemented by lackluster filming and editing. While building anticipation, the film showcases light rooms, bland scenery, and otherwise normal settings, taking away from the intended suspense. Director Victor Zarcoff had the possibility of making an otherwise lackluster movie into a cohesive piece with an immaculate script. Sadly, Zacoff manages to write scenes that are muddled, fitting the generic stalker plot. The script is all-around bland, the actors read off unmotivated lines, providing the film with a B-movie ranking. Unless one is looking for an overwhelming sense of cringe, 13 Cameras should not be their first choice. 


Paranormal Activities: 

Katie (Katie Featherstone) and Micah (Micah Sloat) are frightened by strange events occurring in their suburban home in Paranormal Activities. (Promotional Material Courtesy of Blumhouse Productions)

Paranormal Activities, released Sep. 5, 2009, had the foundation for a truly petrifying film with an enthralling idea but failed in its implementation. The film follows couple Katie (Katie Featherstone) and Micah (Micah Sloat) as they install security cameras throughout their residency due to Katie’s paranoia of paranormal occurrences. Paranormal Activities spans an hour and 26 minutes, with the first hour being devoted to the build-up. The suspense holds the viewers captivated for 30 minutes until it becomes unbearable and redundant, leaving the viewers with nothing but boredom. The suspense comes crashing down with the final  26 minutes of action, where the paranormal activities occur. Unfortunately, the scenes are too fast-paced, and once the action starts, much like the build-up, it lasts too long. Outside of the script, the acting was abysmal, with the couple merely portraying their everyday activities, making the film nothing to write home about. That said, the filming on the security cameras provided the movie with a more authentic feel, drawing in viewers. With the film’s atrocious execution of an overall acceptable plot, I would not recommend. 


The Alpines:

A group of friends attempts to figure out why strange events are occurring in their cabin in The Alpines. (Brynn Galaich)

The Alpines, released Sep. 21, 2021, directed by Dante Aubain, is a dull movie that will inevitably waste 1 hour and 33 minutes of viewers’ lives. The movie follows seven friends staying in a cabin in the woods together. The friends share a past of complicated interpersonal relationships. Once everyone settles into the cabin, strange occurrences become frequent. The friends realize that they do not know who actually invited them to the cabin, and they begin receiving strange messages and warnings written on the walls. Everyone begins to realize that everything is not what it seems. The acting in this film was lacking, to say the least. For parts of the movie, the actors were completely deadpan, with no fluctuation in their tones or facial expression, while other parts felt overacted and very forced. All in all, none of the acting was believable. The plot is unoriginal, uninteresting, and unengaging. There is nothing interesting about this movie, and it has no redeeming qualities. The Alpines is not even a funny bad horror movie to watch with friends. It is boring in all ways and I would not recommend it to anyone.


Birdemic: Shock and Terror:

From left to right; Ramsey (Adam Sessa), Rod (Alan Bagh), and Analeigh (Whitney Moore) attack the viciously unrealistic birds in Birdemic. (Promotional material courtesy of Severin Films)

Birdemic, released Feb. 10, 2010, leaves its viewers petrified with its abhorrent acting, camera work, and graphics. Set in Half Moon Bay, Birdemic follows Rod and his new girlfriend Analeigh, as they survive the aftermath of the bird apocalypse. The movie is complete with stereotypical scared children, gory dead bodies, and a misogynistic attempt at romance. The overall worst feature of the movie is the incoherent plot. Viewers leave wondering why the birds attacked, why they suddenly had the brute force to kill everyone, and why we sat through 40 solid minutes of arbitrary romance complete with a segment dedicated to foot cuddles (barf). The writing was nonsensical, but even if it was good you wouldn’t notice because the acting was so bad. Our leading man Rod made many lines sound dry and it seems he clearly does not know how to convey human emotion. Only watch this movie if you want some ironic laughs with friends and no possibility of being scared. 


Prom Night:

Donna (Britney Snow) comes face to face with her families’ murderer, Mr. Fenton, (Johnathon Schaech) in Prom Night. (Promotional material courtesy of Original films, Newmarket Films, and alliance films.)

Although more flashy than other movies on this list and complete with actors that many would recognize from other projects, Prom Night, released July 19, 1980, quickly becomes a cliche in every possible fashion and fails to surprise viewers in any way. A few years after the violent murders of high school senior Donna’s entire family, she prepares to attend school a prom with her friends and boyfriend, unaware that her old teacher, the man who murdered her entire family, has escaped from prison. This movie takes no creative license at all and completely follows the ideas of past cliche horror films before it. The predictability of the movie never wavers, even after multiple sad attempts to throw the viewer off-guard. Acting is off-key and feels unrealistic, especially considering that Donna never once mentions the trauma that she has gone through after watching her entire family murdered by her psychotic teacher. The bad plotline also creates an overly stereotypical group of teenagers exploring the world of romance. The movie does have a few reasonably surprising jump scares, so I would recommend watching it if you are in the mood for something straightforward and mildly exciting.