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What's the Most Overrated Horror Film of the Last 20 Years?

11.02.2015by: Eric Walkuski

Is there a movie everyone else seems to love and you think simply stinks? Is there a recent horror flick that made a bundle at the box office while you're left scratching your head thinking, "Why the hell is everyone flocking to see this crud?!" Then boogie with us as we go over our Most Overrated Movies of the last 20 Years! Granted, these are just our measly opinions, but feel free to toss in your two cents (or more!) in the comments section below! 

 

John "The Arrow" Fallon, AITH Founder and Chief Critic

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY FRANCHISE (2009 - 2015) - Directed by Various

To this day I still don’t understand why the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise wound up being so successful. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN, SAW… I get it. Paragarbage? It totally eludes me. Granted, the original 2009 film sported a handful of effective fear bits, but alas the whole was urinated on by one of the most grating characters to ever grace the macabre screen. Yes I speak of that backhand-inducing douche Micah. Not since Tina Williams in HALLOWEEN 5 did I want a movie character to freaking shut the f*ck up and DIE already. DAMN I hated that dude.  

Personally, I was done after Part 1 but alas it made coin and opened the flood-gates for the story challenged Part 2 to stink up the joint in 2010. When all you can remember from a film is that it was dense, boring and that it pimped out way too many “wannabe ominous filler shots” of a pool cleaner... yeah... not a good sign. I wiped my ass with that movie. Part 3 eventually surfaced in 2011 and made things a bit better. Although it sported a fuller storyline, some genuine scares and more professional acting than in the two previous films, I can’t say that it stayed with me for long either. I saw it, got some easy kicks out of it and forgot all about it.

But whatever little positive I felt by way of the third installment in the franchise – it was exorcised out of me when I had to endure the half-assed and painfully redundant PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (2012). That one was the WORST of an already underwhelming series.  After that clunky, generic and suspension of disbelief heavy fourth chapter – I made a decision – I was done with these freaking movies. Hence I never saw PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES (2014) and will also skip on the upcoming PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION. This overrated and half-baked franchise has wasted enough of my time and money over the years. YOU CAN KEEP IT!

 

Eric Walkuski, Managing Editor, Critic

MARTYRS (2009) - Directed by Pascal Laugier

Yes, it's gory. Yes, it's brutal. Yes, it makes almost ever Hollywood horror movie made in the last 20 years look like Sesame Street. I don't care, I still find MARTYRS to be an overbearing, pretentious and smug.

The film certainly starts compellingly, that much can't be denied; in fact, its first act is engrossing and disturbing. Just how compelling that first 45 minutes or so is is accentuated by how uninspired it becomes in the second half, where all suspense and tension is drained in favor of relentless ugliness. It's not simply that the film becomes a mindless torturefest. Torture can be quite scary if handled well on screen, but Martyrs turns into a boring and miserable chore. While director Pascal Laugier seeks to provoke us with a fundamentally interesting concept (can you actually create a martyr?), his method is a repetitive slog. People always point to Martyrs as being one of the most grueling horror movies in recent memory, and I'm inclined to agree. And what good to me is a movie that I barely want to finish the first time, let alone ever see again? (And I did indeed revisit it before this mini-review. What an unappealing taste it left in my mouth.)

James Oster, Critic and columnist

THE RING (2002) - Directed by Gore Verbinski

I never caught THE RING - the remake of the Japanese thriller RINGU - in the theatres. One thing for certain, I couldn't get away from the hype of it all. So many people said it was absolutely terrifying and of course I had to check it out. Was it terrifying? Not really. Naomi Watts did a nice job and I enjoy seeing her in horror, but this remake failed to send any real chills up my spine. Aside from that final moment of terror, this was a fairly tepid flick that was a pale imitation of the original. Not a bad film certainly, but did it live up to the constant praise? Nope. Frankly, I'd rather stick with the original.

Brennan Klein, News Editor

SESSION 9 (2001)- Directed by Brad Anderson

There's been a truly inexplicable outpouring of love for this film. The opening scene has some eerie camerawork and the real-life setting is creepy enough, but the acting is poor (David Caruso's "F**K you..." is possibly the most hilarious line reading in the history of cinema), it looks like it was shot on a potato, and the plot is dull as dishwater - not to mention unbearably predictable. I don't think it counts as a twist if literally every other mental health horror movie before you has done it first. Why anybody continues to watch this flick and take it seriously will forever be a mystery to me. I'm just happy they never got around to making a Session 10.

 

Cody Hamman, News Editor

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012) - Directed by Drew Goddard

Coming off of writing CLOVERFIELD, a movie I could never get into, Drew Goddard made his directorial debut with THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a horror/comedy that was well received by the horror community (although not at the box office) but which I have a burning hatred for. While the way it plays with horror tropes can be mildly amusing, the entire film is dragged down by a character I couldn't stand: fan favorite stoner Marty, who I found to be insufferable. The climax centers on this character making a choice that I have serious moral issues with - rather than allow himself to be sacrificed, he instead opts to let every human soul on the planet suffer an agonizing death at the hands of ancient gods. The parents he mentioned earlier? Agonizing death. 7 billion people, death for all because Marty won't let himself be killed in their place. The idea that he might make such a choice is set up earlier when he complains about feeling constrained by society. You're so deep, dude. I don't think of very many horror movies as being overrated. If I find that something popular doesn't live up to the hype, I usually just shrug it off as not being for me, but because of the Marty character and the ending, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS infuriates me.

 

Jake Dee, Critic and columnist

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) - Directed by Oren Peli

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is the single most overblown movie to come out in recent memory. I mean, come on...a few fluttering windows, some slamming doors, some red eyes aglow in the dark...how on Earth do those rudimentary scares proliferate into a 5-movie franchise you can pretty much set your watch to every October? Silliness.  Moreover, the movie was made for a mere $11,000 by writer/director Oren Peli, who has since only made one horrendous movie in AREA 51.  Not so for Jason Blum however, who parlayed the massive success of the first P.A. movie into a highly lucrative power-player career in Hollywood.  All due to the marketing blitz and viral sensation the low-tech haunted house flick yielded.  Not a fan of the movie itself, and certainly not a fan of how it's molded the modern day horror franchise.  Seriously, what would Kubrick, Polanski and Friedkin say about PARANORMAL ACTIVITY? I can't even imagine them dignifying themselves with a critique of such ineffective dreck.

 

Ryan Doom, Columnist

DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) - Directed by Zack Snyder

To me, the original DAWN OF THE DEAD is film perfection. I love George A. Romero’s blend of comic book horror, and it should have been one of the very, very, very few films never to get that remake treatment. But then, of course, Zack Snyder directed a remake. It’s not a terrible movie. In fact, it’s a good looking film with some great Ving Rhames scenes. It's entertaining, but that’s it. It’s a popcorn zombie flick, and too many folks give it too much credit. It sums up what problem so many modern films have. It looks dandy (and it does use that Johnny Cash song to perfection), but it lacks the social bite, the commentary of American society that Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD had in spades. Snyder’s movie has plenty of quality gore, but it doesn't have any true, lasting impact. It’s interesting, entertaining, but a horror classic? No. There’s already one of those, and I don’t see this one holding up over the years like the original. 

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of our picks? More importantly, what do YOU think is the most overrated horror flick of the last 20 years?

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