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The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!


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The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby Matt_Molgaard » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:03 pm

The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!Image


Oh no, here comes the controversy. I’ll go ahead and get myself prepped for an onslaught of Facebook defacing, Twitter tantrums and hateful emails. But guess what? I don’t mind a bit, and we love to stir up a little controversy around these parts! So, get ready to vehemently defend your favorite film that lands on this list. I can debate for hours, and that’s territory you don’t want to tread!

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10. Cannibal Holocaust: I can understand the shock viewers experienced witnessing actual animal murders on screen. I can, that’s an unsettling sight and, well, some of the sounds are just as bad, if not worse. I can also recognize the genius of this early found footage feature: this film did indeed break new ground… that would not be re-travelled for many, many years to come. Hell, I’ll even admit that my sadistic side finds some measure of gratification in this film.

That doesn’t change the fact that Cannibal Holocaust is not the end all be all of horror grotesqueries, and it’s time that the general public accepted this. It’s shocking at times, and worthy of discussion, but it’s garnered such an obnoxious amount of publicity that it’s far exceeded overrated. Besides, if you really want to see a disturbing picture that will linger with you for years to come, give A Serbian Film a try.

09. Donnie Darko: Look, I love a boggling psychological film as much as the next man, but we’ve got to be real here. Donnie Darko is one damn overrated film. We’ve got some great performances to juggle (including work from the late, great Patrick Swayze, Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal), and an interesting concept, but this flick has always been too avante garde for my taste. Why so many can be stumped by the premise of the film, and still regard it as an absolute classic will forever be beyond my cognitive abilities.

If you’re a diehard Darko, sorry to steamroll your treasure, but, outside of a few performances, this flick just isn’t the winner so many have touted it as. And, let’s not even discuss the follow up.

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08. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003): Every time I hear someone comment on the fact that this film is superior to its 1974 predecessor, I become overcome by rage, and feel a strong desire to deliver a violent punch. Is this reboot a stylish rendition of Tobe Hooper’s original? You bet your sweet as it is. Is it anywhere remotely near as memorable or profound as Hooper’s take? Not-even-close.

I’m really not super anti-remakes. Sometimes they win, and sometimes they win big. This one however, missed the mark for me completely. The beautiful grain of the original that created such a realistic sense to the film is long gone here, and we’re not gifted “average” actors (IE Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, Teri McMinn), we’re treated actors that could easily slink onto a model shoot and fit right in, like Jessica Biel, Mike Vogel, Erica Leerhsen and Jonathan Tucker. This is a story that was built around sadistic possibilities, and this stylish remake just didn’t win me over, in the slightest. Yay, it’s stylish; exactly what I don’t want from such an animalistic feature.

07. Paranormal Activity 3: the flames of Hades may rise from the earth’s surface and scorch my ass for this one, but I’m sticking by this pick 200 percent. In the months build up to the third entry into this franchise hype was reached a level rarely rivaled. Knowing that Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman would be helming this film only added to the mystique. Then came advanced reviews, and the cinematic world deemed the feature the franchise star and a future classic.

I wasn’t particularly moved by the film. I enjoyed seeing the story fleshed out a bit more, with a look into the past, but honestly, I found it to be the least frightening PA film thus far. Not once was I deeply unnerved, not once did I leap from my seat, and not once was I surprised by a single story maneuver. I do consider it a quality film, I just cannot fathom how fans and viewers declared this film to be the best of the lot. Now, flame away!

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06. Suspiria: Look, I’m going to keep this one brief. I do indeed enjoy this film quite a bit. In fact, there was a time when I’d label it a top 5 pick for me. Over the years however, as entertaining as this film is, I’ve come to spot the film’s errors and really analyze the concept (dance student arrives at a school fronted by a coven of witches, basically), which is fun, but not groundbreaking. I dig the score, and there are some nice visuals, but there are some embarrassing shots to take in as well. It’s just not the masterpiece so many wish to declare it; solid film regardless, I must say.

05. The Omen (1976): I’ve got one word for you: boring. Yes, this film is not exciting, and not nearly as creepy as followers have made it out to be. Is the idea of a little antichrist running around offing people terrifying? Well hell yes it is! Is Gregory Peck brilliant? You bet. Are a few of the death scenes iconic? Yep. That doesn’t change the fact that outside a wicked intro, the pacing of this picture is about as dull as it comes.

I too often see this praised as one of the greatest films in genre history, but I completely disagree. This is the kind of movie that is genuinely enjoyable once, and once only. The film drags, and as much as I hate to bag on what many consider a classic, it’s just too damn dull to earn that moniker from this particular writer. Sorry all you Satanists!

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04. The Amityville Horror (1979): I hate including this film in this specific article, because I’m a massive fan of James Brolin and Margot Kidder, but the fact is: this film gained far more attention than it deserved. It’s creepy, and there’s some great atmosphere at times, but the editing is subpar, and the finale, while appeasing, leaves a bit to be desired. There are some awesome scenes in the film, but there are just as many questionable exchanges, which does drag the film down at times.

I’ll always be a fan of this flick, but the fact remains, it’s not the greatest haunted house film ever made, as some will certainly have you believe. A fun film for a dark, lonely Saturday night; Amityville Horror just isn’t quite the monumental spectacle many have made it out to be.

03. Hostel: Billed as one of the most graphic and gruesome movies in history, Hostel was a major let down. Cliché’s abound, and an urban myth (which has in the past proven true, to be fair) anchors this film of tortured tourists. While I’m a massive Eli Roth fan, this picture didn’t deliver an iota of the hyperbole affixed. It’s not insanely gory, there aren’t many jaw dropping moments, and the storyline feels a bit…hollow at times.

Hostel is a fine brand that’s generated quite a few bucks (roughly $50 million domestically, and likely boatloads more on DVD), but in my personal opinion it’s always been heavily overrated. If I’m looking into some torture porn (for some reason), give me meat on (or off) my bone; give me something like Imprint or Martyrs. Hostel just didn’t live up to its reputation.

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02. Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2: Well, here we have the abomination of all abominations. I’m not sure what Rob Zombie was thinking when he set to work on this film. Oh wait, maybe I do: “let’s drastically alter the personalities of literally every single character in the film (sand Sherriff Brackett), let’s rip half of Michael’s mask off and turn him into a grunting, wandering nomad…because that seems faithful to the storyline!”

This film almost makes me sick to my stomach. Being an unrivaled Halloween fan, it was, a true travesty to see Rob completely deconstruct a beautiful tale with loads of potential. All the same, that’s what he did. Perhaps the most amazing point of the film’s existence is the fact that so many not only bought into this radical shift, they seemed to genuinely love it. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I took my glasses with me when I watched this clunker.

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01. The Exorcist: OH NO HE DIDN’T! Yes, I did. The Exorcist boasts one of the most chilling final acts ever caught on film. It is, honestly a frightening piece of cinema. And, it will forever go down in history as the greatest exorcism film made (is that tough… at least by today’s standards?). That however cannot change the fact that 70 percent of the film functions at a turtles pace. There are some shocking visuals to behold (“Let Jesus fuck you!”), but most of the greatness is saved for the waning moments of the film. Sorry, but I’m not all that amused by a 12 year old kid pissing herself in the middle of a party, as repulsive as that is.

I will not try to discredit the impact this film had on moviegoers. It’s certainly a stunning piece of work… once you make it 95 minutes into the film. Over the years some unseen footage has surfaced and been included to special editions of the film, and I admit had these shots been incorporated in the initial release, I might not have much to complain about here. As it stands however, The Exorcist is a rather dull film with one amazing finale, and little more.

Matt Molgaard is a staff writer for best-horror-movies.com. Be sure to follow Matt on Twitter!
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby MOWDEReeL » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:35 pm

I agree with all but #1, #4 & #5...You can't even compare a 70's film with the fast-paced CGI, monster makers of today...Most films in that day in age were slow paced films...but equally groundbreaking with deep storylines and they introduced most of us, kids at that time, to some terrifying creatures, images and stories...I'm sorry but Exorcist, Amittyville and the Omen would easily be three of the best cinema flicks of it's day and still reign strong even 30 years later...I mean if your still taking about the film than I guess THAT speaks for itself...

There is no way anyone born in the 70's or even before that can tell me that the scene in the Omen when the babysitter jumped from the balcony quoting "This is for you Damien." Or the scene in Amittyville where the priest is blessing the house and the famous "GET OUT!" is screamed in his face. Or the crazy scene where Reagan sits on the edge of her bed, spins her head around yelling..."Your cunting daughter!" Didn't chime shivers down their spine.

Todays horror films lack depth in their stories and they replace that depth with bigger, better CGI monsters that in most cases, at least for me, dont make up for it...

One fan quoted on facebook the other day that a 10 year old watched the Exorcist and thought it was boring...
well no fucking shit man, the kids 10...I dont think a 10 year old could even begin to comprehend that story especially with the fast-paced slasher films they are exposed to today...I mean was I ten when 'I' seen it, probably, maybe even a little older, however at that day in age I had NEVER seen anything like it...With violence in virtually every corner we look, this day in age, most kids are desensitized by most films and creatures of the 70's era...

In my personal experience not two years ago, my Wife and I played the Exorcist for my cousin...Now this guy is 6'2" 230LBS easy and when the scene came on with her devilish moaning and groaning...I tell you what, That boy got up out of his chair and came over and sat down on the floor right next to us...it scared him that much...Now that's what makes viewing movies like that fun...LMAO!

Awesome article again Matt ;)...
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby kmdgrfx » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:13 pm

Well, opinions are opinions and all of that, but this list makes me wonder what your top ten most fairly rated horror movies are? Overrated by whom, exactly? I agree with a few and disagree strongly with even fewer, but when you speak of ratings, what is your basis? Box office take? Cult status? Fan-boy sense of righteousness? what, exactly? It's a problem I have with most list-makers. Watch the move and like it or dislike it, but never assume your opinion translates to any universally-held truth about things.

Taking on the Exorcist was brash, especially since you actually praise the film a lot in your trashing. If it's that good, how can it be your number 1 overrated horror film? Maybe you are just tired of the frequency with which this film is mentioned in conversations about what constitutes a great horror film and want to see it's standing challenged a bit, but you have to come with more than simple pacing issues. Clearly being a film-savvy guy, you know full well that the film is a progression and that the long stretches of inactivity only serve to mount the tension for what is to come. That time is spent in character and plot development, something that is woefully missing in many modern horror offerings. I'm not picking a fight here or anything, I just think that you need to provide more support for an attack on a legendary piece of horror. When you take on the throne, you better have your talking points well in hand is all.

Now, let me add one to the fray. This is a movie I find extremely overrated and I'll explain why. The Shining. The original Kubrick version. This movie is overrated based solely on it's comparison to the source material. Say what you want about Stephen King, but like him or hate him, his book achieves something special. It is a truly terrifying read. For those tempted to chime in on this discussion having only seen the film, don't bother. The book is my entire baseline for the over rating, and just loving Kubrick is no defense against what happened here. The beautifully and skillfully helmed story is completely abandoned and used more as a reference point for Kubrick and so much of the essence of the story is lost in his poor casting and diversions.

The essential story arch here is Jack Torrance's (Nicholson) descent into madness. That is the meat and potatoes of the story and Jack Nicolson's portrayal reeks of madness from the moment he first appears. There is no arch at all. He seems batshit crazy and ready to kill his family from the getgo. I'm always amazed at the recognition this film gets when it takes as many liberties with the source material as it does. Is the film creepy and atmospheric? Yes. Is the old lady in the tub scary? Yup. The movie is good, just nowhere as good as the book would have allowed it to be in the translation had been a little more faithful. Just seems like a wasted opportunity to me. Again, I think I'm right here, but these are opinions, folks. And love the movie if you want, but read the Shining if you haven't. It really is a scary book. Thanks for reading.
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby Matt_Molgaard » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:00 pm

kmdgrfx wrote:Well, opinions are opinions and all of that, but this list makes me wonder what your top ten most fairly rated horror movies are? Overrated by whom, exactly? I agree with a few and disagree strongly with even fewer, but when you speak of ratings, what is your basis? Box office take? Cult status? Fan-boy sense of righteousness? what, exactly? It's a problem I have with most list-makers. Watch the move and like it or dislike it, but never assume your opinion translates to any universally-held truth about things.

Taking on the Exorcist was brash, especially since you actually praise the film a lot in your trashing. If it's that good, how can it be your number 1 overrated horror film? Maybe you are just tired of the frequency with which this film is mentioned in conversations about what constitutes a great horror film and want to see it's standing challenged a bit, but you have to come with more than simple pacing issues. Clearly being a film-savvy guy, you know full well that the film is a progression and that the long stretches of inactivity only serve to mount the tension for what is to come. That time is spent in character and plot development, something that is woefully missing in many modern horror offerings. I'm not picking a fight here or anything, I just think that you need to provide more support for an attack on a legendary piece of horror. When you take on the throne, you better have your talking points well in hand is all.

Now, let me add one to the fray. This is a movie I find extremely overrated and I'll explain why. The Shining. The original Kubrick version. This movie is overrated based solely on it's comparison to the source material. Say what you want about Stephen King, but like him or hate him, his book achieves something special. It is a truly terrifying read. For those tempted to chime in on this discussion having only seen the film, don't bother. The book is my entire baseline for the over rating, and just loving Kubrick is no defense against what happened here. The beautifully and skillfully helmed story is completely abandoned and used more as a reference point for Kubrick and so much of the essence of the story is lost in his poor casting and diversions.

The essential story arch here is Jack Torrance's (Nicholson) descent into madness. That is the meat and potatoes of the story and Jack Nicolson's portrayal reeks of madness from the moment he first appears. There is no arch at all. He seems batshit crazy and ready to kill his family from the getgo. I'm always amazed at the recognition this film gets when it takes as many liberties with the source material as it does. Is the film creepy and atmospheric? Yes. Is the old lady in the tub scary? Yup. The movie is good, just nowhere as good as the book would have allowed it to be in the translation had been a little more faithful. Just seems like a wasted opportunity to me. Again, I think I'm right here, but these are opinions, folks. And love the movie if you want, but read the Shining if you haven't. It really is a scary book. Thanks for reading.


The beauty of a subjective piece is that there is no requirement for an opinion. I think I explained pretty well what I liked or disliked about each film, and I think... I hope, maybe I should say, that I adequately expressed my reasoning for my selections.

I do think it's important to remember that I enjoy these films, but because I enjoy them doesnt mean I feel that they are necessarily worthy of the overwhelming amount of praise they receive. The Exorcist is, in my mind the greatest example of a film that is damn fine, but not the flawless masterpiece it's made out to be. You noted my issue with the pacing and stated that that's not a sufficient complaint basically, but it's the film's lone downfall, and it's a BIG downfall. You note that it's important to flesh characters out, and you're absolutely right, character development is EXTREMELY important, but dragging is dragging, and as impacting as the finale of this picture is, it doesn't change the fact that there's a significant difference between character development and elasticity. The film could have been trimmed 20 minutes, lost ZERO character development, and unraveled in significantly swifter fashion.

The Exorcist is, IMO a PERFECT example of a stretched story, while say... The Orphanage, or even The Descent is a great example of properly developed character development; I dont think its a simple coincidence that both function at a much smoother rate.

Again, I expect PLENTY of complaints about this one, because I'm saying a whole lot of things that I think will piss of purists, and I think a lot of people will agree with me on plenty of these, but won't necessarily want to be the one to step up and voice that opinion.

One more thing to remember, I've got to reiterate: with only a few exceptions, I really enjoy all of these films. I just dont feel they're the flawless features they're traditionally made out to be. Great? for the most part, definitely. Perfect? No, not in my opinion.

appreciate the thoughts guys.
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby Sephit » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:48 pm

Bold topic and nice article, I dig it and agree with most of the list. I recently watched The Exorcist for the first time (I'm 26) and although there are some great parts, I too believe that it could have been trimmed a bit because I was falling asleep in some parts. That being said, I did enjoy most of it and it is definitely the best exorcism movie out there but it could have killed some of their babies (cutting scenes).

TCM is a touchy subject for me because I really dig the original and the remake. I think we can all agree that it was a great idea to get rid of the character of Franklin in the remake. I haven't seen the remake in awhile but I think Leatherface has the best mask in that film out of the whole series, I own two takes on it and even have the undermask as well. This may piss off some people but I dig Andrews portrayal better than Gunner's in most scenes. I watched the original the other night after not seeing it for a year or so and although the music score is creepy, the shots are interesting and the vibe is cool...Franklin was really annoying and it seemed more like a dark comedy this time around. Sure in the remake you have a few people that could be models but I like the feeling of dread it conveys with the music score and dark feel of it. I think if the remake had a similar dinner scene to the original then it would have been better than the original but as it stands right now they are pretty close in my book and it really depends on the vibe of movie you would like to watch.

Enough rambling, I just hope the new TCM film finds a way to combine the original with the style of the remake some how because we need a great TCM film. I thought The Beginning was pretty cool as well but I didn't dig some parts such as the mask.

Last but not least I would like to chime in about the Shining because I really dig it and it may be a little too slow in some parts but I thought it was miles better than the made for tv Shining that Stephen King redid. I haven't read the book but I would like you guys to give me your opinion on how you rate both renditions.
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby kmdgrfx » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:39 pm

I have to be honest here and admit that I have never seen the second, made-for-tv version, but I hear it is closer to the text and will probably suit me better than the first version. I'll do my best to bump that one up in my netflix queue if it is available and give you my feedback as soon as I've seen it. Don't get me wrong, I had seen the movie before reading the book and I grew up loving the movie and still do, it just does NOT have a lot to do with the book. I wouldn't mind if it were a reimagining or a reboot or re-whatever, but it was the first movie adaptation of the book and so much of it was just wrong. Shelley Duvall as Wendy? Please. She's described as a hot blond in the book and not someone who is clearly a victim from the opening scene. She is a mouse of a woman to Nicholson's Jack, and it just doesn't work. The characters, with the exception of Scatman Crothers, were way, way off. Crothers was a good fit, I thought. Read the book and I'll watch the tv version and we'll compare notes. It's one of the only books that I actually reread every year at least once. Probably King's best story IMO. Thanks. Cheers, guys.
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Re: The World's Most Controversial 'Top 10 Overrated Horror Films' List!

New postby kmdgrfx » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:45 pm

One more thing to remember, I've got to reiterate: with only a few exceptions, I really enjoy all of these films. I just dont feel they're the flawless features they're traditionally made out to be. Great? for the most part, definitely. Perfect? No, not in my opinion.


Hey Matt, out of curiosity, what is your idea of the perfect horror movie? What flick sits unquestioned at the top of your list? I'm genuinely curious to know what others ideas of "perfect horror" are. I'm not sure I have one at the ready, but you got me thinking. Thanks, man.
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