Unlike most other genres, horror can afford to be bad. Think about it: The worse a horror movie gets, the more it becomes absurd to the point of being funny, especially if it involves a storyline that makes no sense at all. And so, as Halloween descends upon us, don’t be scared of a good old-fashioned bad horror movie. Here are some horror movies that are so bad they’re actually good.
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‘The Seed of Chucky’ (2004)
Despite its silly premise, the original “Chucky” is a legendary horror movie. But the fifth installment in the franchise, “The Seed of Chucky,” doesn’t quite fit the bill, giving us a spin-off that’s noticeably lacking in some regards when compared to the rest of the series. Maybe it was inevitable –– we personally think most spin-offs are hard to pull off.
That’s not to say “The Seed of Chucky” is a bad movie. How could it be? Just look at Glen, the doll-child of Chucky and Tiffany, who embarks on a hero’s journey to connect with his diabolical parents. We don’t need to tell you how much the plot sucks, because that doesn’t matter. With a face like Glen’s, it’s impossible not to crack up and enjoy what you’re watching every time he comes on screen.
‘The Wicker Man’ (2006)
Starring none other than Nicolas Cage, “The Wicker Man” is a remake of the 1973 British movie of the same name, but it also draws inspiration from the novel “Ritual.” The plot deals with a police officer who ventures onto a tiny island populated by neo-pagans in the Pacific Northwest where his missing daughter was last seen. And while that might sound terrifying enough to deliver at least some fright, the movie has been universally rejected by critics, though they have also pointed out it is unintentionally funny.
In one scene, for example, Cage’s character fights a group of women who were trying to sacrifice him to the bee gods to make their honey harvest return. It’s hard to be scared by the threat of bodily harm when honey is involved, and Cage’s acting only makes things more calmly entertaining. If you’re still looking for a Halloween costume, consider going as him.
We might be stretching the definition of “bad” with this particular flick. Critics tend to actually enjoy this one, but you’ll find that the things people like about this weird and wild movie are very much the same sorts of things that fans of the “so bad it’s good” subgenre adore. “House” features the kind of predictable horror plot you can spot a mile away — a young schoolgirl travels with her friends to her aunt’s countryside home, only to discover that the beautiful property is haunted by a sinister entity — and adorns that basic plot with a barrage of bizarre, highly artificial special effects.
Many of the mundane objects around the home turn out to be possessed, and they fly through the air or let out blood in a montage of mechanical animations that is hard to take seriously. Indeed, it’s pretty hard not to be amused by flying light fixtures that knock characters out. “House” is also full of flying kicks and other maneuvers that feel slightly out of place for a horror movie, which is all the more reason we like it.
‘Prom Night’ (2008)
A common trope among horror movies is the frustratingly unsuspecting, wide-eyed character who walks into the room everyone knows to avoid –– literally walking into their own death. Well, the cast of “Prom Night” is pretty much that character but many times over, taking innocence (or stupidity, depending on how you look at it) to new heights and giving us a movie that is captivating nonetheless.
The movie revolves around a group of six high school kids who are targeted at their prom by a masked killer with a grudge. While there is nothing unsurprising or innovative about “Prom Night,” you’ll have a laugh as the killer goes down his list and his poor victims are caught like deer in front of headlights.
“Malignant” is definitely scary, at least on paper. It’s also bound to be a divisive choice, as it has plenty of genuine fans. I am not one of them.
The movie centers on a woman with a mysterious childhood who is tormented by gruesome visions of people dying horrible deaths, except that those visions turn out to be very much real. When she becomes the prime suspect in many of these deaths, our heroine tries to investigate her childhood and the events that led her to her current state.
As promising as the plot is, “Malignant” is bogged down by cheesy dialogue as well as over-the-top, unrealistic scenes that will have you rolling your eyes –– but that’s exactly why I like it. There’s also a very sudden plot twist at the end that, like the other entries on this list, is so bad to the point of being good.
‘Halloween Ends’ (2022)
We gotta close this list with another hot take. While the original “Halloween” movie was legitimately scary and well done, the franchise fell off the wagon with the latest and final installment, “Halloween Ends.” In case you aren’t familiar, the storyline focuses on Michael Myers, a serial killer who escapes from a sanitorium and goes on a rampage to kill an entire town. Jamie Lee Curtis famously plays a babysitter who takes it upon herself to lock him up again –– almost dying many times in the process.
The reason we think “Halloween Ends” is bad is because the plot is simply maxed out. It takes place literally several decades and multiple escapes from the psych ward since the first movie. It’s unrealistic how many times Michael has managed to escape and be caught again. Most noteworthy, however, the poor guy has been burned alive, shot, stabbed, and run over more times than we can count, yet somehow he’s still kicking –– which is pretty comical, especially when you consider he’s almost geriatric at this point. His epic beef with Jamie Lee Curtis’ character is also pretty epic: Turns out it’s still on all these years later. Simply put, “Halloween Ends” is a treat.