Instead of going the Hollywood route and creating an unnecessary and sub par sequel to last year’s ‘The 4: Scary Movies’, I decided to take a different approach to the horror genre this year. Instead of celebrating the films that make our skin crawl and sleep with the lights on, I wanted to examine over hyped horror films. I’m not looking for the worst horror movies like House of a 1,000 Corpses or Troll 2. I’m looking for the four overpraised frightening flicks that I think are just plain ridiculous. Same rules as last year: films such as Alien and The Thing (1982) are freaky, but should reside in the Sci-Fi category just Like Seven and The Silence of the Lambs should be relegated to the Drama category… not that any of those films would ever end up on this list. So now it’s time for this anti-critic to cut loose on ‘The 4: Overrated Horror Movies’.
Child’s Play (1998)
I know Chucky has become one of the most recognizable figures in the horror genre, but seriously, he’s a freaking doll. This ‘My Buddy” knockoff has garnered a cult following spawning 5 Child’s Play sequels. I don’t get it. It’s not like Chucky’s even a scary doll like the clown in Poltergeist. You’re toys are never coming alive via voodoo by a serial killer. Even if they did, that doll is less than 2 feet tall. I would rip that red-headed “Good Guy” doll apart with my bare hands before I tossed him in the garbage. The Child’s Play series has evolved into a charmingly cheesy B-Movie series, but the first one was meant to be a true horror movie which earns it a place on this list.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
I know fans of the zombie genre like to declare Dawn of the Dead as the quintessential film about the undead. The film was a box office hit and critics loved the metaphors for commercialism with an apocalypse where the living and the undead still flocked to the mall. Personally, I think it couldn’t be more boring. Sure there are a few scenes of gore that were groundbreaking for the time, but a movie’s greatness shouldn’t be defined by its gore alone. For the most part Dawn of the Dead is a few people hanging out in mall, taking helicopter lessons and waiting for a motorcycle gang to show up and chop zombie’s heads off with a Calvary sword. Freaking ridiculous! My advice is check out the 2004 remake that landed on ‘The 4: Underrated Movies’. That version of Dawn of the Dead is a much more suspenseful and entertaining.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Just because a movie is made for sixty thousand dollars, doesn’t mean its good. Hell, most of the time it probably means it sucks. There is no better example of this than The Blair Witch Project. It’s the story about three dummies who get lost in the woods in Maryland and manage to scare only themselves. Just like the previous mentioned Dawn of the Dead, this is a movie where nothing really happens. The three film students walk around in circles, hear a few noises and end up in basement where the audience is finally put out of their misery when the camera shuts off. You get zero payoff for suffering through 80 minutes of the most shaky camera footage ever!
The Shining (1980)
You can add The Shining to my P.O.S. list with Scarface, The English Patient and anything else Kubrick directed outside Full Metal Jacket and Dr. Strangelove. For a book that was so freaky and cool, the big screen version of The Shining is a silly mess. Jack Nicholson over-acts his way around the empty hotel, terrorizing Olive from Popeye. Little kids saying murder backwards, bloody elevators and freaky twins don’t scare me. If anything The Shining makes me laugh. Jack explaining that he’s not going to hurt you and his tryout for the Tonight Show crack me up. Maybe if The Shining would have been billed as a comedy I would have enjoyed it more. Even with the laughs, The Shining would have still been a movie with a man in bear suit doing… who knows what. The Shining doesn’t make any sense at the end of its conclusion, just like the rest of Kubrick’s overhyped and nonsensical film work.
So what four Overrated Horror movies do you think should have made the list? Let me know on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato or become a fan at Facebook.com/CW44CouchPotato. Also check out this article’s companion piece ‘The 4: Scary Movies’.