Film critics infamously hate horror, so sometimes it’s best just to ignore their reviews, especially when it comes to anything scary, spooky or altogether ooky. Here are our Top 10 picks of horror movies that critics loathed but have become our much beloved cult classics.
Okay, so videogame movies aren’t known for their inventive plots and dazzling cinematography but there was something about the 2002 ‘Resident Evil’ movie that captured audiences. So much so the series is the highest grossing film-series based on a videogame, having grossed over $1.233 billion worldwide.
Critics slammed 2003’s ‘Underworld’ for its Matrix-wannabe look and “fetishization of the vampire in contemporary pop culture” but audiences seemed to lap it (and its four sequels) up. There must just be something about an eloquently spoken, gun wielding, leather-clad Kate Blanchet, and killer, industrial soundtrack that keeps audiences coming back.
New Line Cinema
The ‘Final Destination’ franchise has spawned 5 films, a book series and a graphic novel, and is one of the biggest horror franchises in the world. Audiences praised it for its unique take on slasher-flicks, swapping out a knife wielding psychopath for the unseen forces of fate. Critics, however, didn’t think it was particularly inventive and critiqued its typical slasher deaths and cheesy dialogue.
Lions Gate Films
Rob Zombie’s first venture into filmmaking left critics reeling, it was panned for being “cheap scary image after cheap scary image” and full of “wasted opportunities”, but the movie was received well by horror buffs, just like Zombie, and it quickly became a cult classic. Countless items of merchandise and memorabilia are still in production even fifteen years after its release, and lead actors Sid Haig and Bill Mosely do numerous appearances at horror conventions across the globe each year.
Paramount Pictures/ Warner Bros
Although now deemed a classic, ‘Friday the 13th’ was originally reviewed poorly by film critics, who deemed it cheap, exploitative and without any kind of subtext. They slammed the formulaic way the movie was structured but this formula meant it was easy to commercialise, making it one of the biggest running horror movie franchises in the world.
Lions Gate Films
2004’s ‘Saw’ received mixed reviews, though on a whole they were bad. It was slammed for its convoluted plot, Jigsaw actor, Elwes’ hyperbolic overacting and its excessive gore; spawning the derogative phrase ‘torture porn’. Audiences, however received it positively, praising its creativity on such a small budget and it now has amassed a huge fan following who stuck through it for a following seven movies.
Although movies like ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ had delved into the ‘found footage’ genre before, it’s widely believed ‘Blair Witch’ popularised it. Whilst many critics did praise the film, a lot considered it “overrated”, and thought it’s trade-mark ‘found footage’ shaky camera work was monotonous and one-note. Audiences, however, loved it and many films since have tried to emulate both its creepy atmosphere and documentary premise.
20th Century Fox
‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ could be called a cult phenomenon, although released over forty years ago (with the stage show even older still) people still flood to watch productions dressed in Frank-n-Furter regalia. Funnily, however upon its release the film was deemed far too camp, with Newsweek calling it “tasteless, plotless and pointless.”
Many horror fans LOVE ‘The Shining’, Jack Nicholson’s performance in particular is considered one of the greatest in the history of horror. But upon its release many critics, and THE Stephen King himself slammed the movie, in-a-nut-shell it was condemned for just ‘not being as good as the book’. Lead actress, Shelley Durvall was even nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress, with King describing her as a “screaming dishrag.”
Paramount Pictures/ Universal Pictures
Now we get to the last movie in this list: ‘Psycho.’ A film renowned for being… well… brilliant. It is considered not only one of Hitchcock’s best films, but one of the greatest movies of all time, with the US Library of Congress even deeming it so "culturally, historically, [and] aesthetically significant" that it was selected for preservation on their National Film Registry. However, at the time it was condemned by critics for its shocking, taboo content. It pushed the limits of 1960s censorship; seen as controversial not only because of its gruesome death scenes, insinuated homosexuality and crossdressing, but also for showing an unmarried couple together in the same bed, and it was even the first movie to show a flushing toilet.Article written by guest blogger: Fennell
So what do you think? Is your favourite in our list?
No posts found