For every great, terrifying horror movie — say, Japan's
Ring that The Ring was based on or The Exorcist — there are a lot of nutty attempts at the same. Thus, there were a lot of options for this list of the most ridiculous Halloween movies you should watch this year.
After all, horror is a pretty campy genre to begin with. You've got characters doing exactly what you don't want them to do, like deciding to split up and investigate as a serial killer prowls round the perimeter of their property. As such, it's probably the only genre that manages to beat a football game for the number of viewers it provokes to jump to their feet, screaming advice at the people onscreen.
And let's not get started on the many so-bad-they're-great horror movies that seem like a jumbled up list of cliches associated with the genre: parents who can't or won't understand what's going on; a gaggle of photogenic friends as the murderer or monster's victims; the villain's ability to regenerate themselves from almost every attack, especially if the victims think they've finally killed them off; a "good" character grabbing one of the other victims' shoulders, making them (and us) jump and think it's the monster; the totally out-there plot twist in the last five minutes of the film — and, well, you know the drill. But, if you're honest, you kind of love the silliness of it all.
This 2005 remake of the 1953 film is everything. For one thing, Paris Hilton stars, and everyone great from the '00s is along for the ride, including
Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray. It follows a group of friends on their way to a football team in Louisiana, when their car gets its fan belt snapped after they piss off a stranger. Their solution? To troop to the nearest town, the eerily empty Ambrose, in search of a new fan belt. They end up at a quirky museum called the House of Wax, which, wait for it, is a wax museum... made. Out. Of. Wax.
It's still not as waxen as Hilton's performance, though (not snark, reality: she won a
Golden Raspberry Award for worst supporting actress for the role). But all the same, this film, which also features Dean from Gilmore Girls, is pure campy fun. Stream . House of Wax here
'Birdemic: Shock and Terror'
In a nutshell, to quote the trailer "...if you get high, you die." A group of college stoners buy a possessed bong, not realising that, if they take a toke, they get transported to an other worldly strip club with murderous strippers (complete with deadly bras) and other dark forces.
Stream . Evil Bong here
This low budget '80s horror follows a family on a farm in Kansas who are menaced by creatures from outer space that look suspiciously similar to the monsters from another movie around the same time. Basically, it's
Gremlins but bad. Stream . Critters here
After a white, yogurt-like food product is found coming out of the ground, it becomes sold for a profit as "The Stuff." It's delicious and people can't get enough of the delicious, supposedly calorie-free substance. There's just one downside. A former FBI agent, hired by the ice cream powers-who-be, finds it contains a parasitic organism and eating it basically turns you into something close to a zombie. Yeah.
Stream . The Stuff here
This '90s movie feels more sinister to watch than it did back then with its depiction of Michael Brower and its parallels with the present online gaming community. Brower's a lonely kid stuck in a big mansion, playing video games and occasionally objectifying the girl next door. When he starts playing a game called Brainscan, he discovers that when he kills a person in the game, they also die in real life. Still, thanks to the character The Trickster, an absurd heavy metal type who pops up every now and then as the game's host, plus the film's ultimate twist, you'll stay laughing.
Stream . Brainscan here
Watching this found footage movie, in which two siblings go and visit their grandparents, who act kind of erratically, leaves you more "huh?" than anything else. Mainly because the old folks' supposedly extreme behavior is, well, behavior that many individuals of advanced age and not great health might actually be prone to — like vomiting or losing control of their bowels. Still, the black comedy of it all will have you laughing as often as you scream.
Stream . The Visit here
In this bizarre horror-thriller, a social worker stumbles across an eccentric family: a mother and two sisters and a 21 year old man called Baby who seems to suffer from arrested development. He sleeps in a crib, can't speak, or stand, and social worker Ann grows increasingly worried and tries to intervene.
Stream . The Baby here
Justin Long plays a podcast maker who's just the worst. He cheats on his girlfriend, snarks about humiliating viral videos, and even makes fun of a Canadian shop girl's accent. So it feels a little like karma biting him in the ass when he has a run in with a psychopath who turns him into a walrus. Yup. Slides him into a walrus costume made of human skin. No metaphors. Complete with tusk bones made out of the bones of one of the unfortunate podcaster's legs. Long as a walrus. It's beautiful.
Stream . Tusk here Cat People is everyone's favorite type of goofy horror movie: an erotic horror movie, in the most Game Of Thrones possible way. Think siblings, think incestuous desires, think humans morphing into animals (OK, not 100 percent GOT, but more than a little similar like Bran warging into animals, no?). Stream . Cat People here
'Manos: The Hands Of Fate'
Imagine being trapped in a polygamous, pagan cult. This is easy: like everyone else, you have Tinder. Now imagine the horrors of your dating app inbox with one added detail:
this cult sacrifices human hands to their god. That's basically the plot of this movie, which Screen Anarchy explains has attained cult status thanks to its "terrible acting, nonsensical plot, and technical errors." It's also worth noting that the actors filmed the movie without sound and voices were later dubbed in, giving it its memorable wooden acting. Stream . Manos: The Hands of Fate here
Written and directed by horror novelist Stephen King, this should have been chilling, right? But even the writer himself would go on to describe
Maximum Overdrive as a "moron movie." It centers on earth passing through the tail of a comet and machines gaining sentience and rebelling against humans. Sinister in theory, hilarious in practice. Come for King's writing, stay for King (in a cameo) getting called an asshole by the ATM.
Horror movies don't have to be scary. Sometimes, it's so much more fun when they're so ridiculous they're funny.
Stream . Maximum Overdrive here