Top Ten Movies that Should Have Scared Me…But Didn’t – A Todd Martin List

Let’s face it, not everybody is afraid of the same things. What scares some people may not faze others, and this is particularly true when it comes to horror films. I am a huge horror fan and I have seen a ton of horror films in my lifetime (I got started early thanks to my mom and favorite uncle who both got me into the genre at a very young age). I’ll admit that some of them have scared the living shit out of me while others didn’t bother me in the slightest little bit. I have recommended certain movies that creeped me out to friends that didn’t have quite the same effect on them, and there have been many times that I have watched movies that were supposed to be the scariest ones ever made according to others that failed to frighten me in any way whatsoever. I have my own list of movies that just failed to deliver the scares for me despite the fact that they supposedly terrified everyone else that saw them.

Editor’s Note:

Alrighty, this one’s from our resident slasher reviewer Todd Martin, though I had to start the article with a “we’ll include it but totally disagree” statement (well on many of these titles that is). In fact I think Todd targeted our scariest movies list and decided to disqualify them all (LOL). In any case………..film makers new challenge is to scare Todd so that he can finally find rest and embrace the horror (so to speak). Readers of course are welcome to leave comments below on how to loosen the reigns and absorb the modern culture of horror. Though of course Black Saint would probably love to jump in on the Evil Dead listing here………… onward!
That reminds me…… we’re due for a new scariest new films from the last few year’s list……….

For your reading pleasure here is my list of top 5 movies that just didn’t scare me in the slightest bit but horrified many other moviegoers…

10. The Shining (1980)

I love Stephen King and most of his works, but I have just never gotten the appeal of The Shining (the novel or either one of the film versions). I don’t hate it, but it just has never been one of my favorites when compared to everything else he ever did. I know I am going to most likely piss a lot of people off here but I have always found this movie to be incredibly overrated. I had a teacher when I was in middle school who told me that the movie scared him so bad the night he originally saw it that he was terrified out of his mind driving home from the theater that night (which was pretty impressive considering this teacher was a big, intimidating guy with anger management issues who was prone to terrorizing the hell out of me and the rest of his students from time-to-time) so I expected it to traumatize me when I saw it if it bothered him to such an extent. When I did watch it I thought that it was extremely boring and other than the woman in the bathtub and the creepy scene with the guy in the bear suit going down on the other dude (which was just more bizarre than anything) I was very let down by the film. I watched it again years later when I was older and while I enjoyed it a little more I still didn’t find it to be scary at all. In my opinion Carrie and Pet Semetary are much scarier and the creepiest films based on King’s novels to date.

9. Candyman

I have been a huge fan of Tony Todd for as long as I can remember and think that he is one of the most talented guys in the business today. I got to meet you a few years ago and he is just an all around great guy and a total class act. However, I am just not a fan of the Candyman series despite the fact that he does a great job in the title role. I was in college when the first one was released and thought that the trailer looked pretty damn interesting. Several of my classmates had seen it before I had the chance to do so and claimed that it was “the scariest movie since The Exorcist (which is never actually the case even though this statement is thrown around quite a bit whenever a new horror film is released).” I couldn’t wait to see it for myself and when I finally did I was completely underwhelmed by it. I didn’t think that it was remotely creepy and to be honest I just didn’t like it in general. I thought that it had potential to be a terrifying movie but it just didn’t do it for me. I know a lot of people out there like and are scared to death by it but it just isn’t for me.

8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

This movie is a classic and is ground-breaking in a number of ways, but I have just never found it to be scary. It is ahead of its time and is just an all around awesome flick but it always failed to freak me out the same way that it has many other people since its initial release. I have heard countless people say that it was one of the scariest movies that they had ever seen but for the life of me I just don’t see it. Zombies have never really bothered me (aside from the ones that ran like track stars in Return of the Living Dead) and I just don’t think that they are that scary. This movie kicks ass on pretty much every level and I have always been a fan, but I just never really considered it to be scary.

night-of-the-living-dead

7. Poltergeist

I know that this movie is beloved by many horror fans and that it is considered to be one of the most terrifying movies of all time but it just never did it for me. When I was a kid I remember seeing the trailer and being slightly curious about it (even though I had no idea what the hell a poltergeist was at the time) because it did look pretty damn scary. There was a huge buzz surrounding it when it came out and several kids at my school who were lucky enough to see it were traumatized by it. I really wanted to check it out but didn’t get to until it was on cable a year or so later, and I thought that it was horrifying-but not in the way it was supposed to be. I thought that it was boring, silly, and just goofy in general, and to this day I am still not a fan of it (I think it reeks way too much of Spielberg). The only part that made me a little uncomfortable involved the clown puppet pulling the kid under the bed (I am scared to death of clowns) but other than that I thought that the scares were sorely lacking and the movie itself was just plain crappy (boy am I going to get a lot of hateful comments for that statement). I know that many horror fans love it and swear by how terrifying it is, but it had just never been one of my favorites for a number of reasons, most of all thanks to the fact that it just isn’t scary.

6. The Sixth Sense

I despise M. Night Shyamalan and think that everything he has ever touched is total and complete garbage. Before I knew what a talentless hack he was I thought that this movie sounded kick ass and went to see it as soon as I could because I thought the trailer looked creepy as hell. About twenty minutes into the film I realized I was wrong. What could have been a very intense, terrifying movie about a kid who saw ghosts ended up being a sappy, poorly-written film with a goofy twist ending and an annoying kid who had to whisper EVERY SINGLE LINE for whatever reason. Was there anything scary about this film other than the acting and the shitty premise that wanted desperately to be a Steven Spielberg movie? Nope. I’ve seen scarier (and better written) episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and it was on this day as I sat in the theater watching the end credits roll and wishing that I had spent my money on Stigmata (which was playing in the theater next door) instead that my total and utter burning hatred for M. Night and anything he is associated with was born.

The-Sixth-Sense

5. The Amityville Horror (1979)

When I was a kid this movie was a big deal because it was supposedly based on a true story (did it all actually happen or was it all made up? I’m not sure). I remember seeing the trailers for it on TV and it made the movie look so scary that I actually had to close my eyes and cover my ears until they were over. I was certain that the movie was going to be so horrifying that if I ever saw it that I might actually die of fright, but when I finally saw it I was so underwhelmed I nearly fell asleep halfway into it. Other than the extremely creepy score there is nothing scary about it at all. It is way too long and takes forever for anything interesting to happen (and even then it does it is nothing that amazing). For the most part I thought that it was just unintentionally funny (the scene where the front door explodes outwards in the middle of the night always makes me laugh) and corny. The scary parts aren’t scary (though I do know someone who is scared to death of the part where the red eyes are outside the window looking in at Margot Kidder) and I don’t think there is anything that takes place during the entire film that made me feel uneasy. To be honest I think that the prequel (Amityville 2: The Possession) and even the 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds were both a lot creepier for a number of reasons when compared to the original.

4. Insidious

When this movie came out I remember everybody and their cousin telling me that I had to go see it because it was one of the most frightening movies ever made. I finally got to see it weeks after it was released and wasn’t fazed by it. I thought that the premise was interesting and I enjoyed the movie itself, but did I think it was as scary as everyone made it out to be? Not even close. I don’t know if it is because I have become so desensitized in my old age or if I had just built it up so much in my head that there was no way in hell it was going to live up to all the hype, but I didn’t think that there was anything scary about this movie. I’ve made this comment to some people who have looked at me like I was crazy and then proceeded to tell me what scene (or scenes in some cases) made them come close to soiling their pants with horror when they saw it but I just don’t get it. I was actually a little disappointed after seeing it because I really did want it to scare me, but it just wasn’t to be. Maybe the sequel (which hits theaters soon) will succeed in doing so.

3. Evil Dead (2013)

The movie poster promised this movie was “The most terrifying film you will ever experience.” It lied. Normally I avoid remakes like the plague but against my better judgment I actually checked this one out because people who should have known better said that it was good (it wasn’t) and that it was actually scary (it wasn’t). I love the original film and it came close to making the list of films that scared me because it did really bother me when I was younger. I was hoping that the remake would do the same but it failed miserably. I’ll admit that I thought that the trailer looked like it had potential when I first saw it and when I went to see it I was sure there would be a scene or two that at least made me feel a little spooked but it didn’t happen. This movie took everything that made the original scary-and more importantly a good film in general-and ignored it, relying more on blood and gore than anything else in many failed attempts to scare the audience. The jump scares didn’t even bother me and instead of covering my eyes in fear while I was watching the movie I spent the majority of the time looking at my watch and wishing that it was just over. I think that the movie poster should have read “The most unnecessary film that you will ever experience” instead as not only did it not scare me, but it also did a pretty bad job of holding my attention as well. If you want to be scared by an Evil Dead movie do yourself a favor and watch the original instead.

2. The Ring

Back in 1998 or so I remember hearing about how the Japanese film The Ring (or Ringu depending on who you talked to) was scaring the hell out of everyone who saw it. A lot of people said that it was the scariest movie that they had ever seen and that they had to sleep with the lights on for several nights afterward because they were so creeped out by it. I knew that I had to see it and when I finally did it didn’t have the same effect on me. I thought it was an OK movie and everything but it just failed to scare me like I was hoping it would. Several years later an American remake hit theaters and everybody that I knew that saw were terrified out of their wits by it. It was a huge hit and moviegoers and critics alike everywhere were claiming that it was the scariest movie to hit the scene since the likes of The Shining or The Exorcist (supposedly a woman who was watching it in one of the local theaters in town was so terrified by it that she ended up running out in tears). I didn’t watch it until it was released on DVD and went into it expecting the best but the end result was more than a little disappointing. I wasn’t frightened at all and if anything I think that the original bothered me just a tad bit more. I will admit that the scene with the chick coming out of the television set looks pretty cool but it just didn’t faze me like it did a lot of other people. While there is no doubt that this movie has horrified countless people since its release I still think that The Grudge is just a much scarier movie.

1. The Blair Witch Project

I was so excited to see this movie before it was released. There was a huge amount of hype surrounding it and it sounded like it had potential to be genuinely unsettling and just creepy in general. I thought that the premise sounded nothing short of awesome (who isn’t terrified of being lost in the deep, dark woods?) and when I finally got to see the trailer I was super psyched to see the movie. I got a group of friends together and we hit the theater on opening night to see it, all of us expecting to be not only blown away by how good it was and scared to death at the same time. We were wrong on both counts. I remember sitting there in my seat that night watching it progress and thinking to myself that it was going to get better and that something absolutely terrifying was about to take place. I lost hope that it was going to be scary about halfway into it and I think that a lot of my fellow moviegoers did as well as the majority of them were beginning to get a little antsy (and a number of them actually got up and left before it was over). When the end credits started to roll I almost jumped out of my seat and shouted “Really?!? Is that it?!?” because I just felt ripped off and more than a little let down. My sister (and a lot of other people I know) have told me that it bothered them so I actually went back and watched it again thinking that I must have missed something the first time around but the results were just the same and instead of being scared I found myself just being really, really bored. A total disappointment on every level.

There you have it folks, please feel free to agree or disagree! I love hearing your feedback!

Todd Martin’s List of Top Ten Movies that Should Have Scared Me…But Didn’t.

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About Todd Martin

Todd Martin grew up in Irvington, a small town in Kentucky. Thanks to his mother, father, and favorite uncle he started watching horror films at a very young age and has been a horror geek ever since. He is basically a walking encyclopedia of horror flicks (especially the 80’s slashers), comic books, and pro wrestling, and has been writing for the biggest majority of his life.

His first book, Nightmare Tales was published in 2006 and he has had several short stories published in several collections. He and his wife Trish published their book “The Gardener,” a horror novel that is a throwback to the slasher films of the 80’s in 2011 and he is working on a collection of short horror stories When he isn’t reviewing movies and books or doing interviews for Horrornews.net he has been known to act from time to time as he has appeared in a handful of low budget horror films. He also enjoys writing screenplays and enjoys making movies as well. He wrote the segment “Angel” which appeared in the 2004 film “Tales from the Grave 2: Happy Holidays!” which was produced and directed by Stephanie Beaton, and recently appeared in Tim Ritter’s film “Deadly Dares: Truth or Dare 4.”. He resides in Kentucky with his wife Trish, their cat Buffy, and their wiener dog, Cujo

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4 Responses to Top Ten Movies that Should Have Scared Me…But Didn’t – A Todd Martin List

  1. horror2 says:

    Good call on The Ring and Evil Dead, but other than that I disagree with every single one. I’m sorry.

  2. Maxm77 says:

    Cool list. What are some films you do find scary?

    • Todd Martin says:

      Glad you liked the list, Maxm77! Here is what scares me:

      http://horrornews.net/40202/top-10-movies-that-scared-the-hell-out-of-me/

      Thanks!

      Todd

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