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Trace’s 5 Worst Horror Movies of 2016

Mr. Disgusting’s Top 10 Horror Films | Several More Must-See Horror Films | Kalyn’s Top 10 | Trace’s Top 10 | Trace’s Worst 510 Best Posters | Worst Posters | Best Trailers | Luiz Picks the Best Horror Shows | Chris’ Best Blu-rays 2016: The Year Netflix Embraced Horror | 10 Sci-fi Movies You May Have Missed | 13 Most Disturbing Horror Movie Moments |
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2016 was one of the best years for horror films in a long time. Unfortunately, even the best years have to have a clunker or two, and that is why “worst of” articles exist. It’s not enjoyable to trash films, but it’s a necessary evil that must be done. I didn’t get to see quite as many horror films as I would have liked (only about 70 out of 120), but to see what was up for consideration you can see the list of 2016 horror films I watched on my Letterboxd page. Let’s get started, shall we?

Dishonorable Mentions

There weren’t many truly atrocious horror films released in 2016, but there were plenty of mediocre ones. First there’s the disappointing (sorry) The Disappointments Room (my review). Then there’s the Inception/The Exorcist hybrid that is Incarnate (my review). Thomas Dekker’s ambitious but lackluster directorial debut Jack Goes Home (my review) meant well but was more a pretentious mess than a substantial character study. You can’t forget about the ghost story Visions (my review)*, which was unceremoniously dumped on Netflix back in January, no matter how much you would like to. Wes Craven’s final producing gig gave us the mean-spirited and sloppily put together The Girl in the Photographs. Finally, there’s Greg McLean’s first major American horror film The Darkness, which is so dull that you’d be forgiven for not realizing it was a horror film.

*I just realized I used the exact same phrase in the title of my reviews for Incarnate and Visions. Whoops. My New Year’s resolution for 2017 will be to get more creative with those.

The films listed above may be mediocre, but they cannot compare to the five worst horror films of the year. So without further ado, I give you these turds. The films listed on the next page earned a pretty strong reaction from me, and had I reviewed them they would have earned a 1.5/5 or lower on our skull scale.

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  • The Horror Hunter

    I have an irrational hate of the movie Cabin Fever (Original). Eli Roth is so childish, The thought of someone making an exact replica of that film is nightmarish.

  • WoodsboroKiller

    “The film starts strongly with a sequence set in an airport that inspires genuine chills”

    Imo, I thought that was one of the worst parts of Cell. The directing was awful and the execution was laughable. The scene in the book takes place in the middle of the city and it was a lot more fun.

    Crashing CGI planes instead of crashing cars seemed a lot more practical for the movie and its budget, no? Odd choice. Maybe World War Z’s kick-off had something to do with it.

  • ky

    I agreed on every one except Cabin Fever. I questioned why they would make such a cookie cutter remake, but after watching it I thought it was basically a love letter to the original. It was saying “I loved the first film, but here is what I would do different.” And a lack of gore is not something I would attribute to this remake. Did it show as much as Eli’s? No, but c’mon now that was the most gruesome thing I had ever seen at the time it was released. I still felt like this new one had heart and played out JUST different enough that it wasn’t a repeat of the original. Did you make it #1 on this list because you truly believe it was the worst? Worse than Cell? That just can’t be true.

    • It’s definitely worst than Cell. I actually like the original, but the remake felt like no one cared what they were doing. It FEELS boring because everyone involved with this film is bored. I’m glad you felt like there was heart in it, but I couldn’t disagree more.

  • Creepshow

    The Greasy Strangler….Trace’s “best” of the “worst”. To some, that’s still an honor.
    *Big Ronnie takes a bow*

    • I have no doubt. XD

      • Creepshow

        Hey, I’ll take it. At least it’s not the smelliest kid in class.

  • Hash-Slinging Slasher

    Trace either clearly doesn’t know about the actual worst horror features that were released this year, or he’s only choosing titles popular enough to generate site traffic.

    Also, Visions and the Girl in the Photographs were decent.

    • If I was doing it to generate site traffic I would have put the names of all the films in the headlines….like: “Y’all! CABIN FEVER, GREASY STRANGLER and YOGA HOSERS WERE THE WORST FILMS THIS YEAR!”

      Out of curiosity, which films made your worst list?

      • Hash-Slinging Slasher

        Easy: Holidays, The Funhouse Massacre, The Devil’s Dolls, Beyond the Gates, Summer Camp, Fender Bender, Blair Witch.

        Yoga Hosers shouldn’t exist, though. I’ll give you that.

        • -Blair Witch made the Honorable Mentions on my “Best Of” list.
          -I liked half of Holidays so it would never qualify for “Worst Of.”
          -Funhouse Massacre was last year.
          -Beyond the gates I gave 2.5/5.
          -And I unfortunately (or fortunately, if they ARE that bad) missed Devil’s Dolls, Summer Camp and Fender Bender.

          You can see the full list of the (66) 2016 horror films that I saw if you click the link to my Letterboxd account. I actually ordered them from best to worst. =)

          • Hash-Slinging Slasher

            Yeah your placement of Blair Witch kind of makes all this null and void. I could’ve sworn Funhouse Massacre wasn’t available until this year. But fine, I’ll replace it with 31. Can’t believe I even forgot how terrible that was.

          • Josh Nitsche

            Ravager = ‘worst of’ – Blair Witch = ‘best of’? Trace has 0 credibility and only featured Ravager in this segment for a boost in clicks. It’s painfully obvious.

            “If this was to generate traffic, I would have put the films in the headlines…” except that wouldn’t make a difference because reading Yoga Hoser is part of a “worst of” list is obvious, so why would anybody click it? No, you chose Ravager to purposefully pull in that fanbase. Duh. Because without that fanbase, this article would generate 10 views.

      • Josh Nitsche

        That’s what I was thinking too, Hash. Ravager was used as the image to advertise this segment because of the Phanbase who will click the link to defend their film. No one cares about the other 4 films, thus, they were not pictured. Welcome to “click-bait”

      • killerklownphil

        Ravager sucked. It was a mess. I need to learn this trick of knowing peoples intentions.

  • Matt

    Trace, you’re lucky that The Tall Man is no longer around to pay you a visit, boyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    • I know! I just REALLY dislike that franchise.

      • Matt

        That’s cool. It wasn’t my favorite of the series. But for what it was, and how it was made, I found it to be a worthy entry. I’m sure others will disagree.

        • I’ll have to admit that I enjoyed both PHANTASM:RAVAGER and 31,with RAVAGER being a decent finale to the series(even if it could have used much more of Rocky). I’m sure that J.J. Abrams put up the completing money to help get RAVAGER fully completed as well as came up with the “Reggie in an old folks home” subplot,which is something that would come out of an Abrams-style plot twist.

        • Angela M Campany

          Right on Matt !

  • Jeff Eastwood

    The craptacular, totally unnecessary remake (or is it reboot?) of Martyrs should have been on this list. That it felt like I was watching a Lifetime (un)original movie was what hurt the most.

  • No Martyrs remake? That thing was just…

  • A2VL

    Cabin Fever really was garbage. I have no clue what they were thinking of when they decided to just rehash it word for word but on a smaller budget.

    • ChowYunPhat

      Rumor is, and I have no idea if this is true or not, the studio was going to remake the film with or without Eli Roth’s blessing, so he decided to pretend he was on board and steered them towards making it a shot for shot remake of the original knowing it would never get released in theaters and would be basically ignored and forgotten.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      I assume $$$

  • shawn lawson

    Totally agree with you on cabin. What a piece of shit. Besides the repetitive jokes, though, i rather enjoyed Greasy Strangler.

  • WOLF

    Too bad about Cell. I liked the book when it came out. Today we are getting an overdose of zombies so not sure how the book would hold up. I remember the ending was untypical cop out ending for King.
    I’d definitely add Blair Witch. No movie pissed me off more.

    • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

      As slapdash as it is (and it is a mess no doubt), and with how bored I am of zombies, I actually managed to like Cell for the most part. But whoo boy… the ending is… odd. At least the book’s makes sense… the movie’s feels like they screwed up in the editting. I’d like it if it wasn’t so oddly disjointed though.

  • Evi

    100 times yes on The Greasy Strangler. I’m an easy lay for gross-out Troma type movies and I couldn’t even get an hour into this. It’s just so goddamn boring.

    • Joseph Sheldahl

      It wasn’t even supposed to be like a Troma movie. I can’t say I liked it, but Troma movies are jam packed full of stuff, and The Greasy Strangler wasn’t like that. Dare I say it wasn’t even meant to be a horror movie.
      If Troma makes gross genre flicks, like gross horror, gross action, and gross sci-fi, then on the other end of the scale is The Greasy Strangler, a gross family drama.

  • KLD

    Dang, you really hit it on the mark for each one (except Phantasm which I have yet to see). Crap, crap and more crap. Cabin Fever was just bad. I turned it off after 30 minutes or so as it wasn’t even remotely close to the quality of the first one. Cell… what a disappointment. There is actually a scene in there where Cusack is rubbing his face for about 10 seconds with his middle finger only. He looks to be flipping the bird to this movie.

  • Rohan Sorensen

    I didn’t watch the cabin fever remake, but I have one question: does it have the shotgun scene at the end?

  • Biscoito18

    I quit watching The Greasy Strangler after 15 min or so. Not because it was gross, but because that kind of joke’s don’t work with me. I was so bored and annoyed by the son’s voice and that repetition that I gave up. It’s the only movie I quit watching this year.
    Anyway, here’s my humble Top 10 worst horror movies from 2016:

    10. Carnage Park (good start, horrible climax)
    09. The Windmill (cliché as hell, stupid solutions and annoying characters)
    08. The Other Side of the Door (a huge waste of Javier Botet’s work)
    07. The Forest (weak script, everything is predictable)
    06. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (it uses the horror elements as cheap props)
    05. Cabin Fever (another unnecessary and lazy remake)
    04. Blair Witch (you can find every found footage cliché here + very disappointing end)
    03. The Disappointments Room (completely aimless, boring and coward film)
    02. The Darkness (try to be a lot of things and fails in everyone of them)
    01. Cell (a complete mess, a 0.0 movie. Seriously, probably the worst horror film I’ve ever seen)

    • ChowYunPhat

      Boy, what a disappointment Carnage Park ended up being after it’s brilliant start.

      • Biscoito18

        Exactly! The practical effects were great.

        • I thought Carnage Park was just meh…not terribly offensive just sort of there. Been there. Done that. Haven’t been blown away by Keating’s work but have yet to see Darling.

      • Meisha’s Taint

        I agree I still think Mickey Keating is the next big thing in horror and I was soooo ready to enjoy Carnage Park but I couldn’t get through it.

        Pod and Darling though on the other hand are both must see Mickey Keating filmsz1

  • Angela M Campany

    I enjoyed Ravager… perfect ending on the series …i thought !

    • Scrimm

      You’re not the only one

      • Angela M Campany


  • Matt Miller

    I think I avoided a lot of bad horror movies, but from what I saw the worst were Urge , Darling, Abbatoir, 31, Decay, The gallows(was that from this year?), The purge, Last girl standing, scherzo diabólico, Regression and The neon demon.

    • The Gallows was last year and DEFINITELY on my Worst Of list.

  • I saw the original phantasm when it first came out. Other than the second movie, everything else sucks, including ravager, so you’re on point there.

    I like Jersey Girl as well. Mostly for Carlins performance.

  • MacReady

    As a HUGE Phantasm phan( part 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time), Ravager was just not very good. After waiting 3 years for it to come out, it was pretty disappointing.

  • Seal Clubber

    This list is pretty spot on I’d say…. except for excluding every movie by “the Asylum ” lol….. Cabin Fever was the worst movie I’ve seen in years.

    • I just think it’s unfair to include those movies lol. I’d rather include movies that are trying to be good.

      • Evan3

        I don’t know that most of the movies you mentioned were “trying” to be good anymore than asylum (a production company that actually has been trying a lot more the last couple years – sue me, it’s true. They may not succeed, but I did like Z Nation for awhile).

  • disqus_uPh3WDxbQy

    Cell legitimately pissed me off. I anticipated this movie for years and years and it felt like a slap to the face when I had the displeasure of witnessing such a butchered mess.

  • No ’31’ on this list? That movie was literally the biggest piece of unwatchable TRASH I have seen in years…

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      thw worst RZ movie, one of the worst horror movies ever made, one of the worst 2016 movies, a total incoherent mess with a decent opening and that is it

    • erikire

      Totally AGREE!

    • James

      How 31 isn’t the #1 pick for worst film this year is beyond me. That film was garbage.

  • Flo

    Am I the only one who switched off “Train to Busan” halfway through, because it was the most unbearable, cheesy, stupid horror movie I have seen in a long time, in fact, it’s the only movie appart of Sharknado 4 that i couldn’t stand to finish… I have zero clue why this was so hyped in 2016

    • Probably. I’m not even a huge zombie fan and I loved it. So much fun!

    • REC03


    • killerklownphil

      Did we watch the same movie!? That movie was pretty damn good

  • Honest

    I’m just posting to say thank you for not putting puns in your review titles. At some point hair salons and movie critics decided that those were both witty and required, and aside from a “This content is for adults, please put in your birthdate” nothing is faster to make me leave a page and never go back. So, thanks!

    • Ha, I’m still a sucker for a good pun though! I try not to be TOO obvious with them though.

      • Evan3

        You’re a punny man Trace, I vote for far more in 2017.

  • Sirengx

    “I went in to Yoga Hosers with low expectations and somehow still walked out disappointed.”

    That is exactly what I said about 31. That movie is less than a 0. As for your list, I actually liked Cabin Fever. Idk. I agree with (most) of the rest.

  • In my opinion, the worsts are:

    1- Blair Witch (it isn’t scary, the characters development is weak and the plot is awful)
    2- Pride Prejudice and Zombies (pretentious garbage)
    3- Paradox (I love time travel films, but this one was a waste of time)
    4- Green Room (it’s so overrated, the characters are stupid and the plot is so basic)
    5- The Witch (also overrated but the last 10 minutes are the best thing in this film)
    6- Siren (this movie is so stupid and amateur, a completly crap)
    7- The Forest (nothing special)
    8- Morgan (it had potential and could be so much better)

    • Nahuel Benvenuto

      all the people who say that The Witch is bad or overrated have bad taste and cant be taken seriously, i mean really? is a fantastic movie in every way

    • Meisha’s Taint

      The Witch really?????

      If you don’t like it that’s fine but to say it’s one of the worst is just absurd dude.

      • I said IN MY OPINION! You can’t judge my opinion about what I consider good or awful.

        • Dacanesta

          Its just their opinion of your opinion, sir. Youre entitled to it, but you can judge a person by theirs. If someone has the opinion that Nazis were cool, i can judge that they are mental.

          • Dude, we’re talking about films, every single opinion is subjective. For me The Witch was one of the most boring and overrated craps I’ve seen in my life.
            If we all had the same opinion, the ratings of every film in Rotten Tomatoes woulde be 0% or 100%.

        • Evan3

          Actually, you can judge people by their opinion (see: the recent election). We can’t tell you your opinion is wrong, but we can indeed judge you by it. And I gotta say, I think you may be crazy to list The Witch on your worst list.

  • Neon Maniac

    Great list. Ravager was a crushing disappointment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film so devoid of talent behind the camera. And Cabin Fever…Jesus. Why remake a gory body horror film from just a few years ago and then remove the actual gore?

    EDIT- Agree with the other posters, 31 should really be near the top of this list as well.

  • Richard McLeod

    In response to that annoying Yoga Hosers nonsense, NOT all canadians talk like that!! That’s only eastern canadian idiots that say things like “aboot” and the rest of us that don’t laugh at the losers that do!!

  • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

    1. Yoga Hosers (a whole new level of awful I didn’t think existed)
    2. Conjuring 2
    3. I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (my winner for most pointless movie of the year, Cabin Fever takes 2nd)

    Disregarding direct to video shit-studio movies anyways… I’m sure Ouija Summoning 4: The Poltergeist Activity Project was worse, but no one cares.

    Haven’t seen a few of the ones being mentioned yet though (Phantasm, Greasy, 31)

    • I enjoyed IATPTTLITH. It was a little TOO slow, but it felt like a Shirley Jackson novel brought to haunting life.

    • I haven’t seen ‘Yoga Hosers’, but I have seen ‘Tusk’ and ‘Red State’ so I can see where you are coming from. I thought ‘Tusk’ was watchable, interesting, and entertaining, BUT also tacky and hacky as fuck at the same time. I consider Kevin Smith’s horror movies to be a guilty pleasure. I like movies like ‘Tusk’, but it’s not like I call my friends and say “Dude, you GOTTA see this movie!” I would honestly be too embarrassed to recommend ‘Tusk’ or ‘Red State’ to anyone, despite the fact that I like both movies. If you wonder why I like ‘Red State’, it’s because I live in Nebraska and those type of religious nuts are not uncommon around here unfortunately. I liked ‘Red State’, but I don’t go singing it’s praises on this site because I’m sure I would get flamed… <-)

      • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

        Oh, I actually liked Tusk too… and Red State was alright. I had some faith growing in Smith (wasn’t a fan before), but Yoga Hosers is a shit show like no other that flushed all that straight down the toilet (again).

      • Kristoffer Groves

        I liked Red State. Don’t be embarrassed about your taste in movies. Stand up and be counted. I’ll lead by example with a horrible skeleton from my closet.

        I enjoy Jai Courtney’s work.

        See, it’s easy.

        • ‘Suicide Squad’ was all over the place and obviously flawed, BUT I still thought it was a watchable enjoyable movie. I thought it was much better than ‘Batman vs. Superman’, which was a giant turd. Harley Quinn, el Diablo, and the Enchantress were legitimately interesting characters, which is why Harley is getting her own movie. Jai Courtney’s acting wasn’t bad at all, unfortunately Captain Boomerang just doesn’t have interesting powers or actions in this movie. He cracks a couple of funny jokes, and that’s about it…

  • I completely understand Trace’s opinions and respect them re: Ravager. It’s not the best of the series, and it definitely does show its flaws in the budget and in the acting at points, but I mainly gave it a pass because it had heart and was a labour of love. It’s definitely not the worst of the series, and is still worthwhile for diehard Phantasm fans, but it’s definitely not as smooth as you would have hoped it would be.

    The Cabin Fever remake sucks harder than a two-dollar hooker. So I can’t complain there.

  • Meisha’s Taint

    I’m happy to say I some how avoided every one on this list and also did so for The Green Room and 31 as well!

    Or is it a bad thing I haven’t seen very many shitty ones this year maybe I’m not trying hard enough……

    • Um….see Green Room immediately.

    • Matteo X

      31 isnt that bad, great villian

      • gabriel

        yeah, I really liked some of it. Sex and Death were cool and so was the main antagonist. I would like to see what Rob Zombie cooks up next.

  • Polsdofer

    I havent see The Greasy Strangler and probably wont but at least it has a decent poster and look creative.

    • aFriendlyAgenda

      And an awesome title

      Maybe something you could never live up to

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    “no matter how much you would like to.”


  • diapers

    Trace! Only 70 horror flicks? In 2017, you must exceed 150! Chop chop! There is only one film that I had to turn off in disgust this year: CLOWNTOWN.

    • To be fair, there were not more than 120 in 2016.

      • diapers

        Fair enough, and I don’t see Clowntown on your letterboxd list, which is good. Does there exist anywhere on the interwebs, in one place, some kind of matrix of horror flicks, with release dates per region as well as release types (big screen, digital download, etc)? IMDB kind of sort of has this information, but it is inconsistent and klunky.

        • Just a lot of research. Check Rotten Tomatoes every week and VOD listings too.

  • EmPleH

    I don’t know if Cabin Fever would be the worst remake ever made. I think the 90’s Psycho remake may be the top choice. It was really bad.

    • I definitely think Cabin Fever is worse lol.

    • Eddie Dutra

      Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Amityville Horror, Halloween, Halloween 2, Hills Have Eyes 2, Dark Water, Poltergeist, The Fog, The Ring, The Grudge, Black Xmas, Shutter, One Missed Call, Nightmare on Elm St, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hitcher, and the list goes on and on and on for terrible remakes.

  • Phantasm : Ravager was pretty terrible. It played out like the scraps on the cutting room floor were reassembled and called a movie.

  • Todd

    Were there any good slasher movies in 2016? Final Girls was mostly comedy and I hear some hype for the upcoming The Barn, but I haven’t had success finding any solid slashers in the past 2-3 years.

    • Final Girls was also 2015. 😉

      • Todd

        So…what were the quality slasher movies? In 2016, or even the last 2-3 years…

        • There really haven’t been (m)any. And it’s a shame. It’s my favorite sub-genre. The slasher sub-genre has been pretty shitty for a while. =/

        • Evan3

          I’ve heard good things of The Windmill, but can’t attest personally.

  • Evan3

    BD – WE NEED MORE WORST LISTS! Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating great cinema (and have been a huge fan of the Witch love-fest), but only two worst lists this year? Cmoooon.

    @bloodydisgusting-99314712e33a383184b65f2b4e707590:disqus – No 31 mention? Cmooooon!

    I also hope to see that Yoga Hosers posters in the worst poster list. My goodness, not only is it ugly but the photoshop job done on the two actresses to make them look “sexy” is appalling (Kevin Smith – that’s your daughter man? Celebrate her looks, don’t digitally cut 25 pounds or so).

    Also, Mallrats!? What’s the problem with Mallrats?! Beyond 31 and The Darkness not making the cut, this is an apt and hugely entertaining list. Between Cabin Fever and Psycho, can we give up on the “nearly identical” remake trend?

  • Brett

    “11/22/63” was really great, maybe even the best faithful (non-Kubrick) King adaption ever. His books are made for serialized television. (As long as it it limited, unlike the dopey “Dome.”)

  • Brett

    I didn’t see the new “Cabin Fever,” but am I alone in thinking the “Evil Dead” remake was devoid of a soul? Gory and violent, but without any scares (like the original ED) or humor (like ED2, 3, and the series).

  • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

    Just now finally got around to seeing it, but Greasy Strangler has become my favorite movie in years. Yet I get it being a “worst” as well… the general public just isn’t ready for its advanced level of high-brow storytelling and humor. It’s the oily Blade Runner of our time.

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