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[BEST & WORST ’12] David Harley’s List of the Worst Horror Films of 2012!

2012 has been a snoozer of a year for horror for the most part. I can’t think of another year that I’ve been with the site when I’ve been more indifferent, bored, disappointed, and otherwise unamused by most of what I watched. Not like it should come as a huge shock to anyone that went to the theatre this year, but most of what I’ve included on my Worst Of list are studio films that feel like they were distributed and made by people who just don’t care. Marketing and brand loyalty made some of these movies money, not the actual quality of what was on screen – talk about depressing.

This year, one film stands above all others as the worst thing I had the displeasure of sitting through, regardless of genre, and everything else on my list might as well be second place; they’re all equally shallow and uninspired. As always, here’s to looking forward to next year, which will no doubt have a surprise or two, along with Stoker, Antiviral (hopefully), and You’re Next.

Mr. Disgusting (Best/Worst) | Evan Dickson (Best/Worst) | David Harley (Best/Worst) | Lonmonster (Best/Worst) | Corey Mitchell (Best of Fest) | Supporting Staff (Best & Worst) | Ryan Daley (Best Novels)
Posters (Best/Worst) | Trailers (Best/Worst)


5. Chernobyl Diaries (May 25; Warner Bros.)

Behold Chernobyl Diaries, a film of bad decisions. It takes what seems like forever for the characters to get to the town, they make nothing but bad decisions, and everyone spends most of the movie running away from wildlife.

4. Smiley (October 12; Level 10 Films)

The people who wrote Smiley must think they’re clever, commenting on message board culture, online anonymity, and hackers, and having their plot revolve around Chat Roulette users typing “I did it for the Lulz” into their message boxes. Except it’s apparent they don’t understand what any of these groups are really about or what those issues mean; it’s almost like someone sifted through their outdated meme collection and wrote the script.

3. Morituris (TBD; TBD)

Mr. D gave Morituris a score of “Negative 100 million out of 5 Skulls” when he saw it, so I felt compelled to see what all the fuss was about. It’s pretty reprehensible, a film made to shock you and do little else. There’s barely a plot, which consists of a group of “bad boys” who drive two foreign girls into the woods for a rave, only to rape them after driving for like forty minutes and stopping for a soccer break; there are some undead gladiators that pop up too. The whole thing is extremely mean spirited, and the special effects by Sergio Stivaletti are disappointing – I’m a big fan and his work here is really uninspired. There’s a scene early on that sets the tone for Morituris in a really bad way and if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. It’s so obvious the filmmakers are trying to get a rise out of their audience, but it comes out of nowhere and is totally pointless. I think whatever the writers and director wanted to comment on is completely lost in the sensationalism they created.

2. The Devil Inside (January 6; Paramount Insurge)

I think someone forgot to make a third act…

1. Piranha 3DD (June 1; Dimension Films)

Piranha 3DD is a sequel nobody asked for. None of the jokes work, the special effects are terrible looking, and the movie is barely a movie – it struggles to reach the seventy minute mark and not well, I might add. All of the actors look miserable, even the ones that just cameo, and watching them try to mask their moods and demeanors is more fascinating than the film itself. There is absolutely nothing in Piranha 3DD that hits its mark.

Horrible Mention: Paranormal Activity 4 (October 19; Paramount)

I think at this point it’s obvious that as long as these get Paramount into the black, nobody cares.

Horrible Mention: The Raven (April 27; Relativity Media)

If Amanda made traps using Jigsaw’s blueprints and then had him solve them, you would have The Raven.

Horrible Mention: The Apparition (August 24; Warner Bros.)

Easily the worst Costco advertisement of all time. The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. What’s with the mold? Why does the ending look like it takes place post-zombie apocalypse? Why did they spend all that time introducing the neighbors, only to have them completely disappear halfway through the movie? The Apparition plays out like huge chunks of it are missing, but I’m not convinced it would’ve been any better without the poor editing. At least Ashley Greene is cute, right?



  • mikeknowskarate

    Piranha 3DD was fun. Come on, meow.

    • Zombie-Killa

      mikeknowskarate, I agree, and I don’t know about you, but I’m one of the very few people, who actually enjoy DD more than the remake.

      I know it’s your list, but I would’ve ranked Chernobyl Diaries higher. Just an awful boring film from beginning to end with too many idiotic characters, and the bear provides the only good jump scare in this movie.

      • djblack1313

        LOL! i think what i liked about CHERNOBYL is that the decimated town/setting had pretty good atmosphere. it had genuinely creepy moments but i can see why people didn’t like it.

        • Zombie-Killa

          Ha ha! No arguments about the setting, djblack, the abandoned town was VERY creepy and spooky. I guess I was sucked into the trailers, and I was expecting something great.

          Oh, and that tourguide was such a scumbag. I think his name was Yuri? I know you didn’t mention that, but for some strange reason his name just popped into my head right now. lol.

      • mikeknowskarate

        I’m not sure if I liked DD more or not. I’ve only seen that one once but I’ve seen the 1st multiple times.

        • AndrewSoukup24

          The first one was good DD was trash.

    • Justen

      3DD was awesome! Haha it was so stupid and fun. That was the point.

  • djblack1313

    for some reason i didn’t hate CHERNOBYL and while it’s a crappy movie P3DD was somewhat watchable. LOL.

  • anezka

    I don’t hate Chernobyl either. I loved the scenery and the lack of coherence in taking decisions of the characters just made me want them dead, instead of making me upset.
    But c’mon! Piranha 3DD is a fun film. Lots of gore, bad acting, no plot: it’s everything a mainstream laughable horror movie needs to be fun. It got me entertained for the whole time, so it would not make it into this list in my opinion.
    I can’t comment about Paranormal Activity 4 because I’ve been skipping all of them since I slept 3 times trying to get to the end of the first one.

  • Norberto-Aguiar

    I went to see Chernobyl Diaries after reading all the bad reviews and hearing how terrible it was. So I went in with very LOW expectations and sat in a gigantic,empty theater with the amazing sound system all to myself. I found myself completely immersed in the film, despite its flaws! By the end of the film,I was surprised on how much I loved it and it did scare me. I appreciated it for using the whole’less is more’ approach in the encounters and scare moments.The atmosphere and setting was perfect! I think in the list of very bad and dissapointing horror films this year, Chernobyl Diaries wasn’t have bad and in my opinion, doesnt belong in the worst of the year!

  • doomas10

    For me nothing is worse than Paranormal activity 4. Seriously this is my summary of the franchise so far (SPOILERS): Prepare yourselves:

    We have a single mother with two kids who is dating a wedding photographer. A spirit named Toby appears from nowhere and a poltergeist haunting type begins which escalates into the deaths of the mom/boyfriend while they are at her mother’s house who happens to be a witch? or a cult member? that makes deals with demons in order for the girls to be possessed? One of the girls – now grown up and almost forgotten these tragic events, has a baby named Hunter and the demon returns for some reason again?! to haunt this family which climaxes to her possession, only for the husband to exorcise the demon from her body and sending him/her/it to the other sister. The demon possesses Katie (giving her super powers) and kills her boyfriend. Then Katie snaps the neck of her sister’s husband (she can teleport apparently), kills her sister and takes the boy away – who cares about the daughter. Katie, after 5 years, moves next to another family who have a daughter and a son and then she supposedly goes to the hospital!? and the family decide to provide accommodation to her son?! while she recovers. The kid becomes friends with the son and he is preparing him slowly from the demon possession?, because at the end of the day the family’s kid is being implied that is the adopted Hunter. Then who is Robbie, the kid that stays with Katie and why the whole neighbourhood has a huge female gathering (implied that are the witches??) What the fuck is going on? Do you understand? Me neither – POKERFACE.

    If this does not take the award of the worst story ever…I do not know what does. CDiaries was a masterpiece in comparison to these. And do not get me starte with the plotholes 😛

  • ThunderDragoon

    I don’t think Chernobyl Diaries deserves to be on this list. At the very most, it should’ve been in the horrible mention section, but that’s it. The Apparition should’ve definitely been in the list itself instead. Don’t know why that horrible movie wasn’t in the place of Chernobyl Diaries.

  • splatterhead4ever

    The only one I’ve even seen is P3DD. I’ve probably watched it 4 or 5 times. I like it better than the remake. This has been a shitty year for horror as far as theatrical movies. Cabin in the Woods pissed me off. I thought I was getting a cool throw back to Evil Dead or something. Then it turned into Men in Black part 43 or something. Read the Pines by Blake and Jordan Crouch. Similar themes done much better without having to watch a bunch of stupid cgi.

  • ItsMorphinTime

    I actually really enjoyed Chernobyl Diaries, save for the ending.

  • Canucklehead

    Piranha DD wasn’t nearly as much fun as the first (the sequels rarely seem to be) and Chernobyl wasn’t nearly as scary as it could have been. So frustrating to think aboot what could have been.

  • The apparition should be everyone’s number 1…that movie was just awful to watch.

    • mikeknowskarate

      God yes. Easily the worst of the year.

  • AndrewSoukup24

    Only see one and that is Piranha 3D and it was garbage…still wanna check out these other films but everyone is saying Smiley and Chernobyl Diaries is awful haha.

    • AndrewSoukup24

      3DD sorry not just 3D

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