[Remember This?] What Movies Are You Afraid Suck Now?

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There are some films that exist as sacred experiences in our memory, and it’s likely that our memory is the only place where they can exist in such a fashion. I’m talking about those horror films from my childhood that still trigger my pleasure neurons when I think about them, but if I take the time to realistically gauge what my reaction to them today would be like – I’m filled with a specific and undeniable brand of seething uneasiness.

For instance, I adored Fright Night 2 as a kid. I remember it as a raucous romp wherein Charlie Brewster had a sexier girlfriend who could even make studying at the library look hot. I also seem to remember that, this time, Peter Vincent is the one who has to do the convincing – which is an interesting reversal. I also remember being mildly disappointed that Evil Ed didn’t return (as promised) but I felt like the bowling scene somehow made up for it.

I imagine if I revisited the film today I’d feel differently. First of all, it’s out of print – not a great sign of its enduring cultural longevity (there are some films where it’s like a crime that they’re out of print, this doesn’t feel like one of them – tell me if it is). Secondly, all of the things that made the movie a plus when I was in the 5th or 6th grade would likely bog it down with silliness now. I almost feel like a new viewing would turn me into Charlie Brewster at the beginning of the sequel, a once-believer who is now throwing away all of his crucifixes.

Another film I hold in high esteem is The Monster Squad. I remember my Dad taking me to see this one and being blown away. I thought it was hilarious. Of course, Wolfman being blown apart by dynamite (correct me if I’m wrong) remains a high point – I can still see those bloody stumps in my head and remember thinking “man, this is hardcore“. I think I caught up with the Squad again on home video (which in those days was like a year after the theatrical release) and, if memory serves, it had already started to diminish for me even at that age.

Caveat? The film was written by the amazing Shane Black, so maybe it’s a treasure trove of stuff that initially flew over my head that I’d really respond to now. Perhaps I should give it another go and find out… but I’m scared.

What are some films you’re scared to revisit out of fear that they’ll suck?

 
  • Lonmonster

    Not horror, but Jumanji

  • MrDisgusting

    Neverending Story, Return to Oz and Labyrinth

    • EvanDickson

      @MrDisgusting

      I watched some of NeverEnding Story the other day and was surprised at how fast it moved. The stuff with Bastian reacting to the book is a little much, but the adventure stuff is surprsingly dark.

      • Micah

        I saw Neverending story in a theater a while back. Fell asleep in the middle of it.

        • EvanDickson

          But you hated Maniac ;)

    • Sirengx

      Labyrinth could never suck, I don’t care how old it is. It’s still an amazing classic.

      • ThunderDragoon

        Completely agree!

      • Milk

        Agreed. It’s still epic

    • Dr.Darkness

      We watched “Return to Oz” with some friends a couple of years ago. I thought it held up, but the phrase “were they high?” was repeated several times.

  • sweetooth

    Fright Night 2 rocks.

    Monster Squad rocks.

    I’m not sure I can relate to this article at all.

    BTW, I just watched Labyrinth and Return to Oz recently and they both rock (love the semi disturbing stop motion stuff in Return to Oz, and man that movie sure is dark for a Disney movie).

    • EvanDickson

      @sweetooth

      I’m not saying the movies are bad, I’m saying I’m afraid that they might be even though I loved them as a kid. Haven’t seem them in a while.

  • Whatsamovie

    All of these movies are still good in my book. I wonder what current movies people will look back at 20 years from now and wonder the same thing.

  • Krug09

    Before i get heat for this. I loved this movie when i was like 10, The Game, i watched it again about 2 months ago. The movie is so over the top and cartoonish for its own good. Its still a good movie but i don’t remember it being stupid.

    • Aaron Emery

      I with you there. I liked it quite a bit when it came out but it definitely doesn’t hold up to a second viewing. It also doesn’t help new viewers by being known as a “twist film” because knowing that ahead of time makes the twist obvious from the start.

  • Danny-E

    When I was a kid I watched “THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN” and thought it was so scary and good. I just watched it last night on Blu Ray and it’s awful. :-(.

  • Seal_Clubber

    Hellraiser and Children of the Corn

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000031803851 Gavin Dobbs

      Hellraiser still holds up after all these years thanks to the work of Doug Bradly. I would go as far to say that Hellraiser 2 enhanced the formula and made some very interesting and strong headways into the lore.

      CotC however just sucked… I mean it was painfully bad to watch :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000031803851 Gavin Dobbs

    When I was a kid I loved the ABC miniseries It. The acting by Tim Curry astounded and terrified me at the same time. It was even to the point I was afraid to wake up, open my door, and go to the bathroom because I was certain he was going to be there just waiting for me (I was 7).

    Then… I read the book.

    Yeah… that miniseries sucks now.

    • dr.lamb

      The miniseries is rather bad, especially part two, only Tim Curry’s performance still holds up. But at that time it was LEGEND among us kids (:

  • Joe-Banger

    How about The Frighteners starring Micheal J. fox? Wait that film already sucked did’nt it?

    • Rops

      You take that back! The Frighteners is great.

      • huntermc

        The Frighteners was amazing!

  • dr.lamb

    I was a bit disappointed about “The Omen 2″ when I saw it again after nearly 20 years. The first part still holds up though.

  • Doornail12

    Maybe Rawhead Rex… I bet the rubber suit doesn’t hold up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dillon.brown.7 DB35

    Event Horizon was that movie for me, when I was a kid, that absolutely terrified me and my best friend. We did the old VHS switcheroo, where we took the tape out of the box at a local video store and put it into a different box to bypass the parental units. We grew up in a small town and the video store clerk never checked anything, he just scanned the barcode on the box itself. So, we watched it late at night, freaked out, and thought it was the scariest film ever. Watched it again about a month ago and dammit, ruined it for me. I had such fond memories of being terrified and it’s just not there. I still enjoy aspects of the film, but the awesome pedestal I had it on as far as a childhood memory has quickly evaporated. The one that still holds up for me, though, in terms of being a highlight of my youth and still fascinates me beyond words, is Big Trouble in Little China. I swear, that one gets better with age!

  • deadsnow07

    The Dark Crystal & Black Sabbath for me.

    • ThunderDragoon

      Wow, gotta agree with The Dark Crystal. I loved it as a kid and watched it a few years back. Oh my gosh, it was terrible!

    • Mikieblade

      I don’t know, I picked up The Dark Crystal on Blu-Ray and I think it was still awesome. They did a really good job transferring it.

  • Wolf-man

    Fright Night 2 is terrible. Don’t bother re-watching it. It was a sad attempt to cash in on the success of the first one. The first one is classic and should stay a single movie. I thought the remake was only ok but it was better than the crap that is Fright Night Part II.
    Monster Squad is fantastic. It really holds up, even today. It has great practical effect and a really fun cast. It does depend if you like that kind of film. If you like 80′s “kid’s go on an adventure” films then you will like this. It’s basically a Horror version of The Goonies. Also it has one of the best Dracula performances since Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee.

    Kingdom of the Spiders is one for me. A little bit at least. I remember it being really great as a little kid then I bought the dvd when it came out and while it was still fun, it really wasn’t all that great of a movie.

  • Sirengx

    Sadly, Puppet Master (well, any of the classic Full Moon movies). I still love them to pieces, but I realized how boring they are to people who may have never seen them before.

    • Trioxin83

      Lol not too long ago I bought the Puppet Master Collection (all 9 movies) at Walmart for $5…..worth it.

      • Sirengx

        I did too. It’s so worth it, I just wish it had Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (even though it was horribly bad).

  • Sirengx

    Oh yeah, and I Come In Peace. I remember that movie being really creepy, but I watched it recently again and it kind of sucked.

    • diapers

      I just rewatched that as well. I had forgotten how much of a “buddy movie” it is. I also like how there is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why the alien keeps uttering the title line before he tentacles each victim in the brain.

  • Trioxin83

    Dont be scared to watch Monster Squad again. I just did a few months ago and I still loved it. It was awesome to relive those moments I loved as a kid.
    A movie I used to watch as a kid was Monster in the Closet. I was thinking of watching it again because I probably havent seen it in 20 years but I am afraid to lol. I learned recently that it’s a Troma movie…

  • jchano123

    Silent hill. It’s not that old, but I saw it when I was around 10.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    i remember seeing Halloween: Resurection shortly after it came out (when it was first released on DVD) and i remember really liking it. give me a break, i was only 17 or 18 haha. saw it again about, i dont know, 7 years later and hated it. aweful movie in my opinion. the acting was atrocious. i remember there being some bad acting when i first saw it but not nearly as much as the last time i saw it. but this is a case where im glad i watched it again because i’d be embarrased running around saying i liked the movie.

    • ThunderDragoon

      I remember liking it when it first came out, too. Don’t know what the hell I was thinking! The mistakes we make when we’re younger… lol.

  • m-m-m-MONSTER_KILL

    Most old Godzilla movies when watched in High def, sadly. I LOVED Godzilla when I was a kid, and I still do, I’ll pop one of my old VHS tapes into the VCR every now and again, but the magic seems somehow diminished in High Def. I guess cause the picture quality is so shitty on the tapes (most of them are at least 15 years old), it’s a lot harder to notice most of the little imperfections and such, but at some point last year I was at my Mom’s place and she’s got a really big HD tv, and Comcast had some HD remasters of the old Godzilla movies on-demand, so I tried to watch Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (the first one I ever saw when I was like, 4 or so)…and it was almost painful. You could see where the water hit the edge of the painted sky backdrop in scenes on the ocean (seriously, the backdrop looked like a Bob Ross painting), you could see, clear as day, all the strings moving Rodan and Ghidorah about, even all the crack-lines on the suit from where it had bent too much were visible. It was really sad, and as a result I try to avoid watching ANY Godzilla movie made before 1984 in HD.

  • Zombie-Killa

    This is going to sound realllly weird and awkward, but Congo (1995) scared the SHIT out of me, when I was a kid! lol. It’s a movie about Gorillas that are supposed to be really smart, and they end up killing people, who are searching for some kind of rare diamond, or something like that. I think it’s based on a book.

    Anyway, the movie terrified me as a kid, but I watched again in my late teens, and I thought it was the most ridiculous piece of crap I’ve ever seen in my life! Oh, and Bruce Campbell is in the movie, and to think, when I watched the movie as a kid, I had NO idea who he was, and I sure as hell didn’t know about the Evil Dead films. lulz.

    • diapers

      Yeah, I rented Congo about ten years ago. I nearly set the tape on fire in protest.

      • Zombie-Killa

        LULZ!

  • Grime

    The House by the Cemetery and Dreamscape.

  • Samhain2010

    The true test is to find a person that has not seen the movie, and then ask them what they think. I actually saw monster squad for the first time last week. It’s not very good. I know that will break some hearts, but it is the truth. The effects were actually nice and the makeup in general was top notch, but the script and execution are a mess.

  • MrBitchen

    Treasure of the Four Crowns :/

  • diapers

    When I was a kid I owned a VHS copy of “Madman”. My friends and I watched it constantly, and we thought it was the shit. Then last year I watched it again, and BOY DOES IT SUCK! Especially the casio keyboard soundtrack.

  • TheBurning

    Just watched all the PSYCHOS again and I have to say I use to love all of them except for 3, hated it. I really loved 4 back then. But now I think 1-3 are really really good and I think 4 is a disappointment now.

    • Aaron Emery

      That’s funny, when I was a yung jeezy I had them all on VHS. Part IV was my favorite, now I find it to be unbearable but love the other sequels.

  • Aaron Emery

    This one’s a tad embarrassing as it was only 6 years ago; I really liked ‘The Invasion’ (Kidman, Craig) the first time I saw it. I tried to re-watch it the other day and found it be an unwatchable mess, I have no idea why I ever liked it. Same thing happened with ‘AVP:R’, I enjoyed it now I can’t even tell what’s going on.

  • undertaker78

    Mine would be:
    1) Shocker (Kind of silly but still like it for its charm.)
    2) Black Roses (Definitely an 80′s cheesefest.)
    3) House II (I’ve always had a soft spot for this even though I know its bad.)
    4) Cheerleader Camp (I’m embarrassed with how many times I’ve seen this)
    5) Maximum Overdrive (Who didn’t love this when they were a kid? Again, I like it for its charm but it’s essentially a very bad movie.)

  • GothicGuido

    Man I watched Monster Squad with my sister a while ago and I think it holds up today. Campy yeah and undeniably 80s lol but I thought it was great, the goonies with universal monsters basically.

    For me its not a horror movie, its dazed and confused lol. Everyone quotes that movie and stuff. When It came time to sit down and watch it with somebody else (21 at the time) I realized it’s god awful lol.

  • joesey

    I would say the movies that scared me as a kid that I know I would not find so much entertaining now are The Gate I & II, Child’s Play 1 & 2, Ghoulies, It’s Alive trilogy, and any movie with those early cheesy computer graphics like The Lawnmower Man or Children Of The Corn 2.

    • joesey

      ….so basically any movie with killer dolls or small puppet-looking things that were meant to be scary especially Critters.

  • Bumper1

    What’s the movie with Fred Savage? Monsters under the bed?? used to love that shit when I was a kid.

    Speaking of Fred Savage, who remembers the wizard? not horror bt when a kids movie is that awesome who cares.

    Horror & Nintendo, that’s my childhood right there.

    • joesey

      Little Monsters–his brother in real life played his little brother in the movie.

  • Pali-Azzar

    I’ll show my age here…. The original “Invaders From Mars” was my first time ever being scared by something on TV. I was a kid at the time and the lead character is a kid. First the parents get ‘taken,’ then it’s the police, the girl down the street, it was truely frightening for this innocent child. The sand in the field, and that sound effect when it would open up. Then there was the ‘brain’ onboard the spaceship, the operating table that would insert the mind control device. The flashbacks as the bomb ticker counted down, even the ‘twist’ ending. Everything in that movie can give me chills just remembering when I saw it way back when.

    Had a chance to see it not too long ago with the most noticeable thing I see now is the overuse of stock military footage. :-) A cheesy movie? Maybe, but I still like it.

  • big_daddy2323

    i remember seeing blade when i was 9 and it scared the shit out of me. So many parts of that movie stuck with me.I’ll never forget that burned guy going nuts in the hospital, the really fat vampire, whistler getting tortured, and the heads exploding. i know that if i watch it now it wont be as good. i just hope the opening scene is as badass as i remember.

  • LaughingMagician

    Blade was the first horror comic done right as far as I’m concerned (and yes, have no fear! The opening scene is just as badass as you remember). I still watch it every once in a while whenever I’m reminded of Constantine and the ridiculous weaponry or Swamp Thing in its campy glory. Blade successfully transitioned from the page to the screen with the horror aspect in tact; they actually seem to have read the comic instead of just giving it what has come to be the dreaded comic book movie treatment that you witnessed in Blade Trinity.
    For me, one movie that scared the shit out of me as a kid was Leprechaun, and it still does (and yes, I have been called Garth for this on numerous occasions). However, Tommyknockers may have scared me as a kid, but that movie is a giant pile of shit.

  • LaughingMagician

    oh, and I can’t leave out Hellgate! I don’t know who sharted that mess into existence, but they should pay restitution to the people that were duped into thinking it was a movie.

  • redzombielove

    Fright Night 2 and Monster Squad have aged a bit, though I still love them.

    FN2 was nowhere near as good as the first but I think it’s more endearing and entertaining than the remake. It sucked that they didn’t bring back Evil Ed for it, and I think the script and direction was lacking…it wasn’t terrible just could’ve been so much better.
    I had seriously high hopes for the remake, I thought having Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) involved and having David Tennant as Peter Vincent would make it something memorable with enough fusion of fresh and keeping to the roots of the original. I didn’t care too much for the “Jaws” aspect of the vampire (Colin Farrell) vs. the Old World style of the original (Chris Sarandon), I missed the crazy-creepy room mate he had too who melted into green ooze and black bones, and seriously WTF was thinking behind taking the original gothic influence in suburbia and replacing it with cookie cutter bland setting of a housing development in Las Vegas! That irked me the most.

  • huntermc

    I know this is heresy, but I went back and watched the original Halloween recently and boy, it was kinda boring. This movie scared the shit out of me when I was a kid and I watched it at a friend’s house who had HBO. But watching it again now, not much really happens in the first 2/3 of the movie, just Michael… driving around stalking Laurie in a stolen car? Of course the last act set the tone for hundreds of knock offs that came later, but I’ve been so conditioned on the MTV quick edit style of film making, that the slower deliberate pace of the 70′s movies is now hard to watch.

  • Milk

    As a kid I loved the movie Ernest Scared Stupid but last October the SO and I watched a horror movie every night for the month and I was embarrassed to rewatch it. It was terrrrible.

  • Mikieblade

    The Lurking Fear scared the living crap out of me when I saw it as a kid, rented it from Netflix a year ago and just… wow… it was absolutely awful.

  • wildgator25

    Would love to watch Salem’s Lot again…. but afraid I will lose the last remnants of fear from that kid scratching at the window! Awwww man, that scared the shit out of me back in the day!

  • bloody-ian

    I love revisiting them. Born in 1980 I was a total Freddy-kid…and still am. I’ve owned Monster Squad on DVD twice (I moved around a lot) . Recently I found the Disney Hour ‘Mr. Bogedy’ and it was a lot of fun. Where as when I was young I couldn’t wait for Mr. Bogedy, now I loved the obnoxious Dad…who owns a joke shop version of Avon I suppose…not exactly recession-proof.
    So, yes, revisit those fuzzy kids cereal movies (I ate a lot of cereal). Have fun. Get some perspective.