The Scariest Films For the Wrong Reasons

Solomon Kenworthy, Web Editor

     There’s more than one way to scare an audience. A common topic for many in October is a discussion around our favorite scary movies. Maybe it’s Alien, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (A very understandable choice.) Whatever it may be, these are some of the films that frighten film critics around the world and helped coin the term, “So bad, it’s good.” 

Megashark Versus Crocosarus – 2010

Photo courtesy of IMDb

     Production company Asylum is known for its notoriously bad films, but Megashark Versus Crococasrus is easily one of their most entertaining. The story is pretty self-explanatory. It’s about a huge shark going up against a huge crocodile because the shark wants to eat the eggs of the crocodile, or something like that. Trust me, it’s not that important. Oh yeah, and also somehow this is a sequel? Didn’t know there was an audience for this kind of thing, but okay. 

     This has pretty much everything you could ask for from the title: lots of dumb action, all of which is extremely entertaining. Multiples of the exact same shots are used. For example, a scene in which the Megashark jumps over a battleship and wacks its tail against it is used a number of times. Like I said before, a major factor of the plot is that the massive crocodile, Crocosarus, is laying hundreds of eggs along the U.S. coastline. You think that the main characters have destroyed them, but any time the plot needs something interesting to happen, there are just somehow magically more eggs. This occurs so many times you’ll most likely lose count after the fourth time this same plot point is used.

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Troll 2 – 1990

     Say hello to what most would call king of the category, “So bad, it’s good.” While on vacation, a family discovers the town they’re in is filled with goblins disguised as humans. That’s right, goblins, NOT Trolls as the title suggests. So if that’s what you were looking for, sorry to let you down. If anything, the film is very informative, teaching crucial lessons, such as nilbog spelled backward is goblin, and that you probably shouldn’t eat food with green ooze coming out of it.  

The Happening – 2008

     Just when you thought Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch was the peak of Mark Wahlberg’s career, there’s always something better. In a film that sounds much better on paper than execution, The Happening sees plants being mad at humans, so they begin to release a gas into the air that makes us suicidal. Hmm, on second thought, maybe it doesn’t sound that good no matter how you put it. This might be one of the most quotable films of the past 20 years. So many great lines of dialogue, and it’s not necessarily because the lines on their own are funny, but it’s the awful delivery from Wahlberg and others that make them great. Some that stand out are, “You know, hot dogs get a bad rep. They gotta cool shape, they got protein.” and “You should be more interested in science, Jake. You know why? Because your face is perfect.”

Photo courtesy of IMDb

     Wahlberg jokes aside, he’s not the only one who’s spectacularly bad. Zooey Deschanel makes the exact same face throughout the entire runtime, that’s not even an exaggeration. The voice actor for Sid the Sloth, John Leguizamo, is a supporting character and his performance is much more tolerable than most in the film, but it’s that Sid the Sloth factor that makes pretty much everything he says funny. Also, there is a woman in this film who is on the phone with her daughter named Stacy, meaning technically, yes, Stacy’s mom is briefly in the film. 

     It’s not just the acting that makes The Happening stand out, but several moments in the story. There is a scene in this film where the main characters run away from the wind, in an open field, in the middle of the day, which is the film’s definition of ‘suspense.’ Another standout scene sees Wahlberg’s character try to prove to someone that he is normal, by singing the 1974 song “Black Water,” out of key. Please, please, if you watch one film off this list, make it this one.  

     There’s no real formula behind what makes a film straight-up bad, or “So bad, it’s good.” Perhaps if I took more of an interest in science I could figure it out. If you can remember these films, then maybe the next time someone asks, “What’s your favorite scary movie,” you’ll definitely have the most unique answer. Let’s hope so anyway.