The 50 worst horror movies ever made

Scary movies for all the wrong reasons

There are bad movies, and then there are bad horror movies. Because poor scripts and naff acting are bad enough, but when you combine them with crappy monsters, embarrassing special effects, overwrought music, unconvincing blood and characters acting stupidly just so they can be killed (switch the bloody lights on, you numpty!), were talking a whole new circle of cinematic hell. So prepare to wince at some of the most jawdroppingly dire horror movies that have been ever been released. The omens are looking bad, we can tell you that

50. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

Most Shocking Mistake: The "casting" of Wood's mate Bela Lugosi using unrelated footage shot before the star died, and using a chiropodist as the actor's stand-in.

How To Make It Scary: Why bother? The film's homemade charm make it a film watched for pleasure, not terror. There's a lot worse out there than the "worst movie ever made."

49. Monster Dog (1984)

Most Shocking Mistake: Hiring Alice Cooper, only to then have his instantly recognisable voice redubbed.

How To Make It Scary: If the dog is played by Ozzy Osbourne.

48. Halloween II (2009)

Most Shocking Mistake: The psychic link, which bogs the film down in maudlin visions of Michael mum riding a horse.

How To Make It Scary: Keep John Carpenter's original score on permanent loop. That is scientifically proven to make anything scary.

47. Brain Damage (1988)

Most Shocking Mistake: Making the horror equivalent of a "drugs are bad, m'kay" sermon with a monster that looks like a poo.

How To Make It Scary: Take drugs before watching it.

46. The Gate (1987)

Most Shocking Mistake: Teenage newcomer Dorff's film debut saw the start of his uncanny ability to pick bad horror movies. This won't be the last time he appears in this list.

How To Make It Scary: Let the kids work out how to stop the demons themselves, without the helpful get-out clause of a heavy metal album whose liner notes are a guide to defeating evil.

45. Saw IV Saw 3D (2007-2010)

Most Shocking Mistake: The convoluted continuity, which ties itself up in such knots that you need a PhD in Sawology to keep up.

How To Make It Scary: By paying as much attention to relatable characters as to the fiendish complexity of the traps.

44. Shark In Venice (2008)

Most Shocking Mistake: The underwater scenes, where characters are heard communicating via radio despite the mouthpieces of their oxygen tanks making it impossible to talk.

How To Make It Scary: Set it in Amity Bay, and hire Steven Spielberg.

43. The Unborn (2009)

Most Shocking Mistake: Fair play for freshening post-Exorcist clich by using Jewish folklore, but making the spirit into an Auschwitz victim? Unnecessary.

How To Make It Scary: Another film that would benefit from having its over-complex backstory stripped clean.

42. Night Of The Lepus (1972)

Most Shocking Mistake: The belief that filming rabbits running in slow-motion makes them in any way more terrifying.

How To Make It Scary: There's only rabbit to truly fear the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.