10 Great Horror Movies I Won’t Watch Because the Poster Scared Me
Unfortunately, deep within my core still resides the soul of a scaredy-cat. But despite my inner weenie, I still do enjoy horror movies, and I’ve developed coward’s strategies to help me get through them, including everything from the classic “keeping all the lights on” to watching them in a very tiny window on my laptop. I’m supposed to be scared of a ghost that’s the size of an ant? Yeah right! However, some reportedly very good horror movies are firmly on my no-no list simply because I saw the poster, and I did not like what I saw.
To that end, here are 10 great horror movies I will not see because the poster is too scary…
Evil Dead Rise
Hooooooo buddy. On paper, this is very much a movie I would like to see. I’m a fan of the Evil Dead series, so I would have loved to have seen what the Los Angeles Times called a “crowd-pleasing new chapter.” But I didn’t have to get a quarter of the way down the poster before I, like a spooky Shark Tank business mogul, am out. I deeply, absolutely despise everything about that face she is making, and it’s a fair guess that she is going to make it a lot of times in the movie. This is something I would like to avoid, especially in motion. If you made this face once in the Middle Ages, they would immediately cut off your head.
Just re-slot some of the words in the movie above and we have our second entry. Dead Alive comes in at a shocking 89 percent fresh on RottenTomatoes, even more impressive given the uphill battle horror movies are usually fighting for critical recognition. But there is a zero percent chance I will be watching it. Unlike the above, I don’t know if this scene is actually in the movie or is just the brainchild of some haunted graphic designer, but it has already deeply ruined the vibe. I can’t look at it without the edges of my mouth hurting. Looking at it makes me feel like I’m getting a papercut and that is not a feeling I want to extend over an hour. NO DEAL!
This lady can fuck right off from the jump. Even if their attempts to give her a bloody face made her look a little more like she just polished off a heaping helping of spaghetti and meatballs, the rest of her horrible, horrible face makes up for it. Now, this movie was far from a critical darling, but as far as I can tell, it, and the titular Nun, have become fan favorites. I am, and forever will be, not part of that fandom. Also, it feels a safe assumption that a lot of this will take place in a church, which are absolutely chock-full of alcoves, which I don’t like. Maybe if she was haunting some sort of empty room with bright fluorescent lighting, I could get through it. I’m Jewish anyways, so this lady is 100 percent: not my problem.
That thing in horror movies where a shot looks normal and then you realize there's some awful freak in the corner of the frame? I understand why it's a common trope, because it makes me want to piss my britches so fast a baby at a waterpark would be impressed. It’s fine, though, because this is the contract I have entered with the filmmaker upon attending their movie. I understand that nightmares live in the shadows, etc., etc. However, doing this trick to me in a simple poster? How dare you. I was merely waiting for the bus and now I have to buy underwear at Target. It shouldn’t be allowed!
Ju-On: The Grudge
The fact that I can’t read Japanese is completely irrelevant here, because fluency aside, this kid has already soured the deal. Whether it’s an indication of supernatural possession or just the world’s most critical case of jaundice, this child needs to be permanently put out to sea and not on my screen. He looks like he’s in the final stages of scurvy anyways. Maybe in the movie, they cure the Grudge with lime juice. I don’t know, because the fact that this black-eyed creep might look directly at the audience one or more times is an absolute non-starter for yours truly. My apartment doesn’t even have a bathtub, and it’s worth the lack of relaxing Sunday soaks just to know that no weird Asian child ever drowned there.
Ju-On: The Grudge 2
Oh great, more of this bullshit. Fuck off!
Lupita Nyong’o is an extremely beautiful lady. Almost 100 percent of the time that I see a picture of her, it is nice. This is not one of those times. This poster makes me wish there was a rule that people in movie posters shouldn’t be allowed to look directly at you. It should be illegal, or they should have a little flap that you can flip up when you’re ready. Instead, just a tiny preview image of that fat, wet eyeball on my plane seat movie screen scared me, and now there’s gin and tonic all over my seatmate. Why are you looking at me?!?! I didn’t put you in whatever fucked-up situation you’re in that requires a red jumpsuit and driving gloves! I love how much success Jordan Peele has found in horror, but also: leave me alone!
With how dated this movie poster is, it should not still be scary. It’s halfway to a Goosebumps cover at this point. Also, it was apparently not a movie, but a limited television series, which just confirms how steadfastly I have avoided it (no pun intended). Tomato, limited network tomahto. Against all odds, it has stood the test of time and retained its ability to make my brain go “no.” I’m not sure exactly what is so consistently unsettling about the illustration, and I’m not going to go the lazy coulrophobia meme route of “clowns are so scary and moist is such a gross word lol.” I think maybe it’s how big and fat the top of his head is. He looks like a spooky Mr. Peanut operating a clown body like a combat mech. There’s also a bit of additional psychological warfare in him having the eyebrows of the meanest manager at the worst retail job you ever had.
One Missed Call
Okay, this one is a little bit of a cheaty mix-up, because the poster in question is for the American version of One Missed Call. The American version of One Missed Call, is, by all accounts, even for the most stalwart Shannyn Sossamon fan, a steaming pile of dogshit. It makes more online lists of the worst CGI scenes of all time than any list about watchable movies. The Japanese original, on the other hand, is a thoroughly disturbing piece of Asian horror. The single facet in which the American remake dusted the original, though, was in how absolutely horrifying the poster was. “What if a face was wrong” has unfortunately never been executed so well. I’m surprised I didn’t have to turn SafeSearch off to find this thing.
Fear Dot Com
Look, I don’t think this is a great horror movie. I think it probably sucks, but I can’t be sure because I’ve ever met anyone who’s actually seen it. What I have met is plenty of people who also cried in a Blockbuster as a kid the first time they saw this. I was just trying to rent Tony Hawk's Underground and now my mom is yelling and saying she’s going to sue the store.
Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian who lives in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.