By Angelica Bottaro

I love the horror genre. There’s just something about sitting in a dark room, feeling the characters’ fear as they run for their lives. When a film pulls you into its world, gives you goosebumps and a racing heart, you know they’ve done it right! Scary movies are supposed to scare, after all, and I love every minute of it.

But there are some I wish I hadn’t seen, for various reasons. Some were too gory, others were just terrible, and some I wish I could re-watch with innocent eyes. Each movie on this list falls into one of these three categories.  

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

A devout Catholic girl dies after a botched exorcism, and the priest is put on trial because his exorcism is blamed for her death.

While the trial is an interesting take, it’s the backstory that is the real punch to the gut. Emily Rose, either stricken by madness or demonic possession, is tortured until she takes her last breath. The scenes as she is taken over by the demon still haunt me, and I have yet to re-watch the film over 15 years after I first saw it because it scared me half to death. 

It was a fantastic film, don’t get me wrong, but I have never been that scared in a movie theatre in my life.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Aside from the fact that I think Quentin Tarantino is one the most overrated filmmakers ever, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was just a massive mess of disappointment. As a true crime enthusiast, I gave the film a chance despite my undying hatred for its creator. It was meant to be an original take on the Tate/LaBianca murders committed by the now-infamous Manson family.  

The big disappointment comes from the intense gore at the end of the film. Tarantino takes creative liberty to an entirely new level when the main characters played by DiCaprio and Pitt essentially obliterate the Manson family members on their way to kill Sharon Tate and her houseguests. It was so out of place and over the top. It was just plain disgusting and added nothing to the already lacklustre and disrespectfully inaccurate portrayal of events.

I get it, he wanted to change the ending so that it didn’t match every single other Manson family movie, but the way he went about it was just gross.  

Fear Street: Part One

My excitement for Fear Street: Part One—because of my childhood love for R.L. Stine—was shattered after watching the first instalment. The opening scene was flawless, setting the stage for a classic slasher film. What followed was a giant mess. 

The fear was taken directly out of it and replaced by throw away acting performances and shock violence, such as a girl’s head being put through a bread slicer and a guy getting axed in the head in a flamboyant and quick shot type of way. It was disgusting and lacked any genuine fear or care for any of the characters; I wish I skipped this one altogether.

The Blair Witch Project

The classic handheld camera horror film, The Blair Witch Project, still terrifies me to this day. Three friends go into the woods to film a documentary on a legendary murder in a small town. It quickly descends into straight-up terror as the amateur filmmakers get lost in the woods and are stalked by none other than the Blair Witch herself. 

Every moment of that film scared me to my core, and the end—where Heather sees her friend before letting out a scream falling to the floor—will remain etched in my brain for eternity. 

This is one of those horror films I wish I could wipe from my memory so that I could watch it all over again without knowing how it ends.

The Strangers

The Strangers takes fear to a new level because of its simplicity. A couple is staying at a secluded cabin in one last attempt to save their failing relationship. The tension between them ignites that uncomfortable feeling perfectly before three strangers come to the door in masks and begin to subtly stalk them. 

Stripping down the horror genre to bare-bones, The Strangers gives viewers precisely what they want. It’s a slow build and flows through a quiet-like terror that many films couldn’t get away with. 

When finally caught, there is no fight for survival—they are just murdered. Quick and easy. The true terror of this film is that it feels too real and like it could happen to anyone—even you. That is the main reason why this is a movie I wish I didn’t watch so I could have the chance to see it without knowing what was going to happen.

It’s hard to beat a great horror movie, and I am always on the lookout for my next scare with the hope that I won’t regret watching it!