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31 Days of Horror: 5 Anticipated Horrors that Ended Up Being a Disappointment

Many times fans expectations or a film’s promise will send everyone into overdrive, expecting the biggest set-pieces, best scares and overall just a fantastic horror that’ll be talked about for years to come. More often than not when this happens, the films rarely live up to such lofty expectations. Whether this is the fault of the film over-promising or the fans for expecting to much is another discussion, but here’s five of the most anticipated horrors that failed to deliver…

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Anticipated horror

Arne Cheyenne Johnson stabs and murders his landlord, claiming to be under demonic possession. Ed and Lorraine Warren investigate the case and try to prove his innocence.

It’s no secret that over the many films that are a part of The Conjuring franchise have been a mixed bag of terrible to fantastic, but the first two Conjuring films featuring the Warren couple are at the better end of that spectrum.

Related: 31 Days of Horror: 3 Lesser-Known Serial Killers Netflix Should Tackle Next

That’s why after some poor entries like third Annabelle andThe Nun, fans still had high hopes for the latest installment. Unfortunately this was another anticipated horror that failed to live up to expectations. Another victim of trying to progress whilst also stay true to what the previous entries were loved for, the film managed to do neither, and many fans left the cinema disappointed rather than scared.

Halloween Kills (2021)

Anticipated horror

Michael Myers escapes Laurie’s trap and tries to reach her, killing people on his way. On the other hand, Laurie finds support in a group of survivors of his previous rampages.

Halloween released three years prior to this as a reboot come requel to the original Halloween. There were problems of course, but as a whole the film was a resounding success, modernising and continuing the story started some forty years before, and choosing wisely to ignore all the middling sequels since then. Full of menace, a decent story and some truly fantastic kills, fans were eager to see what the sequel would bring to the table.

Unfortunately the answer was very little. Largely ridiculed and derided by the horror community, it seemed to forget everything that had made the previous film so good. There will also never be any forgiving for the terrible ‘Evil Dies Tonight!’ third act travesty. Ever.

It: Chapter Two (2019)

Anticipated horror

After 27 years, the Losers Club receive a call from their friend Mike Hanlon that Pennywise is back. They decide to honour their promise and return to their old town to end the evil clown for good.

The follow-up to one of the best modern horror films in recent memory was a highly anticipated horror and fan fervour was huge prior to release. Marketing had the film everywhere, and it seemed to be all everyone was talking about. It isn’t a stretch to say the first was a huge hit, released some two years prior and drew awards and plaudits from everyone, choosing to focus the horror of the situation purely on the kids as they attempted to fight and survive a terrifying, unrelenting force in the shape of a clown.

Related: 31 Days of Horror: 5 Horror Characters Marvel Should Introduce After Man-Thing

The second to fast-forward the story to tell the other half of the story, as we see those same characters, now twenty seven years older, fight the same entity and this time vanquish it for good. However, it all just felt forced, the story wasn’t as endearing or gripping, and the third act was a travesty.

The Babadook (2014)

Anticipated horror

Sam, a young boy, is convinced of a monster’s presence in his home, due to certain disturbing visions. His erratic behaviour concerns his single mother, Amelia, who spirals into a state of paranoia.

One of the most polarising horrors in recent years, it seems that The Babadook is either considered one of the scariest horrors in recent times, or as is the subject here, a highly anticipated horror that fell flat.

The metaphor of the film is a good one, and a good lesson for a horror film to tackle, but the actual film itself is one poor scene after another. The mother and son, whilst going through their trauma, come across as nothing but annoying, over-the-top characters, and the main ‘villain’ in the Babadook isn’t particularly unnerving or scary either.

Smile (2022)

Anticipated horror

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.

Smile was one of the few horrors released this year with seemingly a unique premise and a phenomenally creepy viral marketing method to boot. Having random actors go to huge, mainstream sports events and portray the creepy smile the film was becoming known for catapulted it into the mainstream consciousness, and it seemed everyone was talking about it coming up to release.

Related: 31 Days of Horror: 5 Obscure Horrors to Change it Up On Halloween

However, not only did the trailer manage to show the entire film, the greatest and most unsettling part of the film was largely lacking from the final product; people smiling. For a film with that title and the marketing behind it, many expected scenes of random people smiling in the background, jump scares involving it and generally more from the whole film. As for jump scares, the trailer also gave too much away, with only two real jump scares left to surprise, and the ending was more laughable than scary.

That’s our picks for our five anticipated horrors that disappointed ultimately, but what would you have picked? And what would have made your list of five anticipated horrors that ended up being a disappointment?

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Written by Luke Addison

Luke Addison is a writer for Fandomwire. He's an avid consumer of all things movie, TV, comics and gaming, especially Marvel.

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Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd