Not long ago we made a list of some of the best horror movie taglines. As we said, the horror movie tagline is kind of an art form. It helps to sell the movie, build expectations, and insight a bit of terror. Sometimes though the tagline fails, even if the movie doesn’t. Here are some of the worst horror movie taglines.
Psycho: “A new– and altogether different— screen excitement!!!”
For one of the best horror films ever made (in my opinion) this is a rather blah tagline. There was a lot of marketing put into the fact that Psycho was indeed a different type of movie/movie experience, and it truly was. However just saying it’s different and splashing some exclamation points on it just doesn’t take.
Halloween: H20: “This summer, terror won’t be taking a vacation”
Perhaps when making a movie titled Halloween you shouldn’t be using “summer” in your tagline.
The Flesh Eaters: “The only people who will not be STERILIZED with FEAR are those among you who are already dead”
Wait… what? This tagline is confusing, and you start to feel like you are missing something with the choice to put sterilized in all capital letters, also to use the word sterilized.
Jaws: The Revenge: “This time it’s personal”
Honestly this tagline is perfect for pointing out exactly what’s wrong with this movie. It shouldn’t be personal, why is it personal? It’s a shark!
Suspiria: “The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minuets of this film are the first 92”
I get what they are trying to do with this tagline, however it just doesn’t work. Instead of saying “you will be watching a movie that’s extremely scary then it gets even scarier” I feel like I am being told that the first 92 minuets of the film are kind of a waste leading up to the end. The reality is it’s not true, the movie is great from start to finish. But this tagline just sets up an expectation of tedium while waiting for the ending.
Urban Legend: “It happened to someone who knows someone you know… You’re next”
It’s just grammatically a mess, and also doesn’t really cause much in the way of terror.
Ape: “Not to be confused with King Kong”
If there were ever a way to undersell your own movie, this is it.
Circle: “Death is just around the corner”
As with Halloween H2O your tagline should not be entirely counter to your movie title.
Ghost Ship: “Sea Evil”
If you are going to attempt to sell your movie with a pun, put more thought into it.
Tourist Trap: “Every year young people disappear”
And? This is an example of trying to go minimal, but not really succeeding. It feels unfinished rather than succinct.