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This Might Be the Worst Horror Film on Netflix

Sharmaine Mempin | Posted on October 17, 2019

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Mike Rutkowski, American Poltergeist (2015)

Happy Spoopy Season, readers. Now I am not one to shy away from a horror flick, especially nearing Halloween, but while I do love being spooked, I equally love being amused. Sometimes, the best comedies are the worst horror films, and nothing exemplifies this statement more than American Poltergeist (2015). The film is so beautifully horrendous. Imagine the production quality of a porn parody, but no sexual acts whatsoever. This movie-crap-pack is complete with atrocious acting, nonsensical writing, mediocre camera work, and a ludicrous plot.


Main Characters

Mike Rutkowski, American Poltergeist (2015)

The film follows a group of students attending Brown University, moving into a giant new home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Michael, played by a British actor who hasn’t completely mastered his American accent, was first to check out the house and convince the group to move in. His sister, Taryn, remains reluctant about the move, as she wishes to remain on campus for the full college experience. The two siblings are accompanied by Michael’s ditzy girlfriend, Niki; an obligatory horror film Catholic, Scott; and an extra friend whose character serves no real purpose, Jenna.

Diana cutting lettuce.

Mike Rutkowski, American Poltergeist (2015)

The house is owned by the possessed Diana, who is supposed to be very creepy, but just looks like a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. All her lines are delivered in a monotone voice, which is supposed to make her seem more horrifying, but the entire cast seems to just recite their lines so unconvincingly that her bad acting just blends with the other actors.

Lizzie Borden staring from balcony

Mike Rutkowski, American Poltergeist (2015)

As they settle into their new home, the group is hit with supernatural occurrences such as strange noises, flying objects, and the sight of a strange lady dressed in blue. Here is where I lose my mind because the introduction of the movie’s monster should always leave a shocking or eerie impression on the audience. I, the audience, did not scream nor shudder. Instead, I laughed hysterically because the costume on this woman came straight out of a Party City Halloween catalog.

Taryn soon feels tormented in the home after encountering the violent spirit of the lady in the cheap redhead wig and polyester blue dress. After witnessing TVs powering up on their own, household items being flung in the air, and visions of the deaths of previous residents, Taryn goes snooping around in Diana’s old photos. It is revealed that the house is the Lizzie Borden Axe murder house: a real-life murder case from 1892 where Lizzie Borden was suspected of committing the gruesome axe murder of her mother and father. The spirit that torments Taryn and the rest of the housemates is Lizzie Borden.

Now, I’ve known about the Lizzie Borden case since I was in middle school, and it still creeps me out today. However, this movie forced me to envision Lizzie Borden in a cheap, zombie-1800s-woman ensemble, and my fear may have transformed into hilarity. The madness does not stop here because Taryn, as it turns out, is the long-lost child of the Borden family, and was adopted by Michael’s parents. Her father’s real name is John Borden, and the visions of death were the 1992 suicide/murder of her real mother and grandparents. All of which occurred on the 100-year anniversary of the Lizzie Borden axe murders. After the murders, Taryn’s father abandoned her. The whereabouts of this father? Uncertain, but he apparently had time to get married because Diana is Taryn’s stepmom. If you feel like you’ve been bombarded with way too much illogical information, then awesome! We’re on the same page and you don’t have to watch the movie.

Officer Alvarez enters house

Mike Rutkowski, American Poltergeist (2015)

After confronting Diana, Taryn tries to leave the house in a needlessly long sequence of her trying to start up three different cars only for them to not work. I WATCHED HER GRAB THREE DIFFERENT KEYS, RUN TO THREE DIFFERENT CARS, AND CRY THREE DIFFERENT TIMES BECAUSE EVERY CAR WOULDN’T STARTUP! THIS SCENE LASTED FOR ALMOST 3 MINS! THE CARS AREN’T GONNA START, TARYN! JUST GET A STUPID CAB!

Taryn stays, and the rest of the housemates throw a birthday party for Niki, only for all visiting friends to be killed off by a possessed Diana and her supervillain-puppet-master-demon, Lizzie Borden. The gang finds themselves in a final boss battle against Lizzie and Diana. Taryn reveals the truth to them; Scott uses his power of Catholicism to figure out what kind of demon Lizzie is and how to defeat her, and Jenna and Niki are killed off because why not? Oh, and there’s a weird cop that’s in cahoots with Diana who shows up at the house only to tell Taryn that she can’t fight destiny. YOU MIGHT ASK, “WHY IS HE HERE?” Well, he is the officer that dropped Taryn off to the adoption agency after the murders. Unnecessary character? Absolutely. Does this movie care? Nope!

Michael and Scott attempt to perform an exorcism on Diana to stop Demon Lizzie. It fails, they die, Taryn is possessed, and I end the movie with way fewer brain cells than I had before. So, if you’re looking to watch something overwhelmingly bad, check out American Poltergeist (2015).

Believe it or not, I’ve barely scratched the surface of how terrible this movie is. Take a look at the trailer and see if you’re down to experience the “horror.”

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