10 Brilliant Horror Movie Concepts Not Taken Far Enough

These films could've been fantastic if they'd taken these concepts just a little further!

The Beach House
Shudder

Sometimes after watching a film we feel just a little let down...

We've enjoyed the viewing experience but there's something missing. Perhaps there are two many unanswered questions or a plot thread you were really interested in that didn't seem to go anywhere. It just leaves you thinking, "If only they'd added just a LITTLE bit more to the story!"

Some films plant incredible seeds within their runtimes, only to drop them or explore them in what feels like an unsatisfactory or clumsy manner. This is common amongst horror films in particular, as they often tell outlandish tales that require a great deal of lore or backstory. There is nothing quite like that crushing sense of disappointment when you discover a film you were excited about or invested in didn't explore a certain element as much as you would've liked. Often, a horror movie's failure to explore their unique concepts to the fullest leads to it being perceived as a failure.

With that in mind, here are 10 great horror movie concepts that weren't taken far enough. Not all of these films are considered "good," but with a little more storytelling and a few tweaks, they could've been something truly remarkable.

10. When A Stranger Calls (1979)

The Beach House
Columbia Pictures

When a Stranger Calls has its place rightfully in horror history for its shocking reveal that babysitter Carol Kane's phone tormentor is actually calling her from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

Unfortunately this reveal occurs only ten minutes into the film... The rest of the movie is the somewhat dull, plodding story of Charles Durning's detective John Clifford as he follows the former caller after his escape from a sanitarium, attempting to predict his next move.

It appears that generation after generation of horror fans discover this movie and can't help but be disappointed when the film shifts gears and becomes a much more slow moving police drama instead of holding the tension and eerie dread the first ten minutes promise. How could it have done this, you ask? Wouldn't a film about a serial killer moving house to house and terrorizing babysitter after babysitter via telephone been much more satisfying? A young fan named Kevin Williamson thought so and was moved to write Scream on a stormy night in the early '90s.

Of course none of this can take away the fact that the film is wonderfully performed. Superb acting from Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Colleen Dewhurst and Tony Beckley make up for the film not playing out as the straight-forward horror-thriller the chilling opening promised.

Contributor
Contributor

Hi! The first thing you should know about me is that I'm a HUGE horror movie nut. A confirmed addict to the WhatCulture Horror YouTube channel I thought I'd try my luck on their writing team. I'm a wannabe author with one completed manuscript submitted to a few agents. Please cross your fingers for me! I am currently working on my second book. If you wanna talk horror or need any movie recommendations, I'm your man! Give me a follow on Instagram... since there doesn't seem to be a section for that in the "socials" tab @that_horror_nerd