10 Great Performances In Otherwise TERRIBLE Horror Movies

Even when cast in awful films, nothing can stop these powerhouse performers from stealing the show.

William H Macy Psycho
Universal Pictures

Let's face facts here guys, the horror genre is awash with all manner of absolute pish.

For every genre-defining masterpiece, there are at least another hundred or so lackluster efforts that fail to raise a pitiful smile, nevermind the hairs on the back of your neck.

Whilst a lot of these films may suffer from poor direction, badly written scripts, or dire special effects, it's still possible to find some truly great performances from their casts. Perhaps it's the inherently ridiculous nature of the plots or complete disregard for traditional cinematic presentation, but when compared to other genres, horror is the one that allows actors to truly cut loose and present a wide range of emotions without the fear of it feeling over the top.

Some have even gone so far as to give their finest performances whilst surrounded by gallons of fake blood and gore, it's just a shame that the films themselves weren't of the same level of quality.

So gather your friends, chill the beers and prepare for a crapfest, because here are some truly great performances in otherwise terrible horror films.

10. Dieter Laser - The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

William H Macy Psycho
Six Entertainment

Love and admire them for their unabashed grotesquery or outright despise them for the exact same reason, The Human Centipede series has more than earned its place in horror history whether you like it or not.

Similar to other abhorrent titles like A Serbian Film and Grotesque, The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is not a very good film, in fact, it's pretty terrible for the most part.

It certainly has a very unique premise and is one you're not likely to forget any time soon, but overall it's a bit naff. Outside of the nauseating centipede action, it's a fairly by-the-numbers affair that doesn't serve much purpose outside of being foul for the sake of it.

Should you decide it's worth dedicating ninety-two minutes of your life to such a film, you may be pleasantly surprised by Dieter Laser's delightfully unhinged performance as Josef Heiter, the mad-scientist responsible for building the malformed centipede.

Much like many others on this list, it's clear that Laser understands the material and is at least having fun with the very hammy role he was given. He injects the perfect amount of malice and pitch-black humour into what would otherwise be an unbearably queasy film.


UK based screenwriter, actor and one-half of the always-irreverent Kino Inferno podcast. Purveyor of cult cinema, survival horror games and low-rent slasher films.