For better or worse, CGI is now an integral part of cinematic industry.
The advancement of technology to produce onscreen results that would not be physically possible otherwise, appeared perfectly suited for the horror genre in particular. As so many events within horror films are supernatural - and therefore physically impossible in real life - the importance of the ability to use computers to generate a nightmarish demon, monstrous animal or even a convincingly gory death sequence cannot be overstated.
The double-edged nature of this status quo, however, is that many horror outings have lazily slumped into a pattern of over-reliance on these eye-popping effects; emphasis on the quality of the story, acting and overall tone of the movie appears to take a back-seat over a visually convincing monster, who often only appears for short chunks of the film.
What morphs into an even more egregious crime against cinema, is when said visual effects fall depressingly flat onscreen. Excuses can be made when the film is an independent production on a budget of less than six figures, as the prospect that the movie's digital illusions are being engineered by a member of the crew with a laptop and some computer know-how is not overly entrenched within the realms of fantasy.
In rarer cases, when the film is a multi-million pound production that debuts an example of woeful CGI, fans are left scratching their hands as to how such enormous financial backing could lead to such dismal results.
10. Jaws 3-D
The third installment within the Jaws franchise holds the unenviable accolade of owning some of the worst CGI in cinematic history. Armed with $9 million, Steven Spielberg's 1975 epic original was an absolute triumph for the genre. While the animatronic shark may be unconvincing to contemporary fans, audiences who watched the film when it was first released were legitimately afraid to go swimming again afterwards.
Sadly, any advice to emphasize practical effects over computer imagery for Jaws 3-D clearly fell on deaf ears. Gone is the aura of ominous menace, replaced with shoddy graphics that do not come close to mimicking the success of Spielberg's robotic predator. The CGI sharks are poorly defined and brought to life in blocky, disjointed fashion; appearing as something vaguely resembling a shark crudely moulded out of grey clay. The embarrassingly sub-par climactic scene in which the shark explodes is so dreadfully animated that it is likely the same effect could have been achieved using a blank screen featuring only the word "BOOM".
Jaws 3-D sought to exploit the revival of 3-D technology at the time but the end result was a visual abomination. The fact that it possessed a budget of $18 million is absolutely comical when one considers just how unrealistic the film's digital efforts are. While Jaws was selected for the prestigious honor of preservation with the US National Film Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant", the only lasting legacy Jaws 3-D leaves behind is a disastrous case study in the dangers of low-grade CGI and franchise exploitation.