Horror movie fans are among the most enthusiastic and generous of any genre - they want to see the best in just about any film, and will forgive a lot of bad if a horror flick serves up a few fun kills, right?
But to the same token, there are those films which just have "dud" written all over them from the jump, that from atrocious marketing to an underwhelming concept, or cast and crew with limp track records, even the most optimistic genre fan had these all pegged as flops.
Yet once again proving that our preconceptions can only take us so far, these 10 horror movies actually ended up being so, so much better than anyone expected.
Each film arrived with either a lack of anticipation or perhaps even negative-hype, with the vast majority of horror fans firmly convinced that they couldn't possibly rise above mediocrity-at-best.
But each delivered above and beyond admittedly through-the-floor expectations, in turn proving that a committed filmmaker and game cast can make something terrifically entertaining even if the ingredients don't seem immediately compelling.
The lesson here? We're all capable of being surprised...
Would it have surprised a single person if Eli Roth's 16-years-in-the-making feature adaptation of his fake trailer for a Thanksgiving-themed slasher film - originated in the Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse - was a total bust?
Pair the lengthy gestation time with Roth's general inconsistency as a filmmaker and it was reasonable to anticipate mediocrity-at-best from Thanksgiving, especially with the film being quietly shot earlier this year and released with little marketing fanfare.
What a pleasant shock it was, then, for the movie to end up one of 2023's best-reviewed horror films released by a major studio - a giddily self-aware seasonal slasher which delivered the bountiful gore fans of the trailer expected alongside a wealth of black comedy.
Given that Roth's enthusiasm for the concept could've easily wavered over the years and morphed the project into a mere paycheck gig, it was truly unexpected to see an end result so well-crafted and genuinely entertaining from start to finish.