Imagine: You’re in the theater to see a horror movie. Things are ramping up for a big scare. You’re just about spooked out of your mind. The sudden clash of the music cue hits, but instead of something terrifying all you see is a weird, messy digital effect where the movie’s villain should be. It’s the worst thing that could happen to a horror movie (besides just being bad), and before the hyper-realistic era of digital effects we’re witnessing now, things were pretty messy.

Computer generated imagery has been used in films for decades — Saul Bass used computer graphics for the opening credits of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in 1958 — and has only become more ubiquitous since. More obvious digital imagery was used in sci-fi movies like Tron, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and The Abyss, some of which look a little hokey now, but were groundbreaking for the time. Horror, forever the realm of the meticulously designed practical effect, began heavily relying on CGI perhaps a little before the technology was at its highest peak, which meant that so many movies have been marred by badly rendered graphics.

For this list, we’ve picked ten of the worst, from warped gummy cat faces to gooey aliens and one hilariously bad stoned caterpillar, that exhibit just how bad CGI can look in an era when movies rely on it more than ever before. Some of these movies are great anyway, but a lot of them are bad, products of an era that put technology over quality. Read on for a celebration of the worst, and don’t stop your car in the middle of a herd of murderous deer.

The 10 Goofiest Digital Effects in Horror Movie History

What's scarier than a digital blob?

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

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