Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
If you really want to scare yourself this All Hallow's Eve, take a look at proof positive that brilliant, creative people, if they work hard enough, can turn out absolutely senseless trash. The sequel to one of the most frightening movies ever, Exorcist II: The Heretic is laughable from start to finish, but its laughter is mixed with tears. Richard Burton, who should have been heir to Laurence Olivier, stumbles in a positively glazed fashion through his role as a tormented priest trying to find out just why the devil keeps wanting to set up shop in little ol' Linda Blair (a good deal chubbier than she had been in The Exorcist four years previously). Burton's somnambulent performance was due, surely, to the fact that the exposition is incomprehensible, with action flashing back and forth from Washington, D.C., to Africa for no reason until you get whiplash. If you hang in long enough, though, you'll get to see James Earl Jones, sitting in a cave, covered in feathers and looking pretty darn glum about the whole thing. That John Boorman, who directed Deliverance and Hope and Glory, made this thing only compounds the horror.