It’s all very well and good being positive and all that, but we all know that the world is not a positive place, it’s a dull, unforgiving place, and Hollywood is no different, in fact it’s probably worse, if Hollywood were a person, it would have the worst mood swings in human history. On one hand it gives us films like Shapes of Water and Three Billboards, and with the other it slaps us with Transformers films, and Titanic.
I’ve chosen not to go about this in a Top 10 format, as I don’t like doing too many Top 10’s seeing how bloody popular they are on every site in the world, I am instead going to address the worst films I’ve seen this year in an extended rant/autopsy. Bear in mind before you read that this is MY opinion, if you liked these films then that’s cool, and you should also probably seek help.
Molly’s Game – Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Probably the most disappointing cinema experience I had last year, Molly’s Game had a fair amount of positive critical reaction early last year, but to me was nothing more than a damp squib.
I only remembered how disappointed I was in this film when going back through the films I’ve seen, truth be told, the film hadn’t crossed my mind in the whole year since I saw it, which is never a good sign.
It had all the ingredients to be great, but was hampered by a glacial pace and uninteresting characters, not a great start to the year all in all.
Hereditary – Directed by Ari Aster
After It and A Quiet Place, I had a much more open mind towards horror, and this is the film that closed my mind again.
The two films I used as examples both had creativity and life, Hereditary was happy to trot out the same dated horror cliches that we’ve seen for 30 years, all while having an air of smugness of a film that thinks it is so much cleverer than it thinks it is.
It also irks me that the film was advertised as ‘this generations Exorcist’. Now, I put it to you, dear reader, that any film that uses another films name front and centre in its advertising campaign, doesn’t have faith in its own film to succeed on its own. If this film was any good, it wouldn’t need that prefix.
I was excited to see another exciting horror film that further changes my mind to the genre, all it did was show me all the things I don’t like about horror and put me off the genre further.
The Festival – Directed by Iain Morris
I’m an Inbetweeners fan, you know. I’ll willingly concede that it’s hardly high-brow comedy, but it was lightening in a bottle, a mirror to a whole generation of youths. That’s why the show worked, because people my age, who were watching, knew a Jay, or a Simon. We grew connected to the characters over three series and two movies, and clamour for any potential reunion.
However, The Festival really tested my patience with Inbetweeners nostalgia. It is the kind of film that refuses to move on from a past film, hell they even cast one of the main actors from the series that we’re all nostalgic for, that’s not moving on from your comfort zone, that’s building a den over your comfort zone.
It was also irritating because of its use of humour, sure it’s the same kind of low-brow humour as The Inbetweeners, but when Inbetweeners used gross-out humour, it had build-up, paced brilliantly until the climax (pun very much intended) here it has all the subtlety and pacing of a sledgehammer to the face. If you want my opinion, watch The Inbetweeners again, and forget this film ever existed.
The Happytime Murders – Directed by Brian Henson
When I posted this review to Facebook, i made the very hilarious joke of calling this: ‘The Crappytime Murders’ and I stand by that solid gold burn.
I could go on and on about how awful this film is, its tone deaf humour, unlikable characters and stupid, stupid plot. But all of this can be summed up by the fact that the screening I was in had a fair few people in, and nobody laughed, once, and that is pretty damning for a comedy movie. But, in all honesty, The Crappytime Murders (I said it again for maximum humour) is about as funny as bowel surgery.
Slaughterhouse Rulez – Directed by Crispian Mills
A few paragraphs ago, I scolded The Festival for playing off the nostalgia of The Inbetweeners, and right here is another great example of the same sort of thing.
At the front and centre of the advertising for this film was Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, also the way it’s trailers were edited suggested that we were in for a comedic romp similar to their brilliant ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ but what we got was a tepid, clunky film about fracking, of all things, one in which Pegg and Frost do not even appear in a scene together, and includes a God-awful performance from Michael Sheen, it’s the kind of film that will make you like the ‘Cornetto’ films a little bit less, even though this film is unrelated to those films.
It’s cynical marketing is a trend that runs through most of these films, be it Hereditary or Slaughterhouse Rulez, I find it to be a good rule of thumb that if a film is pointing you to anything outside of those films, then those films don’t have enough about them to stand up on its own, and most if not all of these films are guilty of this tactic, basically, be wary of advertising.
This brings us to the end of the run-down of these years flops and disappointments. You’ll notice there are considerably less than the Best list, this is because I saw more good films than bad, I like to think that I can spot bad films, but the fact that I spent two hours of my life watching Hereditary would suggest otherwise.
Have a great New Year, and I’ll be back in a few days with 2019’s first review!