Everyone does a Best and Worst of the year wrap up, because it’s easy and it gets traffic and sparks conversations. Since this is a horror blog, I’m only covering genre films, but there is a little catch to make this whole thing a bit more interesting.
I watch a lot of movies, not only for Devour the Podcast, but because I genuinely enjoy movies. Unfortunately I’m not always able to rush out and see everything that hits theaters, and most what I do see is either on DVD or via Netflix streaming. Because of that instead of just choosing the best and worst movies that came out this year (there are quite a few that came out this year on the list) I’ve included films that range as far back as 2010 that I saw this year to be a part of my list.
So let’s start out with the worst:
I try not to point out a film being juvenile as a negative, especially when I can point to films like The Toxic Avenger (or really just about anything directed by Lloyd Kaufman) that I enjoyed, but sometimes it’s the easiest way to describe the negative aspects of the film. The Taint is the worst movie I’ve subjected myself to this year. What happens when you whole sale steal the premise of The Screwfly Solution, mix in bad acting, terrible attempts at humor and enormous ejaculating fake dicks? This abysmal piece of shit. The only positive thing I can say about this movie was that the opening credit sequence was well done, otherwise this was a movie that was so bad I turned it off after watching twenty minutes and fast forwarding through another ten.
Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor
Alright I admit, this one is really more of a “Shooting fish in a barrel” situation, but it doesn’t change the fact that I wasted an hour and ten minutes (not to mention $3.99 for the Amazon rental) on this movie. Being a fan of any franchise has its disadvantages, and like being a fan of Hellraiser I sometimes wonder if being a Sleepaway Camp fan is some kind of punishment. If Return to Sleepaway Camp wasn’t bad enough for you, then take a chance on this painful attempt at “Restoring” a lost film. Taking the half hour of raw footage found on the Survivor disc from the Anchor Bay box set and cutting it together with some of the most hideously damaged footage from the first three Sleepaway Camp films into what can barely be called a coherent “Film”, Survivor is at best a fan edit gone wrong, and that it’s been released on DVD for sale is not only an insult but a crude sham.
The Moth Diaries
What the hell happened Mary Harron? American Psycho is one of the best adaptations of a book I’ve ever seen (and a damn good movie, period) and unfortunately she couldn’t bring the same magic to The Moth Diaries one of the most utterly dull films I watched this year. Trying to play the “Is She a Vampire or Not” card a little too hard and not bothering to actually give us any kind of grounding, The Moth Diaries instead flounders about the subject of female adolescences with a sprinkling of vampire mythology.
The Devil Inside
First off, don’t end a movie with a URL. Second, having contortionists in movies isn’t scary. An utter waste of time and effort, The Devil Inside is a maddening bag of clichés, jump scares and wasted opportunities. Did you like The Last Exorcism? Do you want to see it again without all the clever bits? Then watch The Devil Inside, oh and make sure you keep the TV at a level volume and don’t worry if you can’t hear the dialogue, because it’s all just a way for the film makers to blast you with a loud noise jump scares.
Stop making horror movies about the internet. Just stop it already. Smiley is what happens when you throw buzzwords and a ham-fisted moral message into a terrible slasher movie. Have you heard of 4Chan and /b/ or Anonymous? Do you have any actual familiarity with any of these things? Because if you do, Smiley will make you throw your remote through the TV. Bad acting, bad dialogue, a terrible story and more pointless buzzwords than I can count make up the bulk of this wasted opportunity of a film that presents itself as being a Candyman of the internet age, and instead is just another Feardotcom.
What’s worse than a boring slasher film? How about a boring and derivative slasher film. Mask Maker is terrible. It does nothing new, and while it wallows in its own mediocrity it demands the question “Who thought this was a good idea?” The only mildly redeeming part of this film is a fantastic performance by Michael Berryman.
The Fading of the Cries
It’s always disappointing to see a film that has potential fail so miserably. The Fading of the Cries sounds good on paper, until you actually start to watch it, at which point it turns into a an utter mess of bad writing, terrible CGI and less than stellar acting. Brad Dourif phones in his performance here and it’s not subtle.
Who did Michael Madsen piss off? I mean really what did he do to get stuck in all theses shitty direct to DVD movies? Terror Trap is another film with a somewhat promising premise that ends up completely wasted by the end. Is it a horror movie? An action drama? It’s boring is what it is, not to mention predictable. Madsen phones it in here and its obvious that all of his scenes were shot in a day.
Does anyone remember when the After Dark Film Festival was good? Because I sure as hell don’t. Sure, there were a few gems to come out of the festivals now and then, (Dread being one of them) but The Final wasn’t one of them. An over written, tedious high school revenge fantasy, The Final reeks of detention hall scribbling from the kid who got picked on all the time and decided to turn their notebook scribbling into a script. Watch Heathers instead, you’ll have a better time.
The Chernobyl Diaries
I’ve never made a secret of my distaste for Oren Peli, the “Genius” behind the Paranormal Activity films, and while he only wrote this waste of time, it carries his signature aimless style. Chernobyl Diaries is filled with characters that make horrible decisions, even by horror movie standards, not to mention the utterly stupid “twist” reveal at the end of the film that anyone with a decent knowledge of the horror genre saw coming a mile away. Chernobyl Diaries is only original to people who haven’t seen The Hills Have Eyes.
Eduardo Sanchez, one of the two men behind the divisive Blair Witch Project comes back into the horror world with Lovely Molly easily one of the most infuriating films I saw this year. Using found footage elements, obtuse storytelling techniques and a plot that makes little to no sense, Lovely Molly is a pretentious mess of a film.
The Devil’s Carnival
As a fan of Repo The Genetic Opera I looked forward to this follow up film by the creative team of Zudunich and Bousman. Sadly this film doesn’t stack up. The story isn’t very interesting, or clear for that matter, and the music has a few moments of being good, but lacks the coherence of Repo and ends up being more of a hodgepodge mess than anything else, and at scant fifty six minutes, the film is over before it really has a chance to make an impression.
Piranha 3D was a surprise blast of goofy, gorey fun. It’s sequel however lacks the charm and the sense of fun from the original and relies too heavily on tits and gross out gags.
Paranormal Activity 2
Fuck.This.Movie. I don’t like the original Paranormal Activity and watching Paranormal Activity 2 was like punching myself in the face repeatedly for an hour. A terrible story, the return of a character I hated from the original film, not to mention leaps in logic and a time line that completely fucks up the events of the first film, PA 2 is the worst kind of sequel, wasting an entire movie rehashing the same shit in another location.
I’m Not Jesus Mommy
A Christian sci-fi/horror film that felt entirely too much like it was preaching at me. I’m sure there is an audience for this film, but I just wasn’t it. A tedious and downright silly story is propped up with bad acting and bad special effects.