I don’t enjoy putting down bad movies. Honestly. I want every movie to be good when I sit down to watch it (who wants to suffer through something and walk away only feeling like they’ve wasted their time and or money?) I’d rather spend my time praising movies that I love and the things I love about them. Plus it’s tough to make a good movie and I don’t want to come off like I’m bashing the hard work that a lot of artists put into a single movie. Regardless, as much as I believe in lifting up the outstanding works, it’s also important to highlight the bad films. Recognizing the extremes not only help us to appreciate the contrasts, but also everything else in between. So when you read this list, think of it more as an opportunity to better appreciate film as a whole.
Let the countdown begin!
10.) London Fields
London Fields was the most tolerable awful movie I saw in 2018. That’s mostly thanks to Amber Heard, who splits her time in a tongue-in-cheek performance as an innocent church girl and a passionate dominatrix, depending on which of the two guys she happens to be conning in the moment. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is a jumbled, inaccessible mess. I wrestled far too long with the movie trying to decipher even the basic narrative and understand its cartoonishly exaggerated caricatures, including a creepy supporting turn from Johnny Depp.
9.) Truth or Dare
Blumhouse has had a rocking last couple of years, which is why I was extra disappointed in Truth or Dare. It felt like an unpleasant trip back to a less joyous time not so long ago when horror movies were generally bad and the genre as a whole was looked down upon by the more Hollywood elite. The scares are not the least bit frightening. In fact, the signature creepy smile highlighted in the trailer is equally questionable and funny in the context of the feature-length film.
8.) The Hurricane Heist
The Hurricane Heist is the kind of low budget, low concept thriller you would expect to find on Syfy (previously Sci-Fi). In this case, however, the premise of pulling off a heist during a hurricane is both less imaginative and less captivating than even something as ludicrous as Sharknado. It would have been a harmless enough watch had it premiered on the small screen, however, expecting people to pay for a movie with such poor visual effects and a sloppy script is unforgivable.
Historically speaking, films based on video games are terrible. Still, I was looking forward to Rampage. I love when giant monsters fight and Dwayne Johnson is always a welcomed addition to any project. But aside from a couple genuinely funny lines from Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I could not wait for this movie to end. It antagonized me with unnecessarily long sequences of mean government officials deliberating one useless military attack after another on these seemingly immortal giant creatures. Even The Rock’s one-liners felt forced and out of place.
6.) Slender Man
Slenderman suffers from poor timing on top of poor filmmaking. The Slenderman Creepypasta hasn’t been relevant for quite some time. Rubbing salt in the wound is the relatively recent release of the 2016 HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman, which recounts the sad true story of two young girls who nearly murdered their friend trying to sacrifice her to the fictional character. Many thought that trying to capitalize on the IP so close to such tragic events was in poor taste. From a narrative standpoint, the Slenderman mythology was convoluted and more often than not, unintentionally hilarious and built to a conclusion that made absolutely zero sense.
Before we continue onto my top five worst films of 2018, here are a handful of dishonorable mentions by way of what is hopefully a more digestible photo collage:
5.) Mortal Engines
There are a couple of exciting action scenes which technically flow pretty well in this film. The reason then it finds itself up as high as it does on this list is simply because it’s nearly two-and-a-half hours long. Nearly thirty of those minutes is spent on a subplot which explores the backstory of the main character, but has no bearing on the current events of the particular story being told in this film. Nobody is scarier on screen than Hugo Weaving and for the first half-hour, I wanted to know more about him. Unfortunately, he is just one of many characters who disappear for twenty to thirty minutes at a time with no explanation who then reappear later out of the blue. Eventually, I got tired of trying to keep track of everyone and that put me emotionally at a distance for many of them.
4.) The Nun
The Nun was probably the funniest movie of the year. No, it’s not a comedy. It’s a horror movie set within the cinematic confines of the very successful “Conjuring cinematic universe,” spearheaded by James Wan. This movie is a spin-off of a character briefly seen in The Conjuring 2 (directed by Wan himself) and who was only thought up and added in during reshoots for that film. The Nun feels like it too, from the over-involved backstory of the Nun demon to a laugh-out-loud climax that comes out of nowhere, this whole film feels like it was shot using the very first draft of a screenplay written by a first-year film student.
3.) The Happytime Murders
This is kind of the exact opposite of the situation with The Nun. It’s supposedly a comedy but my experience with it was more horrific than funny, which was extra disappointing because this was one of my most-anticipated films heading into 2018. The unfortunate reality for me was that The Happytime Murders never once made me laugh. Instead of coming off as edgy adult humor with puppets, the jokes felt like they were written or improvised by mean-spirited middle-schoolers and I never chuckled more than a couple times. Most of my time was spent cringing, not just at all the unfunny gags, but also at all the aggressively unlikable characters that populate this elongated, unoriginal sketch.
2.) Death Wish
Bruce Willis should personally refund the price of admission to any poor soul who gave up their hard-earned dollars to see this movie, in addition to issuing a public apology. He obviously did not give a crap about the film and it shows in his performance, every frame of it. He mumbles every line and wears a permanent grin no matter his character’s situation, almost as if he is too good for this project. His performance looks even worse in the scenes he shares with the great Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays his brother. Outside of Willis, Death Wish has tonal issues. It desperately wants to be a tongue-in-cheek action thriller but at other times it wants to be a hard-hitting drama that explores the toll that vengeance can have on family. The reality is that this film just does not work as either.
1.) Fifty Shades Freed
I saw the first and the third Fifty Shades films, but I hear that the second one, Fifty Shades Darker, is the worst of the bunch. I can’t begin to imagine what that must look like because Fifty Shades Freed is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot is indistinguishable. Things happen suddenly with no rhyme or reason. Character traits and motivations are constantly fluctuating. There is no overarching drama for the first two acts and in the meantime, the so-called sexy stuff is more physically revolting than stimulating. The most impressive thing about Fifty Shades Freed is that it somehow manages to make both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan look like talentless wannabess. The lack of involving material here impacts their on-screen chemistry and in this film, there is absolutely none of it.
Find Movie Minutes on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/moviemins & on Twitter @movieminutes_
There you have it, my top ten worst movies of 2018. It was not easy to get through, but it had to be done. What movies did I miss and what ones made your worst of 2018 list? I want to hear from you, so hit me up in the comments below! And here’s to a new year in film!