I ended up seeing plenty of bad movies this year, and I’ll admit that a couple I watched purely to see if they were as awful as reported. For example the last film I saw before making this list was The Cobbler. I didn’t actually deem that worthy of inclusion, it’s a stunningly misguided if competently made film, and I didn’t dislike it as much the ones listed below. I didn’t make an effort to see all of the year’s most famously awful movies though, so the likes of United Passions, Mortdecai or Entourage won’t feature. Quite a few of these I ended up seeing as part of the October Horror marathon it seems, with a few comedies in the mix too. I did decide not to bother ranking the movies this year as there wasn’t any obvious choice for the absolute worst of the worst, but be sure that all of these are one-star garbage.
Inexplicably high-profile horror director Eli Roth returned after a long absence with two movies (the other being the delayed The Green Inferno) and demonstrated with this one that in his time off he hadn’t lost any of his ability to turn a potentially great idea into a terribly executed movie. This abysmally written thriller also has the unfortunate distinction of featuring the worst performance Keanu Reeves has given in years. My Review
Queen of Earth
I moderately enjoyed Alex Ross Perry’s previous film Listen Up Philip so was interested to see his follow-up, produced very quickly afterwards and also featuring star Elizabeth Moss. However, Queen of Earth turned out to be possibly the dullest, most unengaging and forgettable movie I’ve seen all year. Honestly, it’s a couple of months since I saw it now and I’m struggling to remember a single thing about it.
I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine
Another horrible sequel in this wretched series. There’s no substance to be found here, just a film trying to be a nasty as possible. Even someone who likes horrific rape-revenge movies might be disappointed in this as it only delivers on one of those things. My Review
Fifty Shades of Grey
For a short while the year’s highest grossing movie, this adaptation of the notorious bestseller turned out to be an extremely boring and surprisingly vanilla affair, with the thinnest of idiotic stories stretched out over its tedious running time. Save for one line, there wasn’t even any unintentional humour to be found. My Review
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
There’s no need whatsoever to make a sequel to 2009’s flimsy-if-fun time travel comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, and the warning sign should have been up as soon as I saw that even John Cusack declined to return, but I never thought it could be this bad. Wasting a futuristic premise, this horrible movie’s lowest point is another example of how some comedies seem to think that rape is inherently hilarious if a man is the victim, having a dreadful, extended central sequence surrounding this. My Review
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
It was an unusual situation that led to me seeing the original Paul Blart: Mall Cop in the cinema in 2009 and subsequently being rather angry at myself for having wasted my money on such utter crap. I didn’t think there’d be a sequel, let alone one six years later and it was really only because of that memory (and the fact that I write this blog) that I saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It’s an easy target for ‘worst movie’ lists yes, but it’s a deserved one, with this witless re-tread of a sequel being even worse than the original.
Jason Blum’s prolific and admirably operated production house continues to have a fairly consistent hit-to-miss ratio, and if Whiplash was the top of the pile, then The Gallows is the bottom. It’s an extremely boring, poorly-made and scare-free horror movie populated with supremely irritating characters that exemplifies everything I dislike about the found-footage format. My Review
This big budget fantasy disaster that came somewhat surprisingly from Atonement director Joe Wright just seemed like one terrible decision after another. Mainly combining the two unwanted traits of live-action fairy-tail re-makes with unnecessary prequels, it aimed to tell the story of what happened before Peter Pan, but ends before getting to anything interesting. Throw in Hugh Jackman’s pantomime villain clashing with the more earnest lead performances and a couple of atrocious, nonsensical rock song covers and we’re left with a Peter Pan movie so awful it made we want to reassess Hook, which comes off quite well in comparison.
The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)
The Human Centipede was a mediocre horror movie with a novel enough concept to gain it some attention. Its sequel tried to do something different, and while I could see what director Tom Six was aiming for, it was mainly just an incredibly disgusting film. This third film tries to top both prior ones by being as outrageously repulsive as possible, but ends up looking pathetic. An ugly, poorly shot film whose attempts at meta-satire just come across as uselessly self-indulgent (Six cameos as himself), topped off by a lead performance from Deiter Laser who seems to be acting as badly as possible out of self-hatred for agreeing to appear in such an abomination of a movie. It left me wondering if Six’s ultimate goal was to just prank people into watching the cinematic equivalent of an internet “shock” video.
Do You Believe?
It looks like the financial success of last year’s repugnant God’s Not Dead has afforded evangelical studio PureFlix entertainment a few higher production values and well-known actors. Unfortunately for them they didn’t bother to invest in some better writers. Do You Believe is not as offensively terrible as God’s Not Dead, but it’s still packed full of ridiculous situations, characters and co-incidences in an ensemble plot that seems directly ripped off from unlikely Oscar winner Crash. Some of the sub-plots are laughably awful (one involves a couple of the most unconvincing ‘street gangsters’ ever put on film), and despite its apparent aims, it completely fails to actually explore faith in any substantial way, instead just repeatedly asserting that the solution to everything is to just accept Jesus. Of course it still manages to fit in some stereotypical bashing of non-Christians via a doctor character played by Sean Astin (why?) who’s the kind of atheist only an evangelical Christian could write. Like God’s Not Dead it appears to take place in some warped vision of America where Christians are a persecuted minority, with the most baffling thread involving a firefighter who’s being sued for everything he has after professing to be Christian on the job, which includes a moment when someone mentions being a member of the ‘American Humanist Association’ as if it were the Mafia or the KKK or something. Maybe I should have cut out this paragraph and just written; “No.”
I was sorely tempted when writing this to knock one of these movies off and replace the tenth spot with a triple-whammy of rubbish, YA-adaptation sequels with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and The Divergent Series: Insurgent. It seemed like a cheat though and I couldn’t decide which of the three was the worst individually.
Other dishonourable mentions go to:
Seventh Son, Pound of Flesh, The DUFF, Blackhat, Hot Girls Wanted, Project Almanac, Ted 2, Final Girl, Aloha, Djinn