Although I praised 2018 for its wonderful additions to cinema, there’s always a few turds that come out over the year. Whether the problem is studios getting far too involved, studios not getting involved enough, a director going rogue, an actor going rogue…you get the idea. The fact is that we can’t exactly pin down why all these movies failed. We can certainly guess — and get a lot right — but only a select few truly know what went wrong. The rest of us unfortunate souls are merely left to watch the abysmal final product like the runt of the litter eating whatever slop is left over. Being a film critic isn’t all easy. I can assure you of that.
Let’s all agree to talk about these movies here and then completely remove them from our memories. Deal?
Like with my rundown of the best movies of 2018, there were more than ten films that bordered on putrid, so here’s a few groups to help break down the worst of the worst:
The “I Don’t Overwhelmingly Hate These Movies But They’re Clearly Not Effective” Group
The “I Hate These Movies and They Could Easily be in My Top 10 If Asked on Another Day” Group
The 15:17 to Paris — This might be Clint Eastwood’s worst directing job in his storied career. I feel terrible for the real-life heroes at the center of this story.
Sherlock Gnomes — The title of this movie is “Sherlock Gnomes.” That’s all you need to know.
Mile 22 — Peter Berg needs to find a new editor after this one.
Solo: A Star Wars Story — One of the most bland, uninspired blockbusters of recent memory. If you take away the attachments to Star Wars lore, you would not remember this movie approximately three minutes after seeing it.
The Strangers: Prey at Night — Enough with the lazy, delayed sequels to moderately successful films to capitalize on brand recognition!
Bohemian Rhapsody — This movie is so unbelievably fake and it tricked everyone all the way to the bank.
Life of the Party — Stick to amazing indie dramas like Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Melissa McCarthy!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — We need to create a new word for how idiotic this movie is.
The Nun — Re: my thoughts on Fallen Kingdom.
#10: The Possession of Hannah Grace
As is now a clear tradition with The Possession of Hannah Grace, there’s always an incredibly lackluster horror film that comes out right around December 1st. Hannah Grace is the classic case of shooting a horror film on a minuscule budget and earning enough in its opening weekend before word gets out that it’s one large pile of poo.
Nothing happens in The Possession of Hannah Grace. There’s no rising tension, no catharsis, not even a clever death. I can’t recommend this movie for any sort of viewer. It can’t even be viewed in an ironic sense due to its overbearingly serious tone and lack of personality. It’s almost as if the director’s note after every take was to act with less emotion.
Hollywood, maybe you should relax and not fund an exorcism movie for a few years.
*To read the site’s review of The Possession of Hannah Grace, please click here.
#9: Slender Man
Hoooooooo boy, what a doozy this movie is!
2018 continues actress Joey King’s horrible run of movie choices after acting in Wish Upon in 2017 and Independence Day: Resurgence in 2016. Joey, I think you’re a very talented actress, but it may be time that you get new representation.
Below is a paraphrased line of dialogue from Slender Man:
“Slender Man spreads like a computer virus in your hard drive, but the hard drive is your brain!”
Reports indicate that Slender Man was hacked to pieces in editing to fit a PG-13, and you can clearly tell. Slender Man doesn’t feel like a movie, just a few scenes cobbled together. Even worse, Slender Man has a sticky ethical dilemma attached to it which deserves its own deep dive altogether.
*To read the site’s review of Slender Man, please click here.
#8: Fifty Shades Freed
Fifty Shades Freed brought new meaning to the idea of “not with a bang but a whimper” as it finished out its trilogy. At this point, the Fifty Shades movies have been derided and joked on to the point where there’s not much new to say. However, out of the three movies in the franchise, Freed might be the most entertaining one. It’s the movie that finally allowed this ludicrous piece of fan fiction to almost turn into pure schlock. The first film was merely annoying whereas the second started to become so-bad-it’s-good. The final chapter in this wretchedly unhealthy relationship is where everything becomes a farce.
You’ll never look at a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream the same way again.
*To read the site’s review of Fifty Shades Freed, please click here.
#7: Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare
Out of all the solid films that Blumhouse has produced in the past like Get Out or Split, it chose Truth or Dare to add its name to the title for brand recognition. Irony is swift as this is one of the worst films the production house has ever spat out — it might even cause irreparable damage to the company’s name.
Truth or Dare is another classic trope of Hollywood movie-making: make a horror film for absolutely no cost that will appeal to younger audiences with its cast and PG-13 rating but is also written by a middle-aged man so everything that these younger characters say rings incredibly false and stupid. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but you get the idea.
But the elephant in the room here is that damn Snapchat filter that was used to show possessed individuals in this killer game of truth or dare. Not only is it not scary, but it’s just plain silly.
*To read the site’s review of Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, please click here.
#6: Father of the Year
Father of the Year feels like one of the worst comedies that 2003 ever made. At this point, I think we’re all above seeing David Spade act like a moron, use a terrible accent, and repeatedly fall on his face for attempts at humor. This entire movie is so tired.
This Netflix original tries to settle the classic debate of whose dad would win in a fight between the aforementioned David Spade and Nat Faxon. One dad is trashy, the other is too uptight, you get the picture.
I’m going to “yada, yada” the rest of this section because this movie is such a nonstarter and simply state that Father of the Year is one of the laziest pieces of 2018 in general.
*To read the site’s review of Father of the Year, please click here.
#5: Holmes & Watson
You know your movie is bad when even Netflix refuses to take it off your hands.
Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Lauren Lapkus, Kelly Macdonald, Hugh Laurie, and Steve Coogan are all immensely talented performers, but you would never know it from watching Holmes & Watson. Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com said it perfectly when he noted that Holmes & Watson “feels like someone took the unfunny outtakes that might have adorned the end credits and stretched them out into their own film.” This movie is 90 minutes of painfully unfunny improv. It’s obvious that there was no working script available for these great talents to use. You can see Ferrell straining to make some sort of joke out of every unfunny situation; it’s painful to watch.
Director/writer Etan Cohen had no control over his own material and the cast. This incredibly unfunny mess just gets more unbearable by the second.
*To read the site’s review of Holmes & Watson, please click here.
Terminal might be the oddest starring vehicle I’ve seen in the last few years. Filming began back in 2016 just when Margot Robbie became a superstar; the movie was supposed to be an exciting, fascinating role for her to take on next to prove that she had serious acting chops. The result, however, is something far more bizarre: I honestly can’t tell if Robbie is good or downright terrible in Terminal. But, one thing I do know is that Terminal is atrocious as a film.
Terminal is one part Tarantino film and one part Cyberpunk noir, thought unfortunately for all of us, it takes the worst pieces of those two styles to make a film that feels like that douchebag from your intro to film and media studies class in college somehow managed to get enough funding to bring his “vision” to life. It’s nothing but actors trying to look and feel unbelievably cool by cursing with every other word and speaking in long monologues about death and suffering that amount to nothing. This movie is one giant ball of nothing yet it thinks it’s even cooler than sliced bread.
Terminal is the worst.
*To read the site’s review of Terminal, please click here.
#3: The Open House
Did you ever want to watch a whodunnit movie and never learn whodunnit? Well I have the movie for you!
I imagine that The Open House got a lot of play on Netflix with star Dylan Minnette fresh off of 13 Reasons Why, and I also imagine that many people were perplexed by what they just watched. The Open House is the classic bad horror movie where literally nothing happens until the last ten minutes. Only in the case of The Open House, what happens in that last section is so unsatisfying that your immediate reaction is anger and regret due to the fact that you just lost an hour and a half of your life that you’ll never get back.
If you want to watch Dylan Minnette walk around a dark house and do nothing for an hour and a half, The Open House is the movie for you!
*To read the site’s review of The Open House, please click here.
I knew something was off about Gotti when, in the first scene, John Travolta as the ghost of John Gotti starting talking directly to camera followed immediately by a credit sequence that was cut to a song by Pitbull. That sequence set the tone for the rest of the movie as I found myself consistently perplexed by Gotti.
This is the most incomprehensible movie of 2018. Honestly, I think Gotti is more confusing than Inception with its multiple framing devices, flashbacks within other flashbacks, lightning fast introductions to dozens of characters, and muddled messages. What exactly is this movie about? Can someone please tell me because I still don’t know.
Unless you find Travolta in a ton of makeup speaking in a completely over-the-top New York accent incredibly watchable — I wouldn’t blame you if did, by the way — stay very, VERY far away from this one. It’s as bad as you’ve heard.
*To read the site’s review of Gotti, please click here.
#1: Show Dogs
Gotti might be the more poorly constructed film, but I have a personal vendetta against Show Dogs. I sat completely alone in my theater as I watched terror come over the screen. By the five-minute mark, I was literally yelling at the screen, pleading for the movie to stop. I continued to sink lower into my chair with every awful pun, losing a bit of my humanity with every passing frame. I’m a changed man after Show Dogs, and it’s not for the better.
Just about every frame is unpleasant to look at as CGI is used to make dogs look like they’re talking. (It’s one of the creepiest things I’ve seen in a movie all year.) Combined with the ungodly amount of horrendous puns and general laziness from all the human characters, Show Dogs becomes a black hole of awfulness, removing any sensation of campy fun and pummeling you into submission. Show Dogs is not so-bad-it’s-good, but it thinks that it is — that’s the worst combination imaginable.
*To read the site’s review of Show Dogs, please click here.
Thank you for reading! What are your worst movies of 2018? Comment down below!
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