Many in the industry (including yours truly) have consistently noted the power of Netflix in a continuously changing marketplace. Their platform has allowed for some wonderful projects to reach a wide audience, including my favorite film of 2018. Though April 2019 showed the worst of what Netflix is at times. Instead of a place for the prestige, it was mostly the home of rip-offs, retreads, and failed passion projects.
But that’s the tradeoff that Netflix has made. By making a concerted effort to push out new content every week, you just can’t expect every film to work as it should. Even so, there hasn’t been a strong balance in 2019, enough good films to outweigh the bad. The trend even continues into May with another high-profile, lackluster film that we’ll discuss in full at a later date.
With 150 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix won’t shutter after one excruciatingly bad month. Be wary, however: Winter is coming in the form of Disney+, Apple TV+, an improved Hulu, and other upcoming streaming platforms. There are other studios with films featured in this piece, but now is the worst time to start making bad habits in the streaming game.
Let’s take a look at the worst movies April 2019:
#3: The Silence
A Quiet Place wasn’t the first loss-of-sense horror movie, but movies like Bird Box, and now The Silence feel like hopeless rip-offs in the wake of its success. Maybe it wasn’t totally The Silence‘s fault since it started pre-production before A Quiet Place, but the fact remains: the final product is a bit of a dumpster fire.
Kiernan Shipka is a growing figure in the industry with her success on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but she is practically wasted here (along with Stanley Tucci, Miranda Otto, and John Corbett) in a bland thriller with nothing new to add to the genre. If Birdemic has taught us anything, it’s that obvious, computer-animated bird monsters are hard to pull off.
I’m sure John R. Leonetti is a pleasant working partner, but after Annabelle, Wish Upon, and The Silence — what I’m dubbing the unofficial Unholy Trinity of Knock-Off Horror Films — he needs to reinvent himself as a filmmaker.
*To read the site’s full review of The Silence, please click here.
After is adapted from Harry Styles fan fiction. I’ll let that fact sink in for a little.
Look, it’s low-hanging fruit to make that joke, though such an inauspicious creation says all you need to know as to why the final product failed to leave a mark.
*To read the site’s full review of After, please click here.
#1: The Curse of La Llorona
The Conjuring Universe isn’t going away any time soon. La Llorona is in line with Annabelle and The Nun as the worst of what these films have to offer, yet it still has managed to gross over $100 million worldwide. Microbudgets are never a bad investment.
Yet The Curse of the La Llorona is the first time where Warner Bros. looks high off its own supply, casually going through the motions in one of the lazier wide releases of 2019. It’s indistinguishable from other popcorn horror movies, utilizing a dirty spirit (not in morals or subject matter, but in physical appearance) to yell at unsuspecting characters with an unlocked jaw, only to disappear for no particular reason. At which point only the jaded members of the church can save them, as they are imbued with the Holy Spirit, and the rest of the clergy are such demonic prudes.
We’ve been on this ride far too many times for it to remain entertaining. Not even the severely underrated Linda Cardellini can save what’s already dead on arrival.
It’s officially time to be worried about The Conjuring 3 with La Llorona director Michael Chaves announced to helm the project.
*To read the site’s full review of The Curse of La Llorona, please click here.
In Case You (Or I Missed It)
The honorable mentions are nothing but Netflix-driven futility. I wasn’t lying about their bad month!
Playing fast and loose with the facts is the least of The Dirt‘s problems. Not only does the rise and fall of a band feel like an increasingly tired story to tell in 2019, it’s unbelievably scuzzy without commenting on it, making the movie rather pointless if you aren’t a Mötley Crüe die-hard.
The Highwaymen is the ultimate dad movie; it has two aging stars, a historical plot, Old West gunfire, and zero grey area. If you’re a 65-year-old white male with nothing to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon, The Highwaymen might work for you. Otherwise, it’s a serious bore.
I give Netflix a ton of credit for marketing and releasing Brie Larson’s passion project in the wake of Captain Marvel‘s absurd box office success. Though my issues with Netflix have been very clear in this piece, they sure know how to market the hell out of a movie and build interest.
As a movie rather than a commercial, however, Unicorn Store is scattershot, to say the least. It has some very inspired moments of glitter-filled charm with Larson, though it’s decidedly not colorful thematically.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on the best movies of April 2019? Comment down below!
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