At this time of the year, critics and others with go on and on about what movies they absolutely loved. Films that will stand the test of time and be considered classics (or will probably end up being forgotten). However, this isn’t about how much I loved movies like “Dunkirk”, “Good Time” or “Brawl on Cell Block 99”. No, this is the antithesis of that-the absolute worst movies of 2017. So, with that in mind, let’s get started on the first half
10.) Underworld: Blood Wars
The sky is blue, water is wet and in January we got yet another “Underworld” movie. While I don’t care much for the series, I tend to think it-as well as the “Resident Evil” series-are what I like to call “Fan Fiction Movies” because they tend to feel like what would happen if Hollywood got two fan fiction writers to try and write original scripts. It feels almost pointless for someone to criticize something that feels such a way. They are usually what are called “critic proof.”
However, we all reach a point where we have to say bullshit because that’s exactly what “Blood Wars” is. The most nonsensical entry in the franchise, it’s also the most pointless one. Little if anything actually feels like it has any consequence, and by the time it’s over, it’s impossible to care about even the most minute details. The biggest sin it commits is not only the fact that it’s boring-it’s that it takes itself far too seriously. Say what you will about the now departed “Resident Evil” movies, but at least they felt like they wanted you to have fun. Five movies in, and the “Underworld” franchise still has yet to find anything resembling humor or wit. It inexplicably still wants you to take the saga of Vampires vs Werewolves dead serious.
9.) The Bye Bye Man
To tell the truth, this originally was going to be “Rings” but I couldn’t turn this one down. The obligatory “shitty January horror movie”, this retread of the “urban legend that kills” sub genre (“A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Candyman” for example), this is a primary example of how not to make a major studio horror movie. Horribly directed, written and acted (with the lead delivering what may very well be the worst performance of the year) it’s the kind of movie that often makes you wonder what the studio was thinking when it green lit the film, January release or not.
It also walks the fine line between boring and unintentionally hilarious. While some moments drag on and you are left feeling sorry for slumming actors like Faye Dunaway and Carrie Anne Moss, it also is so poorly put together that one can’t even help but laugh at the proceedings. From the CGI killer dog that the Asylum would turn down, to the inability to follow it’s own rules (for a movie that proclaims “don’t think it, don’t say it” the cast really likes to think about and say the name of the Bye Bye Man a lot) and the incredibly laughable conclusion, this actually has potential to become one of those “so bad it’s hilarious” experiences for some.
At the very least, Doug Jones (who plays the titular character) can say he’s in the new Guillermo Del Toro film.
8.) Monster Trucks
I could do a lengthy explanation of how this movie got made, but instead I will point to this article. Long story short: it lost a lot of money and was concept of a studio executives four year old child. Surely, how could such a thing fail? Well…
At times mind boggling in it’s sheer gall and ineptitude, “Monster Trucks” takes what could in the right hands could have been a fun concept and instead becomes what feels like a film made by a studio instead of a filmmaker. With subplots feeling like they were borrowed from countless other “small town in America that feels like it was from the imagination of someone whose never been in one” movies (here the people on the hunt for the titular monster in the truck, as well as Rob Lowe as an oil executive), humor that will probably-and i use that word generously might appeal to young children and unlikable (and clearly too old to be playing a high school student) protagonist, this is the pits as far as kids movies are concerned. Nothing more than a hollow, soulless shell.
Oh, and it ends with promises of sequels that will never happen. Why audiences would turn down such a prospect amazes me.
7.) Red Christmas
I’m not the type of guy who turns his nose at the slasher genre. I made a list of my favorite entries in the genre. Hell, there are slasher movies that are terrible that I still enjoy. So to say the least, “Red Christmas” isn’t the kind of bad slasher that you can enjoy. In spite of some decent gore and a solid performance from genre fave Dee Wallace, there isn’t really anything entertaining.
For starters, the film never seems to know what kind of film it wants to be. Is it a tribute to 80’s slasher movies? The kind of self aware type that came after “Scream”? Is it trying to be serious or is it trying to be a tasteless black comedy with a sense of humor that often feels more cruel than dark? Then there’s the elephant in the room: this is a movie that deals with the subject of abortion. I mention this because the film never seems to take a side, nor does it seem to be saying anything. It’s just window dressing meant to be “controversial” without actual commentary or sick humor. At least commit to your shitty slasher movie.
You know, this is the first time I’ve included a movie staring The Rock. Sure, he’s been in some real duds (“Be Cool”, “Doom” and the family movies he made) but nothing worthy of worst of the year. There’s a time for firsts though, and “Baywatch” is the first movie of his to make such a list for me. To think, this is the movie he defended on social media.
The kind of movie that will hopefully be the death knell of the whole “hey, let’s try to be the new ’21 Jump-Street!'” phenomenon, “Baywatch” is the walking example of a pointless endeavor. It’s the kind of movie plenty of smutty jokes that are more groan inducing than they are funny (wanna see Zac Efron hold a dead guys cock? Then you are in luck), not to mention actors who are better than the material given to them (not only the Rock, but also Efron-who clearly needs a new agent right now, Alexandra Daddario and Priyanka Chopra) and attempts at self aware humor that feel more desperate than they do cleaver. Even the inevitable Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff cameos can’t elicit any other response besides an indifferent shrug.