The Worst of 2017

With 2017 coming to an end, it’s that time again to look at what films bring shame to the year! This is a list of the terrible films that I watched myself,  can’t watch every movie! So if I’ve missed anything, leave a comment! 🙂

So in no particular order…..

Rings

Somethings are better left in the past, and Rings is a perfect example of this. One of the aspects that made the original so eerie was the vintage feel of the VHS tapes, with their disturbing static images. It loses this vital aspect when the story is moved into the present time of digital media. That aside, Rings was still an appalling reboot,  riddled with all the cliches that haunt many poor horror movies. With a story that becomes a random investigation, that takes way too long during the middle act, it feels all over the place. The CGI on Samara is also overdone, making her look like a video game character, when the effects looked more chilling over a decade ago, it’s not a great sign.


Deathnote

Following on from the lamentable Ghost in the Shell remake earlier in the year, Deathnote was the latest Manga incarnation for the West, and being produced by Netflix, fans would have hoped for a respectable adaptation.  Moving the story to America may have irked some fans, but this was not the biggest problem, moving it the US would make the film more appealing to the Western market. The issues were several fold, it ruined the main protagonist, who went from a smart calculating student, to an emotional stroppy teen driven solely by his hormones.  The cerebral nature of the source, is reduced to hardly anything,  and the directors choice to make this into some sort of tribute to Final Destination, with it gory over the top deaths made this comical.


The Mummy

A film so highly panned by critics and audience alike, it’s pretty much destroyed the hopes of Universals ‘The Dark Universe’, an extended monster-verse using the likes of The Mummy, Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, before it even began! If it felt like DC were rushing their progress to The Justice League, The Mummy attempted to do everything in one movie! Even the star power of Tom Cruise could not save a film in which The Mummy is a supporting character,  the hero and his love interest have zero chemistry and a detour in the middle of the film in which the entire movie is bought to a halt, just so they can tease future movies! A shocker!


The Snowman

This was by far the most underwhelming movie of the year for me. The Snowman is almost laughably funny, for a film that’s supposed to be shrouded in the gritty Scandinavian crime noir vibe. What we end up with is a hilariously predictable  & tepid villain (seriously, they never explain why they were obsessed with snowmans), plot lines that literally go no where (oh hey there random winter Olympics bid) and characters making shockingly bad decisions for the sake of creating any sense of drama.  Though it had a strong cast in Michael Fassbender & Rebecca Ferguson, both are utterly forgettable.  Even the talented J.K Simmons is reduced to nothing here.  Hard to see the movie follow up on a sequel, that it was teasing at the end of this dire movie.

Special mention to……


Sleepless

Something about Jamie Foxx being undercover for 5 years, mixed with some scenes from Taken.  Pretty much all the time I shall give to this mundane thriller!

Flatliners

Flatliners can’t decide if it’s a medical drama, thriller, teen dorm comedy or just everything! What starts off as a unique concept, becomes so corny, you just don’t care!

 

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It was back in Summer, I noticed a poster for Rings while at the cinema. Even back then, I was sceptical if this was even worth making, for a franchise that’s been dead in the water for years. My doubts were proved right, as Rings has to be one of the dullest horror movies I’ve seen for a very long time!

Rings is a reboot of the original 2002 release The Ring, the successful American remake of the cult Japanese horror Ringu. For anyone not familiar with the lore, The Ring revolves around a mysterious videotape, anyone who happens to watch the tape receives a phone call soon after, a voice telling them that they will die in 7 days’ time. The film is iconic for the vengeful spirit Sadako/Samara (depending on the region of the movie!) emerging from within the TV screen of the victim. The latest release aims to bring the movie into the current generation, a decision that takes the edge off what made the original so great.

RINGS
Matilda Lutz as Julia and Johnny Galecki as Gabriel in the film, RINGS by Paramount Pictures

So the plot, our main character, Julia, sees her boyfriend Holt, move to college. After losing touch with him after a couple of days, she decides to go to the college he attends to see what’s going down (instead of simply calling the college and finding out what has happened!). It is never explained why his mates are angry at her, but they are! For some reason. It’s here she discovers a morbid experiment that is being run on campus by one of the Science professors in secrecy, and Holt has been dragged into it. After Julia ends up watching the tape too, it’s a race against time to save herself before the 7 days are up!

For anyone who hasn’t watched the previous films, the only way to avoid your inevitable death, is to pass the curse on to someone else, by making a copy of the tape and making someone else view it, a selfish move, but one you make out of desperation. This concept plays a central role to the film, and while it’s a nice twist, it just feels abit rushed. We start off by seeing the Professor discovering the tape, and the next time we see him, not only has he converted the VHS to digital media, but he has uncovered the trick to getting past it, how exactly did he know this? We don’t know, it’s never explained!

The second half of the movie is incredibly dull & sluggish, as it becomes a mystery movie, we follow our couple to a town in the outskirts, as they dig up clues to unveil the truth. It’s here where the film just goes into 2nd gear and cruises along, the characters are just not charismatic enough for us to be bothered about their journey, and it’s a lot of talking, with random lazy jump scares thrown in every now and again.

rings

The switch to modern media has definitely hurt the franchise. There is just something incredibly eerie when it comes to VHS, with its static and poor audio & image quality; it simply gives off a far creepier vibe than a high def movie file on a laptop!  The CGI in this movie is another downer, it’s shockingly bad. It’s so overdone, that Samara loses her aura, and looks like a character from a PS3 game! When she first appears out of a plasma TV, it’s so poor, you will end up laughing at how this quality was deemed OK for a big Hollywood release!  The abundance of CGI across the entire movie looks cheesy, and ruins the atmosphere.

The characters are utterly forgettable, Julia goes from ‘you’re so stupid for getting involved in this mess’ to ‘risking her life for this guy’ in one night! We don’t even know how long they have been together! The boyfriend is entirely useless in the movie; Julia does all the work. He hardly contributes anything, and even in the final showdown, he gets knocked out and plays no part whatsoever!  Johnny Galecki aka Leonard from Big Bang Theory seems miscast as the devious professor, and you just can’t take him seriously!  Vincent D’Onofrio does what he does, and is probably the best character in the movie; at least he got some backstory to his role!

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Though it may not be intentional, the move does rip off a scene from Don’t Breathe, which reminds you off a far superior horror film! The plot is predictable, you know when there will be a jump scare, and the choice of music is a curious one. A good score can make a good film great, but here, the soundtrack is overdone. It feels more like a video game than a horror movie. The opening scene on the plane is pretty hilarious, which sets the tone for the film! It would have done better to have more scenes with Samara, and less time seeing our couple wonder around digging up clues.

One other flaw is the blatant sequel baiting at the end, the film could have ended without it, and to end it with a nod to more potential films is poor form, considering how disappointing this film is. The ending is also shown in the trailers, which was a strange decision. So if anyone watched the trailer, they would know what scene is yet to come, another damaging hit to the films credentials. The trailer is also misleading in how the film is portrayed. We don’t see her suffer through 7 days as the curse develops, instead, she seems fine as she goes carries on with her mystery adventure, with no idea how many days have passed.

Rings is by far one of the worst horror films to come out in recent years, even beating The Forest from last year! Even The Forest had an original concept to play with; Rings had some great source material to work with, which is what makes it so crushing to see the movie stumble around.

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