As I mentioned in my “Best of” list, this wasn’t exactly a banner year for horror, and thus it was a lot easier finding 10 stinkers than 10 flicks that will continue to find audiences for years to come. Indeed, many of the films below are disposable, worthless efforts (to use the term loosely) that were cynically produced in order to cash in on a craze, fill in a gap on a studio’s slate, or (in at least one case) merely extend a property’s lease on life. Others… I have no idea why they exist, unless “Giving BC a headache” is something that folks actually set out to do. If so: mission accomplished, and out of nearly 400 horror movies, these 10 were the ones that made me wish I had absolutely no interest in the genre in the first place.
I don’t know why there are so many “Snow White” and other fairy tale “horror” movies coming out when Red Riding Hood was a. unsuccessful and b. lousy. The average Twilight film makes more in its first day than this snoozefest took in in its entire run, and that’s not even really a crime. Say what you will about the Twi-films, at least they don’t drag down talented actors like Gary Oldman and Julie Christie down with them, nor do they boast scripts by the guy who wrote Orphan – one of my favorite horror films of the past decade. This should have at LEAST been a decent enough time-killer; instead I kept wishing I was watching Breaking Dawn instead – at least that promised a vampire c-section. Looked cheap too; I’ve seen better production value on seasonal carnival rides.
Leave it to Screen Gems to fuck up a Single White Female remake (which it most certainly is; that film’s writers could probably win if they sued for plagiarism) with two of the most attractive actresses in their age group (that age group being about 5 years too old to be college freshmen, but whatever). Watching Leighton Meester unleash her psycho-sexual fury on Minka Kelly in The Roommate should have been the year’s most trashy fun, but instead it was a tepid affair that seemingly went out of its way to be idiotic. When Cam Gigandet is the best part of a movie (due to the fact that he seemed to be stoned during all of his scenes), you know you’re in trouble. And fuck you for the cat scene!
Dumped on DVD after sitting on the shelf for years (it was made BEFORE the big 3D boom), this lousy slasher would suck in any dimension, given the pointlessly “twisty” plot that tries to make you think heroine Angela Bettis is the killer, despite the fact that the few times we actually see him in action we can see that he’s not 5 feet tall. And it’s ugly as hell too – I’ve seen soap operas that were better lit and shot. Hilariously, they didn’t even get the 3D right on the DVD – as of this writing, only the terrible blue and red anaglyph version is available in the US (not the legit 3D that you need a special TV for). Thus, there is absolutely no reason for Scar 3D to exist at all, let alone be watched.
Kudos to the cast and crew for landing a surprising theatrical release for this movie; too bad it wasn’t worthy of one. The main problem with Dylan Dog is that the title character is always a step or two ahead of the audience, and thus spends a chunk of his screen time delivering lengthy passages of exposition to the female lead while occasionally engaging in unfunny banter with buddy Sam Huntington. Thus, the audience has no surrogate (said female – spoiler – turns out to be a villain anyway), resulting in a movie that never engages the viewer on a plot level, and the budget was too low for anything approaching satisfying action or FX. In other words, it’s pointless. Brandon Routh deserves better.
The first one was pretty bad, and unfortunately Zombie Diaries 2 wasn’t as good. Can we stop with the “found footage” zombie movies now? I can happily live the rest of my life without watching some asshole stand there and film his friend being eaten instead of dropping the camera and helping (or at least running away). The scariest thing about the movie is that they threaten more entries on the DVD, so do your part by not buying or renting this drivel. P.S. nobody liked the original enough to remember the character’s names, so bringing one back but having a different actress play her doesn’t do anyone any good.
Not that every original Hammer movie was a classic, but none that I’ve seen were ever as bad as The Resident, a poor excuse for a film that somehow roped three great actors (Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Christopher Lee) into an obnoxiously stupid story about a landlord (Morgan) who is obsessed with his new tenant (Swank). It doesn’t help any that Jaume BalaguerÛ’s film Sleep Tight tells pretty much the same story, but in a far more unnerving and plausible way. I implore you to wait until that one comes around if you seek some old school Pacific Heights-style thrills.
Inside. Trick ër Treat. (presumably) Mandy Lane and Poughkeepsie Tapes. All of these and several other good/great horror films went direct to video, but Creature somehow managed to land a 1500 screen release in September, despite the fact that its biggest star was Sid Haig. Oh, and it was a terrible movie to boot, the type that wouldn’t even qualify as a decent direct to video offering – most After Dark films are better than this, in fact. Silver lining – it will likely forever live near the top of the “Worst Opening Weekends Ever” list on Boxofficemojo, as only about 20 tickets per theater were sold for its ENTIRE opening weekend! Assuming not everyone went by themselves, that means it played to literally empty houses on many of those showings. Heh.
This thing was slapped together quickly and cheaply by Dimension in order to keep their rights to the franchise. But the irony is, thanks to years of increasingly terrible DTV sequels in this series (remember when we thought Inferno was an insult? Now it actually looks somewhat respectable in comparison), that property can’t be worth a hell of a lot – will a single horror fan ever get excited about a Hellraiser movie again as long as it has that Dimension logo at the beginning? The fake, kid-in-a-costume-esque Pinhead that Hellraiser Revelations offers (no Doug Bradley here; he apparently finally came to his senses) will provide a few laughs, but the jarring direction and overtly cheap production will constantly remind you of how cynical this entire project is, and why it should be ignored.
Fun fact: I swore that if the 2nd volume of this piece of trash was actually WORSE that I would quit doing Horror Movie A Day on the spot. “Luckily” it was a marginal improvement over Deadtime Stories Volume 1, which fails on every single level one can possibly judge a film. You would think that at least ONE of the segments would be worth a look, even just in comparison to the others, but they’re all equally terrible written, poorly made, woefully actedÖ you get the idea. That it drags Romero’s good name down with it just makes me somewhat ill. Avoid at all costs.
If the DVD wasn’t so damn expensive I would actually recommend this shit pickle to would-be filmmakers as a cautionary tale of sorts; “Do not under any circumstances let your film resemble Beneath The Mississippi in any way shape or form.” Some bad movies can be cathartic or even fun (The Room!), but there is not a single second of joy to be found in this mess, which runs just under two painful hours but feels like several hundred more. I THINK it’s a Blair Witch-esque tale of a documentary crew getting lost, but the embarrassing audio makes it nearly impossible to understand what anyone is saying, as does the blurry, lo-res camerawork. By far the most agonizing movie viewing experience of the year, one I hope you never have to endure unless you intend on learning from it before you set out to make your own movie, which I can already guarantee is better than this.
Dishonorable Mentions: Apollo 18, Dream House, River Of Darkness, Savage County, Bear (note – Bear is a special kind of bad and thus highly recommended as well)