Thursday, 3 January 2013

You MUST Know What I Think! Worst of 2012

And now, we get into the nitty gritty. After my Best of 2012, you know you have to go for a good aul rant for the worst. This one even stays with horror, for the most part, though I like to think all of them are terrifying in their own special ways. Don't worry, I've limited the list to 5, to spare you your eyeball muscles.

Watch this space for the noncommittal list that is The Spaces In Between, where a good deal of films that otherwise would have ended up here, are spared owing to some things that just about justify them. this list is very genre-non-specific. 

5. The Wicker Tree
The semi-sequel of The Wicker Man, the original cult classic, not the Nic Cage woman-punching film, returns to similar themes of paganism and sacrificial rituals he explored decades earlier. The difference this time? He made a film so unbelievably dull that I'd say it must be seen to be believed, but there is a high chance you will fall asleep during it. Even if this exact film had been made back in the 70s, it would still have been tame and slow paced. I have an awful lot of respect for director Robin Hardy, but unfortunately this film packs little in the way of bite, action, scares, intrigue, interest, plot, good dialogue, cinema. The trailer is a better watch than the film, since it promises a film where a popstar is born-again and travels to a remote island to convert its heathen inhabitants. You can read my descent into insanity as I watched the film right here.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man
Here is one I have taken a lot of slack for, but fuck it, this film reaaaalllllllllly sucked. I could go in to detail, but my friend Tim does a very eloquent job of it right here. I read that before going in to the film, but I kept an open mind. The trailers were lame ducks, but they did seem to promise an almost Batman-like level of rebooting after Sam Raimi's admittedly poor Spider-Man 3, so off I went, Spidey fan, open-minded. And good God, Lemon, did it suck. Again, see Tim's rant for full info, but he is 100% right. As a fan, I hated it. People keep saying Andrew Garfield is a much better Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire, but they are wrong. This is a fact. He is a brilliant actor, and I hope he does many more great roles, but this isn't one of them. He has NO character arc, is a smug-faced wise-ass from the get-go, and almost seems to get the superpowers just be to more of an asshole. Really, the only way this film can actually work for his character is if the sequel reveals he is actually the super-villain all along, because it is pretty much going that way. Even as normal Pete, his flirting with Emma Stone's great Gwen Stacey is just cringy, in the wrong way. If I could, I would have punched him in the face right there and then. They even get the trademark costume wrong.

What are the redeeming factors of the film? Well, Stone and Martin Sheen are pretty cool, there is that knife joke from the trailer, and it is cool to see the Lizard realised in a live-action movie (even if he looks faker than the Goombas from the Super Mario Bros film), but that's it. Fuck, the film can't even follow its own clichés for more than a few seconds. A crippled Spidey must swing across town, but his leg is in too much agony. Then all the cranes arrange just for him. And he can do it! And is then fine! Wait... Why couldn't he swing when it was his leg hurting? And why is it then a nonissue? The film didn't jump the shark, it arranged the cranes.

And as for gritty? Not here. The film looks a bit more Batman-esque than Raimi's series, but that is it. It halfheartedly wants to be cool, and that is exactly what comes across. The film feels like some execs saw a chance to try capitalise on The Dark Knight's success, and threw scenes than their tweenage audiences thought would be totally rad (is that still a thing?). Well, it is a fucking soulless film. It is a cash whore. It is insulting to the audience and humanity everywhere. And shame on all of us for giving it our money. And now there is a sequel on the way. Well, congratulations, we reached a peak with The Avengers, and have quickly fallen down to The Amazing Spider-Man.

Spider-Man 3 isn't looking so bad now, crotch thrust and all.

3. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
It isn't even as good as the first installment. Do I need to say more?

2. The Devil Inside
Ahhhh, here is one everyone has taken shots at, and I have been looking forward to my chance. This film had massive buzz around it, and a pretty damn good trailer that got me excited for it. Then the film came out. Well, kinda. They famously forgot to include an ending. Instead, you go to a website to find out more of the story, where you are treated to... nothing. I'd almost prefer if there was a Giff of monkeys pointing and laughing at me, because then at least I'd know the filmmakers had been smart enough to know how well their tricks had worked. It actually is almost clever not having an ending to the film, since it is found footage, and realistically, most people wouldn't film past a certain point, but this was a fucking cinematic experience. People payed a LOT of money to see this, and were very openly heisted. I could forgive the film if it was a brilliant film otherwise, and the lack of ending was almost an Inception-like mindfuck, but no. This film blows throughout. Let's be clear here, there is NO WAY to make priests intimidating subject matter (bar the obvious closed-doors naughtiness). When you see them taking demons and possession seriously, it's like watching a kid pretend they are in a rocket to the moon; entertaining but completely fantastical and childish. 

So, the plot the film wants us to take seriously is stupid. But oooh, there is a woman actually possessed, and her daughter is with the team of priests filming this (who are unintentionally hilarious every time they take things serious). Scares abound, right? Nope. We get the mother being loud. And then showing an inverted cross in her mouth. Now that bugs me. Maybe in the 70s you could get away with that, but not now. How many films and TV shows have pointed out the inverted cross isn't satanic at all, but the way St. Peter was crucified as a sign of respect to Jesus Christ? If a film based around religion can't get this simple fact right, what chance does the rest of it have? Not much. The entire thing is near incoherent and stupid beyond belief. It will insult you. It will demean you. But two things it won't do for you? Entertain or scare you.

1. The Chernobyl Diaries
I have already written a massive warning for people to avoid this film, and make sure if anyone asks me about any good films knocking about, that they steer clear of this one. One thing all the above bad films have in common is that they tried to be decent. Even if they were insulting to the audience, or simply trying to grab your cash, they all at least had the respect to make it seem like they could have been good somewhere along the line but then just lost the plot. The Chernobyl Diaries, though? It is a ridiculously bad film. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got it so wrong. I mean, some tourists get trapped near the reactor where the Chernobyl meltdown happened, and it turns out they are not alone. Sooooo simple. And it gets it completely wrong. Have a watch of the trailer, then don't ever give this film any more thought in your life. See how the trailer is found footage? The film isn't. See how the trailer promises some sort of menace? The film fails to deliver completely. See how the trailer has some scary moments? The film even fucks those up. See how the trailer seems some way exciting? The film isn't. It is, in fact, long, boring, beyond cliché, and head-wreckingly poor. The only thing that I liked was a jump scare involving a bear, but that happens early on, and in any other film wouldn't be such a stand out moment.


Well, there you have it, my worst of the year. There are an awful lot of films left off this list, but you can expect a lot of them to show up in tomorrows The Spaces In Between. What did you make of this list? Did you find these wrecks as bad as I did? Or did you actually love a film I knocked here? Let me know below.