…and now the fun part. For every brilliant concoction there’s an utter piece of dookie pie created with the same intentions. Let’s be honest, some stories just suck. They suck on paper, get approved by a production company in hopes for a quick buck, and suck even worse translated to film. Then again, some films sound brilliant on paper, but due to a combination of setbacks come out just as terrible as the uninspired efforts. A fun little tradition my friends started called “Scary Movie Mondays” opened my eyes to a few of these bombs, and the rest were watched with the best of intentions. For every Ying there is a Yang, and for that reason I present to you the ten worst horror films of 2011…
Worst Horror Films of 2011
10) Burke & Hare (Jon Landis)
Where Tucker & Dale vs. Evil was an example in horror comedy done right, Burke & Hare was the reverse. Silly and cartoonish, most of the laughs here depend on Pegg and Serkis’s ability to make silly faces. That’s it. As for the horror, it was peppered with that same silliness, making it hard to actually take the film seriously. A waste really, considering what a fantastic cast was assembled. Landis hasn’t gotten behind the camera for a feature since the 90’s, but Burke & Hare does nothing to excite about Landis’ return.
9) 11-11-11 (Darren Lynn Bousman)
Ineffective religious horror at its worst, resorting to nothing but cheap jump scares. Look to a number of factors for Bousman’s failure: a convoluted story, an unlikable main character, shoddy pacing, forgettable acting…not much going on for the man trying to solidify a career outside of the Saw franchise.
8) Apollo 18 (Gonzalo López-Gallego)
It’s movies like Apollo 18 that give the first person camera genre a bad name. Used simply as a gimmick, there isn’t a single scare to be had in this film. Just a lot of fuzzy video feed featuring two astronauts walking around or sleeping. A lazy attempt to cash in on recent trends, López-Gallego’s space horror does nothing to appease its viewers. Snooze.
7) The Resident (Antti Jokinen)
I thought The Resident could be a mature take on The Roommate in a way, at least having veteran actors portraying the creepy obsession. Crap, wrong again. Jeffery Dean Morgan watches Hilary Swank sleep, a lot, and Swank’s character avoids the most obvious clues that should have given Morgan away in a matter of seconds. Jokinen helps the negativity by beating horror clichés like a 20-year-old dead horse, ruining any tension. The only way to keep The Resident going was with plot holes and stupidity, neither of which make for good film viewing.
6) Bereavement (Stevan Mena)
I couldn’t go on my favorite source for horror news http://www.bloody-disgusting.com without seeing ads plastered everywhere promoting Bereavement for a long while. Brainwashed, I decided to give it a shot…which I now regret. A mix of torture horror splashed with a slasher story, neither of which were entertaining. The characters were stiff as boards, being killed off due to a string of poor decisions. Much like The Resident, Bereavement also uses a barrage of horror clichés to advance the story, making the characters seem brain-dead as well. The killer worships a dried cattle skull whom he talks to, but with no back story we’re left scratching our head. That feeling sums up the film rather well.
5) Red Riding Hood (Catherine Hardwicke)
So Catherine Hardwicke is Twilight-ifying our children’s fairy tales now? This gothic re-telling of “Little Red Riding Hood” wouldn’t be a Hardwicke flick without mindless pretty boys, wolves, and a distracting love triangle that overrides what story there is. Not even Gary Oldman could save Red Riding Hood from its abysmal love story, awful killer, and gaping plot holes; not to mention Amanda Seyfried’s extremely phoned in performance which contained not a single ounce of emotion. Seyfried does her best Kristen Stewart impression via either a blank stare or pouty face, really driving home the Twilight/Red Riding Hood comparisons…comparisons Red Riding Hood earned all on its own awful merits.
4) Season of the Witch (Dominic Sena)
Great way to start off 2011, as it couldn’t get much worse after a medieval Cage. This movie didn’t have to happen, plain and simple. And I’m not even saying that in a “For the love of all things holy, that movie was so unabashedly bad how did it ever get released.” No, the plot of the film wrote itself into a hole, creating a situation in the last act that completely nullified the entire hour and some odd minutes of garbage we were dragged through previously. We didn’t even get an eccentric Cage to make fun of, just a lumbering, long-haired Cage who looked like a goon in his chainmail get-up. But nay, there were still worse…
3) Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (Tom Six)
Hey Tom Six! Welcome to the bottom of the barrel yet again. Everything I complained about in last year’s The Human Centipede (First Sequence) still holds validity for the sequel, to an even stronger degree this time. The sad part is, Six could have possibly won me over with Part 2. Story wise, Six created a way to cleverly continue the ass-to-mouth insanity even with the original villain dead. But then, as is Six’s MO, the story is lost in the childish urge to offend as many people as possible, pushing until only a few audience members are left standing. Admirable effort Six, but who’s left to watch when you chase all the viewers away?
2) Chatroom (Hideo Nakata)
You would think the man who created the original Japanese films that inspired The Ring could deliver a few scares, or at least one? Chatroom is a psychological horror/thriller in disguise, hiding the fact that there is no terror or suspense whatsoever. Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) plays a cyber bully who convinces suicidal teens to go through with their plans. Sure, an interesting and seemingly disturbing topic, until you realize the pissy main character won’t actually do anything himself, and is the least threatening “villain” to ever grace the screen. Full of teen angst, Chatroom has the charm equivalent to the most lifeless, passive, and annoying emo kid ever.
1) Mask Maker: Meet Your Maker (Griff Furst)
And the coup de grâce of the 2011 list goes to a horror movie so boring, so cliché ridden, so poorly acted, so fake, and so thoughtlessly executed, it deserves an award for the lows reached. I could rant about all the quality devoid aspects Furst was able to create, but I’ve already done that in my connected review (one of my more popular reviews actually). No more time should be spent on this cheap horror cash in, just know it was bad enough to beat a film that forces you to watch characters literally eat each others fecal matter. Congrats!
Dishonorable Mention: Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, Priest, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Quarantine 2: Terminal
Film I Couldn’t Bring Myself To Rate:
A Serbian Film (Srdjan Spasojevic)
Using all rational thought, I’m still at a loss for what Spasojevic created. On one hand, it channels that same attitude of Six, where so much material feels as if it’s been included only to disgust. But on the flip side, Spasojevic took the observation that “In Serbia, you’re f#cked from birth until death,” and created an entire film with visuals matching those words exactly. If you think about it that way, the script is rather brilliant and the visuals, savage as they were, all had a legitimate translation. Either psychotic brilliance or soulless exploitation, there is no middle ground for A Serbian Film. Just know, you won’t find a more mind rattling film in 2011. I’m not sure if I can personally recommend this film to anyone, but I won’t say avoid Spasojevic’s story either to those brave enough. This is one where you can only judge on your own…
Worst Death Scene:
Yellowbrickroad “Girl walks off cliff”
I tried super hard to find a video of this horrendous excuse for a horror movie kill, but sadly came up empty-handed. Let me set this up as best as possible:
Intern Jill is slowly going crazy walking through the forest where hundreds of towns people vanished randomly years ago, as per the mysterious music slowly driving our characters to kill themselves, and finally reaches her breaking point. After a comment from another character noticeably phases her, she decides to kill herself by jumping off a very high cliff. And by jump, I mean the screen seemingly stops moving, Jill takes one step, and quickly falls straight down while standing still. Yes, it literally looks like someone had a mouse, clicked on Jill, dragged her over the edge, and swiftly dragged her directly down out of the shot. Laughter ensues, mood broken, and Worst Death of 2011 awarded.
Most Disappointing Film:
Chillerama “I Was A Teenage Werebear” Segment (Tim Sullivan)
Way worse than disappointing, “I Was A Teenage Werebear” was just plain awful. Unwatchable even. The disappointing part was how such a garbage excuse for filmmaking was left in the final product, subtracting mightily against the full film review.
Enough negativity. Time to wipe my slate clean and start over in a new year…