2017 In Horror (From Worst To Best)

13. The Bye Bye Man

This was originally going to be a bit higher, but then I realised this has a few advantages over the one in 10, and as such should have been better. It had a higher budget, a wider cinema release, and an actual advertising campaign. Was actually kind of looking forward to this as it seemed intriguing. I thought at the very least it would be an interesting watch. I was wrong. It was boring, pointless, and did the whole “scary thing, scary thing, actually those scary things didn’t actually happen so nothing matters, repeat” thing that I hate about modern horror. Also, it has a stupid name.

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Don’t Watch It (and with that this film wins Easiest Diss Of The Year award)

12. Wish Upon

Have you heard of this film? No, there’s a good reason for that. It’s not great, the story is stupid, the characters are annoying as hell, and it’s not even original. Every idea it has comes from a better film. It also meant that I could no longer put Joey King’s performance in Going In Style in my “end of year notable mentions” list, which I’m sure she’s absolutely devastated about.

11. The Belko Experiment

Not the worst film, but definitely the most disappointing. I expected this to be either fun or smart, it was neither. Didn’t help that it completely ran out of ideas before the trailer ended. If this was 20 minutes long I’d have loved it. It just didn’t have enough ideas to stretch to a feature.

10. Annabelle: Creation

Well it was a LOT better than Annabelle (or as I call it: Annabelle, fuck that movie). But it’s a prequel to an origin story, which makes me uncomfortable. Some very good performances in it, but ultimately rather forgettable (very forgettable actually, I only just realised that for some reason this wasn’t on my list of films seen this year).

9. Rings

Only ahead of Annabelle based on thing: the PHENOMENAL opening scene. Sadly almost negated by the ending being in the trailer.

8. Split

A fun film, albeit kind of disposable and not one I ever really need to see again.

7. Jigsaw

If you bring back a dead franchise, you best do it well. You need it to justify it’s own existence. This doesn’t really do that, it seems like just the next step in a yearly franchise. It doesn’t need to exist, adds nothing new, doesn’t really do much. This does something worse than being bad, it’s pointless.

6. A Cure For Wellness

This film disturbed me. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I liked it, but wouldn’t really say I enjoyed it. Pretty gross, but a fascinating watch. Seriously, this film has a visual style and it just runs with it. I’m not sure whether Dane DeHaan is supposed to be creepy at the end, or whether it’s just because he looks kind of creepy. Either way, it worked, he was great in this. As was Mia Goth. This is one of those films I would definitely recommend you watch at least once. Actually, you don’t really watch this, you experience it.

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“Why don’t we do the poster for Slither, but sexy?” “Genius! More cocaine”

5. Prevenge

As I said in August: “The best horror film about a pregnant woman being controlled by a homicidal fetus that I’ve ever seen.”. 

Still the case. A great British horror quirky slice of cinema. Definitely worth a watch.

4. The Ritual

The book is now on my “to-read” list. Not a nice watch, but a very very good one. Chilling to the bone with a great story and remarkable performances. Probably going to be one of those films that are going to be really hard to find on DVD, I hope not as it would be a great Halloween watch.

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3. Happy Death Day

This was hard to place, as a film it was great, as a horror it was good. This is mainly here to break up the depressing creepiness of this list. Also, it was a new idea that was risky and worked, I like to reward things like that.

2. It

Holy crap! Holy crap this was great. Everyone needs to not just watch this, but to own it and cherish it. This had a lot working against it, mainly because it was a remake. If this failed it would have failed spectacularly. Luckily it succeeded, and it’s easy to see why. Good story, fantastic setting up of the universe, great performances, and most importantly, it’s fucking terrifying.

1. Get Out

This was close. Very, very close. If you asked me to do this again on a different day there’s a good chance the top two on this could be switch around. Today I’m favouring this because what’s on my mind is that weird feeling I had when watching this film. It wasn’t “arrrrrrgh” it was just 2 hours of everything being ever so slightly off somehow. Deeply, deeply unsettling and should win ALL THE AWARDS. Yup, even best musical, it’s that damn good.

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I know, the film that had this in the trailer ended up being creepy, who’d have guessed?
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How We Got Through….November 2017

Brooklyn

Really wish I saw this when it came out. Very sweet, very funny, just kind of charming. Shame I didn’t get a chance to see it until just before it got taken off netflix, but that just means I’m now more likely to buy it on DVD.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Any TV show which ends a series with the phrase “fuck you, you car wash cunt” yet also have a genuinely heartwarming ending is okay with me. A bigger review will be going up at the end of the series.

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This is also my starbucks order.

Death Note

More like “Death No”, amirite? But yeah this was not a good film. Quite annoyed actually as I wanted this to be good. If only to prove people wrong. This had people against it from the start just because it was a remake. So when bad reviews came in I thought “that’s just idiot fanboys who can’t let go and see objectively, I’m going to watch it and I’m going to like it”. I was wrong, it was bad. The characterisation is completely wrong, they made Light average. There’s no sense of a tense cat and mouse game between Light and L, and a lot of the rules from the book have actually been changed for the sake of the film for seemingly no reason at all. On the plus side the music is superb, and it looks fantastic.

Geostorm

Why does this film exist? Is it the 90’s again? I don’t know too much about science but this film still set off my “that seems like bullshit” sirens. And the ending was a fucking cop out. “the hero sacrifices himself for the greater good, everybody cry. Oh wait, nevermind, they got saved so the death doesn’t happen and meant nothing just for the sake of a happy ending”. Which reminds me, fuck Iron Man 3, I like that film more than most people but they should have had the guts to kill Paltrow in it.

Glory Daze

You know how you sometimes read of small gigs by bands where it turns out everyone in the audience became a member of another band later down the line? This is like the film equivalent of that. Has early appearances by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Brendan Fraser, Sam Rockwell, Alyssa Milano etc in it before they broke. So 90’s, so, so 90’s. Has a pop punk soundtrack, uncomfortably high usage of “fag”, and the main characters have a black friend. Very flawed, kind of shit, but endearing in it’s own way. (that should totally be my About Me if I did online dating)

Happy Death Day

This was just a lot of fun. Very, very, funny, and really well written. Some films you watch and you think “”this is so meh, I can’t imagine a writer thinking “I have to write this film”. You do with this, you can just imagine someone toiling over this night and day, a true passion project. One of the funniest films I’ve seen all year with a genuinely great story.

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Actually love this image

Jigsaw

Well it’s better than the last one, I’ll give it that. Trouble with these films is all the crimes exist on their own, there’s no investigation into the crimes effect on the outside world. Is crime going down because people are scared of being punished? Are there a lot of copycat killers? Do people see him as a hero or a villain? This is never touched upon, except in some of the posters for the one before this. Very disappointing.

Justice League

Solid. That’s all I can say about it. It’s not going to blow you away but it gets the job done. You do have to sit back and just watch it whilst not thinking, but occasionally that’s all you want. It’s not as good as Wonder Woman, but then again few films are. Bigger review will be up soon.

Kung Fury

Hilarious. I thank the person who recommended this to me as it’s simply bonkers (well some people say it’s bonkers, I just say it’s free). It has Hitler as a kung fu master, and a dinosaur cop shooting nazis in the balls, what more do you want from a film?

Mindhorn

Very British, I can’t imagine this playing well in other countries.

Money Monster

A big regret of mine is not seeing this at the cinema, I thought it would be overly preachy and dull. Nope, so tense, a great thriller which just goes to show how talented Jodie Foster is behind the camera. I can’t see her winning an Oscar for it, but she could definitely get an Emmy if she moved to TV. Clooney is great as well.

Moonlight

Read a review of this which sums up my feelings on it completely “is more personal and important than it is great”. I appreciated it more than I loved it.

Murder On The Orient Express

A lot better than I thought it would be. The biggest surprise is that it’s not Ewan McGregor as the lead role, a fact I didn’t find out until about a week after I saw the film.

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You can definitely see why I was mistaken though, right?

 

Suburbicon

Disappointing. Has a sub-plot which goes absolutely nowhere. It keeps seeming like it’s going to interact with the main story but never does, it could be cut entirely and the film wouldn’t change. It seems like it’s just there to say “people used to be racist”, and then does nothing else other than that.

The Book Of Henry

Read this was the worst film of the year, and responsible for director losing Star Wars job. I actually kind of liked it. I never need to see it again but it wasn’t the worst film I’ve seen. I mean, yeah it does seem like two different films awkwardly put together but the performances are compelling enough.

The Crane Wife

Patrick Ness is a weird writer, he seems to write updated fairy tales, kind of like a Neil Gaiman type, but not quite as magical (because few people are). This book takes a while to get going but has some great lines and the final section really becomes something else brilliant.

The Dark Tower

Finally a film as bad as everybody said. Fed up with people saying “oh my God, this film is awful, worst ever” and the film is mediocre at worst. Finally, this is a film that I feel deserves its bad reviews. It’s very, very bad. Idris Elba really needs to fire his agent, out of a cannon, into a brick wall so he can’t convince him what roles to take any more.

The Death Of Stalin

Incredibly funny and biting satire, which seems mostly historically accurate too. And it almost got banned in Russia, which is a bonus. Caused a Russian politician to describe it as a plot aimed at discrediting the figure of Stalin. Yeah, damn those films and their “anti-genocide” blinkered viewpoints.

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Plus, look at that cast

The Eyes Of My Mother

I didn’t like it. Seemed a bit too film student-ey for my liking. I didn’t get the hype, I think it’s just because it seems like a middle eastern horror film that’s too incomprehensible for Westerners to understand, but nope, it’s American. Just didn’t click with me at all.

The Hippopotamus

Very Stephen Fry. In both a good and a bad way. Although it has to be said that “now will you all kindly fuck off?” is a great closing line.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Doesn’t seem to be done with as much love for the subject matter as the original lego movies. The Lego Batman movie was obviously done by someone who loved Batman (or at the very least knew a lot about it), this isn’t. There’s no subtle references to films of the genre, it’s just a standard boring film with the only lego-ness being a villain who’s a cat.