My Ten Least Favorite Films of 2012

2012 was a fantastic year for movies. I’ll go into that more in my “best of” list next week, but let me just say, despite the many many great films this year, I had no trouble filling in my ten least favorites list. It’s not often that I get mad at movies but this year, there were at least two that really pissed me off. Those ones almost always end up on the bottom of my year end list but there was another rarity that makes a film sink even lower in my estimation: films that make death sound like a better alternative to watching it. One of those films popped up this year and it was hands down my least favorite film of the year. Read on to find out what it is. But first…

Dishonorable Mentions: The Bourne Legacy, The CollectionThe Devil’s CarnivalEnd of WatchExcisionIntrudersThe Hunger GamesThe LoraxThe Loved OnesSilent House

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10. Red Dawn
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Red Dawn, or as I like to call it, “Kill the Non-Whites” starts us off. I went over my myriad of issues in my original review such as the subtle and not-subtle racism by the film and the filmmakers, the poor characterization and acting, the unexciting and incomprehensible action, and completely glossing over the repercussions of violence. It’s deliberately simple, lowest-common denominator, and unchallenging in every way possible.

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9. The FP
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There have been some successful genre send-ups in recent years. I think Black Dynamite is one of the funniest films ever made and it looks like it came straight out of the 70s. The FP on the other hand, is trying so hard to emulate those terrible movies of the 80s that it forgets to have any funny jokes. Simply making DDR a serious battle game isn’t good enough. Simply having a character wear giant moonboots isn’t good enough. It’s all surface with no attempt made to be clever.

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8. Wrath of the Titans
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A lazy film of epic proportions. It has all the same problems of the first one as well as a few extra. The lead has barely any motivation, the dull and lifeless action is almost cut and pasted from the first, and the climax is utterly lackluster. Please, for the love of Zeus, don’t let this become a trilogy.

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7. Paranormal Activity 4
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I am a defender of the first three Paranormal Activity movies. While the second was just good, I think one and three are legitimately great and scary films. So it was with much sadness that I watched this lazy, unoriginal, unscary fourth entry. The project feels like it was rushed from the very beginning so they could get it out on time. The story and characters are underdeveloped and although it has all the marks of a rush job, the film itself moves like a sloth in molasses. This one personally hurt and if they don’t clean up their act for the next one, I’ll be officially done with the franchise.

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6. Playback
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An amateurishly made, ludicrously plotted horror film. Like The Ring, it deals with an evil tape but unlike The Ring, it sucks. In this movie, Satan himself uses film to possess an emo kid who then goes around killing people. The whole backstory is so silly and nonsensical and the filmmakers do nothing interesting whatsoever with the concept. Entirely shoddy.

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5. Grave Encounters 2
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This film may have the worst first act ever put to film. It has nothing at all to do with the rest of the movie and mostly consists of entirely unlikable people being douchebags. The second act is only slightly better but mostly rehashes the first film. One of the problems I had with Grave Encounters where the ghosts were enhanced by stupid looking CGI is specifically addressed and then completely ignored in this one. Finally, the third act makes no sense and makes some very stupid choices.

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4. Silent Hill: Revelation
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The last two movies in this list have a few elements or moments where things don’t make sense but Silent Hill: Revelation flat out refuses to make any sense from beginning to end. You almost have to admire that kind of commitment to keeping audiences completely confused. There’s barely a story here so our main character mostly just wanders around without any sense of purpose or motivation. The first Silent Hill wasn’t great but it had a fantastically creepy and quiet atmosphere. This one throws in way too much CGI and way too much stuff at you to ever be scary. It may also have the very worst acting of any film this year.

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3. The Devil Inside
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For the first 70 minutes of this 80 minute film, it’s a rather standard and quite boring found-footage movie. It does almost nothing you haven’t seen in any found-footage or exorcism movie. Suddenly, the film shifts into hyperdrive and goes absolutely and delightfully bonkers. It actually starts to get good and do things that you haven’t seen before. Then, even more suddenly, the film ends. No resolution, no payoff. It’s one of those endings that gives you whiplash and leaves you feeling empty and angry and cheated.

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2. Playing for Keeps
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This movie angered me. It didn’t anger me because of its lack of comedy. It didn’t anger me because of its half-baked characters. It didn’t even anger me because of its overt sexism (actually, that did anger me quite a bit). What really angered me literally happens in the last five minutes. It’s an awful ending where the horrible main character doesn’t have to change or apologize and a woman makes a terrible choice that screws over a good man for no reason at all. And this is supposed to be a happy ending. I went pretty in depth about it in my original review. I was fuming as I walked out of this and it’s one of the few movies that I truly wish I hadn’t spent my time on.

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1. Cosmopolis
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I like most of David Cronenberg‘s films a lot and unlike seemingly the entirety of non-teens on the internet, I don’t have a personal grudge against Robert Pattinson. However, I had the absolute worst time this year watching this film. I was so bored that minutes crept by like hours and I eventually hoped for sweet, sweet death to take me away. Unfortunately, death did not come a-knockin’ so I had to sit there and take the mental abuse that Cronenberg was dishing out. Pattinson is somehow even more of a walking corpse here than in the Twilight films, the action is so wooden I got splinters in my eyes, and the horribly obtuse dialogue was as a discordant gong being struck over and over inside my ear canals. Easily the most miserable time I had in the entirety of 2012 and I’m not just talking about movie watching here.

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And there you have it! Next week, my fifteen favorite films of 2012! It all comes down to this, ladies and gentlemen.

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