Monday, January 4, 2021

Top 20 Worst Movies of 2020

Despite how bad 2020 was in general, it wasn’t the worst year for films that were actually released. Almost all the movies that came out had some redeemable qualities. Sometimes it was amazing graphics, others had a terrific plot or engaging characters.
It wasn’t too difficult picking out 20 bad films (even though some do have some interesting aspects), but it would have been near impossible to make the list any longer.
Reminder: I could only add movies to the list that I’ve seen. I never got a chance to see Dolittle or Capone. They’re in most ‘worst of’ lists for the year, but I can only speak from the perspective of what I've seen.
Also, I didn’t just judge the films by how bad they were. I also considered how disappointing they were. They got more points if people expected something amazing and were let down.

20 – Into the Dark: Crawlers
I’ll be honest, I didn’t 100% hate this one. I didn’t find it overly memorable, but that was about it. Cat argued its way onto the list.
I think it was basic. It felt like a zombie story, but it was actually aliens. The acting was kind of campy and it just could have been better. Into the Dark is like that, though. It’s inconsistent because someone different is always at the helm. I’d put this more into the ‘mediocre’ category than ‘bad’, though.

19 – Lingering
This is another one that Cat hated more than I did. I thought that some of the scares and situations were lost in translation. Cultural differences may have had a big part in why we didn’t find it interesting. Cat disagrees. She has believed, since day one, that it’s just a badly edited (and badly written) film.
It does tend to drag on, some of the editing is questionable at best, and it doesn’t really have a cohesive story.

18 – Dangerous Lies
This supposed mystery/thriller feels a lot like a badly made-for-TV movie. The acting wasn’t great and the story was on the same level.
Mostly, though, it was just forgettable.

17 – The Beach House
This film was slow, boring, and badly acted.
Critics from all over praised this film, but audiences hated it. It basically comes down to the fact that The Beach House tried to be as cerebral as possible and audiences weren’t having it. Neither were we.

16 – Brahms: The Boy II
So many people said that this ruined the first film, but I disagree. It expanded upon the world and added motive to the first. I’ll admit, I like the first film better after having watched this one. That said, it was not the greatest movie to sit through.
It came off as a blatant cash-grab. It was lazy. 

Katie Holmes was way too good for it. She put so much effort into it that it was almost sad. And the film looked worse, because she acted so well in her part. Usually, when that happens, it makes the film better. In this case, it just reminded the audience that she deserved a better script to work with.

15 – Scare Package
I tend to enjoy anthologies. They’re little short stories that show you the style of the creators and actors and help you decide if you want to see more from them.
I’m not all that interested this time, thank you.
The segments were dumb. They tried to be a love letter to the tropes of horror, but I feel like they failed spectacularly. Not every one agrees though. You come to your own conclusions.

14 – Desperados
I remember this movie in a better light than I should. There are a few jokes that stand out and stuck with me. Then I remember the badly timed pedophile jokes, and the stalker-as-a-good-guy trope, and it makes me cringe again.
This movie could have been better, but the creators didn't bother to read the room.

13 – The Princess Switch: Switched Again
The first Princess Switch (2018) was kind of endearing. It didn’t exactly utilize my favorite tropes, but it wouldn’t have wound up on any ‘worst of’ lists. It was an acceptable corny Christmas flick.
This sequel, however, was atrocious.
It took an already unbelievable plot and added another layer of insanity to it. I couldn’t enjoy it. It just didn’t make sense. Vanessa Hudgens pulled off each of her three parts pretty well, but the whole thing just didn’t work.

12 – Blood Vessel
Blood Vessel’s major crime is that it was boring. I was nearly asleep before anything of any note actually happened. The characters were also modeled after tropes and were relatively one note.
I did enjoy the ending, and the very Nosferatu (1922) look of the vampires. Still, it wasn’t enough for me to remember it in a favorable light.

11 – The Clearing
We took a peek into Crackle for this film, and it convinced us not to do that again.
If you’re a fan of this blog, then you know I never tire of zombies. They’re everywhere and overdone, and I still love them. That said, this version of them was forgettable at best.
On top of that, the constant commercials were placed in awkward areas not meant for them and the writing was lazy. I just didn’t have fun with this film at all.

10 – The Kissing Booth 2
The first Kissing Booth (2018) was good. It subverted expectations, it built up a really interesting story, and it felt like a return to the John Hughes teen films from the 80s. It worked nicely. As a result, I was looking forward to the sequel.
I was so disappointed in what I found.
They gave us a much more typical story, with campier acting that wasn’t as believable. 

There were some scenes in the movie that felt like they were actively trying to gaslight the audience into making the lead male more innocent? Desirable? At the very least they wanted him shown in an angelic light while making the lead female look crazy despite the story supporting a lot of her worries.
It wasn’t just bad. Quite frankly, it was insulting.

9 – Scare Me
This film was well loved, but we both hated it. It was a design in tell without show - which was coupled with cringy acting. It had a decent ending that brought it up a bit, but not by much. It was still a film that I hated watching.
It was not an easy watch.

8 – The Swing of Things
Everything went wrong here. It was an American Wedding (2003) kind of film with cringier humor and worse acting. There was no chemistry between any of the actors and nothing to really hold your attention. 

It was awful.

7 – The Last Days of American Crime
The most frustrating thing about this film is how good the concept was. I was seriously looking forward to The Last Days of American Crime. The plot was just fantastic. I thought, for sure, that there was very little that could make this film fail for me.
And then it all went wrong.
There was no substance to it. At all. What should have elevated the heist film felt like it tried to shoot the sub-genre in the head. It was not just very bad, it was one of the most disappoint films of the year for me. We all know it can’t beat the most disappointing, but it comes close.

6 – Into the Dark: Good Boy
There was nothing good about this Into the Dark film. I hate saying that, because I generally love Judy Greer, and Steve Guttenberg is an injection of pure nostalgia for me. Still, I remember nothing fondly from Good Boy.
Everything from the CGI to the script was just awful. If I HAD to pick out something that I didn’t hate, it would be the concept. A movie needs more than that.

5 – Coffee and Kareem
There was so much that could have been good in this film, but none of it was. I mean, Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson should have been a winning combination. Especially with the direction of Michael Dowse, who’s been responsible for some very smart comedies in the past.
What we got was another film that just didn’t read the room. It tried to feed off of what’s left of stereotype-based comedy, and it did so in the most tasteless ways possible.
Absolutely atrocious. Even worse because it involved some great creators/actors and I’m afraid they won’t get the stink off.

4 – The Binge
The Binge wound up being our most viewed review of the year. I’m not completely surprised. It had a phenomenal concept. However, most of the creators and actors have been involved in popular projects, but are not nearly household names. It also involved Vince Vaughn, who has had a relatively inconsistent career. It’s easy to imagine why people would want to check out the reviews in a case like this.
It was supposed to be The Purge (2018) only with drugs instead of murder and teens instead of adults. It was something I was really looking forward to seeing.
Unfortunately, it wound up being a cringey mess. The plot never really added up to anything and it had bad parody-like humor without being an actual parody. None of the acting felt natural and the script felt like it had been written by a fifty-year-old pretending to be seventeen. It just didn’t work.

3 – Malasaña 32
For the majority of its run time, Malasaña 32 felt like a typical, maybe even decent, haunting story. It had me glued to the screen for a big portion of it.
Then they used some severely outdated explanations for the ending and destroyed the whole thing.
Is it possible that this film just doesn’t cross cultural barriers well? Sure. But I will continue to hate stories that rely on the transphobia of the audience. It’s lazy and it’s harmful. A good writer can come up with something less stereotypical that doesn’t alienate and entire group of people like that.

2 – Artemis Fowl
Here it is. The biggest cinematic disappointment of 2020.
Artemis Fowl was supposed to be the next big franchise. It was supposed to be as big as Harry Potter (2001-2011). It was meant to ensnare the imagination of kids and adults alike. It was something to bring us all together in a time when we all felt so apart.
At least it did that final thing. Though we didn’t come together through adoration.
Artemis Fowl was widely despised. It twisted the contents of the books into something unrecognizable. It’s like what the Eragon (2006) film is to the books.
Terrible and disappointing, there’s only one film that was worse.

1 – 365 Days
What the fresh hell was this shit?
I hadn’t heard anything about it, then – one day – it started popping up in discussions throughout my mom group. I grew curious. I figured it had to be pretty damn good with the way they were talking.
So, I added it to the schedule.
I don’t know how someone could make a 50 Shades of Grey (2015) rip-off that was actually worse than the original. If you’re that interested in porn, just go watch porn. There’s no need to put The Room (2003) level script design and acting into it. At least not in a flick that runs for a full 2 hours.
I honestly cannot think of a worse film.

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