2018. Guess we’ve just about made it, huh? I’m not gonna lie, there were a few times this year when I didn’t think I’d survive. One of those times was when I was stretchered off a mountain with a concussion and a busted hand. But most of the time, it was when I was caught in the middle of watching a generally terrible movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if I’ve seen anything as soul-soul-wrenchingly crap as, let’s say, any of the last 4 Transformers movies (although apparently that new one is…legit decent?) but I definitely watched a lot of bad movies this year. Some lame, some boring and some outright offensive.
I’ve done my best to list these below but if you just want the good shit, I’ll be banging that list up over the next couple of days.
Fuck these fucking films
This year, rather than try to form any coherent structure, I’m just going to list all the *awful* films I saw with one or two words to explain why I hated it so much:
Maze Runner: The Death Cure – So Tired
The Cloverfield Paradox – Painfully Stupid
A Wrinkle in Time – Fucking Boring
Pacific Rim: Uprising – No Charisma
I Feel Pretty – Entirely Gross
Tully – Bullshit Twist
Terminal – The Fuck?!
Sicario: Day of the Soldado – Missing Em
The Spy Who Dumped Me – Not Funny
The Predator – Awful Pacing
Bohemian Rhapsody – Hot Garbage
The Girl in the Spider’s Web – Boring/Stupid
Mute – Cluster Fuck
Robin Hood – Fell Asleep
You might have noticed there are some movies missing here such as Jurrassic World, Solo and Deadpool 2, but those were merely underwhelming, as opposed to the cavalcade of shit above.
On the other hand, the following movies really worked for me. Not quite enough to make the Top 10, but more than most movies I saw this year. Some of these are pretty dumb and some are pretty serious but I genuinely loved the following.
Final Score – Soccer Shootouts!
Braven – JOE BRAVEN
Hotel Artemis – Goldblum’s Glasses
Searching – Well Paced
Destination Wedding – Relatably Pedantic
Mandy – CHAINSAW DUEL
Creed 2 – Solid Sequel
Roma – Relentlessly Raw
First Reformed – Artistically Earnest.
The Superhero Update
The superhero update is:…well, they were fine but I’d struggle to say I especially loved any of them. Except Aquaman and Venom, which were so dumb they were great. Not even Black Panther, which is an incredibly prescient movie, blew me away but it was okay at best as a superhero film. Deadpool 2 was kinda lame but I kinda mostly didn’t care at all. 2014 this is not.
Weirdest Review of the Year Award – Hereditary
This is a movie that hit me in many different ways and that I haven’t entirely reconciled with myself yet. When Hereditary came out, it was lauded as the next great horror film and the scariest film in recent memory. This is nothing new, it happens every couple of years but it set me up for a huge disappointment because it is neither. I would even go so far to say as that it isn’t even remotely scary. It is, however, remarkably and almost unbearably dour. There was a sequence at the end of the first act so unbelievable nasty that I didn’t know if I wanted to continue watching, It felt unnecessarily cruel in a way that I didn’t like in the moment.
With all that said, as the movie continued I started to warm to it quite a bit. The entire film is constructed with such a deft hand that it’s entirely admirable, especially for a debut feature. And that awful sequence that I’d hated? In in hindsight, it managed to illicit a very strong reaction in me and that’s impressive, if perhaps misguided.
Is Hereditary the best horror film of recent memory? Not even close. But it’s also nowhere near a bad movie. It’s a finely constructed piece of schlock with some tremendous performances that just so happens to be about nothing whatsoever. It’s an impressive piece of moment-to-moment filmmaking and an indicator that director Ari Aster is a talent to watch. With a stronger script, I’m sure one day he’ll pump out the masterpiece that Hereditary was mistakenly lauded as this year.