Now that we’ve made it past that end of the world nonsense, we’ve got to that time of year when people start compiling lists of the best and worst whatever of the year. So as to not feel left out, I’d like to bestow unto you, the dear readers of ScienceFiction.com, my list of the five worst movies of 2012 that we cover here on your source for sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and comics!
You may be wondering about the qualifications I have to judge these movies, right? Well, aside from my work that you see regularly where I keep you up to date on comics, movies, and TV shows, I also founded and continue to contribute to The Pretentious Film Majors, a movie review show grown at Drexel University that can be found on YouTube, WKDU 91.7FM, and DUTV, the school’s television station. I’m also the official blogger of the Philadelphia Film Society and I have a degree in Screenwriting & Playwriting with a minor in Television Production. If that’s not enough for you, then it was all just an opportunity for shameless self-promotion.
Without wasting any more time, I present you with my list of the five worst ScienceFiction.com films of 2012!
5. ‘The Watch’
Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade, ‘The Watch’ follows a group of men who take up the mantle of neighborhood watch that take matters into their own hands when a Costco employee is murdered and the local police force do nothing about it. Though labeled as such, it’s hard to look at this movie as a sci-fi comedy. It felt as though the writers couldn’t think of a good ending and suddenly threw in aliens to make it all work. Not saying that it actually worked, but at the very least there were some funny moments and Richard Ayoade to entertain the audience while the pacing issues and sloppy screenwriting dredged on to the credits.
4. ‘Dark Shadows’
Though I usually enjoy the pairing of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, this was pretty hard to watch. But as with most trainwrecks, it was also hard to turn away. Based on the ABC gothic soap that aired from the late 60s to the early 70s, ‘Dark Shadows’ follows Barnabas Collins, a vampire who’s buried alive and unearthed in 1972, where he returns to his home of Collinwood to find that his family is no longer as esteemed as it once was and vows to return them to the family’s former glory. The only words that come to mind as I write this are campy and tacky. There were so many opportunities for this film to be good, but everything fell flat, especially gags that went for too long.
3. ‘Silent House’
‘Silent House’ is a remake of a 2010 Uruguayan film that tells the story of a young woman who is trapped inside her family’s lake house after hearing ominous noises and seeing things in and around the house. And just like the original, this remake features a shooting style that makes the film appear to be one continuous shot playing out in real time. While the idea behind the movie was an interesting one, we were left with a movie that was mostly reaction shots, creepy noises, and really dark scenes due to the fact that all the windows in the house were boarded up and the electricity was out. If they bulked up exposition a bit in Act I and revealed more information during Act II, then the huge reveal at the end would have made more sense. Bleeding toilets from the ceiling and bleeding hallway walls were not the way to make sense of things. Though Elizabeth Olsen is great, seeing this movie just for her isn’t even worth it.
2.’ Snow White and the Huntsman’
Many are quick to blame Kristen Stewart for the horrendous quality of this film, but the cast did a good job salvaging what they could from the awful script that they were forced to work with. Retelling the classic Snow White fairytale in a darker way, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ had the potential to be the better of the two Snow White movies this year, but because the dialogue was so bad, the scenes never ended, the payoff at the end of the movie was unsatisfying, and there wasn’t much character development, the movie fell flat. If only they had explored Ravenna, the evil queen played by Charlize Theron, a bit more or condensed the movie down to 90 minutes instead of 127 minutes, or even utilized the comedic relief with the dwarves more, then it might have been bearable, but it was just not so.
1. ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’
Not only is this the worst movie that falls under the ScienceFiction.com banner in my eyes, it might have actually been the worst movie I’ve seen all year. I’ve seen about 150 movies in 2012, so to say that this is the absolute worst one is saying something, right? I’m very much a Marvel guy and have stuck with them through some horrible films, like ‘Spider-Man 3’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Luckily all the crap paid off when ‘The Avengers’ came out, but these two Ghost Rider films starring Nic Cage are simply unforgivable. It was bad enough that Cage donned the leather jacket and flaming skull of Johnny Blaze once, but to let him do it again was atrocious. One of biggest thing absent from this film was a fully formed story arc. It was more like one long chase scene with horribly clichéd dialogue and corny moments. It was an amateur skate video with a Hollywood budget tied together by a loose set of events and a supernatural hero with a flaming head, basically. I could go on for days about how bad this movie is but you can just head over to my review of the film, but just… ugh… It’s just so bad on so many levels. Please just let the rights to the character revert back to Marvel and let’s never ever again speak of the Nic Cage era of Ghost Rider.
That does it for my bottom five of 2012. What were some of the worst horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies you’ve seen this year? Go on and share with the class in the comments section below!