2013 really wasn’t my best year for movie watching. I was in a major crash that almost killed me, so my entire summer (and most of fall) was spent in physical therapy. However, I was able to make it to the theaters, and I got full use of my Netflix account. From what I saw, I wasn’t all that impressed. Everything was very generic, or so low budget that there was no point in watching them all the way through.
What I noticed is this was not a good year for horror. Major film releases were few, and straight to DVD didn’t offer much of a selection either. There were a few that were good, but the majority is painfully bad. Now this is based on the movies I was able to see, as well as how they stacked up against the ones I really liked. Without further ado, let’s look at the failures of 2013.
10. ABCs of Death
I really, really wanted to like this one the first time I saw it. It was a new concept, original stories, and I adored the fact it was 26 different directors. What made me love it so much is the reason why it isn’t good. 26 different directors means there’s no smooth transition of ideas or story lines. Each ending is very abrupt, and the stories range from really good to very stupid. To top it all off, I believe the running time is over 2 hours. This is a case where too much talent overshadows a concept that could utilize fewer hands in the creative process. Unfortunately, the creators didn’t learn from their mistakes because there is a sequel in production. Well, at least I know where 2 hours of my life are going next year.
Yet another one I was convinced I was going to like. The plot is…different: Kids at a birthday party accidentally kill the clown that is desperately trying to entertain them. Right off the bat, the movie heads in the wrong direction. The kids are evil little turds, and grow up to be full blown assholes. There’s also the “clown cult” that prevents birthday party clowns from dying. What really kills the whole movie is the acting and writing. Everyone is trying way too hard to outshine each other, and the attempts at campy gore just fall flat. I think they were going for some kind of X rated Pennywise, but they failed miserably.
8. Would You Rather
I never thought Jeffrey Combs could be boring. This guy is one of the best actors of all time. However, director David Guy Levy apparently told Combs to just act like a stereotypical, unmotivated, rich, sadistic asshole. I’m guessing he told the rest of the cast to act terrified, but it comes off as mildly creeped out. This movie is so bad it manages to make porn star Sasha Grey boring. Think about it: so little happens over 90 minutes that not even a woman who faked orgasms for a living could revive it.
Most people attempt to lose weight and stay in shape when they get to prison. Not Wesley Snipes. I think he ate everything in sight while he was serving 3 years for tax evasion. Why is that relevant? Because he’s effing huge in Gallowwalkers. The man we know as the agile Blade, is nothing more than a slow gunslinger with a gut and dreadlocks. Outside of the star hilariously looking like Porky Pig, the rest of the movie doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. The plot is paper thin, as well as the acting. It’s marketed as a zombie western, but the villains are called demons. I understand Snipes wanted to show the world he’s back, but he should’ve looked for a better script and an even better trainer.
6. Dead Before Dawn
I think this was trying to fit in with the recent influx of high school/college kids battling evil horror movies. It starts off alright, and then all of the actors seem like they graduated from Dane Cook’s School of Comedy: a lot of screaming, random noises, and seizure-like movements. The movie tries to be self-aware, but it just comes off as lazy writing. There are some legitimately funny moments, but they’re quickly overshadowed by overacting and a very stupid plot.
5. Home Sweet Home
The biggest problem I had with this is it implies that a woman will let fear take over her will to live. That is a crock of shit. Anyone staring down death will do whatever is needed to stay alive. Fear will not be an option, and a little common sense might help, too. Home Sweet Home basically says women are weak creatures who have zero survival instincts. And this is from the same guy that did the far superior Mutants. I guess success is pretty rare.
To its credit, Mama had an interesting premise. But between being almost 2 hours and laughably bad CGI, it didn’t have a chance. Jessica Chastain tries to bring her Academy Award nominated skills to the table, but that gets lost in the shuffle. It has some creepy moments, but they’re spaced so far apart that they don’t have as big as an impact. The ending was definitely the final nail in the coffin. It just doesn’t make any sense, and it’s another case where a short film doesn’t translate well into a feature film.
3. Texas Chainsaw 3D
Surprisingly, there are people that actually liked this. I couldn’t figure out why, until I sat down and remembered what it was about. It’s gory and gross. Story was not a concern, and that is obvious. This is kind of like a love letter to Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans. For the rest of us, it’s stupid and a waste of time. It’s so boring that I barely remember the acting or what little writing that occurred. This is only meant for hardcore fans or gorehounds. Anyone else will just fall asleep.
2. The Last Exorcism Part 2
When I first heard about this, I was more confused than anything. I was pretty sure the world ended during the first one. She gave birth to a demon. Part 2 implies that the demon just went into hiding while the girl became feral. Makes totally sense, doesn’t it? One thing I noticed was the sequel is more sexually charged. It’s awkward as hell. I’m not saying Nell (Ashley Bell) is ugly, but the character is so sugary sweet that seeing her do certain things is kind of weird. Add to that the plot of her being “seduced” by the demon she gave birth to, and you have the most uncomfortable 88 minutes of 2013.
1. The Lords of Salem
This is how I discovered that Rob Zombie needs to step away from movies from a while. The Lords of Salem is basically Zombie taking a dump on celluloid and calling it art. I don’t know what the hell was wrong with him when he made this. It’s just a drawn out acid trip. It’s nothing for the first 90 minutes, and then the last act is an assault on the eyes. It’s just naked middle aged women, Zombie’s wife Sheri as the Virgin Mary, and masturbating mummy priests with huge penises. After sitting through this, I realized Rob Zombie’s creative juices must’ve dried up after The Devil’s Rejects.
Well, those are my picks. Love it? Hate it? Did I miss one? Let me know in the comments.