Here we are again, folks. The beginning of a new year. This means we need to go over the successes and failures of the previous year. Deggsy already posted his list of the worst films of 2015, and now it is my turn. Please keep in mind two important things. First, this list is limited to films that were released in 2015 (with two exceptions). Second, I didn’t see every horror film released this year. If you think I missed something, I wanna hear from you. On another note, 2015 marks the first time where the amount of good films outnumbered the bad films. This was a first for me. I usually have so many films I didn’t enjoy that it is difficult to limit the list to just ten films. But this year I had such a hard time finding ten films that I hated, that I dipped into 2014 to round off my list to ten.
Let’s get to it (please note that this list is in no particular order):
Now granted I wasn’t a fan of the original MONSTERS at all–at all–but when I read that this follow up has a new director and has more monsters in it, I was pretty excited. What a let down. Just like with the first film, DARK CONTINENT looks fantastic. The filming and cinematography are stunning in places, but the script is a fucking mess. It wavers between wanting to be a human war story and a giant creature flick, and it fails miserably on both fronts.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is another franchise I’ve had a lot of problems with. I liked the first one–kind of–but for the life of me couldn’t figure out why it was being called ‘the most extreme and disgusting film ever made.’ Seriously, the first film was all but bloodless. But then writer-director Tom Six delivered the goods in the second film of the trilogy. It was everything the first film wasn’t. It was depraved, disgusting, gory, and at times very hard to watch. I loved it. Then Six delivered the third and final film. What a turd!! Everything about part three is a huge miss. The deliberate over acting, the forced sex and un-PC humor, the very uneven script. If you gave a frat house peyote and told them to write a script, they couldn’t have come up with something as childish as this film.
The stench of this one still clings to me like a dog who got sprayed by a skunk!! Over the last few years, I realized just how much I love a good scoff-horror film. So when one pops up on my radar, I get really excited. AREA 51 was such a let down. AREA 51 was made by Oren Peli, the man behind the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise (oh come on… the first film was fun). But few were aware that in 2009 Peli quietly made AREA 51 … where it then sat on a shelf for six years before being released. Why was it shelved for so long? See it and you’ll find out. This film is plagued with re-writes, re-shoots, and troubles in post-production, and all this shows in the final product. This is another disjointed mess, and the studio should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this to the public.
Another disappointing scifi-horror flick. I think the following quote from my review summarizes it best:
THE ENCOUNTER was full of underdeveloped, one-dimensional characters doing dumb things, and whom I could’ve cared less about if they died or not. The use of the found footage gimmick was just that; a gimmick. This story had no need to utilize found footage. It was pointless and made everything all the more awkward and amateurish. Some of the makeup f/x were pretty decent, but they weren’t nearly good enough to save this turkey. THE ENCOUNTER was on the level of a made-for-SyFy TV movie. Correction; THE ENCOUNTER was a level below a made-for-SyFy TV movie.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait … I did say that.
THE LAZARUS EFFECT
I saw this film late in the game (just a few week ago) and haven’t had a chance to review it yet. This is far from the worst film I’ve seen this year, but I am putting it on my worst of list because of what the filmmakers pissed away. This first half of the film seemed to be setting this one up to be a more intelligent horror film with moral-philosophical overtones. Unfortunately, the second half of the film slips into the same old Hollywood bullshit full of cheap scares, and goes for the easy way out. It is a shame because the first half of this film works really well.
This was one of the first films I watched in 2015, and if I didn’t keep a list of all the films I watch every year, I would have completely forgotten about this one. This film’s biggest problem is that it suffers from an identity crisis. It wants to be a teen slasher flick, a horror film with a social commentary, and a horror film with an anti-war message. What we get is none of these … and all of these. This film is a mess. Add to that some very amateurish acting and a terrible script and you’ll want to forget about this film. Why the hell did I have to remember this!!
This is an indie film that is another one I completely forgot about. Even when I re-read my review of it, it still didn’t sound familiar (I actually checked to make sure Deggsy didn’t actually write the review!!). A paranormal research team is competing to win their own television show. The acting here was good, but the story just lacked anything interesting. DARK VISION is just another movie where a team of ghost hunters encounter the real thing and suffer the consequences. There was nothing new going on in the story to grab you. I also thought the most interesting aspect of the story was completely ignored. The viewer is told that there were five paranormal research teams competing for their own television show. This could have been a really fun aspect to focus on. Maybe have the five shows sabotaging each other or something. The potential was there, but the execution was not.
You can always tell when something is getting popular when a lot of low-end films try to imitate it. The legend of Krampus is one such popular thing. This film felt like it was originally a standard ghost-out-for-revenge flick and the producers asked the writers to turn it into a Krampus film. It is not set around Christmas, it plays loose and fancy-free with the legend of Krampus, and it just doesn’t work. Voodoo dolls? Seriously!!!
This is one of two films from 2014 that I’m including on this list. Why this one? Why? WHY??? Because it was such a let down. This film is directed by horror icon, Joe Dante–the very same man who gave us 1978s PIRANHA, 1981s THE HOWLING, one of the segments in 1983s TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and 1984s GREMLINS. Of course I was expecting something great here. The basic story is that this guy is dating a control-freak bitch of a girlfriend. He plans on dumping her, but before he can, she gets hit by a bus and dies. Lucky him, right? Nope. She comes back from the dead and expects to pick up the relationship from where it left off. The problem here is with the script. There is no tension in this film. I understand that Dante and writer Alan Trezza were going for a horror-comedy here, but the entire film is sugary-sweet with no real conflict. I’ve seen more tension in episodes of FULL HOUSE.
This is the other film from 2014 that I felt I owed it to you to add to this list so no one ever watches it. Not only is this a horrible film, but it is also the worst film I watched in 2015. This film–also known as SEED 2 and SEED 2: THE NEW BREED–is quite simply unwatchable. It is presented as a sequel to the 2006 Uwe Boll film, SEED, but the title is the only connection to the original. (And on an aside, when a Uwe Boll film is 100% better than a sequel, you’re in a lot of trouble). Plot? You want a plot summary? There is no plot in this film. Seriously. None at all. The best I can come up with is that a group of annoying women are driving through the desert when they stumble across Seed and his demented family. This film steals heavily from THE HILLS HAVE EYES, but still offers us nothing. The editing is atrocious. It is like a music video on crack where we just get a bunch of random scenes thrown together–the editor didn’t even attempt and create a coherent narrative. Do not see this film. I’ve warned you.
Well, there’s my 10 worst horror films of 2015. Which films did I miss? Which don’t belong on my list? Sound off in the comments section below.
Stay Bloody in 2016!!!