Just to be clear – these are not the worst films of the year. Not by a long shot. These are the films which hurt my feelings and made me cry due to the simple fact that they let me down but bad.
I’d heard great things from the festival circuit about Ciaran Foy’s urban horror, and so I was very saddened indeed when I spent most of the time in the cinema laughing. Upon reflection, I don’t think it’s too hard to see why the film elicited this reaction from me, with a nonsense plot that never sticks to its own premise and setup, and some poorly handled shock scenes that never result in the kind of tension Foy is clearly aiming for. Mainly though, for me the film falls into unintentional comedy through having been shot in Glasgow, with its supposedly monstrous devil youths seeming like nothing more than solvent sniffing wee neds, right down to their wall licking and occasional incompetent attacks on the bafflingly terrified protagonist. Perhaps the film is supposed to be some kind of social metaphor about urban angst or demonising hoodie-wearing youngsters, though even if so, it’s a pretty poor effort, sad to say.
Cabin in the Woods
I like Joss Whedon, and wasted a fair amount of my youth on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, so Drew Goddard’s much praised horror ‘game changer’ really should have been a guaranteed whoop for me. Unfortunately not. Though I’m all for more substantial writing and effort in the genre, the film was annoyingly clever-clever-wink-wink throughout, in a way which I just found embarrassing, like watching someone trying too, too hard to be liked. Any original or witty ideas are buried under self-referential and braggartly garbage, with one of the most tiresomely aggravating stoner characters in recent history. This is the kind of film which puts on a show of subverting clichés while depressingly reinforcing them, and which, worse still, ultimately neither makes sense nor has the courage of its proud convictions. Most of the second half really just felt like an extended and recycled episode of “Buffy” without the charm, which in itself speaks volumes for the lack of invention on show.
Though I must admit to only having seen a few minutes here and there of “Family Guy”, I don’t think this should have prevented me from enjoying “Ted”. This was a film I just didn’t get, and although I kind of understand why a foul mouthed, hard drinking and MJ smoking teddy bear could be funny, the laughs weren’t there for me. I’m not sure if this is the case with Seth MacFarlane’s television shows, though I really expected something more creative, subversive, intelligent, or which was actually funny.
Having seen it a couple of times now, “Rec3” is definitely one of the biggest bummers of 2012, and a huge dip in quality after the outstanding first two entries in the Spanish horror series. Though director and franchise co-creator Paco Plaza was correct to try and shake things up a little and not take the film too seriously, he slips up badly with some lame humour and a lack of decent gore gags, even the scenes of splatter feeling mild and uninspired. With the zombie and zom-com genres continuing to churn out entry after entry, there’s no excuse for not having tried harder to stand out from the overcrowded playing field, and given the talent and legacy involved, “Rec3” honestly angers.
Why this was put forward as a gritty, deeper and altogether more accomplished advancement of the undying Bond brand (especially in the light of the stupefyingly awful “Quantum of Solace”) is an absolute mystery. Sam Mendes’ reasonably artistic direction aside, the film is a long two and a half hours of gibberish and lazily ridiculous plotting – which wouldn’t matter so much if the film didn’t take itself so seriously, with a po-faced approach that suggests that Mendes and his screenwriters were labouring under delusions of extreme grandeur. Without wishing to provide any spoilers, nothing about the central plot and scheme holds water, and whilst I like my brother’s claim that it represents a return to old school naughty villainy, I’d definitely hoped for more. It’s clear that Bond is still struggling to find relevance in the modern, post-“Bourne” era, and on the basis of the dull stupidity of “Skyfall”, a return to form is still very far off.
Do you agree with anything on the list? Or disagree? Feel free to fill the comments section with your reasons why.