There are always going to be the horror movies that just don’t do it for you. It’s something that’s pretty unavoidable. We can talk quality all day, but a huge chunk of our opinions on film, TV, etc. just come down to personal taste. Which is why a few of the picks on my bottom five for 2015 are things that I’ll readily admit are actually pretty well made. But story is everything, when it comes down to it, and if I can’t connect with that, I can’t rightfully say that I loved it or even liked it.
Other movies I have a much easier time admitting that I did not love because, for me, they failed on just about every conceivable level. From story to technique, almost everything didn’t work. Nobody wants to see something like that, everyone hopes for the best—or at least should—but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
Well shot, great score, but It Follows is just a mess in terms of the story. I’ve written extensively as to why, but I think it boils down to the fact that—either accidentally or intentionally—it reinforces the old sterotype that sex is something that should be punished in horror movies. It tries to use that to tap into the old school slashers it is attempting to be an homage to, but if the director actually studied films like Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street, he would have realized that that was not the point of those ones at all. Sex is treated so creepily here with the amount of implied rape and the general fact that nothing is really consensual for anybody in terms of the plot.
Also fairly well put together, with some genuinely scary parts, The Badadook falls apart due to some extremely unlikeable characters. Much like It Follows, actually. Watching both, I had no idea who to really root for. Annoying child or awful, neglectful mother? These aren’t great choices, but they’re kind of the only ones we’re given. The direction is still solid, though, and I look forward to more from the director even if I didn’t like this one.
Frankenstein vs. The Mummy
This one was an easy choice for me. I appreciate the effort taken just to get the movie made, but it’s not even bad in a good kind of way. As a crossover, it’s almost completely disinterested in the mummy, which makes you wonder the point. As a Frankenstein feature, it turns the creature into a gangster, generic bad boy and even a rapist (twice). There’s some decent makeup for the budget, but it’s also unbelievably long for a DTV monster flick, clocking in at nearly two hours.
The Green Inferno
Another one that really seemed to divide people, Green Inferno was a rough watch for me. I try to go into everything with a clean slate, but with this one being out there and discussed for so long, I had a good idea of what my problems with it would be. I didn’t actually have issues in every area that I thought I would, but just wound up sacrificing them for some new issues instead. After a great opening plane crash that was excellently done, we go into the rest of the film which isn’t as exciting. The point is at once drilled into our skulls and somehow not always even that clear. More than that, after such an ad campaign promising this as the next Cannibal Holocaust and the most gruesome feature ever made, it’s not even that bad. It’s certainly not the goriest thing I’ve seen, by any stretch.
The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence
Maybe the bigger mistake than actually making a third Human Centipede is doing it after the cultural joke has run out. First and foremost, this is not an enjoyable franchise, nor is it meant to be. It’s meant to go as far as it can be allowed to go. This time, however, we’ve been through it twice before and—I hate to say it—we’re completely desensitized to the gimmick. It doesn’t have the impact or shock value it had the first time and that’s not good, because there’s no real story here and there isn’t supposed to be. It’s a series of gags, but they’re too gross to take seriously and too serious to laugh at, so it kind of just leaves you numb. That’s probably the last thing a movie like this should do.