Rewinding 2018 (Part Two): The Year's Biggest Turkeys

December 27, 2018
A thought by James Berardinelli

One comment about ratings: I haven’t given out a zero-star or half-star review this year, even for films I have detested. In order for a film to get the coveted lowest rating, it has to fulfill three qualifications: unwatchability, incompetence, and offensiveness. While there have been plenty of contenders for one or two of those three, there haven’t been any to meet all three. Trust me: one star and 1.5-star movies are plenty bad.

This year’s selection is ranked, with the stench getting stronger the closer a movie is to #1.

#10: Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town: The title made me intrigued. The movie made me wish I hadn’t been.

#9: Kin: Opening on Labor Day weekend is a sign of “no confidence” by a distributor. In the case of this film, with its scattershot narrative and fundamentally unsatisfying ending, it was warranted. Kin was designed with future installments in mind. Don’t hold your breath waiting for them.

#8: Overboard: Remake disaster #1. Although I recognize that the original Overboard has a fan base, it’s not large and this horrible reconstruction is unlikely to expand it.

#7: Suspiria: Remake disaster #2. Who came up with the idea to take Dario Argento’s deliciously campy gore-fest and turn it into a somnambulant, pretentious art film? That person deserves an Oscar for most audaciously bad conception of the year.

#6: Maze Runner: The Death Cure: I’m not sure the producers realized this series was done before they released the movie. I doubt anyone cared whether or not the final chapter was told. Having seen it, I didn’t. In fact, less than a year later, I can’t remember anything about the story. The only thing to linger is the sense that it was bad.

#5: I Feel Pretty: I laughed a few times. I think. But the surfeit of sanctimoniousness overwhelmed any good will that the comedy might have engendered. In one film, I have gone from an Amy Schumer fan to not caring whether she ever makes another movie.

#4: Occupation: Possibly the worst-ever alien invasion film – and that’s saying a lot when one considers that the Independence Day sequel is in that category.

#3: Truth or Dare: Blumhouse churns out so many horror films that it’s inevitable for one or two of them are going to stink up the joint. Their big 2018 success was Halloween. Their big 2018 failure was Truth or Dare – a premise with potential that is utterly botched by an atrocious screenplay.

#2: Life of the Party: Melissa McCarthy may have the dubious distinction of appearing on both my Top 10 and Bottom 10 lists for 2018. This is evidence that she should never again be entrusted with the lead in anything resembling a conventional comedy.

#1: The Grinch: To quote Roger Ebert (writing about North), “I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it.” I have nothing nice to say about this film. Despite it not meeting the three qualifications listed above, I flirted with giving this zero stars (or at least only a half-star). Rarely has a motion picture engendered this degree of unbridled contempt and anger.

Tomorrow: Ten of the year's most noteworthy performances.