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Worst films of 2016
Boy, where does the time go?
It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the new year of 2016. Now that it’s gone, I can’t help but wonder where it went so fast.
In my case, a lot of my time was spent watching a number of 2016 released films, the majority of which were very bad. That’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to a number of films that came out last year, and wound up hating a lot of them.
Oh, sure. There were many great films as well, but that’s the topic for another article. Here, we are going to talk about the absolute worst movies of 2016, the ones that caused the most suffering and that stole precious hours of my life which I will never get back.
Some critics argue that making a list like this is pointless. If you’re really going to make a year-end list, it should be on the best films of the year. While the good movies are less painful to talk about, the bad films did something unforgivable. They took precious seconds of my life, and gave me nothing but pain in return. For that reason and many others, they deserve to have one final jab made at them.
Besides, I didn’t get to do a whole lot of writing last year. I have my reasons for that, but I choose not to bore you with the details.
Let us instead get into knocking down those cinematic atrocities that caused so much pain, starting with the….
The Shallows (A ho-hum B-movie with an atrocious climax).
Jason Bourne (Oh, how I wanted to like this movie).
Ghostbusters (In spite of the awful trailers, I was really hoping this one would work. Nope!)
X-Men: Apocalypse (It’s actually worse than The Last Stand, another X-Men movie I didn’t like)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (The Force Awakens earned an honorable mention on my list last year (which I never published, for some stupid reason). This movie just sucked!)
Alice Through the Looking Glass (Terrific visuals at the service of an otherwise lame story)
As much as I hated the aforementioned movies, there were ten other films much worse than them. It’s going to feel so satisfying taking another shot at these stinkers.
Let’s begin, shall we?
10. CLOWN: The story behind this movie is actually more interesting than the movie itself. The story here involves a family man who puts on a clown costume for his son’s birthday party and can’t seem to take it off. That’s because the costume is actually the skin of a child-eating demon, and if he wants to get the costume off, he’s going to have to kill a bunch of kids to do so. The violence in this movie crosses so many lines, especially the scene involving the little boy at the motel, and the movie itself is just grotesque and not at all scary. What a piece of junk.
9. The 5th Wave: Yet another YA dystopian book, with a lame romantic triangle and some of the most boring aliens ever put to film. The special-effects were laughable, the acting was terrible for the most part, and the ending left the door open for a sequel which, if there is any justice in the world, will never see the light of day. Boy, I really hated this one.
8. Blair Witch: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually wanted to like this movie; it looked promising when it was advertised as The Woods. But this unscary, poorly acted, and visually ugly misfire was a chore to endure from start to finish. Man alive, this movie sucked!
7. Remember: Director Atom Egoyan and actor Christopher Plummer. With these two working on the same project, what could possibly go wrong? A WHOLE lot, as it turns out, and somehow, the critics bought into this crap. A grotesquely manipulative revenge thriller with one of the worst twists of recent memory, Remember deserves to be forgotten as soon as possible.
6. Hardcore Henry: Loathing would be too mild a term to describe my feelings for this film. This is such a relentlessly nasty, off-putting, and wildly unexciting action movie, that it actually had me longing for A Good Day to Die Hard from three years ago. What kind of movie does that to a guy?!?! I know that quite a few people liked this one and thought it was one of the best action movies they had seen in years. Different strokes for different folks.
5. Suicide Squad: While I intensely disliked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it was a masterpiece compared to this mess. Suicide Squad annoyed the hell out of me. I couldn’t stand the characters (and not just for the fact that they were bad guys), the special-effects were some of the worst of the year, and the story was just plain dull. While many praised Margot Robbie for her portrayal of Harley Quinn, she annoyed me the most. “I like your perfume,” she says at one point. “Is that the smell of death?!?!” It hurts to even recount it.
4. Independence Day: Resurgence: AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!! The agony! The torture! The inhumanity of it all!!!!! I was really excited about this movie after watching the trailer, but this movie was so atrocious that, looking back, I can’t think of a single thing to say in its favor. It was just so painful watching this unholy mess!!!! The door is left open for a third movie, but after this catastrophic stink bomb, it’s unlikely that it’ll see the light of day. At least I hope it doesn’t. PLEASE GOD DON’T LET IT HAPPEN!!!!!
3. REGRESSION: For the longest time, this was my choice for the worst movie of the year. Visually ugly, badly acted, and unpleasant to boot, the movie concludes with a message which, while I believe the filmmakers had good intentions with it, was truly one of the most disgusting and offensive of any movie that I’ve seen this year. And did I mention how stupid the twist here was? Yikes!
2. The Purge: Election Year: I was never really a fan of this franchise, but The Purge: Election Year hit an all-time low by trying to make an important statement on this year’s election. It was so laughable, so ridiculous, and so pretentious, that I was simultaneously laughing at it while being offended at the same time. Everything about this movie is horrendous: The acting, the action set-pieces, and especially the dialogue (never mind the nonsense about the candy bar, how about the line involving “a bucket of mother f***ing chicken”?) Man, this movie was just so bad!
As bad as those movies were, they weren’t so bad that I wanted to walk out on them (even though the last three movies mentioned earned a big fat zero stars from me). My number one film, however, hit me in such a way that it makes me nauseous to even think about it. It was a horror movie that had superb cinematography, good performances, and earned a 76% on Rottentomatoes. And yet when it comes to picking the worst movie of 2016, there is really no other choice. This was the single most depressing and off-putting film that I had seen all year, and more than any other film on this list, it is the one film I truly regret seeing from start to finish.
Are you ready? My choice for the absolute worst movie of 2016 is none other than……
#1. The Eyes of My Mother: I had already mentioned that I felt that the cinematography was excellent and that the acting was good. I’ll even go so far as to say that there were more than a few moments in this movie that seriously creeped me out. Yet The Eyes of My Mother was such a repulsive, pretentious, nonsensical, and putrid arthouse snuff film that it made me sick while watching it, and the fact that it was well made and acted made the experience all the more insufferable.
There is not a moment of this movie that I enjoyed. The story here is so bizarre that I can’t even believe the movie was even made. The Eyes of My Mother tells the story of Francesca, who has been unfazed by death since she was a child because her mother, who used to be a surgeon in Portugal, taught her about human anatomy and how to remove the eyes from a severed cow’s head. After an obviously creepy stranger appears at her house and kills her mother (the shot of him bludgeoning her to death is sickening), Francesca’s father knocks him out and (for some reason) chains him up in the barn. Francesca (who is only six years old here) visits her mother’s killer, and instead of killing him, she surgically removes his eyes and voice box and makes him her little pet.
Years later, her father dies, but she keeps his body around the house, sitting it in front of the TV, bathing it (at one point, getting into the tub with it), and even sleeping with it. She meets a Japanese student named Kimiko, takes her home, and when she disturbs Kimiko with her talk about death, she murders the young woman and chops up her body, storing her remains in her refrigerator. When her "pet" tries to escape, she kills him and seeks to find someone to take his place. There’s more, but that should be enough for now.
Much of the gore is kept off-screen, but the movie wallows almost mastubatorily in scenes of perversion and diseased behavior that it seriously made me sick to my stomach. What’s more, there’s not a point anywhere in this movie. We’re treated to these disgusting scenes for no other reason than for the filmmakers to disgust and repulse the audience. The fact that they do a good job at it makes it all the more impossible to endure. When one of Francesca’s pets tries screaming after getting her voice box cut out, it certainly is convincingly stage, but it does nothing but make me want to turn off the movie and not give it a second thought.
Unfortunately, I stayed with it, all the way to its anti-climactic finish.
Why was this movie made? What did director Nicolas Pesce want to say with this film? I gave it my full attention, searched hard for some meaning to the ugliness, but in the end, I came up with nothing. Pesce shows us that he has talent here, but has he used his talent on a worthy production? I don’t think he has. What’s even more baffling is that he wrote the damn thing. What possessed such a talented filmmaker to write such a pointless exercise in ugliness? Your guess is as good as mine.
At the end of the movie, I felt depressed and very unclean. It made me ask myself questions like: What am I doing with my life? Why am I wasting my time on this mess? What’s the point of watching movies anymore if trash like this is going to get made?
Thankfully, I did see the best movie of 2016, and all was right with the world again.
Because of my insanely busy schedule, my list for the best of the year won’t be written and published until this Sunday. Until then, have a happy new year and God bless!