It was a lot tougher to find bad films this year than it was in previous years, and I think of that as a good sign. That said, 2017 did produce some stinkers, some of which I didn’t get to see in time for the list’s completion, and some films that I just could not muster up the stomach to sit through. That said, these are ten of the worst movies I saw in 2017.
10. Dirty Dancing
Directed by Wayne Blair
Release Date: May 24th
“Dirty Dancing” is a favorite of mine, and say what you want about it, but it’s a catchy, fun and breezy romance musical. The TV movie remake that was made for the sole intention of cashing in on the anniversary of the film is the antithesis of everything the movie pushed for. It’s dark, dull, monotonous, the performances are lackluster, and the finale is such a shameless rip off of “La La Land,” that I was pretty embarrassed for everyone involved by the time the credits began.
Watch Instead: Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
9. Alien: Covenant
Directed by Ridley Scott
20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 19th
“AVP” and “AVP: Requiem” were dumb movies, but “Covenant” dumbs down the mythology for an entirely new generation of movie lovers. Ridley Scott rather than stay the course, shifts tones in a nasty, boring, and ridiculous movie that chronicles dumb poorly sketched characters, charting another alien planet and getting in to deep when they prove to be too stupid to live. The long drawn out pseudo-philosophy and goofy hack and slash ending, along with a brutally predictable surprise twist in the climax proves this series needs to be put to sleep for a decade and revived with new minds behind it.
Watch Instead: Alien (1980)
Directed by Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Release Date: October 20th
Despicable, nasty, unpleasant, vicious, vile, and painfully derivative, “Leatherface” is another radical attempt to explain Leatherface, a character who worked more as an inexplicable force of violence and sexual aggression in Tobe Hooper’s original film. Allegedly the “real” origin of Leatherface, and the origin of his family, “Leatherface” works at being a goofy road film that views the character as some tragic but truly vicious psychopath. It’s a garbage reboot, and the producers seem to know it, having decided to reboot Hooper’s movie series yet again after this.
Watch Instead: The Devil’s Rejects (2004)
7. The Mummy
Directed by Alex Kurtzman
Release Date: June 9th
You could almost feel the executives at Universal patting themselves on the back about the “Dark Universe” logo before “The Mummy” ever arrived in theaters. On paper this radical re-imagining of “The Mummy” sounds fun, especially with a woman in place of Karloff, but “The Mummy” takes every single wrong turn with a shift in genre, opting for a grand scale remake, rather than something simple and atmospheric and so much more concerned with world building than focusing on creating a coherent story with great characters. And who can forget the writers shamelessly ripping off “An American Werewolf in London”? RIP Dark Universe.
Watch Instead: The Mummy (1999)
Directed by Jonathan Levine
20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 12th
I think I’m about done with Amy Schumer’s shtick for a while, as the woman who loves to do everything to prove she’s not the conventional woman has worn her goofy gimmick thin. In yet another movie where Schumer is a flaky, alcoholic, slob with man troubles, she brings along poor Goldie Hawn for what is a nasty, dull, and brutally unfunny mix of black comedy, xenophobia, survival action, and they even wedge in a mom and daughter dramedy somewhere. I think Schumer should take a break for a while, or at least invent a new character.
Watch Instead: Romancing the Stone (1984)
5. The Bye Bye Man
Directed by Stacy Title
Release Date: January 13th
This feels like a movie made about a decade too late where it might have been released during a time when studios were releasing PG-13 pseudo-Asian horror films “The Bye Bye Man” desperately wants to be The Slender Man but fails at every turn to be even remotely intriguing. It also wastes Doug Jones in a pointless role in what is one of the least intimidating movie monsters since the Leprechaun. There’s stuff about coins and trains that never connect, there’s people murdering people to keep you from saying “Bye Bye,” one of the most common phrases in the English language—along with the goofy fake out finale, it’s a waste of time.
Watch Instead: The Babadook (2014)
4. The Emoji Movie
Directed by Tony Leondis
Release Date: May 2nd
This isn’t really a movie so much as an ad based ninety minute pool of nothing made up of algorithms that calculated trends, and memes that would click in to an audience devoted to their smart phones. This feels like a movie that was created by one of Professor Frink’s overly complicated but faulty robots from “The Simpsons.” There’s a good movie to be made about emojis and how we communicate in modern times. This was not it.
Watch Instead: Inside Out (2015)
Directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez
Release Date: May 2nd
The. Most. Predictable. Surprise. Ending. Ever. Made. “Rings” attempts to re-invent the mythology of Samara in to this hip, edgy, modern millennial horror tale involving the internet and viral videos. Granted, I think the idea of transferring Samara’s horror over in to the world wide web, “Rings” manages to be painfully dull, tedious, monotonous, and pointless. And yes, Johnny Galecki seems stuffed in this movie for the mere fact that “The Big Bang Theory” is a popular in vogue show.
Watch Instead: Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
Directed by Dax Shepard
Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: March 24th
Dax Shephard, who has no business making a movie, takes “CHiPS,” transforms it in to a terrible vanity project, and completely missed the point of the show in favor of his ego. Anyone who is anyone knows that Ponch was the most loved character on the series, and Dax turns him in to a boring side character who isn’t funny and has a creepy obsession with large butts. Meanwhile the lesser of the pair is played by Shephard who, with his equally unfunny wife, tries to turn “CHiPS” in to a weird mash up of ultra violence, satire, meta-comedy, dark comedy, meta-spoof, and juvenile humor. “CHiPS” is a miasma is nonsense. It’s a stroodle of crap.
Watch Instead: Tango & Cash (1989)
1. The Snowman
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Written by: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, J.K. Simmons
Release Date: October 20th
I’ve seen inept thrillers before but man oh man I’ve never seen a movie with such a simple premise be so unnecessarily convoluted before. “The Snowman” wouldn’t be such a bad movie if it had at leas some kind of redeeming qualities to it. But watching it, it’s clear that the movie is just incomplete, stitched together for the sake of salvaging nonsense. At the very least, you can enjoy the beautiful wide shots and the endless brilliant actors that the movie trots in and wastes so spectacularly.
I fondly remember wanting to see “The Snowman” when the trailer first premiered, but it became apparent nothing about this movie was salvageable when I sat inadvertently chuckling and gaffing in disbelief throughout the duration. I could pick this movie apart relentlessly, but to echo other writers, I sense this will become a “Best Worst Movie” like “The Wicker Man” remake in five years. Until next time, Harry Hole.
Watch Instead: The Bone Collector (1999)
Movie/s Many Disliked Except Us:
It’s not that bad of a movie if you can meet it halfway. It’s rushed, and cobbled together, and tonally odd, but the character dynamic is fun, the action is a neat diversion and Superman is pretty awesome here, given his own fun and awe inspiring moments, including the opening scene involving the cell phone camera. I want the DCEU movies to be amazing, I really do.