The Big Movie House's Least Favorite Films of 2023

My favorite list to make is the "Worst of" list which used to be really popular but seems to have become less so over the years (at least in mainstream media). This year there were a bunch of films that I didn't like along with a few I downright hated.

10. Outlaw Johnny Black (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
I haven't been more disappointed in a film in years. BLACK DYNAMITE is one of my favorite comedies and OUTLAW JOHNNY BLACK is by the same people. The trailers make us believe that this film is in the same vein as BLACK DYNAMITE. I figured we had a spoof on Blaxploitation westerns but what we got was a comedy that wasn't funny, an action film that wasn't exciting, and the one of the cheapest looking westerns I have ever seen. Michael Jai White shows us that he has not learned anything about directing from the countless film sets he has been on since 1989. His direction is pedestrian at best and a boring, uninspired mess at worst. 

9. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Lucasfilm)
INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL is a lackluster Indiana Jones film. Steven Spielberg does not slump it and directs the hell out of the film while giving us some cool chase/action scenes. The trailers for INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY (which is a terrible title and proof that no one cared about this film) gave a promising look at the film, but there was no excitement around the film. This should have told me to stay away but I went anyway. This film is a mess. There is far too much green screen going and it is really, really hard to believe that 80 year old Harrison Ford could pull off some of the things his character performs in the film.

8. Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me (Netflix)
I remember Anna Nicole Smith's rise. I was the prime target for everything she was doing in the modeling world and I always thought she was laid back and happy. Watching this doc will make you think otherwise. This doc focuses on all the bad things that happened in her life. Here's an example: The filmmakers speak very briefly about her film career with the focus being on a role she got in THE HUDSUCKER PROXY from the Coen Brothers. The role is small but it was her first taste of Hollywood and she loved it. The problem with this is that the filmmakers never address the other films she made including lead roles in two straight-to-video films in the mid-90s. Sure, those films were shit but they were leads. They also don't talk about her role in NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT. They skip over all of that to focus on something negative. This doc makes her out to a ditz who stumbled her way into Hollywood and all the way through it until her death in 2007. I really wish that this doc had been a lot more balanced. There is nothing wrong with showing someone's downs but you have to show the ups too. This film does this a few times but they mostly focus on the downs. Listen to the podcast YOU WERE WRONG ABOUT who do an episode on Smith and they do it right.

7. Meg 2: The Trench (Warner Brothers)
THE MEG was a fun B-flick that never took itself too seriously. The only problem I had with the film was it didn't lean far enough into the schlock like I would have liked. Had it played into that, the film would have been awesome. The trailers for MEG 2: THE TRENCH (another terrible title) had us believing that they heard what we had to say and upped the schlock considerably. It did not. MEG 2 is a boring film that never tries hard enough. All of that schlock we saw in the trailers was from one scene that takes place during the climax of the film. A big chunk of the film takes place on the floor of the trench trying to figure something out that was needlessly added to the film to add minutes to the runtime. No cared about any of that shit. We wanted to giant versions of ocean life and we get about five minutes towards the end of the film. I had a really bad time with this film. I was bored out my mind. 

6. Evil Dead Rise (New Line Cinema)
This is the first horror film on this list (but not the last). EVIL DEAD RISE promised us something different but just gave us more of the same, just in a different location. We have already traveled back in time where Ash has fought with King Arthur-type characters. There is nothing much they can do after that. EVIL DEAD RISE'S draws were the change of location to an apartment AND they were using pracitcle effects. It doesn't have anything to do with the previous film but the change in location offers us nothing outside of a few more victims. The practical effects are very nice, and I thought Alyssa Sutherland was the best thing in the film. She is gleeful throughout the whole film like this is all a game to her. I loved that. The rest of the film was a very pale imitation of what came before with very little originality. I was also really bored with the film as I did not connect with anyone. This is a running theme with many of the films on this list. They are just flat-out boring.

5. Five Nights at Freddy's (Universal)
I have watched a few of the Game Theory videos about the game this film is based on but that's it when it comes to my knowledge about FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S. I knew going in that this film wasn't going to be very good. It's from , a company that produces the safest horror films out there and I don't like that. I want horror films that do things differently. I thought maybe FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S could be that film, the outlier that shows that Blumhouse can make a horror film that isn't a paint-by-numbers monstrosity but the film fails to live up to those lofty hopes. The film isn't scary. There are many other problems with the film but, at the end of the day, it's a horror film that isn't scary in the least. There are scenes you would think the filmmakers would add a scare or two but there aren't. I do applaud the filmmakers for making actual costumes for the animatronics while using practical effects over digital but they just didn't make a good horror film. 

4. M3gan (Universal)
If anything can be said about M3GAN, it can be that it knows how to copy. This film is nothing more than a remake of the remake of CHILD'S PLAY from 2019. Both films are about evil robots who are given as presents to a kid who needs a friend. The robot becomes attached to the kid and will kill anyone who wants to bring harm to the kid or discover that the robot is evil. The film doesn't do anything original other than making the robot a female. As I was watching the film, I was wondering if I should turn it off and watch the so much better CHILD'S PLAY remake. At least that film wasn't pandering to a teen audience who doesn't know the difference between a good horror film and a scoreless one. Many critics said that M3GAN was a return to the PG-13 horror films we used to all the time in the 80s, but they failed to realize that those films were actually good.

3. Scream VI (Paramount)
I used to like the SCREAM franchise. I was young and na├»ve. I didn't know any better. I was there when the first film was released and got caught up in the "satire" the film gave us. It wasn't until the third film was released that I realized that this film wasn't made with true blue horror fans in mind but the more casual horror fans. Every bit of "satire" these films throw at us is surface level shit. I tried giving the 2022 sequel a shot and I hated the film. It was more of the surface level horror references that the previous films gave us. I watched this new sequel because I had nothing better to do and I hate myself sometimes. The film takes place in New York City but you wouldn't know it because most of the film takes place indoors. The film also steals setpieces from other, better films. The ladder between two buildings is ripped straight from the 1993 urban thriller JUDGEMENT NIGHT. The film also thinks that by including a scene where the characters are watching JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, they are making fun of themselves for making their Candian shot, New York City set slasher film but they aren't. They are just showing us that they know it's shit too.

2. She Came From the Woods (Mainframe Pictures)
I was having a hard time figuring out which film was going to be the worst one I saw this year. I decided that SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS was just a hair better than the Winnie the Pooh slasher film. I saw SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS in the theater and I was the only one who saw it the entire day. Just let that sink in for a minute. Not only was I the only person in the screening I was at but I was the only person who watched the film that day AND it was opening day too. That is fucking sad. I know the film didn't get all that much attention when it was released but I saw the trailer a few times before other films I saw in the theater so I figured it could be a fun time. Man, I HATE this film. It wants to be a summer camp slasher film but then it doesn't but then it does again. It is a weird film to watch as you don't know where it's going but it hasn't given us a good reason to care. The film so badly wants you to believe that the film takes place in the 80s but it can't even get that right. The worst thing about the film is the homophobic douchebag. He gives the film so much needed homophobia that I wanted the walk out of the theater. Sure, 80s horror films would sometimes contain things that aren't kosher today but it was never that much. This character is just the worst and they try to give him a redeeming arc only to back out a few seconds later and have him going out saying something homophobic. Fuck SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS

1. Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey (Jagged Edge Productions)
Talk about lazy. If you thought that SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS was the worst film of 2023, then you haven't seen WINNIE THE POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY. This film only exists because some person thought it would funny to take the characters we all know and love from the Winnie the Pooh stories and turn them into characters played by people in masks. We are supposed to think that the big guy standing there in a generic Winnie the Pooh mask is actually Winnie the Pooh. That is how lazy this film. They take these characters and do nothing with them. Oh, since Christopher Robin left the Forest, the animals (Winnie, Piglet, Tigger, and so on) began to starve and decided to start eating the stragglers like Eeyore and then stalk the land, killing people to eat. It's a stretch but that could have been interesting. Instead of doing anything interesting with this, the film decides to put some actors into some fairly cheap masks (that were NOT made for this film but bought from a mask shop) and have some a little bit of blood in their kills. Oh, and the film is played straight. The filmmakers actually play everything straight. Why? Why not play it with a wink and a nod to the audience? Had they done that, the film might have been a bit better. This is nothing but a quick cash grab with the filmmakers wanting to be "FIRST" when it comes to turning our beloved woodland characters into bloodthirsty monsters.

Post a Comment