We’ve now reached our Bottom 10, and we’re starting off with…
10 – THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2
Although the 2019 animated reboot of Charles Addams’ iconic creepy, kooky et al family wasn’t an especially great movie, it at least felt like a movie. Not so much its rushed, directionless, and aggressively humour-free sequel, which fails to do even the slightest bit of justice to these beloved characters and the darkly comic world in which they live.
Opting for that most stale template of a cross-country family road trip, The Addams Family 2 is an appropriately miserable viewing experience that is compiled almost entirely in dated references, eye-rolling puns, and intolerable fart gags that would put off even the Addams clan themselves. Beyond the bland and rather ugly animation, it also completely wastes its rather stellar voice cast, from Oscar Isaac to Charlize Theron, with a script that is so beneath many of them that it’s woeful to imagine them recording some of their lines into a recording booth (though props to the actors, for despite the horrible material they still do give it their all). Not even a sub-plot concerning Wednesday’s true heritage could spark some life into this lifeless sequel, which both general audiences and the characters themselves deserve so much better than.
As cliché as it probably is to say about this movie by now, it really is altogether ooky…
The Addams Family 2 is now available to rent/buy on digital platforms, including Amazon Prime Video.
9 – WILLY’S WONDERLAND
A Five Nights At Freddy’s knock-off with Nicolas Cage going up against a band of evil animatronics sounds like it should be the most awesome movie of the year – except for the fact that it’s actually one of the lamest.
This lo-fi, awkwardly self-aware B-movie was a major disappointment for its total waste of such a batty premise, attributed to its low budget which seems to have only been able to afford Cage’s salary and a bunch of lame theme park costumes to double as animatronic monsters. Cage, who has zero dialogue throughout the entire film, acts more like someone doing a parody of a typical over-the-top Nicolas Cage performance than the actual thing (don’t worry: he also had Pig out this year, which showed the actor at his absolute best), and even he struggles to liven a script that’s further bogged down by nonsensical plot twists, stock slasher movie characters, and nauseating filmmaking that makes what should be a fun concept completely intolerable.
Really, it’s just the wild disappointment that hits hardest. Again, think about how great an actual Five Nights at Freddy’s movie starring Nicolas Cage would be, but instead we got whatever the hell this was…
8 – HYPNOTIC
A trashy Lifetime movie that somehow ended up on Netflix instead, Hypnotic is an insultingly bland psychological thriller with none of the thrills, and laughably little of the psychology.
Despite the creepy potential suggested by its hypnosis angle, much of it is wasted on a cliché-ridden script that continuously makes very little sense, performed by actors who despite being good in other things – lead Kate Siegel, for one, has had plenty of success in Mike Flanagan’s Haunting anthology series – are just as sleepy as their entranced characters. It also features one of the year’s most laughably lame villains, a hypnotherapist who is (for no real reason) so unsubtle in his evilness that he actually has his own Bond villain lair, and even his own henchperson as though this movie really needed an equivalent to classic 007 foe Jaws.
Luckily, it runs at a fairly quick 90 minutes, but despite that reasonably short running time, you’ll still be feeling very sleepy…
7 – HE’S ALL THAT
Even in a year that was surprisingly light on remakes, one still managed to stand out not just for how bad it was, but also for how completely and utterly pointless it was.
On paper, a gender-swapped remake of the 90s teen hit She’s All That doesn’t seem so bad, but in practise it’s shallow-minded, deeply cynical and shamelessly pandering to the Gen-Z crowd – evident from the hiring of TikTok celebrity Addison Rae as its vapid lead character – instead of adding anything new to the classic Pygmalion plot of the original. Moments lifted directly from that film fall utterly flat because this version lacks charm, credible chemistry between its two leads, and exceptionally bland direction from Mark Waters (who, for someone who directed the highly influential teen flick Mean Girls, deserves much better than this material), none of which can match the much more earnest efforts of the original’s Rachael Leigh Cook, who shows up here in a supporting role written only to be a knowing wink to a bored audience.
It is a movie that exists only to capitalise on the popularity of the original, which as a remake only flaunts its pointlessness even more…
6 – THUNDER FORCE
By this point, it should be general knowledge that whenever Melissa McCarthy decides to make a movie with real-life hubby Ben Falcone, it’s almost always going to be terrible. Unfortunately, it seems as though she keeps missing the hint, and now we’ve gotten another mind-numbingly awful “comedy” to remind us all that she really is at her worst when working with, of all people, her own husband.
Both McCarthy and Octavia Spencer star as two superpowered best friends in a superhero send-up that is deeply cynical instead of ever being funny, only existing to capitalise on the genre’s popularity and doing absolutely nothing with its satirical edge. It reduces actors like McCarthy, who when free of Falcone’s creative grasp has it within her to be genuinely great, and Jason Bateman in a one-joke part to painful scenes of eating raw chicken for yucks, leaving proper Oscar-winners like Spencer and Melissa Leo to just look on more annoyed than truly invested in this DOA material.
Watching this movie was not only aggravating but significantly depressing, because Melissa McCarthy is a highly talented performer who appears to be stuck in this creatively abusive relationship with her husband (though I’m sure their actual marriage is perfectly fine), which is preventing her from being the national treasure she ought to be by now. Unfortunately, movies like Thunder Force are there to keep her down, which is truly tragic and far from (super)heroic…