20 Worst Films of 2018

Newtons third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So while I managed to put out my Best films of 2018 recently, while lamenting the many great films I didn't include, following it soon after are my worst films, and I managed to fit almost every awful feature I unfortunately viewed into this. So, without further ado, let's see what films I labelled as my worst films of 2018.

Dishonourable Mentions:

*The Commuter, another bog standard "Liam Neeson punching his problems away" film which lacks its own identity.
*Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which has wonderfully characterised Dinosaurs within. Shame about everything else.
*The Meg, a banal and uninspired feature that can't even be entertainingly trashy to cover up the poor effects.
*Sicario 2: Soldado, a cautionary tale as to why not all films need sequels.
*The Cloverfield Paradox, a film more interesting for how it was marketed than anything within the 102 minute runtime.

TheNunPoster.jpg20. The Nun

When the marketing labelled this as "The Darkest Chapter in The Conjuring Universe", I had no idea they were being literal about it. The proceedings are so dimly lit, not for atmosphere, but as though the budget allowed them 70p per day to spend on lighting. Outside of that, it's a well acted piece, with Bonnie Aarons remaining intimidating in the eponymous role, which is a shame it feels all for nothing. as atmosphere and scares are utterly vacant from this, replaced with tedium, monotony, and forced attempts at humour (One characters catchphrase is essentially correcting people, by labelling himself as French-Canadian. No, I'm not kidding).

The Darkest Minds poster.png
19. The Darkest Minds

Considering the craze of adapting Young Adult novels is long over, it's strange to be getting this instalment just beginning now. If we overlook this, and consider the film on its own terms, there's little to differentiate it from the others, as Jennifer Yuh Nelson offers a diluted cocktail of YA tropes which felt second-hand when Divergent trod through them. It's unfortunate, since the cast are a talented bunch who do a good job throughout, but can only do so much with material that's completely lacking.

Infrared vision showing the Predator creature and the Predator logo18. The Predator

Considering how much Shane Black has shown himself to be a distinctive and unique voice in cinema, seeing his name attached to such a complete mess is unfortunate, and leaves one to theorise how much control was relinquished in favour of studio mandated chaos. Prominent characters disappear for long stretches of time, vehicles appear out of air as though somebody activated a cheat code, the eponymous creature is unceremoniously tossed aside for a newly designed Predator brought alive with unfinished visual effects, and the humour straddles the line between 13 year old edgelord, and immature internet troll. All of this while it's been garishly edited, as though someone hacked away at the film while blindfolded, after downing a bottle of vodka.

Bohemian Rhapsody poster.png17. Bohemian Rhapsody

As one of the most recognisable and distinctive singers ever born, who fronted one of the best bands of all time, it's an understatement to say there's an interesting story to be made about Freddie Mercury, and his family of misfits who made up Queen. Sadly, what's been delivered here is, at best, too lacklustre and by the numbers to be just that. The resources are there for a comprehensive and detailed look into the band, but the given impression is that the most in-depth research was skimming a Wikipedia page, appearing more interested in heavy handed hints, or relegating Freddie's sexuality to winks and hints, until his descent into hedonism, which feels downright offensive. It's worth noting that the cast, especially Rami Malek, do great work in their roles, but it's a shame it couldn't have gone into something so ineptly made.

Winchester (film).png16. Winchester

The Spierig Brothers take the fabled Winchester House, a labyrinthine mansion said to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles. It's a location that's rife for an intriguing and haunting feature film, and deserving of something more than this disastrous and dull mess lacking in originality. Jump scares are lazily pulled out at an irritating rate, while good performances are wasted on thinly sketched characters. There's the inklings of a good idea here, but it's the kind of mess which initially takes an anti-gun stance, before deciding the way to resolve everything is with a bigger gun.

Mile 22.png15. Mile 22

After a trilogy of adapting real life stories for the big screen, Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg change gears to deliver an action flick centred around government espionage. It's understandable to want a change of pace, which makes it a shame the result is so chaotic, messy, and amateurish looking. The Raid star Iko Uwais is wasted, as his physical talents are dulled by the onslaught of cuts, while the remainder of the action is headache inducing, and potentially the result of an intoxicated cameraman. There's little to say about the other characters, and it's a stretch to even label them as characters.

King of Thieves.png14. King of Thieves

In bringing together the real life tale of The Hatton Garden Robbery, an impressive cast is assembled, which makes it all the more a shame they're wasted on such lacklustre material. James Marsh seems to combine two separate ideas for the kind of film he wants to make, resulting in a mismatched pairing that begins as an all-out comedy dependant on elderly men swearing and making lazy age gags, before becoming an even darker tale. Unless you wish to see Michael Gambon pissing in a sink, this isn't something I'd recommend.

13. The Last Sharknado: It's About Time

It's bizarre to feel we've reached the finale to this SyFy franchise, but final entry or not, little has changed. The filmmakers are still throwing whatever they can against the wall, hoping to see what sticks, and refuse to let things like logic, or the actors inability to show range, get in the way of their attempts. Most damning is how, despite fire breathing sharks, a future Robot society, and all sorts of batshit time travel shenanigans, this is a forgettable entry that just feels like it's going through the motions. So long, awful Syfy franchise, and no thanks for all the fish.

Venom poster.jpg12. Venom

Considering how the superhero genre has changed over time, it feels like Ruben Fleischer has taken two steps back to deliver a genre entry which feels more at home pre-2008. The big-screen feature for the Spider-Man nemesis is unfortunately a disjointed mess with choppy and poorly lit action, which squanders a talented cast. This is especially true of Tom Hardy, whose performance bizarrely resembles Jim Carrey in one of his 90s comedy roles, complete with sitting in a Lobster Tank. There's great potential for a blackly comedic double act, but the creative process feels confusing by the time the pair making out.

Sherlock Gnomes.png11. Sherlock Gnomes

Of all the ways for the story of Gnomeo and Juliet to continue onwards, it's baffling that it's through not another Gnome adaptation of Shakespeare, but Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation. It's an odd choice which never feels justified, and the films existence seems to lie solely in poor puns (perhaps a dare was involved somewhere). Within are a cavalcade of characters whose personalities veer between bland and irritating, with Johnny Depp phoning it in for an assembly of the Detective's most irritating aspects, but the film is at its worst during an unsightly and borderline racist Chinatown sequence, which feels extremely antiquated.

Death wish 2017 poster.jpg10. Death Wish

In the current climate where gun control is a hotly debated topic, and gun crime is a regular newsworthy occurrence, it feels crass for Eli Roth to release such a film. Throughout, it feels the film is trying to be neutral about suck a topic, but the poor handling appears to uncomfortably lean towards the pro side of things. If we choose to look at the film as just a piece of action entertainment, the result isn't much better. A lifeless assembly which exists just to deliver on the gore, but it does little to liven things up when the poor script brings it all down. Then we come to Bruce Willis, standing front and centre alongside his inability to give a shit. Considering what horrible events happen to his family, you'd think he'd give more range than that of dropping your ice cream on the floor, but alas, we aren't so lucky.

The Open House.png
9. The Open House

By the time this Netflix feature came to a close, I was left to wonder what the bloody point of it all was. The dual directors take a mixture of lifeless elements and tries to combine them in the most poor of ways, in a manner like trying to make something half-decent out of Duplo, Mega Blocks, and shards of glass. The actors have little to work with, while there's no sense of foreboding, danger, or any kind of reason to it all, amounting to a waste of 94 minutes.

Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster.png8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald

As a longtime Harry Potter fan who devoured the books and endlessly rewatched the films during my formulative years, this is a crushing disappointment for me. The story is awkwardly structured, as it appears J.K. Rowling still hasn't gotten used to writing a screenplay, and David Yates puts the films focus on grimly shot spectacle, forced franchise callbacks, and conflict, all while building to answering a mystery we're expected to be fully invested in. Those involved want us to care for the characters and their routes, without putting the hard work and effort into making us believe in the transition, or delivering an actual character arc. If anything, a CG creation with no lines like The Niffler has more character in him, and impact on the plot, than a good amount of the characters played by real life people. This includes Grindlewald, the eponymous figure who's wasted on Johnny Depp's listless performance, and expect viewers to go along with it all on blind faith, without something interesting occurring in the time being.

Peter-rabbit-teaser.jpg7. Peter Rabbit

In adapting Beatrix Potter's beloved characters, it's clear the attempts are to be a heartwarming tale which simultaneously delivers laughs and characters worth getting behind, like what Paddington 2 accomplished so well. But by the end of this feature, I would've been overjoyed if it'd turned into Watership Down. There are likeable stretches involving a love story between the human characters, but it's lost in an increasingly convoluted narrative which escalates into being really mean spirited, to the point where dynamite is brought into play, and an Epipen is used. Then there's the title character, a lead who can't get over the loss of his father, who is turned into the absolute most unpleasant dickhead, whom I would've been glad to have seen cooked into a pie.

Mute poster.png6. Mute

It's wonderful the creative freedom that Netflix allows, so creative forces can breathe life into their long gestating projects. Duncan Jones' fourth feature film is one such project, which makes it all the more tragic how much of a frustratingly ill-handled drag the final product turned out to be. Led by an underwritten bartender who's mute and Amish, Alexander Skarsgård fails to deliver the necessary expressiveness to portray such a figure, while feeling unimportant to the whole story. Instead, the focus is on Justin Theroux and Paul Rudd, whose characters have seemingly integral aspects which are mind-bogglingly mishandled, coming off as lame twists akin to what M. Night Shyamalan was mocked for including in his films.

TruthorDarePoster.jpg5. Truth or Dare

Intent on putting a deathly twist on a childhood game, Jeff Wadlow seems intent on delivering a Final Destination style flick for the Snapchat generation. Instead, we're given something unbelievably cheap and tacky, which comes off as incredibly tame and toothless through it's over reliance on jump scares, fronted by beings with a laughably distorted face. Despite four credited screenwriters, none of them seem able to craft a reason to care for these future-corpses, putting more focus on bogging things down with exposition, in an effort to keep introducing and justifying the inclusion of new rules. It's unfair to call this a bottom of the barrel horror film, as the barrel should not be lumped in with this rubbish.

Holmes & Watson.png4. Holmes & Watson

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as London's premiere crime solving duo? Stranger casting decision have reaped great results, but the same cannot be said here. Ferrell is miscast as the lead, never able to decide if he'd rather play the arrogant man of genius intellect, or a bumbling moron lucky to not have accidentally killed himself by tripping on his own shoelaces. He's a chore to be in the company of, while Reilly appears to only be there to be belittled until the obvious character arc rears its head. Everyone else, especially the female stars, are wasted on characters who are the butt of dragged out jokes, while the actual jokes are indeed dragged out to frustration proportions. A 90 minute runtime has rarely felt so impossible to finish. The game may be afoot, but the film is a-fucking terrible.

Slender Man (2018) poster.jpg3. Slender Man

In the hands of the right director, this supernatural figure could've been the basis for a Ringu for the internet generation. Instead, it's less tense than an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, as the eponymous figures every appearance is extremely signposted, to the point a flashing sign may as well also appear, displaying the words "HE'S OVER HERE!". Characters go against what the lacking script has clarified about who they are, for no good reason, while whole plot threads are left unresolved, and the scares are non-existent. It's a hideous and laughable piece of thudding incompetence, proving as scary as a box of Cornflakes, and making for a moronic and frustrating experience.

Fifty Shades Freed poster.png2. Fifty Shades Freed

We come to the final entry into this film series, and considering its beginnings, it's rather fitting it comes off as poorly written fan-fiction. It's a needless entry that never justifies its existence, accomplishing little the previous film didn't already do. There's more of Christian being a petulant child, glamorising toxic and controlling behaviour, while the romance is more believable if you see the pair as entirely materialistic.  The laughable thriller elements return, because you can't base sequels only around limp sex scenes, and it amounts to a feature as welcome as genital warts.

A black and white photograph of a man in a business suit. In bold orange text the tagline: He showed the world who's boss.1. Gotti

A real life tale which has long languished in development hell, the story of John Gotti is brought to screen through the combined efforts of John Travolta, and Entourage star Kevin Connolly sitting in the directors chair. The end result is a boring assortment of every Gangster movie cliche, while including a baffling romanticism for the lifestyle, an outright refusal to treat the eponymous figure as anything less than a deity, and a complete disappearance of anything resembling character. All while Travolta mumbles ham-fisted dialogue, and wears a constant grimace that looks like he's trying not to shit himself. This is proof that, not only can you not polish a turd, but you can't replicate the success of Goodfellas by ripping it off in such a witless manner.

Agree/Disagree with my choices? Be sure to voice your opinions in the comments below.