Some of these movie choices may prove rather divisive.
Let’s talk about the most disappointing movies of 2019…
But first, we’d just like to say that it’s been an incredible year for cinema! Sure, there have been some lows, but there have been far more highs.
Across the year, we’ve experienced such highlights as An Elephant Sitting Still, Burning, The Wild Pear Tree, Booksmart, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker, The Nightingale, Vox Lux… honestly, we could go on.
However, we’re not here to talk about the best, but rather, the films which left us feeling unfulfilled. The efforts which didn’t quite work for us. So, let’s dive into it!
10. Annabelle Comes Home
The Conjuring is an incredibly effective slice of horror cinema, but the same cannot be said for 2014’s Annabelle.
Most agreed that it was a quick cash-in parading around jump scares, but the sequel was actually a pleasant surprise. David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation arrived in 2017, and while it brought nothing new to the table, it was a very well-orchestrated horror film, managing to scare and unsettle both audiences and critics.
It was proof that the Annabelle run of the franchise could take us to some frightening places, but unfortunately, the third entry just felt like a lazy step-down.
We’re sure it’ll make many similar lists, but that’s if people actually manage to remember seeing it.
9. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
This should’ve been an absolute blast, and briefly, it was.
The franchise prides itself on offering high-octane, ridiculous thrills, but the chemistry between stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham simply wasn’t enough to fill a nearly two-and-a-half-hour blockbuster.
Disappointingly, none of the action sequences felt as impressive as the ones scattered throughout the last few instalments. By the end, you’re likely to feel totally underwhelmed.
Alexandre Aja has proven in the past that he’s a pretty great filmmaker.
He previously helmed the remake of The Hills Have Eyes which stands out as one of the better horror remakes of the new century, and then there’s also 2013’s Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe.
However, the film in his oeuvre which made Crawl sound so promising is Piranha 3D. He was clearly having a lot of fun with that, but for a film rolling with a similar premise, he takes Crawl far too seriously for its own good.
7. Pet Sematary
We’ve been treated to some really great Stephen King adaptations lately, but after watching Pet Sematary, it’s clear that this was the most unnecessary.
Sure, the performances and look of the film manage to satisfy, but the film takes no creative risks to justify reimagining such a tale. It feels like a jaw-dropping final act is on the way for much of the narrative, but sadly, it just never comes. There are admirable elements of the production, but on the whole, this could have been far more.
6. The Lion King
The Lion King live-action CGI reboot was inevitable.
But, it was also really bad. Director Jon Favreau did a satisfying job of reimagining Disney’s The Jungle Book for new audiences, but here, it all just feels a tad too pointless.
The vocal performances don’t match the faces of the animals, which is incredibly off-putting throughout. Visually, the team conjure up some beautiful shots, but beyond that, this brings absolutely nothing new to a tale which has already been told perfectly.
5. The Souvenir
Joanna Hogg’s latest has been declared the very best film of 2019 in Sight & Sound’s end of the year list.
It has received great praise from critics, audiences and even filmmakers, but obviously, you can’t please everyone. This tale of a film student’s relationship with a drug-addicted older gentleman will test the patience of some.
Why? Because the characters at its core are so unengaging. The screenplay feels lacking, and by the last act, you simply want to leave the pair to it. It’s good that many have admired it though, considering there’s a sequel on the way!
4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot received a lot of hate when it was released in 2014, largely because audiences agreed there wasn’t enough screentime given to the titular monster. It’s a fair argument, and the sequel promised to delivered fans more action and spectacle.
Unfortunately, all of the throwdown sequences feel so poorly orchestrated – it’s hard to make out what’s going on a lot of the time. The first instalment was criticised for poor characterisation, and it’s clear they made no attempt to strive for better in this department with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It was difficult to care about much of anything going on.
Godzilla vs. Kong isn’t exactly looking promising after this.
3. The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, there’s no question…
Reflecting on his wonderful filmography – Mystery Train, Dead Man, Stranger Than Paradise, Paterson etc. – it’s clear he has so many gems under his belt.
However, The Dead Don’t Die sits (un)comfortably as his most disappointing effort to date. He offered a great take on the vampire sub-genre with Only Lovers Left Alive earlier in the decade, but his exercise in the zombie genre feels lifeless. It boasts a great cast, but the self-aware material they’re dealing with never feels as funny as Jim seems to think it is. In fact, it barely succeeds in raising a laugh at all.
As the last act rolls around and he lays out his commentary with no subtlety whatsoever, you can’t help but feel everybody involved could have aimed for better.
How did this one turn out to be so bad!?
We’ve already seen Hellboy depicted on the screen perfectly by Ron Perlman in two Guillermo del Toro films. The second instalment set things up for a third, and yet, a reboot was announced instead.
The news annoyed many, but when director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) was announced, hopes were high. When casting came around, with Stranger Things‘ David Harbour and Sasha Lane (American Honey) in a supporting role, hopes were once again raised.
Yet, the film arrived and proved to be an attempt to cash in on the R-rated superhero success of Deadpool, without any of the charisma. The script, visuals and general story all contribute to a trainwreck of a film, with no saving grace.
1. 3 From Hell
Was the wait worth it?
Absolutely not! Fans have been pleading for a sequel to 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects for years, despite the very grisly ending making it appear an impossibility.
However, director Rob Zombie (Halloween, 31) made it possible; it’s just that many feel he shouldn’t have.
He essentially recycles the narrative of The Devil’s Rejects and twists and turns it a little just to persuade audiences that it’s something new, but there is nothing new to be experienced here. As we reach the final shot, it feels sad to say that Rob may simply have no stories left to tell.
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