I’m not the biggest fan of “worst-of” lists. Even if something strikes me the wrong way, I try my damndest to be respectful of the Herculean effort it takes to create almost any art, let alone something as collaborative and time consuming as a movie.
Yet sometimes films come along that so offend the senses, it feels painful to not talk about what exactly bothers you so much. Under ordinary circumstances the worst horror films of the year are almost universally agreed upon. In that case, I wouldn’t bother writing this. What’s the point of adding one more boot that’s kicking something already down?
In the case of the horror films below, there almost seems to be a collective understanding to ignore their awfulness. The puzzling fact is that one of the films below not only seems to appear on every respectable “best of” list for 2018, it tops more than half the lists. While I’m not foolish enough to believe in payola for positive reviews between studios and reviewers, I’m convinced that there’s a secret cabal holding hostage film twitter’s collective pets and favorite ironic cardigans with the promise to do them great harm in negative word about these titles leak.
Without further ado, my least favorite horror films of 2018.
10.MANDY I don’t understand the near universal praise this film receives. I was promised almost two hours of a blood soaked Nicolas Cage running through the forest carving up hoodlums and thugs with machetes and chainsaws. Instead I got a feature length advertisement for an insomnia cure scored by a sixth rate Styx cover band. If the mark of genius can be set at “throw a red filter over 90% of your shots and have everyone move like their trying to sprint through the shallow end of a swimming pool” then the bar has been lowered considerably.
9.MANDY It’s not like this film is even peak Cage for 2018. That distinction goes to the wonderfully bonkers Mom & Dad. Give me 90 minutes of mid-life crisis Nic Cage and Selma Blair trying to murder their offspring any day of the week.
8.MANDY One of the many problems I had with this movie is its main villain. Linus Roache exudes the exact opposite of menace every second he’s on screen. The dude resembles former WWF and WCW wrestler “Double J” Jeff Jarrett. Do you remember this guy? His gimmick was at MV a country western singer behind the “hit song” See My Baby Tonight, except it was discovered later on that the time was actually sung by his roadie, known as, um, The Roadie. His primary heat getting move was an exaggerated take on the Ric Flair strut.
Later on during the Attitude Era, Jarrett cut his hair, started calling people “slap nuts” and hitting them with weak guitar shots. He was the one guy Stone Cold Steve Austin flat out refused to work out since Jarrett was such a stingy asshole to Austin and other up and comers back when the worked the Memphis territory a decade prior.
I’m sorry, I’m not taking a guy who lost the WCW world heavyweight championship to David Freaking Arquette (Mr. Officer Dewey himself, aka the 2018 Hardcore Legend) as a serious threat to anyone.
7. MANDY Fuck the Cheddar Goblin.
6. MANDY The near universal praise this film receives makes me wary of film twitter. How can one entity that’s not the NRA get so much so wrong as a collective unit? The further I got into Mandy, the more I felt like I’d been duped. I started to hope that a medium terrible fate would beset on each and every person who gave this hunk of garbage a positive review. Watching Mandy made me feel like I was in my own Truman Show with 1000s of people pulling my collective chain and laughing at me for give me this film a shot.
People who say Mandy is the craziest movie they have seen all year watched two movies in 2018. Mandy & Hotel Transylvania 3.
5. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? Just checking to see if you’re still paying attention. I don’t mean this. I’m not some kind of monster.
Anyways, this idea seemed much more clever when I first thought of it.
Also, if you were like me-left a blubbery mess with a theater filled with other middle age white couples that listen to more than their fair share of NPR-didn’t you hope that there’d be an out of left field reveal in the doc. Like, maybe Mr. Rogers had some out there kinks that had never been revealed before?
4. MANDY I hate this movie so much that not only would I vote for Trump, I’d actively CAMPAIGN for him if he promised to build a wall and put people who gave Mandy a positive review on the other side of it. “Lock them Up!!”
I would rather cosplay the last act of Martyrs in real time than finish watching Mandy.
3. MANDY this may sound harsh, but when it comes to this movie, I hope that everyone involved in bringing it to life one day finds that everything they ever loved has turned to ash in their fingers. I am 100% serious and not at all being hyperbolic.
2. MANDY My biggest problem with the film is not that it fails to deliver on what it promised-a non-stop Nic Cage blood fest-but that waits far too long to deliver on that promise and then gets it all over with far too quickly.
Imagine that you’re promised the world’s greatest chocolate cake. A dessert so rich and delicious that grandchildren would push their Nana’s down a flight of stairs just to get a giant slab of it in front of their gaping maws.
Now imagine that before you can eat that cake, you have to devour a buffet sized trench filled with nothing but steamed cauliflower. Not only that, you can’t season it up with any butter, salt, pepper or seasoning. You can do nothing but cram hundreds of forkfuls of plain, tasteless, stinky cauliflower down your fillet for ninety minutes.
It’s all right though because you’re reward for gorging on the Devil’s favorite vegetable is once in a lifetime opportunity to indulge yourself with the world’s greatest dessert. Giddy with anticipation, you start to imagine the flecks of icing that will settle into your beard, offering a delicious reminder of the dessert that was.
Except when you swallow down that last forkful of white mush, and your distended gut starts rumbling as the high fiber engine starts to rev up for a toilet destroying turd in the near future, you get hosed. Instead of a thick slab of cocoa, sugar, flour and buttercream that you can dive into with two fists, your server offers up a morsel that fails to even cover the four prints of your dessert fork. All that pain and suffering you endured was rewarded with a treat that could be hidden underneath a postage stamp.
That’s what ticks me off so much about this movie. You have to sit through ninety minutes of a nothing burger before the film finally shows it’s hand. It’s too little, way too late.
1.MANDY I’ll leave you with this thought: When I was 19 my dad went in for surgery to have his cancerous bladder removed. He’d been in remission off and on since I turned 8, and the decision was made to remove it once and for all since it had never spread to any other part of his body, but had never gone away long enough where he was considered fully recovered.
It should have been an easy surgery. He may have had to stay a night or two afterwards,but then he’d be home for rest and rehabilitation.
Well, something went wrong. During the surgery, my dad caught an infection. I came home from school and visited him over the Easter holiday, and didn’t recognize the man whose skin had yellowed almost overnight, and who was reduced to sobbing with pain in between eating ice chips.
A week later my dad was put into a medically induced coma while his team of doctors tried to fight his infection. Nothing took. On a Friday morning I was told to drive up from college and go straight to the hospital. When I walked into the room, my dad had ballooned in size. If you poked his forearm you could almost feel the liquid inside him slooshing around while your finger left an imprint. His skin had turned purplish yellow. Overnight, the infection had spread throughout his body. His brain activity had shut down overnight, and the machines were doing all the work.
My mom made the call to take him off support and to say goodbye. We held his hands and she whispered to the man she was about to celebrate twenty years of marriage with that summer that it was okay to go to sleep, that he didn’t have to fight anymore. I held his hand and cried when the machine flatlined.
What I’m telling you is I would rather relive that awful day than ever watch Mandy again