18 December 2016

Fuck you, James Wan. Fuck you, Mike Flanagan. Fuck you, Rob Zombie. etc. - Maynard's ranting about what a terrible Horror-Movie-year 2016 has been.

As of lately, I realized how many articles about "Horror is dead / not dead / still alive / etc." or "Horror in 2016 is awesome / amazing / etc." popped up on the internet this year. Especially Clickbait Headquarter Bloody Disgusting was very aggressive in posting stuff about it, be it articles like this one http://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3405408/2016-one-best-years-horror-ever/


Horror movies in 2016... well, nearly all of them felt as if they were made in a way as if the director, the writer, the studio etc. wanted and tried to please absolutely ANYONE and EVERYONE. While a movie like "Lights Out" worked because it targeted the core horror audience and NO-ONE else, movies like the "Conjuring" sequel soooo didn't work because they felt more like the were created by some computer program, and not actually written or directed by a human... a program that was fed with various keywords that should appeal to EVERY potential target audience.
I'm sorry (not), but that's not  how horror works. Look at the great horror classics of the last 100 years. Someone tried to create something without thinking about any kind of target audience. Romero didn't make "Night of the Living Dead" for people who went to the movies for simple entertainment. Carpenter didn't make "Halloween" for bored kids and teenagers. Argento didn't make "Suspiria" for people who were longing for the good old days of b/w horror and shit. Kubrick didn't make "The Shining" for... well, Kubrick didn't care at all. And so on, and so on.

In 2016, almost no-one works like this anymore. Even directors that were super-promising just a few years ago, they now completely sold their souls to the studios (James Wan), or they simply don't care about the stuff they're churning out (Rob Zombie).

Before I start to rant about all the bad horror flicks of 2016 (in no particular order), a quick reminder to all the active horror directors out there:
~ Just because you include lots of long shots or scenes that take place in the dark with no music in the background, doesn't make a movie automatically suspenseful.
~ Just because you include beautiful caucasian families living in neat-looking suburban houses, doesn't make these families likable.
~ Enough with final plot twists! Enough! No one can stand this shit anymore!


I should have known it beforehand. The signs were there:
a) James Wan's "Insidious" sequel, as well as all of his co-produced flicks "Annabelle", "Insidious 3" and "Demonic" were all huge disappointments.
b) The idea of making a "Conjuring" sequel about the Enfield Poltergeist case is crap because the Warrens had basically nothing to do with it.
c) The trailers for "The Conjuring 2" all looked lame.

Guess what: right, I hated it. It was 2 hours of the same old jump scares Wan already (over)used in pretty much all of his previous horror films, 2 hours of oh-so-funky camera angles and god-awful CGI effects, 2 hours of loud noises, stupid character decisions, supposed-to-be-deep-but-not-deep-at-all dialogue and super-exaggerated acting, not mentioning Franka Potente's terrible accent(s) and Patrick Wilson doing a completely pointless Elvis impersonation. Though the worst thing about it was the fact that Wan really wanted to make us believe that this was based on true events... ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? This has NOTHING to do with what happened... er, with was documented back then. This is just directors and screenwriters going completely and totally nuts, putting every single thought they come up with into the movie.

I'm quoting Vincent Canby from his famous "The Godfather II" Review:
"Everything of any interest was thoroughly covered in the original film, but like many people who have nothing to say, "Part 2" won't shut up."


Omg what happened to the guy who once scared the living hell out of me with the amazing "Absentia"? I was already disappointed by "Oculus", but compared to the three Flanagan filsm that were released this year, "Oculus" was a frigging masterpiece.
That's it. No more Flanagan movies for me in the future. This guy is a hack and I totally don't get certain people's love for this guy, even comparing him to John Carpenter...

Quoting IMDB User rabbitmoon:
"Comparing John Carpenter to Mike Flanagan, (...) its one of those things that if you need to explain, there's almost no point in explaining? 

Carpenter made Halloween out of passion and love of the craft. Something you don't find as much of these days. Flanagan doesn't care as much about his craft or his audience and it shows - he's just out to get a film made, for the sake of it, and doesn't really have the intelligence or subtlety to make anything that would gather as much acclaim as Halloween."


Granted, this prequel to the awful 2014 stinker is a tad better... but only a tad. An uncreepy-looking girl. A couple of really shite-looking CGI effects (that awful wide-open-mouth!). Repetitive and unbelievably predictable jump scares galore. Scenes, plot elements and dialogue we've seen and heard thousands of time before. And Flanagan's desperate attempt to make it look like a 70s horror film - totally didn't work for me. Ti West's "The House of the Devil" may be overrated, but at least it totally succeeded in looking like a movie from an older era,

Kevin Tenney's "Witchboard" will always be the best Ouija-themed horror movie of all time. Christ, even "Witchboard 2" and "Witchboard 3" are better than this.

Quoting IMDB user LogicOfTheGaps:
"Have cinema standards dropped so low that white eyes and jump scares are now all it takes to satisfy audiences and critics? Not only was there no original scares, the only actual scares were all jump scares, other than that I can't recall a single identifiable, memorable scene."


The first 20 minutes or so were pretty cool. Then the home-invasion-intruder takes off his mask, the screenwriters take out their brains and go batshit stupid, and Flanagan starts stumbling around, grinning, masturbating because he loves his movie and his main actress (his wife) so much, constantly mumbling "Who cares if it's stupid?".
I think after the first half I already hated the movie so fucking much, I totally didn't care about the rest, even though it got dumber and shittier and more idiotic by the minute.

More rabbitmoon quoting:
"It's like the opening scene of Scream dragged out for 90 minutes."


Bla bla beautiful, boring family living in a bla bla beautiful-looking, bland house adopting a bla bla oh-so-kewt kid who's madly in love with bla bla CGI butterflies and who's haunted by the Babadook... um, no, the Crooked Man... no, wait, the Boogeyman...? the Gingerbread Man...? Ah, the Canker Man! Doesn't matter who. It's all just tons and tons of cheap-looking CGI, and oh-so-suspenseful long scenes in the dark with no music, and bad jump scares, and annoyingly bland characters. And it's all SOOO FUCKING PREDICTABLE!! And, boy, did Thomas Jane's wig look horrid! And boy, is that kid unnerving!

Quoting IMDB user vulturemountforlife:
"Seriously what is with horror movies nowadays? We can't just have a good scary movie anymore with an interesting plot. No no the movie has to be jam packed with 'deep' moments and the monster has to represent some kind of human problem. So this monster represents cancer? Wow great job, this movie is so deep. Instant 10/10."


Really? A new Blair Witch movie, 16 years after the last one? And not the long-rumored prequel, but simply a semi-remake of the first one? Adam Wingard has always been a hit-or-miss director for me, but this one took the cake. A lame-titled super-lazy more-of-the-same-rehash of "The Blair Witch Project" that tries so fucking hard to be the next huge found footage hit (at a time where found footage isn't exactly the next big thing...), it's insane. Stupid characters doing stupid things, the forest goes fucking apeshit, way too many way-too-loud noises and way too many way-too-wild camera movements, the end. Really??

Quoting Stephen Whitty, NJ.com:
"The Blair Witch Project" was different, and that's why it worked.
"Blair Witch" isn't - and that's why it doesn't.


I had my hopes for this after William Brent Bell's last movie, the highly underrated werewolf-chiller "Wer" - alas, he decided to go back to "Devil Inside"- and "Stay Alive"-levels with a dull doll-horror-turd that makes you wanna re-watch "Dolly Dearest" ten times in a row. Dumb characters doing dumb things, laughable jump scares galore, and surely one of the shittiest, most absurd plot twists in recent history, a twist so fucking unnecessary, you wanna beat Bell to death with a VHS tape of "Bad Ronald" and a DVD tape of "The Pact".

 Quoting IMDB user jeffa123:
 Film summary: Housebound 2.
- "Have you seen 'The Boy'?"
- "No, but I've seen 'Housebound'."
- "So, yes then."


Nicolas Windign Refn doing a horror movie is like Adam Sandler doing a sophisticated drama - it just doesn't work. Although it's a visual treat, pretty much everything else about is lame, be it the non-existent character development, the silly dialogue, the plot which was basically ripped off the similarly bad "Starry Eyes", Elle Fanning's unconvicing performance, the horrid writing that desperately tries to make us believe that Fanning is oh-so-stunningly-beautiful, as well as the rather wacky ending and the complete absenece of tension or suspense. Good thing: it bombed like crazy at the box office.

Quoting Stephen Whitty, BJ.com:
"It's as if "2000 Maniacs" moved to "Mulholland Drive," took some acid, and decided to completely reboot "Suspiria."
And if you can follow all those movie references, it might be the movie for you.
Although I kind of doubt it."


A shot-for-shot remake of a movie that was made just 14 years ago? Made by some untalented, unexperienced douchebag with the same script Eli Roth used 14 years ago? And actually produced by Eli Roth himself? Worlds like retarded or subhuman fail to describe what I think of the peeps involved in this giant piece of dreck.

I watched the first 20 minutes or so, then I turned off. It's not bad, it's insulting and revolting on a level that makes me puke.

Quoting IMDB user Invicta (Andrew Gold):
"This Cabin Fever reboot fails in every way imaginable."


A movie so dumb, so stupid, so imbecile and so fucking frustrating, I'm at a loss for words. None of the characters are any kind of likable or sympathetic. All of them are such fucking cunts, there's absolutely nothing about them that makes me care about what happens to them. There are so many oh-so-shocking plot twists... I think, after the 7th twist or so, it's just annoying and you just wanna stop Alvarez and send him home. Oh, did I mention that the blind guy is some kinda white-trash-variation of DareDevil? And what about the rape-subplot that is disgusting, superfluous and utterly crappy. What a piece of cinematic shit.

P.S. The whole film long I had the feeling that Alvarez was sitting next to me,
a) reminding me of turning off my fucking brain, and
b) telling me all the time "You didn't see that coming, did you? You totally didn't see that coming, huh? Huh? HUH???"

Quoting Devin Faraci, BirthMoviesDeath.com:
"This movie is terrible even before it gets rapey."


What I expected: a silly J-Horror parody in the vein of Nobori Iguchi's works with lots of badass "Freddy vs Jason"-like fights between the one black-haired ghost girl and the other black-haired ghost girl.

What I got: a super-boring, extremely unfunny and disastrously disappointing trashfest that shits on all the fans of the Ringu-series by changing the curse and the videotape without any kind of explanation, and it also shits on the fans of the Ju-On series by giving us almost no Kayako action - WTF? And the ending... the ending... ok, that 's not even a proper ending, that's just an unfinished, lazily made shit-CGI-orgy that made me scream "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME" so loud, even Toshio could hear me, and you can be sure, it made him piss his pants.

Quoting Christian Siegel, alifein24fps.com:
"This mashup of both franchises, (...) which comes at least 10 years too late anyway, is a disappointingly lazy attempt to cash in on their popularity."


Mickey Keating is the most talentless director of the last few years. He's a complete hack who thinks rapid editing techniques and general over-editing makes a movie good. Ok, "Pod" wasn't that bad, but "Darling"... my goodness, what the fuck was that? A piss-poor rip-off of Roman Polanski's "Repulsion", dull, boring, over-edited to the max completely convoluted and directed in such an incredibly pretentious way, it makes me wanna kick his arse so fucking hard, he'll never ever be able to sit in a director's chair again. Poor Sean Young wasting her pretty face in this artsy-fartsy piece of crap.

Quoting IMDB user GeF_fEn:
"Some say homage to Polanski's Repulsion, but there is a line between homage and plagiarism and this movie clearly crossed that line."


Hey! Another remake of Polanski's "Repulsion"! In terms of pretentious direction and convoluted build-up, very similar to "Darling", though much more amateurish, even more boring. The oh-so-clever marketing tries to sell it as a horror film, although it's just a mildly eerie boredom-drama that feels more like an unfinished student film. For some reason Joe Dante produced this turd. WHY?? I have no fucking clue. Was he drunk? or high? Did someone blackmail him?

Quoting IMDB user Kenny_Tha_Killa: "I have no idea why I watched this until the end. I suppose I was waiting for something to happen that would tie everything together and have it all make sense. It never did. This film is a complete waste of time."


Congrats to Mr. Zombie on making a movie that is even worse than his pathetic "Halloween II". People who criticized "House of 1000 Corpses" or "The Lords of Salem" - trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet. "31" is a nothing of a movie. It's the laziest and most inane thing he has ever done. An armada of stupid, bland, totally uninteresting idiot-characters, constantly spouting out words like "fuck" or "cocksucker" over and over again. The editing is cheap and super-amateurish, there's zero tension, scariness or atmosphere, the settings look cheap, and it's all so fucking unnerving, it makes Halloween II look like Citizen Kane. To quote one of his hit records: "What have I done?
I feel so bad, I feel so numb."

Quoting Arrow in the Head:
"For me, it was an endlessly frustrating, disheartening experience. Perhaps Zombie's got another The Lords of Salem in him, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't."

I could go on and on. I could rant about THE SHALLOWS (its only likable characters is a seagull!), about The VVITCH (much too religious for me), about ALL GIRLS WEEKEND (utterly stupid lesbian semi-redo of "The Descent"), about ATTACK OF THE LEDERHOSEN ZOMBIES (Austria has no frigging idea how a good zom-com works)...

 ...but I think it's enough now. Horror in 2016 sucked so damn hard, it's sad. No wonder I started to ecxessively collect Italian Horror films on DVD in summer which is now my #1 hobby. Yup, I'm serious. Nothing makes me more happy than getting my hands on a used copy of Andrea Bianchi's "The Massacre" or a VHS-rip DVD-ROM of Gianfranco Gagni's "Spider Labyrinth" :-)

Blogging? Er, not so much. There will be a Best/Worst-of-2016 post coming in the next few weeks, but other than that, I have no idea what I will do with this site. Want me to do more rants? Want me to post my new acquisitions? In case you care, let me know.

In the meantime, I stick to watchng the horror films of the old days, you know, the ones that were made by actual people, the ones with no CGI at all.
Modern Horror can suck my balls.


  1. "Though the worst thing about it was the fact that Wan really wanted to make us believe that this was based on true events..." Didn't he already do the same thing in the first one, though?

    Personally, I liked some of the movies mentioned here, and LOVED "Conjuring 2". However, when speaking about the overall trend in horror cinema (and how wrong articles like the ones you mentioned by Bloody Disgusting are), I couldn't agree more.

  2. Hey man, nice rant, I appreciate it as I´ve seen all this (crappy) new movies and helluva more. So I am happy that we share very similar opinions (except for The Conjuring 2), in the end that´s the reason why over the years you became my favorite horror critic - similar genre taste & opinions.
    And this is my 1st comment here - ever :)
    Btw. loved your october-carpenter-article; that man is my idol and even reading about his movies makes me always happy.
    Btw.2 if you can/ want, check the movie "Black Mountain Side" - it´s an independent, creepy homage to "The Thing" and one of my this year´s favorites :)
    Looking forward for more articles, rants, whatever.. your fan David from Slovakia

  3. Hi Maynard,
    I to enjoy Italian horror and have a shit load of DVD's and DVD-R's. I enjoy your site a lot but have a question. How come you did away with the way you can access the reviews? You used to have them all listed alphabetically in catagories like A-C, D-F, ETC. Now it's all by year and month. The old way was much better and easier to see what all reviews you have. Please bring it back.


  4. Welp, I'm starting to think I might be your Bizarro version, as in I enjoy a lot of movies you don't. Does that make me weird? 8Y

    Personally, I didn't really give a lot of damn about 2016. For me it's just another year with okay movies and few really good ones. Not a lot you would recognize nor appreciate but good nonetheless...for me.

    Anywho, here's hoping 2017 will be better! I heard they're finally making a full length Terrifier film!


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