As I said in my list of best horror films of 2019, this has been a great year for horror. Unfortunately, not all the horror movies made this year are as great. This list includes my least favorite or least memorable horror movies I saw that came out in 2019, most of which I had high expectations for that left me disappointed. I didn’t include any movies that I didn’t watch, and so it is probably missing the horror movies that I knew were going to suck and didn’t bother to see (Jacob’s Ladder, Countdown). Here are the 5 horror films that disappointed me the most that I saw in 2019.
Worst 5 Horror Films of 2019
5. Velvet Buzzsaw
This movie suffered from trying to reinvent the genre and be more interesting, which I have to admit, I applaud as a bold move. Unfortunately, making risky decisions will either work or won’t, and in my opinion it just didn’t work. This Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) film had some heavy acting muscle behind it, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, John Malkovich and Toni Collette, and the story in theory was definitely interesting, but the way that it was executed was just bizarre in a goofy way. The movie has the tone of a satirical Final Destination movie without the memorable deaths and “scariness.”
The movie was supposed to be critical of capitalism and the hollowness of the art scene, but to accomplish that AND to be scary, this film needed to do a lot more. It even lacks any fun that would have saved it from a future of obscurity, but at least we have another wacky Jake Gyllenhaal character. What’s most disappointing is to see this as the film made from the director of the much more dark and tense Nightcrawler.
4. The Prodigy
There’s not much to say about this film, because it was so incredibly pointless. The marketing for this film made it seem like it was more than just a carbon copy of every “evil kid” movie, but it was not. Absolutely nothing in this movie was new or interesting and the performances were more than bland. The namesake of the film, the child being a prodigy, never turns out to have any real influence on the plot past the first third of this movie.
I thought it was a weird decision to make Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) the mother in this and I still feel that way after viewing. Weird. The ending ALMOST makes the film more interesting than it is, but it’s too little and too late making this film mediocre. Your time would better be spent watching any of the other child killer movies that this movie copied.
3. 3 from Hell
It hurts my heart to think of the newest film by director/musician Rob Zombie. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but comparing it to House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, which 3 From Hell follows the plot of, it is clear that it isn’t nearly up to par. Reviving the Firefly clan from their epic death scene at the end of The Devil’s Rejects should have been for something meaningful and just as grand of a movie as the previous two, but this film plodded along in its disinterest in the plot and the future of the killers.
Sadly, Sid Haig’s (Captain Spaulding) failing health kept him from taking part in most of the movie, leading his “role” in the group to be switched out with a new character played by Richard Brake (Doom-Head in 31) which, don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t bad in playing, but it lacked any memorable oomph, especially compared to Captain Spaulding. Sheri Moon Zombie returns as Baby, playing pretty much the same character she has always done, but this time with some more truly bizarre scenes resulting from PTSD. Bill Moseley returns as Otis Driftwood, but even his performance feels comical in the lack of action throughout the film.
The only interesting new character I found in this film was Jeff Daniel Phillips (31) as the prison warden, who is only in it for a short section. If you are a fan of the previous two movies in this storyline, I would not recommend ruining the end of The Devil’s Rejects for this, making it one of my worst horror films of 2019.
2. It Chapter 2
I wasn’t a big fan of It (2017) but I will admit it was an okay movie that had a huge impact culturally. I could not say the same for the second chapter of the story. Whether you want to blame it on the book or the filmmaker (maybe a little of both) this movie suffered from a poorly thought out plot. The scenes moved forward more like a video game, with the main characters completing task after task to move forward in their mission to destroy the murderous clown, with Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) in a bizarre role as some sort of task giver in this dull film. The performances were half-assed, although I think James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough screaming at a biking kid in the middle of the road was one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen this year, which I’m pretty sure was not the intention of the filmmaker at all. I hope that this film doesn’t sully the reputation of the first too much, and honestly hope that this franchise quits while it’s still ahead.
I actually was into the first half of this film by Babak Anvari (director of the groundbreaking film Under the Shadow). I was excited to see the new film from this director and I was also a huge fan of Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson and wanted to see them together in a horror movie. The premise it started with was intriguing enough, and it had a spooky tone that was supported by some disturbing imagery. That is, sadly, all the good I have to say for this movie.
Around the halfway mark, I started realizing that none of the events happening in this film would ever relate to each other. It seems like the director had a bunch of different shots and ideas in mind that he wanted to use, but didn’t know how to turn them into a coherent plot. By the end of the film, I was so confused with all the things that had been brought up and never mentioned again I was surprised that it ended the way it did with no resolution whatsoever. Overall, the visuals were not bad, but the story was so poorly thought out I couldn’t recommend this film to anyone. If, by chance, you want to watch a film like The Ring and don’t want to pay attention, maybe this is your film.
So there are my choices for 5 worst movies of 2019. All of these movies disappointed me in their own ways, and mostly from filmmakers that I support. I can only hope that they bounce back from these sub par films.