Tag Archives: Area 51

Worst Films of 2015

Now that I’ve gotten by Best Films of 2015 out of the way, here are the worst.

Special Mention

Southpaw – I kind of wish I gave it a lower rating than 2 stars because it deserves a place on my list. Okay, so it’s not one of the top 10 worst films of 2015, but it certainly is my most disappointing film of that year for all the lazy boxing cliches and complete lack of real-world authenticity. Read the full review by clicking on the title because I don’t want to go through all my grievances again.

Dishonorable Mentions

Aloha, The Boy Next Door, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Lazarus Effect, Unnatural, The Vatican Tapes, Deep Dark, Blunt Force Trauma

Some of the usual suspects here, but also a lot of low budget horror movies.

The List

10. Point Break

Huge budget. Huge stinker. This film deserves a spot on my list for destroying the memory of one of my favourite films growing up. They really should have changed the name of the film and the characters and marketed it as a different movie. Wouldn’t have made it less shit, but it would have made it less offensive.

9. Extraction

Bruce Willis is heading toward Nicolas Cage territory. This vanilla action-thriller offers virtually nothing new, interesting or exciting.

8. The Transporter Refueled

Was never a big fan of the Transporter franchise, even when Jason Statham was headlining it. Exchange him with significantly less charismatic Ed Skrein (he was OK in Deadpool as the villain), make the production shittier by 40%-50%, and this is the film you end up with.

7. Poltergeist

I recall the original 1982 Poltergeist was scary. I will recall the 2015 remake as laughably bad. Zero tension, zero atmosphere, zero scares. It’s a complete and utter mess.

6. Area 51

I was a little excited by this movie because I used to be obsessively fascinated by Area 51, the place where the government stashes all the secret alien stuff if conspiracy theorists are to be believed. But they really dropped the ball on this one. Part of it is the low budget (looks and feels cheap), part of it is the awful found-footage trope, and part of it is that it’s just plain bad. I almost feel bad for putting this film on the list because it’s so amateurish.

5. Hot Pursuit

In any other year, this might be the worst comedy of the year (see below). I like the actresses (Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara), but this was just so lame and cringeworthy that I couldn’t help but feel extremely disappointed — for them and for myself.

4. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

This entry should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my Worst Of lists, as Paranormal Activity is always bound to make an appearance. The scariest part of this film is that it could actually be the worst of the entire franchise. Shudder.

3. Mortdecai

I didn’t believe in the rumours so I checked it out for myself. Huge mistake. This was one of the few times in my life that I’ve actually felt embarrassed for the actors in a movie. It really is that criminally unfunny.

2. The Gallows

The premise of a death haunting a school play seemed like a decent idea, and yet somehow the filmmakers made the worst of it. The result was a shoddy, nonsensical production and an unwatchable horror flick without any scares.

1. Lost After Dark

If there is one thing this year’s Worst Of list has taught me, it is that I need to stay away from low-budget horror movies. This sorry excuse of a slasher movie that tried to pay “homage” to the crap slashers of the 80s was the worst of them all. This film was so bad that it went beyond “so bad it’s good”.

And there you have it.

Movie Review: Area 51 (2015)

Area 51

There was a time I was semi-obsessed with Area 51, the alleged secret US military base in the Nevada desert where alien secrets dating back to Roswell are said to be stashed. And so I thought I’d give the film Area 51 with an attitude akin to how I approach UFO sightings these days — sceptical but hopeful.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be even worse than what I thought it would be. In short, Area 51 epitomises everything wrong with the found footage sub-genre. It uses every trite tactic in the book, looks cheap, feels cheaper, uses little-known actors to play stock characters spewing pathetic dialogue, and most of all, offers zero scares, thrills or creativity.

The premise is as formulaic as you imagined. A bunch of young people decide to break into Area 51 to uncover the alien conspiracy and government lies. Despite been terrified of getting caught and going to jail, they do a lot of stupid illegal stuff and record it all on cameras while complaining about it the whole time.

As it turns out, security at Area 51 is worse than your local supermarket, allowing the teens to get in with ease. They see a lot of lame stuff they try to trick you into thinking is impressive with their fake excitement and shock, before — you guessed it — aliens break out and start killing people.

The film’s whole idea of horror is people running around with shaky cameras while breathing loudly. That and brief glimpses of a “monster” before people are suddenly snatched away are pretty much the only two tactics of the entire movie. I guess I should not have been surprised given that it is directed by Oren Peli, whose previous directorial effort was the first Paranormal Activity.

The characters do stupid stuff and say stupid things non-stop, such as “What’s that noise?”, “Where’s that sound coming from?”, and my personal favourite, “Do you think we should be here?”

Shamefully, the film doesn’t even offer much legitimate information about the real Area 51, or at least what sources believe the place is like. Come on, at least educate us a little.

So yeah, Area 51 is a flaming turd, a combination of everything that annoys me about movies. I disliked it immensely.

1 star out of 5

Movie Review: Paul (2011)

I like comedies and I’m fascinated by aliens, so Paul, the new sci-fi comedy written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (of Shaun of the Dead fame) seemed right up my alley.  In short, Paul is pretty good, but nothing special.

Paul is about two English comic book nerds and buddies, Graeme and Clive (Pegg and Frost), who travel across the Atlantic to attend Comic-Con and to take a trip in their RV across the country to visit alleged alien hotspots.  Of course, they run into the titular character, voiced by Seth Rogen, who is unlike all the stereotypes we have come to expect, and that kick starts off a series of wild and wacky adventures.

For me, there were lots of moments where I went, ‘That’s very clever’ and had a giggle or two, but the laugh-out-loud moments were rarer than expected (though, to be fair, there were a couple of ripper gems).  That made it slightly disappointing as I thought the potential for better laughs was definitely there.

My favourite thing about Paul is the Arrested Development connections.  The film is directed by Greg Mottola, who did a few AD episodes back in the day before going on to direct Superbad and Adventureland.  Jason Bateman plays the mysterious Agent Zoil, and there’s also Jeffrey Tambor as a sci-fi writer and Jane Lynch as a themed cafe owner.  They are all brilliant.  I won’t spoil any more than that except to mention that the film also features the likes of Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Bill Hader (Adventureland) and John Carroll Lynch (my favourite husband from Fargo), plus a few truly awesome cameos.

Ultimately, Paul is what it is.  A few flashes of comedic brilliance, some clever lines, surprisingly wonderful cameos and references — super fun but not exactly super funny.  I’d call it an amusing film with a dash of geeky charm, for the most part an enjoyable chuckler as opposed to a laugh-out-loud kind of movie.

3.25 stars out of 5