It’s been a bad year, the last several years have been bad years and there’s just so much bile that builds up over the course of 12 months that it needs to be let out in one long post about the meaningless hobby I’ve decided to have. Hell, not long before I hit the publish button on the best list, we lost Betty White so there is plenty of anger and rage stored up that needs desperately to be released.

So, here we go. Same rules as the Best List, especially the one about how “Worst” means “Films I don’t like” AKA this is just my opinion and not an actual statement of fact (because you cannot factually call a film ‘best’ or ‘worst’, that’s not how art works) so don’t get too upset with me when you see the entries on this list (or indeed, the honourable mentions)

Here we go

Honourable Mentions

Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Yeah, this is on the worst list but let me explain before you get in the comments. Largely it’s here because the Snyder cut movement was so toxic that they basically ensured that anyone who wasn’t in their movement would go into this with a bad taste in their mouth and I need to record that for posterity, you made it almost impossible to talk about the legitimate problems with this film for a lot of us and this is my petulant way of making a statement.

Of course, even without that movement, this felt like a slow dull slog that decided to turn every DC superhero into a depressed loner (which is specifically Batman’s thing) and is about 2 hours longer than it actually needed to be. It’s bad, please stop letting Snyder make superhero films. He does Zombie films pretty well, stick to those for a bit.

Dear Evan Hansen: A failure of adaptation that handicaps its lead who has a hard enough job making this plot work. It was a boring painful sit that made it hard to understand the appeal of the original material, since this film lays all the problems out with this story completely bare. It mostly avoids the list proper by somehow not being the most upsetting thing I’ve seen this year and cos at least I can admire the vocal talents of the performers. Upside, it’s not as bad as Cats… but then again, Cats was interestingly bad and a film I might actually watch again.

Run, Hide, Fight: It’s Die Hard but in a High School during a school shooting… even if it wasn’t released by the literal fascists at The Daily Wire this film would be bad because of its plot, cinematography, acting and tone but that addition of being released by legitimately bad people who have no business being in the industry at all (which is saying a lot considering who is in the film industry) is just the icing on the cake.

The Kissing Booth 3: This only avoids the actual worst list because it had the decency to be the final entry in the franchise, meaning it’s dead now and we never have to speak about it again.

 And now, lets get on with the worst films of 2021!

10: Space Jam: A New Legacy

Warner Brothers took a bad 90s movie that people can only really like ironically and decided to use that to pimp out their film library while also just telling a bad story and finding a worse actor than Michael Jordan. The bar for this franchise was so low that it might as well be underground and somehow Space Jam: A New Legacy found a way to get underneath it, that’s almost a skill.

A painful film to sit through that just damages the legacy of the Looney Tunes while being an accidental reminder of how bad streaming services are. It’s barely about Basketball (to the point where I forgot they were playing basketball DURING the basketball game), the plot makes no sense, this is the worst iteration of all the Looney Tunes characters so far and every single nod to the larger WB catalogue is half-assed at best.

Seriously, they put the nuns from Ken Russell’s The Devils prominently in the background and that film is not on any streaming service, even before we ask “Why put the sex nuns in a kids film?” there’s the question of “Why advertise this film you refuse to release to the masses?”… and also why put them in this bad film that wastes every opportunity it gets. This could’ve just been a very silly romp through Warner’s IP that was harmless and fun but nope, it decided to actively hurt me.

The only half decent thing in this is Don Cheadle and I’m convinced that’s because he had to be improvising the entire time

9: Cinderella

A bland forgettable jukebox musical that committed so many cardinal sins, the biggest being “Continuing to let James Cordon appear in musicals when he is clearly movie musical poison”. With a wretched script, a lead who can’t sing (Sorry, she can’t, in this film it was actively painful to hear her try to sing) and an attempt at modernization that somehow makes this even more dated than versions of this same story that were made in the 90s and you have a recipe for a well deserved spot on any worst list.

It attempts to modernise by making Cinderella a strong independent woman, which could work in theory if there was really anything stopping her but since her ‘wicked’ stepmother is just kind of irritating at best and her prince is wrapped around her finger so quickly that it shouldn’t even take magic to get her to the ball… yeah, you tried but damn did you fail on that front.

Also the songs are mostly just garbage, either covers that make no sense in this context, originals that are there to desperately try to get an Oscar for best song (I hope they put forward the one Camilla sings because I want a shot of the audience trying hard not to wince in agony when she fails to hit the high notes) or an attempted riff on Hamilton that never commits to the bit, this was just a bad time.

The only good scene in the entire film is the one where Billy Porter turns up to sing Shining Star but that one scene was not enough to save this absolute waste of time. 

8: Locked Down

The pandemic has been hard and lockdown hasn’t been fun, but truly the worst part about pandemic (besides all the death) was that a bunch of filmmakers decided they were going to try and make a film set during the lockdown to permanently remind us of the several months of the year that there was nothing to laugh about.

Locked Down (the first lockdown-centric film on this list) might be the perfect representation of the lockdowns that many countries went through, cos it went forever, no one was having fun and by the time it ended we were wondering what the point was if we were going to let things get as bad as they got. Oh, also this was clearly the obscenely wealthy rubbing in everyone’s face how well off they are but will also use the current situation to make themselves richer (You cannot convince me this couple is in any financial strife whatsoever… with THAT house? No, no they’re on the list of rich people who we eat when the time comes)

The worst part was that it was just a complete waste of potential, they had two of the greatest actors working today and access to an empty location that would’ve been perfect for a fun and creative little heist movie, an Oceans 11 style film but with a real world excuse to wear face masks, and they just decided to do nothing with their premise.

Instead it’s a couple of hours of the main actors arguing in their very expensive looking apartment followed by a 10 minute ‘heist’ that has all the dramatic tension of something with absolutely no dramatic tension… I’d try to come up with a clever metaphor for that but Locked In didn’t bother so why the fuck should I?

7: He’s All That

Can remakes of 90s comedies please stop? Most of them didn’t age well to begin with but at least we can pretend they did thanks to nostalgia, by remaking it and swapping the genders you’re not actually adding anything. You’re actually taking away the rose coloured glasses that made the original watchable. You’re not even updating this to remove the problematic elements, you’re just regurgitating what we saw before but it’s better now cos it’s the guy who needs to take off his glasses and let his hair out in order to become hot.

He’s All That should be the nail in the coffin for movies about makeovers because this is confirmation that all makeover movies are just about some asshole learning about contact lenses and getting a haircut. Hell, that joke about how makeover movies are all just “Take off the glasses and let the hair out” was done back in 2001 by the actually funny Not Another Teen Movie which at least had the common decency to put Chris Evans in a whipped cream bikini.

It’s not like this is a bad plot, it’s literally an adaptation of Pygmalion which has been the basis for classics like My Fair Lady, but He’s All That doesn’t have any of the talent that is required to make something like that happen. It’s the kind of film where the cast includes men whose only talent is abs and someone famous for dancing on Tik Tok, which is not enough to make a half decent film.

It kept reminding me of a previous worst list entry, Overboard… so I guess I should be thankful that this one wasn’t also accidentally racist. Instead just go watch the I Like To Watch episode about this film, at least Trixie & Katya know how jokes work!

6: Thunder Force

We live in the age of Superhero films, there will never be a better time to make a parody film mocking the lycra clad crime fighters… but then you let the man who is seemingly actively trying to ruin Melissa McCarthy’s career handle the script and direction and you get an unfunny anger inducing piece of garbage like Thunder Force.

Here’s how bad this one is, I would rather watch the 2008 abomination Superhero Movie because at least that film attempted to make jokes. I would rather sit through a montage of scenes where Friedberg and Seltzer tried referencing superhero films because I can at least get how those might be funny if you’re high… I’d rather watch the Snyder Cut and I put that movie on this goddamn list!

See, the joke of Thunder Force that these superheroes are fat women and that’s it. That’s your joke, that’s the entire premise of the movie (or at least, that’s the premise they actually stick with… they had a whole “Superheroes are actually psychopaths” idea but that died pretty quickly). Sure we could hire more than two performers who are comics but why bother? Why bother trying at all when we can just put claws on Jason Bateman’s hands and let that be the comedy? It’s not like you have one of the funniest women alive and a goddamn Oscar winner as your leads, right? Oh wait, you have that? THEN WHY DID I NOT LAUGH AT ANY POINT DURING THIS THING!

If you’re looking for the biggest waste of comedic talent for the year, here you go. Don’t know why you’re looking for that, but you do what makes you happy.

5: Monster Hunter

Paul W.S. Anderson needs to be stopped before he ruins another video game adaptation. Even as someone who never played the game in question, I was able to tell that this was a bad adaptation of it. It’s a badly edited bland film that has all the tension of a limp noodle and all the enjoyment of trying to shove that limp noodle into your ear canal.

It’s so boring and it shouldn’t be because it’s a film about a badass woman fighting monsters with big ass weapons, this should’ve been a bunch of dumb fun… well, it got the dumb part down, wish they’d tried to do something about the fun. Again there is one good performance in the film, Ron Perlman who almost makes the ending exciting… but he can’t save the film from the upper end of this worst list.

True story, I actually took my brother to see this film because I was meant to have a free double pass and hoped it’d be big dumb fun for us to enjoy… he has not forgiven me for this, I sleep with one eye open now in case he tries to get revenge.

4: Songbird

”What if the pandemic were somehow worse?” is the worst elevator pitch for a movie ever, but I promise you that was the entire pitch for Songbird. A film that supposes a more deadly version of Covid exists and that means the most important thing that matters in the entire world isn’t trying to save humanity… no, it’s the love story between Archie from Riverdale and Evie from the Descendants who have no chemistry whatsoever.

Using the disease that’s killed millions worldwide as background scenery to tell a bad uninteresting story filled with actors who should’ve been able to just take the year off instead of ruining their reputation with this garbage is just awful no matter how you slice it. I mean, maybe the two leads deserve to be in this film (I’m genuinely waiting for KJ Apa to be in something that is even passably good because he seems like a nice kid) but Demi Moore and Bradley Whitford do not deserve this. Do they just have really big tax bills? Is that why they’re here?

The actual worst part is that the entire film boils down to a guy trying to get his girlfriend a fake vaccine passport so they can run off together… you know, that thing real assholes are doing today that is why we have a new variant every few months? Yeah, this film turned the assholes into heroes, that’s always lovely. If I want to see a film about an unrepentant asshole, I have I Care A Lot and at least that film had the decency to make it clear it was about an asshole!

I know every film made involving the pandemic can’t be as good as Host, but could they at least try? Oh wait, this was produced by Michael Bay, the only thing that man knows how to try is “my patience”.

3: Home Sweet Home Alone

I don’t know why people keep trying to make Home Alone films since we all know they haven’t really worked since Macaulay Culkin hit puberty but for some reason they tried again and it was one of the most painful experiences. Not only is the protagonist a hateful character who never learns a damn thing and should’ve been drop kicked multiple times throughout the film (which sucks because this kid was hilarious in Jojo Rabbit, I was rooting for him!), but the ‘villains’ of the film who try to break into the main characters house are completely right to do so.

It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what made Home Alone an instant classic, so this film is wrong on a fundamental level before we get to it somehow completely failing as a slapstick comedy. I know people joke about Home Alone just being a child friendly version of Saw but this is the first movie where I agree with that comparison. This kid wants to kill these nice people who do not deserve this kind of treatment. I’m not laughing at their pain, I’m wanting to start a GoFundMe to cover their medical bills.

What baffles me is that there is no reason to even make this, it’s a universal truth that’s been accepted since 1997 that you just can’t do a Home Alone movie without Macaulay Culkin as the lead. They’ve tried it 3 times and every time it hasn’t worked. There’s been spin offs, spiritual successors and flagrant copy cats but no one has made it work because the original is lightning in a bottle and this film is ground up shards of glass being jammed into your urethra.

It’s just cruel from start to finish. I’m not saying that this film is why the Omicron variant decided to ramp things up to destroy Christmas, I’m just pointing out that the timing is incredibly suspicious.

2: After We Fell

Why does this franchise continue? Why? It’s not some massive money maker, it doesn’t have anything important to say, it’s never been a critical darling. What the fuck is the point? We’re three films deep in this franchise and everyone is still an awful character who hasn’t learned a damn thing (especially Hardin, who continues to be the absolute worst every chance he gets).

It’s somehow sex filled yet the least sexy thing imaginable, it doesn’t understand how the concept of storylines go. It’s a bad film made badly and yet, for some ungodly reason, there’s two more of these fucking things left to go! Yeah, they are still making these despite this one being dumped onto Prime Video (the discount warehouse of streaming services)… hell, this film has a random Jeff Bezos cameo and I honestly would’ve preferred it if the fulm just decided to follow him, I bet his bad sex life is at least interesting!

I’ve said it before, I will say it again with every single one of these things… just watch porn. Just suck it up and go buy actual hardcore pornography made by professional sex workers who actually are trying to titillate you. At least that has an excuse for not being well written, cos no one watches porn for story or acting but it’s also not as vile, useless and abusive as the After franchise.

The only good thing about this franchise is that I’ll only need to find nine other films for the next two of these worst lists because, barring some miracle, there is no way this franchise will ever improve and will always have a spot here.

Honestly, I would’ve made this the number one worst film based purely on the fact that it shouldn’t exist… but come on, we all know what the worst film of this year has been and it earned that top spot like a goddamn champion.

1: Music

Music is easily the worst musical I’ve ever had the indignity of suffering through, for a myriad of reasons. Without any context whatsoever, just judging it as a musical, it’s god awful with songs that range from pointless to pathetic, there isn’t a single song that is worth remembering and none that relate in any way to the actual plot. You could pull every song from this thing and lose nothing, which almost feels like it was the point since this is just an incredibly long advertisement for the worst Sia album to ever exist… but then we start adding context and everything just goes downhill from there, which is impressive since I thought we were already at the bottom of the hill.

You want a film that proves that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Music is that film. Clearly this was made with the intent of trying to be a positive representation of people with autism… it failed miserably, but the intent was there. What we got was the worst depiction of autism put to film that I’ve ever seen (though I’m certain that an autistic person would be able to name half a dozen that’re worse but I’m genuinely scared to learn about those) with a storyline that turns the character with autism into a prop that everyone else has to work around. Yeah, the title character may as well be a lamp for all the agency she has… also she’s named Music and her sisters name is Kazu (as in Kazoo, that shitty little instrument… get it, it’s funny because life is meaningless!) so you can pick if characters with names like that even deserve to have agency.

this worst movie tried to kill me award

Would Music have been the number one worst film all on its own based on plot, music and acting? Sure, it did absolutely nothing right whatsoever and rightfully deserved every bit of critical thrashing it got. Hell, I’m even going to give this the coveted “THIS FILM TRIED TO KILL ME” award because it also had heavy strobing lights at random points in the film, which is a fantastic idea to put in your film about people who often have a heavy sensitivity to strobe lights.

But you wanna know what cemented this film’s place on the list right up the very tip top of this list of the worst films of 2021? This film didn’t just try to kill me, it prominently displayed something known as the “Prone Restraint”, a method of trying to calm autistic people who are having a meltdown that actually has a high risk of killing them (so I think that means this film is an attempted serial killer, if I wanted to go for hyperbole… and I often do).

Now, technically Sia did edit those scenes out of the movie (yep, scenes as in plural because they show the prone hold twice, cos it’s part of the fucking character development subplot) after complaints by a ton of people in the autistic community (though her timing was suspect as hell since she announced this AFTER somehow getting Golden Globe nominations and just before the US release of the film when people had been complaining about this scene for WEEKS) but the fact remains that this scene made it to theatres when any research at all would’ve said “Hey, this is known to kill people, maybe we don’t have multiple scenes showing how to do this”. But again, even without that scene, the film is still the absolute worst.

And that was the worst list, anything awful I missed? Tell me about them, let’s cry and feel bad together because 2022 looks like it might be another bad one for all of us for we live in the worst timeline where everything sucks all the time… happy 2022.

One thought on “The Top Ten Worst Films of 2021

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