‘One missed call‘
(the bad one)
As someone who was traumatized enough as a teenager by the original Japanese version of One missed call, just hearing they were making an American remake was enough to take me back to when I was afraid of my Motorola Razr. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing to worry about. The original One missed call, by Takashi Miike, is heavily recommended and is 112 minutes of one constant panic signal from your brain. Part of it is successful it’s a mystery who or what exactly is doing all this cell killing.
American version of One missed call which barely deserves this italic, is not that. Apparently whoever was responsible for transferring it saw the original and said, “You’re being subtlepursuing world building is it scary? No, screw it all. Scary is only when there is a person who looks strange. We’ll put the phone stuff in later. The absolute top-notch cliffhanger of the whole thing might come from a CGI baby holding a cell phone in a crib that looks more like something out of a weird right-wing Super Bowl ad than a half-decent horror movie. They’re probably lucky it was CGI so none of the actors involved left the set as soon as they saw that dumb little goblin.
Of course, M. Night Shyamalan will be on that list. I won’t pretend it doesn’t have some hits too, but when you set yourself up as the king of plot twists, you’re also setting yourself up to fail pretty spectacularly if it doesn’t hit. Babe Ruth also holds the record for hits, etc. Which is so disappointing The village is that they actually there was already created some really cool, creepy monsters, but then they had to do a double dip and say to themselves, “Actually, these were fake.” Classic overthinking that results in losing the race somehow once you’ve crossed the finish line.
Monsters aside, the narrative device just tells the viewers that something is true and then suddenly goes, “I lied, you idiots!” very nasty. We’re on your side, movie guy. Have some faith in your weird rat pig witches, we were on board. To then reveal that they actually just are Lion King on Broadway ghost costumes by some pissing old farts? You sucked the ghost jelly out of your own donut, my man.
If you’re arguing that Stephen King isn’t a modern master of horror, you’re probably just holding your entire college writing class after the bell and I’m begging you to let everyone go to lunch. The guy has proven himself beyond any reasonable doubt and wrote a book while completely blacked out, which is pretty sick in a deeply depressing way. Unfortunately, good ghost books don’t always translate well to the screen, as some things just don’t live up to the mental image. One that probably should have stayed on the printed page is Maximum overdrive, based on King’s story, Trucks.
As the sharpest tools in the shed may have been collected, the main antagonists of Maximum overdrive (along with all sorts of other distraction technology) are trucks. I’ve tried to avoid horror comedies on this list because the goofy monster is usually their bread and butter, but despite its label on Wikipedia, I don’t believe Maximum overdrive should have been a knee clapper. When you’re trying to make trucks scary, you’re already sledding uphill. By the time you make one of them look like the Green Goblin, it’s probably time to pack it away.
King also disagrees and he has a a fairly honest review of the filmwhich he directed: “The problem with that film was that I was out of my mind the whole time in production and I really didn’t know what I was doing.”
It’s great, man. We can tell, but your books still rule.
‘The Scorpion King‘
Bad CGI is the bane of a huge amount of horror. Even good CGI tends to age badly, and bad CGI ends up looking dated by the time the opening credits roll. It’s hard to have theater cutting its teeth when your big bad looks like something off a PlayStation demo disc. When we talk about the appearance of the Scorpion King in his centaur style form through The mummy is backit turns out that the realm of extremely crappy CGI is another one where he sits at the top.
The whole Scorpion King vibe is definitely 1990s now, and frankly, The Rock with long, flowing locks will never look special no dumb, but when they had Maya stick his massive upper half onto a scorpion’s body to send him flying around the walls of some tombs, that’s when things really went off the rails. Even the smile he cracks upon his entrance seems a few tips out of place, and the whole scene feels like it’s about to disappear at any moment, so your Final Fantasy side may enter the fray.
I mean, yes. You should have known this would make the list. I know the movie has its supporters, but when the ace up your sleeve throughout its run time was that “it was the trees,” I wouldn’t put too much stock in the pot, there you go, cowboy. Oh man, the things we do to the environment… are they bad?
This is huge news for me, a guy who was pulled out of a big egg yesterday.