2017 Year in Review Part 5: Best and Worst of

Just to get this out there right away, my Best / Worse lists always consists of films that I watched for the first time in 2017, not necessarily that they came out. Most of the films I watch are from DVD or Blu-Ray and I don’t make it to the theater too often to see them when they first come out. Or they might be an older film that I’m seeing for the first time. So no matter when it actually came out, it still is a new movie to me.

I got through 209 films this year, 77 of them were first-time viewings for me. That is a little lower than normal for us, but I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a side project that will hopefully see the light of day this year. Then I can get back to watching more movies!

So here are the top five that I watched in 2017 that made the most impact on me this year.

  • The Canal (2014) – I finally gotten around to see this film this year and it just blew me away. Talk about a sense of dread! This film really is a kick in the gut. There are some really creepy elements to it, but also a great story and top-notch acting, especially from our main character, Rupert Evans.
  • The Void (2016) – Speaking of dread…this is another newer film that kicked my ass. I just loved the story here and how it really brings in so many great elements, especially a strong Lovecraft feel to it, that it just impressed the hell out of me. And why can’t something like this come from Hollywood?
  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) – Another perfect example of a low budget film, made outside of the Hollywood system, that rises above the dregs of what they call horror cinema. It really comes down to a good, well-crafted story. Plain and simple. Great performance by Brian Cox, as always, but this one will grab hold and not let go until the end.
  • Housewife (2017) – The first of two films on my list that are actually from this year. This is the latest film from Can Evrenol, who gave us the dark and twisted Baskin back in 2015. Now he’s back with another film that pretty much defies explanation. I was able to catch this at the Cinepocalypse Film Fest at the Music Box Theatre in November. As the movie starts, you think you know where the story is going but it goes way beyond that, constantly taking a turn you weren’t expecting. Loved the final ending. I was really impressed with what Evrenol did here and just loved it.
  • The Shape of Water (2017) – Sneaking this one in at the very end of the year, after finally finding a theater close enough without having to drive 50 miles, I was hoping it was going to be as good as all the hype. And it was so much more. Such a talented craftsman when it comes to making films, usually outside of Hollywood, like this one. Just a beautiful piece of cinema. Only del Toro could make a love story that happens to be between a fishman and a woman and make it totally work.

Honorable Mentions: A Dark Song (2016), The Eyes of My Mother (2016). And 1992’s Winterbeast, for being one of the best poorly-made films that I discovered this year, showing me that no matter how long you’ve been a fan, you can still find little gems like this. With stop-motion monsters galore (like the one below), and some of the worst acting, editing, storyline, etc., all in one film…it will change your life! True story.

Now for the other side. Some sites/blogs want to remain positive in their posts, which I usually tend to agree with that philosophy. But when it comes to a particular film that I feel is a complete waste of time, as a fan, I feel it is our duty to let people know my thoughts on it. Yes, they may find the film enjoyable or have a difference of opinion of it than I do. But also think of it this way…what if I had some bad food at a restaurant, then seeing a friend walk into the place and not let them know? Wouldn’t you try to warn them? Same thing. But again, just because I don’t like a certain film, does not mean others will feel the same way. Like I said in the beginning…this is my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.

These are the Bottom Five Films that I watched in 2017 and I found utterly disappointing, poorly made, or just embarrassingly sad that it wasn’t better.

  • Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) – The only revelation here was while I didn’t expect much, I wasn’t in store for just how bad this would be. Kudos to the people behind for trying to make a decent film, but your lack of originality, a good script, and well written characters, make this later-day sequel just pitiful.
  • Tales of Halloween (2015) – Anthology films with different directors sometimes can be spotty, but with as many talented filmmakers involved with this anthology film, I figured at least some of the segments would be good. Uh…no. I was shocked to see how bad this one was, and very depressed too, since I expected so much more.
  • Alien: Covenant (2017) – This new cartoon from Ridley Scott was just pathetic. Were we really not supposed to see the plot twist about 45 minutes before it happens? These were some of the worst looking CGI aliens in the series. Please…just stop with these Alien movies. If we want more, we’ll just watch the first two.
  • Absolutely Anything (2015) – Now while this isn’t a horror film, it is a sci-fi, stars Simon Pegg, and has the voices of the original Pythons, as well as being written and directed by Python Terry Jones, so how could it be anything other than pure genius. Sadly, not even close. In fact, it was just terrible. Not funny at all. So bummed about this two because I really expected it to be a good one.
  • The Mummy (2017) – Do I need to even bother wasting time talking about this? The fact that it has killed Universal’s Dark Universe series pretty much speaks louder than what I can say. Other than yes, it is that bad. Actually, it’s not “so bad it’s at least entertaining”, but just lack of any entertainment value.

Next Up…Best Revisits!

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