The Best and Worst of 2007

Morgan Elektra's Picks

Ahhh, another year gone. It's this time of year when I alternately bless and curse my sieve-like memory… On the one hand, it gives me the almost child-like ability to forget the terrible things I've seen since New Year's last… sometimes almost completely. However pleasant that may be, it makes it a bit difficult to pry those suppressed memories loose for lists like these. But I love you people, so I torture my poor brain until it gives them up. All for you …

So here they are, in no particular order… my best and worst picks of 2007:

The Best and Worst of 2007

30 Days of Night 30 Days of Night – It had its problems, I won't deny it. But it was a solid entry in the horror genre, with decent (Josh Hartnett) to great (Ben Foster, who was also great in the beyond fabulous but non-genre offering 3:10 to Yuma) acting and an entertaining story. Also, it seemed superbly clear that the filmmakers, although they did stumble, were actually attempting to make a serious, adult horror film. After being plagued with remake after remake full of casts fresh out of the OC that are liquefied so as to better be spoon fed to the masses, I appreciate that. And I enjoyed the heck out of it when I saw it. I plan to see it again. And I fully anticipate having just as good a time then. If it feels good, I do it… and this felt good.

Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street – A Steven Sondheim musical, directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, about a blood lust crazy barber and his special meat pie cooking sidekick? Why, hello orgasmic coupling! I love Sondheim's music, and this was the perfect showcase for it. Burton's dark director's eye matches the tone of the story to a T, and Depp in the title role was just delicious. Helena Bonham Carter is also one of my favorite actresses. I love her in just about everything she does. And her Mrs. Lovett was no exception. Great performances, great music, great look, a ton of the red stuff… and did I mention Johnny Depp? Delicious!

Grindhouse: Planet Terror – Much like with his Grindhouse counterpart, I've never been a huge Rodriguez fan either. I think he's talented, but he's never really lit my fire before. Until this. Planet Terror was pitch perfect… truly a loving, if somewhat teasing, homage to the campy flicks of the era that Rodriguez obviously loves. Solid acting all around, there were some great stand out performances… I don't know who I had a bigger crush on by the end of the flick, Freddy Rodriguez or Marley Shelton. This movie had it all… it looked good, it sounded good, and boy, did it feel good. I don't know if I've ever had that much fun in a theater with all my clothes on. Normally I resent the crowd around me in the dark of the theater. I can't stand that they won't shut up and they laugh too loud… but Planet Terror let us all get in on the act, and the side comments and jokes that were being made all seemed like part of the show. As a whole, we had a great time and left the floors slightly less sticky then if we'd had an orgy.

Dexter Season 2 – When it comes to TV, I'm terrible about remembering what time things are on. Even shows I love, I sometimes realize I missed the day and time they originally air and have to catch them in rerun. Not Dexter. I know where I am every Sunday night… curled up on my couch with Darling Dexter. The Showtime series showcases some of, if not the, best writing and acting on TV. Even though it strayed far from the source material this season, I was still hooked on my homicidal sweetie and tuned in every week with bated breath to see what was going to happen next. In fact, and I never say this, I think the show is better for the changes the writers have made. The show is bloody and good fun. And boy, can I just say, that Michael C. Hall can strap me down with Saran Wrap any old time he wants.

Masters of Horror: The Black Cat – Well, we all know that overall the series has been hit and miss… more miss than hit, I hate to say. But then, at nearly the eleventh hour this year, they gave us Stuart Gordon's retelling of Poe's classic tale, The Black Cat. Or rather, his and Paoli's telling of Poe's desperate struggle to write The Black Cat. Combs brilliant portrayal of the agonized writer was breath-taking, and Elyse Levesque's turn as his young bridge was ephemeral and lovely. Not to mention it provided the only real feeling of dread and terror that the entire series had to offer. I fell desperately and deeply in love with the entire production from start to finish.

Honorable Mentions - Wrong Turn 2, 28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend (terrible CGI aside, it had some of the best acting I saw all year), and the first 107 minutes of The Mist

The Best and Worst of 2007

Lake Dead – Last year's After Dark Horrorfest boasted 8 films to die for… and while it didn't completely deliver, the quality of the films presented was fairly decent. Even the ones I didn't love weren't THAT bad. So I was very optimistic this time around. And then, I saw Lake Dead. I don't think there's anything to say about the film that my esteemed colleague Foy hasn't said vociferously already… But I would like to say that, for months after I watched Lake Dead, every time I approached a box office to buy movie tickets I was assailed by horrid flashbacks of unmitigated stupidity and cheesiness that would leave me curled into the fetal position on the concrete screaming… and not in a fun, role playing rape fantasy kind of way either.

Resident Evil: Extinction – Considering the mediocrity of the previous two installments, I actually wasn't even expecting this one to be good. And really, it wasn't AWFUL… just boring and completely bland. So, if it wasn't all that bad, why is it here on my list? Simple. No Milla boobies. I'll put up with a lot of cardboard characters used for little to nothing beyond set dressing if I get to see a little Milla tit. But no… all those Millas and they're all coyly hiding their light under a bushel… or hiding their breasts under their hands, as it were. The first film showed more than just a little sweater meat, but not even a glimpse in part three? And she didn't make out with Ali Larter's Claire Redfield either. Weak.

Rob Zombie's Halloween - I don't know if I even need to explain this pick. Most people will understand why I found it utterly disappointing and poorly done. And those who don't probably aren't going to change their minds based on my opinion. But as someone who was never a worshipper at the altar of Carpenter's version, and a fan of both of Rob's previous films, I think I went into it with a mind very open to the possibility of him having something new to bring to the table… and he didn't. We get it Rob… your wife is hot. How about letting her keep her clothes on next time around, or play a character that isn't a vapid, mean cunt with a mouth like a sailor? There were a couple of brief moments where it looked like she might be able to act, until the horrible dialogue and dopey re-tread kicked in. Well, Rob always said he wouldn't do a remake… now I know why. He sucks at it.

The Hills Have Eyes 2 – Aja's remake of the original wasn't groundbreaking or anything, but I liked it and it was well done. So what went so wrong with this sequel? I think it would be easier to list what went right… absolutely nothing. This one was so bad I fell asleep the first time I watched it, and was forced to watch it the second time around. Ten minutes in I was begging to shut it off… This wasn't even fun in a dumb slasher movie kind of way. It was just inept, fumbling, messy, embarrassing and overall very unsatisfactory. Kind of like two virgins having sex for the first time.

Grindhouse: Death Proof – Okay, granted… I've never really been a Tarantino FAN. I like some of the stuff he's done, and I think he's got some talent, but I don't suck his cock or anything. If I'm going to suck a cock, I have to be turned on… and Tarantino couldn't turn me on with both hands, his mouth and a vibrating rocket dildo. Death Proof suffers from all of Tarantino's short comings. Most notably, it's too full of characters will little to no depth spouting rapid fire hipster dialogue that all sounds like Tarantino talking to Tarantino… kind of like that scene in Being John Malkovich with all the Malkovichs. Only not funny in the least. There were a few good moments, like the car chases and a surprisingly adept performance by Rose McGowan, but they were all too brief to prop up the weight of the rest of the clunky piece. I felt it sucking the enjoyment out of me, with less finesse than a two dollar whore.

Dishonorable Mentions - Return to House on Haunted Hill, Primeval, and the last 10 minutes of The Mist

So, that's it kiddies. All my picks and tricks for 2007. Here's looking forward to a horror-filled 2008!!!



Tristan Sinns's picture

I totally forgot about Tooth and Nail until late last night, that horrible piece of crap. I think it was a repressed memory. Please consider it the sixth worst film of the year. Or the first. It deserves both. Ugh!

Submitted by Tristan Sinns on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 1:03pm.
DW Bostaph Jr's picture

Let me know what you think when u see them. Completely different films, but both as cerebral as you can get.

Submitted by DW Bostaph Jr on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 1:00pm.

DWBJr, based on how similar our lists were (i hadn't seen AVPR when i wrote my list, and i didn't think to include the brilliant Sweeney Todd) i'm going to be checking out Cthuhlu and Death Note first chance I get.

Submitted by plagiarize on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 9:48am.
admin moderator Cinematic Socialism? You
Jon Condit's picture

Cinematic Socialism? You can be a film commie if you want to, leave me out.

Submitted by Jon Condit on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 12:25am.

There's no mistery about it Terminal... Johnny was mistified at to why people keep talking about The Mist, because he mist the start of the mist-cussion where people were mist-cussing their favourite mist-vies from last mist, and it seems mist people here had mist-ues with The Fog... err... sorry... The Mist!

Submitted by PelusaMG on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 7:33pm.
Terminal's picture

I mist was Johnny was talking about, I was very mistifyed by his misterious anger toward miscussing the mist.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 7:15pm.
Terminal's picture

Have either of your schmucks seen the "Death Note" series? If you think the movies rocked, wait till you get a load of the series. Wow.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 7:13pm.
Melissa Bostaph's picture

WOW...I'm in trouble and didn't even know it... haha!

Honestly I could have filled a dozen WORST lists with the crap that I get from Foy, Kryten, and even Steve! Hello! He's the one that pawned Microwave Massacre off on me! LOL!

One reason I didn't include that and other titles like it are because they were not actually released in 2007.

Another reason is because I wanted to let people know that there are those of us out there who don't like every film that Hollywood puts out even if everyone else seems to.

I'd rather just talk up films that deserve it...and not give free press to those that don't.

Submitted by Melissa Bostaph on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:54pm.
DW Bostaph Jr's picture

There is SO much shit out thee, and being involved with the Horror Fest and judging and all, it gets old. I could compile a list of shit a mile long, but what is the point of bashing something like Microwave Massacre? No body cares about that type of crap, and going into the film I was not expecting anything but a shitfest.

Movies like 30 Days of Night, Halloween lead us to believe that they are going to be good. We got promises and sneak peeks and jerked off all day long, but in the end thy are just shit. And people need to know that they are so, IT IS OUR responsibility to do so. Why? Because these are the films on eveyone's minds. When there is a breakaway such as Cthulhu or Netherbeast or Blood Car then it is our responsibility to tell people about it so THEY see it. It is kind of lopsided that way but we are about quality. When it is promised but not delivered on, we point it out. And when we find a nice goldmine, we scream it to the heavens so all can enjoy...

Call it Cinematic Socialism.

Submitted by DW Bostaph Jr on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:49pm.
Morgan Elektra's picture

You hush up, Johnny Butane... or I will call you up and leave you long Mist-related voicemail messages. I can do it too. I am the Queen of long voicemail messages. :-P

Submitted by Morgan Elektra on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:33pm.

Mist? Mist, Mist, Mist, Mist, Mistity Mist!

Submitted by Kryten Syxx on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:19pm.
Johnny Butane's picture

Oh my God, stop talking about The Mist.

Submitted by Johnny Butane on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 3:05pm.
Morgan Elektra's picture

WIB, lucky for me I didn't see any of those films you mentioned. ;)

Of the films I saw this year, Halloween was definitely one of the worst.... decent production quality doesn't save a bad story in my book.

Submitted by Morgan Elektra on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:54pm.

"or any number of other movies people listed in their Bottom 5 as being the ultimate in "bad" movies when there's stuff like Captivity, The Hitcher, Microwave Massacre (Melissa, I'm talking to you!), and other real garbage to choose from."

simply put, i didn't see those movies. not being a movie reviewer around this parts, i'm only subjected to the bad movies i choose to watch. if something is slammed by someone i trust like The Hitcher uniformly was, i'm not going to go see it.

Submitted by plagiarize on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:45pm.

My problem with The Mist was that, we get the escape, then we get five minutes of crossfades on driving, driving, driving, then bam! (um..literally, I guess) and then he reacts, then BAM! again. To me, the movie needed a good at LEAST five, ten minutes more for the ending to work.

I think it's a terrific idea and I commend Darabont for thinking it up and actually using it, I just don't think it was well executed. I understand that it was not a tacked on thing or a reshoot, but it definitely FELT like that to me.

As for Hatchet, in the 80s it's a shitty, straight-to-video slasher that isn't funny or scary, and has boring, stupid cardboard characters, but somehow 20 years later it's some amazing old-school classic? If it was made in the 80s it would be one of those movies like The Burning that is remembered fondly, mostly for the gore effects, and then when it's finally released on DVD 20 years later, everyone buys it or rents it and when they watch it they realize why it's remembered almost exclusively for the gore effects.

I am a HUGE slasher fan and am absolutely down for a cool, old school slasher flick to come out and kick my ass with suspense, gore and nudity. This movie just sucked. It's possible I saw movies that were worse, but this had all the build up and it's being championed by horror fans, horror websites, horror magazines...and it's just a boring, unfunny, unscary piece of shit. Most disappointing moviegoing experience of the year for me. And to me, when a movie like that turns out to be crap, it's far worse than something like the Hitcher remake, which sucked, but we all KNEW it was going to suck, so who cares?

Submitted by G.D. on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:39pm.
moderator For me, just not liking
Debi Moore's picture

For me, just not liking something doesn't make it one of the year's worst. I think you have to take into account the whole picture -- writing, acting, effects, cinematography, etc., etc. I can't stand Swank and didn't much care for The Reaping, but it had enough redeeming qualities to make me realize putting it on my worst list would have meant I was taking it too personally rather than judging it on its overall merits. Which is, again, why I can't understand how anyone could consider The Mist, RZ's Halloween, or any number of other movies people listed in their Bottom 5 as being the ultimate in "bad" movies when there's stuff like Captivity, The Hitcher, Microwave Massacre (Melissa, I'm talking to you!), and other real garbage to choose from.

Can you feel the thirst?

I'll see you on the other side . . .

Submitted by Debi Moore on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:28pm.
Blockbuster's picture

I'M going to go on record and say that I liked the Unrated Director's Cut of Halloween and the way IT ended...much better than the original version of that movie that I saw...and Hatchet was fucking awesome. There. I said it.

Submitted by Blockbuster on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:05pm.
Morgan Elektra's picture

I saw the end coming too... that 'Promise me you won't let the monsters get me, no matter what' line was a pretty dead give away. But I don't think it was conveyed at all that those characters thought there escape was a last ditch effort. Yes, David expressed doubts with his plan, but the whole point of doing it anyway was that he felt he had to do SOMETHING. That they couldn't just stay there. Amanda even says 'I'd rather die out there trying than in here waiting.' But then they don't. They die out there giving up. After not even going very far. Without any further discussion. And they thought enough ahead to sneak food and pack it, and plan a before dawn departure to avoid Ms. Carmody's people and the monsters, but not what was going to be done when they ran out of gas? It was sloppy writing. THAT'S what made me angry.

Submitted by Morgan Elektra on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:55pm.

Here's the thing, if you had taken some of the religious nuts in the store, had them driving off in the jeep and then had that ending, you would have been cheering at the screen... it is only because it were them there descent folks who got stiffed which makes it so controversial.

Submitted by PelusaMG on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:38pm.

i guess i just saw the escape from the store as those character's last hopes. heck, even David expressed doubts about his own plan before they left the store. they'd left with the belief that this was their last hope, and they found no hope, no other people, just beasts in the mist. the store became more dangerous than that outside it. so they took their chances, and ultimately ran out of options. i didn't see the decision as one of desperation, or madness. i saw it as a conscious choice under extreme circumstances that i'd seen coming since the kid asked his dad not to let the monsters get him.

Submitted by plagiarize on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:32pm.
Morgan Elektra's picture

"in that case it would be a fault of the ending but of him failing to convey well enough the emotional state of the characters to justify his planned ending."

Exactly. Which I feel is poor writing on his part. As someone on the forums said, if he had spent even just five or ten additional minutes chronicalling a downward spiral of despair for those characters once they left the supermarket, then the ending would have contextually made sense. As it stands, however, there is nothing to indicate that these characters have reached their limit and are hopeless... and in fact, several things that argue otherwise. Which is what pissed me, and I know many other people, off so much about that ending.

Submitted by Morgan Elektra on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:18pm.
Sirand's picture

I can understand people falling into the hype about Hatchet and being underwhelmed...but WORST OF THE YEAR? C'mon...

Submitted by Sirand on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:01pm.

i can't and don't pretend to talk for why it made people angry. i know a lot of people that were angry about how bleak and upsetting it was. at the character for doing what he did. he's angry at himself (as i was with him) though, and it's meant to be bleak and upsetting.

i saw those characters as already starting to lose hope before they left the store. i saw those characters as preferring to take their chances with the monsters outside than stay with the other people.

darabont wanted that ending... he built to it... it wasn't a late idea or a reshoot. i don't know what you think he was building the characters towards, but it obviously isn't what he actually was building them towards. in that case it would be a fault of the ending but of him failing to convey well enough the emotional state of the characters to justify his planned ending.

the message i took away from The Mist was 'in times of crisis people can do inhuman things for what seems like valid reasons at the time, but they have to live with those actions afterwards'. i think that's pretty consistantly threaded all the way through, if being strongest at the end.

Submitted by plagiarize on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 11:58am.
moderator Here's my thing ... I know
Steve Barton's picture

Here's my thing ... I know opinions are opinions but when a year is riddled with so many cinematic abominations how a little flick like Hatchet makes it into the top 5 worst on anyone's list really boggles my mind.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 11:51am.

And I'd like to say that I really appreciate that a couple people put Hatchet on their worst list. What a fucking disappointment that was. Admittedly, some of the gore was nice, but what a bad movie.

Word to the wise, Mr Green. When you make a splatter comedy (whether the comedy is good or bad...and I personally thought it was pretty bad), please PLEASE don't try to tell me that it's "old school horror" because it most certainly is not.

Submitted by G.D. on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 10:29am.

I'll go on record as someone who liked the ending of The Mist is concept, but not so much in execution.

That said, how can the fact that so many people hated the movie be a testimony to how good it is? I don't understand...

Submitted by G.D. on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 10:09am.
Morgan Elektra's picture

I think you're off on WHY some of us are angry about the ending of The Mist, Ryan. It's not because it was bleak... it's because, like Melissa said, it went against everything Darabont had brilliantly established for those characters up to that point. I'm angry with what I consider a poorly written ending to a well written movie. And I really hope that wasn't done on purpose.

Submitted by Morgan Elektra on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 9:27am.

i have to say i'm surprised so many of you guys didn't like the ending of The Mist. sure it's probably the bleakest ending ever... but the fact that it hurts and angers so many people is a testimony to how good it is, at least in my opinion. i think we're probably so used to only getting angry at bad movies, that when a film legitimately makes us angry we presume that it wasn't trying to.

Submitted by plagiarize on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 7:30am.
Terminal's picture

That's not fair, there's not much here I disagree with. Bastards. Hatchet good but overblown, Disturbia overrated as a mofo, and Halloween sucked, yep there's not much room here to disagree.

Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:57am.

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