As with every year, we've got to take the good with the bad. As film critics, we try to take the bullet for the audiences and go see everything and then come back and warn you to stay away from the truly awful, soul-destroyingly bad stuff. Here's the ten movies we hope you managed to avoid this year:
10. THE HOST
After all of the Twilight movies made a gazillion dollars, it made economic sense to continue adapting Stephaine Meyer's other books into movies, too. Unfortunately, this sci-fi/romance was about as boring as movies come, with a dead-eyed performance from the usually fantastic Saoirse Ronan, and lifeless direction from Andrew Niccol. At least the Twilight movies were kind of aware of their own ridiculousness.
9. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
Things didn't start well when Irish director John Moore (The Omen remake, Max Payne, Flight Of The Phoenix) was put behind the camera, and it only got worse from there. A nonsense plot put Bruce Willis in Russia, looking for his undercover agent son who has gotten in over his head. One good car chase at the start, followed by countless inane shootouts and a ridiculous Chernobyl set climax. But worst of all, Die Hard 5 actually made us kinda dislike John McClane. Not cool.
8. BAGGAGE CLAIM
Even our love for the incredibly hot Paula Patton couldn't distract us from the god-awful "romantic" "comedy" about an unlikely in love air-hostess going through her ex-files to find The One. The central idea seems to be that if you're a woman, your life isn't complete unless you've got a husband, which is just insulting. On the plus side, even though it's never funny on purpose, there are a lot of accidentally hilarious scenes, like if Showgirls were a rom-com.
Pitch Black worked because Riddick was a side-character, in the shadows for most of the movie. The Chronicles of Riddick failed because they put him front and centre, and Riddick fails because they put him front and centre… by himself! The shoddy scripting, poor effects, and general rehashing of the original movie made this a massive disappointment. Thankfully it made hardly any money, so chances of another outing of this Vin Diesel character are slim to none.
6. A HAUNTED HOUSE
Marlon Wayans helped create the Scary Movie franchise, which he then promptly dropped out of, only to set up another comedy movie about taking the piss out of horror movies. This time it's focusing on the found footage sub-genre, so this is basically Paranormal Activity: The Comedy, except it's not funny. At all. The Bad News: somehow, it's still not the worst horror parody of 2013. The Even Worse News: A Haunted House 2 will be out in 2014.
5. TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D
The original movie came out in 1974, and this movie picks up right after the events of that movie, with a baby being born in Leatherface's house. Cut to 2013, that baby is now an attractive 18 year old scream-queen. Flying in the face of basic math, this unnecessary sequel to the Chainsaw franchise isn't scary in the least, while simultaneously taking a dump over that which came before it.
4. BATTLE OF THE YEAR
It's difficult to believe that people are still into dance movies, since they've been pretty much done to death by this point, and they're all so similar that they must be merging into one giant messy memory by now. Battle Of The Year is particularly terrible because there's hardly any dancing, the acting is atrocious, the lead dance coach is Sawyer from Lost (who can't dance), and it asks us to feel sorry about a character played by Chris Brown. No thanks!
3. SCARY MOVIE 5
It's difficult to stay made at the people who keep pumping out these Scary Movies, because even though it's all too obvious that they really, REALLY hate the cinema going public by churning out such cinematic bile, they're not entirely to blame because people keep going to see them! Not one of the Scary Movie movies has made a loss on its budget yet, so why would they stop making them?? We need to send Hollywood a message and start avoiding these movies like the plague that they are!
2. THE LAST EXORCISM PART II
The original Last Exorcism was a surprisingly good found footage horror movie about a priest, questioning his faith, on his last job, coming face to face with what might be an actual demon. The sequel drops the found footage format, drops the priest, drops the questions about religion, and just becomes a dull horror movie about a girl who might be seeing things. Truly, deeply horrendous film-making, this is this year's Blair Witch Project 2.
1. GROWN UPS 2
What do you think is more disappointing? The fact that Adam Sandler played a character in Funny People who made fun of the kind of actors that make crap comedies just for the sake of money over artistic integrity, looking like he was about to change his ways as an actor, only to become even worse with the likes of Jack & Jill and Grown Ups 2? Or the fact that over $250 million worth of tickets were sold to it, making it a more popular movie that This Is The End or Captain Phillips? Either way, this was the nadir point of cinema in 2013, and it made us very sad to even contemplate it's existence.