10 Movies Worse Than Time’s ’10 Worst Movies of 2012′

Published 1 year ago by This is a list post.

10 Movies Worse than Time's 10 Worst Movies of 2012 Time Magazine listed its 10 Worst Movies of 2012 last month, but the choices left us cold (Cloud Atlas, John Carter and The Lorax made the cut). We propose an alternative 10 Movies Worse Than Time's 'Worst of 2012', to recognize what we feel are genuine bad movies - not just disappointments or things that aren't our cup of tea. From misconceived comic book adaptations to found-footage horror schlock, these are ten films released in 2012 that left us marveling at just how much can go wrong with a motion picture. Do you agree/disagree with our selections? Read on and find out (if you dare).

[These are listed in order and contain a few SPOILERS.]

House at the End of the Street

Jennifer Lawrence in House at the End of the Street Screenwriter David Louka recycles parts from Jane Eyre and Psycho - and used them in a tale about modern teenagers - to create last year's forgettable Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street. You might think a mix of Gothic and Hitchcockian themes in a movie for the Twilight demographic would be fascinating; or, at the least, memorably bad. However, HATES just steals the twists from its inspiration (not substance) and repackages them in a story that's sorta about a woman (Elisabeth Shue) learning to be a proper mother (emphasis on "sorta"). Mark Tonderai's unfocused direction doesn't help, either. By the time the film devolves into "killer chases blonde" during the third act, the realization sinks in: it's all so lame, there's no need to remember much once you've left the theater.

The Raven

John Cusack in The Raven Director James McTeigue's The Raven makes this list if for no other reason than it promotes the misconception that Edgar Allan Poe's stories are, well... kind of boring. John Cusack does his best to make the movie version of Poe interesting, but Ben Livingston and Hanna Shakespeare's script seems more focused on stringing together gruesome murder set pieces based on the author's most famous works ("The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Tell-Tale Heart", etc.). That is, without carrying over the qualities that make them so horrifying to read on the printed page. Poe is the credited inventor of the detective fiction genre, so a murder-mystery where his macabre tales come to life - and explain his perplexing death - is a great idea (in theory). However, poor execution wastes all that potential.

Paranormal Activity 4

Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4 We're not Paranormal Activity franchise haters, so it was all the more frustrating to watch Paranormal Activity 4 drop the ball after three installments well-received by our staff. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman collaborated with PA2 writer Christopher Landon on PA3, making (in essence) a prequel that builds on the ideas of its predecessors and uses found-footage to say something about (the rise of) videophile culture. The trio reunited for PA4, but forgot to include those key aspects. PA4 avoids being a complete disaster (thanks to some clever sequences and camera tricks), but an over-strung storyline and weakly rehashed scares make it the weakest chapter yet. We're still dreading Paranormal Activity 5; just not for the right reasons.

The Watch

The Watch with Jonah Hill and Ben Stiller Things were rough for The Watch from the get-go, following indie Brit alien invasion flick Attack the Block and Trayvon Martin's tragic death (prompting a title/marketing change). Ultimately, though, it didn't need the "help." Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and Jared Stern's script boasts a clever premise that playfully jabs at the American suburban lifestyle and masculine identity, as brought to life by four funny-guys (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade). Too bad it's buried beneath a sea of bland sex jokes and lewd humor that often feels like (sloppy) improvisation. Director Akiva Schaffer shares some blame, as proceedings rarely zip by with enough manic energy. Even "outrageous" payoffs - such as Billy Crudup's neighborhood orgy or Vaughn literally castrating his daughter's two-bit (alien) boyfriend - leave you yawning, not laughing out loud.

A Thousand Words

Eddie Murphy in A Thousand Words Eddie Murphy's comedy-drama A Thousand Words almost succeeds as a brilliant satire of high-concept yuckfests written by Steve Koren (Bruce Almighty, Click) and directed by Brian Robbins (The Shaggy Dog, Norbit)... almost. We might believe that was intentional, given how characters respond to motor-mouth Jack (Murphy) going silent is so far removed from reality; or, how Cliff Curtis' spiritual teacher has nothing better to do than teach this (sorta) jerk a lesson, under the threat of death. However, by the time Jack finds emotional closure with his deceased father, it sure feels like everything's meant to be taken seriously. Again, maybe A Thousand Words really is too deep for us. Either way, it has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so we're not alone in our skepticism.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Love 'em or hate 'em, filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are practically avant-garde when it comes to how they approach juvenile pop action (see: Crank, Crank 2, Gamer). However, we feel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a failed experiment for the duo. The Crank movies work because star Jason Statham commits to a kinetic "plot" that feels made up along the way; yet, it manages to both celebrate and spoof trashy action tropes (via deft-defying handheld camerawork). Spirit of Vengeance feels like an attempt to substitute a superhero mythos (co-adapted by David Goyer) for generic action into that formula. However, things fail to come together so well because the directors have less affection for the Ghost Rider mythos (by their own admittance) and it shows. Similarly, Nicolas Cage's central performance - and the cast in general - is hammy, but too predictably kooky for its own good.

Gone

Amanda Seyfried in Gone Amanda Seyfried ended last year on a strong note, despite starting 2012 off with the ambitious (but lackluster) mystery-thriller Gone. Here, ambition refers to how Allison Burnett's script subverts the misogyny of Film Noir with a femme-powered tale about a world that disrespects women and promotes a culture of violence against them. The problem is Seyfried's character's behavior is so implausible as to inadvertently reinforce the crazy feminist stereotype. Furthermore, director Heitor Dhalia's imitation of Noir tropes jars with the modern setting. It's neither self-referencing (see: Brick) nor a proper genre updating (see: Bound) and ends up feeling kitschy, as a result.

Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries Chernobyl Diaries might've been more tolerable had it just gone the distance and been a true found-footage movie, but it ends up having the same narrative/technical shortcomings (without the pseudo-reality angle to fall back on). Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli co-wrote and produced the film, which fails to properly utilize its nightmarish setting for spooky effect; not to mention, the moral undertones of the story (about Americans exploiting a European tragedy for their own entertainment) get lost in the fray. Thinly-sketched characters, herky-jerky camerawork and a sudden, ambiguous, ending are more acceptable in a found-footage flick. Otherwise, they come off as lazy (as is the case here).

The Devil Inside

The Devil Inside It wasn't all bad news for found-footage films last year (see: Chronicle), but things really got off on the wrong foot with The Devil Inside. Director William Brent Bell and co-writer Matthew Peterman's script starts off exploring mother-daughter issues, but that's abandoned in favor of touching on church corruption, true sin and the line between religion and science (none of which are satisfyingly examined). When combined with flimsy shock tactics, the result's a film that is not all that smart or scary. Yes, the filmmakers were aiming for realism (and not just with that infuriating conclusion), but something like Chronicle demonstrates there's a better way to achieve that. And our pick for Worst Movie of 2012 is...

The Apparition

Ashley Greene in The Apparition Marketing for writer-director Todd Lincoln's The Apparition teased an ingenious setup: a young couple's (Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan) dreams for the future are shattered by a dark secret, embodied by a metaphorical specter which kills people once they believe in it. The problem is the second half of that premise has virtually nothing to do with the actual movie. Frankly, The Apparition is a mind-boggling failure. It often forgets basic film school standards for how to shoot a movie, relies on hilariously ineffective cross-cutting and relentless techno-beat score to (not) create tension, has flat-out inane dialogue and acting, and no suspense to boot. What else is there to say? This flick's a mess.

(Dis)Honorable Mentions

That's My Boy Piranha 3DD Underworld Awakening That's My Boy - Adam Sandler's latest could've been a witty and idiosyncratic raunch-com about father-son neurosis; one that roots for the dysfunctional lower class, no less. If only the jokes and storytelling weren't so darn lazy... Piranha 3DD - Remember how Piranha 3D reveled in its B-movie campiness and trashy content, delivering kitsch horror "art?" Well, director John Gulager's sequel fails to repeat that trick. Underworld: Awakening - Sometimes, it's best to quit while you're ahead, and the latest Underworld installment probably should've heeded that advice. True facts: this film was also co-written by Gone scribe Allison Burnett, sorry to say. - What did you feel were the worst movies of 2012? Let us know in the comments section.
TAGS: a thousand words, chernobyl diaries, ghost rider 2, gone, house at the end of the street, paranormal activity 4, piranha 3dd, thats my boy, the apparition, the devil inside, the raven, The Watch, underworld 4

104 Comments

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  1. Chernobyl Diaries was.. well no THAT lame. It’s was ok.
    There are worst movies in 2012 not in that list, “Alex Cross” or “Silent hill 3D” ?

    • Well, I’d argue that Alex Cross at least had a memorable villain to pull it through: http://screenrant.com/best-movies-characters-2012/

      As for Silent Hill 3D: agreed, it’s nothing special, but not altogether terrible either (IMO, of course).

      • Number one should’ve been TDKR.

        • Nope.

        • agreed. TDKR was the only Nolan movie I have seen that i hated.

          • +1

    • I highly disagree, Chernobly diaries was one of the laziest attempts at film making I have ever watched, then again I stopped watching paranormal activity after the first one. The It was not scary, the script was a MESS, and acting was terrible. It was not scary or suspenseful and just left me confused at the end. I could write pages on all of the awful things wrong with that movie.

  2. I agree!

  3. Uhh, where’s Twilight and That’s My Boy on this list?

    • That’s My Boy made the (dis)honorable mentions and almost popped into the top 10. I dunno, maybe the raunchier tone made it less tedious for me.

      As for Twilight, you should check out our review: http://screenrant.com/breaking-dawn-2-reviews/

  4. Yep, that list is about right. I would’ve squeezed Sandler into the top 10 though. Can’t stand his crap anymore. Dishonorable mention is good though lol

  5. Again, no Project X? That film was terrible! Agree with everything else though.

  6. yeah adam sandler keeps makin these crap awful movies its like he just doesnt care.and that movie where the woman getspregant and the obe wuth kate bosworth for keeps i think that was crap.

    • I’d agree, the only movies I’ve ever enjoyed that featured Sandler were Zohan and Airheads, the rest have been utter crap. No idea how he’s made so much money and still keeps on working.

      • How can you not like Happy Gilmore? That is one of the funniest movies EVER!

  7. The Keith Lemon Movie was the worst film I saw in 2012, potentially in my entire life.

    • I’d agree but I never saw it, I usually avoid any tv shows that have him. He relies too much on toilet humour and sex gags and while I can enjoy them now and then, I hate when tv shows and movies rely solely on them for their humour. It’s like “hey, we aren’t creative enough to make something genuinely funny so lets have a load of sex related gags!”

      Which pretty much sums up the American Pie movies and anything written by or starring that other talentless hack Seth Rogen.

  8. I’m glad you answered to those dumb asses at Time Magazine, and this list is 10 times (lol, No Pun Intended) better.

  9. Good list guys. On some other film site, they put Killer Joe and Moonrise Kingdom in their worst movies of 2012 list. Lol

  10. The Babymakers. Really, really bad.

  11. I enjoyed underworld I’ve always been a fan of the franchise.

    But maybe I also just like beckinsale is a black leather outfit running around for 2 hours haha

    Pretty spot on with your list though. Awesome.

  12. Nice list. But Times was right: John Carter of Mars was one of THE worst movies of 2012. Reminiscent of Jonah Hex and Cowboys and Aliens IMO. Perhaps the recipe just doesn’t quite work. Can’t put my finger on the reason why, but the movie sucked big time. From the acting to the story.

    • I thought that John Carter was excellent. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea stylistically, but I was impressed with pretty much every aspect of it.

      • Agreed Jerry. I enjoyed it as well. Not a perfect movie, but the story was good and the SFx were well done.

      • I cant understand why people dont like John Carter…. I thought it was great :)

  13. I’ve only seen a couple of the films on this list, so I can’t really attest to how bad they really are, but the ridiculous looking CGI baby alone puts Twilight in my Top 5 Worst of 2012.

  14. I thought “The Raven” was an excellent film

  15. Poe wrote SHORT stories so he could get away with a lot more than he otherwise would have. I don’t think there is a novel in the black cat, or the pit and the pendulum, and there is definitely not a movie in them either

  16. I haven’t seen most of these but Ghost Rider 2 was pretty damn bad… Project X was also especially terrible – I think it might just be the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

    • I saw Project X for the first time on tv last month and damn, it really was terrible. If I was friends with the fat Italian that kept pushing the main kid into making his little gathering of friends bigger then I would’ve seriously kicked the little goomba’s ass back to New York and disowned him as a friend long before the day of the party.

      I guess it was a movie for the idiot crowd who enjoy Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Rob Schneider movies or something.

      Yay, drinking!

      Ghost Rider 2 was horrendous though, I really hope that franchise gets rebooted. The first wasn’t actually that bad but the second was a mess.

  17. Soooo where’s “John Carter”??

    • I enjoyed John Carter for what it is. Just for the CGI work it does not deserve his place in this list ^^

  18. The worst film of the year year for me anyway was PROMETHEUS , yes I know there were loads more worse films but my anticipation was through the roof and what was delivered was a huge disappointment

  19. I thought A Thousand Words was pretty good!

    • same here I enjoyed it

  20. Promethius comes nowhere close to the worse movies of 2012, putting it in a category with a Adam Sandler movie is unthinkable, I mean really

    • This.

      Prometheus should be in a lot of Best Movies Of 2012 lists not only for being visually stunning but for being a damn good few hours of entertainment and especially managing to put both religion and the Ancient Aliens theory into the spotlight as part of a big budget Hollywood movie guaranteed to sell tickets.

      • I agree, aside from being visually stunning, it was a bit cerebral. (Made u think a bit) and after a second view, it was even better, could anyone say that about any of the movies on this list, especially a Adam Sandker movie (water boarding and a Adam Sandler soulsdbe used together to active desired results ).

        • That’s why I only ever liked Zohan and Airheads, the first because it was pretty funny in places, especially thanks to John Turturro and Airheads because Sandler wasn’t the main guy and not written by him so it was genuinely hilarious throughout, especially Steve Buscemi’s outbursts.

          That and I’m a lifelong heavy metal fan so the humour and references hit me harder than they would to someone who doesn’t listen to that music. Hell, my college years were described as being similar to Watne’s World too so….

          • Chazz: “Who’d win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?”
            Record exec: “Lemmy.”
            (Chazz makes game show buzzer sound)
            Record exec: “…God?”
            Chazz: “Wrong, d***head. Trick question. Lemmy IS God.”

    • + 1. Prometheus had it’s problems, but it doesn’t deserve to be on this list.

  21. One correction:

    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, was not “adapted” by David S. Goyer. He’s credited with the story and also gets a screenwriter credit along with co-writer credits for Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman.

    The turd that is Ghost Rider lays stinking in it’s entirety at Goyer’s feet. He’s a terrible writer of dialog. That’s why I fear for Man of Steel.

    • Happy B-day Nicholas Cage.

  22. Will we be getting ‘Screenrants top 10 most surprising TV deaths’ again this year? I really loved that list last year.

    • Bane’s death was sudden and anti-climatic to say the least, so I would think that would make the list. :D

      • bane’s death was stupid and added nothing to the story except to add in a cheesy one-liner by anne hathaway which I thought Nolan was above. So I hope it does not make the list.

  23. Killing them softely should be on this list. What a pile of crap

  24. Where’s Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure! :P

    • @boogoo – LMAO! I think kid’s movies, that is, ones that are SPECIFICALLY aimed at the 6 and under crowd should get a pass. That’s just me though.

      Paul

      • Haha, agreed. Just thought it’d be funny if I mentioned it. :)

  25. John Carter and Alex Cross both deserve to be on this list. While I didn’t like Cloud Atlas as much as some people, it was because of it’s convoluted plot and artistic approach in storytelling. Lacing various story arcs together made the whole experience confusing and left me cold, although the performances are terrific and the visuals (which should earn a nomination) are astounding.

  26. I find it hilarious that just about half of these movies listed here by Screen Rant are from the “found footage” genre…proof that that’s one idea that dried up years ago (say, with the first Paranormal Activity?).

  27. Yes! TDKR deserves to be on the list of worst movies of 2012, because it was SO bad, It managed to influence the likes of James Bond (Skyfall), and perhaps even Star Trek: Into Darkness. It also gave us one of the most memorable villains of the past decade, and managed to redeem Catwoman. You trolls make me sick, if you cant manage to appreciate TDKR for what it is, then you are an 1diot. Im sick of you Nolan/TDK/DC haters.

    • Calling someone an idiot just because they didn’t like a movie is a bit harsh, no? Plus, I think it was TDK, not TDKR, which influenced Skyfall and, maybe, the next Star Trek film.

    • Sorry but apart from Catwoman, all those things you mentioned would refer to The Dark Knight (as in, no rises)

  28. I do not understand the hate for John Carter. I’ve seen it a few times now and it’s not a great movie, but it’s nowhere near “bad”. The same goes for Prometheus. I think people let themselves get carried away with expectations and when they’re not met they become unhinged and can’t see passed the disappointment.

  29. Prometheus?

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