Khraniteli (1991)

dir. Natalya Serebryakova This Soviet-era adaptation of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring aired on Soviet television once. Just once. Then it was considered lost, until almost thirty years later, when it was rediscovered and posted on YouTube for all the world to enjoy. With the caveat that the productionContinue reading “Khraniteli (1991)”

Nest of Vampires (2021)

dir. Chris Sanders Nest of Vampires follows Kit Valentine, an MI5 agent pursuing a human trafficking ring which has kidnapped his daughter. Said human trafficking ring thrives on selling young girls to Satanic cult members for some generic ritualistic butchering, for which there is apparently a large market yet barely any police investigation into beyondContinue reading “Nest of Vampires (2021)”

Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)

dir. Fumihiko Sori The really disappointing thing about the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist is the fact that the source material is amazing. The 2000s manga and anime series told the tragic tale of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric with beautiful visuals, complex character development, and meticulous storyline pacing. That last one is especially crucial when youContinue reading “Fullmetal Alchemist (2017)”

Vampire Dog (2012)

dir. Geoff Anderson Vampire Dog is about as stupid and insane as you’d expect a film called Vampire Dog to be. Twelve-year-old Ace inherits his dead grandfather’s pet dog Fang, and swiftly discovers the canine’s supernatural abilities. He can move super fast. He can hypnotise people. He talks, in the slightly pained tones of NormContinue reading “Vampire Dog (2012)”

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

dir. Rachel Talalay A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting quite possibly has the most childish title of all time. Go figure – it’s a kids’ movie, following a young babysitter who goes on a magical quest to save the boy she was supposed to be looking after. He’s been kidnapped, which would pretty much renderContinue reading “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)”

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)

dir. Jonathan Newman The Adventurer is unbelievable. It simply cannot be believed. Starring the likes of Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Keeley Hawes and Ioan Gruffudd, in 2013 it was heralded as the next Harry Potter. A heroic young man discovering magical objects and fighting nefarious forces. Based on the first of a trilogyContinue reading “The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)”

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

dir. Harald Zwart Big shock that they had to cancel the cinematic sequels they’d planned for this one. Maybe the original book series works, but this movie has absolutely no idea what it’s doing. It tries to incorporate every YA trope in the book: magic, vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, demons… It’s difficult to believe thereContinue reading “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)”

Red Riding Hood (2011)

dir. Catherine Hardwicke In a twist surprising no one, the director of Twilight brings us an adaptation of a fairy tale that’s supposed to be dark and brooding, but is instead just pretty goofy. So much doom and gloom, with murder and imprisonment and torture devices. But it’s hard to take the grimness fully seriouslyContinue reading “Red Riding Hood (2011)”

The Last Airbender (2010)

dir. M. Night Shyamalan Avatar: The Last Airbender is a truly incredible TV show. It’s marketed as a kids’ show but has tons of appeal for kids and adults alike. Fascinating characters, a complex world, an engrossing story, beautiful colours and shots, an entrancing score. It’s an incredible feat of storytelling. The best way toContinue reading “The Last Airbender (2010)”

The Last Vampire on Earth (2010)

dir. Vitaliy Versace It’s vampire cosplay filmed on someone’s Nokia 7650. Give or take. Released a couple years after Twilight while the franchise was still going strong, it’s clear the creators wanted to get in on the vampire-centric melodrama. Including such subtleties as the pale and brooding love interest being a haematology student, the filmContinue reading “The Last Vampire on Earth (2010)”

Twilight (2008)

dir. Catherine Hardwicke Ah, where it all began! The beautiful and insightful Bella Swan, who permanently looks like she’s going to be sick and sometimes arbitrarily falls on her ass. The brooding and charismatic Edward Cullen, who ostensibly slaps on some clown make-up every morning and fervently believes a diet of animal blood makes youContinue reading “Twilight (2008)”

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

dir. Chris Weitz Poor lovesick Bella. She spends a good deal of this film sitting sadly on a chair, while the camera spins around her and captions flash up telling us what month it is. It shows she’s depressed. Get it? All because one of the Cullens almost attacks Bella because he’s driven mad byContinue reading “The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)”

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

dir. David Slade Also known as “Insipid Love Triangle: The Movie”. The most forgettable of the Twilight films, no matter how eager Taylor Lautner is to take his shirt off. The most egregious thing of all is, while he’s undeniably a pathetic, clingy, hollow shell of a figure, Jacob is still about forty million timesContinue reading “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)”

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

dir. Bill Condon In which we’re forced to ponder the most pressing questions of Bella and Edward’s universe: if vampires don’t have blood, how do they get erections? Do they have hormones? How can the undead create life? How do the male vampires even have sperm??? Bella’s at the ripe old age of 18 orContinue reading “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)”

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

dir. Bill Condon Breaking Dawn – Part 2 can only truly be summed up as infuriating. It makes a point of messing with its audience. Of course, there’s all the general Twilight absurdity. This movie decides to dwell on ideas such as Bella’s incomprehensible beauty (conveyed by Kristen Stewart having her eyebrows coloured in darkerContinue reading “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)”

The Adventures of Açela (2020)

dir. Özgür Dogruöz It’s beyond generous to even refer to The Adventures of Açela as a movie. It’s more a psychological battering; a foray into the depths of a troubled consciousness; the audio-visual ravings of a lunatic. Here’s a green alien. There’s a tiger. Why? No “why”. Just is. The entire thing leads to aContinue reading “The Adventures of Açela (2020)”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

dir. Andrew Adamson In the wake of the magnificent Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Narnia films managed to achieve none of the things that made the former such a successful adaptation. There is no spark in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; it simply meanders from event to event with no particular emotionContinue reading “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)”

Suicide Squad (2016)

dir. David Ayer It is beyond incredible that this was ostensibly DC Films’ attempt at “The Avengers, but antiheroes”. The sad thing is, the premise isn’t half-bad – it could have been fun watching a bunch of villains run rogue. But Suicide Squad doesn’t let anyone run rogue. For all their monologuing about how evilContinue reading “Suicide Squad (2016)”

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

dir. Rupert Sanders This movie was just a mistake. The attempt to turn something as basic as the Snow White fairy tale into a dark and gritty epic was never going to work. Some of the cinematography and framing make a decent start, with the world visually portrayed as pretty complex and intriguing – butContinue reading “Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)”

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)

dir. Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez is not shy about the fact that this movie is based on the dreams of one of his children. A very sweet gesture, but also a sure-fire way to ensure your film makes no sense whatsoever. The main character is a boy called Max, who retreats into a world ofContinue reading “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005)”

Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)

dir. Kevan Peterson This one is genuinely mind-blowing. In a sense it’s a typical fantasy movie for kids – an unassuming girl discovers she has magical powers. In this film, rather than a witch or a vampire slayer, it turns out she’s a mermaid. Aside from some very awkward and specific rules around how exactlyContinue reading “Scales: Mermaids Are Real (2017)”

Quest for Camelot (1998)

dir. Frederik Du Chau One of those movies you watch as a kid and think is basically Disney, but then you grow up, rewatch it in a fit of nostalgia, and realise it’s pure trash. The heroine Kayley sets off on a quest to retrieve the legendary sword Excalibur and restore Camelot to peace, butContinue reading “Quest for Camelot (1998)”

Little Bee / Abelhinhas (2009)

dir. Michelle Gabriel Obviously the reason Video Brinquedo even existed was to rip off bigger films and dupe unsuspecting viewers into thinking they were purchasing the real thing. It’s still difficult to fathom why they’d want to rip off Bee Movie, which is a terrible cheap flaming garbage fire all by itself. At least LittleContinue reading “Little Bee / Abelhinhas (2009)”

Left Behind (2014)

dir. Vic Armstrong Who doesn’t want an apocalyptic thriller starring the equally impactful acting forces of Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray? This one involves half the people in the world suddenly disappearing, well before Thanos made the idea mainstream. The ultimate point of Left Behind is a difficult one to ascertain – the toneContinue reading “Left Behind (2014)”

Goat Story – The Old Prague Legends (2008)

dir. Jan Tománek Goat Story is freaky. It’s just freaky. And not just because of the shoddy computer animation, which gives every character such bulging eyes and stilted movement that the visuals alone make Goat Story the stuff of nightmares. But that’s not enough – Goat Story has to push things further. It has toContinue reading “Goat Story – The Old Prague Legends (2008)”

Goat Story 2 / Goat Story with Cheese (2012)

dir. Jan Tománek One would be forgiven for believing it couldn’t get any worse than Goat Story, but wow, it really does. Goat Story 2 manages to somehow be even madder, scarier and stupider than the first one. The same horrific animation stays. There are idiotic songs and annoying characters again. But this time, theContinue reading “Goat Story 2 / Goat Story with Cheese (2012)”

Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)

dir. Kelly Asbury Romeo and Juliet, as told by animated comedic gnomes. Oh good. Clearly someone came up with the title and decided to build a movie around it, but even that doesn’t excuse the total absence of any humour, romance, or basic effort at all from this film. The jokes are all of theContinue reading “Gnomeo and Juliet (2011)”

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor Sadly, Spirit of Vengeance isn’t quite as much fun as the first Ghost Rider. By this time they really embraced how utterly ludicrous the whole Ghost Rider concept is, and dial everything to 11. Exorcisms, demons, explosions – it’s all designed to be as outlandish as possible. But Nicolas Cage,Continue reading “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)”

Ghost Rider (2007)

dir. Mark Steven Johnson A man sells his soul, and technically gets his side of the bargain, but it’s underpinned with tragic consequences. He hurtles himself into a void of risk-taking and self-destruction, with his old childhood sweetheart being his only potential source of salvation. His old demons come back to haunt him, as heContinue reading “Ghost Rider (2007)”

G-Force (2009)

dir. Hoyt Yeatman G-Force is a family film about a bunch of talking guinea pigs and other animals. For something so inherently basic, it’s weirdly hard to follow. There’s intelligence operations and spy gadgets and microchips and FBI stings and computer viruses. There’s also a cackling British villain played with maximum Britishness by Bill Nighy.Continue reading “G-Force (2009)”

Drop Dead Fred (1991)

dir. Ate de Jong The sole trait of the character Drop Dead Fred is that he’s annoying. Unfortunately, by making Drop Dead Fred obnoxious and unlikeable, it also makes Drop Dead Fred obnoxious and unlikeable. Seems obvious, but the movie didn’t seem to realise it. Phoebe Cates plays Elizabeth, a young woman who begins seeingContinue reading “Drop Dead Fred (1991)”

The Christmas Tree (1991)

dir. Flamarion Ferreira The Christmas Tree is, frankly, bewildering. There is just no reason for this film to exist. The story wasn’t worth telling – it’s all about some sad orphans trying to stop a tree from getting cut down, in possibly the lowest stakes of any kids’ film ever. Ostensibly none of the castContinue reading “The Christmas Tree (1991)”

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

dir. Richard LaGravenese Beautiful Creatures feels a bit like an extended music video for some vacuous gothic pop band. Quite obviously trying to continue the Twilight tradition of a love story affected by a family’s supernatural leanings, Beautiful Creatures is more preoccupied with its characters’ swooshy dresses and histrionic posing than with trying to presentContinue reading “Beautiful Creatures (2013)”

Sherlock Holmes (2010)

dir. Rachel Lee Goldenberg Sherlock Holmes is an adaptation of the classic sleuth mysteries, this time made by The Asylum. The very same production house behind classics like Sharknado and Age of the Hobbits as well as such mockbusters as Sunday School Musical. Naturally, this version of Sherlock Holmes contains all the effort and careContinue reading “Sherlock Holmes (2010)”

Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket (2016)

dir. Paul Serafini Terrible title, terrible movie. Annabelle Hooper follows the eponymous heroine, who embodies a weird synthesis of Harriet the Spy with the Scooby Doo gang. She and her friends – all of whom quite honestly look exactly the same: white and generically good-looking – must unravel schemes of theft and ghostly conspiracies toContinue reading “Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket (2016)”

Age of the Hobbits / Clash of the Empires / Lord of the Elves (2013)

dir. Joseph Lawson It doesn’t even really know what its own title is, beyond being sure it wants to be some form of Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit rip-off that might bamboozle innocent viewers into thinking it’s the real thing. It even got a restraining order, prohibiting it from being released alongside TheContinue reading “Age of the Hobbits / Clash of the Empires / Lord of the Elves (2013)”

Albion: The Enchanted Stallion (2016)

dir. Castille Landon The first thing to realise about Albion: The Enchanted Stallion is that the enchanted stallion’s name isn’t Albion. Albion is actually the name of the magical fantasy realm our young heroine is transported to, via said enchanted stallion. Beyond this the enchanted stallion actually doesn’t do very much at all, despite whatContinue reading “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion (2016)”

Troll 2 (1990)

dir. Claudio Fragasso Troll 2 is utterly delightful. It’s purportedly a sequel to Troll, obviously, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with it. There aren’t even trolls in this movie. That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Troll 2’s total insanity. The main character is a little boy called Joshua,Continue reading “Troll 2 (1990)”