Lisa Marie’s Picks For The 16 Worst Films of 2022

Well, it’s nearly February so I guess it’s time for me to start listing my picks for the best and the worst of 2022.

It’s pretty much a tradition here at the Shattered Lens that I always end up running behind as far as posting these lists are concerned.  I always think that I’m going to have everything ready to go during the first week of January but then I realize that there’s still a host of movies that I need to see before I can, in good conscience, post any sort of list.  Fortunately, I think I’ve finally reached where I can start posting lists.  Add to that, as I said at the start of this post, it’s nearly February!

Below, you’ll find my picks for the 16 worst films of 2022.  Why 16 films?  Because Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers!

In the end, of course, this list is my opinion.  You’re free to agree or disagree.  That’s the wonderful thing about having an opinion.

(Also be sure to check out my picks for 2021, 2020, 201920182017201620152014201320122011, and 2010!)

16. Glass Onion (dir by Rian Johnson) — I realize that, by even including Glass Onion on this list, I’m going out on a limb here.  A lot of people who I respect really enjoyed this film.  Several of my friends have it on their best of the year lists.  And that’s fine!  The film just didn’t work for me and it often seemed a bit too amused with itself.  That said, what really pushed me over the edge was what happened to the Mona Lisa.  If that hadn’t happened, this film would probably be ranked in the middle of the 129 films that are eligible for this year’s worst and best lists.

15. The Fallout (dir by Megan Park) — The Fallout dealt with an important subject and it had some good performances but it was just a bit too overwritten and predictable for me.  Plus, the film opened with someone making a really messy peanut butter sandwich and that totally grossed me out.  Jenna Ortega is still destined to be a star, though.

14. Studio 666 (dir by BJ McDonnell) — I wasn’t particularly harsh in my initial review of Studio 666 but, the more I think about it, the more dissatisfied I am with the film.  This is one of those films where the people making it definitely had more fun than the people who watched it.  I still respect the Foo Fighters for doing something for their fans and Dave Grohl seems to be about as likable and goofy as a rock star can be.  But the film itself ultimately feels a bit lazy,

13. A Day To Die (dir by Wes Miller) — This bland action film got some attention because it was one of the many films featuring Bruce Willis to be released this year.  Unfortunately, this one was just boring.  Willis and co-star Kevin Dillion were both seen to better effect in Wire Room.

12. The Princess (dir by Le-Van Kiet) — This cheap-looking film had a lot of action but not much characterization.  The film was so busy patting itself on the back for celebrating girl power that it didn’t seem to have noticed that the girl at the center of the film was seriously underwritten.

11. The Bubble (dir by Judd Apatow) — This oddly mean-spirited satire was Judd Apatow at his most self-indulgent and undisciplined.  The film’s smug attitude made it a real chore to sit through.

10. Fortress: Sniper’s Eye (dir by Josh Sternfeld) — This rather pointless action film was among the many films in which Bruce Willis appeared this year.  Willis spends most of the film offscreen while Jesse Metcalfe and Chad Michael Murray play two enemies who are trying to kill each other because of …. reasons, I guess.  Instead of watching this film, check out Willis in White Elephant, an entertaining film in which he plays a crime boss who goes to war with Michael Rooker.

9. Hellraiser (dir by David Buckner) — Blandly directed and poorly acted, this was a pointless reboot of the Hellraiser series, with Jamie Clayton proving to be a forgettable replacement for Doug Bradley.

8. American Siege (dir by Edward Drake) — This was undoubtedly the worst of Bruce Willis’s 2022 films, with a silly plot and Willis cast as an alcoholic police chief who has to decide whether or not to stand up to the richest man in town.  That said, Edward Drake also directed in Bruce Willis in Gasoline Alley, an excellent modern-day noir that featured a great lead performance from Devon Sawa and which gave Willis a decent role.  Instead of seeing American Siege, track down Gasoline Alley.

7. Windfall (dir by Charlie McDowell) — Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons, Lily Collins, and Charlie McDowell are all undoubtedly talented but this hostage melodrama goes nowhere unexpected.  Like a lot of hostage dramas, it becomes a bit of a drag as all of the expected mental games are played.  The attempt at social commentary falls flat.

6. Morbius (dir by Daniel Espinosa) — I started this film in October and didn’t bother to finish it until January.  Jared Leto seems to be taking the whole thing just a bit too seriously.  I still think it’s funny that a bunch of twitter trolls tricked Sony into re-releasing this thing so that it could flop twice.

5. Amsterdam (dir by David O. Russell) — Overlong and self-indulgent, Amsterdam features all of David O. Russell’s storytelling flaws without many of his strength.  To be honest, this film lost me as soon as the cutesy “This is based on an almost true story” flashed across the screen.  Amsterdam thinks that it’s considerably more clever than it is.  Taylor Swift, for all of her other talents, is not a particularly interesting actress.  Christian Bale gave the type of terrible performance that can only be delivered by someone with a lot of talent but not much of an attention span.  John David Washington was as bland as ever.  The anti-FDR Businessman’s Plot is not as obscure or unknown as this film seems to think that it is.

4. Blonde (dir by Andrew Dominik) — Andrew Dominik gives us yet another incredibly pretentious film that doesn’t seem to have much of a point beyond rubbing the audience’s face in how depressing life can be.  For all the effort that this film takes to recreate the life of Marilyn Monroe, the film doesn’t really seem to have much respect for her or even really like her that much.  Indeed, the film takes an almost perverse joy in detailing every tragedy that she suffered but it never displays much empathy for her suffering.  Never does the film see fit to really acknowledge her as a talented actress who was reportedly far more intelligent and well-read than most people realized.  People should be far more upset over Ana de Armas’s Oscar nomination than Andrea Riseborough’s.

3. The Sky is Everywhere (dir by Josephine Decker) — Ugh.  This film was unbearably twee.

2. Halloween Ends (dir by David Gordon Green) — In the past, I’ve liked quite a few of David Gordon Green’s films.  But I have to admit that I’ve disliked his Halloween films so much that it’s actually made me start to dislike his past movies as well.  There’s just something incredibly smug about Green’s approach to the films, as if he wants to make sure that we all understand that he’s better than the average horror director.  The thought of Green redoing The Exorcist…. bleh!  Anyway, Halloween Ends is a Halloween film that barely features Michael Myers.  The ending, with the somber march to the auto yard, was the most unintentionally funny thing that I’ve seen this year.  Can someone please tell David Gordon Green to get back to making films like Joe?

1. After Ever Happy (dir by Castille Landon) — The saga of the world’s most boring lovers continues.  Will these films never end!?

Horror Film Review: Halloween Ends (dir by David Gordon Green)

Halloween Ends?  Not likely.

It is true that, with this movie, David Gordon Green does close out his version of the Halloween trilogy and, for that, we should all be thankful.  For all the critical acclaim that the film received, none of Green’s Halloween films seem destined to stand the test of time.  I like almost all of David Gordon Green’s work except for his Halloween films and, unfortunately, I find his version of Halloween to be so self-important and annoying that it overshadows what I previously liked about his other movies.  (Don’t even get me started on the news that he will next be rebooting The Exorcist.)  Watching the Green Halloween trilogy, you find yourself wondering why Green made the films at all since he seems to consider the whole slasher genre to be beneath him.  Say what you will about Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, Zombie at least loves the horror genre.  Green, like so many Blumhouse filmmakers, only seems to make horror films so that he can remind us that he’s better than them.

But I doubt that this will be the final Halloween film.  It will be the last Halloween film produced under Blumhouse, as the rights to the story and the characters now revert back to Malek Akkad.  And, as long as there is money to be made off of the franchise, there will be new Halloween films.  Someone else will come along and reboot the franchise and hopefully wipe out the Green continuity just as ruthlessly as Green wiped out the previous franchise’s continuity.  In an age of franchises and prequels and cinematic universes, the Halloween franchise is proud to say, “Ha!  You mean you actually kept track of what happened in all the other movies!?  Sucks to be you, dumbass.”

But let’s talk about Halloween Ends.

As you may remember, Halloween Kills ended with Michael killing Laurie Strode’s daughter and Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) grabbing a shotgun and heading out to get  revenge.  Well …. ha ha, joke’s on you.  Laurie never got her revenge.  Michael vanished.  Four years later, Laurie has gone from being a badass survivalist to being a cheerful, cookie-baking grandma because she had to let go of the anger.  Laurie spent forty years preparing for Michael to return and then, when Michael does return and brutally murders her daughter, Laurie decides that she has to let go of her anger.  Laurie’s main concern is that the town of Haddonfield is now a traumatized and angry place.  Maybe she can spread positivity by writing a memoir about her life.  Sadly, this means that we also have to listen to passages from Laurie’s memoirs.  Laurie Strode is good at fighting psychotic killers but she sucks as a writer.

Unfortunately, whenever Laurie leaves the house that she shares with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), she runs the risk of being accosted by all of the angry people who all lost a relative or a friend to Michael Myers.  All of them view Laurie as being a reminder of the pain caused by Michael.  They actually do have a point and you have to wonder about Laurie’s claim that she’s staying in Haddonfield to help the town heal.  First off, I don’t know why Laurie would have so much loyalty to what appears to be a fairly generic suburb.  Secondly, the townspeople are so traumatized that is actually seems a bit a selfish for Laurie to remain in Haddonfield and to continually remind everyone of the worst night of their lives.  I mean, Laurie could move.  You know who can’t leave?  The wheelchair-bound woman who was paralyzed while Michael was killing everyone in town because he wanted to find Laurie.

Michael disappeared after killing Laurie’s daughter.  No one knows where Michael is.  Michael is a big and fearsome serial killer who nearly wiped out an entire town and he’s out there somewhere and apparently, no one is looking for him.  That’s what one has to assume because, according to the film, he’s spent the last four years living underneath a bridge.  He’s still wearing his mask.  He looks and acts exactly the same way as he did previously.  He’s still killing people.  He’s just doing it under a bridge.  How, in four yeas time, has it not occurred to anyone in law enforcement to not check under the bridge?  It’s the most obvious hiding spot in town but no one looked under the bridge.  And why, if Michael is obsessed with killing Laurie, has he spent four years under a bridge as opposed to going to Laurie’s house?

Michael is pretty much treated as a supporting character in Halloween Ends.  For that matter, so is Laurie.  The majority of the film centers around a new character named Corey (Rohan Campbell).  Corey was a college student with a bright future until a terrible babysitting accident led to the death of a boy named Jeremy.  Corey was blamed for the death, even though it really wasn’t his fault.  (The scenes with Corey and Jeremy open the film and are so well-handled that it leaves little doubt that Green was far more emotionally invested in Corey’s storyline than he was in any of the Michael/Laurie nonsense.)  Even though Corey was acquitted of manslaughter, he is now the town pariah.  Corey meets and falls in love with Allyson but, unfortunately, the town’s constant taunting and suspicion causes him to snap.  He becomes a disciple and then a rival of Michael’s.

Corey is the type of damaged character who has been at the center of many of David Gordon Green’s non-Halloween films.  One gets the feeling that Green wanted to make a movie about Corey but, since he’s abandoned indie films in order to spend his time screwing up venerable horror franchises, Green and co-writer Danny McBride instead jammed Corey’s story into a Halloween film.  While Corey has the potential to be an interesting character, he doesn’t belong here.  Making Corey into a killer means reducing Michael’s powers.  Michael goes from being a fearsome symbol of pure evil to being some guy in the sewers who gets beaten up and mugged by a nerdy guy who previously couldn’t even stand up to the members of the school band.  It not only goes against the spirit of the original Halloween films but also against everything that was previously established in the Green Halloween films.  I mean, Corey beats up Michael after Corey gets beaten up by a bunch of band kids.  Maybe if the posse in Halloween Kills had been made up of the high school marching band, Laurie’s daughter would still be alive.

It all gets to be a bit annoying.  There are so many little things that don’t make any sense.  My favorite is that the family of that hired Corey to babysit moves out of their house after the death of their son.  Corey continues to break into the now abandoned house, which has sat empty for four years.  And yet, the abandoned house is remarkably well taken care of.  For some reason, the family took all of their furniture but left behind a grand piano.  Why wouldn’t they take the piano with them?  In the drawing room, there’s a book shelf that is empty except for three books.  Why would the family leave those three books behind?  When Green rebooted the Halloween franchise, he ignored all of the sequels because, according to him, the sequels weren’t any good and didn’t make sense.  But Halloween Ends feels as rushed and nonsensical as any of the films that featured Danielle Harris as Laurie’s daughter.

The film ends with the community of Haddonfield coming together once again.  It’s a scene that I wish I could describe but to do so would mean spoiling the end of the movie.  Let’s just say that it’s incredibly dumb and it almost feels like a parody of the previous Green films.  One of the worst thing about the Green films is the insistence of presenting Haddonfield as being some sort of iconic location as opposed to just being a generic anytown USA.  The whole reason why the original Halloween films were so effective was because Haddonfield could have been anywhere.  Green tries to turn Haddonfield into another Twin Peaks and it’s another sign that he never really understood what made John Carpenter’s original film work in the first place.  Ironically, a lot of what happens during the final moments of Halloween Ends would make more sense if Michael was Laurie’s brother but, again, the Green films did away with all that.

Halloween Ends is not necessarily the worst film of 2022.  As a director, Green is still capable of coming up with an effective shot or two.  But, considering the hype that accompanied it, it is one of the most disappointing.  And it also has the most unintentionally funny ending of any film you’re likely to see in 2022.  Whenever I feel down, I just think about that solemn procession to the auto yard and it cheers me right up.

As I said at the start of this review, Halloween will never end as long as there is money to be made.  So, in another few years, we’ll get another reboot and, once again, we’ll discover with Laurie, Tommy Doyle, Linsdey, and Sheriff Brackett have been doing since the night Michael came home.  My idea for a reboot is that they should make Michael and Laurie into siblings.  That would be interesting.