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The Good, The Bad and The Scary – May 18, 2009

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Hollywood loves blaming the economy for good movies that don’t get made. But who’s at fault when they remake movies that were crummy to start with, or greenlight ideas no one over the age of 12 could possibly take seriously? Let’s start with the good, though this week it’s a relative term. A few of these really belong after the jump, but I’m feeling generous…


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The Good
Rank Movie
1 theroad75x75.jpg The Road
The trailer is a doozy; the movie looks like a pretty faithful adaptation of the most depressing book I’ve read in years… which I couldn’t put down for the eighteen hours it took me to finish it. One to keep an eye on.
2 nightmare-on-elm-street-freddy-headshot-small-75x75.jpg A Nightmare on Elm Street
Photos have surfaced of Illinois’ Elk Grove High, which will be used in the remake, and it looks exactly like the one I went to. For a movie I’m looking forward to on purely nostalgic grounds, they’re hitting the right notes.
3 forest_whitaker75x75.jpg Jekyll and Hyde
No, not the Keanu Reeves one: That’s Jekyll. This is Abel Ferrara‘s take, with Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent. It makes me smile to put those names in one sentence, so it gets the benefit of the doubt for now.
4 silenthill75x75.jpg Silent Hill 2
Christophe Gans won’t be at the helm and who knows whether Radha Mitchell is returning. But it looks like Roger Avary, who wrote the original, will direct… if we’re nice to him. At least they’re keeping it in the family.
5 frightnight75x75.jpg Fright Night
Another remake of a 1980s movie you remember kind of liking, but don’t panic. It will still be a horror comedy, the premise is intact and it may not even happen: No director or writer is attached. Maybe that’s for the best.

…that was rough. Finding five bad movies this week was easier. A lot easier.


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The Bad
Rank Movie
-1 piranha-3d75x75.jpg Piranha 3-D
Add Christopher Lloyd, Paul Scheer and Cody Longo to the ever-expanding cast: If every actor gets just one line the movie will be nineteen hours long. Who will join next week? Tune in to find out!
-2 DragMeToHell75x75.jpg Drag Me to Hell
A third TV spot just debuted online. It’s exactly like the first two, except with a voice over for people too dumb to understand that yes, Sam Raimi is directing; if he weren’t there’d be no reason at all to see it.
-3 tbk75x75.jpg TBK: Toolbox Murders
Tobe Hooper made two absolute horror classics and a bunch of movies nobody liked. Guess which category this one fell into? Except that TBK isn’t Hooper’s junky movie… it’s a bad sequel to the bad remake of a bad movie that he made (badly).
-4 messengers75x75.jpg The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow
When is a sequel not a sequel? When it’s a prequel. When is a movie not worth making? When nobody on the whole wide web even pretends to care. There must be someone with a Penelope Ann Miller fetish… too bad they bailed after The Messengers.
-5 megashark75x75.jpg Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
Oh, come on. The CGI looks terrible. The live action looks worse. Then Debbie Gibson says “It’s the Thrilla in Manila. We get them to kill each other.” Yeah, that’s what Ali and Frazier were trying to do in 1975. You know what would have looked good in ’75? This movie.

Will next week be any better? Is there a bottom to the Hollywood barrel? Will I continue to scrape it so you can enjoy a moment of snarky satisfaction at the failure of others? Only time will tell.

David Wellington is a horror novelist whose latest book is Vampire Zero. He lives in New York City with his wife Elisabeth and his dog Mary, named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

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