Hindsight is always 2020
If for nothing else, 2020 can at least be praised for opening up for a lot free time for many people, myself included.
This free time could of course be spent in all manner of clever ways, or it could be spent watching movies. Partly, I opted for the latter.
With this in mind, I’d like to share a, for me, untraditional post here, where I share my top and bottom list of films I watched in the past year. But first a bit of the practical…
I managed to catch up on quite a few list-of-shame films, and caught several newer films as well, and I can gladly say that mostly, 2020 held a good batch of films in store. We’re not talking about films necessarily released in 2020 here, just films that were watched within the year.
Hence, especially the top list was extremely hard for me to get in order. I knew which film would end up in first place the moment I saw it, but the rest could easily switch place with each other without any further qualms. My main points of interest here is how much the film moved me, and how much I’d like to watch it again.
The criteria for my film list is quite simple; in qualifying for a spot, my first viewing of the film must have been in the calendar year – this means that it doesn’t matter when the film was produced, as long as I haven’t seen it before.
The top and bottom 10 places are arranged in order where 10 is the least best/worst and 1 is the most best/worst (you get the idea), and each get a few words with them as explanation.
In addition, there are honourable and dishonourable mentions, presented alphabetically. This year, I didn’t see nearly as many bad movies as I did good, hence the honourable mentions are more than the dishonourable ones.
For the first time, I’ve also got a couple of Meh experiences listed. They are here, because neither of them fit into either list, but I still wanted to mention them for whatever reason.
So there, let’s get to it, shall we?
Before heading to the lists themselves, I’d like to share some simple stats with you:
I saw 138 films, which quite a bump up compared to 2019.
Out of these, 116 were films I hadn’t seen before, leaving 22 as rewatches.
3 films were seen in the cinema, where the rest are quite evenly divided between physical media and streaming, with a slight upper hand to the former.
47 Meters Down (2017, Johannes Roberts)
Barton Fink (1991, Joel Cohen)
Equinox (1970, Dennis Muren, Jack Woods)
Lurking Fear (1994, C. Courtney Joyner)
Ready or Not (2019, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett)
10. Tomie: Forbidden Fruit, a.k.a. Tomie: Saishuu-shô – kindan no kajitsu, Tomie: Final Chapter
(2002, Shun Nakahara)
The film contains some ok violence and gore here and there, but as a whole, there is too little focus on the horror, the tempo is too low, and the new actress playing Tomie is too bland compared to some of her earlier incarnations.
(2016, Ashlea Wessel)
A beautiful looking short, but it seems to lack a script. There is absolutely no plot here, and we need that, even in a short film.
8. Klovn the Final
(2020, Mikkel Nørgaard)
Half-baked ending(?) to Denmark’s possibly longest running comedy franchise. It lacks scope and development. It feels more like a lengthy TV episode than a film, and the setting is mostly claustrophobic and a bit on the cheap side.
7. Voice of the Moon
(1990, Richard Stanley)
Truly bizarre and confusing artsy “documentary”, which clearly weighs atmosphere over message – and I have no idea how the atmosphere relates to the content.
(2008, Brad Anderson)
An alright, albeit not highly original idea is weighed down by a super cheap ’90ies TV look, and a clear lack of commitment from everyone involved, especially the cast.
5. The Island of the Lost, a.k.a. Die Insel der Verschollenen
(1921, Urban Gad)
This loose adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau mainly suffers from not knowing what tone it wants, jumping constantly between silly comedy and creature feature. It also contains some racial issues that doesn’t hold up well.
4. Ghost Stories
(2017, Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman)
A nice idea with a few good moments, but the whole is just not quite reaching it. It also has a deal-breaking “oh, it was only a dream” type of ending. Could have been so much more.
3. Holmes & Watson
(2018, Etan Cohen)
This is a clear evidence of how wrong things can go, when nobody says no to the stars. More silly than funny, with a plot that lacks coherence and logic.
2. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
(2019, Johannes Roberts)
A good idea for a setting is the only positive thing I can muster up about this. The script seems to be built on “what’s the dumbest thing we can do now? let’s do that!”, annoying jump-scares, bottom-feeding CGI, and a terrible ending.
1. Queen of Hearts, a.k.a. Dronningen
(2019, May El-Toukhy)
Apart from a few good-looking shots, this is a despicable disaster from one end to the other, with a plot you just want to smack over the head. What the hell kind of message is this to send, that pedophilia and statutory rape is ok as long as no one finds out about it?
Well, this became lengthier than planned, so stay tuned for the good half, coming up next week!
Do you agree or disagree with the listings so far, or do you have your own lists or mentions you’d like to share? Please do so in the comment section below!
For more in-depth reviews of these films and more, visit my profile at Letterboxd using the link below: