Sometimes I do year end lists, sometimes I don’t. I saw 124 films in the cinema last year. Of those, I am pretty sure I missed some really good ones (personal circumstances limited ability to see stuff near the end – some I have yet to see). However it is one thing to puff out a list of what you thought were your ten best films of last year (I’ll do that next week). It is much more of a service to compile a list of the downright, lousy stinkers I put myself through. Bear in mind that as a bottom ten there are even some films I didn’t go and see because the reviews put me off (I have no doubt that this list topped by Norbit is by and large reliable) . But I did see these (and some of them got quite good reviews) and I thought they stunk! For a useful barometer with a film you might have seen, I thought all these films were worse than Pirates At The Caribbean: At Worlds End (my 11th worst film of the year*).

So here are number 10 – 5 of the WORST films I saw in a cinema last year.

10: Tales From Earthsea

I always thought the Earthsea books were a bit dull, but MAN ALIVE who would have thought that they could be this dull. As I am not a fan I don’t need to moan about the lack of fidelity to the source material or the smooshing together of a few books. To be fair the fans I went with didn’t moan about that. They moaned about how boring it was. Taking a smidgeon of the source material, and knocked off designs from Studio Ghilbi – this two hour tedium-fest is one long whine from Miyazaki Jr to his Dad saying NOTICE ME. He may have noticed, but I am pretty sure he fell asleep as well. Your Dad shits out better films than this.

9: Year Of The Dog

I really, really wanted to like this. It was supposed to be a quirky indie comedy about a woman whose relationships fail and ends up liking her dogs more than people. I like Mike White the writer/director (he wrore School Of Rock), and I wanted Molly Shannon to have a breakthrough hit – because Tina Fey stole her career. It even cast Peter (not son of Stellan) Sarsgaard in a non-creepy role. But unfortunately the only thing quirky about this comedy was THAT IT WAS NOT FUNNY. Perhaps Shannon plays the pathetic lead too well, so you don’t want to laugh at her. Perhaps it is the recognition that these people really exist. Perhaps it was the redemptive ending with her as a terrorist (see what I mean, it sounds great, it isn’t). PERHAPS IT WAS JUST THE LACK OF JOKES.

Blood & Choc8: Blood And Chocolate

I didn’t want to be too harsh on this, because its general lack of success should hopefully scupper too many of the furry “werewolves / vampires as doomed emo-goth heroes” genre of books being turned into films. But in the end, a film about the unrequited love between a werewolf and an idiot human was just too rubbish to ignore. Bear in mind that in the mythology of this film SHE NEVER HAS TO EVER TURN INTO A WOLF – and it turns into the whines of a ten year old who has been banned from driving. More on its (lack of) horror here, where I do make the excellent redeeming point that it was not an Underworld film.

7: The Invasion

It is a perfectly acceptable paranoid thriller in places. What lets the Invasion down is its po-faced suggestion that it is in anyway a commentary on the cure all of psychoanalysis (people CHANGE!). Also what lets it down is its ludicrous science – only slightly a step up from the confusion in Kidman’s Stepford Wives over whether the wives are brain controlled or robots. Actually Kidman lets it down as well: since the key tell-tale that people have been taken over is the alien inability to emote, it is no surprise Kidman goes undetected. (I think she may have a virus in her forehead – see also The Golden Compass). Oh, and the main conflict in the film is between Kidman and sleep. There are only so many exciting shots of her drinking Jolt Cola and things going a bit woozy I can take. The Nightmare On Elm Street films did that stuff better. Oh, and you don’t do an Invasion Of The Body Snatcher remake with a happy ending. It destroys the point. So as I said, a perfectly unacceptable not paranoid enough non-thriller.

6: 30 Days Of Night

Rule one of cinema. No matter how rubbish werewolves are, vampires can always be worse. 30 Days Of Shite pisses away its potentially interesting premise with selection of sequences where characters you could not care less about hide from really stupid vampires. Now they’re hiding in an attic. Now they are hiding in a supermarket. Now they are hiding in a barn. NOW THEY ARE HIDING IN A WASTE DISPOSAL PLANT WITH MACHINERY WITH GNASHING GEARS. And yet still really, really stupid and dull. And you have never seen darkness as light as this…

Come back later for a film with Ben Affleck in, a French Film, computer animation at its worst and at least two films with numbers in their title.

*Which probably got a a few extra marks for being a big summer blockbuster which starts with a five minute mass execution which culminates in the hanging of a young child.