Three movies you do not need to see

I had close to 48 hours of flight time while in and in route to China so I watched a bunch of movies, my full Netflix backlog plus a bunch of DVD’s I had ripped to my HD. I scored with House of Flying Daggers (though I didn’t love it quite like I did Hero) and Napoleon Dynamite (the dramatic power of a vacant teenage stare!), but oh did I bomb on my other selections. I don’t mind bad movies, movies who know they are awful and revel in it. But truly terrible movies try real hard and still suck.

You know you have a winner with a line like this: “For maximum damage we use bullets coated in a photon-accelerated luminescent resin. Cuts right through ’em.” For you laypeople, that’s a glow-in-the-dark bullet. Scary! Alone In The Dark was incomprehensible. It started with many paragraphs of written prologue, apparently because test audiences were completely befuddled. It didn’t help. And the funny part is that this movie derives from a game (never a recipe for success) and intends to provide the backstory to it. So when the backstory needs an explicit backstory you know you’re not telling the story right. Part Aliens, part Relic, part Night of the Living Dead, part Men in Black, with a silhouetted Top Gun love-making interlude and dashes of glamband hard-rockin’ video, Alone in the Dark isn’t comically bad (that’d be watchable) — it is irresponsibly bad.

Boogeyman wasn’t much better. When the one and only plot point of the whole movie is for a grown man to confront the fears from his bedroom of youth there just isn’t a lot of room for drama or even fear. The dark is scary. We get it.

Hide and Seek could have been decent. Dakota Fanning and Robert DeNiro do a pretty good job. But it is a plodding movie. The payoff twist at the end doesn’t offset the pain of making it there. Though seeing Elisabeth Shue shoved out of a second-story window is almost worth it.