For this year’s Halloween installment of At the Movies, Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers says “good riddance” to Scum-tober, tossing the month’s 10 scary-awful flicks into the Scum Bucket. “There’s the trick,” he says, “and there’s no treat about it.”
The first film to receive a scummy death sentence is Ouija, the supernatural horror directed by Stiles White. Travers keeps his verbal review short and not-so-sweet: “Horrible,” he says of the movie, recoiling with the wrong kind of horror. “Dull in the extreme.” Walking the plank next is the John R. Leonetti-directed Annabelle, a horror outing about a demon-possessed doll. “Can you imagine?” Travers sarcastically asks. “BO-RING.” Our critic has no patience for snooze-worthy fantasy-thrillers, from Dracula Untold (“I cannot tell you how unendurable this movie is”) to Horns (“Don’t care”).
Following in scum-tastic form is Before I Go to Sleep, starring two Academy Award winners – Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth – in an eye-rolling drama about a woman with amnesia. “This wouldn’t even play as a Lifetime movie,” Travers jabs. There’s also the “hideous” You’re Not You, a histrionic slab of overacting which stars Hilary Swank as a woman afflicted with ALS – though it’s not as scummy as Addicted, a would-be erotic thriller starring Sharon Leal as a sex addict.
Next up: The “pathetic” Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me and the flatlining familial/legal drama The Judge, which wastes high-caliber actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. But no amount of cinematic drivel can prepare audiences for Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children, an overbearing, tech-centric drama that Travers predicts “will be remembered not for just this year but for years to come as a piece of unmitigated crap.”
“Don’t go see it,” he says. “I embrace my Scum Bucket, and I say, ‘Take these movies and let them all burn in hell.'”