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Debate Club: The 5 worst genre movies of 2019

By Tim Grierson & Will Leitch
Men in Black International

Welcome to Debate Club, where Tim Grierson and Will Leitch, the hosts of the Grierson & Leitch podcast, tackle the greatest arguments in pop culture.

It's late December, the time of year when everyone puts out their best-of lists — we have a whole lot of them here at SYFY WIRE, including our Best Movies of 2019 list.

But let's not forget some of 2019's worst genre films. There are always plenty to choose from … but these movies were the absolute pits, and not even in the so bad they were good way.

05. Child's Play

The new Child's Play starts off promisingly, offering some snotty commentary about evil conglomerates and our increasing dependence on smart devices (the new Chucky doesn't just kill people — he can control your thermostat).

But after the first 10 minutes, this remake resorts to the kinds of stupid horror clichés that audiences have hated since the original movie. You know: dumb characters, ridiculous death sequences, a nonsensical plot, lamer-than-lame jokes.

We didn't think it was possible for a movie starring Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry — and Mark Hamill as the voice of the doll! — to be this wretched. But this is where we find ourselves.

04. Rim of the World

Summer camp can be traumatic, but rarely is it as excruciating as it is in Rim of the World, a dumbed-down kids' sci-fi adventure that wants to be a modern-day The Goonies or SpaceCamp.

The premise: A bunch of mismatched teens have to work together once an alien invasion occurs in Southern California right after their parents have dropped them off at Rim of the World.

This Netflix release boasts cheap special effects and the mediocre directing talent of McG — you remember, the guy who made the Charlie's Angels movies from earlier this century — and features very little in the way of emotion or excitement.

Just because you've geared your movie to young people doesn't mean you have to insult their intelligence.

03. Hellboy

First off, David Harbour is a perfectly fine Hellboy. He's funny, he's physically imposing, he even seems to look for some depths in the character. So this remake isn't his fault.

But everything else in Hellboy is an absolute disaster from start to finish, from the lame villain to the overly convoluted plot to the uninventive, mostly just gross monsters and critters Hellboy comes across.

If you're going to reboot a Guillermo del Toro movie, you need a lot better creatures than this. Let's all pretend this movie didn't happen.

02. Men in Black: International

How naïve we were, excited at the prospect of Thor: Ragnarok co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reuniting for this Men in Black sequel. But the wit and chemistry they displayed in that Marvel movie were nowhere in sight here — which sorta complements the rest of the film, an utterly unfunny and uninspired attempt to get a new generation invested in this moribund property.

(The first Men in Black was way back in 1997. It feels even longer ago after suffering through International.)

Also, this movie had some of the year's worst and most egregious product placement. Whatever car they're hawking throughout International, we're not interested in buying it. Ever.

01. Rambo: Last Blood

Let's put aside for a moment the rampant xenophobia of whatever Sylvester Stallone's worldview has curdled into (this is a nightmare Mexico of rapists and murderers that only live in the minds of bigots).

Why in the world would Stallone bring back Rambo only to give him a big conclusion that's basically a more violent version of the end of Home Alone? (Except not as clever.)

There are cash-grab sequels, and then there are disasters that retroactively make you wish none of the earlier movies existed in the first place.