Look we’re all guilty of this one, us here at WhatCulture included. Sometimes an early promotional image will surface, a flawed trailer will appear online, or even a few candid paparazzi pics will show up from the set of a troubled production, and the Internet as a collective will use this fuel as an excuse to excoriate a movie which isn’t even finished.
Other times the mere announcement of a project, whether it’s an ill-timed reboot, an adaptation of some widely derided source material, or an unnecessary remake, will be enough for the online hivemind to declare a flick dead before even giving the film a chance.
It’s fun! We all recall the drubbings which lit up Twitter when the first trailer for The King’s Speech helmer Tom Hooper’s Broadway adaptation Cats surfaced in mid 2019, and the vicious critical back and forth which ensued when Paul Feig’s unfunny Ghostbusters remake dropped its first trailer in 2016 will go down in cinema history, with plenty of venerable critics falling on their swords to pre-emptively defend a mediocre two star effort.
However, as fun as attacking an as-yet-unseen film can be, the immediate vitriol can sometimes overshadow solid enough films and leave them forgotten for years, only for critics and fans to re-evaluate them once the anti-hype has died down. With that in mind we’ve endeavoured, for the sake of fairness, to split this list between films which deserved our ire and those which ended up overlooked gems.
10. Fifty Shades Of Grey
Not unlike another example on this list, Fifty Shades
of Grey was all but doomed well before it hit cinemas. The series was adapted
from the novels of E.L James, whose erotic romance trilogy was based on her fan
fiction from the far more chaste Twilight series.
As such, the story of billionaire playboy philanthropist spanking fan Christian Grey and his whimpering simpering paramour Anastasia Steele was already the target of much mockery before the director and stars of the big budget adaptation were announced.
Unfortunately for fans of steamy guilty pleasure cinema, unlike Twilight the years haven’t been kind to this Jamie Dornan/ Dakota Johnson-starring dud. The sex scenes were slow, unsexy, and clumsy, the plot managed to be both non-existent and far-fetched, and many critics noted that the series never decided whether its BDSM was intended to be a heightened fantasy or a realistic and responsible depiction of more risqué sex, with the film failing at both as a result.
Sometimes the critics are right to pre-emptively roast a flick, and this is one which Hollywood should have been shamed into improving before cinemagoers handed over hard earned cash in exchange for a modicum of limp paddling and no end of overwrought melodramatics.