I still watch bad movies, movies I expect and sometimes fully know to be bad and I think I get a kick out of it. I admit that I‘ve seen all the Twilight movies, all the Transformers, I‘ve seen both the first and the second 50 Shades of Grey and I will also watch the third and final movie, but not in theatres! But There‘s still a difference between bad and bad. And I‘m not sure I can put my finger on what the difference actually is, but let me try.
The movies I‘ve listed above are movies that are not fun (compared to the recently seen Geostorm) and usually, I have a far better time if the movie at least makes me laugh, even if for all the wrong reasons. But I don‘t remember ever laughing during a Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey or even the Ghostbusters reboot, which is supposed to be a comedy! Maybe I can compare it with looking at car crashes, it‘s hard to avoid looking at them, even just to catch a glimpse. Maybe most bad movies are like car crashes, there‘s a certain fascination about watching a movie that crashes on so many levels and makes you question the talent of the people involved.*
But then there are movies that I stop watching after it feels like a waste of time to continue or even skip them entirely. Usually, a big factor is a talent involved, in front of or behind the camera, or the hype on certain movies. If all the actors are unknown then I can’t be motivated to stick watching it. But movies from certain A-list directors with certain A-list actors starring are just more fun to see crashing. I remember I went to see Batman v Superman knowing full well what to expect, but I had to see how bad it really was, after all, it was this huge summer blockbuster. Now people will tell me that going in with your mind already made up on how the movie will keep you from having an open mind. That might be true, but on the other hand, I‘ve been surprised before, don‘t remember a specific example right now.
Then there are movies I just don‘t think are worth spending any thoughts or time on. Daddy's Home 2 is a recent one that comes to mind, or any Adam Sandler movie from the last 10 years (with the exception of The Cobbler and The Meyerowitz Stories, usually movies with a strong director or writer behind the camera). I feel like Hollywood is actually releasing more bad movies these days, especially lazy sequels and lazy comedies, so it gets really hard to avoid them, it feels like you stumble onto them organically. But sometimes, just sometimes there‘s a fun bad movie to discover, one that‘s worth watching even for a second time, looking at you The Room and Geostorm.
So could I answer my question? I think movies with a certain over-the-top cheesiness or are unintentionally fun are much easier to watch, but that‘s a fine line to walk and something you can‘t plan, it just happens. The Room didn‘t become a cult movie because Tommy Wiseau was out to make a fun movie, he was dead set on a serious movie about relationships, friendship and trust. But he crashed so beautifully and those accidents are so rare to come by.
*Now I fully know how hard it is to make a movie and how so many things can go wrong with so many people involved.