12 First Signs That a Movie Is Going To Be Terrible

Reality is often draining; sometimes, you want to unwind for a couple of hours and escape the madness. What better way than seeing a good movie? But then, you find yourself in the theatre or in front of the screen, cringing at every line of dialogue, wincing at the quality of acting, and asking yourself, what series of bad decisions led to this moment?

If you want to tell a movie is a dud before you start, we've made a list of 12 things to look out for before wasting your time.

1. Big Names Plus Holiday Adventure (Equals Fail)

A Bad Moms Christmas Kristen Bell
Image Credit: STXfilms.

It's the holiday season, and Hallmark is releasing their typical slew of movies. However, there's something new, with several big names and a ton of Christmas fun.

But that's about it — just a bunch of A-list actors dropping one-liners that are supposed to be funny, hoping to catch the holiday spirit. Honestly, these movies are just studio cash grabs and have nothing to offer.

2. The Live-Action Remake

The Last Airbender Nicola Peltz Beckham, Noah Ringer
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

See that cult classic we made over a decade ago? Let's do it again, but live action.

Now, live-action movies can be great. Still, remakes usually try to sell an entire film through nostalgia and connections to the original movie, resulting in a subpar experience that brings nothing new.

3. Diversity

A Wrinkle in Time Oprah Winfrey
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Diversity has become an essential factor in the entertainment industry over the last few decades, which should be applauded. Marginalized voices can take center stage and bring a broader and newer experience to audiences worldwide.

But there are those movies that lean so heavily into diversity they make everything else suffer. There is no authentic story-telling, plot, or depth to the characters — just a movie with representation.

4. Based On This Best Selling Novel

Fallen Addison Timlin, Jeremy Irvine
Image Credit: Relativity Media.

This is an automatic red flag because the directors and the creatives behind the project almost always change the story from what was originally in the novel and try to put their spin on it. It becomes something jarringly different from the book you loved so much.

5. Reimagined For A Modern Audience

Velma Mindy Kaling, Constance Wu
Image Credit: HBO Max.

Studios use this phrase to hype a movie that was popular in the past and as an excuse to bring it into the present.

While the idea is alright, usually, reimagining ends up with a flick that disrespects the original content in favor of making a movie that fits with the time and the target audience, resulting in a diversion from the story to a lackluster project.

6. Teenage Girlboss

Wild Child Emma Roberts, Alex Pettyfer
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Having a model out there for young girls to look up to and emulate is quite essential. It helps them shape their sense of self and can aid in exploring, understanding themselves, and feeling confident in their skin.

A movie with a teenage girl boss can deliver just that until it doesn't. These movies usually become a sticky mess of emotions and drama, often creating more harm than good.

7. SuperShero

Black Widow Olga Kurylenko
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Heroes are figures to be looked up to. They are a beacon of humanity. Only Hollywood can look past what a hero is meant to represent and focus on their gender.

A hero is more than their gender, and switching the gender of a hero so that you can fit into a demographic will almost always come off as pandering to the viewers.

8. Multiple Writers

Transformers: Age of Extinction Mark Wahlberg
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

If a movie has multiple writers, it could be a red flag warning that it will be bad. Multiple writers can bring new and exciting ideas, but too many cooks can spoil the broth.

With too many writers, there's a risk of the movie being confusing, as each writer may have their take on the story.

9. A Sequel Without The Original Cast

Men in Black: International Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Characters tell a story, and those characters make the story what it is. It shouldn't be a sequel when those characters don't show up to continue the story they began.

It should be an entirely different story. But will that stop the suits in Hollywood from making a pointless cash grab?

10. Shaky Camera X College Kids

Bad Kids Go to Hell Marc Donato, Augie Duke
Image Credit: Phase 4 Films.

Since the dawn of the camcorder and handheld recording, the desire to record on mobile devices has led to many movies with a similar wrap. First, college kids discover something crazy, a mystery, an alien, or a conspiracy.

Then, they must stop something from happening, or all hell will break loose. It is either that or a generic college drama with no substance and a shaky viewing experience. Now, there are some of these which have been done well, but they're just a handful.

11. Strong Independent Woman

Charlie's Angels Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Like the girl boss character, the need for stronger women on television birthed the strong independent woman trope. Characters like Ellen Ripley, Okoye, Mulan, and many more portray this perfectly.

However, they don't force it down the throats of the viewers. If a movie makes a point about a woman's independence — and that's the whole point of the movie — it's probably going to suck.

12. Flipping The Genre

The Space Between Us Britt Robertson, Asa Butterfield
Image Credit: STXfilms.

Usually, there's almost no reason for this; an example is taking an adventure epic and turning it into a musical.

While it might seem fun on the surface, it completely sweeps away the thrill of the original movie and replaces it with singing. Musicals can be amazing, but genre-switching rarely produces a good product.

This thread inspired this post.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Boloere Seibidor, fondly called B.S. is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics to cover include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sites. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.