‘Happytime Murders’ Is a ‘Strong Contender for the Worst Film of 2018,’ and 7 More Merciless Reviews

“Calling this a film is a disgrace to all films ever made including — yes — ‘The Room'”

Last Updated: August 23, 2018 @ 8:56 AM

Might “The Happytime Murders” be the worst film of 2018? Critics seem to think so.

“Insipid. Imbeciles. Incomprehensible. Insane,” wrote Us Weekly’s Mara Reinstein. “I think we have a strong contender for the worst film of 2018.”

“‘The Happytime Murders’ has taken over the slot-previously held by ‘The Room’ — of being the single-worst movie of all time,” added film critic Danielle Solzman. “Calling this a film is a disgrace to all films ever made including — yes — ‘The Room.'”

Other critics called the film, by Brian Henson, his “deformed brainchild,” as well as “joyless” and “witless.” TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde wrote, “The movie fails its one big test: It’s just not all that funny. Screenwriter Todd Berger periodically provides moments that push the envelope so hard that they at least earn a gasp — a porn shoot involving a lactating cow and an octopus, for instance — but once it’s clear that these are hard-R puppets with hard-R habits, it runs out of places to go.”

All in all, the comedy, starring Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and Elizabeth Banks, holds a score of 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here’s the official synopsis for the flick: No Sesame. All Street. “The Happytime Murders” is a filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.

Here are seven of the most brutal reviews:

Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post:

“Rescue me, Elmo! That’s what you’ll shout if you’re trapped in a movie theater playing ‘The Happytime Murders,’ the wretched puppets-behaving-badly comedy directed by Brian Henson. The son of Muppets creator Jim Henson has delivered a cliché-ridden, laughless bore that wastes lead actress Melissa McCarthy’s prodigious comic talents and beats well-trod territory with a mallet.”

Charles Bramesco, The Guardian: 

“As with all overwhelmingly poor movies, it’s the delicate confluence of many varied factors that creates the critic’s familiar feeling of despairing hopelessness in the cinema. Late summer always brings one or two of these misfortunes, aborted releases unloaded while the world’s on holiday and the blockbusters rest dormant. Still, to young viewers – or adults, for that matter – with curiosities piqued by posters of Melissa McCarthy mean-mugging alongside her googly-eyed pal: turn back now, before it’s too late. Once seen, the never-ending stream of yarn semen cannot be unseen.”

Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly: 

“This ‘Happytime Murders’ review is brought to you by the letter “I.” Insipid. Imbeciles. Incomprehensible. Insane. You can use that last word in a sentence such as ‘The person that thought this witless, crude black noire puppet farce would be a rousing crowd-pleaser must be insane.’ The letter also can be used on its own, as in ‘I think we have a strong contender for the worst film of 2018.'”

Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“‘The Happytime Murders’ has taken over the slot-previously held by ‘The Room’ — of being the single-worst movie of all time… Calling this a film is a disgrace to all films ever made including — yes — ‘The Room.’  You know how you see a great ‘SNL’ sketch only to watch them butcher its legacy by stretching it into a film?  ‘The Happytime Murders’ barely comes close to fitting the definition.”

David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“The deformed brainchild of Brian Henson (the actual child of The Muppets creator Jim Henson), ‘The Happytime Murders’ is essentially what might happen if ‘Sesame Street’ hired a super-horny 13-year-old boy to remake Otto Preminger’s ‘Laura,’ and then forced him to write a script with MadLibs instead of Final Draft. Instead, ‘Sesame Street’ sued STX Entertainment for invoking the show in its ads for this movie. They lost that battle, and now the suffering is ours to bear.”

Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

“‘The Happytime Murders’ is a one-joke movie, minus one joke. The year may cough up a worse film, but probably not a more joyless, witless one, raunchy or otherwise.”

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“It’s a botched experiment that inexplicably wastes a profanity-spewing Melissa McCarthy and is hobbled by a lead character (chain-smoking puppet PI Phil Phillips) who resembles Guy Smiley crossed with Jerry Orbach and whose deadpan monotone (provided by Bill Barretta) is likely to put you to sleep. There are a few spiky moments of sick, WTF fun (a bout of rough sex that ends with a Silly String climax; the first time a puppet drops an F-bomb), but mostly it feels like a promising idea poorly executed.”