No Really, How Does Film Critic/Human Disaster Rex Reed Still Have a Job?

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There are a lot of bad film critics out there. Sometimes a critic just wants to be a detractor, sometimes they can’t help writing grossly sexist bullcrap. But Rex Reed of The Observer takes being bad at his job to a whole new level.

You might remember Reed’s ineptness from a few years ago, when he reviewed Cabin in the Woods, despite definitely not having watched the movie. I don’t know if he skipped it entirely or maybe fell asleep halfway through, but this isn’t a matter of me not agreeing with his opinion of the movie (to which he bestowed just one star) or anything like that. He got the basic plot wrong. First, he described one moment where “vampires circle the moon and suck the hot stud’s blood.” Yeah, that didn’t happen. He says the characters don’t notice the hidden cameras in the house. They do.

Worse, in describing the twist of the film, he writes, “It’s all part of an elaborate video game that allows paying customers to watch real people slaughtered according to the horror of choice. The five kids in the cabin are innocent pawns to test the mechanics of the game.” That is … not the plot of this movie.

When Reed reviewed V/H/S/2 in 2013, his headline called it “Unwatchable From Start To Finish,” despite the fact that he left after 20 minutes.

You might also know Reed from his review of Identity Thief, which was less a review of the movie that it was of Melissa McCarthy’s weight. He wrote that she was a “female hippo,” “obese and obnoxious,” and “tractor-sized.”

If you were already wondering how this 79-year-old sexist miscreant still has a job, just you wait. Because today, The Observer (where Reed presumably works without an editor or any sort of proofreader whatsoever) published his review of The Shape of Water. Or as he calls it, Benecio del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

To be clear, Guillermo del Toro directed The Shape of Water. Benicio del Toro has been in a number of movies, including The Last Jedi. Benecio del Toro is not a person. (I mean, sure, there’s probably a person somewhere with that name, but he didn’t work on The Shape of Water.) Also, the screenplay was co-written by Vanessa Taylor. She doesn’t get a mention?

But wait, there’s more!

Guillermo del Toro is from Mexico.

And still more! In the review itself, Reed refers to Sally Hawkin’s character as “mentally handicapped,” when in fact she is mute. She is also not a “pathetic girl” or a “defective creature” as Reed disgustingly writes.

Plus, this garbage:

All of this was up for more than 24 hours before someone finally got around to changing the tweet, the URL, and the factual errors in the post itself. The “pathetic” and “defective” comments are still there.

The best thing Reed can say about The Shape of Water is that it is “not as stupid and pointless as that other critically overrated piece of junk Get Out.” So if anyone out there was wondering if Reed says anything at all worth listening to, I think we’ve got our answer.

(image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.