The Mean One is the best and the worst waste of 93 minutes you’ll ever experience

Steven LaMorte’s The Mean One is a cinematic experience unlike any other, being simultaneously the best and the worst holiday movie we’ve had in a while. The movie’s terrible writing, acting, visuals, and soundtrack all somehow come together to create what some might call a movie, but what others might call nonsense.

scene from The Mean One
An image from the movie showing the Grinch torturing a woman
(XYZ Films, The Mean One)

In the modern age of ownership and copyright infringement laws we are in, it’s a Christmas miracle that this movie even got away with this, especially considering that the Grinch is not considered public domain. While the movie managed to avoid copyright, many movie studios also stayed far away from it, meaning that the movie had to be made on a shoestring budget under a Z-list studio.

Although a low budget can severely hinder a movie, there are certainly more factors than budgetary constraints affecting this movie’s quality.

The movie’s plot is a ridiculous retelling of the classic Grinch story, taking place in a town called Newville, where Cindy Lou, played by Krystle Martin, has her mother killed by the Grinch, played by David Howard Thornton. After the untimely death of her mother, Cindy returns to the town 20 years later and gets her father killed by the Grinch, leading her down a path of revenge and discovery of the town’s dark secrets, involving the mayor, as well as the local police.

After watching the movie, it will be quite obvious to anyone that the project was likely one made for a joke after the recent virality of the Winnie the Pooh horror movie announcement. It’s clear that, although the movie itself is played as a serious drama/horror, many of the cast and crew weren’t taking the project as seriously as they would other projects. 

Although the acting wasn’t egregiously bad for the most part, there were definitely scenes where the weak performances hindered the believability and seriousness of the scene overall.

Aside from the weak performances, the movie also has a range of ridiculous scenes including, but not limited to, Cindy gathering a truck full of guns to fight the Grinch, the Grinch shoving someone down a blender, and an old woman being beaten up by the Grinch in front of her garage after carrying Christmas presents outside. 

The issues of the movie are only further compounded by the terrible visuals, ranging from overly dark color grading, to cheesy editing choices, to terrible iMovie VFX. The visuals also aren’t helped by the soundtrack that goes from lackluster, to cheesy, to basically parody music.

All of the factors of the production combine to make a truly terrible movie that is one for the ages, and a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.