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9 directors who made only one good film

by Stewart Cole

To put it bluntly, movies are not easy to make. For better or worse, the planning and organization required to get a movie off the ground and into the screens is a material nightmare. Along the way, there are countless things that can go wrong. That’s why, when a director known for his consistent quality rejects a binder, it comes as no surprise. Disappointing, for sure, but not surprising.

What is more interesting, however, are these miracles with one blow. Directors who throw a bona fide masterpiece in the middle of their mediocre resume. Those who explode on stage with one blow before coming out limping with a whimper. How can a director create something truly spectacular before repeatedly failing to regain that spark?

Unfortunately, that happens – surprisingly often. Instead of lamenting the lost potential, sometimes it is better to celebrate these anomalies. To look at the lightning in the bottle and be grateful we never received it. Here is this one miracle.

District 9 is a film that showed such an ability that no one expected Blomkamp’s career to go as it should. A well-known fact to moviegoers, as certain that the sky is blue, Blomkamp’s latest will probably be disappointing. It would always be difficult to follow District 9. A funny, scary and painfully clever look at xenophobia, the audience fell into this deeply entertaining movie right away.

Elysium came four years later and, although not bad, it was a major setback from its previous film. Compiled predictably, messy and clearly less clever than it could have been, fans were worried that Area 9 was lightning in a bottle. These fears were mainly confirmed by the release of Chappie in 2015. Accused of not having a single original bone in his body, Chappie acted as another stepping stone before, last year, we reached ground level.

Demonic was released in small fanfares and those who watched it reported it as boring, playful and full of one-dimensional characters. Blomkamp has spoken repeatedly about District 10, a continuation of his original work in progress. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen, but we hope for a return to form.

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