In case you haven’t noticed, there haven’t been too many new reviews up on Anything Horror in the last week. There’s a good reason for this. In putting together my list of the 10 best horror films of 2012 I wanted to rank them from number one all the wat to number 10. But I was having a problem deciding which film I liked best. My top five picks are, quite honestly, fantastic films all deserving the number 1 spot on anyone’s list. So I re-watched all of my top five films to really figure out which was my absolute favorite film of the year. The choice has been made and it was great seeing my top five films again. I hope you enjoy my choices and I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback!! (Please note that I’m beginning with my number ten choice and am counting up).
And have a kick ass and bloody 2013!!
10. REVENANT (my review):
Yes, everyone, we’ve hit a milestone here at Anything Horror. A ghost story has made my top 10 Best Of list!! It’s no secret here that I’m really not a fan of the ghost story sub-genre. At all. But REVENANT really takes the ghost story and injects a lot of new blood into the story; has great performances, and has a near-perfect execution. Director Derek Cole breaks the mould of the typical ghost story and does a real slow build up to the ghostly occurrences. There’s no fast jump cuts or sudden, loud, high pitched screeching strings to create the scares. Cole creates genuine scares and one of the creepiest atmospheres of the year. We also get a pretty interesting relationship between the main actor (Stephen Twardokus) and the harmful entity. This is just an overall fantastic film and one of the best ghost stories I’ve seen in a really long time. Don’t miss this one.
9. CELL COUNT (my review):
This is one of the best indie horror films of the year and I enjoyed the hell out of this film. The only reason it doesn’t hold a higher position on my list is due to the ending. The ending isn’t bad, but it could’ve been tighter. The entire cast puts in great performances but what really stands out here is the story. What starts out like your run-of-the-mill “killer virus rampaging the world” flick quickly becomes something so much more. The old saying that sometimes the cure is worse than the illness has particular significance here. This one is just a whole lotta fun trying to figure out what’s going on, and writer-director Todd E. Freeman doesn’t disappoint when it comes time to explain things. Add to this some stellar special f/x to enhance the story and you’ve got a really great flick.
8. SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (my review):
When you have a title like this the film’s either gonna be kick ass or horrible. This one, of course, is kick ass. Ken gets out of the looney bin after a lengthy stay and tries to adapt in society. He has a shitty job, a slacker best friend, and a batty, overbearing mom (genre icon Karen Black). The reason for his institutionalization isn’t clear early in the film but little by little we learn why. Then suddenly the people responsible for sending him to the nut house start getting killed in brutal ways. Is it Ken going on a homicidal rage? But what makes this one so damn good and enjoyable is the seamless blending of horror and humor. Neither element overshadows the other, and the humor never takes away from the grizzly and gory deaths. This is definitely a character-driven horror film and if the acting was anything short of excellent, SOME GUY would’ve fallen flat on it’s face. Kevin Corrigan (Ken) is fantastic and carries the film in the lead role, but the runaway performance definitely goes to Barry Bostwick in his role as Sheriff Fuller. Bostwick’s deadpan delivery will have you pissing yourself!! Don’t miss this one.
7. SILENT NIGHT (my review):
This was, for me, the surprise of the year. SILENT NIGHT is a remake of the classic 1984 sleaze-fest, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, and even though I love the original (I love the way it wallows in and embraces it’s sleaziness), I just didn’t think it would make for a solid remake. But Steven C. Miller really takes this material and runs with it. SILENT NIGHT is the epitome of what makes a remake great. The plot is changed and stands apart from the original yet retains those elements of the original that made it so fantastic. There are some scenes in SILENT NIGHT that are plucked right out of the original as well as new scenes that had you wondering why they weren’t in the original version. There were some uneven performances but Miller really makes up for it with the pacing and the special f/x. Miller goes for the throat and creates some brutal, hard-to-watch scenes. I really loved this one.
6. THE BAY (my review):
If you told me in the beginning of 2012 that a horror film made by Barry Levinson would be sitting at my number six spot on my Best of 2012 list, I’d have been very skeptical. Then when you told me that the Levinson film was a found footage flick, I’d have laughed you off the site. But here we are. I’ve never seen a found footage horror film handled so expertly!! Levinson makes the entire found footage sub-genre feel original and like it’s never been done before. In a small coastal community there’s a deadly outbreak of what the authorities think is a virus or bacteriological agent. They are wrong and by the time they figure it out there’a a lot of dead bodies and infected people running around. The cause of the outbreak is made all the more scary by the fact that it’s a real “thing” and could possibly happen. The performances are all spot on and even though this film isn’t a gore-fest, the f/x in the film are very disturbing and very effective. Do yourself a huge favor and see this film!!
5. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (my review):
I friggin’ love this flick!! I don’t know why it didn’t do better in the theaters and why so many so-called horror fans where panning this film. CABIN has a really fresh approach to the slasher sub-genre and explains away all those “problems” so many people have with slasher movies. Why is it always foggy in slasher flicks? Why are the girls always so horny? Why do the guys always seem so amped up on testosterone? All these questions and many more are “answered”. A lot of people compared this film to the SCREAM franchise but the two films couldn’t be any more different. Writer Joss Whedon really takes a knife and deconstructs the slasher genre and doesn’t forget to add in buckets of blood!! I’ve seen this one three times so far and each time I pick up something new. This is the funnest film on the list and I can’t recommend it enough!!
And now we get to the top four films. These four films are all fantastic and they gave me a really difficult time trying to rank them. Any of the films on this list are safe bets, but the following four films are superior films in every way!!
4. HUFF (my review):
I saw this screened at the 2012 Texas Frightmare Weekend and was blown away. HUFF is essentially a retelling of The Three Little Pigs fable … but it’s all grown up and includes drugs, underage rape, hit men, and lots of other family-oriented themes. HUFF also has the best performance of the year in it courtesy of Charlie O’Connell (who plays the titular Huff). He puts in, no joke, an absolutely amazing performance. I was blown away and couldn’t believe how great he was. You hated his character. He was violent, sadistic, brutal, and doesn’t hesitate to take what he wants, whether it be sex from his step daughter, drugs from the local kingpin, or the lives of people who stand in his way. Besides O’Connell’s performance this is a film that will have you on the edge of your seat. I knew nothing about the plot (other than the connection to the Three Little Pigs) and was at times literally sitting with my mouth hanging open in shock at the directions this film took. HUFF is scheduled for a 2013 release and I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Don’t miss HUFF!!
3. GUT (my review):
Do you like your slow-burn films where you know everything is going to end badly for the characters but yiou’re just not sure how it’s going to get there? If you do then GUT is for you. At the center of GUT is Tom. He’s an average guy with a loving wife and daughter who’s going through a mid-life crisis and hates the routine his life has fallen into. To try and break him out of his funk, his best friend Dan (a big horror fan) gets an underground film that claims to be an actual snuff film. They watch it one night and Tom slowly becomes obsessed with the tape. Is it really a snuff film? Who’s the filmmaker? Where did he make this film? But the snuff film isn’t the focus here. It’s Tom and his feelings of alienation from both his life and from himself. The snuff film seems to be the only thing that makes him “feel” anything lately. Like stated above, this is a slow-burn of a film and this goes in some really dark places and has an ending that will leave you shocked and open-mouthed. I love this film!!
2. IT’S IN THE BLOOD (my review):
Another film I saw screened at the 2012 Texas Frightmare Weekend. Lance Henriksen and Sean Elliot are at the center of this film about a father and son trying to reconnect after being torn apart by a horrible tragedy that happened to them years ago. But fate intervenes again and Henriksen has a horrible accident and is injured deep in the woods. Now it’s up to them to join together to survive the elements and to survive what appears to be something hunting them down in the woods. Something supernatural. Sounds like a familiar plot, eh? Don’t be too quick to judge. Director Scooter Downey, who co-wrote the script with Elliot, take this film in some very unexpected places. This is also a slow-burner that had me glued to the screen. As the tragedy that both binds and tore apart this father and son becomes more clear, the threat in the woods becomes more dangerous. Are the two connected? If so, how? If not, then what the hell is hunting them down. A truly fantastic film!!
1. THE CORRIDOR (my review):
2012, it seems, is the year of the slow-burn horror flick (at least on my list). THE CORRIDOR is a film I knew nothing about and never even heard of before stumbling across it on my U-Verse system’s VOD section. Take one part THE BIG CHILL, add in some sci-fi and horror elements, and top it all off with picture perfect execution and performances and you have THE CORRIDOR. Five friends gather together at one of their cabins to have a fun filled weekend of reconnecting with each other. go skiing, and to make amends with their friend who recently got out of the institution. But what starts off as a typical guys-in-the-woods films takes a sharp right turn and becomes something so much more. One night one of the guys is out for a walk in the woods and comes across this odd wall of energy. After investigating it, the guys discover it’s more like a corridor of energy that seems to the growing. What it is and what it does isn’t immediately offered, but we do know that this corridor starts to have a weird influence on all the guys. What makes THE CORRIDOR stand out is the writing and the atmosphere the filmmakers were able to capture. Everything from the actors to the soundtrack (you must check out the Great Lake Swimmers) all work perfectly together to capture an amazing tone in this film. I could go on about THE CORRIDOR but this is one you just need to see for yourself.
There it is, folks. My choices for the best horror flicks of 2012. What do you think? What do you think I missed or overlooked (I’ll be posting my “Honorable Mentions” soon).
Stay Bloody in 2013!!!