Anything Horror Scott’s 10 Best Films of 2013

thumbs upHere’s the list I love to compile every year.  This is the list that proves I haven’t wasted the last year watching shitty flicks!!  Again, this list is limited to films from 2013 although there are two exceptions (as discussed below).  I would never claim to have seen every single 2013 release, so this list is of course based on just the films I’ve seen.  This is where I need and want your feedback.  Think I left a film off this list, let me know.  Maybe I didn’t see it.  Maybe I did and I didn’t like it.  Whatever.  I’ll also have a list of some runner-ups of films I thought were good but just missed making my list.  So here’s my list IN ORDER (counting backwards) of my favorite films of 2013.

2013 vhs-2-poster10.  V/H/S 2 (my review)

It’s amazing what a year can do!!  Last year the first VHS horror anthology made my Worst Horror Films of 2012 list.  It seems the filmmakers took to heart all the negative reviews V/H/S received because they put out one helluva follow up with V/H/S 2.  Granted not every story in this one hits the mark.  The first story, “Phase I Clinical Trials” directed by Adam Wingard, is a huge miss and at first I thought V/H/S 2 was doomed.  But then the anthology followed it up with a cool take on the zombie story and then a kick ass doom cult entry that easily stole the show.  V/H/S 2 revived my faith in the horror anthology.

2013 absence-poster9.  ABSENCE (my review)

The first indie horror flick on my Best of list.  This is a production marked with strong performances, a solid story, and good character development.  Its about a woman who is in her seventh month of pregnancy who wakes up one morning to discover her baby is gone.  There was no bleeding or sudden miscarraige and there was no sign of foul play.  It seemingly vanished into thin air.  The rest of the film takes it’s time exploring what happened to her child.  What almost turned me off about this one was the use of found footage to tell most of the story (the woman’s brother video tapes everything), but even this over-used gimmick was handled well.  This film isn’t heavy on gore or violence but is more of a character-driven plot that relies on atmosphere and solid acting.  Don’t miss this one.

2013 hatchet-3-poster8.  HATCHET III (my review)

Oh Victor; he’s back to his old shenanigans again!!!  This entry in the popular slasher franchise has the heroes working to end the curse of Victor Crowley once and for all.  Plenty of gore, violence, and dark humor make this one unavoidably fun.

2013 skinless-pete-poster7.  THE BALLAD OF SKINLESS PETE (my review)

Another indie horror flick by Dustin Mills (who has another film, NIGHT OF THE TENTACLES, on Deggsy’s Best of list) which was made on a purported $2,000 budget.  But don’t let the budget fool you.  Mills makes this film look like a million bucks and cuts back only on locations (the film is shot in one location).  You’ll be amazed at what Mills accomplishes with the special f/x on such a low budget.  But the strength here lies in the story and the acting (but don’t worry; the gore is plentiful and fantastic).  The basic story here has the titular character obsessed with finding a cure for cancer.  To all you burgeoning research scientists out there, learn something from this film and never use yourself as a guinea pig!!  This is one of those films that needs to be seen to be believed.

2013 sledge-poster6.  SLEDGE (my review)

The indie horror scene is well represented on this year’s list!!  This one comes from directors John B Sovie II and Kristian Hanson.  What makes this stand out from your typical slasher flick is the killer himself, Adam Lynch.  He talks!!  Not only that but he taunts his victims and just adds insult to injury.  This is a fantastic first film for these two talented directors and they are currently hard at work on SLEDGE 2.  Bring it on guys!!

2013 Open-Grave5.  OPEN GRAVE

I watched this film last night because I’ve been hearing such good things about it that I wanted to make sure I saw it in time just in case it was worthy of my Best of 2013 list.  It most definitely is.  This is the kind of film that works better the less you know about it.  Don’t worry about knowing plot details ahead of time, just trust me (and hundreds of other reviewers) and go see this.  The story concerns a man who wakes up in a huge open grave with absolutely no memory of anything … not even of his own name.  The rest of the film has him trying to figure out what his connection is to the literally thousands of dead bodies in the open grave.  A great atmosphere and some fantastic acting make this one a winner.

2013 frankensteins-army-poster4.  FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY (my review)

Who says the ‘monster movie’ is dead??  FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY uses the myth of Dr. Frankenstein and goes off deep into creature feature territory.  The creatures here are original, frightening, and bad ass.  This one is just a whole lot of fun.

2013 youre_next3.  YOU’RE NEXT

This is another one I watched just last night and haven’t had time to write up my review.  But this takes the home invasion sub-genre (a sub-genre I really don’t care for) and really makes it feel fresh and new.  This is also one of my exceptions to my 2013 rule.  YOU’RE NEXT only just got a wide distribution this year.  The story is about the entire Davison family coming together to celebrate a wedding anniversary.  Things quickly take a dark turn (to say the least).  There’s a couple twists in the story but the real winner here is the character of Erin.  Think DIE HARD meets THE STRANGERS!!  The acting is great from the entire cast and who doesn’t love seeing the beautiful Barbara Crampton back in a horror movie??

2013 evil-dead2.  EVIL DEAD REMAKE (my review)

For all intents and purposes this remake of the EVIL DEAD should have sucked shaved balls.  I openly admit that I bashed the s**t out of this film when it was first announced.  But I can also admit when I was wrong.  Was it a perfect remake?  No.  But goddamn if the filmmakers here didn’t get more things right than wrong.  I’d call this one more of a re-imaging than a remake but that’s just splitting hairs.  What horror fans across the world rejoiced in was the attention and care that went into the special f/x.  Hell, this one was gorier than the original!!  Most fans have already seen this one but if you haven’t, get off your high horse and go see it immediately.  You won’t regret it.

2013 the-lords-of-salem-oister1.  THE LORDS OF SALEM (my review)

And finally my number one film for 2013.  This is the second exception to my 2013 rule.  This is really a 2012 film but didn’t get a wide distribution until 2013 so I’m making an exception.  Besides, I loved this fucking film and this is my list 🙂

As I’ve said time and time again, you either love Rob Zombie’s films or you hate them.  I love Zombie as a filmmaker and think he’s got a unique vision.  It’s this vision that you either love or hate.  I also know this wasn’t the exact film Zombie wanted in the end.  Studio pressures, for one, led him to this as the final product.  But bravo!!  This is a heady, trippy, film that’ll take you back to the good old days of ROSEMARY’S BABY and other satanic films of the 1970s.  The story deals with a record that when played triggers visions and memories of the town’s dark past.  Or is it simply that Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie) is slowly losing her mind as she slips back into drug addiction.  Great performances (Sheri Moon Zombie is fantastic), great cinematography, and a kick ass soundtrack are just some of the elements that make this one terrific film.

So with 2013 at a close, what are some of the films you think I and Deggsy missed on our Best and Worst of lists?  And here’s hoping 2014 is a horror-filled year with lots of scares, gore, and senseless violence!!

Stay Bloody in the New Year!!!

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9 Responses to Anything Horror Scott’s 10 Best Films of 2013

  1. Pingback:Sledge Coming to DVD & Blu-ray … Pre-Order Now!! | AnythingHorror Central

  2. Buzz says:

    EVIL DEAD – Loved it. Probably my fav film of the year. Great character arcs, great story, great gore which never felt like gore for it own sake, great atmosphere, great suspense, great everything. Great movie 🙂

    THE LORDS OF SALEM – Very disappointed that I didn’t managed to catch that at the cinema. In England this only had a very limited release on the big screen, which completely shot me by. Did finally manage to see it at Halloween though, which was pretty cool. And yeah bit disappointed with the film generally to.

    It had a great first half where there are some very strong characters being developed very well, but as soon Heidi starts taking heroin again that’s pretty much it all the character stuff goes out the window and it becomes a movie where stuff just happens to her, which she is barely even aware of. Also exposition guy get kill off, rather unceremoniously. I really hate it when a character is just there to provide exposition. I like surreal imagery but it has to be intrinsically connected to the story and I rather felt that the surreal/religious imagery in this was just there for it own sake. The tale EVANGELION springs to mind. Although I have not actually seen it myself I have heard that it is infamous for having some of the pointless, in there for its own sake surreal/religious imagery ever. This is not a good thing and does not make me want to go watch it. For the same reason it make me unable to recommend LORDS OF SALEM. Also the teletubbie covered in jam… WHAT? Yeah I get that it meant to a fetus but it looks like a teletubbie covered in jam… WHAT? And he starts preforming live action tentacle hentai. No, just no.

    After watching this movie I honestly think Zombie works better with structure. I didn’t really like either HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES or DEVIL’S REJECTS. I thought that both of those movie were quite unfocused masses. Not saying that these films were terrible as they both their moments, but overall they just never really did anything for me. The issues that I had with those two films are pretty much repeated in THE LORDS OF SALEM. Then we have of course Zombie’s HALLOWEEN series which I think stand out as a shining example of modern horror. The difference between the styles is that HALLOWEEN 1 & 2 maintain a tight focus on the story and have strong characters that develop throughout that story. Also any surreal imagery in the films feels like it there to back up the story and not just there for it own sake. Somebody hand Zombie a script please!!!

    Well at least this movie was no where near as bad as MAN OF STEEL – lol! 😛

    LIQUID RED – When is this movie coming out? I’ve been waiting all year for it damn it! Screw a VIDEODROME remake, I wanna watch this!

    • I’m with you on the VIDEODROME remake … screw that and give us something new!! I did some research on LIQUID RED and it seems all news of it dries up around the middle of 2012. Not sure what happened to it. It sounds pretty damn intriguing.

  3. gynocrat says:

    I liked Lords, though my peers tell me I’m insane. The book was great, too – I found that to be better than the movie. Frankenstein’s Army was so much fun!

    • I admit, Gynocrat, that I loved LORDS (obviously). I watched it twice in one night and then two more times over the following 2 days. FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY was far from a perfect film, but it was a lot of fun and you can tell the filmmakers were having a blast.

  4. Deggsy says:

    Well, now I’ve added a few more to my Must Watch List 🙂

  5. Hey Scott, like your list. Frankensteins Army, You’re Next, and Lords of Salem all made my top list in 2013. I thought VHS2 was much better than the 1st also and almost made my Top 3.