Here we are again. It’s that magical time after Christmas and before the New Year where I reflect back at the horror films I watched in 2016. Full disclosure–I did not see many of the new releases this year. 2016 was a huge transitional year for me (new job, new life), and I didn’t have a lot of extra/free time to spend in theaters. So for this year only, I will expand my Best of list so that any film I watched in 2016 is eligible to be included on this list. Here are my picks for the best horror films I watched in 2016. These are in no particular order.
CLOWN (2014; my review)
Sure, this Eli Roth-produced horror film wasn’t the most original film I’ve ever seen, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with this. Instead of the titular character simply being some deranged clown, the story instead focuses on an average, good guy who slowly turns into a clown after donning a clown costume. Think of a werewolf film, but instead of a man changing into a wolf, he instead changes into a clown. Fun, gory stuff.
DEATHGASM (2015, my review)
This film is filled with bloody intestines, gory blood, dismembered body parts, and dildos. If this ain’t enough to make you go run out and see this film, then I think you might be reading the wrong blog!! This one takes place in New Zealand and is about a couple of shredders who unleash a gaggle of demons with their music. This is a horror-comedy where the two elements merge beautifully, and the comedy never overshadows the horror elements. You can catch DEATHGASM is currently streaming on Netflix.
FREAKS OF NATURE (2015)
This is another fun flick that does what it sets out to accomplish: Entertain you. The film is about a town where human beings, vampires, and zombies all live together in a fragile peace. But events occur that pit these three groups against each other and a few humans figure out that an invading alien race has shattered the balance in order to make their conquering of earth all the easier. Like DEATHGASM above, FREAKS OF NATURE expertly combines the comedy and horror elements and never lets one overshadow the other.
THE HORDE (2016; my review)
Not a perfect film by any means, THE HORDE is a lot of backwoods, mutant fun. A teacher takes her class to the remote woods for a photography project. Little does she or the horny students know that there are inbred, cannibal mutants in them woods. But little do the mutants know, the teacher’s finance is an ex-special forces Rambo-esque hero. This flick gets surprisingly dark at times and there are a few moments that had me watching with my mouth wide open. Don’t miss this one.
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016; Deggsy’s review)
Everything about this one is a home run. I don’t want to say too much about the plot of 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, but if you like well-acted, well-written, and overall fantastic films, then you are in for a treat. A girl wakes up in an underground bunker not quite sure how she got there. The owner of the bunker tells her he rescued her from some kind of biological attack going on in the surface world. The girl is skeptical and tries to escape from the man. Is the man crazy? Is she crazy? What kind of threat is happening in the world? Is there really a threat at all? Director Dan Trachtenberg handles this one expertly and will keep you glued to the screen until the explosive ending.
LAST SHIFT (2014; Deggsy’s review)
Here’s an effective, chilling, and at times a downright scary horror film. A rookie cop’s first assignment is to babysit a police station that has been decommissioned. Early into her overnight shift some weird s**t starts to happen. Weird, supernatural stuff that at times seems like it is all in the rookie’s head (her reaction to being afraid and panicking?). suspenseful and creepy with a great payoff, LAST SHIFT is one definitely worth checking out. LAST SHIFT is currently streaming on Netflix.
This is a fun little scifi-horror flick that delivers. A family heads to a remote cabin in the woods to conduct an intervention with a family member. It seems the near-deranged family member hasn’t been the same since his time in the military. Is it PTSD? The consequences of drug addiction? Or are his strange stories true? This one comes in at a tight hour and sixteen minutes, and director Mickey Keating uses every second to the fullest. Don’t miss this one. POD is currently streaming on Netflix.
STRANGER THINGS (2016)
This is a first for me. I’m including a television show (actually a Netflix original) onto my Best of list. I’m sure most of you have seen this, but if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? This is both an homage to the best films of the 1980s as well as a compelling sci-fi series that really delves into some heady and creepy things. This is still available on Netflix. Go ahead and binge … it’s good for ya!!
There’s my best of list for 2016. Which were your favorite horror films of 2016? Sound off in the moment section below.
Stay Bloody in 2017!!!