Upcoming Horror Films to Keep Your Eyes On in 2016

Earlier, EvilQueenB wrote an article on some of the upcoming horror films to look for in 2016. I thought I’d expand on her list and talk about a few more horror films that are expected to come out in 2016. You will note that there are quite a few films that either have a general “2016” release date or which don’t have a release date at all. Just keep checking back in here at AnythingHorror.com to see all the films on this list–and others–updated. Here’s to hoping that 2016 is half as good as 2015!! All release dates listed are subject to change.

I’ve arranged this list according to release date, but those that do not yet have one are grouped together at the end of the article and are in alphabetical order.

THE FOREST

This highly anticipated film from director Jason Zada, who wrote the creepy HOUSES THAT OCTOBER BUILT, centers around a woman trapped in Japan’s “suicide forest.”

A young woman searches for her twin sister in a Japanese forest only to find herself surrounded by paranormal forces.

Release Date: January 8, 2016 in theaters

VISIONS

Leaving her hectic city lifestyle behind, young mother-to-be Eveleigh joins her husband David at their beautiful new vineyard home only to be plagued by terrifying noises and visions of a sinister hooded figure. No one else hears or sees these hallucinations, not even David, who grows increasingly worried about his wife’s well-being. 

Desperate to prove her sanity, Eveleigh hunts down locals who reveal the haunted history of the vineyard in which she now resides. But when the pieces come together, the answer is far different – and more dangerous to her and her baby – than she ever imagined.

Release Date: January 19, 2016

THE BOY

Directed by William Brent Bell, the man behind 2006’s STAY ALIVE and 2012’s THE DEVIL INSIDE, is directing this one about a life-sized doll of a boy who may or may not be alive.

A nanny is tasked with overseeing a life-like doll by a bizarre couple who treat it as a real child. The couple use the doll as way to cope with the death of their young son, but the nanny becomes increasingly convinced that it is alive.

Release Date: January 22, 2016 in theaters

MARTYRS (remake)

In the most maligned remake of the year (already).

Ten-year-old Lucie flees from the isolated warehouse where she has been held prisoner. Deeply traumatized, she is plagued by awful night terrors at the orphanage that takes her in. Her only comfort comes from Anna, a girl her own age. Nearly a decade later and still haunted by demons, Lucie finally tracks down the family that tortured her. As she and Anna move closer to the agonizing truth, they find themselves trapped in a nightmare–if they cannot escape, a martyr’s fate awaits them.

Release Date: January 22, 2016

31

31 is easily the film I’m most looking forward to seeing on 2016. Written and directed by Rob Zombie, 31 boasts a fantastic cast and a terrific sounding story.

31 tells the story of five carnies in 1976 kidnapped on the morning of Halloween and held hostage in a remote industrial Hell. While trapped, they are forced to play a violent game called 31. The mission is to survive 12 hours against an endless gang of grease-painted maniacs.

Release Date: January 23, 2016

new antibirth

ANTIBIRTH

In a desolate community full of drug-addled Marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions as she struggles to get a grip on reality while stories of conspiracy spread.

Release Date: January 2016

new trash fire

TRASH FIRE

When Owen is forced to confront the past he’s been running from his whole adult life, he and his girlfriend, Isabel, become entangled in a horrifying web of lies, deceit and murder.

Release Date: January 2016

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES

After many, many delays, Seth Grahame-Smith’s mash-up of Jane Austen’s classic novel and zombies is finally going to see the light of day.

Release Date: February 5, 2016

new southbound

SOUTHBOUND

Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares–and darkest secrets – over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Black Wake

BLACK WAKE

Specialists gather in a top-secret facility to investigate a series of strange deaths on beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. One of the team’s scientists (Nana Gouvea) examines video evidence to uncover a possible parasitic explanation for the fatalities. But when a determined detective (Tom Sizemore) sends her the crazed writings of a mysterious homeless man (Jonny Beauchamp), the scientist slowly learns that the actual threat may be more dangerous — and far older — than anyone ever imagined. Can she convince her colleagues (led by Eric Roberts) of the true danger before an ancient force rises from the sea to bring madness and death to all of humanity?

Check out a teaser from the film.

Release Date: February 19, 2016

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VIRAL

From directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (the team behind both PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and 4) comes a story about what happens after a deadly virus hits.

Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family’s new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.

Release Date: February 19, 2016

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THE WITCH

Perhaps one of the most anticipated new horror releases of 2016, THE WITCH tells the story–set in New England in the 1630s–about William and Katherine who

lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood.

Release Date: February 26, 2016

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR

A family lives an idyllic existence abroad until a tragic accident takes the life of their young son. The inconsolable mother learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye. She travels to an ancient temple, where a door serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. But when she disobeys a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.

Release Date: March 11, 2016

THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM

A mother and her young son release unimaginable horrors from the attic of their rural dream home.

Release Date: March 25, 2016

new rings

RINGS

Paramount Pictures is developing a third installment in the THE RING franchise with the sole intention of reinventing these films.

Samara returns with a familiar video tape to strike terror again in the third film of the Ring series, Rings.

Release Date: April 1, 2016

BEFORE I WAKE

Filmmaker Mike Flanagan (OCULUS) is back, this time with a plot straight from THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps.

Release Date: April 8, 2016

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING

You’d think by now people would stop moving into this house!!

A single mother moves her three children into the haunted house not knowing of the house’s bloody history.

Release Date: April 15, 2016

GREEN ROOM

A young punk rock band find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence.

Here’s a short clip from the film:

Release Date: April 15, 2016

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SADAKO VS KAYAKO

You read that right. The freaky oily black haired ghost chicks from the RINGU and JU-ON franchises will duke it out sometime in may!!

Release Date: May 2016

THE CONJURING 2: THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST

The eagerly anticipated follow up the hit film, THE CONJURING.

Release Date: June 10, 2016

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THE PURGE 3

Why these films are so damn popular, I’ll never understand. This one promises to reveal the next terrifying chapter of twelve hours of anarchy that is sanctioned annually by the New Founders of America.

Release Date: July 1, 2016

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RANGE 15

This horror comedy has a great cast, including Danny Trejo,  Sean Astin,  William Shatner, Keith David, and Bryan Callen, but there is no official synopsis yet.

Release Date: July 4, 2016

LIGHTS OUT

When a bloodthirsty supernatural being that lurks in the shadows preys upon a family, a young woman must fight to protect herself, save her little half-brother, and uncover a mystery about her family’s shadowy past. 

Release Date: July 22, 2016

new lava

2 LAVA 2 LANTULA

No official plot has been given, but if you’ve seen the first film, I think you could pretty much guess what is going to happen in the second one. Here’s the trailer from the first one … and yes, this is the cast from POLICE ACADEMY.

Release Date: July 25, 2016 (TV movie)

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SHARKNADO 4

The next film in the franchise where tropical storms keep scooping up tons of sharks from the ocean and drops them on land. You’d think by now all sharks would be extinct!! This film, though, asks the question everyone wants to know: Will April live or die?

Release Date: July 2016 (TV movie)

A MAN IN THE DARK

A group of teens break into a blind man’s home thinking they’ll get away with the perfect crime. They’re wrong.

Release Date: August 26, 2016

new patient zero

PATIENT ZERO

Unfortunately this is not a film version of Jonathan Maberry’s fantastic novel. But seriously, read the summary below and tell me this doesn’t sound like it should be titled, “The Zombie Whisperer”!!

After an unprecedented global pandemic has turned the majority of humankind into violent “Infected,” a man gifted with the ability to speak the Infected’s new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

Release Date: September 2, 2016

WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS

A surrogate mother harbors a deadly secret desire for a family of her own with the husband who is expecting to raise her child. 

Release Date: September 16, 2016

DELIRIUM (aka HOME)

A man recently released from a mental institute inherits a mansion after his parents die. After a series of disturbing events, he comes to believe it is haunted.

Release Date: September 30, 2016

new underworld

UNDERWORLD: NEXT GENERATION (aka, UNDERWORLD 5)

No official plot has been given for this film yet.

Release Date: October 21, 2016

new ouija2

OUIJA 2

Mike Flanagan directs the sequel to the surprisingly successful 2014 OIUJA. No official plot has been released yet.

Release Date: October 21, 2016

new krampus

KRAMPUS: THE DEVIL RETURNS 

No, this isn’t the sequel to the 2015 KRAMPUS movie, this is a sequel to the 2013 indie horror film, KRAMPUS: THE CHRISTMAS DEVIL by indie horror filmmaker Jason Hull. Very excited for this one!! Here’s a trailer for the first film.

Release Date: November 4, 2016

BLACK LUNG

The story centers on Del, the wife of a Utah coal miner who has a premonition about an impending disaster, which ultimately saves her husband’s life. This puts the husband under suspicion when a mine explosion traps several other miners, as the wife’s visions keep getting worse and worse, hinting at a sinister, supernatural force within the mountain.

Release Date: 2016

CABIN FEVER (remake)

A remake of Eli Roth’s 2002 film about a flesh-eating virus. Check out the trailer for the original film.

Release Date: 2016

new cujo

C.U.J.O.

This stands for “Canine Unit Joint Operations” … don’t ask me, I just report the news. I wouldn’t expect to see this one until 2017, but as of right now this is classified as “still in development” with a 2016 release date.

Release Date: 2016

DAY MEN

This one is still in development.

A member of a secret group of mortals entrusted with protecting vampires while they sleep during the day steps in to help when a battle breaks out between rivaling vampire clans.

Release Date: 2016

new dead 7

DEAD 7

A ragtag band of gunslingers fight a zombie plague in this horror western. And the cast? Well, the cast is made up of members from the boy bands N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. Yeah, I’m not kidding.

Release Date: 2016

new death house

DEATH HOUSE

This film is one of the ones I’m really looking forward to. Check out the cast: Danny Trejo,  Dee Wallace,  Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Barbara Crampton, Barbara Crampton, Doug Bradley. Camille Keaton, and Ken Foree!!

Two federal agents fight their way through nine levels of Hell inside a secret prison known as the Death House. A facility-wide prison break turns their flight into a tour of horrors as they push toward the ultimate evil housed in the lowest depths of the earth.

In the lowest level are The Four Horsemen–the most notorious serial killers of all time. Robert Englund’s weapon of choice is fire; Gunnar Hansen has an unquenchable thirst for human flesh; Bill Moseley is a surgeon, and tends to focus on mutilation and torture; and Doug Bradley shares a bond with spiders, particularly the Brown Recluse Spider, whose poison Bradley is happy to dispense among those unfortunate enough to meet him. 

Release Date: 2016

new don't kill it

DON’T KILL IT

When an ancient demon is accidentally unleashed in a sparsely populated Alaskan town, the only hope of survival lies in the hands of a grizzled old demon hunter Jebediah Woodley and his reluctant partner FBI agent Evelyn Pierce.

This one stars Dolph Lundgren. ‘Nuff said!!

Release Date: 2016

new don't knock twice

DON’T KNOCK TWICE

Like a cross between CANDYMAN and THE RING, DON’T KNOCK TWICE is based on a terrifying urban legend.

To save her estranged daughter, a guilt-ridden mother must uncover the terrifying truth behind the urban legend of a vengeful, demonic witch. 

Release Date: 2016

new grasshopper

GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE

This film is still in development.

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises. 

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner. 

Release Date: 2016

new jack goes home

JACK GOES HOME

Thomas Dekker, who starred in both LAID TO REST and CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2, directs this one.

After his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and lies within his family history, his parents, his friends and his very identity.

Release Date: 2016

new jerezulam

JERUZALEM

When a couple of American young adults fly to Israel to visit the city of Jerusalem, a biblical nightmare falls upon the city.

Release Date: 2016

new land of smiles

LAND OF SMILES

Abby is lured through the third world paradise of Thailand searching for her kidnapped best friend and unknowingly she becomes the centerpiece of a sociopathic filmmakers obsession.

Release Date: 2016

new lleatherface

LEATHERFACE

Prequel about teenage Leatherface who escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnaps a young nurse and takes her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge.

Release Date: 2016

MARLA MAE

When a girl goes to get an IUD implanted by a distant relative, he commits a deranged act which has deadly implications for those close to her.

Ouch!!!

Release Date: 2016

STRANGELAND: DISCIPLE

Emaji Entertainment, has acquired the rights to reboot 1998s STRANGELAND, written by and starring Dee Snider, the frontman of 80s hairband, Twisted Sister.

Snider’s portrayal of Carlton Hendricks aka Captain Howdy in the original film created a character that has become a cult horror legend. Emaji Entertainment will accompany the singer-songwriter, screenwriter, radio personality and actor back into the dark underground world of ritualistic body modification where victims are lured via an ever pervasive world of social media. Here’s the trailer from the original STRANGELAND.

Release Date: 2016

new belko

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT

This one has me really excited. This is directed by Greg Mclean (WOLF CREEK and ROGUE), is written by James Gunn (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), and stars Michael Rooker (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER and THE WALKING DEAD)!!

A group of 83 American expatriates who work in a building in Sao Paulo, Brazil, find themselves trapped in their workplace; a voice emits over the speaker system, forcing them through a series of murderous moral decisions. 

Release Date: 2016

THE BYE BYE MAN

An adaptation of a short story called “The Bridge to Body Island,” by Robert Damon Schneck, the story centers on three Wisconsin college students who come up against the sinister titular “Bye Bye Man.”

Release Date: 2016

new neon demon

THE NEON DEMON

With a solid cast and an interesting story, THE NEON DEMON sounds like this could be interesting.

When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Release Date: 2016

new overlook hotel

THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

This film is still in development but I’m hoping we see this one released in 2016. This will be a prequel to THE SHINING. I’m excited to see the fate of the creepy twins!!

Release Date: 2016

Which films are you looking forward to? Sound off below in the comments section.

Stay Bloody on 2016!!!

Anything Horror Scott’s Best Horror Shorts of 2015

A lot of short horror films get released over the course of a year. I know I don’t see every single one of them, but I do watch my fair share of horror shorts. I think the short film is a perfect medium for horror filmmakers to show off their chops and to get audiences excited over their work. With that being said, below are ten fantastic shorts that deserve your attention. Where able, I included the short in its entirety.

shorts heir

HEIR (2015)

Easily the best horror short I saw in 2015. HEIR comes to us from Fatal Pictures, the same crew that brought us WORM and FAMILIAR. HEIR, though, goes further then the two shorts before it, and delves into some truly depraved and disturbing territory. Starring Robert Nolan, who starred in all three shorts from Fatal Pictures, HEIR is a story that takes the idea of anyone who abuses a child as being a monster to the next level. As writer-director Richard Powell explains:

HEIR suggests that victimization through sexual abuse leads to mutation of the psyche, soul and in our film, flesh itself.

HEIR is a brilliant short film that will get under your skin and have you thinking about it for weeks on end.

short seiren1

SEIREN (2015)

This is one of the shorts from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival. I just watched all the films in this years fest, and SEIREN is definitely a stand out. A model is doing a shoot on the beach when the photographer asks her to step into the water. She does and is promptly bitten by something. In the days that follow, the model notices dramatic changes in her eating, drinking, and sleeping habits. This is a familiar set-up that is executed brilliantly by writer-director Kat Threlkeld (who is one of four female directors to make this list). Stylish, creepy, and just plain old scary, SEIREN is brilliant. Check out the teaser trailer:

short let me see

LET ME SEE YOUR EYES (2014)

Another fantastic short film from the team of director Derek Cole and actor Stephen Twardokus!! LET ME SEE YOUR EYES explores a post-apocalyptic world where murderous mutants roam the world bent on eliminating what is left of the human race. The only way to make sure someone isn’t infected is to check their eyes. Written by Jack Nathan Harding, who also stars along side Twardokus, this short keeps you on your toes and throws some pretty fun punches at you along the way. Derek Cole has made several feature films and they are all beautifully made. But I think Cole has mastered the short film and can convey a lot in just a little bit of time. Check out the teaser trailer:

shorts ripe

RIPE N’ BLOODY (2015)

Here’s a fun, gory, lighthearted short film by director Patricia Chica. This is a short film set during Halloween that will have you grinning from ear to ear when it is over. Great acting and great effects stand out in this tale of “do unto others as you’d have others do unto you.” That’s all I’m saying about this one.

short gigante

EL GIGANTE (2015)

A super crazy fun, gory short film that mashes up a few different sub-genres into one great short film. With elements of torture porn, Mexican wrestling, and the crazy-isolated-family tropes, EL GIGANTE takes some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Directed by Luke Bramley and Gigi Saul Guerrero, EL GIGANTE is just about as fun and bloody as they come.

short KURAYAMI

KURAYAMI NO WA (2015)

The second short from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival, KURAYAMI NO WA is a rather batshit-crazy short film made by–get this–fifteen year old director and co-writer Morgana McKenzie. In it, a Japanese doomsday cult hands out tainted candy on Halloween which turns the population into murderous zombies. The plague spreads and the survivors are forced out into the harsh Canadian wilderness. The acting by the young cast is fantastic, and McKenzie tells the story in such a way that Tarantino himself could learn a trick or two. This is a fantastically fun and crazy short.

short slit

SLIT (2015)

Miss the good old days of the Italian giallo film? Then SLIT will be right up your alley. The short is about two women who leave a bar and are killed in their apartment by a masked killer. Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, but director Colin Clarke amps up the style and tension to steroid-like levels. The colors in the film and the killer himself (or is it “herself”?) will have you watching this one over and again a few times. I love this short. Here’s the short in its entirety:

short hosten

HOSTEN (aka HARVEST) (2015)

I watched this short film recently and haven’t had the time to review it yet. In it, a washed up doctor works for an illegal organ harvesting operation, and when he is unable to deliver on a recent order, he trolls an online vampire fetish site to find someone who fits the bill. The cold, sterile feel of the film is perfectly reflected by the surroundings and landscape of Denmark (where it was filmed). Directors Martin Sonntag and Kim Sønderholm manage to make the viewer feel for the burned out doctor (also Kim Sønderholm), while at the same time making you root for the victim. A fun short with a nice, TWILIGHT ZONE-esque twist.

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FIRST NIGHT IN THE NEW HOUSE (2015)

Not only can writer-director Marc Fratto, deliver on feature films, but the man also kicks some ass in short films as well. Fratto made my Best of list of 2015 with his film HELL FIRE, and this short film–which comes in just a little over five minutes long–also manages to entertain the hell outta ya!! In it, actress Katelyn Marie Marshall, who is pretty much in one room the entire time, starts to hear odd sounds in her new house. This ghost short is effective and made the hair on my neck and arms stand up on end. FIRST NIGHT IN THE NEW HOUSE proves you don’t need a lot of money or a lengthy run time to create a chilling, effective story. Here’s the short film in its entirety:

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RETURN (2015)

The third short from the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival to make this list. This tells the story of a young couple who moves into a new house and their mistake of befriending the next door neighbors. This was one of the longer shorts in the BITS festival, and director Jon Hyatt used his time well. By establishing likable characters, a creepy atmosphere, and a strange, deadly mythos, Hyatt delivers the goods and keeps the viewer glued to the screen.

What were your favorite shorts that you watched in 2015? Sound off below in the comments section.

Stay Bloody in 2016!!!

Anything Horror Scott’s Best Honorable Mentions of 2015

What a year for horror films!! The good films vastly outweighed the bad ones–at least in the films that I saw. I could have easily increased my Best of list to include twenty-five to thirty films that I really enjoyed in 2015. But instead of giving you all a huge list, I decided to do an honorary list of five additional films that I enjoyed the hell out of in 2015. Again, these films are in no particular order.

honorable poe2

TALES OF POE (2014)

This is an anthology collection of two of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic stories (“The Tell Tale Heart;” and “The Cask,” which is an updated version of “The Cask of Amontillado”) and one of the master’s oft-quoted poems (“Dreams”). The anthology is directed by two of my favorite indie horror filmmakers, Bart Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly. If you’ve ever seen anything by these two filmmakers then you know how beautiful the film will look. Vibrant colors are often used to offset the atmosphere (and vice versa), and the writing is tremendous. Both filmmakers managed to update Poe’s stories while at the same time keeping all the elements that made these stories classics in the first place. Don’t miss this one.

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THE GUEST (2014)

Is this really a horror film? I consider a film that has a heavy tone rich in anxiety and which makes the viewer feel uneasy a horror film. You’re damn right it is a horror film (a horror-thriller)!! Whatever you want to call this one, THE GUEST is an absolutely fantastic film and is hugely successful in what it sets out to do. In it, a soldier fresh out of the military visits the family of one of his fallen brothers. The ex-soldier is charming and sincere and each family member ends up taking a shine to him. He stays with the family, and little by little the cracks in his demeanor start to appear. Trust me when I say that you will not guess where it is all going. And that scene in the bar–INTENSE!! This is a fantastic film.

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WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (2014)

And yet another zombie flick on my top films of 2015 list–I think this is the fourth one. WORMWOOD is described as “MAD MAX meets DAWN OF THE DEAD.” Okay, okay; I’ll give ya that this makes for a great quote on the poster, but I didn’t get the DAWN reference. Anyway, WORMWOOD gives a swift kick in the ass to the stale zombie genre, and this is a helluva fun film. Some may not like the amount of CGI used in the film–it did at times get a bit distracting–but the story here is what will keep you hooked. We get a new kind of zombie and a new kind of zombie-killer hero. The zombies are plentiful, the action is packed, and the entire ride is fun as hell.

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HONEYMOON (2014)

I saw HONEYMOON on Netflix and was really surprised with this one. With Lovecraftian overtones, great acting, and a fantastic script, this film left a real impression on me. A newlywed couple is honeymooning at a lake where the new bride spent her summers growing up and are isolated (they are there before the summer vacationers). Almost immediately they begin to experience odd things. Extremely bright lights shining in their windows at night, odd noises, time anomalies. Then the wife disappears for a little bit and when she is found, she is not the same person anymore. A creepy, uneasy vibe marks this film and the payoff is fantastic. This is a great film not to be missed.

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EJECTA (2014)

I had two scifi-horror films on my Worst of list, but EJECTA evens the score. This is an indie film that explores first contact with an alien race. The film focuses mainly on two people: William (Julian Richings), who makes first contact, and Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle), who plays a cold-as-ice head of a secret group who wants to control the alien situation. I think I said it best in my review:

Some may not like the pacing of EJECTA, but I found it to be perfect for what the directors were trying to accomplish. We get terrific character development, and William is like a huge onion. Layer after layer of his character gets peeled away to reveal more and more of who he really is. We also get a great minimalist soundtrack that greatly contributed to the final film. If you’re looking for a more cerebral, character driven sci-fi flick, then look no further than EJECTA. Highly recommended.

Adding these five films to my Best of list makes me feel satisfied that I covered all the best 2015 had to offer. I’m confident that choosing any film of either this list or my first Best of list will give you all a great movie-going experience. Sounds off in the comments section below if you think I missed something!!

Stay Bloody in 2016!!!

Anything Horror Scott’s 15 Best Horror Films of 2015

I have been so excited to write my Best Horror Films of 2015 list this year!! I usually struggle to find eight films that I love (my lists are usually ten items long), but this year I increased my list to fifteen because I saw so many great ones in 2015. Due to a pesky, intruding personal life, I got slightly behind in writing up reviews. There are a few films on this list that don’t have accompanying reviews for yet, but I solve that by going into a little more detail about why I love them. Also, there are two or three films on this list that I link to Deggsy’s reviews. I only do this because I completely, wholeheartedly agree with what Deggsy wrote in his review. Let’s get to it!!

best pernicious2

PERNICIOUS

I’ve been following the career of indie horror filmmaker James Cullen Bressack for many years now, and there’s fewer things in life I enjoy more than watching a filmmaker grow and mature. Bressack has done just that. With every film he makes he learns something, and all his knowledge culminated in PERNICIOUS. What could have been a simple and standard ghost story becomes so much more. With great performances, a fantastic script, and many surprises along the way, PERNICIOUS was easily one of the best films of 2015. Don’t stop, James!!

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AVENGED

This movie surprised the hell out of me. Going into AVENGED I was expecting an average to below-average rape-revenge flick. This is indeed a rape-revenge flick, but it is also so much more. Writer-director Michael S. Ojeda gives us a fantastic script that is executed brilliantly. What could have devolved into camp and exploitation was kept at a dramatic level rarely seen in this sub-genre. Add to this some great actors and extremely well-written characters, and AVENGED is a film not to be missed!!

best scouts2

SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

This is one of the films I saw in late December and just didn’t have time to write up the review for. This is a wonderfully funny and effective zombie movie that keeps the comedy and horror elements separate. The premise is simple. Three life-long friends have been in the boy scouts for years, and when the zombie apocalypse comes they utilize the skills they learned in the scouts to survive. The movies is full of great characters, beautiful, sexy women, plenty of well-written humor, and tons of deadly zombies. This movie can also boast having one of the sexiest topless zombies ever captured on film!! Don’t miss this one, it is hugely entertaining.

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DIGGING UP THE MARROW (Deggsy’s review)

Released earlier this year, DIGGING UP THE MARROW is a horror film that can be placed in the “meta” category. Writer-director Adam Green bashes the found footage sub-genre while at the same time making a fantastic found footage film. The basic story has Green making a documentary on monster movies and runs in William Dekker (the fantastic Ray Wise), who claims to have solid proof that real monsters exist. Everything about this film is enjoyable and the ending has a huge payoff.

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SPRING

This is a film that many of my readers were surprised I enjoyed it so much–I was also surprised by how much I liked this film. This is a slow-burner about an American traveling through Italy who meets a mysterious girl who has a huge secret she’s  been covering up for many years. With elements of HP Lovecraft as well as body horror, SPRING keeps you guessing as to what is really going on, and when we finally get the explanation, it is fantastic. But the strength of this film lies in the characters and how human the “monster” is. Besides having great actors and a great script, SPRING is beautifully shot and is absolutely hypnotizing.

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DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER

Another zombie movie makes my Best of list!! This film is based on the video games, and one of the strengths of this film is that it captures the best parts of the games. Besides being action packed, DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER, has great characters, ferocious zombies, throws in lots of humor in the perfect places, and is wonderfully gory. I read that a sequel is on its way, and as long as they can make lightening strike twice, I say bring it on. This film is a lot of fun.

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WE ARE STILL HERE

Wait wait wait. Anything Horror Scott has a ghost story on his Best of list?? You know it!! WE ARE STILL HERE is one of the best ghost stories I’ve seen in a really long time. Writer-director Ted Geoghegan doesn’t miss a detail and hits this one out of the park. The tone, the actors and characters, the backstory… everything is spot on. The film stars Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig as a couple who moves into an old farm house only to find out they have some extra tenants living there. Sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it? Trust me when I tell you that as standard as the set up is, the execution will leave you breathless. Take it from someone who generally does not enjoy ghost stories, WE ARE STILL HERE will leave you frightened and stunned. This film also has one helluva soundtrack.

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STUNG

I just watched STUNG on New Year’s Eve, that is why there is no review yet. Are you looking for a creature feature that feels like a throwback to the good old days but still has a modern feel to it? STUNG is the film for you. A catered wine party at a huge estate is crashed by some killer wasps. These, though, aren’t you’re standard wasps. These are mutated, seven-foot long aggressive wasps that have a thing for stinging and killing people. Great acting and characters top this film along with a fast-paced script and great writing. Best of all, we get some terrific practical effects. Gory, fun, and creepy. What more could you ask for? This is a great film.

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THE GREEN INFERNO

No other horror movie this year divided audiences like THE GREEN INFERNO. This is writer-director Eli Roth’s love letter to the Italian-cannibal films of the 70s and early 80s. If you grew up, as I did, on those films then you are in for a treat. Roth nails the tone, atmosphere, and fun on those films. The characters are broadly written, the dialogue is cheesy, and the gore is tough to watch. I saw this in the theater with other Italian-cannibal fans and it was a huge party. The ending was set up for a possible sequel, but I say leave perfection alone!!

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COOTIES (Deggsy’s review)

The third zombie film on my best of list?? Hell yes, and if you notice, all the zombie flicks on my list are not your standard, run-of-the-mill undead films. Deggsy and I saw this around the same time and Deggsy liked it so much that he wanted to write up the review (it is also on his Best of list). In COOTIES, tainted school chicken nuggets are the cause of the zombie outbreak and there’s only one thing that can protect people from the virus:  You must be pre-pubescent. That’s right, as long as you haven’t hit puberty yet you are safe. As Deggsy points out, one of the strengths here is with the really well-written characters. This is yet another horror-comedy that hits all the right notes while still being gory and scary.

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THE FINAL GIRLS

THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO meets TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL meets CABIN IN THE WOODS in this fantastic horror film. A group of twenty-somethings get trapped inside the slasher film they are watching and must use their knowledge of horror films to try and survive. This is another film that could have easily drifted into camp and could have become gimmicky, but director Todd Strauss-Schulson keeps everything focused to deliver one of the best films of the year. This quote from my review summarizes this film perfectly:

What Wes Craven began in NEW NIGHTMARE and further explored in his SCREAM films is taken to a new level in THE FINAL GIRLS. 

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LUMBERJACK MAN

You are indeed reading this correctly. One of the 8 Films to Die For films made my Best of list. How in the world could a horror film that has pancakes as a major plot point be good? Just watch this one and find out for yourself. We get a pretty typical set up as a group of twenty-something counselors are heading into the woods to open a bible camp. Unfortunately for them the evil spirit of long dead lumberjack is back to exact his revenge. What is he pissed about? A colleague of his stole his flapjack recipe back in the 1800s. This has all the trappings of a “slasher-in-the-woods” film but due to some great writing, creative kills, and fun gore, LUMBERJACK MAN was hugely entertaining. Plus you get to see a really sexy girl covered in maple syrup. Bonus!!

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BITE

Another creature flick/body horror movie I saw in mid-December, hence no review. I wouldn’t recommend eating while watching this one. A woman and her two friends go to the islands for her bachelorette party. While there, the bride-to-be gets bitten by a bug. Thinking nothing of it, that bite ends up causing a whole lot of trouble. BITE has a really fun vibe to it and is a great gross out movie. We see the lead slowly transform into something hideous and disgusting while she tries like hell to retain a bit of her humanity. This was a favorite on the festival circuit, and with the strong acting and direction, I see this being a hit in the rental market as well.

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BONE TOMAHAWK (Deggsy’s review)

Another slow burner that hits all the right notes. This film works as both a horror film and as a western. In it, Kurt Russell and a group of others head out to track down a clan of savage-aboriginal-cannibal-Troglodytes. Deggsy says it perfectly in his review:

But if the movie has any major failing, it will be that it will be too horrific for Western fans, and too Westerny for horror films. But that’s the nature of hybrids.

But believe me that when the violence and gore begin, it is unflinching and very difficult to watch. This is a great film.

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HELL FIRE

Even though this list is not in any particular order, I must say that HELL FIRE is easily in my top three films of 2015. I was so surprised by this one that I was practically jumping for joy as I was watching it. Writer-director Marc Fratto gives us a mash-up film that starts off as a heist gone wrong flick that transforms into one kick ass horror film full of demons and satan itself. In addition to some fantastic writing, great gore and violence, and a break-neck pace, HELL FIRE also has one of the best female characters I’ve ever seen in a horror film. Actress Selene Beretta’s Rosetta is… she is just… Oh hell, here’s a quote from my review:

[Rosetta’s] got a mouth that would make a marine-biker-chef blush, ninety percent of the things she says is sarcasm, she’s brutal, and she’s hot. After Rosetta violently knocks out another character she looks at them on the floor and says, “That’s for kicking me in the vag … you know I need that for work!!” I absolutely fell in love with this character!!

What a fantastic year for horror films!! I know that I didn’t see every single horror film released in 2015, so please leave me your comments about what films I missed that belong on my list, and even the films on my list that you don’t think belong on it.

Stay Bloody in 2016!!!

Deggsy’s Best Horror Films of 2015

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Well my droogies, this article gives an overview of what I thought might be considered the best horror I’ve seen in 2015. As I stated in my look back at the Worst of 2015, I noted that there were a few Westerns thrown in my mix of viewing last year; the western-horror is a rare hybrid, and doesn’t always live long enough to make an impression, but when it does, it does well. Looking back, I also noted how much I’ve grown to loathe Found Footage. I really can’t write a positive review about one now, and it feels like my grandchildren will look back at this era of Found Footage and find it as dated as hippie and juvenile delinquent movies.

Also of note is that, though my movie viewing lessened somewhat last year, of the ones I did watch, I found I had a bigger list of ones I thought were good as opposed to bad, though I suspect I watched more bad ones from earlier years, or I blanked out the truly wretched ones.

Anyway, these are the good ones, with links to any reviews of them on Anythinghorror:

Harbinger Down posterHARBINGER DOWN: A good old fashioned creature flick starring one of our absolute favourites, Lance Henriksen, as a grizzled sea captain who finds a piece of Soviet space debris from the Eighties containing frozen experimental creatures that are long dead and harmless- just kidding, they revive, grow and attack him, his crew and some grad students majoring in Monster Fodder. In 2010 Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI) was hired to create the practical monster effects for the film THE THING (2011). However much to ADI’s dismay, the studio had the majority of their work digitally replaced with CGI for the final cut of the film. In response to this, ADI used Kickstarter to fund this film, which features entirely practical creature effects created through the use of animatronics, prosthetic makeup, stop motion and miniature effects. There are zero computer animated monsters in this film – and that is such a pleasure for this jaded reviewer!

Poltergeist banner2POLTERGEIST: You know, if there are more movies like this, my Old Man Rant about pointless and pathetic remakes might have to be put away in the closet with all my Traci Lords porn VHS. Personal favourite actor Sam Rockwell leads the cast in this familiar tale of a familiar who moves into a new house, finds crap happening to them, and fulfils every black stand-up comic’s routine about white people not leaving the house when spooky shit goes down. Personally I think this improves on the original movie, by tightening up the pace and amping the acting chops and spookiness. If there is any real flaw to it, it’s that it’s coming in a time when we’ve been deluged by movies of paranormal experiences in suburban homes, and it can get lost among them.

we-are-still-here-bannerWE ARE STILL HERE: I will say that the Seventies was the best decade for horror, helped by the fact that movies of the pre-videotape era still looked like movies. WE ARE STILL HERE embraces that look to its credit (which is good especially as it’s set in the decade), as well as features Anythinghorror’s favourite actress, Barbara Crampton, as a mother who moves out to an isolated house with her husband following the death of their son, and begins to witness some spooky shit. The movie delivers in ways that many others don’t, partly due to the acting chops of Crampton and cast, partly because director/writer Ted Geoghegan clearly knows how to build suspense and not shoot his load too early. So to speak.

BONE-TOMAHAWK posterBONE TOMAHAWK: In some alternate reality where Westerns never died out, this could have been made by Wes Craven or John Carpenter, a story of a small band of cowboys led by Kurt Russell who set out to rescue a small group of people who have been abducted by a tribe of cannibalistic Troglodytes living high in the hills. As much a character piece as horror, it doesn’t flinch from the brutal scenes when they come, though its hybrid nature might put off pure Western fans, or bore pure horror fans. But it was something different in a field filled with zombies and ghost stories, and that’s something to consider. 

LS866434THE LAST SHIFT: This one came out of nowhere, never heard of it until I saw it in a Netflix list, and thought I’d give it a try.  A rookie cop on her first day (which I suppose is only slightly better than being three days from retirement) is assigned to supervise a closed precinct building (at least it wasn’t Precinct 13), who gradually becomes convinced that the place is haunted by the ghosts of a Manson-like serial killer and his followers, whose deaths are connected to her deceased policeman father (Sidebar: is it a law that all female cops need to have fathers who were cops too, preferably ones who died in the line of duty and never gave their daughters the respect and love they deserve? Just checking). This is a suspenseful, paranoid, well-made movie, and WALKING DEAD’s Juliana Harkavy carries it on her shoulder for much of it, and carries it well.

Blood Moon posterBLOOD MOON: Another horror Western, and even more weird, one that was filmed entirely in Dorset, England, home of country manors and villages where nosy spinsters solve murders, where a stagecoach of tropes gets caught in a ghost town taken over by some bandits, unaware that they’re all on the menu on account of a Skinwalker, a medicine man who’s gone to the Dark Side and can turn into a wolf. It’s a low budget but well-paced and enjoyable little movie, and works better than Tarantino’s HATEFUL 8 managed.

TA113THE ASYLUM: No, not a documentary on our favourite no-budget creators of SHARKNADO or TRANSMORPHERS (but be honest, you’d watch a documentary to see how those guys manage to make movies on just food stamps, wouldn’t you?) but a genuine surprise for me, as I had expected a generic, predictable, boring haunted asylum movie. What I got was a fast-paced, gory and funny movie where a bunch of teens accidentally resurrect some demons who possess them one by one. The story moves, it has some twists, some laughs, some gore, some boobs – in short, it’s all the ingredients you could want in a horror movie!

Not that you necessarily need all those for an entertaining movie. Case in point:

Cooties posterCOOTIES: Well, Elijah Wood is not just sitting around earning royalties from his Frodo days and getting babes with Hobbit fetishes; in addition to starring in a surprisingly effective and gory remake of MANIAC, he’s appeared in this, albeit in a semi-heroic role of an aspiring (bad) writer and substitute teacher, joining gym coach Rainn Wilson and others on the day that a viral outbreak in some contaminated chicken nuggets turns all the pre-pubescent children into feral monsters (in other words, children who have drunk too much Red Bull). This is a movie that doesn’t skimp on either the gore or the laughs, especially if it can mix both (do you know any other movie with a scene where children use human intestines as a skipping rope?). I wasn’t gonna list these in order, but if I was being honest, this would be my favourite movie of the bunch.

So, what do the rest of you think?

Anything Horror Scott’s Worst Horror Films of 2015

Here we are again, folks. The beginning of a new year. This means we need to go over the successes and failures of the previous year. Deggsy already posted his list of the worst films of 2015, and now it is my turn. Please keep in mind two important things. First, this list is limited to films that were released in 2015 (with two exceptions). Second, I didn’t see every horror film released this year. If you think I missed something, I wanna hear from you. On another note, 2015 marks the first time where the amount of good films outnumbered the bad films. This was a first for me. I usually have so many films I didn’t enjoy that it is difficult to limit the list to just ten films. But this year I had such a hard time finding ten films that I hated, that I dipped into 2014 to round off my list to ten.

Let’s get to it (please note that this list is in no particular order):

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MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT

Now granted I wasn’t a fan of the original MONSTERS at all–at all–but when I read that this follow up has a new director and has more monsters in it, I was pretty excited. What a let down. Just like with the first film, DARK CONTINENT looks fantastic. The filming and cinematography are stunning in places, but the script is a fucking mess. It wavers between wanting to be a human war story and a giant creature flick, and it fails miserably on both fronts.

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HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE)

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE is another franchise I’ve had a lot of problems with. I liked the first one–kind of–but for the life of me couldn’t figure out why it was being called ‘the most extreme and disgusting film ever made.’ Seriously, the first film was all but bloodless. But then writer-director Tom Six delivered the goods in the second film of the trilogy. It was everything the first film wasn’t. It was depraved, disgusting, gory, and at times very hard to watch. I loved it. Then Six delivered the third and final film. What a turd!! Everything about part three is a huge miss. The deliberate over acting, the forced sex and un-PC humor, the very uneven script. If you gave a frat house peyote and told them to write a script, they couldn’t have come up with something as childish as this film.

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AREA 51

The stench of this one still clings to me like a dog who got sprayed by a skunk!! Over the last few years, I realized just how much I love a good scoff-horror film. So when one pops up on my radar, I get really excited. AREA 51 was such a let down. AREA 51 was made by Oren Peli, the man behind the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise (oh come on… the first film was fun). But few were aware that in 2009 Peli quietly made AREA 51 … where it then sat on a shelf for six years before being released. Why was it shelved for so long? See it and you’ll find out. This film is plagued with re-writes, re-shoots, and troubles in post-production, and all this shows in the final product. This is another disjointed mess, and the studio should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this to the public.

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THE ENCOUNTER

Another disappointing scifi-horror flick. I think the following quote from my review summarizes it best:

THE ENCOUNTER was full of underdeveloped, one-dimensional characters doing dumb things, and whom I could’ve cared less about if they died or not. The use of the found footage gimmick was just that; a gimmick. This story had no need to utilize found footage. It was pointless and made everything all the more awkward and amateurish. Some of the makeup f/x were pretty decent, but they weren’t nearly good enough to save this turkey. THE ENCOUNTER was on the level of a made-for-SyFy TV movie. Correction; THE ENCOUNTER was a level below a made-for-SyFy TV movie.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait … I did say that.

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THE LAZARUS EFFECT

I saw this film late in the game (just a few week ago) and haven’t had a chance to review it yet. This is far from the worst film I’ve seen this year, but I am putting it on my worst of list because of what the filmmakers pissed away. This first half of the film seemed to be setting this one up to be a more intelligent horror film with moral-philosophical overtones. Unfortunately, the second half of the film slips into the same old Hollywood bullshit full of cheap scares, and goes for the easy way out. It is a shame because the first half of this film works really well.

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DESECRATED

This was one of the first films I watched in 2015, and if I didn’t keep a list of all the films I watch every year, I would have completely forgotten about this one. This film’s biggest problem is that it suffers from an identity crisis. It wants to be a teen slasher flick, a horror film with a social commentary, and a horror film with an anti-war message. What we get is none of these … and all of these. This film is a mess. Add to that some very amateurish acting and a terrible script and you’ll want to forget about this film. Why the hell did I have to remember this!!

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DARK VISION

This is an indie film that is another one I completely forgot about. Even when I re-read my review of it, it still didn’t sound familiar (I actually checked to make sure Deggsy didn’t actually write the review!!). A paranormal research team is competing to win their own television show. The acting here was good, but the story just lacked anything interesting. DARK VISION is just another movie where a team of ghost hunters encounter the real thing and suffer the consequences. There was nothing new going on in the story to grab you. I also thought the most interesting aspect of the story was completely ignored. The viewer is told that there were five paranormal research teams competing for their own television show. This could have been a really fun aspect to focus on. Maybe have the five shows sabotaging each other or something. The potential was there, but the execution was not.

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KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING

You can always tell when something is getting popular when a lot of low-end films try to imitate it. The legend of Krampus is one such popular thing. This film felt like it was originally a standard ghost-out-for-revenge flick and the producers asked the writers to turn it into a Krampus film. It is not set around Christmas, it plays loose and fancy-free with the legend of Krampus, and it just doesn’t work. Voodoo dolls? Seriously!!!

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BURYING THE EX (2014)

This is one of two films from 2014 that I’m including on this list. Why this one? Why? WHY??? Because it was such a let down. This film is directed by horror icon, Joe Dante–the very same man who gave us 1978s PIRANHA, 1981s THE HOWLING, one of the segments in 1983s TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and 1984s GREMLINS. Of course I was expecting something great here. The basic story is that this guy is dating a control-freak bitch of a girlfriend. He plans on dumping her, but before he can, she gets hit by a bus and dies. Lucky him, right? Nope. She comes back from the dead and expects to pick up the relationship from where it left off. The problem here is with the script. There is no tension in this film. I understand that Dante and writer Alan Trezza were going for a horror-comedy here, but the entire film is sugary-sweet with no real conflict. I’ve seen more tension in episodes of FULL HOUSE.

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BLOOD VALLEY: SEED’S REVENGE (2014)

This is the other film from 2014 that I felt I owed it to you to add to this list so no one ever watches it. Not only is this a horrible film, but it is also the worst film I watched in 2015. This film–also known as SEED 2 and SEED 2: THE NEW BREED–is quite simply unwatchable. It is presented as a sequel to the 2006 Uwe Boll film, SEED, but the title is the only connection to the original. (And on an aside, when a Uwe Boll film is 100% better than a sequel, you’re in a lot of trouble). Plot? You want a plot summary? There is no plot in this film. Seriously. None at all. The best I can come up with is that a group of annoying women are driving through the desert when they stumble across Seed and his demented family. This film steals heavily from THE HILLS HAVE EYES, but still offers us nothing. The editing is atrocious. It is like a music video on crack where we just get a bunch of random scenes thrown together–the editor didn’t even attempt and create a coherent narrative. Do not see this film. I’ve warned you.

Well, there’s my 10 worst horror films of 2015. Which films did I miss? Which don’t belong on my list? Sound off in the comments section below.

Stay Bloody in 2016!!!

Deggsy’s Worst Horror Films of 2015

the_grumpy_cat__happy_new_year_____d_by_cartoonrockfan93-d709aa5Hello again, you sexy f**kers! (You ugly bastards keep scrolling, I’m not talking to you) and here we are, at the end of yet another year! And life just seems to keep throwing things at us like we’re sitting on some wall waiting to get knocked down. Sometimes they’re nice things being thrown, like new jobs that pay your bills even if they make you work unearthly hours. Other times, it’s things like DVDs of GROWN UPS 2, which go down as well as Jello from Bill Cosby.

We lost a few people this year, names in and out of the horror business: Sir Christopher Lee. Wes Craven. Gunnar Hansen. Lemmy. Yvonne Craig. James Horner. Chris Squire. Terry Pratchett. Leonard Nimoy. Rod Taylor. And think of all those who sadly didn’t die: Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler…

Looking back on what I considered the Best and Worst THAT I’VE WATCHED IN 2015 (Get that, folks? I will surely have missed a few gems and turds along the way given the way real life works – I definitely want the chance to see CIRCUS OF THE DEAD, for instance – but maybe you can offer some other suggestions and/or warnings for me), it’s a small but strange bunch, some of them maybe not even being classed strictly as horror. there’s a few Westerns in there, too, strangely enough. Typical: you wait years for a Western-themed horror, and then three come along at once…

And because I’m told to always end things on an upswing (as the hangman said), I’ll start with my list of the Worst Horror Movies of 2015, some with links to the earlier, more detailed reviews:

FF4FANT4STIC FOUR: First of all, you’ve got that idiotic thing where a number is substituted for a letter or letters in the title, because it looks cool and hip, but in reality looks as dated and embarrassing like your grandfather trying to be cool as fuck (unless your grandfather is David Bowie, in which case he *is* cool as fuck). You’d think the premise would be fairly easy to pull off – they’re superheroes who are like a family – but somehow gets botched and muddled up. It’s not helped when you hand your multi-million dollar franchise to a man who only made one low-budget movie beforehand. When a shitty Roger Corman version ends up being more faithful to the source material, you know you’re fucked.

EJP4EXTINCTION JURASSIC PREDATORS: Wow, this really annoyed me. I mean, like having to sit next to Fran Dreschler on a transatlantic flight annoying. If this was a Bingo Card listing all the tired cliches of the Found Footage genre, PLUS the inclusion of one of the most annoying central characters since Jar Jar Binks, then you’d be taking home the top prize before killing yourself when you realise this is the best your life is gonna get. Enjoy the DVD cover, because it’s better than anything you’re gonna see in the actual movie, where a film crew consisting of a couple of assholes with backpacks allegedly go into the Amazon (which looks suspiciously like Wales) and get attacked, the film footage was found later on with no trace of the crew, yadda yadda…)

TWD6THE WALKING DECEASED: Comedy is a fickle thing, like one of those inbred monarchs – so easy to get things wrong, and then you find yourself in a dungeon getting fingered by a hunchback (or is that just me?). Someone should tell these filmmakers that there’s more to making spoofs or satires of the genres than throwing in identifiable references to sources such as THE WALKING DEAD, ZOMBIELAND, WARM BODIES, SHAUN OF THE DEAD and probably others. The secret is to tap into what makes these sources worth spoofing or satirising. Oh, and maybe you can have some jokes in your comedy, too? Or am I being overly demanding, like some beefy, very handsome version of Verucca Salt?

The-Hateful-EightTHE HATEFUL EIGHT: Not necessarily horror, but Tarantino gets a pass for his genre credentials, and because I reviewed his last movie DJANGO UNCHAINED here, and while I enjoyed that, this movie was everything that could have gone wrong with DJANGO: overlong, boring, repetitious in dialogue and action, this tale of eight nasty characters stuck in a cabin in a blizzard could have been cut in half. Tarantino’s taken the fanboys’ love of his long monologues too much to heart and gave us a self-indulgent home movie of his favourite character actors playing Cowboys Who Talk Alot; the few instances of gore are hardly worth it. 

imagesTHE VATICAN TAPES: Everything you expect a PG-13 horror to be. I’ve seen scarier demons on Scooby Doo. 

What, you want more? No. Screw you. Instead, I’ll tell you a story about going off this Christmas to Whitby, on the east coast of England, where the English parts of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was set. We spent the evening in a dog-friendly pub where our border terrier Edna feasted on bacon treats and lots of attention. I eventually brought her back to the cottage where we were staying, but the little scamp ran out when the wind blew open the front door, and she raced directly back to the pub to the delight of all the customers. What a happy little pup she was that night!

Trust me, that little anecdote was more entertaining than this movie.

S20THE SAND: This one falls into the More Disappointing Than Bad. Okay, it was bad in places too. But it had the core of a decent idea: a group of partygoers wake up on an isolated beach finding themselves surrounded by something that is buried beneath the surface, something which shoots up tendrils that devour flesh. All flesh. Alone and bereft of contact with the outside world. It could have worked.

Instead, we get a collection of unpleasant shrill characters cursing and screaming at each other – seriously, is it that complicated a thing for screenwriters to remember that suspense is generated by caring for the characters in peril? – and by not staying with the subtle-but-effective effects they used for most of the movie, and ending with a garish, shitty monster for the finale, a display of animation that makes the worst of the Asylum look like the best of Christopher Nolan.

So there are my worst. But what of my best? Stay tuned…

5 OF THE BEST HORROR-COMEDIES

Horror and comedy have always been the perfect combination of genres that have come together to create some truly funny and scary cinematic amalgamations. Horror often walks that fine line of sinister chills and tongue-in-cheek terror and has always been a genre to champion the fact that it sometimes tries to not take itself too seriously. And it has therefore left itself open to loveable parody and hilarious comedic movie moments over the years. We take a look at just some of the best.

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DEAD ALIVE (AKA BRAINDEAD)

Zombie-related movies are one of the most commonly used sub-genres of horror that welcome a mix of fear and funny. Long before he was dealing with Hobbits and dragons director Peter Jackson was dabbling in low-budget horror efforts in his native New Zealand, one of which was 1992’s ‘Dead Alive’ (better known as ‘Braindead’ in the UK). It’s one of the goriest films ever made and a brilliantly conceived horror-fare that is filled with twisted humour and sickening sequences.

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SHAUN OF THE DEAD

The expansion of a very short zombie sequence featured in their comedy series ‘Spaced’ was the catalyst for writer/actor Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright’s comedy-horror creation Shaun of the Dead. Loveable loser Shaun’s life can’t possibly get any worse until an unlikely zombie apocalypse gives him a shot at redemption with his one true love. It’s one of the most solid, finest and funniest horror comedies of all time filled with nods and references for horror fans to enjoy again and again.

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GHOSTBUSTERS

It’s one of the most iconic movies of all time and this 80’s cult classic comedy horror has quite literally become a template for how popular movies in this genre should be executed. With comic talent such as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray at the height of their popularity and on top form it was a project that had obvious cache from the outset but no-one could have possibly predicted just what a film phenomenon it would have become.

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EVIL DEAD II

Following the success of Sam Raimi’s low-budget horror offering ‘The Evil Dead’ he was given the green light to follow it up in 1987 with ‘Evil Dead II’. The loveable Bruce Campbell returns as our hero Ash, the lone survivor holding up inside a creepy cabin in the woods as he fends of possessive spirits. Considered by many to be even better than the original the movie is more of a semi-reboot than a sequel with the opening scenes acting as a recreation and a retelling of the story more so than following things up. Even pratfalls, over-the-top gore, and obvious ‘Three Stooges’ slapstick don’t get in the way of the brilliant direction and the unforgettable horror scenes.

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HOCUS POCUS

Our next entry often features in many family friendly horror movie lists and is great fun for the whole family to enjoy. Bette Midler and ‘Sex and the City‘s Sarah Jessica Parker star as witches who find themselves resurrected in Salem on Halloween night. It’s a typically ‘Disney’-esque project that uses light horror themes to thrill young viewers whilst still appealing to the older generation.

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Iconic Horror Scenes: From Alien to Re-Animator to Carrie

There’s no denying that over the decades, horror films have worked their way into the collective conscious. Besides a hockey mask, fangs, and long, stringy black hair, there are tons of iconic horror scenes out there. Some films have become so popular that just mentioning the title of the film in a room full of people will have everyone conjuring the same image. Some horror films are so popular that even those who don’t like horror films can’t help but think about the scene that made the film so popular. Below is a list, in no specific order, of a bunch of classic horror films that spark the same image to everyone that thinks of said film.

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)

Since I referred to this film above, let’s start with the classic first film in the franchise. Over the years, this franchise created many memorable scenes, but no scene is more iconic than little Jason Voorhees jumping out of the water and attacking Alice in the canoe.

Iconic Friday the 13th

PSYCHO (1960)

You know this list wouldn’t be complete without perhaps the most iconic horror scene ever put on film!! The accent of the strings, the camera shots, and the look on Janet Leigh’s face makes the shower scene one of the most famous scenes in movie history.

Iconic psycho

SCANNERS (1981)

Perhaps the goriest iconic scene on my list comes from the Cronenberg classic film about a group of people with extraordinary psychic powers. I wish I could go back and relive watching the exploding head scene again for the first time!! When you see Michael Ironside lean back in his chair and get that look on his face, you can’t help but smile at what is about to happen.

Iconic scanners

ALIEN (1979)

When the alien bursts out of John Hurt’s chest, who didn’t jump?? Nothing like this had ever been seen before. It is a shocking scene even when you know it is going to happen. It is such an iconic scene in the horror and sci-fi genres that Mel Brooks spoofed this scene in his 1987 comedy, SPACEBALLS.

Iconic alien

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)

You know exactly what scene I’m referring to. This was as terrifying as it was groundbreaking, and the choice of playing “Blue Moon” as David transforms was brilliant.

Iconic Werewolf

THE EXORCIST (1973)

Arguably, this entire movie is one long iconic scene, but I think the one scene that everyone thinks about is when Regan’s head turns around in a three hundred and sixty degree circle. This one still sends shivers down my spine. When David Kessler (David Naughton) first transforms into a werewolf, it is one of the most amazing scenes ever put on film. When I first watched it, my jaw dropped.

Iconic exorcist

POLTERGEIST (1982)

One of my favorite ghost movies also has one helluva iconic scene–and this scene comes more from the poster!! When you think about the original POLTERGEIST, I think of the image of Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) sitting in front of the static-y TV with her hands pressed against the glass. It still sends shivers up and down my spine.

Iconic poltergeist

JAWS (1975)

Like with THE EXORCIST, there are many iconic scenes in JAWS. But I think the one most people think about when someone says, “Have you seen Jaws?” is when Roy Scheider is chumming the waters and the shark pops up right next to him. Everything about that scene is perfect–especially Scheider’s reaction.

Iconic jaws2

 

RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

You know exactly what scene is iconic from this film!! When the beautiful Barbara Crampton is tied to the table and Dr. Hill redefines what it means to “give someone head,” I don’t know if there’s a more classic scene.

Iconic reanimator

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)

While being far from m favorite film on this list, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT has no doubt become an important part of horror movie history. And the scene that everyone thinks about when this film is mentioned is when Heather Donahue is scared shitless and turns the camera on herself. We don’t even see her entire face, but what we do see in her eyes is absolute terror.

Iconic blair witch

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

You know I couldn’t leave this film off the list!! Some might recall the scene where Dr. Frankenstein yells out, “It’s alive!”, but for me and a lot of others, when this film is mentioned, the first thing I think about is the scene of the monster by the lake with the little girl. It is as tragic as it is beautiful.

Iconic frankenstien

THE SHINING (1980)

You know where I’m going with this one!! Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance slowly going bat-shit bonkers is one of the best horror performances ever captured on film. And when Torrance cuts a hole in the bathroom door and sticks his face through and yells. “Here’s Johnny,” most audiences didn’t know whether they should laugh or by terrified–or both. Such a great film with great performances by everyone involved.

Iconic shining

CARRIE (1976)

Poor Carrie!! When she’s at the prom and feeling like she has finally been accepted by her peers only to have a bucket of pig’s blood dumped on her head, well you can just see her world fall around her. And then of course she makes the world fall around her. Another one of the classic, iconic horror scenes.

Iconic carrie

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

Definitely not the scariest mask in horror movie history, but what the mask symbolizes has sent chills down movie-goers spines for almost twenty-five years. And the look in Lector’s eyes as they wheel him out as he is wearing that mask is chilling!!

Iconic silence lambs

KING KONG (1933, 1976)

What could be more iconic than a huge gorilla holding a petite human woman? Well, when said gorilla is holding said woman and climbs the Empire State Building and battles the military!! Classic scene indeed.

Iconic king kong

THE BIRDS (1963)

Hitchcock makes this list again with the film that set a new standard on the when-creatures-attack sub-genre. The creatures here aren’t radioactive animals or creatures from outer space. They killers here are your common variety birds. But that final scene as the survivors walk through the hundreds of thousands of birds is absolutely nerve-racking and frightening as hell. It was as if the birds decided to let them go to warm others. One of the greatest scenes in horror film history, and just about as iconic as you can get.

Iconic birds

So which films did I forget? Sound off below in the comments section.

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7 Horror Animals That Are Available for Adoption

‘Tis the season for gift giving and some may be wanting and/or getting a new pet. Animal shelters are overrun with dogs, cats, puppies and kittens looking for their forever home and horror film animals are no exception. Here are some animals that are up for adoption due to supernatural, vampire or demonic possession circumstances and need their forever home.

Cujo – CUJO

Cujo was given to the shelter due to his owners failure to properly vaccinate him. He is currently receiving treatment and will be ready for adoption soon. Cujo would be a great addition to your family, although he currently has a drooling and foaming issue, but with patience and extra absorbent towels, he’ll soon be ready to leap through the window and into your heart.

animals cujo

Max – MAN’S BEST FRIEND

Max is an advanced breed rottweiler, who’s loyal all the way through his genetically altered body. He was recently taken from an animal activist that kidnapped him, but sadly this did not work out for the owner or anyone around her. Max is very protective of his owner so, if you are looking for a great guard dog or a killing machine then Max is the dog for you.

animals man's best friend

Siberian Husky – THE THING

This gorgeous husky was found in the snow after he ran away from his Norwegian research crew, but sadly all those members were killed by a mysterious unknown thing. He is a sweet and cuddly dog, although he shouldn’t be left alone. It also appears that other dogs do not get along with him. But, don’t let that discourage you from making him part of your family because he will blend right in!

animals The Thing

Church – PET SEMETARY

This poor cat has been to Hell and back and could use a nice and loving home. His name is Church and he came to the shelter due to his owners burying family members in the local Pet Semetary. Due to his circumstances, he’s a bit aggressive with others and he doesn’t like any food or treats that are steak flavored. But, with some tender loving care and constant supervision this little guy could be your new best friend.

animals pet sematary

Zombie Doberman – RESIDENT EVIL

We are calling him Zomb and he recently escaped from the Umbrella Corporation where we believe they were doing research experiments on him. Which is why we really want him to find his forever home. He is a bit aggressive due to everything he has been through, but with some gentle guidance and a firm hand, Zomb could be a new resident in your home.

animals resident evil

Rottweiler – THE OMEN

This big boy will move Heaven and Hell for you….but probably mostly Hell. This Hellhound came to the shelter due to an unfortunate accident with his previous owner, who happened to be an American Ambassador. We are currently calling him Omen and he is great with kids, especially those who are on a demonic path. He is available for adoption and would make a great addition to any God fearing family.

animals omen

Nanook – THE LOST BOYS

This big bag of fluff is looking for his forever home. Nanook was given to the shelter after his owner’s home was demolished by vampires. He is a great ball of energy, who is always on high alert to protect his family from the undead. He has your typical Alaskan Malamute behavior and would make a great addition to your clan.

animals lost boys

If you are considering a dog or cat this holiday season, please consider adopting from a shelter. If you can’t adopt then consider a donation or just volunteer your time to them. You can make a difference!

Let me know which horror film animal you would like to adopt on Twitter @horrorevilqueen

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