10. Maniac & The Act of Killing
The only two films this year that nearly had me take a shower when they were over. One a remake of the 1980 cult classic the other a documentary that employs powerful reenactments of historical violent culls in the Philippines to reconcile the personal delusions of the perpetrators. Bonus points to Maniac for best opening horror sequence of the year.
9. The Rambler
A head-trip of a film that simultaneously recalls some great genre veterans (Jodoworsky, early Cohen Brothers, Lynch, and Cronnenberg) while being completely and utterly itself. This picaresque, trippy, sublime, surrealist Western is a menagerie of bizarre characters and sequences anchored by Dermot Mulroney’s steely stoicism and apathetic masculinity.
8. Pacific Rim
Okay, okay. It’s more an action sci-fi nerdgasm than horror but seriously, you all know why this is on here.
7. Evil Dead
A chainsaw to the face. This one might soon be swallowed up in the marketing push to meld this with Raimi’s films but for the moment I’ll take this goo soaked, violent revelry.
A slithery, gross creature feature comedy perfect to watch with your favorite group of debaucherous friends. Not only that, but this Irish flick is more intelligent and warm-hearted than what it needed to be.
5. You're Next
The most fun I had at a movie theater this year. Wingard and Barrett know their genre well and keenly balance some cruel, gut-wrenching moments with healthy doses of over-the-top hilarity and an appropriately plucky final girl.
4. 100 Bloody Acres
A consistently funny and sweet Aussie flick that lays on the charm along with a healthy smattering of spurting geysers of blood.
Chan-wook Park’s English language debut was a polarizing effort but the film captures a particular sense of mood and tone that is unparalleled this year. Playing well as both a straightforward erotic thriller and a psychological horror-show of ancestry, this Freudian pic slowly tightens its grip until by the 3rd act your begging for something to snap.
2. Here Comes the Devil
A properly creepy and sexually seething Mexican picture that references plenty of 70s and 80s possession horror without aggressively aping the style. Charming, funny, disturbing, sexy and surprising Here Comes the Devil is as shocking as it is delightful.
1. We Are What We Are
Jim Mickle and writing partner Nick Damici are swiftly becoming known for producing small yet thoughtful and accomplished thriller and horror films. We Are What We Are is certainly no exception. Indeed it’s an honest remake worth a damn that borrows what it needs from its source while also recontextualizing it for a different audience. It’s also the only U.S. horror film from this year that has some potential staying power.
3. The Purge
I’m really enjoying Ethan Hawke’s genre run. But this thing is a shoddy execution of a concept that could have been so much more in the time of 1 and 99 percents.
The most wasted opportunity of the year.
1. World War Z
Brad Pitt is White Privilege Jesus saving non-‘Mericans in the age of globalization