December 29, 2012

The Best Horror Movies of 2012


These are the movies of 2012 that we loved above all others. The ones we'll remember fondly.

They thrilled us, and they chilled us. Some made us think, while other just made us cover our eyes. All of them made us smile.

*Click the pics to read our full reviews and get the in-depth skinny on them, or just take our abbreviated words here as proof that you need to see these movies asap (if you already haven't.)

There was really no movie that tickled our collective Horror Bones this year more than The Cabin in the Woods did. It was fun, clever, bloody and played its hand smarter than any other genre flick did this year, all of which added up to one hell of a fresh and much needed experience.

The script and its story were superb, and had our minds racing to imagine the scope of it all. Joss Whedon definitely knows how to make we movie geeks froth at the mouth, and we cant wait to see what he did with The Avengers. Drew Goddard is no slouch either; the long time Whedon collaborator delivers the goods with his first directorial effort, and he's going to go on to do more great things, we just know it. They've given us one of the best conceptualized and most sharply written movies of this decade, and there's no end to the praise they deserve for this little genre gem.

The last 20 minutes of this movie are like a Horror Fanboy's wet dream; a cacophony of insanity and awesomeness that ends with... well, a very satisfying bang.

This really is excellent stuff here, folks. Our Cabin in the Woods Blu-ray will be getting plenty of spins out of us for years to come, and we can't wait.

The Collection was a satisfying follow-up to one of our favorite flicks of recent years, The Collector. We really wish it had run about 20 minutes longer or so, because it honestly felt a bit rushed, but that's about the only complaint we had about this great flick. Bloody as hell and mean spirited, we hope The Collection garners a bigger audience on Home Video than it did in Theaters. It even has a great ending too, which is a rarity in the Horror Genre these days, and that makes it even better.

After some of the horrific events of 2012 involving gun violence, it was hard to look back on God Bless America with as much love as we had for it when we first saw it. It's still one hell of a fun film, but it takes on a different tone now, and feels a bit heavier than we remember it being before. That being said, we still believe that GBA is about as timely and necessary as a movie can possibly be. I have personally been saying that "the dumbing down of America" has been in full swing for years now, and this movie captures that concept perfectly. Sure, it's over the top and overtly gratuitous, but then so are the targets of the movie's rage. We hope that it won't be unfairly vilified because of its violent gun-spree content, because it's a statement on Pop Culture, not how we should go out and kill people who frustrate us because we feel we have no other recourse left to us.

The Grey is a tension-filled action Thriller that operates on a deeper levell almost like it's a philosophical action flick. There's sentimentality to spare amidst the carnage and tension of the wolf vs. man battle for dominance, and that's a good thing. It's nice to see a genre flick that doesn't feel so empty for a change. The idea of Liam Neeson fighting wolves sold us on this movie from the get go. Let's be honest here; Liam Neeson is the kind of actor that instantly makes any movie better, just for him starring in it. Him fighting wolves... that's just a double win for us all.

We found ourselves liking Kill List more and more after repeat viewings, and by the end of the year, it was one of our faves of 2012. It surely didn't shy away from the violence, some of which was pretty cringe-inducing; it is about hit men after all, so you'd hope there would be some good whacking going on, right? Where the movie truly shines though, is in the subtlety of whats really going on underneath the surface of things; where the movie ends up going is interesting and made us want to see it again, to see what signs and portents we missed the first time around. The ride was better each time we took it.

Killer Joe is a gritty Crime Thriller that shows us Matthew McConaughey in a different light; this is his personal version of Patrick Bateman. We would love to see him get some awards recognition for this role, because he's just that good in it. Awards or not, this is one movie that Horror fans will revel in, as long as they aren't expecting something along the lines of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. The "fried chicken scene" alone makes this one worth seeing.

The Loved Ones is a violent and fun little flick, that left us feeling satisfied by the time the end credits started rolling. Aussie horror always seems to me to be pretty straightforward and nasty, and I respect that. In this one, a creepy bitch who got passed over for a prom date has a perverted little prom of her own, which includes using a hammer to make a guy piss in a cup, fixing his foot to the floor with a knife, drilling into his skull, and nearly fucking her dad... Yes, her dad. It's truly a nasty little piece of work.

From its opening sequence, The Pact pulled us in and didn't ever let us go. The premise was great, and mixing the story of a serial killer with some effective paranormal elements worked perfectly. The atmosphere was eerie and tense throughout, and the scares were effective. There was one instance of a musical cue/jump scare early on, but that sort of trickery wasn't repeated or resorted to to drive the movie. The Pact is a little movie that didn't seem to make many best of lists, and we can't understand why. It's easily one of the best pure Horror films of the year.

The Directors of Rabies essentially took the premise of a backwoods slasher flick, added layers of subtext to the premise, and made it stand out as an above average flick. There no one with rabies in this movie, nor does the title rabies signify any sort of viral infection in the movie, so don't be mislead. It's a flick that definitely breaks the mold that it was supposed to follow, and that's a good thing. We'd gladly welcome a sequel to Rabies into our lives.

Sinister was very effective in both story and scare factor, giving us a solid narrative to chew on and a really creepy atmosphere, while going very light on the jump scares and music cues that usually tend to plague Hollywood horror releases. What was Hollywood thinking? They gave moviegoers a mature horror flick that was aimed more for the adult crowd than teenyboppers, and it was not only good, but made a hell of a profit for them? Maybe it's the start of a trend!

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December 28, 2012

The Worst Horror Movies of 2012

It's safe to say that this year has been a rough one for Horror fans. It was almost as if for every good movie that saw release, there were three or four bad ones that came right along with it. Awful Found Footage flicks, ill-advised sequels, poor adaptations, blatant money grabs... we Horror fans have truly been put through the ringer this year.

We here at THC want to save you the pain of enduring the painful, and so we offer you our list of the 10 movies that scarred our movie-loving souls the deepest... and of course we give Honorable Mention to the ones that didn't quite make the Top 10 cut as well. Keep in mind that any of the movies in our top 10 could have easily won the title of  "Worst Horror Movie of the Year" and absolutely deserved it.

*Be sure to click on the movie posters for the full reviews of each movie, if you really need that in-depth analysis.

There was really no Horror movie this year that insulted us, and the Horror Genre as a whole, on a greater scale than did Smiley.

Made with a fairly decent-sized budget by a group of kids who are famous for their wacky YouTube videos, Smiley exists only to pander to the allegiance of those said YouTube video's teenage fans. It tries to be clever and hit its audience with a deluge of Internet-speak jargon and buzz-words that are supposed to make it look groundbreaking and cutting edge, and in that it fails miserably. It's painfully Meta, tries to be Alpha, and ends up being Beta as Fuck. *I just used the movie's own Meta references against it. Point, me.

The painfully conceived plot elements, the bad acting, the atrocious dialogue, the long periods of nothing but talking, the underwhelming action, the annoyingly un-hip Meta in-jokes and references, the LULZ-inducing ending, and just about everything else about Smiley, was bad. Very bad.

With all of the great, well-made Horror flicks out there that never see the light of day, it's sad that this is the crap that gets a Limited Theatrical Release. We've been trolled, fellow Anons. This movie is bad on just about every level, so avoid it unless you like pain. If you like pain, then don't avoid it, and I guess... enjoy your pain?

Had anything about Area 407 been suspenseful, terrifying, atmospheric or even compelling, its shortcomings would have been far less noticeable. Filled with grating characters doing horribly improvised dialogue, a cheesy rubber-suited monster, and and ending that defied any sort of rational comprehension... this movie was a train wreck. Area 407 is an example of Found Footage done very wrong, and it shows perfectly why these movies are so hard to effectively pull off, and it makes the sub-genre look silly.

As bad of a Found Footage flick as Area 407 truly was, Amber Alert was infinitely worse. Amber Alert has a truly great premise for a Found Footage flick, but makes a total and utter mess out of it. This movie is more about two people arguing and bickering incessantly than it is about two people following a guy who may have a kidnapped kid. The characters are horrible annoying, the local Police are horribly inept, and not one thing in the movie makes any sort of rational sense whatsoever. If you're looking to watch a movie that will leave you pissed-off and wanting to punch things, this is your flick.

Alex Cross is a poor, poor excuse for a Thriller, and especially one of the Alex Cross variety. The characters are as cliche' as the dialogue, the plot is a crazy mess of hollow implausibility, and there's nothing here that even remotely engages the audience... in a good way. This movie might have been better had it starred Idris Elba as originally intended, but even he may not have been enough to elevate this awful script. Then again, maybe that's why he took a pass on starring in the movie to begin with. This movie will go down in movie history as not only one of the worst of 2012, but of the decade.

The Apparition was such an embarrassingly bad movie for all involved that it boggles our mind how it was even granted a Theatrical release;  it should have been a direct to DVD movie at best never been released at all. This movie is more painful to sit through than the Twilight films... yeah, I just went there. It really is that bad. The whopping 4% score on Rotten Tomatoes should tell you everything you need to know; The Apparition is 96% suck.

ATM is a movie that has its few good points totally ruined by the lack of any semblance of believability. It's a waste of Alice Eve, who is actually a decent actress on top of being ridiculously hot, and it's nothing more than a string of flimsy plot devices that serve only to allow the premise of this movie to exist. Why they were in that particular ATM to begin with was just silly, and what unfolded during the course of the movie was just as bad. It's a mess, folks. A big ole' silly mess.

The Devil Inside was the first horror flick that we saw in 2012, and it really kicked off the year in shitty fashion for us. We've seen worse Horror movies since then, but damn this one still makes us shudder when it comes to mind. Not only is this movie filled with long, drab scenes of discussion, some horrible shaky cam, truly unlikable characters, truly bad dialogue, and a bunch of "I think that's supposed to be scary" scenes, but it also boasts one of the lamest endings to a movie we've seen all year. Really, the ending was just plain shit.

How The Oregonian made it into Sundance is a mystery of epic proportions. A little Google research on our part and we found that many people left the movie mid-play, to escape the screeching noises and the atrocious everything else. If it's that easy to get a film into Sundance, be on the lookout next year for our entry entitled "The Detroiter"; it's the story of a white guy who wakes up in the middle of Detroit and tries to find his way back home while stopping every so often to masturbate with bacon and scream the lyrics to Bon Jovi songs. Before long, the midget mimes catch him and try to make him drink their "Blue Milk." Somewhere in there we will have a Unicorn dance-off scene too. It's going to be deep. See, we can make a shitty and pretentious student film too.

PA4 exists only to be in theaters to make some quick Halloween cash, and it's written as such. When you put a movie on a fast track like that, and give it less than a year for its conception, writing, pre-production, shooting, and post-production, this is what happens. The gags are old and feel forced by now, and the movie explains nothing, and leaves us with another ending that suggests we should seek answers in the already announced PA5. Like the Saw series, Paranormal Activity looks as if it's going to churn out a new sequel each year in time for Halloween, which absolutely tells you that the quality is going to be shit.

It really feels like the producers of Piranha 3DD started off with the intention of making a legit sequel, but somewhere along the way just said screw it and gave up on the whole thing. The story was awful, the dialogue was laughably bad and confounding, the special effects were nothing special at all, and the actors looked like they had never been in a movie before. For the record, I will not accept that this movie was written and directed the way it was intentionally, and that they wanted it to be a "so-bad-it's-good" type of an experience. They dropped the ball on this one. Period. What a horrible, horrible movie.

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