My CinemaBeach roundup of the best and worst in horror in 2013 is up! Check it out!
This is but a taste test for my massive end-of-the-year roundup that I'll be posting on New Year's Eve, covering topics all over entertainment including television and music and everything you've ever wanted. I'm very excited and you should be too.
In the meantime, here is this! Yay!
As the year draws to a close, what else is a self-respecting horror blogger to do than create a list of their favorite genre films of 2013? Unfortunately for many, mainstream horror was an absolute bust with only one bland wide release horror film (the Carrie remake) in the whole of October. I’d at least prefer two bland wide release horror films, thank you very much.
But fortunately for us here at CinemaBeach, the indie world has been filled with vibrant and exciting films, both excellent and terrible. With a couple wide release films thrown in for kicks, here’s the Five Best and Worst Horror Films of 2013!
#5 Stoker (dir. Park Chan-wook)
Although Stoker‘s narrative was flimsy at best, South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s first English language film is filled to the brim with his remarkable visual style. Under his strong guiding hand, Stoker is a mini masterpiece of atmospherics.
#4 V/H/S 2 (dir. Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Edúardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard)
Although it still favored jump scares over true horror, V/H/S 2 is an adrenaline-fueled found footage nightmare anchored by Gareth Evans’ 45 minute demonic cult opus “Safe Haven.”
#3 The Conjuring (dir. James Wan)
James Wan’s style is utterly derivative but he pulls from so many sources of such quality that this film becomes something new and exciting in and of itself. And the fact that he’s bringing classic haunted house movies to modern audiences in a big (and mostly terrifying way) is a great benefit to the horror community.
#2 100 Bloody Acres (dir. Cameron & Colin Cairnes)
This Aussie flick is simultaneously a loving sendup of the backwoods torture genre and a hilarious horror flick that derives as many laughs from the characters as the buckets of blood.
#1 You’re Next (dir. Adam Wingard)
You’re Next is the film that restored my faith in modern horror. Simultaneously terrifying and sharply satirical, this nostalgic slasher revenge home invasion flick doubles as a biting family comedy and features one of the most memorable Final Girls of the form.
#5 All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (dir. Jonathan Levine)
One of the most hotly anticipated slashers of 2013, Mandy Lane had been struggling to get released since 2006. Unfortunately it turns out that the reason it wasn’t being distributed is a good one. It’s an OK slasher throwback, but it is underwhelmingly written, performed, and acted.
#4 The Purge (dir. James DeMonaco)
Another of the biggest disappointments of the year, The Purge had a creative premise and lots of potential, but squandered it on a routine home invasion pic that was tiring even by the standards of that genre with writing too hamfisted to even be worthy of a soap opera.
#3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (dir. John Luessenhop)
Rife with plot holes (my favorite being that, according to the prologue, the teen protagonist is about 39 years old) and a bothersome cast picked for solely aesthetic reasons, Texas Chainsaw 3D is one of the most inscrutable films of the year and isn’t even redeemed by the gore, which is rendered in cheap 3D CGI.
#2 Insidious: Chapter 2 (dir. James Wan)
An utterly utterly stupid movie. James Wan and Patrick Wilson must have used up all their “good haunted house movie” juju on The Conjuring. Despite two or three very effective scare sequences, Insidious: Chapter 2 utterly fails to recapture the PG-13 magic of the admittedly flawed original.
#1 Escape From Tomorrow (dir. Randy Moore)
A brief look at my online history would show that I gave Escape From Tomorrow a halfhearted but mildly positive review. I did so because I didn’t hate sitting through the film, having amused myself by deciding which parts were shot in Florida and which in Anaheim (my hometown). But the story itself is a hallucinogenic travesty of a narrative that managed to convince critics it must have deep themes because of the sheer amount of work that went into its production. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is shallow tripe and I have yet to come across a single audience member who had a nice thing to say about it.
As the infinite promise of 2014 approaches (including, count ‘em, two Paranormal Activity films), dust off your resolutions, think of all the great films you have to look forward to and the mass of garbage you’ll leave behind in 2013, and face it all with a smile on your face. Happy End of the Year, everybody!
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