Here we go. Strike up the band and cue the dancing girls. Yes, we’re going back to the 1920’s! Just kidding! It’s my inevitable Top 10 list of horror movies for 2012. As I looked back on the year that was in horror cinema, I felt there were some solid releases, but there also seemed to be a bit of a void as well. I did get my horror fix on though, so let’s get this list started and start it off with the worst of the best!
Well, even though I just reviewed you yesterday, you made the cut Citadel! Mostly because this flick kept me interested and drew me in with the gloomy setting and emotional aspect of what our lead character, Tommy, was going through. Throw in some agoraphobia and a solid first time effort from director Ciaran Foy, and you’ve got a supernatural thriller that was good enough to just make the cut.
9. The Collection
It was brutal. It was nonsensical. And it had me grinning from ear to ear. An improvement on 2009’s, The Collector, this sequel picks up right where that one ended and starts things off with a “see it to believe it” opening underground party sequence. It also boasts one of the best endings for a horror movie I’ve seen in a while and really has me wanting another sequel as long as those involved don’t screw it up.
8. The Innkeepers
I pretty much love anything that Ti West does. And his take on the final days of a haunted inn is no exception. Much like his previous effort, The House Of The Devil, the buildup is slow and deliberate, setting up the knockout “punch” that you know is coming. A little too goofy at times, but still effective, The Innkeepers is yet another big accomplishment for Mr. West.
I actually struggled on where to put this one. It almost didn’t make the list at all, but the more I thought about it, the more I admired what it tried to accomplish. Even though a few of the stories missed the mark for me, enough of them hit it and I’m a sucker for anthology movies anyway. The hype was pretty big on this one, which may have worked against it, but in the end I was creeped out enough and am looking forward to what they do with the upcoming sequel.
Easily one of the most, if not the most, debated movies of the year. Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel worked for me on a lot of levels. It was gorgeous to look at and definitely had enough horror elements to make this specific Top 10 list. Michael Fassbender stole the show and really has me wanting an android showdown between him and Bishop at some point in the series. Whether good or bad, it’s one of those movies that you’ll be talking about afterwards, and to me, that’s a sign of accomplishment.
5. The Loved Ones
Even though I saw The Loved Ones a few years ago, it officially got released this year (finally), so it deserved to be on the list. This Australian born genre flick blends Fatal Attraction and Pretty In Pink together to get a sick, twisted, satisfying smoothie that you can drink all day long (I worked hard on that one this morning). Anyway, the star of the show is Robin McLeavy, who gives one of the best psychotic performances in recent memory. Easily destined to be a cult classic and easily deserves to be in the Top 5 as well.
This was another one that had a lot of hype going into it. And for me, it did live up to that hype. Sinister falls a little short, which prevented it from being higher on the list, but overall it gave me a few jump scares where I actually jumped and supplied me with a lot of unsettling and creepy moments. Watch it back to back with Insidious and then try to sleep without a light on afterwards.
3. Sleep Tight
Speaking of creepy and unsettling, this Spanish offering about a more than unstable doorman named Cesar, really took me by surprise with just how much it ended up making me squirm. The cockroach scene alone is enough, but when everything comes to a head during the finale, you’ll either be applauding or still trying to pick your jaw up from off the floor. It’s well shot, well acted, and you may never be able to look at a hotel concierge again in the same way.
2. Kill List
I really toyed with making this my number one and it could easily be a tie if need be. I’ll leave it at number two for now though and just say that Kill List is one of those movies that you will benefit from if you don’t know too much going in. I felt like I was punched in the gut by the time the third act came, and I loved every second of it. Another highly debated movie for sure, this British genre mashing entry has a little something for everyone. Brutal violence, great acting, and enough twists and turns to keep your head spinning.
1. The Cabin In The Woods
Well – here we are. Not a huge surprise I’m sure, but I don’t think I enjoyed a movie this year more than I did The Cabin In The Woods. Going in, I knew it had the hype, but I really tried to keep myself from reading or hearing anything about it. And I’m glad I did. It’s smart, funny, outrageous, and literally turned the world of horror upside down and shook the shit out of it. Tongue firmly implanted in cheek, Josh Whedon gives us his personal love letter to horror movies and succeeds on every level. It won’t happen I’m sure, but I haven’t seen a movie in a long time that made me crave a sequel as badly as The Cabin In The Woods did.
So there you have it. Not a bad bunch huh? Before I go, honorable mentions go to the following movies that were on the cusp of making it: The Revenant, Livide, Silent Night, The Woman In Black, and The Dead. We’ll see what 2013 brings, with Texas Chainsaw 3D up first in the new year. It’s all about April 12th though. Evil Dead. Oh yeah.