Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Countdown: Notable Horror Films of the Year

These films aren’t necessarily excellent or awful, but they’re worth noting in the great scheme of horror for one reason or another.

Goodnight Mommy. This festival darling got a ton of buzz, and for good reason. It’s a creepy, capable psychological thriller with a healthy dose of cringe-worthy gore. Even so, Goodnight Mommy had just as many detractors, due to its incredibly obvious “twist” (which I literally figured out in the first five minutes of the film). Personally, I don’t think the twist mattered one way or the other; it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the film at all. Overall, it was a very good movie that I’m not sure deserved quite all the praise – or criticism – it got. (See my essay on it here.)

The Midnight Swim. I’m so darn down on found footage horror, I had to include one of the FF films that didn’t make me want to throw a brick at my TV screen this year. The Midnight Swim is distinguished by its inventive use of a worn out subgenre, and by the fact that it is a truly creepy and thought-provoking watch. (See my full review here.)

#Horror. I’m pretty much just mentioning this film because I haven’t mentioned it elsewhere on this blog, and it’s too weird to let the year go by without talking about it at least once. I guess you’d say this is a slasher-meets-bullying-PSA – which sounded great to me, but actually didn’t turn out all that good. The majority of the movie consists of tween-aged girls being horrible to one another (like, really horrible – at one point, several girls mock their chubby friend for being bulimic while she’s throwing up in the toilet), with some surprisingly daring gore towards the end. However, #Horror fails to deliver a coherent narrative or say anything in an original or compelling way. It’s mostly general weirdness peppered with weird scenes of Chloe Sevigny being weird. Actually, “Chloe Sevigny being weird” is my main takeaway from this movie.

Spring. Spring didn’t quite make my best-of list for the year, but it is a great little sci-fi movie nonetheless. Lou Taylor-Pucci is excellent, as usual, and brings a lot of heart to what could have been nothing more than a bizarre creature feature. It’s not scary at all, but I think most horror fans will find something to like here anyway.

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. Another that just didn’t quite hit all the points I needed for a best-of, but was still a fantastic, super fun watch. I loved the Mad Max vibe, I adored the bad-ass female heroine, and I loved the zany gore. I’m sure I’ll be watching this again.

Zombeavers. Okay, seriously, though. I don’t think this horror-comedy gets enough love. Yes, it’s stupid and ridiculous. But it’s also genuinely funny and occasionally kind of smart, and I’d take it over a large number of the horror “comedies” that have come out this year, all of which failed to tickle my funny bone anywhere near as often as this one did.

The Green Inferno. This one is notable mainly for its notoriety – much of which, one could argue, is undeserved. This “controversial” film was deemed so before it even came out, because it’s the brainchild of “torture porn” (ugh, I hate that term) aficionado Eli Roth, and it’s about cannibals. Well, not only is it a movie about cannibals; it’s a movie inspired by some truly controversial and disturbing cannibal films, including Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. The Green Inferno is nowhere near as disturbing as its predecessors, but I guess it’s easy to rile people up these days. (See my full review here.)

What do you think were the most note-worthy horror movies of this year? Tell me in the comments or on Twitter! And tune in next week to find out my picks for the best horror of 2015!

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