Never mind the bollocks, here's the list of 2012's cream o' the horror film crop!
Please note: some of these films were not released in 2012 but were made available to purchase or rent this year and some are still making the festival rounds. Some bloggers and critics hold off on including films that are still being shown at festivals because they are not available for viewing by a wider audience. But I do and my hope is that you bookmark this post and check out these films once they do become available.
10. Kill List:
Kill List is one of the craziest genre films I've seen all year. Part noir-ish thriller, part cult horror, the film focuses on a contract killer who has to grapple with some serious moral dilemmas. Things blur when real life gets in the way and our story climaxes with one of the most gut punching, 'WHAT THE FUCK?' endings I've ever seen.
Phobias can be really nasty things. No horror film that I've seen in recent memory captures the affliction of a phobia as brilliantly as Citadel. The film focuses on a young man who has to raise his infant child alone after witnessing the random murder of his wife at the hands of some hoodlum kids who live near his slummy apartment complex. Compromising things, is his contracting of a severe case of agoraphobia. When the kids come back to the scene of the crime looking for more than just to finish the job, the young man has to deal with his fears in a very real way. But these are no ordinary kids.....
Another total 'What the fuck?' experience, Lovely Molly is a part found footage, all psycho crazy, character study. Molly has recently moved back into her childhood home along with her truck driving husband. What at first appears to be your standard run-of-the-mill haunted house story, soon turns into an examination of a fractured psyche as Molly is revealed to have many a demon hiding in her closet. But has daddy come back to roost, is she demonically possessed, or is she just flat-out, batshit insane? Kudos to Lovely Molly for having one of the most unnerving scenes in a genre film this year.
Totally not the direction I thought this series would take, [REC] 3 is a perfect blend of camp and splatter. While it does add a little to the mythos that was revealed in part 2, you can tell the change in direction was purposeful. Props to filmmaker Paco Plaza: this was risky and boy do I think it paid off. It has a very Dead Alive vibe about it and the wacky hijinks within the film will certainly remind you of it.
6. The Pact:
Another return back to your childhood home horror feature, The Pact is all kinds of supernatural craziness as a young woman struggles to find out what's haunting her home which was recently occupied by her now deceased mother. Creepy, atmospheric, and just downright terrifying, The Pact gets my vote for most inventive scare of the year. You'll shit your pants and if you don't, you don't have a pulse. You'll know it when you see it.
The most well-written, heartfelt horror film of the year, this indie gem is all kinds of gallows humor funny. Ken is a loner, a 30's something guy who's fresh out of the nut house and living at home with his wise cracking mother. Life is about to find some meaning for him when he connects with a daughter he never knew he had. But when his childhood bullies start getting killed one by one, the locals start to suspect our lovable loner and Ken just so happens to be spotted in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fantastic performances by all those involved including Barry Bostwick who plays the goofy local sheriff.
The film that reminds you to never push aside or ignore that loner at your school or you just might regret it, The Loved Ones is one of the more uncomfortable films I've watched this year. When a young girl's invitation to the school dance is rejected by a boy she admires, her father takes matters into his own hands. But the father and daughter get a lot more than they bargained for when they bring him back home, thinking that he'll just be another boy for her 'scrapbook.' You see, this boy is just as messed up as they are. Really gruesome, curl you up in the fetal position stuff in this one.
I think it's safe to say that 2012 is the Year of Whedon. If you haven't seen this one, WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY??? The last 20 min or so of the film is a horror fan's wet dream. This ode to the genre film will be in heavy rotation for years to come.
A brilliant film with a brilliant premise: a young woman is stuck in an endless loop, a Ground Hog's day of sorts, as she wanders about her Victorian style home doing daily tasks. As you can guess, she has to come to grips with the fact that she's a ghost. Not only does she have to contend with this, but also another aimless spirit that has taken up residence in her home. Anchored by great performances and some really terrifying moments, I Am A Ghost is a prime example of minimalist filmmaking at its finest.
A heavy character piece, It's In The Blood features a father and son trying to reconnect after a long and strained relationship. Their weekend away in the woods goes awry after an accident occurs and they become stranded. As the day progresses, the surrounding area begins to come alive. The monsters that lurk within make it apparent that they don't want both men to leave. But are the monsters actually real or are they symbolic of the evils that lurk within the hearts and minds of both men? Another film filled with great performances, It's In The Blood might just be genre vet Lance Henriksen's best work ever.
Cortez the Killer