More than a few have speculated that 2015 was quite dire in terms of horror. Admittedly, in some ways I’ll agree, but it’s impossible to deny that there were some horrific highlights.
Although there’s not been an abundance of horror films released, certain directors are really trying to inject a little creativity into the blood flow; a risky move that can either result in something disastrous like Krampus: The Christmas Devil (nothing can express my bewilderment) or something worth mentioning in a best films of the year list like the ones to follow.
Top tens, top fives, top lists of anything are what I list first when I’m asked for my weaknesses. So all decisions on why these films are on the list had to be extensively thought about. This pretty much transpires into the films that grimed me out, cracked me up, made me shout about and got me pranging hard. Here’s the gruesome lot…
James Cullen Bressack first caught my attention when I unknowingly decided to watch Hate Crime, only to be confronted with something absolutely vile and difficult to sit through.
I can assure you it’s a film that requires a little pep talk beforehand: “You can get through this unfathomable scene…” Fortunately Pernicious isn’t quite as brutal in terms of sexual violence, but it certainly hits the gore-spot.
Three young ladies travel to Thailand for the ultimate girls holiday, but cocktails and bikini selfies for Instagram become a distant luxury when they’re overwhelmed with the desire for carnage.
It’s not the most original of films and there’s some choice acting when it comes to the witch woman, but aside from that it’s a fun take on the slasher sub-genre with a girl squad making the crimson mess, which I like a lot.
4. It Follows
Well of course it’s no surprise that the most hyped horror film of the year is going to be on my list, but I was genuinely unsettled by It Follows.
Usually I’ll steer clear of any film that’s been plastered upon every social media site but this time was different. I’m not particularly scared easily but foreboding tension and weird vibes always make me check over my shoulder every five seconds.
There are different definitions of horror, so we’re never all going to agree on what elements make someone feel frightened – it’s different for us all. Some people are scared of buttons… After watching It Follows I’ve never felt more aware of my surroundings and in-tune to strangers coming towards me.
If you’re a frequent walker like myself you’ll suddenly feel the urge to have another means of transport where you’ll never be caught by that lingering sexually transmitted demon.
3. Bloodsucking Bastards
Comedy horrors aren’t usually in my taste as my humour is so wicked and dark that nothing ever really reflects that – it’s always mediocre at best. Bloodsucking Bastards however immensely resonated with me seeing as I now work in an office and fully understand the politics, inside jokes and general “banter”.
This films turns the metaphor of work being soul-draining into the literal when Evan – played by Fran Kranz (the stoner from Cabin in the Woods) – and his colleagues realise their fuckwitted co-workers plus ball-busting boss are actually vampires.
Nailing the humour in horror can’t be an easy task as there’s a fine line between clever and camp (exceptions are made when the film is, for example, The Evil Dead) but director Brian James O’Connell balanced the puns and punctures well. The cherry on the top was Joey Kern and his incredible one-liners, which are the epitome of what we’d actually say in an unbelievably bloody situation.
2. The Green Inferno
It’s quite obvious that my interests in nasty, gory horror films are quite high so there’s not really many reasons as to why I wouldn’t have found The Green Inferno disturbingly enticing.
Eli Roth always impresses this gore hound with lashings of the good stuff, so I wasn’t shocked by his excessive use of realistic special effects that genuinely made me my guts squirm. That notoriously controversial scene goes up there in the rankings, however, it doesn’t outdo its influencer Cannibal Holocaust in terms of outrageously atrocious acts of cannibalism and other deeds.
1. The Stranger
If you’ve already read my review of The Stranger then you probably guessed that this would take the leading role. As previously mentioned, I’m all over this sudden revival of the classic bloodsucker genre, although it’s a pernickety monster to recreate in the modern world without it being well… shit.
Formed by Guillermo Amoedo (my main man at the moment) and Eli Roth this film really made a lasting impression on me – a feat hard to do when I watch so many films that they’re slowly amalgamating into one epic movie. If you want to see something that’s intelligent, harsh, thoughtful and also fairly emotional then it’s got to be this monument.
Other films worth an honourable mention: The House With 100 Eyes, Unconscious (previously known as Amnesiac, which I prefer), The Loft, Cooties, The Hallow, Creep, We Are Still Here and The Visit.
Now admittedly, there’s also a couple of films which I’m yet to see (it’s disgraceful really), but after being personally recommended (by critics and bloggers alike), they’re still firmly on my must-see list. Step forward February, Deathgasm, Goodnight Mommy, Turbo Kid and Summer Camp.
Written by Zoë Rose Smith
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