This movie would make an excellent companion piece to The World’s End. Truly the best horror movie about drinking and giant killer mollusks.
19. John Dies at the End
Words cannot describe this funny and absolutely insane movie. Cracked.Com lovers rejoice.
18. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
This slasher was made way back in 2006 and was only released this year due to the wonders of studio drama. This is the first full length movie directed by Jonathan Levine, who would go on to make 50/50 and Warm Bodies. It feels familiar and cliché but in a good way.
It is a quiet and pretty movie that brings respect back to the romantic notion of vampires (brought to you by the guy who directed Interview with a Vampire).
16. Big Ass Spider
SyFy should take note because this is how you make a movie about a giant arachnid. It is funny and self-aware. It also gets extra points for the opening sequence featuring a really cool cover of The Pixies “Where is my Mind” and a cameo appearance from Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman.
15. Warm Bodies
This was the most surprising movie I seen all year. I really wanted to hate this. Rob Corddry steals every scene he is in (go watch Butter on Netflix for another example of Corddry show stealing). Anyways, I begrudgingly say I liked this movie.
14. American Mary
American Mary is hard to describe. It is part commentary on body modification, part rape-revenge movie. The best way to describe it, though, is to simply say it is a well-crafted film with the lighting and cinematography of an old school Dario Argento movie and a unique story.
13. Open Grave
This one is still making its rounds on the festival circuit, but I got a chance to watch it and I highly recommend it. The less you know about the plot going into this one the better.
12. Frankenstein’s Army
There is no character development and none of the characters on the screen are even likable. However, this movie is still awesome. It is fun, gory and features some really cool creature effects. Turn your brain off and just enjoy this one, while keeping in mind that everyone’s favorite horror movie, the original Evil Dead, was not exactly a character study, nor is this film. It is horror for horror’s sake and that is a positive statement.
11. Wither/Evil Dead
There were two remakes of Evil Dead this year. One comes from Sweden, and it is called Wither. Wither incorporates a bit of Swedish folklore into the story but is still obviously a spiritual successor to the first Evil Dead movie right down to the tool shed and shotgun. The other was an official Hollywood remake that pushed the gore envelope. Both were surprisingly groovy.
10. Pacific Rim
It is a movie about Giant robots fighting giant monsters that had a Michael Bay –sized special effects budget, explanation over.
A movie about ghosts being haunted by the living was surprisingly suspenseful, scary and memorable.
8. Would You Rather
Would You Rather is gruesome without being gory. It sounds like the plot to a bad Hostel or Saw knockoff but isn’t. It was likely the best independent horror movie to come out this year.
7. Odd Thomas
I loved this movie. It is currently stuck in limbo as there is a lawsuit regarding its release, but it is definitely worth watching if you can find it.
6. Hell Baby/This is the End
I love comedy and I love horror and these two were some of the best I have ever seen that combined the genres. First, is the well-known and probably watched by everyone This is the End. The second is Hell Baby. Hell Baby’s trailer made the movie look like a crappy spoof movie, but it is so much more than that. It is an awesome spoof movie. Well maybe not so much more. Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (AKA the Reno 911 guys) knock this one out of the park. Seriously everyone should be watching this movie right now.
5. V/H/S 2
All the segments in this anthology movie were great, with “Safe Haven” standing out as one of the best horror shorts I have ever seen.
4. The World’s End
The script to The World’s End is definitely a bit weaker than any of the other films in the Cornetto Trilogy in terms of the gags. The humor also seems a bit more “American” than Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s previous collaborations. However, it builds to one of the most satisfying, Douglas Adams-esque conclusions in film history.
3. Insidious: Chapter 2
A lot of people really did not like this movie who like the first one, but I love them both. The injection of humor to break up the suspense is the likely culprit that drove a lot of people away, but Insidious: Chapter 2 has director James Wan doing what he does best: building tension, paying off with seat-jumping scares that all lead to a chaotic, frantic and frightening conclusion. However, unlike The Conjuring, which sucks you in, you have to be willing to emerge yourself in Insidious: Chapter 2 in order for the scares to pay off.
2. You’re Next
You’re Next is like the adult version of Home Alone and put a unique spin on the home invader genre. Plus all the plot twists are genuinely surprising.
1. The Conjuring
It is a shame that James Wan says he is done with the genre, because if there is one thing he has learned to do, it is craft some scary haunted house flicks. The Conjuring is a modern classic in the horror genre on par with the likes of The Exorcist and The Shining. It provides everything you could ask for in a haunted house movie.
Barley missed my list: World War Z, Sightseers, Cockneys Versus Zombies, Juan of the Dead, Hatchet III and Dark Skies
Have Yet To See but Everyone Else Seems To Love: Curse of Chucky, Lords of Salem, Jug Face, Stoker and Maniac