In the waning days of 2015, well be polling SHOCKs stable of fantastic freelancers to see what horror flicks made them tick the loudest.
We continue with our resident Andy Kaufman, Heidi Honeycutt…
You know, I really havent seen that many horror films in 2015. I did see PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 12 and KRAMPUS, and CRIMSON PEAK and GOODNIGHT MOMMY, and the lovely TALES OF HALLOWEEN but I really didnt see that many brand new feature-length horror films in 2015. Mainly because I live in Los Angeles. You would think that living in Los Angeles means that you would see perhaps more movies than your average person because there are more theaters and all white people who live in Los Angeles are rabid film fans. But no unless, like my friends Jonathan Weichsel or Jackson Stewart, you are a single male living in some hole in the wall apartment in Hollywood that is walking distance past several homeless people to numerous trendy local theater locations, Los Angeles is a terrible place to try to navigate. Leaving the house to drive three miles is a 20 minute trip. Driving the 20 miles from my house to the main Hollywood drag, chocked in traffic and death and human waste, to attend a press screening or film festival, is about a one hour drive, minimum. Seriously, fuck Los Angeles.
Here is my Top Five List of Horror Films of 2015 I Havent Seen:
1) MANIA (Dir. Jessica Cameron)
My good friend Jonathan Weichsel, who is a huge horror fan and who writes reviews of horror films for other websites, LOVES Jessica Camerons MANIA. He loves it SO MUCH. In his review of the film on Morehorror.com (http://www.morehorror.com/mania-2015-movie-review), he admits openly, I am a huge fan of director Jessica Cameron’s work, and good friends with Jessica as well. This should immediately discredit his review, of course. But he says that director Camerons main strength is that she never holds back. Apparently, this film involves lots of brutal murdering and crazy lesbians, which sounds like a good time. I trust Jonathan, since he knows I cant get off on anything unless its super grotesque and fucked up, and his most recent script is one of the most cathartically, royally upsetting things I have read since the part of 120 Days of Sodom in which people vomit into each others mouths for four pages straight. MANIA had played at least three times in Los Angeles this past fall, but because I live in a post-apocalyptic, BLADE RUNNER-esque nightmarescape of traffic and death, I never made it out to see it.
2) IT FOLLOWS (Dir. David Robert Mitchell)
Former SHOCK editor Samuel Zimmerman really loved IT FOLLOWS.In this write-up from July 2015, before he left for a cushier gig at Shudder.tv, he wrote, IT FOLLOWS is A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET meets THE RING. Fuck, thats good. I mean, is it really, though? Like a cross between those films, I mean? I understood it to be an allegory for sexually transmitted diseases, meaning it would be more like a cross between 1982s LIQUID SKY and that weird 2013 Scarlett Johansson film UNDER THE SKIN. I also understand that there is some existential, Greg Araki-like sentiment sprinkled throughout IT FOLLOWS. And Jackson Stewart recommends it highly to me. So, I would have seen this, if it had been convenient. But it wasnt, so now I will see it on Netflix.
3) DEATHGASM (Dir. Jason Lei Howden)
So, DEATHGASM is a New Zealand horror comedy about heavy metal teenagers and demonic entities. Its a comedy, because otherwise I think it would be one of the worst movies of 2015 just on synopsis alone, and probably would have been made by Christians. Director Howdens insightful comments in interviews about DEATHGASM, like this one, Parents try to protect kids from gore and death, but kids dont give a shit. They are basically miniature psychopaths; their brains havent learnt empathy yet, make me think hes an okay guy. While I hate watching movies about male characters I dont want to have sex with, I will sometimes make concessions and see them if the films have excessive gore and violence. DEATHGASM seems to have some great blood and gore, so Id be willing to give it a go. Jackson Stewart liked this one too, and hes okay, so maybe DEATHGASM is okay too.
4) WE ARE STILL HERE (Dir. Ted Geoghegan)
Ted Geoghegans day job is in film marketing; Im on his email list and he sends me all kinds of press releases about all kinds of cool movies. So I like seeing his name pop up in my email inbox. Hes always so very polite and professional. Geoghegan is also a filmmaker now, his horror film WE ARE STILL HERE was literally a favorite at almost every North American fantastic film festival in 2015. Lisa Marie and Barbara Crampton, who seem to be 2015s new favorite flavors of the month one more time, are in it, and theyre cool. Jackson Stewart thinks so, so I think so too. I like to support my friends, so if I could go back in time and actually see this, I totally would.
5) THE FINAL GIRLS (Dir. Todd Strauss-Schulson)
SHOCK writer Alexandra West seemed to be pretty excited about this movie, if I can recall one specific Facebook status post she may have made, which I cannot, so I am too. SHOCK’s review of the film calls it, stylish, silly and maybe the sweetest slasher ever told. It doesnt seem to have much gore, though. Maybe I would not like this after all. Does it do any CABIN IN THE WOODS-like deconstruction of the Final Girl mythos? Does anyone know? In any case, I bet its funny. 10/10 would see if I could do so without leaving my house or putting on pants or a shirt or showering.