2012, in horror, has had its ups and downs.
I found that a lot of the titles that I wanted to consider for the list were initially released in 2011. For that matter, three of the titles that did make the list were in the can for some time before finally receiving distribution or US distribution in 2012.
Head inside for my top five horror films of the year!
#5 REC 3: Genesis
REC 3 drew some heat from fans of the franchise because it broke the formula, but thats one of the main reasons that I praised it. Moving away from the “found footage” sub-genre and setting the film in a less confined space allowed the franchise to grow instead of being pigeonholed in to doing all the same things over again. That the films creators were willing to take a risk is commendable, and for me, it paid off.
#4 The Revenant
This film is terrific. The Revenant initially seemed as though it was going to be another Shaun of the Dead knockoff, but thats just not the case. The Revenant employs old school vampire mythology and differentiates itself from anything Ive seen before. The relationship between David Anders and Chris Wyldes characters is truly authentic. Theres nothing forced or stilted about any of the performances in the film. Writer/director Kerry Prior was working on a nonexistent budget, but thanks to his background in effects, all of the gore and prosthetics look like they belong in a film with a much more substantial budget.
#3 The Loved Ones
This movie made me uncomfortable. Much of the film made me sick to my stomach; but, not because of over the top or explicit gore. The effects are understated for a film of this kind, but the performances are so realistic that I was concerned for the characters all the way through the film. Robin McLeavy was phenomenal as Lola. The films concept doesnt bring a lot of original ideas to the table, but the performances, the dialogue, the score, and the on screen dynamic between Lola and her father make the film.
I didnt know that AnnaLynne McCord could turn in a performance like this. I think that a lot of the credit for that goes to writer/director Richard Bates Jr. for inspiring great performances from every member of his cast. Excision, which is based on Bates short film of the same name is not always easy to watch. But, the film was peppered with moments of the blackest of comedic brilliance, which serve to break the mounting sense of tension the film is constantly building. The ending, and the entire film really, is a total mind f**k.
#1 The Cabin in the Woods
I think of Cabin as a love song to the horror genre. Its slick, ultra meta, fully functional, and extremely clever. Cabin invoked a nostalgia in me for the horror heyday of the late seventies and early eighties. Its the best genre film to come out in some time. I think its safe to say that Cabin is an instant classic.
Other “Best of 2012” Lists: Ryan’s Top 8
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