Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Old Man and the Goblins (1998)

Genre: Animation Short
Director: Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh
Country: USA
Availability: YouTube

This little gem was one of my top favorites that played at this year's H.P. Lovecraft Short Films Festival. It was made by Screen Novelties as an homage to Ladislaw Starewicz, the creator of the first puppet-animated film (The Beautiful Lukanida (1912)). Check out Starewicz's work here.

The Old Man and the Goblins (shown here in its entirety) was made in 1998, which is astonishing given that it looks like an authentic piece of film from the early 1900's.  It certainly brought to mind many of the Silly Symphonies black and whites I loved as a child.

5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dead Within (2014)

Genre: Zombies, Psychological
Director: Ben Wagner
Country: USA
Availability: Netflix Streaming

If the zombie apocalypse came and you had a safe place to stay, would you ever leave? My reply, given from the comfortable, naive cocoon of normalcy, is fuck yes. In fact, this isn't really a question for me. I can barely stand to be at home with the curtains drawn, let alone be holed up in a cabin and literally not taking a step outside in six months. Zombies be damned, that's no way to live. I'll take my chances with the biters. I'll sleep on the rooftops and bloody my hands with the slaughter, but goddamn don't you cage me.

Dead Within takes place entirely inside a two room cabin with two people. We see their daily routines, how they've held on to the small niceties of life like cleaning the house and getting dressed up for dinner. And we also see how things have changed as they go to bed fully dressed with their shoes on, weapons at their fingertips. Mike leaves Kim during the day to look for supplies. Kim finger paints the walls and talks to a painting of her cat.

There are very few zombies in this zombie movie, mostly because they aren't really the point. The movie is more about isolation and what that can start doing to a person over time. The two actors in Dead Within are terrific. They are believably melancholy,  morose, hopeful and hopeless, scared, paranoid, and tender. The score here is also really great. There's this ominous dread that builds with the music but not just during the suspenseful times, it plays over the mundane scenes as well, adding tension to the entire atmosphere that sustains itself throughout every scene. They really did a lot with very little for this movie and it reminded me of a play I saw last year. Proving that talented actors and a good story will make any production a powerful one.

3 out of 5 stars

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mine Games (2012)

Genre: Psychological, Slasher
Director: Richard Gray
Country: USA
Availability: Amazon On Demand

And so begins the horror movie - a group of beautiful young adults road trip to a remote cabin with copious amounts of alcohol and a let's fuckin' party spirit. I'm sold. Throw in a creepy mine? Well, now you're just sweet talking me.

On paper (and in the trailer) Mine Games looks like no-brainer win. Unfortunately, if you're going to wear big boy pants with your complicated plot twist, you better be fucking good at your job. Unfortunately for us, the writer Robert Cross doesn't know a hawk from a handsaw, as is evidence with this ill-conceived story. A little piece of advice for all you would-be horror movie writers out there, just because it's a horror movie doesn't mean your audience will forgive the fact that you don't have any explanations for the crazy shit you start throwing at us. A supernatural cabin and/or mine that creates clones of everyone because... it can? Sweet. Thanks bro.

Do yourself a favor and skip Mine Games. You're better off with Triangle. Same concept, flawless execution. Plus, Melissa George. It's a win-win.

2 out of 5 stars

Proxy (2013)

Genre: Psychological
Director: Zack Parker
Country: USA
Availability: Netflix Streaming

Well, I finally saw Proxy. That's my big takeaway. It's been on my list since it first made its rounds on the horror festival circuit two years ago. But given that it's a two hour "dramatic horror" movie I rarely ever felt like taking the plunge. I'm glad that I finally did but it won't be making my list of favorites anytime soon, even though it's a good movie. In fact, it's very reminiscent in tone to Absentia and Entrance in that it's more of a psychological character study while still maintaining its horror foundation.

Proxy has been synopsised in various ways but I think the most accurate description of the movie  is that it's about two women who seek out attention in demented ways via the use of children. Parents be warned that this movie may not be for you. But like I said, it's a good movie. Alexia Rasmussen is fantastic as the quiet, meek, yet totally psychotic Esther. And Alexa Havins is equally compelling as a twisted woman who doesn't really fully embrace how utterly nuts she is until the life that she's been pretending to have is a reality. And Joe Swanberg. An actor who every single time I see him on screen I wonder, who is that guy, only to discover he's been in every horror movie I've ever seen, ever. Then there's this scene in the bathroom that's so cinematically (horribly) beautiful that I was in awe.

I suppose my only real complaint with Proxy is its running length. And I realize I may not be the most credible judge of how long a movie should be, this coming from the girl who starts checking how much longer till the end about 70 minutes in. But seriously. Unless you have Thor running around with his fabulous hair whilst giant creatures are blowing up New York City, your movie probably doesn't have to be two hours long. I've got shit to do. Like watch a second movie before bedtime.

3 out of 5 stars


Tusk (2014)

Genre:  Creature Feature
Director:  Kevin Smith
Country:  USA
Availability: In Theaters

First, let me start off by saying - Tusk? What the fuck? What kind of crackpot stoner idea did I just watch? Now, to be clear, I'm not bemoaning the ridiculousness of a story that revolves around turning a man into a walrus. I mean, yes, I am. It's really fucking stupid. But hey, I've seen over 900 horror movies in my lifetime and I've witnessed and enjoyed far more idiotic ideas than this. I guess it was the execution that left me wondering if I'd just been insulted. It was like inviting someone into your home and having them make fun of your lifestyle in such a backhanded way that it left you standing there scratching your head.

Now, I'm not for or against Kevin Smith as a writer/director. I never saw Clerks, I really liked Mallrats, Chasing Amy was just okay, Dogma was pretty stupid, and anything after the '90s went completely ignored. Until Red State. I certainly didn't love Red State but it was a solid, good movie.  After all, how can you go wrong with Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, and John Goodman at the helm? And religious zealots running around with firearms? Yeah, that's terrifying right there. So what the hell was Kevin Smith smoking when he decided to do Tusk? Was it a dare? Did he lose a bet? Or did he simply want to show the world that you could make a horror movie about anything at all, and people would fill the seats.

And to even call Tusk a horror movie is to simply conform to the idea that creating a semi-serious movie about a man being turned into a walrus is in and of itself, horrific. But the sad fact is, Tusk isn't a scary movie nor is it a horrific one. It fails in all aspects of horror save for its conception.

That being said, I did enjoy Tusk. Mostly because it was a funny movie but also because Justin Long, Michael Parks, and Johnny Depp did good work under the circumstances [of being in a stupid fucking movie]. So yeah, I'll watch a dumb-ass movie like Blood Lake or a disgusting movie like Human Centipede and love every minute of it. Because even when a horror movie is stupid, you can tell, like getting kissed by someone who loves you, that they mean it. But Tusk? That shit was soulless.

2 out of 5 stars

All Cheerleaders Die (2014)

Genre: Witchcraft, Teen Screams
Director:  Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
Country: USA
Availability: Netflix Streaming

Writer/director Lucky McKee likes to make horror movies about strong (albeit sometimes insane) women. Common themes in Lucky McKee movies are lesbianism, rape, outcasts, revenge and witchcraft. All Cheerleaders Die has all of these themes, and so much more. Think Jennifer's Body but with an entire cheerleading squad.

I mean, the plot is ridiculous, don't get me wrong. Four hot cheerleaders come back from the dead because one hot Wicca is pissed that her girlfriend just died. And once the babes are back in uniform, only one thing will satisfy their blood lust - football players. This movie could have been a complete disaster but lucky for Lucky, he found a dynamite cast. These actresses not only pull off being powerful, but they manage to hit comedy right on the nose. So grab your pom-pons bitches, and get ready for a bloody good time.

5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (2014)

Genre: Creature Feature
Director: James Cullen Bressack
Country: USA
Availability: Netflix Streaming

I have a soft spot for really bad creature features. I have seen every Lake Placid movie (and there were four of them) as well as Birdemic, Sharknado, Piranha (the original, remake and sequel), and every cheesy killer spider movie you can think of. I don't make it a mission to seek out this sub-genre, but when they pop up on Netflix streaming and there's an added appeal like a former hot teen tv actor turned old washed up desperate actor, I say YES PLEASE and I tune the fuck in.

So imagine my delight when Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lamprey starring Shannen Doherty showed up in Netflix just when I had a bottle of wine and a night to myself. Can you say PARTY?

Admittedly, I didn't really know what a lamprey was when the movie started. Turns out, they are actually pretty terrifying.

I'm kind of surprised there aren't more killer lamprey movies given the fact that they look like that. But as with any good (bad) water-based creature feature, you have to figure out how to make the creature be as menacing on land as they are in the water. Because come on, if something in the water is eating people, you stay out of the fucking water. And that makes 1.) a short movie and 2.) a boring movie. To get around this little detail the lamprey in Blood Lake jump out of water and move across land like giant inch worms. Still, they're no fast-moving zombie so it's pretty hilarious to watch the people get overrun with them and die within moments of being attacked. Because... for reasons.

What Blood Lake lacked in, well, everything, it made up for in blood. And thank goodness. Because if you're going to be called Blood Lake, I'm going to expect there to be a bloody goddamn lake. Even if it doesn't make all that much sense. I mean, I'm watching a movie about killer lamprey, I'm going to buy pretty much anything you throw at me. Let's do this.

I may or may not be binge watching the 90210 reboot currently streaming on Netflix. So the fact that I recently watched an old-looking Shannen Doherty bad act her way through a handful of  guest episodes in season one, alongside of a gracefully aging Jennie Garth, was extremely timely. Turns out she's just as old and bad at acting in Blood Lake as she is in everything else. No matter, I'm still a fan. Because she'll always be Brenda Walsh and Beverly Hills 90210 is a teen crush that will never die. 

But still, I'm not sure why she decided to do this Made-For-TV Animal Planet movie. Was she inspired by fellow 90210 cast member Ian Ziering's performance in Sharknado? Did she lose a bet? Was someone blackmailing her? Either way I'm grateful. Because watching Shannen Doherty get attacked by jumping lamprey and then fall off a ladder, well, that image will be turning my frown upside down for many gloomy days to come.

3 out of 5 stars

Netflix Streaming - Horror Movies October 2014

Whether or not you're a year-round horror movie junky like me, come October most people start to desire two things: pumpkin spice lattes and horror movies. Lucky for you, Netflix just so happens to have a pretty solid selection on the horror movie front.

Here's a list of my top 31 horror movies currently streaming on Netflix. One for each day of the month...

Almost Human
Alyce Kills
American Mary
Bad Milo!
Black Rock
Cabin In The Woods
Collection, The
Dead Before Dawn
Dead Snow
Den, The
Grave Encounters
Hatchet II & III
Host, The
House of the Devil, The
I Saw the Devil
Innkeepers, The
Let the Right One In
Pact, The
Possession, The
Quarantine 2
Silent House
Stage Fright
Tucker & Dale VS Evil
V/H/S & V/H/S 2
We Are What We Are
World War Z
You're Next

And because I find it frustrating that people put up horror movie lists full of films that most horror movie aficionados have probably seen, here's a second list for any of you genre lovers looking for something a bit off-radar.

ABCs of Death
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Audrey Rose
Banshee Chapter
Bay of Blood
Berberian Sound Studio
Caller, The
Don't Look Now
Hellraiser series (1-8)
Last Days on Mars, The
Legend of Hell House, The
Night of the Creeps
Red State
Returned, The
Sacrament, The
Seasoning House, The
Stake Land
Texas Chainsaw
Wake Wood
Wolf Creek 2

Stay scared!

~ Doll

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Year In Review

I've been reading a lot of Best Horror Movies of 2013 lists these last few days, and while many of their picks are indisputable (The Conjuring), I tend to highly rank horror movies based on the level of enjoyment I experienced while watching it (Hatchet III), and not necessarily on quality of movie alone.

I find it surprising but I've come to realize that many horror movie reviewers are horror movie snobs. Understandably so, most of the reviewers that I read have a large audience to answer to and so they want to deliver a quality review that doesn't steer people wrong. But where's the fun in that? This is a genre built on the bones of fun - granted, for people who find fucked up things fun, but still - don't all of us love the silly thrills of teenagers getting picked off one by one at the hands of a man with a chainsaw? I love a well-written, scary-as-hell horror movie as much as the next girl, but I also equally love the tasteless gore-fests, the low budgeters, the teen screams, the slow burners, and the like. In other words, the movies that most reviewers dismiss. But that's why I'm here. To show you all that there's more than one way to skin a cat. And there's also more than one way to love a horror movie.

On to the lists! (omg I love lists)

Doll's Top 10 Horror Movie Picks of 2013

The Conjuring

The Conjuring may just be one of the best horror movies in years. That's right, I said it. Scoff if you want to but I've spent my entire adult life not being scared when I watch a horror movie, and this movie scared me so often it was embarrassing. With no gore and very little blood, it works its way into your fear sweet spot with its silently chilling scenes and its downright menacing ones. Sure, some of the jump scenes you anticipate, but most of them you don't. And with a solid script, superb acting, and interesting, likable characters, this movie wins on most fronts. Its only downfall, albeit a major one, was part of its ending. The "power of love" has no place in my horror movie. It makes me all... stabby.

Alyce Kills

This indie movie snuck in under-the-radar and surprised the hell out of me. It's a movie that begins with Obsession and then spins itself into Compulsion and then collapses into Depravity. It's essentially a one woman show with Jade Dornfeld as the brilliantly realized Alyce, and a few supporting players here and there, most notably Eddie Rouse who plays Rex. Talk about a slimy, disgusting man who is utterly compelling. On the surface this movie is straightforward and simple, and yet there's nothing simple about it. Strange moments segue into philosophical musings, normal gets hijacked by insanity, and we just want to keep watching it all transpire until everyone dies, ever.

Evil Dead

The Evil Dead remake scared the shit out of me with its trailer alone. And then I saw the movie and realized the trailer was just a glimpse into the hell that Evil Dead exists within. Everything about this movie is bleak. The atmosphere, the coloring, the characters, the stage... it's a yellowish grey world and they're all just dying in it. And dying in it. And dying in it. Is it going to win any awards for its brilliant script and fantastic acting? Probably not (though it still delivers on those goods). But whereas The Conjuring serves as a good horror movie, the Evil Dead serves as a horrific one. So many flicks in the genre fall short on that these days. Like stabbing someone in the chest and watching blood spurt out of their mouths is anything new or compelling. Instead, let's slice through our own faces. Now, that's entertainment.

Black Rock

The new (old) phase of horror is one that no one is talking about. Revenge horror. We all understand the Final Girl trope, but the current trend of horror movie is taking the Final Girl, putting her through hell, and then having her exact her revenge. Her bloody, bloody revenge. A quick rundown of some of the more recent releases in this genre: the remakes of I Spit on Your Grave and I Spit on Your Grave 2, American Mary, Girls Against Boys, Alyce Kills, Silent House, Rites of Spring, The Last House on the Left remake, Straw Dogs remake, The Seasoning House, and Black Rock - to name a few. I've written before on my views of strengthening women through the path of victimization. In a nutshell, I think it's insulting and counterproductive to the equality of women. With that said, it does make for some compelling films for the horror genre. Black Rock was one of my favorites in that genre this year, and mostly because at its heart the movie is about the bond of women friendships. It's more of a cat and mouse chase than most and doesn't linger around or exploit violence for violence sake. And I suppose that's part of what makes it an exciting story that is grounded in what feels like a real life scenario. Katie Aselton, who wrote, directs and stars in Black Rock, is accompanied by two strong female actresses, the ever-talented Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth. The dialog in this is superbly realistic and the relationships between the women are equally, realistically complicated. There are some truly terrifying scenes that test the resiliency of the desire to survive at any cost, and how capable we can become when protecting someone we love. Watch it with your BFF.

World War Z

Out of all the sub-genres of horror, the zombie apocalypse is by far my favorite. There is no greater scary monster than that of the mindless, hungry animal of the human being. Despite George Romero's proclamations that "Fast Zombies Suck" (he made it into a t-shirt), fast zombies are scary as shit. Whether they are the undead or the rage-infested, the fast-moving pack of crazy fucking zombies is the most terrifying thing I can think of. And on that front, World War Z delivered in spades. I didn't read the novel so I'm not of the - I hate the movie because it wasn't like the book - camp. Instead, I visited upon this story with fresh eyes and what I saw left me breathless. Brad Pitt, irregardless of his dashing good looks, is a damn fine actor. He gave an immense level of humanity to his character and to this film, and whenever you have that quality in a story it makes all of the horror surrounding it seem so much more devastating. I eagerly await the sequel. 


The original 1980 movie Maniac is a cult classic. It's definitely weird, especially for the '80s, with its hallucinatory elements, creepy mannequins, and staple dead mother issues, and Joe Spinell who plays Frank the killer, is an ugly, sweaty hulk of a man who I would pretty much peg as a serial killer if I saw him on the street. But at its core, the '80s version of Maniac is still just a slasher movie. With a great many kill scenes and chase scenes, it almost forgets that it's going for something more. Something stranger. So it was interesting to see that the remake of Maniac was such a shift in focus. Literally. For the majority of the movie it is all from the POV of Frank. It takes a little while to get used to and I admit it was a little frustrating for a while. It was an unexpected element of the movie and I longed to see the bigger picture instead of just being behind the lens of Frank's eyes. Eventually I adjusted and when I did the experience of watching the movie almost became like an art piece. We see Frank through reflections in mirrors and store windows and he's a handsome man. There's something more dangerous about a handsome killer. You can see yourself falling into his web more easily, willingly. And women do. But Frank is obviously unstable. In fact, Frank is downright insane. The remake of Maniac is still a slasher movie, but it succeeds in being much more than that. It's a strange, fucked up world where Frank lives, and we're trapped right there with him.

V/H/S 2

Anthology films have been very popular in horror lately. In fact, there have been 8 in the last two years alone. V/H/S 2 is the latest installment in this trend and surprisingly, it's one of the strongest in a while. While not all of the segments are terrific (the weakest being one about an alien invasion), the two that are the best, A Ride in the Park and Safe Haven, are extremely good. A Ride in the Park tells the story of a man who goes for a bike ride through the woods and is attacked by a zombie. It's only about twenty minutes long or so and tells a more effective zombie story that most full length movies do. And Safe Haven... well, it's downright disturbing. In it is a pedophile cult leader, zombie-like ghouls, a horrific birth, mass suicides, and a giant demonic creature. Most anthologies struggle with the main narrative that string all of the segments together, as we saw with its predecessor in V/H/S. However in this sequel they seem to have put more thought into the main story, adding reanimated corpses and reasoning behind watching these tapes in the first place. Granted, they probably could have done better, but it was just weird enough to make the framework compelling.

Cold Prey 2

Cold Prey 2 was one of the most highly anticipated movies for me this year. Which is hilarious considering it was made in 2008. Apparently five years is how long it takes between releasing a movie in Norway and then giving us Americans a DVD of it. I expect to be watching Cold Prey 3 in 2015. Cold Prey 2 picks up moments after the first one left off, with Jannicke covered in blood and stumbling around in the Norwegian mountains. If ever a sequel was even better than the first (and the original was awesome) it's probably here. Within minutes we're thrust back into Jannicke's nightmare, she is jittery and scared, even in the face of rescue, and as it turns out, she has every right to be. What makes this series so endearing is that the characters are instantly just so damn likable. Until they die of course. Which makes us sad. Cold Prey doesn't pretend to be anything other than a straightforward slasher movie, but at this it excels. With great actors, a dangerous terrain, and a killer who is scary as all hell, Cold Prey 2 serves its purpose and well.

American Mary

As I had mentioned before, revenge horror is quite the trend these days. While historically this sub-genre has included stories that center around men seeking revenge (Old Boy, I Saw the Devil, Irreversible), lately the revenge shtick has been solely a woman's world. Enter, American Mary. American Mary took this sub-genre by the balls and made it her bitch. Mary, played brilliantly by scream queen Katharine Isabelle, is transformed from a promising young surgeon into a ruthless, detached master of torture. Written and directed by the "twisted twins" Jen and Sylvia Soska, American Mary is a highly stylized, sexy, powerful movie that explores a world wherein the human body is a canvas - a canvas for self-expression, a canvas for artistic expression, and a canvas for therapeutic expression. The story and execution have the steady hands and precision of a master surgeon, which is what the creators of American Mary are in this instance. They have taken this body of genre, cut it open, modified its form, and created something beautiful.

Curse of Chucky

I'm just as surprised as you are, but Curse of Chucky is a pretty great horror movie. It's slick and creepy and at times, surprising, but most importantly it's fun. And it's a real change of pace for the Chucky series. It takes itself a little more seriously, focusing on the family characters instead of just making it the one man Chucky Show. Afterall, the Chuckys and Freddy Krugers of the horror world are a little outdated. The one-lining cheesy "monster" had its place in the '80s and '90s, and then we all grew up. And apparently, so did our monsters. If this is what we can expect from the new franchise of Chucky movies, I look forward to becoming a Chucky fan for the first time, ever. If not, well, then the Curse of Chucky was a happy accident.


Doll's 10 Honorable Mentions

The above ten movies were my favorites of the year based on overall quality of movie and enjoyment, but the following ten movies were standouts either personally, or for the genre in general. 

Contracted - Another popular subgenre this year has been the resurgence of body horror. Body horror is when the story revolves around the destruction or degeneration of the body. Whether it be from self infliction, mutilation, mutation, decay, infection or disease - body horror is generally some pretty disturbing stuff. Contracted was one of those movies wherein the ending changed the entire movie for me. It went from being a decent horror movie, albeit gross, to something visionary that turned a certain sub-genre on its head. It stuck with me longer than most.

Antiviral - Yet another body horror movie that was completely unique. In fact, it was so unique that I almost want to slap a sci-fi label on it as well. Antiviral succeeded in being both safe in its sterility, and then dangerous in its depravity. White walls to blood soaked floors. Pressed suits to torn flesh. And the societal musings on celebrity obsession took this pathetic preoccupation with stardom to a whole new level of crazy. A fantastically one of a kind movie. Did we expect less from the son of David Cronenberg? 

ABCs of Death - A fantastic anthology this year that took every letter of the alphabet and created a horror movie short around a word beginning with that letter. It was definitely a toss up between ABCs and VHS 2 for the anthology that made it into my top 10 this year. Ultimately ABCs failed to be strong enough all around, as for each letter there was a different writer/creator/director for that segment, and so quality was all over the place. D is for Dogfight and X is for XXL are the two among the 26 stories that really stood out for me. The latter still gives me chills when I think of it. 

Would You Rather - There's nothing too exceptional about this one except that it was a ton of fun to watch. Jeffrey Combs, who is a... what, scream king? is a big favorite of mine and I pretty much make it a point to watch everything he pops up in. Lately the quality of horror movies he's picking is lackluster so I was pleased that he not only made a good choice with Would You Rather, but that he also got to play such a great evil villain. Because, well, he's so damn good at it.

You're Next - Ok, I admit, I had high expectations for this one based on how great the trailer was. The trailer goes for scary as hell, whereas the movie goes for bloody black comedy. I was surprised. But once I readjusted my expectations, You're Next proved to be a smartly written, well executed, great movie that ends very, very bloody. 

Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh - This is one of those movies that seeps through the cracks of your subconscious and meanders there like a shadow for days. Saturated with atmosphere Last Will is a testament to just how scary a movie can be built on tension alone. But you have to have the patience to sit through such an incredibly slow burn. The movie is all about quietly creepy things happening slowly. Watch it alone and with the lights off.

Texas Chainsaw - Just what the world needed, another Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. But guess what, chainsaws are terrifying. Have you ever been chased by a man with a chainsaw before? Because I have. Granted, I'm pretty sure he wasn't going to kill me (the haunted corn maize people would have probably fired him for that) and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a chain on the chainsaw (but I can't be positive), but it was dark and I was in a cornfield and this maniac jumped out at me with a roaring chainsaw and it got so close to my leg that I felt the air from the weapon push through my jeans. So I ran, screaming. And he chased me. Chased me through the goddamn cornfield with a fucking chainsaw. It was terrifying. And exhilarating. Anyways, the point is, a dude with a chainsaw never stops being scary. And Texas Chainsaw (a prequel) is a terrifically fun teen scream that gives us a little history on our favorite skin-wearing psycho.

I Spit On Your Grave 2 - And yet another revenge movie. I told you they were popular this year. But whereas Black Rock was understated and American Mary was stylish, I Spit On Your Grave 2 was just fuck-you-in-the-face brutal. Extremely difficult to watch to the point where you almost want to turn it off because, why am I watching this again? for fun? I'm so fucked up. But despite the intense level of depravity, it's actually a good horror movie. Great performances, a creative story, and a slick production - I guess if you're going to make a horrific horror movie you'd better make it a damn good one. Otherwise you're just a creepy perv.

Hatchet III - Granted, the Hatchet movies are for the gore hounds, no question about it. But they're not made without humor, which just makes them gross and fun. And the kill scenes (who knew you could skin people like that?) are just sickly creative. I wasn't in love with the first Hatchet movie when I first saw it, but two sequels later and Victor Crowley has definitely won me over.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane - Made in 2006 Mandy Lane premiered in various film festivals throughout 2006 and 2007. I first read about the movie in one of Rue Morgue's issues that covers the horror festival circuit. They spoke highly of the Mandy Lane so I added it to my list of movies to watch for. And there it remained for seven years. Due to the movie's distributor going bankrupt and the rights to the movie being tied up with all of that, Mandy Lane sat on the shelf until the red tape cleared and someone else could repurchase the release rights. So imagine my surprise when it popped up on Amazon On Demand a few months ago. The long-lost Mandy Lane, finally in my living room. And the movie didn't disappoint. Granted, it's no game changer, but it's a tight little teen scream (giggity) with some gruesome kills and surprise twist ending that left a big smile on my face. All the girls love Mandy Lane, too.


In my extensive research of other "best of" horror movie lists for 2013 I came across many repeated titles, some of which I hadn't yet seen and some of which I didn't quite agree with. Here's the top 10 titles that made other lists in this gruesome little community of ours.

My Amityville Horror
Escape From Tomorrow
The Battery
Bad Milo
We Are What We Are

So there you have it. The consensus for the best horror movies to hit the screen in 2013. Now, turn out the lights and get to watchin'.