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Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2015

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Dread Central Best Worst 2015


Debi “The Woman in Black” Moore

Looking over my list of the horror films I saw in 2015 to prepare for this assignment, one thing was obvious: The good far outweighed the bad for a change. And that was because I just didn’t have time for the pain. If I didn’t “have” to watch something for my duties here at DC and I’d heard that it sucked, it didn’t make the cut. Which meant that out of the well over 50 horror films I watched, only a handful scored a 2 or below. Even better? The quality stayed consistent throughout the year with 2015 ending just as strongly as it started.

The Best

What were the best? As far as I’m concerned, one film stands heads and shoulders over everything else, and that’s Mad Max: Fury Road. But is it really horror? I’ve been accused a few times of crossing the line between horror and sci-fi on these year-end lists, and I’ve been trying to stay on the straight and narrow. That was my quandry so I decided to just keep it in a category all to itself and pick the following as my Top 5 “pure” horror films, in no particular order:

We Are Still HereWe Are Still Here
This is one I caught early in the year, and I predicted right then and there it would wind up among the best. Other favorites would come and go, but yep, it’s… still here!

The Voices
This movie really flew under the radar, but Ryan Reynolds kills it as a mild-mannered guy who starts taking advice from his talking pets. It was definitely one of the more disturbing – and memorable – films I saw last year.

The Final Girls
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this one? It’s full of heart and all the tropes horror fans go to the movies to see. Despite its tame rating, it’s no doubt destined to gain quite a following as the years go by… check it out if you haven’t yet.

A Christmas Horror Story
At first I hesitated to include this film since I thought maybe it was too “seasonal” and fresh in my memory, but then I thought, “No way! It’s totally worth it.” I loved the way the storylines intertwined without being broken into separate segments, and William Shatner’s presence elevates anything in my eyes. It’s a solid home run that will be required viewing in our home every holiday from now on!

Goosebumps
Add me to the list of folks who had nothing but FUN watching Goosebumps. I may be the oldest member of the DC writing team, but I felt like a young schoolgirl again from the moment it began, filled with wonder and glee. Along with Mad Max, it’s the only 2015 movie to earn a solid 5/5 from me.

Honorable Mentions: Spring, Maggie, Deathgasm, Turbo Kid, Cub, Crimson Peak, Last Shift, Demonic, The Gift

The Worst

As for my picks of the worst, there are three that stand out as the most tedious and/or disappointing:

thegallowsposterAbomination
I honestly have very little recollection of what this film is about, but it earned the lowest rating of the year, so here it is… apparently the title is 100% self-descriptive!

The Gallows
Yet another nail in the coffin of the found footage sub-genre. It is possible to still do them right, but films like The Gallows don’t even care to try.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
My issues with this film are too numerous to mention, but they start with the title – considering there was nary a “ghost “to be seen – and end with the absence of the key character whose journey we were there to see culminate in the first place. Bah humbug!

Dishonorable Mentions: Seventh Son, It Follows, Late Phases, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


MORE 2015 Best & Worst on the NEXT page!


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Dread Central Presents

Dread Central Presents The Lodgers – Vegas Screening and Wider Release

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Last weekend fans got their first taste of the next Dread Central Presents film, The Lodgers (review); and we’re not done yet! There’s another Dread Central Presents screening TOMORROW, February 22nd, at 7:00 PM at the Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas, Nevada (tickets here); and then the flick will be opening wider the very next day!

To see if the film will be playing near you, click here for a list of cities The Lodgers will be haunting!

Directed by Brian O’Malley and starring Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner, the film made its worldwide premiere at 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival and has since won many awards across multiple festivals.

Make sure to follow and “like” Dread Central Presents on Facebook to stay in the know regarding this and upcoming titles!

Synopsis:
In this Gothic horror tale, a family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins. Bound to the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby, the twins must never let any outsiders inside the house, must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight, and must never be separated from one another. Breaking any of these three rules will incur the wrath of a sinister presence that inhabits the house after midnight.

While Edward is committed to this ill-fated life, he’s becoming more unhinged due to the fact that Rachel is not. Smitten by a local soldier (Eugene Simon), Rachel grows skeptical and begins to rebel, desperate to escape the oppression and misery of their captivity.

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Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!

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Ever been driving in the woods and see or hear something that you cannot explain? Something so shocking that it makes your skin crawl off of your spine? Yeah, those moments, that usually chalked up to something completely innocuous, can be mucho unsettling. Such is the case with our bloody exclusive clip from the latest sliver of Sasquatchploitation, Primal Rage, which illustrates what can happen when you play with your food.

Directed by Patrick Magee, who co-wrote the film with Jay Lee, Primal Rage stars Andrew Joseph Montgomery, Casey Gagliardi, Eloy Casados, Justin Rain and Marshal Hilton. You can also catch this one of the big screen as on February 27th, Fathom (tickets here) will be hosting a one-night theater event for Primal Rage.

Enough talk! Get your Squatch on!

Synopsis:
Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley and Max Carr are stalked by a terrifying creature that might be Bigfoot. Soon they find themselves embroiled in a strange land of Native American myth and legend turned real. Hopelessly trying to survive, with a handful of unsavory locals, they must fight back against this monster in a desperate battle of life or death.

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The Strangers: Prey at Night Set Visit Part 2: Screams and Flames

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[SPOILERS] As mentioned in our earlier set visit story, The Strangers: Prey at Night maintains the same feeling of isolation as the original. Even though a full-fledged production was going on in Gatlin Lake Getaway, it is hard to shake that feeling of being totally alone once wandering away from the set lighting. The dark surround woods start to close in and threaten to swallow any who stray too close to the tree line. Then the silence is broken as a beat-up 1972 Ford Ranger’s engine revs and a scream slices through the night.

Back on the lit street, the familiar looking truck has collided head-on with the side Wagner County Sheriff’s SUV. At the driver’s seat of the Ford is a man sporting a white cloth bag as a mask. The Bagman has returned. His appearance has not changed. The empty sockets of the mask still glare ominously and the painted smile poorly hides the stranger’s murderous intent.

An air of frustration surrounds the Bagman as he attempts to free the truck from the SUV. In vain, the Ford revs and struggles to no avail. Bad news for him, but good news for whomever the Bagman was pursuing. The law enforcement vehicle, with its lights flashing, had been driven by a young woman decked out in a black Ramones t-shirt and blood-splattered jeans. Her hair is jet black. The woman’s skin is streaked with dark blood and open slash wounds. The dark punk eye makeup is running, but the wearer is not.

It is obvious that this woman has been through a lot as she limps from the wreck. The context of her current state is not clear, but the shrieking that emanates from her as she produces a lighter and throws it to the ground under the collided vehicles speaks volumes. It can only be assumed that she has been chased, slashed, and emotionally beaten for hours. The scream is packed with emotions from fear to outright spite and rage. It is so powerful, in fact, that the crew members uttered stunned laudations.

As the gasoline ignites, the flames climb and spread of the mangled metal of the two collided vehicles. The Ford’s engine still violently revs as the Bagman emotionlessly tries to break free. The young woman is slowly backing away, unaware of the chain reaction occurring. The darkness of 1 AM is broken by two giant fireballs that erupt, engulfing the metal mayhem in the middle of the street. The surroundings fall silent, cut is called and the crew erupts in exclamations at the awesome spectacle.

This powerful moment was brought to us by Bailee Madison (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark).

The Strangers: Prey at Night was now on its twenty-second day of shooting and only eight more days remained. The cast and crew are well accustomed to their routines and the late night shoots have become second nature. When asked if the constant schedule of night shoots had been difficult, Madison elicited some of the virtues that the darkness has to offer, “There’s something very vulnerable about night shoots. You are emotionally in a different place when you’re awake and rested in the daytime. I think for something traumatic like this, you need to be able to access different emotions; at night you’re a lot more capable.”

At this point in production, Bailee’s character has seen a lot of action. A heavy amount of blood adorns the actor’s arms and a thick clotting mass of the red stuff covers most of her forehead. Keeping track of that damage for continuity from day to day looks like a grueling task, and makeup department head Jodi Byrne dropped some details about the process, “We have continuity photos and we take pictures of Bailee constantly throughout the day … We have to determine which takes are actually going to be used in the film and we move from that point.”

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive..

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Exclusive Clip – Primal Rage

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