Dread Central's Best and Worst of 2011
Before I give my list, let me just thank all you guys for reading my stuff and for the great comments you posted all year. This being my rookie season at Dread Central, I needed all the positive feedback I could get! I can't thank Creepy and The Woman in Black enough for making me part of this awesome family. And just think about what an awesome community we all have here at DC, the writers and especially the readers. No other genre of film can claim the unity that we have. You don't see a lot of websites for fans of romantic comedies or dramas. Horror is more than a type of film, it's a union of fans that embrace and hold dear the best of the best (…and we pound the bad ones pretty good, too). If you succeed in horror, really succeed even just once, we'll love you forever. That's what being a horror fan is all about. Thanks for everything, guys!
As for my Top 5, I love the films that get people talking, especially those outside our circle of interest. When a work of horror attracts the attention of the mainstream media, for whatever reason, I'm going to give it credit. No such thing as bad press, Gorehounds! Without further ado…
I Saw the Devil - An absolutely hypnotic South Korean film that brings new meaning to the term "revenge flick". Why just exact your revenge once when you can do it over and over and over again. The story is enthralling, and tension is built masterfully throughout the film, culminating with an amazing climax. The 360-degree taxi cab slash scene was one of the best murders shot in recent times. Great action, violent content and characters that evoked a wide range of emotion from the viewers throughout the film. Awesome!
"The Walking Dead" Season 2 - Talk about horror getting headlines…11 million viewers helped "The Walking Dead" Season 2 premiere smash cable television viewership records. This set the stage as the show proceeded in a bit different format than we saw in Season 1. Now, with 13 episodes to work with (instead of six), the creators of the series have been taking their time, delving much deeper into the characters and how they are dealing with their post-apocalyptic situation. Each survivor evokes a strong reaction from the audience, a reaction that sometimes changes from week to week (Shane, we love you, we hate you, we love you…but you might be the only one who's never lost focus). And if the final scene of the explosive mid-season finale is any sign of things to come, we're in for a real treat when the episodes resume in February.
A Serbian Film - I said I loved movies that generated attention from the outside world, right? Here's one! When the organizer of a film festival gets arrested simply for showing a movie, you know it's going to draw attention. Regardless of whether you felt the outcry over A Serbian Film was justified or a bit overblown, what we all can agree on is this movie contains some extreme imagery that got the world talking. You sympathize for Milos in his drug-induced state, even as he commits one heinous act after another. It's a brutal film that dares you to watch, then unleashes itself on you when you relent. Perhaps too many people got a bit too excited over the content and forgot to keep repeating that famous line from the original promotions for The Last House on the Left: "…It's only a movie…It's only a movie."
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) - Here's another one that stirred the pot. Horror certainly got under people's skin this year. After the original film grabbed publicity from "South Park" and "Tosh.O," The Human Centipede 2 raised the bar (in many ways). The new film even found itself as a topic of discussion, on more than one occasion, on The Howard Stern Showand had audiences clamoring to check it out. Perfect teaser trailers and tempting one-sheets effectively enticed would-be viewers. Everything director Tom Six implied in the original, he showed you in the sequel. And the choice to film in black-and-white with select color made it an ass-to-mouth Schindler's List. Campy and extremely gruesome in so many ways, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) brought it to audiences…hard.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - Brilliant! Simply put, this is the film that entertained me the most this year. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had me from the opening scene, which turned the entire backwoods weirdo sub-genre of horror on its ear. This movie is insanely funny. No, there aren't any scares or mentally disturbing scenes in this one, but the bloodshed is ridiculous! Wood chippers, sticks in the eye, chainsaws, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is the rare horror-comedy that knocks it out of the park! An amazing effort! Gory…hilarious…vastly entertaining! If for some reason you missed it, go back and check it out. You've got to see this movie!
Hobo With a Shotgun
The Orphan Killer
Red Riding Hood - Promotion for the film implied it to be a gruesome horror movie, but we all should have known better than that. Featuring the director of the original Twilight film, Red Riding Hood was never going to be anything more than a weak Twilight wannabe.
Psych:9 - With genre mainstay Michael Biehn and Cary Elwes (who gained some big-time horror credibility with his appearances in the Saw franchise), you'd expect a lot more from this film. You don't get it. A giant, lame snoozefest from start to finish, Psych:9 commits the biggest offense you can in horror…it's boring.
Hyenas - Not even sure how I ended up watching this one. Costas Mandylor (of the Saw series) plays the lead role, but he's not nearly enough to save this film. Apparently the filmmakers thought turning the infected into hyenas instead of wolves was enough to reinvent the genre. It was not.
The Bleeding - This film had a chance to be something. Maybe something along the lines of John Carpenter's Vampires, but oh no, the sucking didn't stop with the vampires. This film sucked right down to its core. They even had Kat Von D, who seems born to play a vamp. Unfortunately, they buried her until the end of the film, leaving us with nothing. P.U.
Unnecessary Remakes - Here's a perfect example of the one bad thing about being a family of horror fans…filmmakers take advantage of us. They prey on our sense of nostalgia and remake films that don't need to be remade. What other genre does this? Any remake of Tommy Boy on the horizon? Didn't think so. Anybody doing Forrest Gump or Pulp Fiction again? Nope. Only horror because filmmakers know we love our movies so they go ahead and do a remake instead of creating a new idea because they know the fans will turn out (usually for a far inferior product). Fright Night, Straw Dogs, The Thing, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark…why?