All right, gang – here’s my listing of the 5 films that yanked on my funny buttons this year, as well as the 5 that made me want to run directly into oncoming traffic, so grab a chunky glass of eggnog, position yourself directly under your tree if it’s still standing (watch those needles), and enjoy.
1: The Triangle – Released in August, this gem of a flick that focuses on a group of filmmaker friends heading out to the fringes of the Montana way-back to document the “new life” that a long-missing friend has undergone was, in no cheapness of a descriptive, chilling to the bone with its expansive visuals and an overwhelming cloud that something’s just not right with this cult… oh, I’m sorry… this “gathering of people looking for a new beginning.” Any way you slice it, even with the use of first-person POV, this was one film that still sticks with me to this day.
2: The Barn – Justin Seaman’s super-cool 80’s slaughter-fest about 3 urban-legend-like killers residing in a barn on the outskirts of a small town was a nice way to wrap up 2016. Great kills, plenty of blood, and enough visual grain to make you think you needed to rewind before getting whacked with a $2.00 fee make this one all the more worthwhile.
3: The Neighbor – Bill Engvall, in a role that completely disassociates his Blue Collar Comedy persona from what he’s got going on here, was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise funky cloud of limited releases this year; and more so, it’ll make you think twice about peering in on that next-door resident of yours.
4: Parasites – Funny how all of these films I’m choosing are acting as somewhat of a cautionary tale, but none more than this little prize about the downfalls of wandering into a homeless encampment thinking your shit doesn’t stink. With a look that echoes 1993’s Judgment Night but far more violent, Robert Miano absolutely steals the spotlight here as the lead over-aggressive hobo, and this was one of those flicks that concretely strengthens my take on updating your GPS regularly.
5: Cruel Summer – While not entirely “horror” in scope, this film about bullying and its tragic effects not only widened my eyes, but brought a tear to them as well. Watching a disabled youth suffer such torment is hardly entertainment, but it’s the overall theme that provides a wake-up call to a society that’s undergoing changes (and not necessarily for the better). Directors Phillip Escott and Craig Newman hit a home run with this one – seek it out if the mood strikes you.
Five Worst Films of 2016 – Wait, I only get to pick 5? Well, this certainly won’t be easy. For those thinking I’m going to jump on the hate-train for Blair Witch, I’ll save you the babble that is my writing – yeah, I despised it, but I figured that movie will already be on a shit-ton of lists, so I’ll spare your peepers.
1: The Break-In – If I haven’t spit enough friggin’ venom towards this damned “found-footage fiasco” here in 2016, this turd further entrenched my hatred towards the presentation parlor-trick. Looking like a bargain-basement Paranormal Activity on an overdose of muscle relaxers, this fecal-bomb lulled me to sleep before solidly smacking me back into consciousness. Moronic dialogue, inane rationalization from characters, and the LAMEST payoff I’ve seen in a long time – I’ll steal three words from the Grinch Christmas tune that plagues my eardrums every holiday season to best describe this shit-fest, and I quote – “STINK, STANK, STUNK.”
2: Zombies – What more can you say, really? The never-ending glut of undead crap-fiestas certainly didn’t let up in 2016, and this one stood firmly atop the compost heap, with its flag firmly planted in the fertilizer. Not even the presence of the indomitable Tony Todd could prevent this cargo-ship of human waste from sinking Titanic-style.
3: House of VHS – Now for all intents and purposes, I truly know that this film was made for laughs, and even that failed on a catastrophic level. With language from a bunch of clods that resembled a Rosetta Stone CD from Hell itself, this lame videotape anthology flick traveled slower than an Amish drag-race and offered no redeeming visual quality whatsoever. The only worthwhile objective I can see here is to gather up any copies of this manure manifestation and BURN THEM WITHOUT RESERVATION.
4: Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown – The only thing more painful than to sit through this garbage was to watch the news every damn night and listen to stories about some jerkoff in every American town dressing up like a clown and attempting to scare the Velveeta out of unsuspecting people. Lame, lame, lame – all I can say, and the true crime here is that the performance of the killer clown himself, Andrew Greenwood, was completely wasted on this debacle.
5: The Final Project – Appropriately enough, the final film in my quintet of abhorrent spectacles for the year 2016 has the word “final” in its title, and fitting to not only the eyes but also the ears, this found-footage fiasco takes us to a haunted plantation, where a bunch of droning college students aim to do a little ghost hunting. Suffice to say, we’re all in for a nauseating, boring, and ultimately taxing toll on our existences by simply pressing “play.” Stop the ride… I wanna get off.
In closing, whether or not you disagree with my lists, I’d like to take a quick second to simply thank all of you for just coming to read my mindless ramblings over the course of the calendar year. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday season, and I sincerely wish that you’ll all come back to us in 2017… as I’m sure there will be more to toss on the fire. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
- Anthony Arrigo’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Boiselle’s Best and Worst of 2016
- April Marie’s Best and Worst of 2016
- David Gelmini’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Mr. Dark’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Foywonder’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Ted Hentschke’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Gareth Jones’ Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Molgaard’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Debi Moore’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Serafini’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Uncle Creepy’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Kevin D. Clark’s Best and Worst of 2016 – Comics Style