I know I’ve said 2013 wasn’t the best year for releases. However, there where quite a few surprise gems. It appears the indie releases were the best, followed by a couple major releases. I might have seen these at the last minute, but I’m counting them anyways. This is also my last post for 2013. I’m going to spend the next few days gearing up for new reviews and lists. Here are my favorites, and I hope you all have a kick ass New Year.
10. Evil Dead
I noticed this one has gotten A LOT of hate since it came out in April. I don’t see why, honestly. It will never compare to the original, but I was still entertained. It was bloody, it was an interesting take, and I still got a damn good laugh out of it. The acting was questionable, but I can’t ignore what good qualities it does have. This is a remake in name and plot only, and I think it deserves some credit to approaching a fan favorite in a different way.
9. The Conjuring
I wouldn’t say this was the scariest release, but it was still creepy. Ignore the fact that this is based on a case the Warrens worked on, and you have a nice ghost flick. I really loved the pacing and the acting. I think it tried not to rely on cheap scares, even though that seems to be the current trend for other films. The main reason why I like this is because it made my husband jump out of his seat. If it can make a 6’3 30 year old man jump, it must be good.
I was not expecting this to be what it was. But, it was pretty awesome. It’s basically a warning against taking drinks from strangers, and a hard look at mental instability. It was great to watch throughout, but the last 10 minutes are what really sell it. I think it could be considered body horror since the main character wastes away in bits and pieces. However, I loved how she gradually became insane as the “disease” progressed. Najarra Townsend did a great job playing a mentally unstable lesbian. And there’s a sentence I never thought I would type.
I didn’t think I was going to like this one at all. It starts off slow, and things take an odd turn that come to an end that is somewhat left to interpretation. This is one of those films you might need to watch a few times to really understand, but it is still very well done. The actors seem like real people, and the whole thing has a sinister vibe to it. The last 15 minutes are some the best I’ve seen all year. Once you realize what the ending is about, you can understand why this made a lot of top 10 lists.
I remember seeing the preview for this a while back. The trailers don’t do it justice. I think it’s more of a psychological thriller, but it is still very unnerving. Nicole Kidman was great as the unstable mother, and Mia Wasikowska was just as unsettling as the creepy daughter. I thought I knew how things were going to play out, but I was wrong. However, that unpredictability is what makes Stoker so good. The family dynamics are so screwed up, but it’s beautifully done.
5. We Are What We Are
The original has been on my one to watch list for a while. I guess I wasn’t paying attention because the remake is what I ended up with, but I’m glad I did. It’s a very slow burn, but it’s perfect. It’s easy to figure out what the family’s big secret is, however you don’t expect certain things to happen because of it. This is another case where the end is arguably the best part of the movie. It’s another movie about a messed up family, but it takes a completely different approach.
4. V/H/S 2
This just had everything I wanted. It was scary, a great story, believable acting, and it’s just so much fun to watch. It’s shorter that the first one, but I think that added to the overall suspense. Also, the quality is far improved. It might be found footage, but it’s found footage done right. I have to say that the zombie segment is one of my all-time favorite moments of the year. Whoever thought the zombie apocalypse should be seen through a Go Pro camera is a genius, in my opinion.
3. American Mary
This went from watching someone with really bad luck, to rape/revenge, and finally ends in tragedy. It’s like Shakespeare…if he did horror movies. I just loved the character of Mary. She was the underdog, and you still wanted her to win in the end. Even when she seems to go off the deep end, you wanted Mary to finally succeed. I can’t help but feel like role was made just for Katharine Isabelle. She completely owned it, and we got an outstanding performance.
2. Insidious Chapter 2
This scared the shit out of me; I’m not even going to lie. It’s just as good as the first one, but way more creepy. While the astral projection aspect is still lame to me, I can’t deny that the spirits or demons are still scary as hell. The pacing and timing throughout are impeccable. It makes everything really tense, but the scares don’t happen where you expect. Add creepy kids, a cross dressing murderer, and a psychotic mother, and you have something that made me sleep with the lights on.
1. Warm Bodies
I thought this freaking amazing. At first I thought this was just a zombie version of Twilight, but it’s not even close to that. It’s funny, the writing is really good, and it’s a different take on zombies that doesn’t suck. This is also the closest thing to a romantic comedy I’ll ever watch. That’s saying something. If you want something completely new that still manages to entertain, this is the best choice for 2013.