ill Will's Favorite Films Of 2014!
Scott Schirmer's Found is not only an ode to the gory classics that its lead characters Marty and Steve have posters of all over their bedroom wall but it’s also a coming-of-age story similar to Stand By Me, except Marty's older brother isn't a douchebag Keifer Sutherland - he's a psychotic serial killer who likes to keep severed heads in his closet. Found has been doing the rounds and gaining a cult following since 2012 but it only got an official US release earlier last year and then later on in Ireland/UK and the rest of Europe. The gory snuff film within the film known as 'Headless' has also been made into a feature length movie and will be out later this year.
2. Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero
A worthy sequel or should I say prequel to the original Cabin Fever and the enjoyable mess that was Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. Check out my review for it here:
This movie nicely set up another prequel 'Cabin Fever: Outbreak' which was supposed to be in the works but since Eli Roth announced that he's remaking his original Cabin Fever for some ridiculous and unknown reason, it seems Outbreak is dead.
3. Return To Nuke 'Em High Volume 1
This was just awesome in so many ways but if you're not accustomed to Troma and their style of filmmaking then you'll probably hate it. Check out my review here:
Volume 2 is due out sometime this year and I can't frakking wait!
Ok technically not a horror but more of a horrific glimpse into the future, also every fucker with the "big horror websites" put it on their lists so why the fuck shouldn't I?
Korean director Joon-ho Bong's (The Host) first English language film based on the graphic novel of the same name starring Captain America himself Chris Evans along with a shitload (or should I say train load?) of stars such as Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris. It's basically Mad Max on a train but it has so much character depth, political undertones, over the top action and violence - this is not your average comicbook movie.
5. The Purge:Anarchy
Speaking of Captain America, his Winter Soldier co-star Frank Grillo finally got a chance to show Hollywood that he's leading man material in this far superior sequel to the fairly average 2013 film The Purge. Everything that film lacked its' sequel made up for , instead of just a family locked in their home with one gang outside this took it out onto the streets with a group of people lead by grillo, trying to make their way across the city while dodging several psychotic gangs and militant/vigilante types also. The third film in the series is due out summer 2016 so i'll be looking forward to that.
6. Cheap Thrills
The Directorial debut from E.L. Katz who is better known for writing films such as Homesick, Pop Skull and Autopsy. With top performances from all the cast Cheap Thrills was shocking, hilarious and a hell of a good time.
7. The Sacrament
One of the few good found footage films from last year. Check out my review here:
8. Wolf Creek 2
The original Wolf Creek is a favorite of mine and I always said i'd love a sequel or a possible franchise. It took long enough but we finally got a sequel and a surprisingly good one at that. A lot more action packed and gory than the original, our favorite Aussie psychopath Mick Taylor returns crazier and funnier than ever. A series of spin-off novels also came out last year which I still need to check out but I hear they're good. Hopefully we don't have to wait another 8 years for Wolf Creek 3.
The long awaited return of the King Of Monsters and a film that split audiences, fans and critics right down the middle. Some hated it, some loved it. Check out my review here:
A story about the horrors of being a parent. All isn't as it may seem in Zack Parker's tale of loss, lies and insanity. A sleeper hit that surprised and shocked a lot of people, myself included.
11. Scenic Route
Two friends end up on a road-trip to hell when their car breaks down in the middle of the desert and the heat, the cold and the thirst forces them to show their true colours and they turn on each other. Stunning performances from Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler and an outstanding first effort at a feature film from brother directors Kevin and Michael Goetz. This was released later last year in Ireland and The UK under the new title 'Wrecked' for some stupid reason, Scenic Route is a far better and more appropriate title for it.
12. The Den
Zachary Donohue's first feature film The Den was one of last year's most talked about found footage forays and in my humble opinion one of the best and creepiest. Bringing the found footage sub-genre out of the hand-held camera days and into the social media age, much like last year's other hit Open Windows (of which you can read my review here:
13. Under The Skin
As someone who is unashamedly and obsessively in love with Scarlett Johansson, I knew going into this film that I was going to be completely biased with it but I still hoped that it had more going for it other than being "an arty horror film with a naked Scar-Jo in it" as i'd heard from the usual unreliable sources. Unsurprisingly I loved it. It's 2 hours of Scarlett driving around Glasgow and the Scottish countryside picking up young and able men for a one night stand to which she brings each one of them back to an apartment which holds a dark pit of nothingness into which she leads them and traps them like an intergalactic 'black widow' spider (Sorry for that Marvel-ous pun) but if that sounds boring just add some Cronenberg/Lynchian pacing and cinematography, hardly any dialogue and an eerie atmosphere throughout. Add a dash of Species here and a touch of Xtro there and you get a sci-fi/horror like no other. Major respect to Scarlett for making such a weird, creative, outside-the-box movie, not a lot of other Hollywood A-listers would have the balls.
14. The Taking Of Deborah Logan
The first feature film from director Adam Robitel and another entry into the overcrowded sub-genre of found footage films, this was also produced by Bryan Singer of The Usual Suspects and X-Men fame. One of the few really good and really creepy found footage films I saw last year but that is mainly due to the stunning performance from 68 year old Jill Larson, the rest of the cast were great as well but Jill Larson as Deborah Logan was just sympathetic, terrifying and outstanding.
15. Starry Eyes
This little gem from directors Kevin Kolch and Dennis Widmyer really took me by surprise. A glimpse into the not-so-glamorous lives of a group of twenty-somethings who are all struggling writers, directors and actors in Hollywood, each of which will do literally anything to get their big break. Chock full of cool music and visuals and some of the best gore i'e seen in a movie for ages. Fans of Cronenberg's early 'body-horror' and films such as Contracted and Thanatomorphose should definitely check it out.
16. Cold In July
Directed by Jim Mikle (Mulberry St., Stake Land) and based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Ho-tep), Cold In July is an 80's set crime noir starring Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard and Jon Mikle regular Nick Damici. A complex story with plenty of twists and turns, interesting characters and a pot that I can only describe as No Country For Old Men meets 8mm.
17. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The first feature film from director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon who is better known for directing episodes of American Horror Story and Glee, this is one of those rare remakes that is not only really good and doesn't shit all over the original but also works as a sequel to the original. One of the best slashers to come out of Hollywood in a long time and more than likely the start of a franchise, or at least one shitty direct-to-dvd sequel.
18. The Babadook
Director Jennifer Kent's first feature based on her own short film 'Monster' which she made almost ten years ago. The story of a single mother battling her own demons, the loss of her husband and her son's obsession with a creature he believes to be in his closet. Admittedly it took me a while to get into the film as I found the young boy to be beyond annoying but eventually you see why he's acting that way and you realise what a great performance he gives and his mother also. Definitely a slow burner but those with patience will be in for a treat with the creepiness throughout and the terrifying finale.
While I can understand why a lot of people hated this movie I loved it, it's no masterpiece and it would almost be a stretch to even call it a good film but it's on this list because even for all its faults I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I am a massive Kevin Smith fan and he hasn't made a film that I've hated yet, OK Jersey Girl was fairly bad even for a chick flick but who cares? Tusk is a jet black comedy horror with Smith's usual quirky character types and dark humor. Imagine a Canadian remake of the Human Centipede with Michael Parks as the mad doctor... the stuff of nightmares.
20. The Guest
And to finish off my top twenty you have one of my favorite films of not just last year but of this decade. Check out my review - http://www.emeraldgoresociety.com/dungeon-of-dread-reviews/2014/12/1/the-guest-2014