2016 was indeed, despite all the doom and gloom, a good year for horror movies so in keeping with the trend and peoples love of lists here are my top ten movies. Unfortunately my list is rather light on zombie films as ashamedly I have not yet seen the most critically acclaimed ones such as TRAIN TO BUSAN, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, SUMMER CAMP or NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE this will be rectified soon but alas will not be on my list. Had I seen any of these I expect my list would be slightly different but there is no doubt in my mind that my number one would stay the same. So without further ado:-
10. PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES (Burr Steers)
The long awaited film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, rewritten and zombified by Seth Grahame-Smith, the Bennet sisters now strive to find suitable husband material with the added inconvenience of a zombie plague. I liked the book but thought it was a little light on zombies so hoped the film would be a bit more lively which it was. Matt Smith as Parson Collins was hilarious and yes maybe the CGI was a little OTT at times but I really liked the zombies especially at the end. Don’t expect this features on many top tens but I enjoyed it.
9. THE BOY (William Brent Bell)
A well to do English couple hire an American au pair to look after a doll effigy of their son. Great atmosphere, chilling and creepy with a grand performance from Lauren Cohan. This film takes a dramatic turn of events towards the end from what you would expect.
8. ATTACK OF THE LEDERHOSEN ZOMBIES (Dominik Harti)
A group of snowboarders in the Alps have to battle a horde of zombies when a chemical used in the production of artificial snow infects the locals. A fantastic nod to the great 80’s zombie movies, brilliant special effects, hilarious kills and zombies. Extremely good fun.
7. GREEN ROOM (Jeremy Saulnier)
A Punk Rock band score a gig run by Neo Nazis and after witnessing a murder are held prisoner. Great soundtrack, violent visuals and awesome performances from Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart.
6. BLAIR WITCH (Adam Wingard)
Heathers brother, James, is sent a video that shows his sister may still be alive after disappearing 17years earlier in the Black Hills Forest, so he and some friends go back there to find her. I love the way Wingard incorporates the same sounds and feel from the The Blair Witch Project and brings it more up to date in technology with the use of Blue Tooth technology and drones. Shame the over hype did put people off it but I really enjoyed it.
5. BASKIN (Can Evrenol)
Turkish Horror/Fantasy movie about 5 policemen answering a supposed distress call from colleagues in a feared part of the country known to be filled with Black Magic and satanic rituals. A great movie rammed with disturbing visuals, revolting creatures and gore a plenty. A little confusing at times but has a few interesting twists.
4. THE WITCH (Robert Eggers)
A family in 1630’s New England battle against witchcraft and ancient forces. A real slow burn but so haunting and effective. A great story with amazing dialect and acting from all involved including the animals.
3. SOUTHBOUND (Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvarth, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella, Tyler Gillett and Justin Martinez)
A horror anthology with seem less links to each other. Devilish creatures and dark secrets all contribute to a really great film that will leave you feeling quite uneasy. The stories are not typical to these types of anthologies that fall into making their stories all very similar but have loads of different things going on that tie in together. Not a huge budget movie at all its gore effects are great, some of the ghostly figures can be a little odd but the acting is also very good.
2. IN THE DEEP (a.k.a. 47 Meters Down) (Johannes Roberts)
Two sisters on holiday in Mexico go out on a shonky boat ride and go shark watching in an ancient shark cage with, funnily enough, disastrous consequences. This movie has claustrophobia and suspense by the bucket load. You will be on the edge of your seat, sweating profusely throughout! Great acting and the sharks are brilliant.
1. DON’T BREATHE (Fede Alvarez)
Three down and outs break into a blind Vietnam veterans house to steal his fortune but end up trapped and hunted by the man they thought was weak and easy to steal from. By far the best movie I saw in 2016. A great twist in the plot with masses of action, suspense and great characters. Not just my favourite movie of the year but probably one of the best (non zombie) movies I’ve seen for years.
Also want to do a quick mention of some of the other enjoyable movies that didn’t quite make it on my top ten: – ZOOMBIES (Glen Miller) and 2LAVA 2LANTULA (Nick Simon) for pure entertaining stupidity. 31 (Rob Zombie), DEAD RISING: ENDGAME, (Pat Williams), THE CONJURING 2 (James Wan) and THE SHALLOWS (Jaume Collet-Serra) all good movies but didn’t quite make it. Also big love for Adrian Tofei’s found footage stalk-a-thon BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE which is definitely my favourite indie low budget movie by far.
Movies I wish I’d never watched would be THE NEON DEMON (Nicholas Winding Refn); I just did not get it. I also had no interest in the subject matter and found the whole thing way too pretentious, arty and just plain boring I’m afraid. The other being DARK COVE (Rob Willey) for kind of similar reasons, apart from the pretentious nature, as they wouldn’t know what that means, for the shear fact that fuck all happens for 50 minutes!!!!! I’m sure there were more but unfortunately these two stick in my mind as a complete waste of my time.
I am eagerly awaiting the new Chris Sun creature feature BOAR and, of course, SKY SHARKS by Marc Fehse to name a few. I hear rumours of another DAY OF THE DEAD rehash, sorry remake, which I am dubious about. Either way I am sure 2017 will leave a blood trail of fabulous new horror for our delectation!