Thursday, 3 January 2013

My year of Horror

So this is my first blog entry, what's better than a look back on the past year and what I've discovered in my journey in horror over the past 12 months.

Well 2012 is over, it's been a slow year for horror and I have to admit, I've not been watching much of it. I've been catching up on earlier movies that I somehow missed. Before 2012 I was a horror fan but not the same kind. I didn't hunt down movies but casually watched movies with a preference for gory, scary stories. This past year I've begged stole and borrowed to see some brilliant movies and not so brilliant from the past decade this was also the year I finally invested in a Blu-ray player to experience horror in HD! Here are just a few that stood out for me.

The Crazies (2010)

 A toxin spread in the water causes ordinary people in a small town in Iowa to act out violently while a sheriff (always a sheriff!) struggles to save a small group of people including his pregnant wife.

It's a remake but it's a good one. I enjoyed it for what it was. Nothing too serious and I wasn't completely ignoring it's good points like so many people do with remakes these days. I like viruses too. I'm not a great zombie lover, I find them rather tedious and nothing really changes with them. The Crazies has a none stop action quality, rarely is there a slow scene but when there is, it's short and sweet. What I really loved about this was the gore. It isn't over the top out of this world wacko gore but it's still pretty nasty! The best part for me was a fight between the Sheriff and a truck driver, humorous but tense at the same time.

Cabin in the Woods. (2011)

Your typical story of five college kids go to a secluded cabin in the woods for the usual sex, drugs and partying but there's something more than the undead rising going on!

I loved this. It was everything I love in a satirical horror comedy. I did a good job of avoiding any talk, spoilers, reviews even trailers so to not spoil this for me. I'd been excited about it's release since the first poster was revealed. When I seen Joss Whedon, one of my TV hero's was writing it and collaborating with Drew Goddard, writer of several Buffy episodes on his directorial debut I knew that I was going to love this. It starts out pretty typical but as the story unfolds you can see this is lovingly crafted by a duo of true horror fans. The fun lies in spotting the cliches and homages and the final act gives the biggest reward for a gore hound I've seen in years.

Red White and Blue. (2010)

Simon Rumleys Red White and Blue centers around 3 people who meet by chance and who's lives all effect each other in tragic ways. Erica is a young woman lacking in self respect who lets any man go what he wants with her, Nate is a kind hear-ed but dark person who takes Erica under his wing in a platonic relationship. Frankie is a young man who takes care of his sick mother whose chance encounter with Erica sets off a chain of in such an explosive way it left me shaking!

Simon Rumley is a name I've heard mentioned among horror circles for a while but didn't really think too much about his work. Red White and Blue really shook me to the core. It's tragic, miserable and shocking. One thing I have to applaud other than the visuals is the acting from the three main characters especially Noah Taylor who plays Nate. I didn't even realize it was Taylor until the credits rolled. Someone who I usually see in a comedic or child friendly role to play such an oddball and terrifying character rocked me. I have never felt so conflicted by a movie. There are no clear “good vs bad” lines in this one. I look forward to seeing more of Rumley and hope this isn't his last full length project.

The disappointments?

Prometheus (2012)

OK it's not a horror but it has horror themes and some horror imagery, a certain explicit medical procedure gave me the willies and those are some scary aliens. It's the prequel to alien and a much awaited come back by Ridley Scott. Sadly, it fell short of its expectations and that's the reason I say “don't read anything!”. It was just a bit flat. It could have been epic, a great that would become an instant classic. Quite a shame really. 

Kill List. (2011)

I didn't get to see this at the end of 2011 when it was released and a lot of horror sites were raving about it. What looks like an exciting Brit horror flick is actually much different. The first hour or so is a hit-man movie. With, granted, some very cool and brutal kills but the final 10 minutes where the horror shows its face is just not worth the wait and the ending is frustrating. Not good frustrating either. Apparently I missed the point here somewhere.

So that's just the movies that stood out for me that I have seen in 2012. There will be more, in depth reviews of the movies above and many more over the coming months along with some features on sub-genres I've been interested in. There will also be a look at what horror fans are looking forward to in 2013.

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