Best of 2016...
2016 certainly has its share highs and lows in the horror world, however at Haddonfield Horror we like to celebrate the good, so will we be concentrating on the great horror films of this year. We've all thrown our films into the ring and below are the best of 2016. Agree or disagree? Tells us in the comments or on twitter.
@Dinsmorality's Top 3 of 2016
Hush is arguably one of the more exciting and creative takes on the cat and mouse/perpetrator horror film. Newcomer and co-writer Kate Seigel plays Maddie, a seasoned crime writer in the vain of Stephen King and Sue Grafton, who also happens to be deaf and mute – a consequence of meningitis. John Gallagher, Jr., best known for his charm and charisma as a reporter in HBO’s now cancelled The Newsroom, pulls off a surprising and quite believable performance as a nihilistic perpetrator out to toy and kill his victims. In the throes of isolation, perfectly signified in Maddie’s forcibly quiet environment – a house in the woods serves as a further marking of that isolation – Hush is the perfect experiment for Maddie the crime writer, who must now write the pages of her fate in real time.
Fever, like many films before it, is loosely based on the real case of psychopathic killers Leopold and Loeb, two erudite Ivy-leaguers obsessed with the likes of – among other philosophies - Nietzschean philosophy. Look up the case yourselves, but understand the killers’ basic conceit: What if one could use intellect to commit the perfect crime and get away with it?
Under the Shadow
The appearance of Djinn within war-torn Tehran serves as an apt metaphor for the ideological divide that will solidify Iran’s label as an anti-West, terrorist state. But Under the Shadow stays away from such explicit commentary and instead focuses on two female protagonists as the ultimate victims of a repressed society. Shideh was in medical school before the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini and his rejection of Western and Liberal values. Women were subjected to the home, where ironically Shideh is forced because of war. But the ultimate terror is what happens within the home, manifested by the metaphor of the Djinn. Outside, Shideh is no longer a true citizen of Iran. She is a woman, reduced to the second class and menial work. Inside her home, she is no better, if not worse.
Director Robert Eggers did extensive research to create a film with historical accuracy and detail. The film takes place in 1630 and is, essentially, an introduction to the religious fanaticism that is a precursor to the Salem witch trials in 1692. Touching on themes of mortality, sexual awakening, temptation, possession, and mental illness, which, from the family's perspective, is happening due to lack of faith.
A seriously dark horror comedy that seems like it’s going to be one thing and turns out quite different than you’d expect. It's full of gore, sex, and nudity, yet never feels gratuitous. There is no logical reason for this film to work, but it does. It’s an original take on an idea that has been used a few times in the last year, but may not appeal to some due to the content.
Don't Breathe and Green Room
Two incredibly tense thrillers with stellar casts and solid scripts that will have you gripping the edge of your seats and literally holding your breath. No ghosts, ghouls or other supernatural scares. The only monsters here are of the human variety.
@lcfremont's Top 3 of 2016
Train To Busan
Train to Busan is exciting and emotional. A film full of well fleshed out characters that work so well together it makes the film an experience. The emotional quotient of Train To Busan is through the roof!
The most beautiful film I've seen this year. It was everything I dreamed it would be. A rare example of the movie providing a more visceral experience than the book.
I love this film. A strong Tarantino vibe and some great performances from Ashley Bell and a nutty Pat Healy.
@RenZelen's Top 3 of 2016
Train To Busan
Is what World War Z should have been—a nightmarish vision of the end of the world, yet boasting an emotional core that big-name, multi-million-dollar spectacle somewhat lacked. Without giving out spoilers, Train to Busan suggests that it is those who trample over others to save themselves who will ultimately lose out and that the survivors of horrors are only there because of the sacrifices of their fellow man. During our darkest days is the time that we most need to look out for each other.
Eyes of My Mother
With a running time of only seventy-seven minutes, Pesce wastes little time in bringing on the horror. Although The Eyes of My Mother has a finale which arrives too abruptly to merit the suspense leading up to it, Pesce and Kuperstein manage to evoke European cinema, bringing to mind the work of Lars Von Trier and Pedro Almodovar, within a Tobe Hooper-like setting.
An original horror movie, an occasionally funny zombie flick but also a heart-breaking elegy for thwarted love and broken family bonds. The Wailing becomes a unique creation of its own, setting its terrible events against the gorgeous landscapes and mountains of South Korea
@TigersMS78's Top 3 (maybe 4) of 2016
Jeremy Sauliner's Green Room is one of the greatest siege films of the last 20 odd years. Brimming with intensity, the film pulls no punches and puts the audience (and it's characters) through the wringer.
Train To Busan
Train To Busan doesn’t offer much new in terms of zombie action but it has an emotional core that sets it aside from its brethren. The film isn’t as gory as most mass zombie films are but it doesn’t have to be, it tells a simple story well and hits the right notes.
The Witch / The Conjuring 2
These films couldn't be more different but I couldn't leave either out. The Witch was just one of those films that affirms just how good intelligent, well written and well made horror films can be. A nightmare, a dream and everything else in-between.
The Conjuring 2 may not have the atmosphere of the first film, perhaps because we kind of know what to expect - however the film still packs a scary punch. The Conjuring 2 works because it cares about its characters and treats the audience and the genre with respect.