Saturday, December 15, 2012

Best of 2012

I hesitate to say 2012 was a lackluster year. I think 2012 showed promise. Very little blew me away in genre films but those that did, holy shitpoops they were amazing. I think 2012 was the year of the much played out sequels (Underworld 4, Paranormal Activity 4) and shockingly new concepts and ideas (Cabin in the Woods). We're seeing better independent films of a higher quality get distribution and I hope against hope that this is a sign of thing to come. Here a list of things you must see if you want to make it to 2013.

5. The Woman in Black
 I think this is a vastly underrated gem of a movie. It is a simple, yet fantastically scary ghost story. And it doesn't try to be anything more. The Woman in Black doesn't try to mix genres or make some big moral statement, it works through a chilling effectiveness and precision.

4. A Fantastic Fear of Everything
 I reviewed this film for Famous Monsters (you can read the full review ici) and it's a truly wonderful movie that surprised me. It came out in the UK to middling reviews which was shocking to me. It's a fantastic movie and it features Claire Higgins from Hellraiser. It's a weird blend of comedy, mystery and off-the-wall oddities. It's beautifully shot and really pushes the audience to engage with the film in different ways throughout. The only hitch is, you should probably be a Simon Pegg fan if you're going into it. Luckily, I am and as he's in every scene, his style of humour really dictates the movie.A Fantastic Fear of Everything is a true filmmaking accomplishment as it establishes a whole world unto itself. One that is both Dickensian, contemporary and all around awesome.

3. American Horror Story Season 2
 While we're only half-way through the current season, I'm really enjoying the twists and turns Ryan Murphy & co are taking us on this year. For those of you that don't know, I'm recapping this season for Famous Monsters so if you'd like my more detailed take on each episode you can find them here. I know a lot of people are concerned that this season won't be able to pay off what they've set up, but they've made a lot of headway in the last few episodes and if anything you should watch this for the performances alone. From Zachary Quinto to Jessica Lange everyone's hamming it up and loving it. Plus you get to see the Maroon 5 guy brutally executed. Repeatedly.

2. Crave
 This is another one I've reviewed for Famous Monsters (here) but I haven't been able to shake Charles de Lauzirika's masterpiece since catching it at Toronto After Dark this year. Part Taxi Driver, part romantic comedy, all dark Crave is such a fantastic film that I'm loathe to give anything else away but all I can say is see it, see it now!!!

1. Cabin in the Woods
 This was the most entertainingly impressive film of the year. I ran out and bought it on DVD the second it came out. I've watched it several times and notice something new about it every time. I love, love, LOVE this movie. To me, it's a love letter to horror fans that's well-written, brilliantly acted and well shot. As much as I wish those things weren't an anomaly to the horror genre, they are.  And director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon do a fantastic job of making then smashing every horror cliche ever.

NB: My all around favourite movie of the year was Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths. See. It. Now.

A few other cool things that happened this year:

I was a guest twice on my favourite podcast Rewatchability talking about The Faculty and The Craft.

I made an appearance on the lovely Lianne Spiderbaby's Fright Bytes.

My Top 5 pick over at Canuxploitation.

My interview with Richard Crouse about his fantastic book Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils.

I wrote two big horror articles over at What Culture one on slashers and another big one all about everyone's favourite horror mysteries...

And if anyone out there is still searching for the perfect gift for the horror lover in their life, check out my list over at Biff Bam Pop.

1 comment:

  1. Many congrats, Alex! You're a fantastic writer and it's great to see you lauded for your hard work.

    I gave in and gave American Horror Story season 1 a shot and loved it. I'll have to wait for season 2 to hit on demand to keep pace with the well deserved hype.

    Cabin In The Woods was a late one for me as well. I had no clue what to expect. I could've done without everyone kneeling for it because it ruined to element of elation for me. It's hard not to have everyone's opinion in my head when I'm watching a film for the first time that's been out for awhile.

    I will definitely catch that Simon Pegg flick. Makes me sadder I missed Claire at Monster Mania back in August.

    Happy new year!