Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eric's Best of 2013

2013 certainly was a somewhat challenging year for a best of list. Coming off the great previous year, I had to dig a little bit to find the things that cranked my terror dials to 13. Nevertheless, there are a few things in the world of horror culture that deserved to be placed on the positive side. Remember I've only had to have watched a movie, tv show, or read the book in 2013 for the thing to qualify.

Rhonda, will this complete my Act of Contrition? Yes, I was one of the vocal many that didn't think this remake of William Lustig's classic was going  anywhere but in a hall of shame. Look at what this version was up against. Joe Spinell: an actor who had roles in some of the most iconic movies of not only the 1970s, but perhaps in all of cinematic history. Elijath Wood:Frodo. Original:grease, grime, exploding Tom Savini head. Welp, Reapling Nation, I was wrong! Wood did what only Heath Ledger could do, he out acted his predecessor. This remake retained the essence of the original and made it its own thanks to a killer music score paired with a purely crazy ending! Alejandro Aja deserves mad props for spinning a gutter into a penthouse! 

Here's a neat little modern-day slasher which incorporates the Bloody Mary urban legend with the online world: I DID IT FOR THE LULZ!  Yes, it's very formulaic and at times silly but as my dad once said, "If you've got ten bucks and you're going to the titty bar, you'd better get the most bang for your buck." You get the bang in this one! The movie is well-acted for a low-budget film and rather suspenseful.  Next, there is a rich psychological depth to this film that is rarely seen in other films. I loved watching one of the main characters go from start out as this college girl ignorant of the ways of the world then slowly and surely going nuts. Watch for the neat twist ending!

Dead & Buried(1981)-
A Video Nasty screened during the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Madness and it is near perfect. You have a great cast(featuring a pre-NOES Robert Englund and the grandfather from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!), an intelligent story, and tapestry of gore that must have kept the BBFC up late on those lonely London nights. Plus, what a killer poster!

The Conjuring(2013)-
My film of the year! The Conjuring is a great slow-builder reminiscent of movies such as The Changling and original The Haunting and The House on Haunted Hill. Unlike those movies, there is surprisingly a measurable amount of gore that will keep those hounds somewhat pleased.  The centerpiece of the movie is the big climax when the exorcism is taking place. In some ways, it was almost as good as the exorcism from The Exorcist. Had it not been for how the former possession ended, I may have placed it tied with The Power of Christ scenes. Let's also not forget Annabelle, a doll who may give Chucky a run for the money in the killer doll. dept.

The Walking Dead-Too Far Gone(2013)-
I try as hell not be so knee jerk in my reactions to a movie, tv show episode, or book. In this case, however, I'll make an exception. This season's mid-season finale goes down as one of the finest hours on television. Yes, it may be hyperbole but I'm going with my large gut. If you are not moved by what happened during the showdown at the prison, what The Governor, or nightmarish aftermath then you should really reevaluate your life.  I was stunned once the closing credits rolled and yelled, demanding more. As much as I despised last season's finale, I use the same passion for the love I have for this episode. I can easily see this making a 'best of' tv episode list down the road.

Honorable Mention:Stalker(2011), Stagefright(1987), The Walking Dead Compendium, Vol.1

There you have it, Reaplings! What did you like about 2013?

No comments: