Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My 13 Favorite Horror Movies of 2015

Here it is, my thirteen favorite horror movies of 2015. I’m happy to say, it was a really good year for horror. It was very hard to narrow down this list. I hope you walk away with a few new movies to check out and hopefully enjoy them as much as I did. Before we begin, let’s talk a little about how I made my selections.  

First I ask myself, "Would I ever watch it again?" If yes, that’s huge. Then I think about how I felt immediately after I watched the film. The bottom line? The better I felt about the money or time I invested in the watching film, the better it did on my list. 

So here we go. 

13. Hidden – I heard positive things about this movie about a family that is hiding in a bomb shelter after some sort of zombie-like breakout, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how good it is. This movie takes an unexpected turn that elevates it from good to great. I don’t want to give anything away. Just see it. 

12. GravyGravy is a horror-laced comedy directed by James Roday, best known as the star of Psych. On All Hallow's Eve, three quirky, cannibalistic, costumed misfits seize a Mexican cantina and the captured staff members end up on the menu. Hilarity and violence ensues. If you want to watch a cannibal movie from 2015, I’d pick Gravy over The Green Inferno. 

11. Creep – I know Mark Duplass from the TV shows The League and The Mindy Project, and he’s great in both. So when I saw he was starring in a found-footage horror movie that he co-wrote and produced, I was curious. I did not think of him in that light. Turns out, this is a heck of a movie, and as the title suggests, it’s genuinely creepy. Duplass gives an outstanding and courageous performance that carries the film. Creep is also one of the best executions of found-footage you’ll ever see. It’s a movie you have to see to believe, and you’ll probably say “WTF" a few dozen times throughout.  

10. Let Us Prey – This is a hell of a movie. And I mean HELL. It’s kind of like Assault on Precinct 13 meets Event Horizon. A mysterious stranger comes to a small town jail and all hell breaks loose, figuratively and literally. Good stuff.
9. Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead – This outrageous movie has been described as Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead. That’s a pretty good place to start, but there’s so much more to this wild, over-the-top film. It’s crazy. When I initially saw the trailer, I wanted nothing to do with it. It looked like a SyFy channel reject, but luckily the rave reviews I kept reading changed my mind. This movie is an action-packed, blood soaked romp with a ton of laughs. It goes places no other zombie movie goes, and that’s a good thing.  

8. Girl House – I probably have Girl House way higher on my list than most people, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. It reminded me of those old B slasher flicks I’d rent in the 80’s. Impossibly hot girls, a crazy masked killer and stylized kills throughout the film. What more do you need?   

7. Bone Tomahawk – I was not sure where to put this movie, because it’s really more of a western that has a secret horror movie surprise inside. But, when you factor in how great the cast is, how entertaining the movie is and just how awesome the horror parts are, you’ve got to put this right up with the best of the best. Plus, it’s got Kurt Russell, and he’s the man. The savages in this movie are terrifying and brutal. You’ll never forget them.   
6. The Voices The Voices is listed as a psychological horror comedy, but that might not be doing it justice.  This is a very smart movie, dressed up like a silly movie. Don’t be fooled and don’t miss out. Ryan Reynolds stars as Jerry, a simple, child-like fellow who lives with his the cat and dog. His pets also speak to him. You see, Jerry suffers from delusions and hallucinations. One night, after accidentally killing the co-worker he has a crush on, things start to go down a disturbing path. This movie can be light and funny, but has a dark side, and by dark, I mean pitch black. Bolstered by stellar performances by Reynolds, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick, this is one of the most entertaining and thought provoking films of the year. 

5. He Never Died – This bloody horror comedy came to my attention at the very end of 2015 and was one of the last movies I saw before I finalized this list. It rides on the shoulders of Henry Rollins, who gives an amazing deadpan performance as a seemingly immortal loner with a taste for flesh and blood, who really just wants to be left alone. The writing in the movie is fantastic. There are so many terrific lines and quirky moments to savor in this film.  Plus tons of brutal action, violence and gore. This movie is a blast. 

4. Deathgasm – A heavy metal-fueled horror comedy that has elements Evil Dead, Dead Alive, Bill and Ted and maybe even a little Spinal Tap. It has some spectacularly funny moments along with a lot of crazy, frenetic violence and a lot of blood. Plus, this movie boasts a kill via a “sexual implement” that is one of the best scenes you’ll ever see in a horror flick. You really have to check this movie out. 

3. What We Do In the Shadows – This is the only movie on my list that I have bought, and it’s the one I will watch the most for years to come. What We Do In the Shadows is a hilarious horror-themed comedy about a group of vampires sharing a flat and trying to cope with modern life. It very cleverly takes on many of the tropes of the vampire mythos. I love Flight of the Conchords and I am a huge vampire fan, so it’s right up my alley. Plus, it has the best quote of the year; “We're Werewolves, not Swear-Wolves.”

2. Ex MachinaEx Machina is probably the best movie on this list, but I gave it the number two slot only because it’s more of a sci-fi movie with nice horror undertone to it. There are all kinds of classic horror themes floating around here, in the vein of Frankenstein and Blade Runner. It’s the whole “man playing God” thing. This movie boasts a killer cast and amazing writing. It grabs you from the first frame and never lets you go. It also has the best dance scene of the year, by far.  

1. It Follows – This gets the number one spot on my list, not because it’s necessarily the best movie, but because it is the most interesting and polarizing movie. (For the record, I really liked it.) The sexually transmitted curse is such an original concept; it could win on that premise alone, but this a movie that builds tension like few others. You never know when or where the killer will appear, or what it will look like. It’s also a love letter to John Carpenter. Like it or not, It Follows is the must see movie of the year.  

Click here check out my Monster Men partner Hunter Shea's list and see what his favorites were. Then watch for our new show where we compare our lists and discuss every film on both.