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[BEST & WORST ’12] Mr. Disgusting’s List of the Best Horror Films of 2012!

Every year I seem to have a conversation with someone about how weak the year was for horror. Reflecting back, I think it’s more so that every year there are a few gems that need plucking from a landfill of garbage. This doesn’t mean it was a “bad year,” it just means that the goodies are to be discovered and then celebrated.

My odd scenario comes in that I attend major festivals – Sundance, SXSW, TIFF and more- thus, I see quite a bit more than the average folk…and I see everything early. This isn’t me bragging, more so just a note that, like previous years, most of the films on my list have yet to be released.

I just hope that this list, which also carries the first two ever “Editor’s Choice” tags, gives you all a few films to be excited for in 2013. Shit, you may finally get to see You’re Next this year, too!

Mr. Disgusting (Best/Worst) | Evan Dickson (Best/Worst) | David Harley (Best/Worst) | Lonmonster (Best/Worst) | Corey Mitchell (Best of Fest) | Supporting Staff (Best & Worst) | Ryan Daley (Best Novels)
Posters (Best/Worst) | Trailers (Best/Worst)


Bonus. Prometheus (June 8; Fox)

This is a bonus entry I forced at the top of my list because I really think Ridley Scott’s quasi-Alien prequel deserves way more credit than it received. The movies a stunning showcase of visual talents that’s also jam-packed with practical effects. And while the story was thin (on purpose), it still had people talking about it for months after its release. I disagree with many of the argued logic gaps, and found myself constantly immersed in the sci-fi epic. Give this one a few years and can pretty much guarantee many of the haters will come around.

10. Detention (April 6; Sony)

Joseph Kahn, who directs incredible music videos, created this genre-bending indie that’s made for one specific crowd. If you’re not aboard within the first 5 minutes, there’s no shame or harm in turning it off, otherwise prepared to be catapulted into pop culture madness littered with gore, laughs and a time traveling bear. Yeah, you read that correctly…

9. Antiviral (TBD; IFC)

Brandon Cronenberg, son of infamous Canadian filmmaker David, has quietly snuck onto the scene with his horror drama Antiviral, a social commentary on our culture’s obsession with celebrities. The expectations may have been unfairly high (being the son of a legend demands some sort of competence), yet he surpasses them by delivering a deep, engaging, and beautifully shot art house horror film.

8. Frankenweenie (October 5; Disney)

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is the best animated genre film of the year. It’s a heartfelt return to Burton’s roots, jam-packed with classic horror homage and laughs. This truly is a horror film for all ages as nearly everyone can relate to the struggles of loss.

7. Citadel (October 26; New Video)

A therapeutic horror film created to rid the director of his own personal phobias and demons, Citadel is a dark, disturbing and unnerving clastraphobic horror film about a building filled with feral children. Way under the radar and even more so under appreciated, Citadel is a towering horror flick filled with scares.

6. Chronicle (February 2; Fox)

You can argue all you want that Chronicle isn’t a horror movie, but it’s actually a Found Footage movie about the beginning of the apocalypse. The only difference between the antagonist in Omen and Chronicle is that the destructor in Chronicle isn’t self aware. The Max Landis penned story is a direct inspiration from Akira, and features an incredible third act fight sequence. Now if only filmmakers could stop referencing the camera filming… we get it.

5. Juan of the Dead (May 4; Focus World)

I had actually seen this at a market and absolutely hated it. But after a completely new edit, this Cuban zombie film became an instant classic that had me laughing aloud on more than a handful of occasions…and the gore, well, it’s out of this world good.

4. Sound Of My Voice (April 27; Fox Searchlight)

Nearly a year later, I’m still obsessing over Sound and its star Brit Marling, two polar opposites that mix together like ying and yang. Her haunting beauty propels the film’s believability and counters the dark tone of the cult subject matter. While this high concept indie plays it small, it delivers quite a massive punch that’s not only fulfilling but will have you thinking about it for days after. Sound is guaranteed to have you joining the cult of Marling.

3. Stitches (TBD; Dark Sky)

Completely under the radar, the slasher has the potential to be the next Hatchet, only with clowns. Owner of Bloody Disgusting’s first ever “Editor’s Choice” tag, this micro-budget indie doesn’t pull any punches and will easily be one of your favorite slashers ever.

2. The Cabin in the Woods (April 13; Lionsgate)

I love a good horror film that’s completely on the nose, yet plays it straight. Cabin is a massive love letter to the slasher subgenre that’s crazy high concept actual works, a feat that I consider award worthy. It’s scary, crazy violent, and super cool. If anything it left me wanting way more. Most importantly, Cabin‘s rewatch value is off the charts, which makes it an instant classic and a must-own.

1. Maniac (TBD; IFC Films)

I had heard nothing but negative buzz out of Cannes, which is why I literally had to drag myself the theater to see Alex Aja’s latest production, a remake of Maniac directed by P2‘s (barf) Franck Khalfoun. These are the defining moments on the site as, had I skipped out on the screening, I would have missed the single best horror film of the year. While it’s touted as “Found Footage,” it’s not, as it’s told from the perspective of Elijah Wood’s character. His portrayal of a mentally stinted adult is haunting, chilling and makes for an off-the-charts suspenseful slasher. The film is not only mesmerizing, but it’s also incredibly violent. The filmmakers have some serious balls as they could have had Elijah look away (being that it’s from his perspective), but kept true to his character in full-on displaying his murderous chaos. This isn’t for the faint of heart.

Crazy Ambitious Award: The ABCs of Death

It’s been festering since September that I gave ABCs of Death a mixed review, which needed to be done, but it’s such a tremendous feat that it deserves much more than that. I’m giving the film a special crazy ambitious award for doing something so interesting, and so anti-Hollywood that is deserves to be celebrated. I believe it will have a long life with the horror crowd and will be remembered as a cult classic years and years down the road!

Honorable Mentions:
Arriving via IFC later this year, Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 explores the conspiracy theories behind Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant The Shining. Dredd 3D wasn’t as good as The Raid, but was visually interesting and a ton of fun. With Hotel Transylvania 3D, I had primed myself full of hatred for this animated comedy, mostly because it looked like a quick cash in. I was shocked to discover that this Adam Sandler comedy was actually funny, and pretty damn entertaining. It’s made for the MTV generation, and those with short attention spans, so if you fit in that category check it out STAT.



  • I can’t wait to see Maniac!!! And I love Brit Marling in Sound Of My Voice! Will watch anything she’s in

  • Zombie-Killa

    Damn, this just drives up the urge for me to see Maniac. Elijah looks great in the trailer, and I can’t wait to see this.

    I haven’t seen most of Brad’s picks for this list, but The Cabin In The Woods would be my #1 pick for the best horror movie in 2012. It’s a total mind-fuck and a great thrill ride, and the ending is just perfect.

  • djblack1313

    i like many in this list. CITADEL, CABIN, JUAN (although kinda formula. treads no new ground) & CHRONICLE are all highly enjoyable. DETENTION was one of the worst abominations i’ve ever seen. EVER. lol. i mean EVER!!!

    i’m SO freaking dying to see STITCHES. i keep hoping a torrent will come up for it (it’s not released here in the states). i’m also looking forward to MANIAC.

  • VictorCrowley

    I guess I’m in the minority. I just didn’t think Cabin was all that good.

    • Michael_M

      I’m with you, a huge disappointment after all the hype. The cabin scenes aren’t interesting by themselves, they exist solely to set up the eventual move to the laboratory. They offer some surprisingly bland zombie kills. They thought that the twist was so inventive that they didn’t bother to put more effort into the first half. Then they show us a bunch of other monsters in the elevator sequence, only to bring them back during the film’s major kill. This eliminated any shock or surprise. I could complain for hours. I expected a lot more.

      • Hicks

        I agree. I was as disappointed watching Cabin as watching BloodyDisgusting’s hyped up ‘Horror film of 2011’, aka the mess that was Kill List

        • divisionbell

          Kill List was excellent until the final minute of film.

      • feck

        I found Cabin to be the worst movie I saw last year, and maybe ever. I almost walked out, and I have never done that before. It’s such a polarizing film. I couldn’t wait to see it after reading all the amazing reviews. Just a stupid, stupid, mess of a movie. Hated the plot, hated the twist. Certainly was not remotely scary.

  • Danz

    I strongly disagree with Chronicle on this list, there’s no horror elements in the movie, and even if some one can point something that ressembles horror, it’s not enough to put it on a Best Horror movies list.
    Some these movies were not released outside festivals, so it’s a little unfair with people who can’t go to those festivals, but I can’t wait to see Maniac.

    • divisionbell

      I don’t see how someone can watch chronicle and not think horror.

      • Michael_M

        What was scary about it? Give us a specific example.

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    Chronicle was a pleasant surprise, and I absolutely loved ‘Cabin in the Woods’ and ‘Frankenweenie’. But there was certainly a lack of horror movies in general this year, I hope 2013 is a different story.

  • Michael_M

    It’s fair to say Chronicle doesn’t merit being on the list, it’s not horror and it’s not very good. Don’t understand the appeal. Early scenes show them being able to withstand being stabbed by a fork and surviving falling out of the sky. Yet, later, one dies from a lighting strike and the main character gets seriously burned. And yet the film concludes with two main characters throwing each other against buildings and survive. These are huge contradictions. The found footage aspect was the most intrusive and annoying of any film I’ve ever seen. No one would film themselves that much. A big letdown.

    • Primeus

      There were no contradictions. They had to be focusing, and concentrating to prevent themselves from taking physical damage. In the situations where they got hurt it’s pretty obvious they were not focusing.

      I mean the guy that gets struck by lightning had no reason to protect himself from someone he thought was his friend.

      Anyway I loved Chronicle but I didn’t think it was a horror movie at all. Then again the horror movies this year were terrible so I guess trying to scrap together five was tough. I haven’t even seen most of these because I don’t think they have been released in the states.

      • Michael_M

        “They had to be focusing, and concentrating to prevent themselves from taking physical damage.”

        I see no evidence that’s the case.

        Their new physical abilities developed organically as a result of the exposure to the object in the ground. They became superheroes. As a comparison, Superman doesn’t need to concentrate to prevent being killed by bullets. He is impervious to them. The guys in Chronicle likewise became superheroes with extra abilities.

        Regarding the fork incident, if he had concentrated he could have prevented the fork from touching his hand. It didn’t, the tines of the fork were crushed when it made contact but he was unharmed.

  • BangBangSkeetSkeet

    “Sound of my Voice” was alright, I hate how it ended. I don’t understand why “Excision” isn’t on this list or “Sinister” which I have as two of the best horror movies of 2012!

    “Prometheus” was an awesome movie but lets be serious, is it really a horror movie, is it? Is “Sound of my Voice”, a movie that deals with a cult built up around a time traveling woman a horror movie?? “Chronicle” a movie I find hard to believe is on this list a horror movie, REALLY!?

    I just don’t see how any 3 of these movies can be on a best of 2012 horror list and “Excision” or “Sinister” is not, you guys are blowing my mind right now!

    • A-Devils-Reject

      I really liked Sound of my Voice, but I totally agree on Excision. I don’t understand why it’s gotten zero attention on this site.

      • djblack1313

        A-Devils-Reject, are you kidding? EXCISION got tons of attention on this site. for a while we kept getting (what seemed like) daily pics/info/articles on it.

  • Primeus

    Cabin in the Woods was complete garbage. I had such high hopes, and left pissed the fuck off.

    That movie just sucked hardcore. It wasn’t scary, and the ending which I guess was suppose to be this inventive shocker, was a complete joke lol.

    One of the worse movies I saw this year.

    • feck

      Amen to that. Cabin was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I am completely baffled by all the praise.

      • DeadInHell

        That would be because you’re both idiots.

  • ThunderDragoon

    I’m so in love with Chronicle, you don’t even know. Thank you so much for having the balls to put it on the list knowing there would be people complaining. And I freakin’ love The Cabin in the Woods. Such a great movie. I was pleasantly surprised with Prometheus. I thought I would come out of the movie hating it (based on some reviews), but I really liked it.

    Detention kind of went the other way for me. When the movie first started, I dug the style and couldn’t wait for the rest of the movie. What I got was a jumble of ideas splattered on the screen. I wish they would’ve kept it as a comedy/slasher instead of adding in the whole time traveling element.

    It picked up a little before the end, but overall it was a disappointment. Maybe I need to watch it again to completely “get it”. Loved all the references, though. I’m a 90’s kid so that was pretty cool. I haven’t seen the rest of the movies on this list. I better get on that.

    • feck

      I loved Chronicle too, I think I’m gonna buy it, so I can watch it again. Gotta disagree with you on Cabin. One of the worst movies I have seen ever.

  • divisionbell

    Cabin in the woods was one of the best horror movies in ages. Can’t wait to Maniac.

  • viking1983

    trust m,r disgusting to put 2 of the worst films of the year in his top ten, mr disgusting needs to quit and review something he knows about, detention is one of the worst pieces of film ever made, and cabin in the woods is an overhyped load of crap

  • joesey

    are you kidding me with some of the choices u put on here? Detention??? That film is just a wanna-be Greg Araki piece of garbage. Maybe even a bit of a rip off of Nowhere. It reminded me of My Soul To Take only not as bad. Chronicle is not a horror film and Cabin In The Woods is scary if you’re like 5.


    I really want to see Stitches, it needs to be released in the states soon please! Now you have me hyped for Maniac, hope that gets released soon. The Collection and Cabin in the Woods are my 2 favorite horror movies of the year

  • plutohiller

    I totally agree with ChromexSkull, Cabin was great and Collection was everything I hoped for. I’m surprised it didn’t make any top list yet. Arkin is the John McClane of horror movies. I initially thought it was going to have a typical horror movie ending, but was really surprised by the last couple minutes.

  • mikeknowskarate

    Detention was straight dog shit. What can you expect from a guy that puts out those horrible Bloody Selects movies tho?

  • AndrewSoukup24

    So far I have seen three movies on this list. Cabin In The Woods was amazing. I also seen Juan Of The Dead and found it pretty boring and Detention was just awful.

  • Ozzypinapple

    I thought Chronicle was fucking terrible. Nothing but scene after scene of “look what i can do”. I felt like i was watching a college student demo reel for special effects and compositing. “Hey, i can make these wood blocks float in the air with my mind!” “Duuuude no way!”. “Hey, i can push cars off the road with my mind!!” “Holy shit duude!”. “Hey, i can fly with my mind!!!” “Dude that is totally frickin awesome!”. Over and over again until the inevitable “Dude! I CANT CONTROL MY MIND!!!!”

    Guh, so awful.

  • Jee-woon-Kim

    Heres my top ten (in no particular order):
    Lovely Molly
    Sleep Tight
    Cabin in the Woods
    The Tall Man
    The Grey
    The Road
    The Innkeepers

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