This year, we’ve welcomed a lot of new writers to our home video review team and wanted them to get in on the year-end list action. The really neat thing about their picks is that out of all the submissions, nobody chose the same films for either category – plenty o’ variety on these lists. Check past the break for Patrick Cooper, Lauren Taylor, and Michael Erb’s Best & Worst Horror Films of 2012!
MICHAEL ERB’S BEST FILM OF 2012
The Cabin in the Woods (April 13; Lionsgate)
The Cabin in the Woods sat unreleased for three years because of the MGM bankruptcy. It’s a shame because this is the smartest scary movie in ages. Joss Whedon and Co-Writer/Director Drew Goddard examine horror movie tropes without patronizing the genre or the audience. They made a thoroughly enjoyable thrill ride that thoughtfully reinforced the concept behind every horror movie ever made. The cast is great and Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford turn in inspired performances. This is undoubtedly the best horror movie of the year.
MICHAEL ERB’S WORST FILM OF 2012
Dead Season (July 5; Image Entertainment)
Considering that this is my first year with Bloody Disgusting, I would be remiss to not mention a movie I reviewed for the site. So, the dubious honor of my pick for the worst horror movie of 2012 goes to Dead Season. This indie production has an unoriginal plot that borrows from nearly every popular undead story in recent memory, with bad acting and worse action as well. The makeup effects and gore are quite nice, but they cannot save this mess of a movie from being yet another bad budget zombie film.
LAUREN TAYLOR’S BEST FILM OF 2012
Prometheus (June 8; 20th Century Fox)
Prometheus blew me away. Pretty much anything that made me think in Prometheus is the reason it was my top film of the year. It made me think. Rarely do films do that anymore. A list of my random thoughts and search for explanations can be summed up in my Horror Education of the Week I wrote a few months back.
LAUREN TAYLOR’S WORST FILM OF 2012
[REC] 3 Genesis (August 3; Filmax)
Rec 3 disappointed the hell out of me. It wasn’t awful, but it was a far cry from what I had hoped for. The cheeky humor was just far too different from the original, and its sequel, which had given a base of a dark story of possession that was lost in this campy addition. The original movies had my heart racing while Rec 3 left me with a shrug and a ‘meh’. Perhaps 2013 will bring redemption with Part 4.
PATRICK COOPER’S BEST FILM OF 2012
Sinister (October 12; Summit)
After being fed a bevy of found footage films (for better or worse), we finally got to see one about the dude who finds the tapes in Scott Derrickson’s Sinister. Anchored by a terrific performance from Ethan Hawke (who hasn’t been this good since Training Day), Sinister delivers a consistently forbidding atmosphere without resorting to graphic violence or (too many) jump scares. Goddammit, those super 8 films made my skin crawl and the final minutes are a chaotic nightmare worthy of the film’s title. Plus, it was an original – not a sequel or reboot. Imagine that!
HONORABLE MENTION: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
PATRICK COOPER’S WORST FILM OF 2012
The Apparition (August 24; Warner Bros.)
Hey do you like watching young, attractive people shop? Then you’re gonna love the first act of Todd Lincoln’s The Apparition! After the couple returns from Costco or wherever, the rest of the film isn’t that much more exciting. The film brings nothing new to the table in concept or execution and there’s absolutely no sense of suspense or originality. The only remotely creepy part is given away on the poster, for chrissakes!
DISHONORABLE MENTION: The Devil Inside