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[BEST & WORST ’13 ] Lauren Taylor’s 5 Best Films of 2013

Let me start by saying there are still many films that came out this year that I have yet to see. However, when first considering my Best list, I was almost concerned I wouldn’t be able to produce enough films that were good enough. 2013 wasn’t very kind to the horror genre, in my opinion. Sure, we had a few big name releases this year and quite of few of them were remakes. But even with these, I wasn’t sure I could pull a top 5. After looking at every single movie released this year, I was finally able to scrape up a few that definitely stood out. What were they?

Read on…

Mr. Disgusting (Best/Indie) | Evan Dickson (Best) | The Wolfman (Festival Favorites) | Patrick Cooper (Best)
Lonmonster (Best/Worst) | Lauren Taylor (Best/Worst) | Ryan Daley (Best Novels)
Best Posters | Best Performances | Best Trailers

Honorable Mention: Dark Circles (May 21; After Dark Films)

Not a perfect horror film, but definitely not a movie you’d expect from a member of Broken Lizard – the guys behind movies like Super Troopers. Paul Soter’s debut horror film had a balanced mix to make for an eerie and disturbing movie about new parents whose baby just doesn’t want to sleep. Combine that with some psycho woman wandering around their property and you get a nice little movie worth checking out.

5. The Conjuring (July 19; New Line Cinema)

The only way I can describe James Wan’s The Conjuring is “classy”. The scares, the acting, the setting, the entire feel for the film seems to be warm and inviting, though the story being told is chilling. While the jump scares may have been what shocked the audience, it was the bedroom/behind the door scene that got me. What exactly was in that darkness? The imagination taking hold to answer the question is why I describe The Conjuring with that one word.

4. This Is The End (June 12; Sony)

This Is The End, while being mostly a comedy, mixed in the right elements of horror to make it a bit disturbing. Whether it be the giant sinkhole to Hell, or that amazing tribute to Rosemary’s Baby, (ok, it’s probably my Seth Rogen infatuation), the unsettling subject of the Apocalypse has never been this fun. And what is more horrific than knowing Danny McBride may cover everything in your house with his, uh, man goo? Again, it’s not exactly a horror film, but for what it is, it deserves placement for sure.

3. The Battery (June 7; O. Hannah Films)

The Battery is quite possibly the one movie on my list that some people still may not have heard of. Yet, it is quite possibly the best zombie movie to come about in a long time. Classic in the sense that it focuses on the hardships of the survivors versus the zombies themselves, the movie is simple and clean. There is nothing fancy about it – including its $6,000 budget – and that’s what makes it damn good.

2. Insidious: Chapter 2 (September 13; FilmDistrict)

This is the one I waited on all year. Being a huge fan of the original, and making it my #1 of 2011, Insidious: Chapter 2 delivered for me, personally. I loved how it was connected to the first film, yet told a separate story at the same time. While it wasn’t absolutely perfect, the disturbing plot, and Patrick Wilson’s insanely awesome acting, had it almost steal the #1 spot for me again…but…I saw another movie that blew me away…

1. Maniac (June 21; IFC Midnight)

I had the opportunity to see Maniac in March of this year, and like a damn idiot, I passed on it. I am still kicking myself. There are so many things about this movie that make it absolutely incredible. Elijah Wood is perfect for this role with his unsuspecting little boy face. Those mannequins. The way the movie is filmed. THE SOUNDTRACK – dear god! That soundtrack is just amazing and is repeat worthy in every way. Maniac, to me, is simple and beautiful. It has been a very, very long time since a movie has motivated me to write a story – and Maniac has done just that. That alone, to me, makes it, without a doubt, the best movie of the year.



  • I guess I’m in the minority, because I do not understand the praise for This Is The End. I can understand, where you’re coming from, but IMO, the film had a ton of potential, and yes, I laughed a FEW times, but everything is overshadowed by a seemingly endless barrage of tiresome weed and penis jokes.

    Agreed 100% on Maniac, though. I didn’t want to watch it, because I love the original so much, but others told me I had to see it, because it was so great. Totally blew me away, and Elijah Wood is one of the most underrated actors around. A shame people will mostly remember him for Frodo, when it’s all said and done.

    • divisionbell

      I’m with you. This is the end had some good moments, but they were few and far between. The movie was mostly terrible, not funny, and needed a lot more horror. I’ll never understand why the movie was praised so highly.

    • 713

      I can’t agree with you more. Maniac deserves to be #1. This is the End wasn’t a bad movie but it certainly wasn’t horror.

  • jenks609

    I’m not a fan of people placing This Is The End on their horror movie lists. In my opinion its a straight up comedy and has no place on horror lists. To each their own I guess.

    Love Maniac, Insidious 2 and The Conjuring though!

    • Danz

      I’m with you here, This is the End have no place around those lists. I agree with everything else though. Actually, I would not put The Battery so high.

      • danpolydoris

        Agreed here, too. I could understand putting a comedy like “Tucker and Dale” on a list like this, since it plays off of so many horror tropes. But not “This is the End.”

    • SonOfVoorhees

      This Is The End doesnt deserve to be put on a Best of list. It deserves its own “Wouldnt piss on it if it was on fire” list. Its like they had 50% of a great idea and script and then they filled the rest with dick jokes. It was cringe worthy. No one writes actual jokes in comedies anymore.

      • oneofthosedeadfckers

        Blame Seth Rogen. He couldn’t write to save his life. I’ve seen enough of his shit to say that all he does is make stoner and dick jokes. He’s easily the least funny in This Is The End.

  • djblack1313

    Lauren, i agree so much regarding MANIAC’s soundtrack!! the movie was very very good too but once i heard that soundtrack i immediately went out and purchased it. one of the best scores i’ve heard since Tom Cruise’s (yes, that Tom Cruise! lol) OBLIVION soundtrack.

    Lauren, i’m pretty excited to see THE BATTERY (tonight i think)!! i saw it on Evan’s list and now yours so i’m optimistic this will be a good movie!

  • anthonyd1

    I love love loved The Conjuring, Maniac, and Insidious Chapter 2. Thank you for someone actually acknowledging how clever Insidious 2 was. The storyline was awesome and I loved how it connected directly to the first one. You don’t get get that with many horror franchises anymore it is usually just the same story over and over but with Insidious they expanded it and I appreciated it to much. Definitely an underrated horror sequel and it deserves more love

  • CTHL

    Ugh, just posted in the worst list… then came here and saw 2 of my picks there in your bests >_< Now I wish I could edit my comment of "live and let live".

    Reason being: I won't let any love of Insidious 2 go by unpunished. Fucking awful movie in every regard, worse than Sharknado! I didn't get why people liked the first one, but I'm glad most of them came to their senses when it came to 2 (though admittedly it is somehow far worse than 1). But then you go way too far… "Patrick Wilson’s insanely awesome acting"; With that quote, I now know you're only trolling for responses here… dude doesn't even act, just "plays" the same tired awkwardly shy guy that gets one or two scenes of blowing up in someone's face in every movie he's ever done. GRRRRR.

    Battery was rather bleh as well, I think you mixed up Frankenstein's Army and that on your quality spectrum of the two movies noone watched.

    Now you can die 🙂 Sweet dreams!

  • Julian Nunez

    Yes! Maniac’s soundtrack was fucking amazing. Favorite score of this year and possibly favorite horror movie of the year too. Elijah Wood killed it. Can’t wait to watch Grand Piano with him next month. Loved the Conjuring too.

    • dudesareawesome

      I liked Insidious 2 wayyyyy more than The Conjuring.

  • tbaio

    Nice list. I’m really looking forward to seeing both The Battery & Dark Circles.

  • AndrewSoukup24

    Insidious Chapter 2 is terrible…just awful..I really can’t see how anyone thinks its good…The original movie started off so good and slowly went to shit..Chapter just picks up where it left off and falls flat to me.

  • AndrewSoukup24

    Oh and The Conjuring was a unoriginal piece of shit…This Is The End was hilarious though…definitely on my top movies of the year.

  • footballchief69

    I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I agree with some of these and disagree with some. One thing I think is funny and worth pointing out though is how you can say that the Maniac remake is the best movie of 2013 on this list but then on your worst movie list you bash all the other remakes and talk about how filmmakers need to come up with original ideas. I think remakes are just like any other movie, some are great and some are bad.

  • MrMyers

    So happy to see The Battery on here,great film,one of the best of the year for sure.
    Jeremy Gardner is a talented guy.
    Its very unoriginal to say The Conjuring is unoriginal!

  • EyeKyu

    Maniac, what an awful film.

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