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[BEST & WORST ’13] The Best Performances Of 2013!!

With 2013 being such a good year for horror films it’s only natural that there are a few great performances to celebrate as well. From intimate and personal, to hilarious, to tragic – there was a wide breadth of choices that pushed at the conventions people normally associate with the genre.

Horror films aren’t always full of one-dimensional characters being sliced and diced, there’s real humanity on display and these performances remind us of that.

Head below for The Best Performances Of 2013!

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 | Best Albums

Simon Pegg – The World’s End

Simon Pegg’s Gary King is funny, to be sure. He’s also the most tragic figure on this list. Hopelessly trapped in nostalgia, he’s a flat out alcoholic who has lived in the past for over half his life. The energy with which he gets his friends together for a final stab at The Golden Mile is manic, a last ditch effort to will himself into being what he was never able to leave behind. This is certainly the most personal performance of Pegg’s career (and his work with Edgar Wright from “Spaced” until now has always had a personal bent), and it’s also his most fully realized statement as a performer.

Mia Wasikowska – Stoker

Mia Wasikowka’s journey as India Stoker from innocent to… well, not so much… is one of the more complete arcs in horror cinema this year. It’s also one of the most nuanced performances of the year regardless of genre. There must have been a hell of search to cast this part, and I can’t imagine anyone pulling it off quite as well.

Elijah Wood – Maniac

Elijah Wood isn’t onscreen a whole bunch in Maniac, but that doesn’t mean he’s unable to deliver a great performance. While his character Frank is insane and a violent killer, he’s also insanely insecure and it’s kind of funny to hear his inflections as he deals with the normalized world against him. You almost feel sorry for the guy.

Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga – The Conjuring

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga do such a great job embodying Ed and Lorraine Warren I honestly can’t wait to see them tackle another case together. It’s exciting that The Conjuring may have just launched a franchise with two cutely offbeat protagonists going from film to film solving cases. There’s a real warmth between them that plays with a specificity that takes it beyond rote shorthand for “likable.”

Ken Marino – Bad Milo!

You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. While Bad Milo is a hugely broad comedy, Ken Marino gives a heroic performance as the gastrointestinal challenged Duncan. Grounding this kind of film is hard work, you have to go smaller than everyone else around you. Marino manages to do that but remain hilarious at the same time, and he also imbues the character with a decency and internal (in more ways than one) struggle that keeps the audience invested.

Jeremy Gardner & Adam Cronheim – The Battery

I think one of the reasons The Battery engaged me as much as it did was that I couldn’t decide who I sided with most among the duo’s feuding protagonists. Jeremy Gardner’s Ben is an often abrasive pragmatist, calling out Cronheim’s more sensitive and romantic Mickey at almost every turn. Both characters represent two different ways of responding to loss and tragedy, and I’d like to think that my personal approach would fall somewhere in the middle (though, of course, I haven’t been tested on that yet). But they’re not just ciphers, they’re fully realized human beings. Gardner and Cronheim deserve major recognition for allowing them to thrive.



  • WineandWatch

    COMPLETELY agree with Elijah Wood. The fact that he was on camera for less than 10 minutes of the movie (I think) is truly a testament to his acting skills.

  • SaltSlasher

    I knew Elijah would be a great “maniac”, I mean look at him in Sin City, he didn’t say a word, and yet was a prototype for a psychopath, I was truly terrified by him. I give him honors. Simon Pegg is beyond general acting talent, he just knows how to work himself on camera.

    Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga, are actually two under-rated pieces as to why The Conjuring was so amazing. Seeing Patrick again, I kept thinking he was just going to be “Josh Lambert” from Insidious, but he surprised me by making me believe he was someone else.

    Vera Farmiga gets my top “woman honors”. The part she played needed the audience to be convinced. You know how many movies are ruined by actors who can’t “act” like they are psychics. You know when people pretend to have those seizures like they are being possessed. She was very convincing in these parts of the film. I really believed what was happening to her.

    • CaptainHowdee

      I agree totally with Elijah being a great maniac. Hell, I think he’s much better playing the evil lunatic rather than playing the leading “good guy” role.

  • pyrepunk

    I do agree with you on Stoker all though I didn’t like the film she did well in acting her part. As for Maniac, holy shit Elijah Wood was great, and as for The Conjuring well I enjoyed the acting it was well enough to set the awesome atmosphere the film had….sadly I have yet to see these other titles even though I really want to watch The Battery!

  • viking1983

    Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were like keanu revves, wooden, terrible acting, the conjuring was shite

    • CTHL

      Agreed, for the umpteenth time. Overrated movie in every imaginable way… which can now include acting. Seriously, praise for Patrick Wilson!? His typecasted style of false boy-next-door acting worked for Hard Candy and Watchmen, in Conjuring and most everything else he’s done, it’s just awkward and wrong.

      Also hated the Ken Marino pick. I actually like him in most everything, but I thought that movie was rather crappy (punz). He made it watchable, but it still wasn’t very funny/good. In hindsight, I guess that kind of supports the pick in a twisted way…

  • djblack1313

    watched THE BATTERY last night and it’s pretty decent. not great IMO but it’s ok. most definitely not in my top anything list.

    • EvanDickson

      @djblack1313 I can respect that. It’s a movie I can totally see people not digging. For me, I really appreciated how specific it was in terms of character. Most first films are all over the place, but this one felt especially assured.

      • djblack1313

        @EvanDickson, don’t get me wrong, i’m glad i saw the movie, it’s definitely worth checking out! 🙂

  • jaxx367

    This list could be better. It’s missing Evil Dead’s Jane Levy, She was awsome in that movie and totally kicked ass. And Lou Taylor Pucci was awsome in that film as the wise cracking Douche-bag, he was great. And last but not least, Chloe Grace in Carrie. People might not have liked the movie in whole, but she was great and proved she’s a great actress. Can’t wait to see what projects these three actors work on next!!!!

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