It’s 2014, has been for about a week now, and our look back at one of the more mixed years worth of games in recent memory continues with another best and worst roundup! I already took the plunge and chose my picks for the best and worst horror games of the year that was, and now it’s time for the rest of Dead Pixel’s contributors to do the same. Some of these you may see coming, others could be surprising. Check them out after the jump!
Posters, when done right, are an art form. Sure, they’re advertisements, but they’re also such a great artistic challenge. Representing the identity of a movie – and getting people in the door – with a single image? That’s tough. Rendering that image in a manner that resembles actual artwork (or something you’d hang on your wall)? Even tougher.
I get why it goes wrong sometimes. Whenever a sh*tty poster hits a lot of people blame the artist, but they’re not the only ones at fault. Studio marketing departments emphasize their perception of the film’s commercial assets – often sacrificing a compelling key art campaign in the process. Today we celebrate the posters that made it out alive, the ones with flair.
Some of them are for great films and and others are merely great posters for “okay” films. And some of these movies haven’t even come out yet, but their posters have – rendering them fair game. Head inside and click on their banners to check ‘em out! READ MORE
2013 was an exceptional year for Blu-ray genre fare. Companies like Arrow Video, Shout Factory and Synapse Films stepped up their game, showing the industry that there is still plenty of life in the home video market. The love and care given to horror favourites, many that flopped initially is truly a beautiful thing to behold. Year-end “best of” lists can be especially hard to put together. None is more grueling than coming up with one dealing with home video releases. There are too many factors to consider: the film, the transfer, the special features, along with the packaging. This is my crack at it.
I encourage you all to please jot down your own lists under the comments since a) I haven’t seen every genre Blu-ray this year (Chucky: The Complete Collection & Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection are two biggies) and b) like yourselves and other B-D readers, we want to get your thoughts on what 2013 had to offer and find out what we missed out on. Long live hard copies! READ MORE
Since we started the site back in 2001 I’ve been sharing my picks for the best and worst films of the year. 2013 was godawful to me; it was easily one of the worst years of my life.
After 12 months of pure shit, I don’t really feel like going into 2014 with negative energy, so I decided to put something positive into the end of this dreadful 2013. Instead of sharing my picks for the worst of the year, I’ve decided to celebrate 20 awesome independent films that the horror community should really be supporting.
Looking back, there weren’t even that many terrible films, and for once it was hard to decide on which 10 to include in my “best of the year” feature. As I was digging through all the gems, I realized that 2013 was quite the year for independent film. I mean, we finally saw the release of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane(!), there were also the releases of bizarre documentaries Room 237 and My Amityville Horror, and Magnet released a ton of horror from our V/H/S/2 to the unique ABCs of Death.
If you haven’t been paying attention, there are so many tremendous films that are now available for rent on VOD, and even on Blu-ray and DVD for your collections. I hope that, even if you thought you’ve seen them all, we’ll shine the light on one or two that you missed. READ MORE
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! READ MORE
I really loved the past year of horror. Not only did independent films shine through the ever-growing VOD platform, but the studios took some big chances that landed them some mighty rewards.
The biggest hat-tip goes to Warner Bros. and New Line for having the guts to release James Wan’s The Conjuring in July, dead smack in the middle of summer. We haven’t seen a summer horror films succeed in years, and to see Conjuring become one of the top supernatural grossers of all time is huge for the horror scene. Until a few flop, expect the studios to take a chance in that July slot in the coming years…
It was also the year of the apocalypse, with not one but three end-of-the-world films landing in my top ten! This year also rocked with Metallica, got stranded in space, and shit out a stress demon in an homage to the 80′s (horror comedies are making a comeback!). It was so jam-packed with goodness that, for the first time in years, I had trouble narrowing down my list. But alas, only ten can be highlighted, leaving me with the following list of my favorite films of 2013… READ MORE
Hey do you guys remember 2013? That sunovabitch went by fast, didn’t it? As far as horror goes, I think it was a pretty solid year. This was the first time in a few years where I didn’t have any real difficulty picking my favorites. There are only a few that would be considered 100% horror films – the others are cross-breeds and genre mutts. Some strong indie showings made the list, some big-budget flicks, as well as the return to form for a master director. Overall, 2013 was a mixed bag, but in the best way possible.
While I didn’t have trouble picking my 10 favorites, actually ranking them in order would probably give my a full on panic attack. So my list is presented in alphabetical order for my sanity’s sake. READ MORE
In retrospect 2013 was spectacular for horror, proving that the genre continues to progress in both the independent and studio worlds. We were treated to some instant classics that delivered conventional horror, while others explored new territory and challenged the concept of what it means to be a “horror” movie. I keep hearing people say, “film is dead,” and I cannot disagree more. Genre cinema has always thrived off of passionate filmmakers, and every film on my list bleed with passion and love from its creators.
Narrowing down a best-of-the-year list is a trite exercise, as is ordering them in some sort of countdown, but the ten films listed below left a mark on me in 2013. Each film stuck with me for one reason or another throughout the year, and I imagine they will stay with me for a long time to come. READ MORE
It’s no secret that there are a lot of bad horror movies, but I prefer not to shit all over beginning filmmakers or those who are still learning the tricks of the trade. So for my “worst” list, I focus on filmmakers who really should know better. These are definitely not the worst horror movies of the year, but they are some of the most disappointing. READ MORE
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… READ MORE
How was I able to cut down the worst films of 2013 to this simple list of 5? Well, friends, it was extremely tough. I could have easily made this a list of 10…15…20. I want to reiterate that I personally believe that this year was extremely unkind in the horror department. Sure, we had some great movies this year as noted in my Best list. However, the abundance of bad movies was overwhelming for me, and interestingly enough, a lot of the big name films of the year ended up on my Worst list. Which ones?
Read on… READ MORE
2013 was an absolutely killer year for horror films. There were so many movies that were on my mind while making this list that I had a genuinely hard time leaving a lot of them off. From amazing horror comedies like This Is The End to straight up brutal fare like Maniac.
In fact, there were so many great films I had to add a much longer honorable mention section than normal! I really feel like horror fans were blessed in 2013. With so many wonderful films that were amazing for totally different reasons, it felt weird to rank them in order from 1-10. So this is a list presented in no particular order.
Head below to check it out! READ MORE
I sure do hate writing end of the year lists. It’s not so much that I don’t like looking back on the best (and worst) films that have come out during any given year, but there’s no way I could have seen EVERY movie that came out in 2013. Especially with the rise in movies going straight to DVD and VOD, there are so many more ways to see movies. I do also sometimes get to see movies before they are officially released and I’m not very good about holding on to my excitement for a time when the movie is “officially” released but I always look like a dick for saying, “Oh well I really liked ________ but you haven’t seen it because it’s not out yet.” Real cool, Wolfman. Real cool. However, I did get to see a LOT of great genre movies this year by attending South by Southwest and Fasntastic Fest in Austin, TX. Every movie on this list played at one of those festivals, some of them have already been released, some of them have release dates, some will just be coming out in the near future. Another cool thing about movies at festivals is they blur and bend genre lines, so even if some of these films might not fit into the “horror” genre in the strictest of senses, they all played at festivals! There! I am playing by the rules! I win! READ MORE
With the increasing popularity of e-readers and lit websites, is has become harder and harder for good horror fiction to go unrecognized. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to the various bloggers and Tweeters and genre authors who shared their fiction recommendations as I was compiling this list. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading a 6-pound Justin Cronin hardcover or Gillian Flynn’s latest on a 2-ounce e-reader, the fiction market flourishes through word-of-mouth. Sure, e-readers don’t have a wicked cool cover you can sneak a glance at, but if the owner looks engaged, reach out, ask what they’re reading. Personal recommendations are the internal combustion engine of the fiction market.
With that in mind, approach the following list of novels as my personal recommendations for 2013, rather than the best of the year. A couple of colleagues have stated that this was a somewhat shitty year for horror fiction, but I disagree. There was plenty of good stuff out there. But it helps if you ask around. READ MORE
This was a weird year. There weren’t that many great “straight up” horror movies out there, at least not in my eyes. I feel like the genre is at a turning point where it’s about to be reinvigorated, I’ve already seen a few of the films coming out next year (ones that simultaneously fit the definitions of the genre while taking it to new places) and I think 2013 will represent a turning point. 2012 saw the genre tentatively figuring out how to spread its wings in the age of huge budget divides (just like the American middle class, medium sized films are on the wane), VOD and a shifting landscape in general.
So don’t be surprised if some of these movies don’t 100% fall under the “horror” category. It’s not like I tossed Cloud Atlas on here or anything, I operated from the films that we cover on the site, but you’ll see what I’m talking about inside. On occasion we cover some great stuff that doesn’t rigidly fit the definitions of the genre, but it’s material that we feel appeals to horror fans’ sensibilities. That being said, I also kept this year’s “best of” list to films that were released in 2012. I still saw plenty of movies that I fell in love with, and here are 10 that you might dig as well. READ MORE
Writing for a genre site is funny sometimes. Since we keep things more or less related to horror around here, we wind up examining almost every movie that comes out that could be potentially associated with that genre. This means that I end up watching a lot of movies that are so bad many people are just flat-out unaware of their existence. So when I look around to sites that cover every genre – and therefore have a more mainstream cross-section from which to pull their “best” and “worst” lists – I’m always surprised at what stuff is worthy of the “worst” designation. I think to myself, “this guy named ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’ one of the year’s worst movies. That’s as bad as it got for him.” While I’m sure that film is terrible, I’d bet a major organ that it’s far better than Snow White: A Deadly Summer.
Speaking of, 2012 was a year filled to the brim with lazy, cynical horror movies made by people with no love for the genre – people who see horror as a cheap way to make a buck off a dedicated fanbase. This is a list of those movies (and a few that had their hearts in the right place but got mangled along the way) in no particular order. READ MORE
I can’t believe 2012 is almost over. Partly because the year flew by, but mostly because not many films that came out truly left an impression. As horror fans, I think we’re in the same sort of position we were in at the tail-end of all the torture crap; we need a new movement. A new direction. A new something. Anything. We’ve gone through a few trends in the past few years (found footage, ghosts, and vampires to name a few), but nobody is doing anything interesting with them at the moment.
The reason I’m doing all this complaining as a preface for my Best Of list is because this is the first year since I’ve been writing for the site that I haven’t been able to come up with a Top Ten. Either I pulled a Rip Van Winkle and slept through the year or 2012 was a huge bummer. Below are my five favorite horror films of the year, along with a really fun honorable mention that just barely didn’t make it onto the list. READ MORE
2012 has been a snoozer of a year for horror for the most part. I can’t think of another year that I’ve been with the site when I’ve been more indifferent, bored, disappointed, and otherwise unamused by most of what I watched. Not like it should come as a huge shock to anyone that went to the theatre this year, but most of what I’ve included on my Worst Of list are studio films that feel like they were distributed and made by people who just don’t care. Marketing and brand loyalty made some of these movies money, not the actual quality of what was on screen – talk about depressing.
This year, one film stands above all others as the worst thing I had the displeasure of sitting through, regardless of genre, and everything else on my list might as well be second place; they’re all equally shallow and uninspired. As always, here’s to looking forward to next year, which will no doubt have a surprise or two, along with Stoker, Antiviral (hopefully), and You’re Next. READ MORE
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! READ MORE
I recently has a few conversations with people about posting “Worst of the Year” lists as it’s in a way “kicking a dog when it’s down.” Time could be better spent sending positive energy into the world, but on the same token it’s our job to critique films; we are supposed to provide advice on what you should and shouldn’t see.
With that said, it doesn’t provide me with any pleasure to list out this year’s biggest disappointments – but without the bad, how can we learn from other people’s mistakes? If there’s anything to take away from these films, it’s learning what not to do in film. The biggest lesson this year? Don’t pretend to be a horror fan to cash in on our loyalty (I’m looking at you Smiley). READ MORE
First off, I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable labeling the following novels “the best of 2012”. When compiling a list of top 10 horror films of the year, it’s easy to narrow the selection group down to 50 or so candidates. Not so with horror novels. In the wake of the e-reader, the number of horror fiction titles released each year has swelled into the thousands. And while most of those novels aren’t necessarily good, there are dozens that are. Considering the varying marketing and distribution methods, it’s literally impossible to catch up with all the greatness out there.
But in my defense, I am a voracious reader, and a longtime fan of horror fiction. If anything, let the following 10 entries serve as a list of humble recommendations from a man who has sampled the goods in 2012. I’m certain many of our readers have read more books than I have, and better books than I have. And I’d especially like to thank you guys, the readers who read and discuss the book and comic reviews. Drop your favorite fiction titles of the year in the comments if you get a chance. It’s gift card season and daddy needs a new pair of hardbounds. READ MORE
Those of you following Bloody Disgusting for the better part of the decade will know that my list is always dominated by independent/festival features, which is pretty telling about the crop of films screened throughout the year. From my perspective, the indie filmmaker is one of passion, intensity, and that of no barriers; (generally) they have no rules and nobody creeping over their shoulder telling them what to do. The result is staggering when compared to the average, bland, faceless and soulless genre flicks released by studios. (Note: some of the below films are listed as released by a major studio, although, they were actually acquired at a film festival by said studio for release in 2012.)
And speaking of major studios, there are a few that actually broke through the barrier and blew my mind; such the case with Twentieth Century Fox who has probably made my top 10 list for the first time in, well, ever.
Still, the most glaring oddity is the addition of both a direct-to-disc release and a television series, which is also probably the first time in years that either has made my list.
I digress… enough with the banter, below you’ll find the crop of the best horror of 2011. READ MORE
This year totally sucked, but in all honesty it wasn’t that bad. Usually my “worst of” list requires me to thin out my selections and dump a handful under “dishonorable mentions.” Even looking back through my selections I don’t feel a burning sensation inside, at least not until I get to the bottom of the list. The fact is, this year was loaded with mediocre horror, with a few cinematic abortions trickled in here and there. I think the most disappointing aspect of the following list is that I was forced to include two television series, which is thankfully canceled out by FX’s mind-bogglingly incredible “American Horror Story”.
But when it comes to the big screen, I actually pondered the possibility of making it just a special feature on the “single worst film of 2011″. One flick is such a soulless, putrid piece of garbage that it deserves to be kicked while it’s down.
I had to stop myself, because that’s just mean-spirited (and it’s the holidays!), so without further adieu you’ll find my list of the worst horror in 2011. Let 2012 be better, please. READ MORE
Posters, when done right, are an art form. Sure, they’re advertisements, but they’re also such a great artistic challenge. Representing the identity of a movie – and getting people in the door – with a single image? That’s tough.
So tough, in fact, that it’s very rarely done properly anymore. And look, I know that studio mandates can wreck a poster (floating heads etc…) just as much as a bad artist can – but a wrecked poster is a wrecked poster.
Hit the jump to check out some truly awful posters (with one great one thrown in for contrast)! READ MORE