Well, it’s that time of year where everyone is presenting their lists of the best and worst films of 2012. This year has been a fantastic one for films. It has been so great that people have gone as far as to say that it’s the best year for cinema since 1982 where E.T, Blade Runner, The Thing, Star Trek II and Poltergeist all released. However, with all great things there will inevitably be something terrible to follow right behind. Which is why with every “Best of” list, there’s the “Worst of” one as well.
So how did our horror genre do? That’s what we are about to find out.
As with most years, all the great horror films that released this year almost nobody saw (with the exception of a couple). That has always been the worst part about being a horror fan. Most of the good films that release each year can only be seen at film festivals; where just few lucky people get to see them. Everyone else has to wait for it to hit shelves, which can take years. That’s why making my own personal list of horror’s best and worst is so difficult because I just haven’t had the chance to see many of them.
That’s not going to stop me from giving you guys some sort of a list though. I’ve done a bit of research with other sites and rounded up what they are saying is the best of the year and not only will this list give you a good idea as to what was good but it will give you a heads up as to what to look forward to in the coming months when they start hitting the shelves.
You guys shouldn’t be unfamiliar with AntiViral if you’re a regular to Rhino’s Horror as I covered this film pretty heavily during its festival run. Perhaps the most talked about thing surrounding this film wasn’t exactly the movie itself, but the fact that this was the directorial debut of Brandon Cronenberg — son of David Cronenberg. Even with the expectations being through the rough, because of his name, the film still managed to be a beautifully shot look into our society’s obsession with celebrities and delivered a solid art house horror film. Not only was the film a success but it proved that Brandon Cronenberg wasn’t just a name and that he most certainly has a very promising future ahead of him.
Based on the director’s real life experience and personal phobias, Citadel is a dark and disturbing film that flew completely under the radar this year. The film is said to be extremely emotional and straight up eerie. I loved what I saw from the trailer, especially the dark and claustrophobic mood that it presented. I’m glad to know that this one lived up to it’s creepy trailer and not only made the list of many horror fans as one of the year’s best, but proved why indy horror will always be home to some of the greatest horror flicks.
The Soska Twins — a name that I see becoming very familiar in the near future. Together, they crafted one of the best films to hit festivals this year with American Mary. I can’t wait to get my hands on this film because not only does it star the wonderful Katharine Isabelle but I seriously couldn’t find anyone say anything negative about the movie. Blending body horror with the slasher genre, American Mary has cult status written all over it. The amount of passion and charm put into this film from the Soska Twins breaks through in amazing fashion with easily one of the years best horror films. As excited as I am to see this one, I’m even more so to see what they come up with next.
Another directing duo proves that sometimes two is better than one. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead took a shoestring budget and created one of the most imaginative and creepy films of the year. The cheap approach to the film with minimal lighting and a hand held camera add to the unsettling atmosphere that the film has to offer. Benson and Moorhead have created not only one of the best horror flicks of the year but one of the most unique stories of the bunch.
Here’s a film that I was quite honestly surprised to make the list. We’ve seen Elijah Wood play a creep before in Robert Rodriquez’s Sin City but with Maniac he hits an entirely new level of psycho. Produced by Alex Aja and directed by Franck Khalfoun, Maniac is told through the eyes of Wood’s character and his performance is a haunting one as the film is a first hand look at a psychopath. This film kind of came out of nowhere and was instantly written off because it’s a remake but Maniac breaks the mold in glorious fashion. It’s a suspenseful slasher flick that is one of the most violent films of the year. Not for the squeamish or the weak of heart, Maniac climbed to the top of the list for its brutal and no strings attached approach to the serial killer genre.
Big round of applause for Cabin in The Woods for not only being the only film on this list to actually get a wide theatrical release but simply for restoring some faith in horror fans that a big-budget horror flick can still be absolutely amazing. Penned by fan favorite, Joss Whedon, Cabin gave us an unforgettable movie with a charming sense of tongue-in-cheek humor. Whedon has crafted a fun horror film that plays on the old cliches while still being one of the most original films of the year.
The Loved Ones
There you have it guys, some of the years best of 2012’s horror. Be sure to stayed tuned because the fun is just getting started. On part II I’ll be doing the not-so-great horror films of year and let’s just say that 2012 has not been friendly for the theatrical horror releases.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are some of your favorite horror films of the year? Let me know in the comments!