Rhino’s Top 10 Movies of 2014

Another great year for horror is in the books! As 2014 comes to an end, here are my picks for the top 10 films of the year. It wasn’t exactly easy to narrow it down to this list, I’ll say that much. Films like Oculus, The Sacrament and The Canal were just edged out of the top 10, but no doubt worthy of a mention. I hope you guys agree with some of my picks and I’d love to hear what some of your favorite films of the year were! Spill it!

Grand Piano

#10. Grand Piano

Eugenio Mira’s nerve-shattering Grand Piano is an expertly crafted thriller with a Hitchcockian pulse, and no doubt one of the year’s best. Brilliantly fusing the frantically paced score into the narrative, Mira shows a wonderful skill behind the camera, delivering one hell of a film about a guy playing piano to save his life. Now that’s something. [full review]

Blue Ruin

#9. Blue Ruin

After seven long years, Jeremy Saulnier finally made his return behind the camera with his understated indie thriller, Blue Ruin. A shot of pure adrenaline straight to the heart, Saulnier’s sophomore effort proves that sometimes less is more as this one wraps up an engaging story with an blood-soaked finish. [full review]

Honeymoon

#8. Honeymoon

Leigh Janiak’s Honeymoon was a fantastic skin-crawling tale that dripped with atmosphere and slow burning terror; being led by the great Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway certainly didn’t hurt matters, either. The great element to this film is that builds an uneasy kind of tension, one that works its way through the narrative until dishing out a jaw-dropping finish. [full review]

Dead Snow 2

#7. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

There are no words to properly tell you how awesome Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is. Not only was this one better than its original counterpart in every possible way, but it was quite simply one of the most entertaining 90 minutes of 2014. [full review]

Housebound

#6. Housebound

No other film of 2014 so seamlessly blended both horror and comedy in the way that Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound did. If it wasn’t making you laugh, it was finding a nice cozy spot to crawl under your skin. [full review]

Only Lovers Left Alive

#5. Only Lovers Left Alive

It’s hard to believe that filmmakers can still find a way to spin the age old vampire yarn in new and intriguing ways. Jim Jarmusch did exactly that with his brilliant film about a couple of vampires meandering through the world as they experience life for so very long, all while being in love. It also has a kickass soundtrack. [full review]

The-Guest

#4. The Guest

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s The Guest was probably the most fun I had with a movie this year. With a story that dares you to follow along when things go from crazy to insanity of the highest caliber, The Guest is a well acted, brilliantly paced thriller that mauls its way through a narrative that will leave you begging for more. [full review]

Coherence

#3. Coherence

It’s a shame that more people didn’t see James Ward Byrkit’s Coherence because there was really nothing else like it to come out this year. This expertly crafted slice of sci-fi horror twists and turns through a story that will melt your brain by the time the credits begin to roll. The less you know about it, the better. [full review]

Cheap Thrills

#2. Cheap Thrills

E.L. Katz picked one hell of a film to kick his directing career off with, that’s for sure. Cheap Thrills is a sadistic, twisted little film that goes straight for the gut, aiming to make you squirm each step of the way. Grounded in some fantastic performances, this one is a shot of pure, gut-wrenching thrills. [full review]

Starry Eyes

#1. Starry Eyes

Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Starry Eyes was one of the purest horror films of the year, delivering a terrifying tale of transformation as a young starlet hopes to shine under the bright lights of Hollywood hell. With a break-out performance from Alex Essoe, Starry Eyes works its way towards a jaw-dropping finale that will leave a permanent mark on the horror genre. [full review]

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22 thoughts on “Rhino’s Top 10 Movies of 2014

  1. I write for a horror blog too and we shared many of the same picks. I only did a top 5 but mine were Cheap Thrills, Starry Eyes, Only Lovers, the Babadook and the documentary Serial killer Culture. Thanks for bringing us such consistently good genre coverage.

      1. Ryan, after reading thru these comments, I am going to check out this Serial Killer documentary on netflix that this commenter recommends. I will let you know what I think. Did you see it yet? I’m also planning to watch Dead Snow 2 later tonight or tomorrow.

  2. Excellent picks here Ryan!

    Coherence was FANTASTIC, and Housebound was a blast. I have a few on here I still need to check out, but that should happen soon!

    #TeamEugene

  3. A great list as always mate. Plenty on here that I am dying to see, but that I can’t seem to get my hands on out here. I have seen so much talk of Starry Eyes over the past few weeks, but it’s not available at all.

    Awesome to see Housebound. I think that will be considered a classic horror-comedy in years to come.

    1. I hate how hard it is to watch some movies. I hope you get to see Starry Eyes soon because that’s a hell of a movie! And you’re right about Housebound, not very many movies can be both scary and funny like that one. Great stuff!

    1. I really liked it too. It’s such a unique spin on the vampire genre. Blue Ruin is fantastic. It’s a simple little thriller with a great story and characters. Hope you get to check it out soon.

  4. I have missed Honeymoon and didn’t get a chance to see it. I didn’t like Starry Eyes though. It feels con as arty horror, especially when lined with other horror-art films like Borgman and Under the Skin. But then again, it may be kin to the kind of generation it represents. I have a review of it posted in FPR: http://www.filmpolicereviews.com/starry-eyes/

    And may I also suggest The Taking of Deborah Logan, which is terrific, if only for how it makes the exhibit of the enabling capabilities of found-footage? My review, which I have dedicated to you Ryan, is here: http://manongmando.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/the-taking-of-deborah-logan-14-dir-adam-robitel/

    Here is my list of 16 titles: http://manongmando.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/the-year-in-horror-14/

  5. Great list!! I’m sorry to say that I still need to check out Coherence and Honeymoon, but I love that you put Grand Piano on here. There’s a film that definitely doesn’t get as much praise as it deserves.

    1. Thanks! I think you’ll really like Honeymoon, it has a CRAZY final act. Coherence is completely in its own league, I’m surprised not very many people talked about, honestly. Hope you get around to seeing them.

  6. Ryan, I don’t know how the heck I missed this post, as often as I come to this site and peruse around.

    I didn’t know “Starry Eyes” was also your #1 of the year! That’s pretty awesome. “The Sacrament” and “Oculus” were also edged from my top 10. Great picks with “The Guest”, “Blue Ruin” and “Grand Piano”.

    I have never even heard of “Cheap Thrills”. I will have to check this one out as soon as I can track it down.

    Next time you catch me slacking and missing one of the important posts of the year like this one, shoot me a tweet and let me know. 🙂

    I think the Fall of 2014 was amazing and one of the best years in a while, probably since 2006 when “Casino Royale”, “V for Vendetta”, “Hard Candy”, “The Departed”, “Blood Diamond”, “The Last King of Scotland”, “16 Blocks” and “Apocalypto” among others came out.

    1. I didn’t even realize you missed this article or else I would have sent it your way! Yeah, Starry Eyes is such a fantastic film, it was easily my favorite film of the year. I’m surprised you haven’t seen Cheap Thrills yet, that’s a hell of a movie. See it when you can!

      1. Dude, just saw that it’s on my Amazon Prime! I am in the middle of “Altar” right now on netflix. I will follow up with “Cheap Thrills” tonight. 🙂

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