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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

joel.'s top 13 horror films of 2018.... The Worst of the Year


Every year, you never know what the horror genre is going to unleash upon the world. You have an unsuspecting audience, just waiting to have their deepest and darkest fears manipulated.... all in the comfort of an air conditioned theater or their home. Not every year has been full of winners, some have proven to be better than others, but 2018 has yielded some very interesting genre fare that is full of a little bit of everything under the sun. My fellow creeps, I've put together what I feel (in my humble opinion) to be the best of the best for this year. There were a few that were nudged out by only inches and that's not a bad thing. It just proves that there are more stories to tell and makes me dream about all the amazing scares yet to come. So, without further adieu, I give you my top 13 horror films of 2018! (based on release dates and not the years they were filmed.... although some may be in the last quarter of 2017.)

The Worst of the Year) 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'


I've already written a full review of this one, but I felt like I'd be remiss in not following Jeff's lead with this idea. Along with all of the amazing things we see throughout the year, it's not without it's garbage. For me, this year, this one takes the cake. It took such an amazing original idea and ruined it with all of the cliches that kept the first one from being a trite throwaway home invasion film. No more tension, no more scares, just a big heavy sledgehammer of stupid. One minor tweak could have made it one of the best of the year. Instead, it ended up being a waste of time and energy. Lord help us if they keep making these films and it turns into the 'Wrong Turn' franchise.



Suggested snack to eat while watching: a roofie, to forget it ever happened

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jeff's Top 13 Horror Films of 2018 Complete List


Happy New Year Creeps and welcome to another dead raising edition of our Top 13 films of last year (2018). We have all the usual suspects gathered to provide their input on what you should have seen last year or at least should add to your list for this year. I have a feeling you will find some bleed over from last year given that some of the films that debuted in late 2017 weren’t available until early 2018. Thus why you’ll find films that should have made the 2017 list got carried over to this list and some that made the 2017 list weren’t available for general consumption until 2018. So, though TRAGEDY GIRLS made my 2017 list it couldn’t hack the competition for 2018, but is still deserving of your watch list if you haven’t seen it yet. Speaking of being able to hack this list, there was a lot of great horror that came out of 2018 that shows wonderful promise for the land of horror like HEREDITARY and SUMMER OF 84. You may even find a tie or two on this list. There was also enough bad stuff to make you question why you wasted your time and money on them, like SLENDER MAN and TRUTH OR DARE. Sometimes Hollywood surprises us with an excellent horror film, like the SUSPIRIA remake which you won’t find on my list, despite being just as amazingly mind boggling as the original, simply because there is still no replacing the original no matter the argument. You will find a sequel that reshapes an iconic franchise, and another that bend your perception of reality. There seems to be more serial killers than monsters on this list as well as if there truly is a difference.

Before we get started on the films that did make The Best 13 Horror Films of 2018 let's take a look at those that didn’t make that list but definitely deserves notoriety either negatively and/or positively.
Starting with…

2018’s Worst Horror Movie of the Year goes to...

DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINES


At the end of a very bloody day, DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINES kind of fails at what it's trying to do. While I can respect Hèctor Hernández Vicens' vision and what he was trying to do, I think he was hamstrung by a shoddy script and a minuscule budget. Little budget or not, I've seen films on a tiny budget, pull off really big things. So that's not an excuse. Somewhere right now, Bub is rolling over in his non-existent grave.

In contrast,
2018’s Best/Worst Horror Film of the Year goes to...

HELL’S KITTY


Now I'm definitely not going to say that HELL’S KITTY is brilliant in any way. But it is everything you could possibly love and hate about a B-horror comedy. A whose who in horror royalty and a demon possessed cat. What could be better?

On to the good stuff,
2018’s Honorable Mention goes to...

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE


THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE excels at being creepy and has a fun game you can play where you get to count all the hidden ghosts. This may require repeat viewings but that can’t be a bad thing. Be sure to read the novel too for a late night, keep all the lights on, page turner.

2018 Honorable Mentions Despite Overwhelming Odds...

MOM AND DAD



As most of you are likely to remember, I am not your everyday Nicolas Cage fan. In fact I usually can't stand him. But, as soon as the poop hit the pan and Cage went full psycho I was in for the madness. I finally figured out what Cage was good at that's being bat shit crazy.


MANDY


Part Hellraiser, part bad acid trip, all balls to the wall mayhem. Cast Nicholas Cage as John Wick, take away his girlfriend, and let him be his crazy ass self and you have MANDY. Though it started out kind of like The Grey and the whole relationship thing was boring, when he gets to The Hoard on the bad guys it is pretty epic. Best bad guy overcompensating award also goes to Linus Roache.

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Jeff's dead raising edition of the Creepercast's Top 13 films of 2018 continues with...

#13
SLICE

"When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf?"


SLICE is a brilliant piece of horror mish mash that is both fun and different. Sure there are a lot of projects I can compare it to like Midnight in Texas with all its ghosts, witches and a werewolf. It's reminiscence of Hot Fuzz in its final outcome and though it may not be as funny, it has plenty of belly laughs to keep you going. A24 Studios usually walks a very thin line of worthwhile horror but SLICE is an entertaining departure and I hope they bring us more. The opening murder alone where the pizza delivery guy gets his throat slit while a scared stiff ghost watches is horror comedy gold.

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#12

UNSANE vs THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE


Sometimes we can't make up our mind between two movies and have to show our respect to both. In this case we're only talking ablout #12, To not have both of these films that are excellently choreographed with solid stories but don't quite break the top ten barrier on the list would be a crime. One is another Soderbergh mind bender and the other is a demon possession. Neither are exceptional, both are worth viewing, despite their failed hype and bad press.

UNSANE


Soderbergh is working hard to continue to be a force in mind bending thrillers. In UNSANE he puts a stalker victim through the fight of her life. There are some obvious plot explanations that are hard to accept but Joshua Leonard delivers as a creepy stalker that is willing to go through great lengths to prove his love for his victim. We are always fans of experimental film making, and though it doesn't really prove itself well as a gimmick, Soderbergh has proven that an iPhone can shoot a very clean looking film.

THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE



Even though its getting panned by critics and didn't really deserve the all the fanfare their add campaign created, THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE isn't a horrible demon possession film. Its obvious they were counting on the cult success of The Autopsy of Jane Doe and it doesn't fail in creating the same type of atmosphere. In the end that's what makes this a bottom three film but still on the list. The characters are pretty one dimensional but the demonic effects are everything you expect.

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#11

BIRD BOX




I'm a sucker for horror that can expertly use the art of what you don't see is worse what than what you can and BIRD BOX pulls it off better than I have ever seen (or not seen?). The closest we come to knowing what the monsters look like is a series of scribbles by one of the survivors. It feels like an attempt to A QUIET PLACE to another level and though I feel it fails in that department it is worthy of this number 11 spot.

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#10

GHOST STORIES


GHOST STORIES is the perfect classic British horror film. It feels like a Hammer film chock full British supernatural images and mind bending story telling. We have the stereotypical skeptic whose forced to face the worst of his fears and Martin Freeman is the perfect antithesis. The English landscape plays just as much of a role in GHOST STORIES to remind us it is the home of all things ghostly.


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#09

HEREDITARY



A24 horror films are sometimes touch and go, I mean, The Witch and It comes at Night were brilliant additions to the genre with deserved praise. HEREDITARY is one of those films that came on the heels of an outrageous ad campaign that promised the most disturbing horror film you've ever seen. As usually turns out to be the case, I assure you that it isn't. I'm still a fan of the style of shock advertising made popular in the 50's and love the way HEREDITARY was able to make it work. The film is disturbing, very reminiscent of Rosemary's Baby, with decent jump scares and mind numbing mental horror, its hardly the film the advertisements and critics are promising but it is different enough when it comes to possession films to make it number 9.

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#08

TERRIFIER


Our new favorite evil Halloween clown is, without a doubt, Art from TERRIFIER. He had earned that position already with his brief appearance in the anthology All Hallows' Eve. He has cemented that postion with his feature film debute. TERRIFIER is everything a slasher fan loves with equal percentages of indy glory, grindhouse gore, torture porn, and 80
's nostalgia. Art, truly is, an artist.

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# 07

BAD SAMARITAN




David Tennant is, without question, my favorite Doctor. Not only that, he's also one of the best British actors to cross the pond. Alright, so maybe he's Scottish, but that doesn't change the fact that he embraces every role as if they are life and easily convinces the watcher he is who he's playing. In this case he takes his evil villain role from Jessica Jones and turns him into a serial killer. There is no way this a bad thing. Tennant commands the screen with ultimate evil and root-able bad guy. Sure there's nothing ultimately new or fantastic about the rest of the film other than the use of technology. And Robert Sheehan isn't especially memorable. Tennant and his OCD twisted alter ego is unforgettable.

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#06

HELL FEST




HELL FEST debuted with lots of mixed results. Many panning it for being a schlockey slasher without much originality. Personally I found it pleasingly predictable, everything I would expect from the plot with a nice little exposure at the end. There will obviously be no end to amusement park slashers. It is a place full of killer possibilities that seems only natural. So I don't feel its fair to judge it entirely on that alone, although I can't help wanting to attend a Halloween based amusement park. What's important is whether the plot and story are fun and HELL FEST is is full of screaming fun. Including ring master Tony Todd.

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#05

THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER




Dylan McDermott has proven himself to be an amazing actor. Recently he has been involved in independent projects that truly test those skills. THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER is one of those that cleaned up at Sundance and for good reason. It is an artistic yet realistic look at learning that the good God loving man that heads your family may have some demons inside lacking exercise. THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER isn't the first film to explore urban life with a serial killer on the loose, nor is it the last one on this list. But it does examine the subject much closer up than most and reminds us that the least likely of us are most likely.

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#04

SUMMER OF 84



Yes, SUMMER OF 84 is everything you want and expect from a serial killer among us film. What's more is it is set in a time period where, for some reason, we never considered was a real thing that could happen. 80's nostalgia comes in Spielbergian form with best friends on bikes, parents that barely pay attention to them, and a mystery that is more true than they could hope. It's a coming of age movie in a time of innocence that many of us remember fondly our many brushes with death and survived. In the end, the mystery is only the vehicle by which one of our innocents must come to terms with his own mortality and the constant threats life has to offer. There's nothing more evil as a child to find your life constantly in danger and not knowing from where that danger might come.

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#03

HALLOWEEN




There is so much that can and has be said about the best Halloween "sequel". HALLOWEEN 2018 rewrites the Meyer's legacy and returns the cannon back to the original model. He was just a focused killer out for babysitters but has a specially affinity for the one who got away. I am all in, personally hating all the humanizing back story created by the franchise. I like my masked killers to remain blood thirsty killers and really don't care about their lives before I was introduced to the mask. The return of Jamie Lee and Nick Castle further cement the nostalgia. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride obviously love the original. The jabs at sequels are clever, and Carpenter's involvement a blessing like no other. The only thing lacking is I only wish that I had stock in Blumhouse.

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#02

THE ENDLESS




A sequel to their independent masterpiece RESOLUTION, THE ENDLESS takes us into the heart of two young survivors (played by Benson and Moorehead) of what may have been a death cult as they decide to go back and visit after escaping. Their lives haven't gotten much better since leaving, so why not? Once there the film turns into exactly what you expect as things go from ok to downright creepy. There are few writers and directors in the independent world that can weave a tail as engrossing as Benson/Moorehead and still keep it on the edge of horror. THE ENDLESS is another winner on both the psychological and entertainment front. It's likely THE ENDLESS would have been number one on my last years list if I'd of seen it then.

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#01

A QUIET PLACE




Krasinski knows the rules of survival horror but doesn't feel limited by them. Instead, he builds the opening tension, sets us up for something bad to happen, then lets it happen before we've had a chance to register exactly whats going on. This introduction does nothing to give us the background to the conditions the family has found themselves in but focuses us on the family and their loss, suffering, angst, and struggle to find normalcy in a new world where to make noise will promise certain death. From this point on the attention to detail is incredible as we learn just what this family has done to adjust their lives, like sandy walkways that mute footsteps, homemade crochet game pieces, and even the elaborate set up created to distract the creatures when Blunt's character is ready to give birth. This scene alone is enough to garner awards for everything from acting to visual effects and has earned its place in iconography via the still that graces the official poster art. Finally, we do get our exposition through the eyes of their deaf child, and from then on anything that can go wrong will.



joel.'s top 13 horror films of 2018.... the recap!



Every year, you never know what the horror genre is going to unleash upon the world. You have an unsuspecting audience, just waiting to have their deepest and darkest fears manipulated.... all in the comfort of an air conditioned theater or their home. Not every year has been full of winners, some have proven to be better than others, but 2018 has yielded some very interesting genre fare that is full of a little bit of everything under the sun. My fellow creeps, I've put together what I feel (in my humble opinion) to be the best of the best for this year. There were a few that were nudged out by only inches and that's not a bad thing. It just proves that there are more stories to tell and makes me dream about all the amazing scares yet to come. So, without further adieu, I give you my top 13 horror films of 2018! (based on release dates and not the years they were filmed.... although some may be in the last quarter of 2017.)

The Recap!

13) 'Cargo'
12) 'Mandy'
11) 'The First Purge'
10) 'Revenge'
9) 'The Night Eats the World'
8) 'A Quiet Place'
7) 'Hereditary'
6) 'The Night Watchmen'
5) 'To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story'
4) 'Summer of 84'
3) 'Terrifier'
2) 'The Ravenous'
1) 'Halloween (2018)'

Close, but no guitar:
'The Haunting of Hill House'

ps While 'Upgrade' was amazing and one of my favorites of the year.... it's not horror.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Jeff's Top 13 Horror Films of 2018 #01


Jeff's dead raising edition of the Creepercast's Top 13 films of 2018 continues with...

#01
A QUIET PLACE



"In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing."


A QUIET PLACE is an American post-apocalyptic horror film directed by John Krasinski, who wrote the screenplay with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. The film stars Krasinski, alongside Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe.


Krasinski knows the rules of survival horror but doesn't feel limited by them. Instead, he builds the opening tension, sets us up for something bad to happen, then lets it happen before we've had a chance to register exactly whats going on. This introduction does nothing to give us the background to the conditions the family has found themselves in but focuses us on the family and their loss, suffering, angst, and struggle to find normalcy in a new world where to make noise will promise certain death. From this point on the attention to detail is incredible as we learn just what this family has done to adjust their lives, like sandy walkways that mute footsteps, homemade crochet game pieces, and even the elaborate set up created to distract the creatures when Blunt's character is ready to give birth. This scene alone is enough to garner awards for everything from acting to visual effects and has earned its place in iconography via the still that graces the official poster art. Finally, we do get our exposition through the eyes of their deaf child, and from then on anything that can go wrong will.



Currently available everywhere.

joel.'s top 13 horror films of 2018.... #1


Every year, you never know what the horror genre is going to unleash upon the world. You have an unsuspecting audience, just waiting to have their deepest and darkest fears manipulated.... all in the comfort of an air conditioned theater or their home. Not every year has been full of winners, some have proven to be better than others, but 2018 has yielded some very interesting genre fare that is full of a little bit of everything under the sun. My fellow creeps, I've put together what I feel (in my humble opinion) to be the best of the best for this year. There were a few that were nudged out by only inches and that's not a bad thing. It just proves that there are more stories to tell and makes me dream about all the amazing scares yet to come. So, without further adieu, I give you my top 13 horror films of 2018! (based on release dates and not the years they were filmed.... although some may be in the last quarter of 2017.)

1) 'Halloween' (2018)


We're finally here! I hope the wait was worth it. My top film of 2018 is none other than David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's 'Halloween' (2018). This is another one that I've already written a full review for, so I won't go on and on again about how wonderful this film is. While it's not a perfect horror film, it still hit all the sweet spots that the franchise needed and breathed life into Michael Myers once again. Even though I'm a die hard fan of Rob Zombie's take on the series, those films had reached their conclusion. It was nice to see that two fans of the genre and franchise could pull a rabbit out of their hat and make something old, new again. It may have taken a complete erasing of the movies that came before it to make it happen, but I'm okay with that. Those films still exist and will still hold a soft spot in my heart, but this just means that there is a whole new timeline to follow. Unlike the messy 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' films, this one seems less all over the place. It's not trying to hold it all together anymore, but rather to forge a new path of destruction. This one is an example of team film making that puts together something that pays off on everything it promises. I, personally, would have tweaked a couple of minor things, but you'll never have every single part of a film exactly right.... but this is still worthy of my top spot and a film I will revisit often.



Suggested snack to eat while watching: Halloween candy!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jeff's Top 13 Horror Films of 2018 #02


Jeff's dead raising edition of the Creepercast's Top 13 films of 2018 continues with...

#02
THE ENDLESS




"As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began."


American science fiction horror film directed, produced by and starring Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Co-stars include Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington, Lew Temple, and James Jordan.



A sequel to their independent masterpiece RESOLUTION, THE ENDLESS takes us into the heart of two young survivors (played by Benson and Moorehead) of what may have been a death cult as they decide to go back and visit after escaping. Their lives haven't gotten much better since leaving, so why not? Once there the film turns into exactly what you expect as things go from ok to downright creepy. There are few writers and directors in the independent world that can weave a tail as engrossing as Benson/Moorehead and still keep it on the edge of horror. THE ENDLESS is another winner on both the psychological and entertainment front. It's likely THE ENDLESS would have been number one on my last years list if I'd of seen it then.



Currently available everywhere.

joel.'s top 13 horror films of 2018.... #2


Every year, you never know what the horror genre is going to unleash upon the world. You have an unsuspecting audience, just waiting to have their deepest and darkest fears manipulated.... all in the comfort of an air conditioned theater or their home. Not every year has been full of winners, some have proven to be better than others, but 2018 has yielded some very interesting genre fare that is full of a little bit of everything under the sun. My fellow creeps, I've put together what I feel (in my humble opinion) to be the best of the best for this year. There were a few that were nudged out by only inches and that's not a bad thing. It just proves that there are more stories to tell and makes me dream about all the amazing scares yet to come. So, without further adieu, I give you my top 13 horror films of 2018! (based on release dates and not the years they were filmed.... although some may be in the last quarter of 2017.)

2) 'The Ravenous'


We're almost at the top of the pile, as the countdown continues! I've already written a full review of this film and it still holds up as one of the truly best of this year. While it has some mixed reactions, as a whole, with the people who've seen it.... to me it sums up what a zombie film should be. It's bleak, but full of hope. Frightening, but with heart. A simple little slice of life in the apocalypse. I've since gone back and watched it a second time and it held up just as well as the first time. It takes the expected formula and throws in some slight twists on the genre that make this one stand out from the rest of the pack. It's also proof that despite the over saturation of the zombie market, there is still brilliant stories to be told.



Suggested snack to eat while watching: "Fronch dressing. Fronch fries. Fronch bread. And to drink….Peru!"