Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review : The Collection (2012)




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In this sequel to The Collector, a man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as....drum roll..... "The Collector" is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer's booby-trapped warehouse.

Hands up who's read FUNLAND by Richard Laymon...

If you have, (and you should have), you'll know that, like most if not all of the late, great Laymon's work; its a shameless, merciless, morally obtuse, violent and essentially pointless exercise is horror literature that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever other than to scare the dick off of you and entertain you from start to finish. You'll also know that it features an extended finale, taking place in a booby-trapped, blood-spattered fun-house in which our heroes must face deadly obstacle after deadly obstacle in a gore-drenched, desperate mission to simply get the fuck outta there.

Sounds like SAW to the uninitiated, right? Sure, I can see that, (though Laymon came first, fuckers!), but the essential difference is that theres no skewed morality at work, as there is in SAW. No hard choices to be made. No grand twists waiting for the final reveal...nope; just a bunch of hapless bastards running the gauntlet in a maze construed of vicious traps, dead ends, murderous maniacs and yes, spiders.

Now, if you combine those last 100 pages of FUNLAND with ALIENS, (yeah, you heard me right), then you pretty much got your review for THE COLLECTION. Of course, Laymons book is an intelligently written and horrifying masterpiece, and ALIENS is an expertly crafted suspense ride than kick's more ass than Cynthia Rothrock on her bad week, but lets not let that stand in the way of a good comparison, shall we...

Horror Hotel Cinema - Resident Evil - The Game (1996)

Remember those halcyon days of the late nineties, when survival horror was a real force to be reckoned with?  Titles like SILENT HILL, RESIDENT EVIL and FATAL FRAME topped the charts and injected some much needed terror into our home-consoles, and our fave genre found itself a whole new playground in which to smear its bloody fingerprints. Parents the world over found their wallets a little less light as their utility bills, (namely electricity), seemed to drop in their favor, as kids all over the globe dimmed the lights, popped on the headphones, and scared themselves shitless in the name of gaming. Good days...great days, actually. I miss 'em, and I bet you do too, (if you were actually around at the time).

Well, I have a wee treat for you tonight that may just help you relive some of that yesteryear magic. I came across a full walk-through of the original RESIDENT EVIL title, with each and every moment of the game captured in its entirety. Sure, its not the same as playing it yourself, but its getting harder and harder to get your hands on this classic of old, and I don't know about you lot, but I jumped at the chance to sit through this grand old game-changer again. The sights, the sounds, the music...the terrible, terrible voice-acting...its like reuniting with a dear old friend, long lost but never forgotten.

Equally satisfying is just how cinematic the whole thing feels. Watching the game being played through, smoothly and in a timely fashion, it really shines as a creepy, genuinly atmospheric and well told story, albeit one with acting that could give TWILIGHT a run for its money.

So here it is...the original and arguably the best RESIDENT EVIL. The game that freaked out a generation, and single-handedly cemented 'Survival Horror' in gaming culture consciousness. It spawned an unending series of hyper-shitty movies, and the game series has strayed from true horror in its ensuing years, but we can't hold that against it. 'RESI EVIL', (as many of us console-kids affectionately renamed it), is a classic, and deserves all our love and admiration. I hope you enjoy this trip down a particularly dark memory lane as much as I did.

Hotel Management.

Authors note : This walk-through is Chris' story. Jill's is readily available for any of you guys enthused enough to want more.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Review : Silent Hill - Revelation (2012)


Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington and Sean Bean
When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that holds answers to the horrific nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

'Do you Facebook?'

Ummm, I'm not sure, man. The fuck are you talking about? Has anyone ever said this to another human being in the history of our species? I really hope not, because if that's ever been used as a chat-up line, you just KNOW that guy went home with his dick dry.

Still, this is one of many amazingly awful lines of dialogue that threaten to sink this belated sequel to the really-rather-good Christophe Gans SILENT HILL adaptation. Its to teh credit of this hugely flawed follow-up films visuals, that it somehow manages to not only stay afloat, but to actually engage me on some level for its far too short eighty-two minute run-time.

Now, I know this film has recieved an absolute hammering from critics across the globe, but the truth is, it wasn't made for them. Shit, man, it was even made for me. It was made for those guys and gals who know the lore and the landscape of the popular survival horror franchise like they know the back of their hands. And I have a feeling that it'll satisfy most of them. It may be something of a car crash in terms of writing and plotting, but it's got a wicked little pace going for it, and while the eye candy is never quite as beautiful as in the first film; it still feels like your dealing with a legitimately 'Silent Hill', product. A lesser one, yeah, but still one with a little bite now and then.

I played the games, (most of them, anyway), and I loved them. Some of them confused me, some of them scared me shitless. I'm not up on the mythology, but I dig the disturbed and disturbing tone the games utilise. The nightmarish creatures...the subtly dread-filled and mournful soundtracks...the willfull lack of logic that only adds to the sense of's all here on one level or another. And while REVELATION never truly captures the sense of fear that the games elicited, it was never really going to. The first film couldn't capture it either, despite its faithfulness to the source material. Why? Because your not interacting with it. It ain't you roaming around the ashen streets of this creepy little town by the gates of Hell. Its someone else. The sense of oneness is gone. to stick with the formula, (lone character roaming the town), would bore the cinema-going audience, but in bringing in more characters and action, the horror is diluted. It's a catch-22

Of course, with better direction and a better script, REVELATION would still be much more immersive and a whole lot more impactful, but for what it is, its nowhere near as bad as the majority of critics would have you believe.

Seems like with many 'professional' critics, theres a domino-effect in play. One sets fire to a films reputation, and the rest, seeking to keep face, follow the smoke. I try not to do that, and I'm not going to it here. REVELATION is a damned mess in many ways, but its never boring, its gorgeous looking, has a really talented cast, (who are so talented, they almost, ALMOST make the dialogue come to life), and most importantly...a fucking guy with a metal Pyramid on his head and a huge sword.

And thats what lies at the core of a film like this. The acting and the character building are merely an afterthought, much like most early second-gen video games that inspired them. Its about seeing people and places that gamers have spent many hours with, and loved in those hours, come to life on the big screen. Theres a fanbase for this sort of film that will lap it up. As for me, I can't deny enjoying it, despite finding many characters superflous, and finding every single line of dialogie to be explosition. I still enoyed the ride. It's hard to hate a film that features sexy faceless nurses who like to slice and dice based on sound, or a mannequin-spider with five heads and dead staring eyes. That's some shit I can get behind, no-matter what nonsense the actors are babbling.

In fact, if anything, the films main flaw was NOT the awful script or the disjointed was the length. REVELATION could, and should, have been at least forty minutes longer. With some actual character depth, and far more time spent in Silent Hill, this could actually have been something pretty special. As it stands, it's not the stillborn so many proclaim it to be, but it may be missing a few chromosomes or so. Maybe even a limb...

SILENT HILL: REVELATION is not a well-made film. Nor is it a well-edited or well-written film. It is, however, a very beautiful film. And when your visuals and source material are as strong as this films are, theres still going to be something worthy amidst the wreckage. Someday perhaps we'll have a truly great Silent Hill film, (the first movie came pretty damn close in my opinion), but at least they havent pulled a RESIDENT EVIL on us. It's still firmly entrenched in the horror genre. And it has some memorable scenes of hellish carnage to groove to. Go in with low expectations, and close your ears and your wits to the stilted and preposterous dialogue, and you may actually enjoy it a little, despite yourself. I did, and I ain't afraid to say so.

5.5 Spider-Bitches out of 10

Monday, 7 January 2013

Review : HITCHCOCK (2012)

As NORTH BY NORTHWEST opens to great acclaim, an ageing Alfred Hitchcock begins to suspect he may be losing his touch. In his clamour for inspiration and something truly challenging, he comes across a little-known horror novel about a boy and his mother...a novel called PSYCHO...

Yeah, yeah...I know. It's not a horror movie, I hear you cry. That's as may be, but it centres around one of the greatest horror films ever made, (and perhaps one of the few authentically perfect movies in existence), and it deals with a man synonymous with the genre. Therefor, its getting reviewed, kids. Not only for these aforementioned reasons, but because it's a portrait of a man I have unbounded love and admiration for, and it put a grin on my mug a mile wide, and what better way to start a new year of reviews than with a film that had got me giddy as a schoolboy?

HITCHCOCK is not a film your gonna watch for any real depth or insight into the soul of this great master of horror and suspense. It's not a concise and detailed look at the film-making process, either. Theres very little of historical value here, other than surface anecdotal whimsy and the retelling of legend in a totally biased and celebratory fashion. Nope, what you get with HITCHCOCK is a surrealistic and very humorous glimpse into the situation this immortal big fat bugger found himself in, as the years began to catch up on him. What baring of the soul is witnessed by the viewer comes almost fully from our preconceived notions of the man, and in this case, (much like ED WOOD), that's no bad thing.

If your looking for a dark, intimate study of a man who was, by all accounts, a bit on the crazy side, then your in the wrong place. But if, like me, the mere mention the man puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart, then this is candy-corn and carnivals, folks. It really is a ninety minute celebration of perhaps the most single-minded sonofagun who ever directed a motion picture. A true one-off, and a man whose cunning and wit wit simply makes any scene featuring him a joy to behold.

And there really is no end to the brilliant moments here. Hitchcock whining for a drink as Alma forces him to do the gardening...his endless flirtation with Janet Leigh...his temper tantrums on set...his blaring of classical music while he enjoys cream-cake and Warner Bros's all gold.

At the centre of all this joviality is a man who is no stranger to horror, himself, Anthony Hopkins...and he plays old Hitch to perfection. It would have been easy to stray into caricature as so many actors do when portraying characters as colorful as big Al, (of which there are very few), but Hopkins knows how to toe the line. He plays up Hitch's many famous idiosyncrasies, while keeping the man grounded in authentic human emotion. He's simply fantastic, and he should be...he's helped by some extraordinary make-up that makes him a near dead-ringer for Hitch. As his long-suffering and fiercely intelligent wife, Alma, Helen Mirren is bang on the money. They have great chemistry, and help keep the scenes that deviate from the lightness of tone very palatable. It may be seen as a flaw that so much of the film is focused on their relationship, but at heart, HITCHCOCK is a love story. A very sweet, somewhat seasoned tale of two soul-mates, and the shit they put each other through in this weird old life. As a couple, they are never less than delightful.

And they have fine support, too. Scarlett Johansson is spot-on as Janet Leigh...both erotic and approachable, (much to Alma's misfortune), and the fella who plays Anthony Perkins is shockingly brilliant. He looks and acts exactly like the man. Its, frankly, uncanny. Though, make no mistake, as good as the support is, this is really a two-hander, and their relationship fuels the two intertwining plots overwhelmingly.

Of course, many if not all of you are less interested in Hitch's marriage than in the telling of how his arguably finest movie, (and first foray into pure horror), came to be born, ...and you wont be disappointed. Theres a real spirit of nostalgia in the scenes of filming, and the lead-up, as Hitch does battle with the evil forces of Paramount and its half-witted producers, is every bit as enthralling as the scenes of the man directing. Theres always been something gleefully mischievous about Hitchcock's persona, and in these early scenes, (and in later post-production scenes), its made clear how well this wily old dogs wits served him in his unending fight to retain complete control over his movies. And thank God he did. There are few things as gratifying in this life as seeing an true artist overcome the bureaucrats that hold them back, and HITCHCOCK playfully details our heroes manipulation of these monkeys, celebrating his victories with abandon.

There are a few darker elements in here, (Hitchcock's anger with his wife seems to fuel his directing of PSYCHO into a more vicious work than even he had contemplated, and his infamous obsession with his leading ladies is centre-front throughout the tale), but the overall tone is one of creativity and play. In one inspired storytelling choice, Alfred often holds imaginary conversations with true-life serial killer, Ed Gein, (the inspiration for PSYCHO, among other horror works, including SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, as it happens), seeking inspiration and understanding. Its an unnecessary but very entertaining method of bringing us closer to the man.

Another wonderful flourish within the tale is the style in which Alfred and Alma's relationship is told. As Hitch begins to suspect his long-time love of having an affair with her smarmy bastard of a writer friend; the film plays out like a Hitchcock suspense film. The overwrought music recalls the great work of Bernard Herman, as the portly directors suspicion grows; and its hilarious, culminating in a fantastic moment where he expresses to Alma in his trademark deadpan way, that, 'Every man is capable of murder, and with good reason'. He states this mid-argument, mind you, as she removes a cream-cake from his person.

Now, if that last sentence put a smile on your face, then you obviously know your Hitchcock, and your guaranteed to love this thing. For those unfamiliar with his work or his legend, (the hell is wrong with you!?), the film may be far less charming. In truth, though, if your unaware of Alfred Hitchcock you have no place near a cinema screen in the first place. Just saying...

A little too much screen-time is spent detailing Alma's situation with her admirer. We really only need the bare minimum of these two together to understand that shes frustrated in her life, that time could have been put to far better use with Hitch doing, well, anything, but its a small bit of gristle in an otherwise hugely enjoyable steak. It's hard to complain.

Overall, HITCHCOCK is ninety minutes of fresh summer air. It's not a serious take on the man, nor is it trying to be...its a period piece with real colour and vibrancy, and a character study that isn't afraid to simply revel in its larger-than-life protagonist and focus on fun. It's absolutely hilarious from start to finish, and never once sinks into maudlin situations or mundane excess. The tempestuous relationships at its core, (both between Hitch and Alma, and Hitch and the studio), are buoyant and light-footed, and, (as you all know how PSYCHO went down) the tale ends on a beautifully romantic and victorious high. This is some great fun, right here, guys. It had me at, 'Good evening'.....

8 Shower Curtains out of 10

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Horror Hotel Cinema : LOVERCRAFT - FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN (2008)

First excursion of the year into the HHC, kids, and it's something of a treat for the more literary minded among you.

Few horror fans will be unfamiliar with Lovecrafts work...whether they read horror fiction, or not. His influence can be felt in many dark corners of our genre, from IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and HELLBOY, to Brian Yuzna's many forays into Lovecraftian terror. The man is a legend in the genre, and for those lucky enough to have braved his body of work, it comes as no wonder that he's so revered. Few writers can disquiet the soul quite as effectively as H.P Lovecraft.

For those fans among you, (and those whom are rightfully curious about the man, FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN is a pretty comprehensive look at his life, his work, his psyche and of course, his immeasurable influence. Be warned, there are a few story spoilers among the many interviews, but you can clearly see them coming if your new to his work. In truth, they really don't spoil the stories as Lovecrafts template is very well established in the minds of horror fans, whether they now it or not. It's not the destination with his tales...its the journey that counts.

Anyway, I enjoyed the hell out of this one, and it drew me back to my dusty old Lovecraft collections with renewed vigor. I hope it can do the same, or similar, for you.


Horror Hotel Management - Worst Horror of 2012

Having just compiled my list of this years most memorable and enjoyable genre experiences, it is, and I say this with no pleasure, time to revisit the films that worked real hard at making horror look every bit as inept and vacuous as much of the mainstream audience imagine it to be.

I rarely take pleasure in tearing apart a horror film, even when, like this bunch of shit-stains, they threaten to destroy my faith not only the genre, but in the known universe at large. Sometimes, though, you just gotta tear those fuckers down.

I won't waste a great deal of time on these less-than-noble fuck-ups, but I hope that what I will say may be enough to save you from wasting a few valuable hours of your life. To each their own, man; but these bad-boys stank up my brain so much I can't imagine anyone getting anything from them other than an overwhelming urge to maim and kill. Here goes...


After the surprisingly enjoyable PA3, watching this is akin to watching your dick shrink after some particularly enjoyable one-time-only sex. No scares, no plot, no characters. Just a cynical money-grab by bastards who have made more than enough cash already by having camera's pan around darkened living rooms, and assholes scream at nothing.


Finally finding a release in 2012, ROSEWOOD LANE managed to provide the most head-bustingly hilarious scenes in any horror movie this decade. The problem was, it wasn't meant to be a fucking comedy. Convicted child molester, Victor Salva's latest venture into barely disguised pedophilic imagery was a non-stop shitfest featuring a 30 year old paperboy, (Salva ain't allowed to work with kids apparently, and for good fucking reason), a face-pissing sequence that screamed 'glory-hole fantasy, and an antagonist who performs utterly terrifying acts such as..BREAKING IN AND REARRANGING A PERSONS ORNAMENTS!!! Don't support this man's work, for any number of reasons.


How do you fuck up a sequel to PIRANHA!? That film was as low-brow as they come...great fun, yes, but hardly a hard act to follow. All you require is tits, ultra-violence and some hilarious cameo work, right? Wrong, apparently. 3DD managed to feature all these things and still somehow suck unholy balls even as a cheap exploitation movie. I'm all for camp, no-brain fun, but this thing lacks what makes a real exploitation film work...charm. The effects are awful, there's no plot, the acting is so bad as to be painful, and worse than all of that...Hasselhoff is completely squandered in his cameo. Congratulations, 3DD, you managed to make tits boring.


The worst sort of horror movie, (and I feel like eating my own head even calling this a horror movie), is the 'hollywood-teen' horror. You know the type...generically good-looking young cast, horrifyingly boring dialogue, stilted and mind-numbing romantic elements, no scares or gore, and cliche piled upon cliche that could only ever please a teenage crowd who's parents weren't cool enough to raise 'em on real horror...its all here in spades. Even that pretty gal with the mans voice from THE HUNGER GAMES can't save this bin-bound bollocks.


This has to be the worst horror movie I've seen in years. It's simply unwatchable. It's scares are laughable, its hand-held camerawork is contrived and does nothing to support or enhance the 'story', and it has NO FUCKING ENDING. In fact, if you wanna know what happens, YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE AND READ ABOUT IT. Which, as you can imagine, I absolutely fucking did not...


No film in recent memory has pissed in my well anywhere near as potently as REC 3. I love the first two, but with this one, their co-director seems hellbent on utterly shitting on the franchise. Instead of sheer razor-wire suspense and outright terror, we get something that I'm assuming is supposed to be comedic, but is about as funny as having your dick hammered. Why does this garbage even have the word, 'REC', in the title. Did I miss something?!


A film that, in trying to play smart to the online generation, manages to come off as a desperate cry for attention from a rapidly dwindling, piss-stained pensioner. SMILEY was to slasher films what chilli-sauce on your hands is to masturbation. It burned all the more painfully, as we expected a new horror icon we could perhaps get behind. A huge disappointment from start to finish.

So there you have it...some of the worst atrocities committed to celluloid that the year of 2012 brought us. There are plenty more; of that I have no doubt, but I'm getting wiser in my old age, and tend to avoid many of the more dubious releases like the clap. Feel free to share your cinematic horror stories below, folks. Perhaps in bringing these shit-stains to the light we can somehow find a way to move on in our lives. I doubt it, but it's worth a try, y'all...

Hotel Management.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Horror Hotel Managements 'The Best Horror of 2012'

First off, apologies to all my readers for my absence over the festive season. I assure you its not been due to the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol, although that may have played some part in the Hotels recent conspicuous lack of activity. Rather, I've been working on my own horror fiction over the free-time the season has afforded me, and have found all my creative urges have been pointing in that direction for the last while. Also, I've been battling the man-flu, and have been losing...big-fucking-time...

With that said, I haven't been watching a great deal of horror this past month either. I've done some serious reading within out genre, (not least the brilliant and hilarious WOLF HUNT by Jeff Strand, which you really oughta seek out, kids!).

Still, its that time of year again when all us horror fans throw together our lists and try in vain to arrange them into some sort of order that justifies our love for them. well, screw that. There'll be no order of preference here, just a heads-up on some goodies you may have missed. I personally love reading top-tens and the like, but hate writing them. If I truly love a film, it'll be my favourite on any given sunday. If I'm watching horror in the fall, HALLOWEEN will take the top spot; if I'm in a post-apocalyptic mood, DAWN OF THE DEAD has me procliaming it the greatest movie of all time. If I'm in need of great character and's JAWS. The list goes on and on...

Our personalities are mercurial, and any list I compile can only be considered an ordered one on the day I compile it.

With that said, what I'll do here is list a number of films that stuck with me this year. Films that affected me in different ways. They may not all be high art, and there most certainly not all included for their inherent intellect or artistry. These are simply the genre efforts that I enjoyed the most, on any number of levels. There are a few more recent releases that I have regrettaby been unable to view that I have a suspicion would find a home on the this years , 'Best of...', such as DERANGED, AMERICAN MARY and JOHN DIES AT THE END, but you'll have to forgive me for such discrepancies.  In the case of the two I mentioned, I'll be reviewing them both next, along with some of the films that will appear on this list.

So, with no further adieu, here are the genre releases of 2012 that, for me, spat in the eye of all the naysayers that proclaimed horror to be dead this year, (as they do every year...the miserable bastards). Some are fun, some camp, some are terrifying, some beautiful, and one or two of them are downright shameful. And of course, they are in no particular order...


What looked on the surface to be a fun, 'man versus wolf' action flick, turns almost everyones head and heart around by being one of the years most emotionally devastating studies of the human spirit. A pitch black look at mortality and the many ways that man attempts to face it with some semblance of bravery, THE GREY was a terrifying, sad and truly human story. We got on-board for the horror/action scenes of  'man on wolf'... we stayed for the thoughtful treatise on hope in the face of despair and the exceptional performances. I havent cried watching any film like I did this one since they adapted McCarthys THE ROAD.


I can't recall the last time a film made me squirm like this bad-boy. THE BAY took body-horror and found footage horror and merged them together into a wholly convincing documentarian account of a stomach-churning virus dessicating a seaside town. As much an angry polemic as it is a horror film, THE BAY can be treated as one of the most effective diet plans known to modern man, and perhaps the finest use of the hand-held style of filmmaking to date. Violent, pissed off and with a very pertinent message...this ones unmissable.


Holy shit did Season 3 kick things into gear. With Glen Mazzara finally taking control of a full season, THE WALKING DEAD finally reached its potential. Non-stop tension, the best zombie make-ups ever put on screen, reborn characters who we could get behind and love, and one of the most intriguing villians ever to grace the TV screen. This year, the undead apolcalypse went from great to truly magnificent. And we're only half way through the damn thing. Flawless.


Seriously...did anyone expect this to be anything other than a complete mess? I love the original for its bare-faced exploitative nature, and could only see this remake becoming fatally diluted fare with none of its predessesors depravity...I couldnt have been more wrong. it may have a certain sheen to it, but this loose remake is balls to the wall lunacy, with great kills, some fantastic characters and a visually striking bad-ass of a killer in a Santa Suit. What more do you want? Its an old-school slasher done right, and tranported me back to those hazy days of the 80's when films like FRIDAY THE 13TH and MADMAN stole my little black heart. Its also very well shot and performed by a cool cast which includes the mighty Malcolm MacDowell being a prize asshole.See it!


For me, this was one of the most affecting films of the year in any genre. MOLLY deftly balanced real scares with genuine pathos as we followed beautiful, fragile Molly on her downward spiral into the abyss. What took here there is left in the eyes and minds of the beholder...Drug psychosis or post-truamatic stress? Or is it something otherworldly that tears her apart...a deeply personal haunting or even demonic possession? The films plays like a particularly disturbing puzzle to be solved, yet never feels anything less than honest and heartfelt in its approach. Not in least due to its leads performance, which for my money is one of the best, in any genre, of 2012, and should see her become a huge star.


Ti Wests slow-build tale of a ghostly-inn and its two lovable employees-cum-ghosthunters, is one of the most atmospheric works of the year. A gentle build from the playful flirtation of its characters, (with both the paranormal and each other), to outright terror...THE INNKEEPERS is a masterclass in class. The location is stunning, the performances are adorable, and the horror, when it comes, is highly effective. A sad and spooky tale of curiousity and what it does to the cat....


The smartest film of the year, and one of the true indie gems of the decade so far; THE CORRIDOR blends philisophy, a keen insight into the psyche of the modern male, and a real sense of dread to create a 'Backwoods Horror', that bodyswerves all the cliches and gives us a rich, forboding look into the effects that society can have on our minds and on our souls. A masterpiece, and reason alone to celebrate indie horror. and speaking of genre-defying movies set in the woods....


Alongside TRICK 'R' TREAT, and Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD, this is probably soon to be my most watched horror film of the last two decades. CABIN is a wet-dream for genre fans. A blood-soaked roller-coaster that pays homage and love to the genre, while dissecting both the creators and the audiences that horror attracts. Its hilarious, exciting, very smart, and has the finest last act in...hell...perhaps ever. An instant classic and a true showstopper. Also, it has a fucking Merman...


A family-friendly horror film that will delight all ages. It respects the kids enough to treat them with an admirable lack of kid-gloves, and it revels in its horror movie roots; giving its mature audience much to smile about. Not to mention, its eyeball-shaggingly beautiful to behold. You can forget about your AVATAR and its CG brethren...nothing can compare to the love and care that pours from every image in this pocket-masterpiece. Oh, and its funny as fuck, nomatter what your age.


If ever proof were needed that art could be both repulsive and attractive in equal measure, EXCISION should provide all the evidence ever required. This blackly comic tale of a deeply disturbed high-school outcast going to any lengths to gain familial and social acceptance is a true showstopper. It boasts one of the years strongest and most fearless performances in its lead, and deftly combines a chilling and sad character study with ball-to-the-wall horror, as we delve deep into the fractured, perverted psyche of a sociopath. One of the most impressive films of recent years, and a true outcast in its own right.



Completed in 2011 but released in 2012, INBRED can be best described as the UK soap-opera, Emmerdale, on really fucking bad acid...Thats perhaps the best way to describe this morally bankrupt, racially and ethically treacherous ride into hillbilly cannibalism. There are simply no redeeming qualities here. Its disgusting, cruel, xenophobic and completely lacking in any sense of moral responsibility. In other words, its the perfect 'boys-night-in flick' to gain some beer-pounds to. If I could only somehow replace this on tevo with my dear old mums soap-opera marathon. 'EEE BY GOOM', indeed...


Horror? No, but it has more enough bloodshed and mayhem to find a place on this list, (not to mention that its diick-munching, man-skinning junkie-bitch protagonist is just about as terrifying as villains come). Plot and character development? You can fucking forget it. This is old-school, vicious action-packed madness with a heart thats just as empty as its lead character's. From its beautiful psychedelic 'slow-mo' eviscerations to its straight-forward and unflinching ultra-violence and perfectly judged industrial soundtrack, DREDD is the definition of hard-boiled, no-bullshit rock'n'roll lunacy.


A strong plot goes a long way. It also goes a long way to lessening the sting of a films flaws. By turns derivative and refreshingly original; this tale of self-obsession and its harrowing consequences is part drama, part hollywood 'boo-scare', part serial killer mystery and part psychological horror. Its flawed, but its a very well-woven tale and if you let it, it has the power to deeply unnerve, (despite the obvious jump-scares that occasionally lower the tone). It has a truly creepy villain, and some of the most disturbing imagery you'll see in horror this year. As admired for its genuine scares and bleak nature as it is berated for its periodic predictability, SINISTER remains a gratifyingly mature descent into darkness.

So there you have it. I wish I'd gotten to see the ones I mentioned and a few more that have peaked my interest, but them's the breaks, folks. Let me know how your year in horror has been, and feel free to disagree at length.