Monday, December 31, 2012

THE BEST OF 2012


Welcome, all...to the grand extravaganza known as our BEST OF 2012 list! Trust me when I tell you that it is the best, most comprehensive list around. We really get down to the bones of only the greatest cinematic offerings of 2012. So, let's get this fuckin' party started, huh?!?

Now, first and foremost, I would like to remind everyone of how hard it is to create something that transcends a memorable experience at the movie theater. Something that, not only serves as unforgettable, but, also captures the viewer's imagination and becomes greater than anyone ever expected. It's easy to create something solely for monetary gain. Something that the filmmakers don't necessarily care about. Something based on box office numbers and what the studio deems as "cool". That shit's easy. However, to create something from the heart and soul. To go against what the studio wants and to be able to see the bigger picture. To have the ability to capture fire in one's hand is an extraordinary feat. And for that, we applaud every filmmaker on this list. Because that shit's not easy, my friends.

So, let's all rejoice with the stuff we love writing about the mostest. The stuff that makes us all giggly and wet (I don't know what that means).

Film Deviant proudly presents...



(In Hi-Def Where Available)


 






Familiar (2012) should have been a full-length film. It's got so much going on in it that it would make one hell of an interesting psychological body horror experience. Who knows? Maybe it'll pick up just enough steam to get some studio executive to Shepard it into a feature. I wish I knew of somewhere that you might be able to check it out. It's really such an amazing character study...complete with an unexpected twist that shifts things into Cronenberg territory. Trust us when we tell you....that Familiar  is the BEST SHORT OF 2012.





 

The screenshot up above does, indeed, depict Santa Claus feeding a hottie through a Christmas tree wood chipper. It happens shortly after our HOTTIE OF THE YEAR (see below) temporarily eludes the clutches of the deranged Santa and proceeds to run down the street mostly nekked. I mean...COME ON, MAN! What else could be greater than that?? The scene is from the 2012 quasi-remake Silent Night. I say quasi...because, unlike many remakes made these days, the filmmakers decided to go for something a little different than the original..while never straying too far from what made that same original notoriously great. While Silent Night  is not the greatest horror film in the world...it is full of great stuff like this wood chipper scene that makes the journey worthwhile. We highly recommend that you check out this film...if only for 2012's BEST KILL.







Cortney Palm is hot. She also happens to enjoy various stages of undress in genre films. For that...she deserves to be at the top of our list when it comes to BEST HOTTIE. She can be seen in the aforementioned Silent Night...where she basically plays a hottie who likes to get nekked. She's also in the revenge flick Sushi Girl  where she basically plays a hottie who likes to get nekked on a sushi platter. We have yet to check out Sushi Girl...mostly because of stupid distribution stuff. But, make no mistake...as soon as it becomes available...we will be right there. Anyway...Cortney Palm is the BEST HOTTIE OF 2012.






Drew Goddard's directorial debut was in The Cabin in the Woods. End of story. Actually, one could probably argue that the brilliant Joss Whedon probably had a HUGE hand in helping Mr. Goddard helm the film. But, still...Goddard knows his way around filmmaking and it should also be noted that he's no stranger to good story-telling...as he's had a helping hand in Buffy, Angel and Cloverfield. Because as much as you can feel Whedon's DNA all throughout Cabin, you can definitely see Goddard's signature in the film, as well. It's a little unfortunate for him that Joss enjoyed mammoth success with The Avengers, only because...he was kind of ignored when Cabin  finally came around. Around these parts, tho...Drew Goddard is recognized as the BEST DIRECTOR OF 2012.





 

Gretchen Lodge is a HELL of an actress. When we first heard about Lovely Molly, we were mostly interested in it due to it being a return to form from Blair Witch Project  alumn, Eduardo Sanchez. And while the film is a testament to Sanchez's directing skills, it is also a revelation of Gretchen Lodge's acting ability...because if she was not in the film, it wouldn't have had the same impact. She is a psychological powerhouse in the film. Carrying the entire thing on her tiny frame. And speaking of frame, it doesn't hurt that she's a freakin' cutie. We had a hard time figuring out if she was a hottie or not thanks, in part, to her scorching love scenes in the film...one with her husband, another with a priest and yet another with a dead fuckin' deer. Probably not the type of girl you wanna take home to meet mom. And that's exactly why Gretchen Lodge is the BEST FINAL GIRL OF 2012.







In 2012 we needed someone to break through and take on the mantle of horror movie icon. There are no more genre antagonists that possess the same charm and likability that legends like Myers, Krueger, Voorhees and Leatherface displayed effortlessly. Finally, one man answered the call. Enter the Collector. The first film he was in saw him as an awkward man who hid in the shadows and let his booby traps do the killing for him. However, in the second installment, The Collection, he came into his own and grew into the menacing man behind the mask always in control of every situation. While he lacks charm, he more than makes up for it in cold menace and ultimately becomes the one you root for. Thanks in large part to stuntman/actor Randall Archer, this latest installment pretty much put the Collector on the map as a force to be reckoned with, as well as made him the BEST KILLER OF 2012.


 




So, last year...our best of list was mostly based on a secret poll we conducted on our Facebook page. We sent 100 of our fans a list of stuff to choose from and we got back about 30 percent of feedback in which to construct the ultimate list from. This year, there were so many good films to choose from that we just created the list in house and came up with some interestingly unique choices, as well as some popular ones. We just wanna say that, for the most part, we loved everything on this list and it was much more fun writing about the good stuff...rather than the shit that sucked.

Let us first delve into the Honorable Mentions. Because, it was a tough decision leaving some of these films off of our top ten....so, we had to mention the awesomeness of these following films.


Apartment 143  is amongst the better found footage films you will see. It is full of great performances and provides quite a bit of creepy atmosphere and HOLY FUCK moments. Speaking of HOLY FUCK moments, of the more grotesque variety, Excision  boasts an amazing performance by the usually well groomed Annalynne Mccord. She delivers a hell of a performance and the film should not be overlooked. It serves as a unique first outing for director Richard Bates Jr. and relies on the solid performances all throughout.

Now, the only reason as to why [REC]³ GĂ©nesis  isn't in our top 10 best list is because it is a sequel to an amazing franchise. We realize that we're just echoing the sentiment already delivered an uncountable amount of times. But, seriously...see this film! It's funny, it's gory and it's a great time! Just try to look at it as a stand alone film...because the very second you allow yourself to see it in the same light as the other [REC]  films is the moment you will feel bewilderment and isolation take hold. However, that is not to say that it is a bad film in the slightest. It's filmed with entertaining horror that will resonate long after the final kiss. Highly recommended!



Ok, kids...are you ready??




Here are Film Deviant's picks for THE BEST HORROR FILMS OF 2012...









10. ABSENTIA (2011)

We loved Absentia  for the great example of independent horror filmmaking that it is. It is a film that started with a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production and, while it is certainly not flawless, it stands as an original story full of intelligent plot decisions as well as keen performances by most involved. Unfortunately, due to the budget constraints, the main antagonists are never really shown (which also makes for one hell of a creepy atmosphere) but, we can't really fault the film for its lack of funds. Absentia  is a good little film worth your time.








9. THE COLLECTION (2012)

The Collection  is a nice sophmore effort made by the creators of the first entry. It is unabashed horror fun at its most trivial. Though you ultimately know what's going to happen, the filmmakers make it a fun journey ensuring that no one yawns in the audience. Certainly, the short 82 minute running time helps the film achieve its break-neck pace. It also helps that most of the performers do a decent job with the roles given. And the Collector, himself, is badass awesomeness. While The Collection  never reaches for anything too cerebral, it is a blast of a time for what it is.








8. THE DEVIL'S ROCK (2011)

The Devil's Rock  is that rare treat of genre film that unfolds into something just short of perfection as you watch the story progress. Made on the cheap, it is another great example of independent horror filmmaking at its finest. Utilizing everything it can to establish solid storytelling that makes for a hugely satisfying experience and it also takes full advantage of its set pieces, as well as, time period. Technically, The Devil's Rock  was shown at numerous film festivals last year...however, it was finally released on DVD here in the States on Valentine's Day 2012, which qualifies the film for this list. Whatever the case...it's definitely one of those films that you need to see.








7. THE POSSESSION (2012)

The second best PG-13 film on this list. The Possession  never really takes off to become a truly horrifying original film. However, it is a highly entertaining jaunt into the world of the dybbuk box. There's even a scene towards the end of the film that conjures the stuff of nightmares that takes place in a morgue. The film is shot absolutely beautifully and the performances are great, including 13 year old Natasha Calis as the girl who unwittingly lets loose a Jewish demon. Shit, even Matisyahu turns out a surprisingly great performance. It is a film that will entertain on its own merits never attempting to become more than it is. Which is perfectly fine for a PG-13 horror film about demons.








6. SINISTER (2012)

What a welcomed surprise Sinister  turned out to be! Full of established genre tropes rehashed to invent something altogether fresh, the film leads the viewer into a twisted dark world full of unsettling ambushes at every corner. A film that coud've been much greater than it ultimately was, Sinister  was a nice change of pace from all the other remakes and sequels that tend to crowd the theaters every October. We'd love to see another entry into this malevolent world.








5. V/H/S (2012)

What do you get when you take a band of up-and-coming directors on the fringe of normal filmmaking and let them loose on a found footage premise? The polarizing film known as V/H/S. Full of inventive notions and entertaining storylines, it is an anthology horror film for a new generation. It incorporates several moments of pure scary jolts along with unsettling atmosphere. It is a monster movie, a stalking slasher movie, an alien invasion movie and a supernatural movie...all rolled into one hell of a horror film. V/H/S  brought something refreshingly different to the horror movie landscape and, hopefully, more films follow its unique path.








4. THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012)

As soon as the Hammer logo came on the screen, we knew that we were in store for that old-school style of epic horror. A ghosthouse film set to the backdrop of an old creepy house in the middle of a London nowhere, The Woman in Black  succeeds in becoming a throwback to Hammer films of old, while also setting the stage for the film studio for newer entries into the genre. Hammer is poised to make one hell of a comeback and The Woman in Black will hopefully be regarded as the film that opened the door for their return. Also, Daniel Radcliff is great in the film.








3. JUAN OF THE DEAD (2011)

Juan of the Dead  is the best Zom-Com import on this list. Probably because it is the only Zom-Com import on this list. It smartly combines horror elements with social commentary and peppers in some genuine laughs for good measure. And the titular Juan is an unforgettably sincere character for the ages. As a matter of fact, the entire cast is amazing and heartfelt. It's almost as if Romero grew a perversely unique sense of humor and moved to Cuba. If it were not for the next two films on this list, Juan of the Dead  could've easily taken the top spot. It's that good!








2. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)

Just take a look at that screenshot up above. A fucking unicorn is about to impale someone. That should give you an indication of how absolutely awesome The Cabin in the Woods  is. Some feel that this film is a tad overrated...but, that's simply because of how amazing the film transcends the genre and becomes instantly likable to casual fans, as well as the hardcore horror fans. It is a film made for horror geeks...by horror geeks. A complete dissection of what makes horror film so great in the first place. It's impossible not to smile with complete enjoyment throughout the film's running time. Whedon and Goddard at their horror movie best.








1. JOHN DIES AT THE END (2012)

We watched this film just a few days ago and...alas...it made it just in time for the crowning achievement of BEST HORROR FILM OF 2012. John Dies at the End  is not a love letter to horror films. It is the essence of what makes genre films so great in the first place. Most of the films I love aren't necessarily technical masterpieces. They are deeply flawed...but, they possess something most films of its ilk don't have. Heart. JDATE  is the real deal, folks. It is a film made with the sole intention of creating something completely different and enjoyable. It truly feels like a legend being born...and for that, it deserves to be here at the top of the Film Deviant list. It always straddles that all important line of never taking itself too seriously, while seriously creating a universe all its own. It is equal parts philosophical, equal parts gorefest, equal parts elaborate mysticism, equal parts dick jokes...and everything in between. And just when you think it can't get any better...BOOBIES! We, here at Film Deviant, genuinely love films like John Dies at the End...and we sincerely hope you see it for what it is. The inception of a cult legend. Spotty CGI be damned.







Another year of amazingly awesome movies has come to its conclusion...and we are super excited for the good stuff in 2013! Will the Evil Dead  remake make this list next year? Or will it top the Worst List? How about Texas Chainsaw 3D? That one's almost a no brainer. Who knows what 2013 has in store for us horror fanatics? That's what makes it truly fun...right? Well....whatever the case...we will be right here covering every last bit of the gory, scary, funny, and just about everything else thrown at us...and we would love it if you were there alongside us.



THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING ALL YEAR!









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