Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 10 FAVORITES of 2016!

NOTE: See how I typed "favorites" in all caps up there?  That's because this list is only meant to be MY favorite horror films of 2016- not any kind of definitive list, so no one fight me on these, puh-lease!

Ok, with that out of the way, now we can get to the good stuff!

(in no particular order - except for the #1 spot)

10. Don't Breathe- This one I actually went into completely blind (no pun intended), aside from the general plot.  I avoided the trailers like the plague because several people had been telling me that they were pretty spoilerific and ruined some great "twists and reveals".  I'm glad I did because I had zero idea what to expect and that's exactly how I feel like this movie should be approached.  Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake) nailed the tension and fear that the characters experienced throughout.  The shining star of the movie, though, was Stephen Lang playing a blind man whose home is going to be broken into.  This isn't your typical home invasion film.  You'll also never look at a turkey baster the same again...ugh.

9. Pet- This one was one of the late releases this year (Dec 2), and probably won't be on a lot of top 10 lists, but I don't even care because I really enjoyed it!  If you're unfamiliar with the film, a man (Dominic Monaghan) kidnaps waitress, Holly (Ksenia Solo), and locks her in a steel cage he's constructed in an unused wing of the animal shelter he works in.  That's all I'll give you, but if you watch the trailers you'll see there's a lot more to the story than that.  I won't lie and say this one reinvents the horror wheel, because it doesn't, but it's fun and creepy and has some legitimate twists and turns.

8. The Invitation- I wouldn't blame anyone for hating me if I didn't include this in my list.  Surprisingly, this was a pretty polarizing flick within the horror community; one side of the fence said it was a snoozefest and the other side heralded it for being a masterpiece of dread and tension.  I stand on that latter side, clearly.  Instead of re-hashing my thoughts on the film here, check out my review on it from April- THE INVITATION review.

7. Southbound- I think this one is actually the earliest release on my list having come out in February.  I'm such a sucker for an anthology film, and this one had a great cast of directors behind each segment.  I loved how seamlessly each story flowed together and created this never-ending sense of eeriness.  It was like a modern day Twilight Zone!  This is another one where you can check out my review on- SOUTHBOUND review.

6. Beyond the Gates- Another late-in-the-year release (Dec 9), this was Jackson Stewart's feature film debut and it hit a number of 80's nostalgia nails on the head.  Taking on the almost forgotten idea of VHS board games and turning it into a fun horror film was pretty genius to me.  Check out my full review on the movie here- BEYOND THE GATES review

5.  The Wailing- Wow, I don't even know if I have the right words to convey how great this movie is.  Coming out of South Korea, director/writer Na Hong-jin tells us the story of a policeman who must find out the cause behind a mysterious illness that is striking the villagers and causing them to commit brutal murders.  Coming in at just under 160 minutes, this watch is laborious and requires your full attention (especially with subtitles) but is full of such fantastic storytelling that you won't even be worried about the length.  The Wailing is so much more than a ghost story, a possession movie, a murder mystery... it's all of those, yes, but also completely heartbreaking.

4. The Eyes of My MotherAfter her mother is brutally murdered, Francisca tries to cure her loneliness in dark and disturbing ways.  Before I watched this, I didn't even have any idea I'd be adding it to my Top 10 list.  Admittedly it was because I was turned off by the black & white aspect of the movie and thought it was going to end up being some pretentious, artsy-fartsy movie but boy, was I wrong.  This movie was bleak and violent from beginning to very end, but there was so many things to enjoy about it.  The b&w helps tone down the gore in the film, but I still felt uneasy eating while watching and you probably would, too.

3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe- I swear, the majority of my picks were released this month!  This one is probably the latest one (Dec 23) and the last movie that I needed for my list.  This one spooked the fuck out of me and it was so much fun.  There was a buttload of dread and a great mystery that you're solving right alongside the lead characters.  Check out my review on it from last week- THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE review

2. Baskin- This movie is fucking B-A-N-A-N-A-S (don't act like you didn't sing that part...).  Like, the first 20-30 min are probably the tamest and even those are weird as hell.  After that, all bets are off.  This Turkish flick is rooted firmly in surreal horror territory where a group of police officers stumble into Hell, basically, when they go into an abandoned building where a Black Mass is taking place.  The acting was great, the colors were wild and vibrant, and the movie never lets up once it gets going.  This one definitely aint for the squeamish.

1. Green Room- When I saw this one in April, I knew it had a secure spot on my list, but after giving it a re-watch yesterday, I knew it had my #1 spot.  From director Jeremy Saulnier, we follow a punk band who are forced to fight for their lives after witnessing a murder in a club run by Neo-Nazis.  What a simple fucking storyline, right?  Saulnier takes that simplicity and gives us a horribly violent and tension-filled movie that sticks with you for a long time after watching.  I felt like everything was done just perfectly with this movie and that's incredibly hard to find in horror (yes, this is a goddamn horror movie, don't even suggest otherwise!)  Plus, it was the last film to be released, while he was alive, that featured Anton Yelchin (RIP).
Check out Adam's kickass review on it- GREEN ROOM review

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Neon Demon, The Conjuring 2, Under the Shadow, I Am Not A Serial Killer, Always Shine

Leave me your picks in the comments below!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holidays with Horror Huddle: Krampus (2015)

(I have to apologize for the shitty lighting on my end and the potato sound quality.  We're still trying to hone our skills and find better software.  Let us know if y'all have any suggestions!)

On this special Christmas-time ep, we talk about Michael Dougherty's 2015 comedy/horror KRAMPUS.

And you finally get to hear our very own intro/outro Horror Huddle theme song!  Created by Adam Odor because he kicks butt.  Hope you guys dig it!

Enjoy and leave some feedback!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Running Time: 1hr 39min
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Written by: Ian B. Goldberg, Richard Naing
Directed by: André Øvredal

Review by: Stacey

This was the last horror movie of '16 that I was anticipating the release of, and boy, did it deliver.  Not to mention the fact that the director of Trollhunter helmed this one, so naturally I was all in.  Throw Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox in the lead roles and you have yourself a solid flick for me.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ash & S-B's 2016 Christmas Picks!

Christmas is actually my least favorite holiday (what a shocker); there's just too much damn cheeriness for me.  And the music, dark lord, the music.  Don't get me wrong, I still decorate the hell out of my house every year and put up a tree, but that's because it's the perfect mood setter for when I turn off every other light and sit down for my annual viewing of Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS or the ever-so-bizarre CHRISTMAS EVIL.

Ash and I decided to pick 3 movies each that we think are perfect watches for your holiday viewing this year.  Read on below for our lists!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beyond the Gates (2016)

Running Time: 1hr 24min
Release Date: December 9, 2016
Written by: Stephen Scarlata, Jackson Stewart
Directed by: Jackson Stewart

Review by: Stacey

Horror has been a haven for the retro throwback style the last few years with movies like House of the Devil, Almost Human, The Guest (ok, not really horror, but y'know) and most recently The Mind's Eye.  It seems like a lot of filmmakers are choosing to set their movies from decades past or even in fairly ambiguous time frames (It Follows), and for most it works!  I've talked to a few folks, however, who have said they're growing tired of the throwback style, but I can tell you that I'm not one of them, especially not after seeing Jackson Stewart's feature debut, Beyond the Gates.