5 Horror Films from 2013
Some of the best stories are horrific and creepy ones. If you are not faint of heart, here are 5 horror films from 2013 that I recommend.
20 Years in the Making
Ed Warren (played by Patrick Wilson in the movie) first pitched the idea for this film over 20 years ago. For the first 14 years, he had no success. Sadly Warren passed away in 2006, three years before a deal was made to produce the film.
Synopsis: A family moves into a house and things start going bump in the night. The family tasks Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal experts and demonologists, to investigate. Then things get crazy.
Based loosely on the story of a real life haunting, The Conjuring doesn't add much new material to the horror genre - it has echos of The Exorcist and Poltergeist, but in a good way. The best scares and thrills are old school - lights going out, things falling off the walls, things like that.
One of its main strengths is that it is really well shot. Near the beginning there is a super cool long shot that made me say 'wow'. Director James Wan knows his stuff for real!
Lesson to learn from this film - Don't ever go in the creepy basement!
Filmed in 2011, You're Next didn't get a theatrical release until August 2013, two years after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness. Shot on a $1 million budget, the film brought in over $26 million at the box office.
Synopsis: When four grown children and their significant others come together to celebrate their parent's anniversary, the sweet family reunion turns into a bloodbath. Stalked by masked killers, people start getting picked off one by one. That is except for Erin (Sharni Vinson), the girlfriend of one of the sons, who decides to defend the house and fight back. The rest of the film is pure badass action.
My thought after finishing You're Next was, This is about as close to perfect as a film can get. The next thought was, I've got to see this again. Which is why I didn't send it back to Netflix the next day, but watched it again the next night. That very rarely happens, maybe once or twice a year.
Why is this film so great? Numerous reasons - Running at about 90 minutes, the story is very tightly told and the pacing is phenomenal. The acting, action, and cinematography are outstanding. On top of all that, I love how the filmmakers turn the home invasion sub-genre completely upside down. This is the type of film that The Purge wanted so hard to be. In fact, this is the type of film that so many films want to be like. In short, this film is super fantastic.
The Top 5 Highest Grossing Horror films of 2013
1. The Conjuring
2. Insidious Chapter 2
4. Evil Dead
Synopsis: Michael leaves the city to help his friend Chris, a drug addict, to get clean. As expected, Chris is very reluctant to comply. But Michael does his best to help. Meanwhile, some really bizarre things start happening and Michael believes that someone is watching them and leaving clues for him to follow.
I've read comparisons between this film and Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods. I wouldn't quite go that far, but the two do share some traits - both of the films deconstruct the horror genre in their own way for example. One of the best parts of the film is the dialogue between the main characters Michael (Peter Cilella) and Chris (Vinny Curran).
For a very small indie horror film which has very little in the way of in your face horror, Resolution is pretty creepy.
+1 Director Dennis Iliadis on his film
"I love the high school movies of the 80s, John Hughes, etc. I love that environment, it's not a cynical environment. It's when kids are in love, they have their hormones, insecurities, desires. That creates a very raw emotional environment. I think it's very interesting to take a brainy sci-fi idea and graft it onto that." - from JoBlo.com
+1 (Plus One)
Synopsis: Parents are out of town and a party gets thrown. Three friends go to the party all with different motives for being there.
+1 starts out like any other teenage party movie, but is quickly turned upside down when doubles of every person at the party start appearing.
This film from Dennis Iliadis and Bill Gullo is not very suspenseful or scary. It is also a bit more sci-fi than it is horror. But It is still entertaining and amusing and turns the whole 'teenage party out of control' on its head. For a smaller film trying to do something different, it is good, not amazingly good, but good.
Lesson to learn from this film - Listen to the paranoid people; sometimes they are right!
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Awards for Berberian Sound Studio
Berberian Sound Studio
Synopsis: Gilderoy is an Englishman who does sound effects man in the film industry. An Italian filmmaker hires him to do sounds for his new film, but Gilderoy is having a hard time getting used to the way things are done in Italy. And he can't seem to get reimbursed him for his plane tickets.
Set in the 1970s, Berberian Sound Studio is an interesting look at the way films were made in days gone by, when sound engineering was a bit more involved and a bit more analog. I found this through a list on Fearnet.com for 2013's best horror films.
The visuals in this film are very striking and the editing is phenomenal. Toby Jones is pretty great in this 'fish out of water' story which is really not a horror film, but more of a black comedy about the process of making a film.
Director: Peter Strickland
Writer: Peter Strickland
Starring: Toby Jones, Antonio Mancino, Guido Adorni
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Your Favorite Horror Film of 2013?
If you've got a favorite, or several favorites, let me know. I'm always on the lookout for good stuff to watch!