As another year winds down, some of our staff had a chance to pick their favorite choice for movie of the year. Enjoy their selections below.
‘The Hallow’ pick by Lynn Sorel
Corin Hardy’s ‘The Hallow’ is my pick for horror film of 2015. It stands out as one of the most original films I’ve seen in quite a long time. The genre is saturated with remakes in sequels, so ‘The Hallow’ really stands out as something different. It is also the only film I have reviewed thus far that I’ve given a 10/10 to.
As I state in my review, ‘The Hallow’ is an absolutely amazing fairy-tale based horror film that is part creature feature, party bloody horror. It takes a scientific approach to the ideas presented, and makes an extremely realistic portrayal of a real life fairy tale come to life in modern times.
Fairy tale use in horror is extremely rare and it is refreshing to see an original story that makes use of it. It has underlying themes of nature fighting back against the intrusion of man. Joseph Mawle is excellent as the scientific Adam. Bojana Novakovic is memorable as terrified mother Clare. Various horror sub genres are elegantly blended and the result is one of the best horror films I’ve seen in years.
‘The Voices’ pick by Sean McLaughlin
An unassuming look at the harmful effects of mental health issues masquerading as a serial killer comedy, my pick for best horror movie of 2015 is The Voices. I’ll be the first to admit that this was not the average movie-watching year for me in terms of volume, but there are several candidates that stood out right away. Ryan Reynolds, in a role that you’d never believe he could pull off, plays a loveable loser that lacks social skills but has regular dialogues with his cat (Mr. Whiskers) and dog (Bosco) at his bowling alley-turned-crappy apartment home. What starts off innocently enough soon spirals way out of control as the voices (all done by Reynolds) force an internal debate within himself of good versus evil, and right versus wrong. Most people can relate, but as the comedic violence turns to a blood orgy the audience (hopefully) will stop with the sympathy and begin to recognize the tragic consequences of continuing to function in an unfamiliar and sometimes cold world.
What I really like about this film, besides the Dr. Doolittle meets Son of Sam meets American Psycho aspect, is at some point the laughs stop and the tension kicks in full force. You don’t realize it as it happens, but towards the end of the movie your mood and expectations are in complete conflict with how you felt in the beginning. Reynolds is known for his comedic “chops”, and yes I realize that he’s now Deadpool as well, but by and large serious or dramatic roles seem to pass him by. With The Voices, perhaps, that perception can now begin to fade. This film definitely has the independent look and feel to it, but it actually boasts a pretty good cast as well (Anna Kendrick and Gemma Arterton are also featured). To me, it’s certainly worth a look due to its mid-story jump from black comedy to full-fledge horror flick (much like 2014 gem Clown). For horror fans, the unexpected amount of blood and severed heads will help as well.
‘It Follows’ pick by Christine Caprilozzi
It Follows was for me the most memorable, well done film of the year. The idea of this demonic force taking different forms and being passed on by sexual contact isn’t just a concept, but looking deeper, the viewer sees that it is passed on most often by deception causing paranoia and fear. The feel of this film was not only original but many kudos to David Robert Mitchell for exceptional direction and storytelling.
The acting in It Follows was excellent by the ensemble of young actors/actresses. That combined with the gritty direction, the film has a very raw and suspenseful feel. What appeals most to me about the film is that its less gore and a more haunting, terrifying story making what is not shown scarier. If you have not seen it yet, It Follows is well worth your time and my pick for Horror Film of 2015.
‘We Are Still Here’ pick by Bloody Bastard
My top pick for 2015 is the stylishly creepy We Are Still Here. While on the surface this is a basic haunted house story, first-time director Ted Geoghegan nails it with a work that will no doubt sit in the very darkest corners of my soul for quite some time.
Reminiscent of the atmospheric chillers of my formative years, We Are Still Here hits all the notes of solid filmmaking dead on. The rather simple story of grieving couple seeking a change of scenery after the death of their son only to be plunged into a pit of horror is executed with fine acting, meticulous production design and a score that chills the skin. With several nods to horror master Lucio Fulci, the gory climax would make the late director proud of how his legacy is being preserved.
‘Goodnight Mommy’ pick by Larry Dwyer
So 2015 has drawn to a close and we at Horror News Network are forced (at knife point, I might add…damned savages) to choose our favorite horror film of the year. This is always the toughest part of the year for me; not because it’s hard to choose a great flick but because it’s so hard to leave any of them off of the list!
Well, after beating myself over the head (quite literally), I’ve come to the conclusion that “Goodnight Mommy” (“Ich seh, ich seh”) is my favorite horror film of 2015. “Goodnight Mommy” was written and directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz and stars twin brothers Elias and Lukas Schwarz as Elias and Lukas and Susanne Wuest as their mother.
The film opens on the boys at their gorgeous lakeside home in Austria eagerly awaiting the arrival of their mother from the hospital. When she arrives, her head is largely covered in bandages and her attitude towards her sons has changed for the worse. As the boys question her, they begin to believe that maybe this isn’t their mother after all and they eventually decide to take matters into their own hands to find out for sure.
“Goodnight Mommy” is a disturbing little film that I highly recommend to anyone who really wants to feel uncomfortable for a little while.
TV Show of the Year: Ash vs. Evil Dead.
Surprisingly Good Movie of the Year: The Visit.
Letdown of the Year: Krampus.
Stay gory my friends.
There you have it! What do you think of our selections?