There comes a time every year when we websites must cater to the masses and deliver to you what we thought were the best, and sometimes worst films we have seen in the previous year. As we wipe the sleep away from our eyes and venture into a new year we know here at HMU that it is our time to deliver the goods on some of our top picks of the year. Instead of bombarding the readers with a plethora of titles some of which many have seen and some only available to festival goers. Existing in a landscape such as this we felt it would be a disservice to relay some sort of countdown and narrow down what was once again a busy year for the horror industry. Fitting that 2014 also caught the hype bug in the movie word as a majority of titles we expected to see this past year never surfaced. So instead of listing the help of our miraculous contributors, disturbing their holiday seasons pressuring them to co construct sie massive list, we just kept it simple. Two films. Movies you may or may not have seen this year but selections our guys all felt no matter what the scenario deserved the mention in either favor.We could not finish this task without involving you our audience so we also have a special guest giving their input on the best and worst of 2014. One of our readers Steven Nelson has submitted his picks and will be getting a nice little horror care package from us to start of 2015. So here we submit to all of you for better or for worst Horror Movies Uncut Best/Worst List of 2014.I gave out contributors the freedom to express their frame of mind on this list the same way as I do their reviews. -Travis Brown Managing Director Horror Movies Uncut
Wickd Chris –
Ancient Curses can’t compete with the Undead in 2014
Once again the annals of cinema history come to a close on another year. Like every year, 2014 had it’s dizzying highs and blistering lows in the horror genre. While there are many metrics (most commonly box office performance numbers and critical evaluation) that can be definitively expressed to judge whether a film is considered a “success” or a “failure,” the judgment of whether a film is “good” or “bad” is highly subjective. So without further ado, here is my personal subjective rating of the 2014’s “best” and “worst” horror films.
So we start with Gregory Levasseur’s Pyramid. A creature feature that uses the classic trope of trapping the protagonist in with the terrible beastie. In Pyramid, a father/daughter archeologist team portrayed by Denis O’Hare and Ashley Hinshaw, want to have their discovery of a pyramid several hundred meters beneath the desert sand filmed. The duo are anything but dynamic. The bickering team simply are not strong enough to carry the lead script. Pyramid suffers from a deplorable, shallow, choppy script that would give Daniel Day Lewis a stroke. Then there are the creatures. There isn’t enough shaky cam or blurring or forced perspectives that can make these look like anything remotely threatening. Pyramid. 2014’s. Worst. Horror Film.
Then there is Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead. A sequel to Tommy Wirkola’s 2009 comedy horror Dead Snow. A direct sequel to the first film, Dead Snow 2 takes place immediately after the events of the first film. At its most basic element, Dead Snow is another creature feature pitting man against monster in a desperate fight for survival. In the sequel, the survivor of the first film Martin, played again by Vegar Hoel, continues his fight against the Nazi Zombies. There is where the brilliance of Dead Snow 2 lies. Wirkola’s firm dedication to creativity and ingenuity in a genre that has seen everything from underground mutants to demon seeds to torture porn exploitation. Dead Snow 2 revels in remaining energetic and brilliantly entertaining in its bloody and violent character dispatches. Many sequels fall into the trap of rehashing and reusing queues from the original film and trying to catch the originals moments. Dead Snow two, while keeping the same basic plot, actually adds a depth to the original film and goes on to play fast and loose with the world building of the story. Often this leads to a incoherent or shaky story but with Dead Snow 2 the blocks fall perfectly into place. The script is neat and polished and avoids unnecessary complication. Hoel moves through his part of Martin and fully commits to an incredulous world evolving around him. The film is not perfect. There are some subplots that drag. Notably the inept local police and the very referential star wars antics. The humor mostly falls flat with both of these and interrupt the pacing a bit. However the comedic force and surprisingly forward and unapologetically creative portrayal of violence easily overcome. Dead Snow 2 takes chances. Not blind, random shots in the dark; but calculated, balanced, well targeted chances that perfectly land and make for a wickedly entertaining film. And that is what makes a film the “best” for me. The level of entertainment that was delivered to my screen. 2014 was a good year. Here’s to another great one.
Heather Lee –
Worst- Leprechaun Origins
Another horrible remake. Strayed away from the comedic horror of the origional which is what made the series.
Best- Cheap Thrills
Perfect example of the question, how far and how much will you do for money? The consistent debauchery of the dares pushes ones self worth and morality. You have self mutilation, acts towards one’s self worth physically and sexuality, greed and exploitation.
Its a faced paced, on the edge of your seat kind of movie that makes you questions humanity in the realest since.
Daniel Klemens –
Being a horror film reviewer I have seen an abundance of horror films this year a few terrible, some mediocre and a few real gems that make it all worth it. One of these is the spellbinding and beautiful It Follows. A experiment in minimalist horror done spectacularly. With beautiful imagery, melodramatic music and tension all dialled to 100, it has all the ingredients for a truly memorable experience.
Honourable Mentions: The Babadook, Starry Eyes and Under the Skin.
Boy have I reviewed some crap this year. I have seen a lot of films that were just plain bad/boring but they aren’t worth putting in this list. Cam2Cam achieves the masterful accomplishment of being so bat-shit crazy, lazy, stupid, hilarious that one would lose their faith in horror while watching this film. Yet I must say when watching this with a good friend of mine we both did have a chuckle or two at Cam2Cam’s audacity to be so terrible, so depending on your sense of humour this could even be ‘so bad it’s good’.
Honourable Mentions: Mercy and VHS: Viral
Samantha Kline –
Starry Eyes, Omg loved this movie. Just the raw unfiltered rage that existed in the main character was frightening enough. Out of all the movies pushing that retro feel somehow Starry Eyes was able to separate themselves with a glam pop horror cult classic.
Worst Pick! (Booo)
Not sure what all the hype was about with the film FOUND. When people talk more about the film in the film than the actual movie itself then there is all you need to know. I’m looking forward to HEADLESS and the work of all the talent involved, but i just didn’t get it. Found was too slow and once the film reached its climax I could care less. Oh well, I know many won’t agree but this one is my pick!
GUEST REVIEWER Steve Nelson:
Best: Housebound. Spooky, goofy, and endearing – it’s like a grown-up adaptation of a Goosebumps book. The most fun I had in theatres this year.
Runner-up: It Follows.
Worst: Leprechaun: Origins. A bland, soulless undertaking that strips all personality from previous Leprechaun movies and replaces it with uninteresting characters and a disposable villain. I honestly can’t even remember what happens in this disaster, other than 90 minutes of my life disappearing.
Runner-up: The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
Thanks so much Steve and be on the look out for a holiday horror pack coming your way soon!
Adrian Hall –
Best film of 2014… Enemy. A well directed mind boggling psychological thriller with perfect pacing, great characterisation and acting, horrifying visuals and a lasting impact on the psyche. Overshadowed by Under the Skinand Nightcrawler, but in my opinion more original than the aforementioned and with a better performance by Gyllenhaal than the latter.
Worst film of 2014… I Frankenstein. Tries to be so-bad-it’s good but ends up as just plain bad. Mindless and painful to watch.
Stacey Beth –
Best: The Guest
Adam Wingard nailed it with this super intense thriller. The cinematography and the use of color- even the soundtrack is perfect in this film. It’s so stylish and retro, it’s insane. It’s a kickass mashed up nod to the horror/action films of the 80’s. I feel like this movie is one that’s not to be missed or overlooked.
Worst: Willow Creek/Deliver Us From Evil
I tried my hardest to pick just one, but I couldn’t. Yes, Willow Creek technically came out at a film festival in 2013, it wasn’t RELEASED until 2014. So hmph! And I just don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t include it. Totally boring with a buildup that literally led to nowhere. The acting didn’t lend itself to the film’s quality either. The ending came and went in a flash and I’m sad I spent money on renting it.
Deliver Us From Evil was one I reviewed for HMU several months ago, so it bears repeating that this movie was NOT good. Just another cliche possession movie with predictable jump scares. Easily forgettable, this movie brought nothing new to the table.
Travis Brown –
Best Pick of 2014 –
Late Phases – Can we say welcome back werewolves in 2014? With films like Wolfcop and others we saw a return to the furlegged creatures. LATE PHASES took the cake as it mixed brilliant comedy in a very good tale in a werewolf meets Salem’s Lot kind of manner. Thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.
Worst Film of 2014 – Usually these are hard to come by for me as I can generally see the good in any film/ The ones that stick out are usually the ones I have expectations for and they hit so low there is no coming back. So with that being said my pick for worst horror movie of 2014 is HAUNTED HOUSE 2. If you read my review then you would understand my disgust with this film. The jokes were stale and played out even though most of the jokes were from the first film too. Where Haunted House went wrong was put on full display in this one. While some may have cheered for the Family Guy homge scene , I was completely turned off. Oh well maybe the third one will be good when Marlon sells away this franchise too.
There you have it folks. Get ready for an amazing 2015 for HMU and don’t be surprised to see us covering a film in your own back yard soon! Happy New Year everyone and thanks for a fantastic 2014.
Categories: Horror News