Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014 - The Year in Review

Since I haven't been reviewing for over a year now, but I've still been watching movies occasionally, I'll just end this year (and hopefully this blog forever) with three very subjective lists of what I consider to be the best and worst movies that I've seen in 2014.

Lots of people have tried to get me to come back to blogging. I thank them all for their encouragement and constant support, but my heart's not in it anymore. I can barely get back into character to write this post. I haven't been into the horror genre for a very long time (in hindsight, I should have stayed quit when I gave up on this foolishness back in 2011). Suffice it to say that I've moved on to other more lucrative pursuits.

This year has also been full of personal tragedies and unexpected bereavements which have been more important to me than reviewing stupid movies. I was already done with this pointless hobby and the dogs in mangers it attracts, but real life events cemented my decision.

On the plus side, I've cut ties with a lot of people who are too obsessed with movies for their own good (or anyone else's), I've made many new and far better friends than I ever had in previous years, and I even rekindled some old important friendships which I'd lost due to my own assholitis and neglect. We live and learn, I suppose. Well, some of us do.

Anyway, maybe you'll get something out of this post, maybe you won't. It is what it is.


My Top 10 Worst Horror Movies of 2014

1. The Babadook - because it's not really horror, and although I could see what they were all trying to do, the story lacks cohesion in so many ways that it doesn't make any sense on any level to anyone (no matter how some people try to force it to). The pacing is far too slow, and the movie lacks inertia, but I have to admit that the pop-up book is kind of cool. The kid in it is an outstanding actor for his age but intentionally annoying as piss too. A real shame because I generally love Australian movies, and I wanted to enjoy this one.

2. The Battery - aka Two drunken baseball players trapped in a car by zombies during a low-budget clone of "The Walking Dead". Fucking dreck. I can't stand "The Walking Dead" either.

3. Oculus - just another clone of "The Gate Crasher" segment of "From Beyond the Grave" (1974) but rendered incomprehensible and boring through bad writing and mostly annoying acting. Karen Gillan is the only reason why anyone watched it anyway.

4. Annabelle - boring as shit sequel to "The Conjuring" which was also boring as shit. Sorry again, James Wan, if you accidentally read this, it's nothing personal, but you already know that I didn't like your ghostie movies.

5. V/H/S: Viral - aka Only one semi-decent segment (the parallel universe one) surrounded by more shakycam, puke-inducing, found footage shite.

6. Dracula Untold - bahahahahaha NO! Unwatchable! I tried though.

7. The Sacrament - "Bad Dreams" (1988) did the cult thing much better. Hell, even Kevin Smith's "Red State" (2011) did the cult thing much better. This is just a stupid Waco-style mockumentary for millennials. It all feels like an average TV movie. Not worth piss.

8. Leprechaun: Origins - No Warwick Davis? No fun! Get to fuck!

9. See No Evil 2 - a half-arsed sequel to a half-arsed WWE slasher which I didn't ever like. Kane is now F13's Jason and can survive being pumped full of embalming fluid. Fuck that noise!

10. Starry Eyes - half-"Faust" and half-"Contracted" but twice as disappointing overall. It could've been a classic, but it wasn't, not even for 2014. "Eat" and "Raaz 3" had similar themes. Mind you, so did "Showgirls".

Runners-up include nearly everything from Blumhouse Productions, all of the SyFy channel/The Asylum movies, and 99.9% of American indie (i.e. 5 delusional guys and a shaky Jazzcam in their backyard) horror movies made this year.

I had no interest in Ouija and didnt watch it, so I can't comment on that. I didn't ever see the remake of Blacker Than the Night either due to a very limited theatrical release. I don't consider ABCs of Death 2 to be anything other than a collection of mediocre YouTube videos, so that's not even a movie. There were others on DVD and Netflix which I watched about five minutes of each and then either fast-forwarded through or ditched, but other than Wer and The Quiet Ones, I don't remember what they were.

To balance things, however, here's a "Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2014". Not that any of them were great, mind you, nor will any of them be remembered or thought of as "classics" in the future.


My Top 10 Best Horror Movies of 2014

1. S.O.B. Summer of Blood - yeah, it's mostly a comedy, but I liked it because it ticked every box necessary on the way through (especially for us older guys who loathe political correctness). Years ago, when my tastes were different, I would have switched something like this just after the pivotal scene, but I'm glad that I stayed with it. I hope to see more from everyone involved in this production one day. Having made some inquiries, I know that it's not a vain hope either.

2. Housebound - again, not too serious, but well acted and competent despite being all over the place tonally. It's from New Zealand, I believe.

3. When Animals Dream - sort of like "Let the Right One In" but with werewolves instead. I now prefer this to "Ginger Snaps" even though (subtextually) it's not meant to be another "coming of age" metaphor.

4. Tusk - hmmmm, bit of a theme here with comedies. It's very good though. I felt bad for the walrus guy.

5. 13 Sins - a remake, but far better than the original. Very "Twilight Zone"-ish.

6. Raaz 3: The Third Dimension - cool Bollywood horror. The best of its kind ever according to box office figures. The actresses in it are uber hot.

7. The Damned - really from last year, but I only watched it this year. It's core is "Restrepo" all over again, so the monster is not very original. Some would liken it to "Satan's Triangle" in places too. The acting and story is better and faster though.

8. The Town That Dreaded Sundown - a remake/sequel and a clone of "Scream" combined, but it's still highly entertaining and has better production values than most of the movies on this list.

9. [REC]⁴ Apocalypse - miles better than the last sequel, and a worthy finale. Possibly the second best of the entire "[REC]" series.

10. Wrong Turn 6 - Jesus fuck, the gore effects were brutal! Not the best story ever, but at least it had a story too. Apparently, all copies of this movie have been withdrawn now due to a kerfuffle over some private photographs used in poor taste and without permission. If you've already bought it, you can probably make a small fortune by selling it on eBay.

Runner up: Cheap Thrills - more of a thriller than horror, I suppose, but exceptionally good for what it is. More suspense than most horror anyway, and decent acting. I'd recommend it more highly if the hipsters hadn't latched onto it and overhyped it.

Runner-up 2: Bunshinsaba 3 - just because I hardly ever recommend Asian horror.

Runner-up 3: The Taking of Deborah Logan - despite taking me three tries to get through it.


And finally, for more positivity from a showbiz year filled with sadness, toxic people, disappointment, and negativity...

My Top 10 Movies of 2014

1. I Origins - one of the best indie movies I've ever seen.

2. Nightcrawler

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

4. 300: Rise of an Empire

5. Bad Words

6. John Wick

7. S.O.B. Summer of Blood

8. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For - Eva Green again, 'nuff said.

9. Raaz 3: The Third Dimension

10. Edge of Tomorrow

Runner-up: Fury

As for my "Worst 10 Movies of 2014", that would be too mean, especially since there are so many which seemed to be intentionally competing for the label. I'd like to give the top positions on that list to Lost Time, Septic Man, The Guest, or Honeymoon, but from the major theatrical releases, Noah, The Equalizer, and Left Behind are even worse. I haven't seen Exodus or Paddington yet though.


Bonus: My Top TV Series of 2014

1. Game of Thrones

2. Orange Is the New Black

I haven't watched enough television to make a "Top Ten" of these either, plus I can't abide the more obvious choices of The Walking Dead or American Horror Story: Freakshow. They became too "samey", and I gave up on both. I binge-watched all of Fringe, Bates Motel, Doctor Who, and Breaking Bad earlier this year on Netflix, but they are old now (like me) and don't count.


I don't care if you enjoyed my choices or hated them, I liked what I liked and disliked what I didn't, and since this is still my blog not yours, that's all that really matters. There are millions of other bloggers publishing similar lists, so if you don't like mine, it's not the end of the world. Maybe you'll find one which you agree with somewhere else. Nobody needs to take this personally. Outside of the big name cliques and shills who all repeat each other, I'm sure everyone has different favourites.


Merry Christmas, everybody, and have a very Happy New Year!

AdiĆ³s.