My Top 10 Horror Movies of 2012
On the horror scene, 2012 has had so much to offer, making this one of the most difficult countdowns I’ve ever had to write. This year has seen a selection of unique and fascinating surgical body horrors as well as some thought-provoking psychological thrillers. The majority of the films included on the list have been previously reviewed mainly through the horror festivals Celluloid Screams and Abertoir, therefore I have provided you with quick summaries and a link to the rest of the coverage. Hope you have a blood-soaked new year and lets look forward to the gruesome sights ahead of us in 2013!!
10. The Woman in Black, Directed by James Watkins
- UK Release Date: 10th February 2012
Eerie and atmospheric, The Woman in Black proved to be one of the most unsettling ghost stories of the year. Based on the novel and stage play of the same name, the film sees a young solicitor (played by Daniel Radcliffe) visit a remote village where he stumbles upon a vengeful spirit of a wronged woman who brings non-stop terror on anyone who crosses her, soon the dark secrets of the village begin to unravel, accompanied by a terrifying twist. The film’s strength lies in its use of its Victorian, gothic setting bringing a sense of isolation and a bleak tone, the jump scares are unexpected and the build-up is nicely paced. It is fair to argue that the most disturbing aspect of the film could be its 12A rating especially with the subject matter of child death and suicide.
Read More on the film and its controversial certificate here: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/the-case-of-the-woman-in-black-2012-a-collaborative-review/
9. Anti-Viral, Directed by Brandon Cronenberg
- UK Release Date: 8th February 2013
From Brandon Cronenberg, Anti-Viral is a stunning piece of film that focuses on the notions of the obsession of celebrity culture and how far the public will go to have a piece of what they idolize. Anti-Viral tells the story of a young man (played by Caleb Landry Jones) who has been infected with the same virus that has killed one of the world’s biggest celebrities Hannah Geist (played by Sarah Gadon), despite public speculation, Syd must get down to the bottom of how she died in order to save himself. The themes are explored in an interesting and intelligent way; however the film provides the viewer with a lot to take in. The protagonist Syd March is a complex character and his presence in the film proves a challenging watch especially for the audience to form a sense of understanding and empathy with him. There’s also a fantastic cameo from Malcolm McDowell in there. Overall the film is beautifully shot and edited and is guaranteed to last in the mind long after the credits have rolled.
8. Sleep Tight, Directed by Jaume Balaguero
- UK Release Date: Unconfirmed
This Spanish psychological thriller will leave a profound effect on the mind. Sleep Tight deals with fascinating subject matters such as voyeurism and takes the viewer into a disturbing place but makes it impossible to take your eyes off the screen. The film questions whether we are really safe in our own home. Cesar (played by Luis Tosar) works as a janitor in an apartment block, he has developed a twisted fixation with one of the tenants Clara (played by Marta Etura) and intrudes into her life unknowingly to her. Without giving too much away as it really is a film to go in blind to, the consequences and following effects prove absolutely devastating. Sleep Tight doesn’t rely on blood and gore (bar one intense and graphic scene) in order to create something truly terrifying, that said to a degree it incorporates some dark humor and is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack.
7. The Shadow of Death, Directed by Gav Chuckie Steel
- UK Release Date: Unconfirmed
Gav Chuckie Steel’s low budget, horror/comedy that reminds genre fans of the old stalk n’ slash sub-genre has personally been a very influential film, proving that with strong dedication, filmmaking on a small budget is achievable.
Check out my extensive coverage of “The Shadow of Death” here:
6. Cell Count, Directed by Todd E. Freeman
Available on: iTunes, XBox, PS3, VUDU, Amason Instant, and CinemaNow
This stunning body-horror from Todd E. Freeman showcases how far someone will go for the person that means the most to them. Cell Count incorporates some innovative and interesting imagery as well as a human, thought provoking narrative. The film focuses on Russell Carpenter (Played by Roberts McKeehen), a desperate man who makes the decision to admit his wife Sadie (played by Haley Talbot) into an experimental treatment facility due to her suffering from a life-threatening disease. What follows is the pair find themselves along with six strangers locked in the isolated area where they are unknowingly being used and “treated” with a mystery “cure”, this of course goes horribly wrong and the characters enter a state of fear and panic in their confined environment.
Go here for the full review: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/celluloid-screams-2012-day-two-coverage/
For an interview with Director Todd E. Freeman, visit: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-interview-with-todd-e-freeman-writer-and-director-of-cell-count/
5. Resolution, Directed by Aaron Moorehead and Justin Benson
- UK Release Date: Unconfirmed
An unexpected and unconventional entry into the Horror circuit, Resolution is psychologically creepy while at the same time has an endearing commentary on what it truly means to be friends and what we do for those we care about. After seeing directors Aaron and Justin’s dynamic during their introduction and Q&A at Celluloid Screams it is clear where the heart of this story really comes from. Their collaboration has resulted in a genuinely interesting, heart-warming and sinister film, which leaves the viewer on the edge of their seats right until the heart-stopping finale which no doubt leaves the audience wanting more.
Click here for the full review: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/celluloid-screams-2012-day-three-coverage/
4. Before Dawn, Directed by Dominic Brunt
- UK Release Date: TBA
With their marriage on the rocks Alex (Played by Dominic Brunt) and Meg (Played by Joanne Mitchell) retreat to the Yorkshire countryside in an attempt to fix their troubled relationship, but little do they know a zombie epidemic has spread across the area. As they attempt to fix their problems in a tense atmosphere, Meg soon falls victim to the virus after being attacked and bitten by a zombie, now Alex must do all he can and figure out what lengths he will go to in order to save his wife, will they be able to salvage what they have before its too late? Before Dawn incorporates stunning cinematography of the Yorkshire landscapes, and a sense of gritty British drama as it hybrids a social realist style with edge-of-the-seat, gory horror. The film is most definitely a refreshing take on the Zombie sub-genre.
For the full review, visit: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/celluloid-screams-2012-day-three-coverage/
3. Sightseers, Directed by Ben Wheatley
- UK Release Date: 30th November 2012
Sightseers is a darkly humored, black comedy about a seemingly introverted woman named Tina (played by Alice Lowe) who escapes the clutches of her “invalid” mother to take a caravaning holiday with her new boyfriend Chris (Played by Steve Oram). Love is in the air as the couple set off into the picturesque Yorkshire countryside, however events soon take a dark turn when Chris’s neurotic behavior turns deadly!! Sightseers truly captures the essence of what its like being in a new relationship, and depicts all the highs and lows with a goretastic horror metaphor in the background! There’s romance, sex, jealousy, murder and dog-napping!
Visit here, for the full review: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/celluloid-screams-2012-day-one-coverage/
2. Citadel, Directed by Ciaran Foy
- UK Release Date: 1st March 2013
Harrowing and terrifying, Citadel is the film that had a huge impact on me on the first viewing and almost captured the number one spot on this list. Emotionally-charged Horror doesn’t get any better than Citadel. The nightmare begins when Tommy (Played by Aneurin Barnard) helplessly watches on as his pregnant wife is attacked by a group of youths and is stabbed with a syringe. Tommy is left to care for their baby daughter while suffering with severe agoraphobia. Citadel is an intense portrayal of a young man attempting to overcome his fears. It merges disturbing horror elements with the tone of gritty British cinema and the balance of genres pays off well, making Citadel a fresh, unique offer into British Horror Cinema. Aneurin Barnard carries the film and proves he is an exceptional young actor, his performance is tear-jerking and devastating and he brings a realistic sense of empathy to the role.
For the full review, click here: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/celluloid-screams-2012-day-two-coverage/
1. American Mary, Directed by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska
- UK Release Date: 11th January 2013
From grindhouse to body modification, the Soska sisters Jen and Sylvia have advanced greatly as filmmakers since their feature debut Dead Hooker in a Trunk and have treated genre fans to an amazingly, stunning, feminist horror film that comes in the shape of American Mary. Mary Mason is a medical student who for reasons I can’t reveal becomes disheartened with the profession she once greatly respected. Its a story of survival and Mary must do what she can in order to make money. She then enters into a fantastical world of body modification and meets a collection of intriguing characters who ask for some of the most bizarre yet fascinating surgeries imaginable, including a delicious cameo from the Twisted Twins themselves and an amazing performance by Tristan Risk who plays Beatrice, a woman who has made herself look as close to Betty Boop as possible. I fell completely in love with everything the film had to offer. Its beautifully shot and edited, Mary herself (played by the exceptional Katherine Isabelle) is one of the most empowering females in horror that has emerged in recent years. Mary is an empathetic character and her journey into darkness is compelling. There is something unique that stands out about the entire piece. Its horrifying and sexy at the same time and is accompanied by one hell of a soundtrack including My Suicide by Luisa Pepe.
Hayley Alice Roberts.