I promised myself I wasn’t going to come out with any top 10 lists for the new year…and I’m sticking to it. Rebel that I am, I’m here to dish on my 13 favorite horror movies of 2013. That’s right, where all the other blogs only give you a measly 10, I’m like Five Guys Burgers and Fries dishing out the extra fries.
Admittedly, I didn’t see every movie that came out (most noticeably, I didn’t catch Insidious Chapter 2 – dumb ass name), but I did watch a hell of a lot of horror flicks last year – and every year for that matter. A few of these came out in 2012, but weren’t available to anyone outside the lone theater they premiered in until 2013. You want to take me to the mat for that, let’s throw down. So, let the countdown begin!
13. THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY
Yes, it’s a found footage movie, but the premise and execution are a notch above most of this sub-genre. A descendant of the mad Dr. Frankenstein takes a team to the Arctic Circle to prove that Mary Shelley’s iconic tale was not a work of fiction, but a recounting of a true and chilling story. The atmosphere is stark, desolate, and the chills you feel are very real. This one totally took me by surprise.
OK, I’ll admit I picked this one up because of the attractive and, aahhh, nude woman on the cover. Sometimes, being shallow pays off. The Thale in this tale is a mythological Norwegian creature that looks a lot like a pretty damn sexy woman with a tail. That’s right, a tail. When a couple of house cleaners stumble upon the imprisoned Thale, all hell breaks loose. Freakin’ strange, but beautifully shot and just plain haunting.
11. DARK SKIES
I finally relented and bought a BluRay player last year. This was one of the first discs I asked Santa to cram in my stocking. I’m a sucker for alien abduction movies (Communion, Fire in the Sky, The Fourth Kind). What makes this movie so strong is the way it builds up the family and makes you truly care for them, making it that much harder to watch an alien presence tear their lives apart. Top notch performances and some great visuals. This one can get pretty creepy at times and has an ending you rarely see anymore.
10. THE PURGE
My hopes were so, so high for this one. There was no way it could ever live up to them. But it came pretty damn close. Think Assault on Precinct 13 (where Ethan Hawke also starred in the remake) in the ‘burbs. I fell in love the moment I saw Ethan Hawke’s gun. Tense, futuristic, and at times downright gory, it’s worth the time. Plus it has Cersei Lannister, so how bad can it be?
9. WOULD YOU RATHER?
I think I’m one out of the dozen or so people who saw this one, but man was it fun. Re-Animator’s Jeffrey Combs is a twisted, rich SOB who invites a handful of down-on-their-luck folks for dinner in his mansion. One of them will receive enough money in the end to solve all of their worldly problems. All they have to do is play a little game called Would You Rather? Sick, sick, sick, awesome, awesome, awesome. How did no one think of this one before?
Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of the 80’s original. Elijah Wood stars as the socially awkward Maniac this time around. What made this work, aside from his performance, was the concept to shoot the movie through his eyes. Brilliant. This one will give you the heebie-jeebies. One of those movies where I say, “I am so glad I’m not a single woman.”
7. V/H/S 2
When I caught the first V/H/S on Netflix, I was did my little horror dance – the one I do when I stumble upon little gems of terror. I was worried that the sequel would fall short of the original. There was no need to worry. In fact, I think part 2 is slightly better and more cohesive than the first. The short on the cult alone makes it one of the best flicks of the year. Go catch it on Netflix streaming.
Here’s the second alien abduction movie on my list, as well as the second found footage flick. You’d think that combo would add up to el stinkeroo. Not so fast, capitano! Again, an achingly powerful performance by Erin Way as a woman who mysteriously lost her baby in late term pregnancy keeps this one humming. It has a few real scares that will make you think twice when you look up at the night sky.
5. THE BATTERY
In a year when World War Z crapped the zombie bed, this mega low budget movie had to rely on something a lot of Hollywood movies ignore – an actual, well written story. This is the best zombie movie in a long while. Two minor league baseball battery mates (a pitcher and a catcher) survive the zombie apocalypse and walk from place to place, trying to survive. I love this movie because it gave us the first ‘masturbation to a dead girl’ scene and for the absolutely claustrophobic, dire last twenty minutes. Take that Brad Pitt!
4. RITES OF SPRING
I had never even heard of this movie until I saw it as a suggestion on Netflix. Whoa, this one was a wild ride that reminded me of all the best elements of 80’s horror. This came out in 2011, but I believe wasn’t available until 2013. Screw it, I want it in my top 5. This one has kidnappers, a creature that comes out for the spring ‘harvest’, screams, some ugly bastard under a barn, blood and more. I had a blast watching this, and in the end, that’s what matters most.
3. THE CONJURING
The first movie adaptation of famed paranormalists Ed and Lorraine Warren and their ghostly travails. This one is genuinely scary at times. The Warrens are called to investigate an exceedingly haunted house that is driving a family to the brink. It stars Vera Farmiga, as Lorraine Warren (who I met with her late husband in the 90s) so I was already hooked. As I watched it, I kept thinking, if even half of this shit is true, we live in a world of truly terrifying potential. And don’t ever ask me to play hide-and-go-clap with you. Ever.
2. AMERICAN MARY
A body modification movie gone horribly awry. Med school dropout takes to underground bod-mod surgeries in her apartment to make cash. This one is so bizarre, it has to be seen to be believed. Surreal, kinky, debased, sexy, it’s one of the most surprising horror movies I’ve ever seen. Whenever people ask me for movie recommendations, I tell ’em, American Mary. If you don’t get it, well, we’ll part as friends.
1. YOU’RE NEXT
A family reunion goes to complete shit when crossbows start burying themselves in necks and backs in what was, by far, the most fun I had at the movies all year. Hell, I even took my mom to see this and she dug it. The lesson we learn here is that all girls should go to survivalist camp. Aside from the brutal murders and tense, graphic action, there are some fantastic laughs here, as well as a song that will loop in your head for months. This one gets my number one slot with ease!