Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012! Is This The Year For The Zombie Apocalypse?

Well, another year has gone by and we head into the infamous year of 2012, when the world is supposed to end and we're supposed to follow John Cusack to salvation.  How will it end?  I'm not sure, but I'm checking the rations to make sure I have enough cookies.

First off, allow me to thank you, the readers, once again for taking the time to read my little thoughts on various horror movies.  As of today, the blog is just a few people away from 100,000 views.  So thanks for stopping by and hopefully, you're taking some entertainment and information away from the ol' helicopter.

Second, another big thanks go out to others in the horror and pop culture blogging community, who continue to be friendly and supportive.

Sadly, I didn't get to Chiller this year. I planned on going in October, but thanks to the freak snowstorm here in the northeast, the kibosh was put on that.  I'm shooting for a trip in April, though.

I'm hoping 2012 will see more entertainment, and I'd like to feature more interviews, more reviews of independent films/screeners, and more diverse subjects like books and music.  Hey, it's all up to me!

I also started a new blog for another of my big interests:  comic books.  Go check out Born In The Silver Age - not much there yet, but it'll grow.

In keeping with tradition, I'm going to share my ten favorite movies that I reviewed in 2011 - not including the ones I already own.  Trust me, there were more than ten that I really liked, but I'll narrow it down in no particular order.  Here goes:

The Last Exorcism - This listing is actually more about the context of the film and how it may have gone outside the box to tell its story.  Yeah, it's "found footage" but the theory I subscribe to is that even the description of the genre "found footage" is being played with here.

Phantasm - An older film and a cult classic, it always brings back great childhood memories of the weird horror films we could only catch on the early days of cable or at the video store.  Yes, Phantasm on VHS is a fond memory of mine.

Stake Land - Word of mouth propelled my interest in this little movie that offered a very unique take on vampires and what they could mean to the world if left unchecked.  Great performances and a heartbreaking invasion scene were two traits that made me really enjoy this movie.

Dance Of The Dead (2008) - Definitely a fun horror-comedy with a great deal of likable characters and funny moments.  It had a b-movie appeal with modern sensibilities, combining the two with flair.  Neat explanation as to why certain zombies move faster than others as well.

I Saw The Devil - What an emotional punch to the stomach.  This film has it all:  deft direction, great pacing, and amazing acting.  It's brutal yet human - it's definitely not a ray of sunshine, but it's a quality, extremely well-made film.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil - This was probably my favorite movie to review in 2011.  An absolutely wonderful film, full of sweet characters, hilarious predicaments, and a subplot that boils to the surface in the third act make this a purely magical movie experience.

Trollhunter - Wild Norwegian fare that elevated the "found footage" genre even more, with some great performances and special effects that are absolutely seamless.  A film about encountering Nordic trolls seems like a silly premise, but they pull it off with style.

House On Haunted Hill (1959) - One of the true classics starring one of my absolute favorites in Vincent Price (and eternal doom-sayer Elisha Cook) , this one of the films that adds to the foundation of horror.  Sweet suspense and a cheeky performance by Price.

Attack The Block - I'd classify this as sci-fi/horror and it's well on its way to being a cult classic.  A gang of tough London kids battle a herd of very, very toothy aliens.  A real lesson on character development and pacing, my love for this film grew as it went on to its satisfying conclusion.

Skew - Definitely a lot of "found footage" films on my blog, and this list, but this one was near the top.  A seemingly simple premise holds a lot more details in this road movie that has as one of its stars a possibly haunted/cursed video camera.

And one TV miniseries:

Dead Set (TV) - While technically not a film, this British TV miniseries was a kinetic, gory, and emotional rollercoaster set against the backdrop of a popular reality show.  I believe it featured some of the best "being overrun by hordes of zombies" scenes I've seen.

And one special mention of a short film I reviewed:

Crestfallen - From producer Russ Penning and director Jeremiah Kipp came this wordless, quiet, and emotional short film about the downfall of a young woman who feels she has lost it all.  Actress Deneen Melody turns in a fantastic performance, making her someone to watch as her career no doubt grows.

Honorable mentionsLet Me In, Piranha (2010), Poultrygeist, The Horde, Cronos, The Horseman

So, a Happy New Year to all my helicopter passengers - let it be safe, happy, and full of good surprises with none of the bitey zombies.  Thanks for reading, and I'll see you at all the post-apocalyptic shelters!

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