Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here. Happy Birthday to AICN HORROR which celebrates its fifth year in October! Always hoping to pass on new and exciting films for all of you ravenous readers, I have once again compiled a list counting down to my favorite horror film released since last October and covered in this here AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Some of these films might be new to you since there isn’t a lot of horror in theaters these days that aren’t toothless remakes or watered down sequels. The theater just doesn’t seem to be the place where the horror is at these days, I’m sad to say. Some of these films have only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD/BluRay or digital download.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked over my AICN HORROR columns over the last year since October 1st, 2013 (which happens to be the birthday of this little column five years ago!) and worked and reworked a list until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness. We’ll be counting down every day until Halloween to my favorite horror film of the year. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion at the end of each post that is worth noting or missed being on the list by a little bit for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know how you liked the film I chose, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
#6: HERE COMES THE DEVIL!
You can find HERE COMES THE DEVIL on Amazon here and on Netflix here. Below is my review of HERE COMES THE DEVIL from December!!
HERE COMES THE DEVIL (2012)Directed by Adrián García Bogliano
Written by Adrián García Bogliano
Starring Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez, Michele Garcia, Giancarlo Ruiz
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Adrián García Bogliano, the filmmaker behind last year’s feast for the eyes and ears COLD SWEAT, is at it again with a much calmer and more mature take on horror in HERE COMES THE DEVIL. This time around he tackles subject matter that feels much more personal in tapping into the fear that anyone with loved ones can identify with. When Felix (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE’s Francisco Barriero) and Sol (popular Mexican singer Laura Caro) let their children play by a hill while they fool around in their car, their children go missing. A day later, the children are found…or are they?
As with COLD SWEAT, Bogliano once again makes a sexy horror film by playing around with the sex and death motif with an opening sex scene between two women, followed by the aforementioned incendiary scene between two parents in a car while their children are off playing; both scenes end badly with Bodliano playing around with guilt associated with sex. The fact that these parents are showing love for one another makes the disappearance all the more weighty in that they are guilt-ridden at neglecting to look after their kids, tearing into one another afterwards by blaming each other. The relationship between the parents is a complex one, as are most real-life relationships, and feels so much more real than what we are used to seeing in American films in that these are not perfect parents by a long shot. As Sol begins to suspect that her children aren’t telling her the whole truth as to what went on the night they went missing, Felix refuses to believe her, causing a rift between them even more.
The film definitely is dark and is going to turn off some folks with the perverse areas it goes into involving what went on that night in the cave. As this family begins to fall deeper and deeper into the abyss, it’s the patience Bogliano shows in the very slow-moving first half hour that makes your heart ache at every wrong turn the parents take. This is very much a horror film, but also serves as a pretty fantastic family drama. It is evident later in the film (and by the film’s title) that demonic possession factors in, both in a literal sense and in a poetic sense as Felix identifies himself as the devil when he confronts someone he suspects of assaulting his children that night. The layers are deep in this film, serving as a cautionary tale to watch over your children and a morality tale dealing with taking law into ones own hands.
Bogliano sets a dire mood with some fantastically timed shocks as well as doling out information with a tentative measure. What impressed me the most is the leap in maturity and sophistication from COLD SWEAT, which was a very in your face-style film, to HERE COMES THE DEVIL, which crawls beneath your skin meticulously. Much like ROSEMARY’S BABY, it’s the mood set and the amplification of emotion that causes the real shocks in HERE COMES THE DEVIL. I have to admit, I kind of saw the ending coming midway through, but that doesn’t make the ride there any less thrilling and impactful.
Though possession stories have been told time and time again, usually they turn out to be knockoffs of THE EXORCIST. HERE COMES THE DEVIL stands out by delving into the possession subgenre in such a multi-leveled manner, involving all shades of horror and perversion. I’ll be keeping you all in the loop as to when and where you’re going to be able to see HERE COMES THE DEVIL. It’s definitely not a Hollywood film in that it has the balls to take you to uncomfortable places both psychologically and emotionally.
Worth Noting: ASMODEXIA!Just barely missing the countdown is this good and evil twisting flick about the coming of the Antichrist and one exorcist who appears as if he would do anything to stop it, even if it means sacrificing his young neice, an exorcist in training. Filled with all sorts of sacrilegious iconography and effects, ASMODEXIA is unlike any exorcism flick you’ll ever see.
Check out my full review of the film here and you can check it out here on Amazon!
#30: STALLED (worth noting: CHRYSALIS)!
#29: RIGOR MORTIS (worth noting: I AM A GHOST)!
#28: GHOST TEAM ONE (worth noting: HYSTERICAL PSYCHO!
#27: THANATOMORPHOSE (worth noting: CONTRACTED)!
#26: LIFE AFTER BETH (worth noting: EVIL FEED)!
#25: AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (worth noting: THE DEVIL’S MUSIC) !
#24: CHIMERES (worth noting: THE RETURNED) !
#23: AFFLICTED (worth noting: DEAD WEIGHT) !
#22: TUSK (worth noting: BENEATH) !
#21: FOUND (worth noting: RABID LOVE) !
#20: DEVOURED (worth noting: CRAVE) !
#19: DELIVERY: THE BEAST WITHIN (worth noting: THE HUNTED) !
#18: THE MACHINE (worth noting: BLOOD GLACIER) !
#17: GRAND PIANO (worth noting: OPEN GRAVE) !
#16: WILLOW CREEK (worth noting: WOLF CREEK 2) !
#15: ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE (worth noting: THE SEASONING HOUSE) !
#14: THE SACRAMENT (worth noting: HOLY GHOST PEOPLE) !
#13: CRAWL OR DIE (worth noting: BENEATH) !
#12: PIECES OF TALENT (worth noting: EVIL IN THE TIME OF HEROES) !
#11: PLUS ONE (worth noting: THE DEMON’S ROOK) !
#10: CHEAP THRILLS (worth noting: THE POISONING) !
#9: THE GUEST (worth noting: TORMENT) !
#8: BLUE RUIN (worth noting: THE BATTERY) !
#7: THE CONSPIRACY (worth noting: THE BANSHEE CHAPTER) !
See ya tomorrow, folks, as I count down the best of the best covered in AICN HORROR since October 1st, 2013!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 13 years & AICN HORROR for 4. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
Be sure to tell your comic shop to order his new comic PIROUETTE (out now!) from Black Mask Studios!