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!
You can find HONEYMOON on Amazon here. Below is my review of HONEYMOON from September!
HONEYMOON (2014)Directed by Leigh Janiak
Written by Leigh Janiak & Phil Graziadei
Starring Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
They say that once you get married, things change. And I’m sure that’s true (maybe I’ll find out one of these days), but here’s to hoping that things don’t change as drastically and as horrifically as they do in Leigh Janiak’s fascinating and engrossing new horror film HONEYMOON.
GAME OF THRONES’ Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway play Bea and Paul, respectively--honeymooners returning to Bea’s childhood cabin home after a long time living into the city. Upon their arrival, Bea and Paul can’t keep their hands off of one another, impulsively making love in every room in the house and never leaving each other’s sight, but after Bea runs into an old boyfriend at a local restaurant, she disappears from the cabin and is found naked and shivering in the woods. Not knowing what happened, Paul becomes increasingly concerned as Bea’s attitude and temperament changes.
I’m hesitant to reveal much more of this film, as not knowing what type of film this is going in is what makes it all the more effective. This is a slow, slow burn of a movie, but the sizzle definitely sets in as things get direr in such a short span of time for Paul and Bea. The film really taps into the fears and turmoil suffered by many in relationships when you realize you really don’t know much about your significant other. It’s that feeling of fear when you wonder if jumping into that big lake of love is worth it or if it was a mistake to trust someone with the whole of you. Janiak and co-writer Phil Graziadei really take their time doling out the scares, but there’s an ever-increasing stream of paranoia that begins at about the twenty minute mark and never lets up.
Stars Leslie and Treadaway are definitely ones to look out for. Rose Leslie has a spunkiness that isn’t common; it’s the kind of rough tomboy-ishness quality, but never losing that appealing femininity. Treadaway plays his character in a nuanced fashion, suspicious, yet wanting so much to take his wife at her word, even when everything else tells him otherwise.
In the latter half of this film, there are some really gory moments sure to cause a wince or two. But the nighttime scenes where dark unknowns are lurking about are the scenes that’ll really creep under your skin. Reminiscent of ROSEMARY’S BABY and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, HONEYMOON is a film that will make you look over your shoulder or wonder if that person you’re sitting next to and holding hands with is who they think they are. This is an excellent bit of filmmaking with some performances that hit all the right notes to make one creepy little horror thriller.
Worth Noting: ALMOST HUMAN!While this film is heavily flawed and filmed on a budget that is ultra-low by Hollywood standards, it is the closest thing to early John Carpenter you’re going to get these days. The film’s title lettering even mimics Carpenter’s classic style. With some grungy effects and some dark turns, if you’re looking for an alien flick that’s a cut above, this may do the trick.
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) !
#6: HERE COMES THE DEVIL (worth noting: ASMODEXIA) !
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!