The Halloween Party
(Best Horror Films)
Horror is my first love. The longest and most complicated of my film romances, and I’ll admit: until recently, I wasn’t an ideal partner in this relationship. For a self-proclaimed horror fanatic, I am very judgmental of horror films. Which is why I’m so gleeful that I actually (and finally) had a tough time picking just ten releases from the year to include in this list of 2015’s Best Horror films.
10. Unfriended: Like The DUFF, Unfriended suffered to expectations because of its seemingly standard material, but the film is anything but. Leo Gabriadze’s offers up the most unlikely of horror successes, a major studio release that actually gets the job done, and I encourage everyone to give this unconventional found footage effort a chance. (Universal Pictures)
9. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead With it’s American DVD release in the second half of the year, it’s easier to appreciate Kiah Roache-Turner’s early-Mad Max energy on the heels of Fury Road, but that isn’t to say that this high octane zombie film isn’t without its own charms– namely, a dash of unpredictale comedy, a unique twist on the Final Girl trope, and a pair of badass sibling heroes. You can read our interview with Roache-Turner here and our interview with the film’s star Bianca Bradey here. (Guerrilla Films)
8. We Are Still Here: As we discussed earlier, Geoghegan’s Fulci-inspired first effort was enough to land him on the list with indie veterans and mainstream fixtures in a year that was absolutely exceptional in the quality of its horror. You can read our interview with Geoghegan here. (Dark Sky Films)
7. The Nightmare: Among the most immediately frightful movie experiences I’ve ever had, Rodney Ascher’s documentary form horror hits all the right notes in its transference of the experience of a physiological condition that creates a nightmare world for its sufferers. (Gravitas Features)
6. Be My Cat: A Film for Anne: This one is still making the film festival rounds, but once it gets distribution, you’re going to hear about it. It’s best to go in blind but, if you’re interested, here’s a compelling interview with the film’s director, Adrian Tofei, who has some bold philosophies on film and the found footage format.
5. Backcountry: Tension in the form of a desperate, slowly failing relationship, the scariest scene in any movie this year, all followed by a grueling survival thriller. Adam MacDonald’s latest is unnerving. Read our interview with Adam here. (IFC Films)
4. It Follows: There isn’t any year in the past two decades except this one where this film would not finish first or second. It Follows shows signs of horror brilliance in its killer-capturing technique and Directer David Robert Mitchell’s exploration of maturation as evidence of dying. (RADiUS-TWC/Dimension Films)
3. The Visit: Say what you will about his stretch of critical misses, I’m still not convinced that there is a storyteller alive who uses a camera as a storytelling tool more efficiently than M. Night Shyamalan, and with The Visit, the visionary director (yes, he’s still a visionary) returns to peak form. (Universal Pictures)
2. Bone Tomahawk: If you’re tired of hearing of it from me, then watch it. It’s on four lists for a reason. (RLJ Entertainment)
1. Spring: Take every scene you know in which an unsuspecting character happens upon a literal monster, and ask yourself what would happen if that character had spent the last few days unknowingly falling in love with that monster. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are storytellers of the highest rank, which is why their horror film touches so many more nerves than horror fans are accustomed to. (FilmBuff/Drafthouse Films)
2015’s Horror Grade: A+