As we sit here in Snowpocalype 2017, buried under our 1 and 1/2 inches of snow in Tennessee, today seems like the perfect day to recap the best films that I watched this past year. Most of the films were released in 2016, with the exception of one major cult release that served as a bit of a revelation to me as a novice horror film aficionado. Also, a good majority of the films that I enjoyed the most from the past year came from the Chattanooga Film Fest and the Frightening Ass Film Fest. I have talked about most of these films throughout the year on the podcast and I won’t expound much on each pick. Suffice it to say, a cold and snowy day is the perfect time to seek any of these out. So, without further ado:
by director Marcin Wrona–A man is possessed during his wedding day, in this “clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk”.
by director Alex Simmons, starring David Giuntoli (Grimm) and Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2)–A former child actor is dumped by his fiance just before their wedding, and to cheer him up his eccentric German best man takes him on the planned honeymoon hiking in the mountains of Oregon.
13. The Shallows
by director Jaume Collet-Sierra, starring Blake Lively (Gossip Girl)–A surfer goes in search of her mom’s illusive “perfect beach,” and is she is attacked by a shark, marooned amidst rocks 200 yards from shore, and must find a way back.
12. Under the Shadow
by director Babak Anvari, starring Narges Rashidi and Avin Manshadi–A mother and daughter are haunted by a “mysterious evil” in their apartment complex in Tehran during the 1980’s Iran/Iraq war.
11. Bad Blood: The Movie
by director Tim Reis, starring Mary Malloy–A werewolf trope with an amphibious bend.
10. Lucha Mexico
by directors Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz–This documentary explores the struggles, fame, popularity, and tradition of the Lucha Libre profession in Mexico.
9. Found Footage 3D
by director Steven DeGennaro, starring Carter Roy and Alena von Stroheim–A crew set out to film the first 3D found footage horror film (as well as 3D behind the scenes “making of” footage and interviews), but they find themselves in an actual 3D horror film.
8. Refinery Surveyor Black
by director Brian George and Galen Jackson, starring Joshua Turek–“A government inspector, an orphaned young girl, and opiod-addled locals collide in this small-town drama centered around the closure of a supposedly toxic sugar refinery.”
7. Beyond the Gates
by director Jackson Stewart, starring Brea Grant (Dexter, Heroes), Matt Mercer, Gordon Skipper, and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator)–Two extranged brothers come together to pack up their missing father’s failed video rental store and stumble upon a mysterious 80’s video board game that may hold the key to his disapperance.
6. The Nice Guys
by director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), starring Ryan Gosling (Drive), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), and Angourie Rice (These Final Hours)–“In 1970’s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.” Angourie Rice is a scene-stealer.
5. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
by director Oz Perkins, starring Emma Roberts (Scream Queens), Lucy Boynton, and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men)–A darkness haunts a boarding school as two girls are left behind over winter break.
4. The Invitation
by director Karyn Kusama (Girl Fight), starring Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) and Tammy Blanchard–“While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.”
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
by director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla), starring Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Alan Tudyk (Serenity), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), and Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline)–An uneasy alliance of Rebels come together to steal the Death Star plans in an effort to turn the tide of the war against the Empire.
2. Too Late
by director Dennis Hauck, starring John Hawkes (American Gangster, Lost), Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse, Agents of Shield), and Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf)–A girl calls an old private eye for help but then goes missing. Sounds simple, but it’s not.
by director Stuart Gordon (From Beyond), starring Jeffrey Combs (From Beyond), Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, and David Gale–“A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when and odd new student arrives on campus.” This is horror comedy at its pinnacle.