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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Top Ten Films of 2013.

I see many many lists on social networking sites listing peoples top 10 films of 2013, so I thought I would share mine with you all. Now what may surprise some of you, is that not all of them are horror films. I do actually watch and enjoy other genres of film, but horror is my true cinematic love. So, without further ado, here is my top ten list of 2013, in no particular order.

1:- Star Trek Into Darkness.

While I have never been a huge fan of Star Trek (The Alien that used to be shown during the end credits of the original series scared the living hell out of me in my younger years), the Redux impressed me, not to a great degree, but enough to warrant interest in checking out the sequel. I suffer from an incredibly short attention span, and seeing as Star Trek Into Darkness is on for two hours, I thought I may very well grow increasingly bored with the movie, but hell, it certainly managed to keep me entertained. It is an action packed, thrilling Sci Fi movie that has so much more to it than the lacklustre film that came before.

2:- Pacific Rim.

Giant monsters versus giant robots? How is it possible that anyone could dislike this film? Possibly the best movie of the year, Pacific Rim brings those two loves of mine that I used to obsess over as a child (monsters and robots) and puts them in some of the most breathtaking and destructive battles I have ever witnessed. I also had the pleasure to see the movie in 3D, and I have to say, for once it actually worked to the films advantage instead of it being a gimmick.

3:- The Conjuring.

I really don't get all the hate James Wan seems to receive. He manages to take his films to an incredibly tense level, and doesn't feel the need to use cheap shocks or fill his movies with unnecessary gore. The Conjuring was incredibly effective in its use of sound, strange camera angles and jump scares which hit every time. I was really impressed with this movie in every way, and it's nice to see someone still trying to make effective scare machines in this day and age. This is certainly one of the most effective and shocking haunted house/exorcism movies I have ever seen.

4:- The Raid.

Having been a lifelong fan of Martial Arts movies, nothing had impressed me since I had seen Ong Bak. Ip Man came close, and the sequel was a lot of fun, but nothing had the impact that the original Ong Bak had on me. The fights were so brutal, so real that you could feel every hit. I had heard many things about The Raid, calling it one of the greatest action films of all time, and after viewing it, I am hard pressed to disagree. The fights were incredibly tense, and it was my first introduction to the martial art of Pencak Silat, which is possibly one of the most visually striking forms of fighting I have seen. The film is pure adrenaline from the opening credits, and it just amps up the action throughout it's running time, leaving the viewer breathless and gasping in amazement.

5:- Dredd.

Yes. I was also an avid reader of 2000 AD as a child, and I always had a soft spot for Judge Dredd (although my soft spot for Judge Death was much bigger). The Stallone fronted Judge Dredd was such a let down. Gone was the merciless Judge, only to be replaced with a "nice guy" who even removed his helmet (something which Judge Dredd never does). This film redresses the balance, and gives every fan of Dredd what they wanted. Pure unadulterated action.While in some respects it is similar to The Raid, Dredd is another breathtaking film in the action genre. Judge Dredd is the grimacing, merciless judge he has always been in the comics, and he never removes his helmet. (It might seem like a little thing to some, but to a fan such as myself, it's a big thing). He is also a total badass that goes through so much during the movie, it's difficult not to love this representation of the character, and the film as a whole.

6:- You're Next.

You're Next bought something different to the table. While it began as a typical home invasion movie, the film metamorphosed into something else entirely. It was brutal, funny and shocking all at the same time. I am not going to say too much about this one, for fear of giving away any of the plot. The music is also worthy of a mention, as it sounds like it's straight of an Italian horror picture of the 70's. This film really was so much fun.

7:- V/H/S 2.

Anthology movies, especially ones that have been released in the past few years, seem to get a lot of stick. I enjoyed the original V/H/S, and while it wasn't breathtaking in any way, shape or form, it did show that a huge budget wasn't needed to produce an effective little slice of horror.  The sequel took everything the original offered up, and increased it infinitely. More gore, more scares and one less story (which really did mean that the quality of stories was improved). The sound design on the final segment was incredible, and had my stomach turning at the appearance of the creatures terrorizing a family. Scary stuff indeed.

8:- Big Ass Spider.

Sometimes a movie comes along that is so good, it reminds you of why you like movies so much. Big Ass Spider is one of those movies. Everything about it is cinematic gold. The comedy, the horror, the action, everything is pulled off with such an air of perfection, it is impossible not to be impressed by everything this film is about. It really does have absolutely everything a movie needs. If you haven't seen it yet, go get it. There isn't a chance you could be disappointed.

9:- Kick-Ass 2.

The first Kick-Ass film disappointed me. I think it was because the ending was changed drastically from the comic book, coupled with the fact it just wasn't violent enough. The only thing that really grabbed my attention was Nicholas Cage channelling Adam West when he wore his Big Daddy costume. The second film improved everything the first film layed out, while also increasing the level of violence and humour. Again, it combined things from many genres to make an incredibly watchable and enjoyable film, with some of the most quotable lines in any movie in 2013.

10:- Curse of Chucky.

I love Chucky, at least in the first three Childs Play films. Bride of Chucky was fun, but substituted scares for comedy, to a rather lukewarm reception from me. Seed of Chucky was just an excuse for bad taste humour to be explored and exploited, and was the east impressive entry in the franchise. Curse of Chucky on the other hand, is an incredible return to form. You don't even get to see much of Chucky, and that certainly helps build up the tension of the film. The kills are brutal, and Chucky is evil again. What more could a fan of Childs Play want? Oh, and I have to mention the scene after the credits. I absolutely loved the cameo, and the outcome of that scene!

There you have it. not much horror, independent or otherwise, but these are the films that have stood out the most over the past year. Let's hope 2014 brings many more excellent cinematic adventures for us all to be taken on.

Darkest regards......Dani.

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