If I were writing this for any other site, do you know what they would tell me to call this article? 21 Reasons All Sites Should Be Like Buzzfeed. They would then ask me emulate the exact style on that site (big photo or gif, small blurb of retarded text) and they would tell me to assume my audience was filled with mindless, thirteen-year-olds and to write with that target demo in mind. Why, even though that sucks a thousand dicks, would a website ask me that? Because, my REMlins, that is what sells right now. Internet journalism is in a state of 9-1-1, on the edge of becoming like fast food. Quick bursts of pointless poison that does no one any good. So how did this happen, and what can we all do? It happened because we let it, and we do nothing except get a better understanding of why they are feeding us bullshit and why we allow it. Only then can we hopefully take a step towards changing it.
A few years back, I went dark. No, my power didn’t go out, and no, I didn’t dye my hair black and become the dude who talks about how every meal tastes like sadness. I mean in the things I was studying up on and the type of films I was watching and overall, what I was subjecting myself to on a daily basis. While I can recognize the compelling aspects of dark stories and twisted tales, I can also tell you constant exposure to that stuff takes a toll. Not in the “this media inspires me to want to act like this” way, but in a “I cannot unsee these films” way. The most messed up part is that this does not mean these films are bad. The reality is, quite a few of them are amazing. But they deal with subjects that will haunt you, if you actually have a soul. While I am sure there are many people who could see this stuff and just move past it, I think the realest and most empathetic of us get sometimes get f*cked up by a curve ball a movie throws that none of us could have seen coming. This list is the six movies that did that to me. Warning, this shit is not for the faint of heart.
A few days after Christmas, I went to a thrift shop near my house with my sister and Mom. When I walked in, I felt something pulling me across the store. I mumbled something to them and wandered off among the array of memories for sale. What was pulling me, like an invisible magnet, was a giant, golden framed poster of beloved actress, Audrey Hepburn. With her massive, doe-like eyes staring out at me, I ran to it and grabbed it, scooping it under my arm. Before I had even left I was stopped by someone inquiring if they could “take it off my hands.” Nope, you can’t. I told the (older woman) that Audrey would be given a good home and would be treated with the love and respect she deserves. She smiled, and I walked away, smiling, knowing this angel would be looking over me in my office. So what is it about Audrey Hepburn? Why, years later, generations after she made movies, do we still pine for her? I think I know….
2014 was an awful year for a lot of good people. Hell, let’s be honest. It was an awful year in general. If you had a great year last year, this is not meant to undermine you in any way. Just know you are probably the minority in that. From bubbling racial tensions to clearer and clearer lines being drawn in the sand between the have and have-nots, few people I know look back on 2014 positively. Add to that the numerous problems we all (may have) faced in our personal lives, and it really wasn’t an easy year. Yet here we stand, in 2015. We can scoff that the actual year change means little and has little significance, but you know what, it actually does. It marked another 365 days we survived, got out of bed, faced our lives, battled our demons, and that deserves a hand shake, a hug, or a pat on the back. Thing is, as the year winded down, I figured out something about my own self and the somewhat trying year I faced. As you read on this will all make more sense and hopefully ignite something in you, too.
2014 was the year me (and a few fellow horror writers) came to the conclusion that horror just isn’t that scary anymore. I don’t want go all the way out on a limb and say “it’s all been done”, but we are getting pretty damn close to that point in the genre. Please understand, this doesn’t mean horror sucks. I love horror films, and love the taboo and twisted territory they tread on. I just worry that the actual “horrifying” aspect of horror is becoming an endangered species. That said, there are always exceptions to every rule. From the terrifying to the traumatizing, many entries on this list put some very unique spins on some very old and tired territory.
Two early disclaimers. One, I have this odd feeling the film Cub would’ve made my list, but I never got a chance to see it. Second, to everyone who will inevitably yell BABADOOK in the comments, that was an atmospheric and moody fairy tale, and one I truly enjoyed, but it’s not here because it was a tad bit overrated this year. Yes, I just said that. I also think it more fantasy (ala Pans Labyrinth) which is another factor why it doesn’t quite make this list. But fret not, as I am SURE it will be on every other top ten horror movies list of 2014.
Also, please not this is the first year I won’t be doing best/worst horror films of the year. Just best. No reason for me to talk shit. Plenty of bad horror comes out every year, but they way I see it, even the worst horror movie is usually better than the best romantic comedy. Feel free to quote me on that.
Okay, on to the entries presented in no particular order. You will also notice this is a list and not a f*cking slideshow like all those other shitty sites on the web. Why? Because those things suck.